Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Magical World of Disney

Although I promised to post pictures of our Disney experience, I managed to leave my camera at home (anyone surprised by this?), so I have to wait for my relatives to e-mail their photos. The good news is that since it was a family reunion, I should get lots of photos! Anyway, I have to say, this was a great weekend! First though, I must admit that I was actually kind of dreading the whole thing. I'm really not much of an amusement park kind of person. I hate crowds, lines, overstimulation, etc. Every big marathon I've ever run has been no fun. The thought of spending 5 days captive in Disney World just left me cold. But, it was a family reunion so I really had no choice. And I was excited to take a trip with all of my siblings and their families.

So, we reluctantly headed to Florida on Thursday. We arrived shortly after lunch and headed straight to the Expo. Despite their being 21,000 people registered for the marathon (and who knows how many for the half), the Expo was a quick 40 minute experience. But when we came out, the line was all the way outside the building and into the parking lot. I was so happy we went early. After we made a quick getaway, we headed to Downtown Disney for dinner and 5 hours at Disney Quest, an interactive, 5-story video arcade. My 11 year-old sons were in heaven. And actually Tim and I had a total blast, too! We played every game in the building, some 6 or 7 times. There were no lines!

On Friday, we headed over to Epcot, trying to get as much done as possible before the rest of my family showed up. We wanted to be free for whatever plans they had for the evening. We shouldn't have worried. There were no lines at Epcot either! We rode every ride, visited every country, and still had time to go to the Magic Kingdom! We finally hooked up with everyone at 6:30 for fun on the Boardwalk and a great dinner. We made it to bed after midnight, everyone complaining because half our group had to get up to run the half-marathon the next morning.

Saturday, we hit the Animal Kingdom (Everest is awesome!), and Epcot again. Another great, raucous dinner followed, with another midnight bedtime. After 3 hours of sleep, Tim and I rolled out of bed to go to the marathon. It was quite a trek to get to the start (it took us an hour), but we made it right as the gun was going off, and headed out with the other 21,000 people. The plan was to run it together in about 5 hours. We came pretty close. My brothers left us at mile 20 because Tim was starting to bonk. Tim had not trained at all, and was just winging it. Because the race was so crowded, and the course so narrow in many parts, it was very difficult to just run (especially when you are at the back). But it really didn't matter. We ran through all four parks (including many of the behind the scenes spaces), and it was very cool to see the parks when they were empty. Tim and I crossed the finish line together (I will post the pic after I order it), and it was kind of emotional because we have never run a race together. We've always had to take turns because of our kids, but since my family was there, we both got to run! After the race, we hung out and then headed over to Disney Studios, then had a huge dinner and went back to Disney Quest. Another late night, more fun Monday morning and then back home where we collapsed and slept 10 hours! What a weekend!

Today, I ran 15 miles on dirt and then did pilates, weights and abs. I'm still trying to finalize my race schedule, but have decided I really want to do a 50 miler/100k this spring. I know there are a lot of great trail races out there, but I really need something less technical (like Rocky Raccoon, Umstead or Javelina). If anyone knows of something like this, could you let me know? I'm totally willing to travel, but I don't have time to train up on really technical trails. I'm so impressed with everyone's race schedules. You gals and guys are tough! One of these days I'm going to get Olga to teach me how to run trails so that I can join y'all!

Happy training!


Tommy said...

How about Ouachita Trail 50 Miler? It is right outside of Little Rock so it is relatively easy to get to. Other than an early climb over Pinnacle Mountain (~1000 ft up and back down) it is mostly rolling single track trail with some asphalt.

Carilyn said...

Hey Tommy,

Thanks for the idea! I will definitely take a look at it. Sounds like you ran a great marathon!

olga said...

Neat to cross the finish line together! I had it once when my hubby (hmm, ex) ran his first and only marathon on no training - and yes, we held hands and it was sweet. I also plan to visit Epcot at the end of March when go with Stephen to FL visit Alex...
Now, you do know about this website:
There is Ruth Anderson 100k at the end of April, http://www.run100s.com/ra.htm, flat like a panckae and road loop. Bishop 50M is "trail" (mid-May), but it's really dirt road, has elevation change, yet gradual (up, then down) and easy to maintain powr walk first half, then run down. Check thse two out.

Or come over to OR and we'll run trails!!!

Rooster said...

Sounds like a blast Carilyn. My husband looooooves Disney world and has run the marathon 3 times and one year did the Goofy (both 1/2 and full). What a way to mix in family and fun and my 11 year old would still be in that arcade!