Sunday, March 17, 2013

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2013 Recap (Day 1)

So.. I'm 2 wks behind on blogging but I'm planning to make a lot of changes on here in the coming month so look out for some new exciting things! (New things so far: new tabs with all my past races and upcoming/planned races)

ANYways, back to our originally scheduled program!

So we decided to spend a 4 day weekend in Disney World for the Princess Half Marathon (aka PHM) so we got the first flight out of CLT on Friday, Feb 22 and the last flight back to CLT from Orlando on Monday, Feb 25.  WELL. the night before we left, I headed over to my sister's house and her friend Sara was going to be dropped off at her house around 4am so we could get to CLT in time (abt 1.5hr from my sis' house).  The weather was NOT on our side because it was supposed to be freezing rain, black ice, and snow happening all morning/day on the 22nd so we all naturally panicked! We debated going to CLT that night and staying at one of the airport hotels but I convinced them to just leave an hour earlier so 3am it was! When my sis' friend got there, I was still getting ready (I only slept like 1.5 hrs, too excited to sleep) but it didnt matter bc she was blow drying her hair hahaha!

ANYways.  We finally make our way to CLT and get to our gate with minimal wait in the security line and had some yummy bfast (sbarro for sis and sara, starbucks for me) before getting on the plane.  The flight was innappropriately uncomfortable. Let me preface this by saying I've had my fair share of long flights (to and from India, direct to Mumbai, direct to Honolulu, to Maui, etc) and this flight was hands down the worst (well, I guess until our return flight).  So much turbulence, seats that wouldnt recline, and the flight attendants were crabby and rude the entire time.

We eventually get to Florida and everything is happy again.  We easily made it to the Disney Magical Express (DME) and got to the appropriate line to take us to the Coronado Springs Resort where my sister and Sara were staying the entire trip and my sorority sis Maggie and I were spending our first night (we were at the new Art of Animation for the rest of the trip).  Let me tell you, this place was gorgeous.  The ride to the resorts was fun but since we were going to the same resort where runDisney was holding the Fit for a Princess Race Expo, traffic to get in/out was beyond chaotic so our driver went to the All-Stars resorts first.  Soo we finally get to the Coronado.

This place is amazing.  the lobby was so intricately decorated (that's one thing Disney is perfect, the themes of the different resorts).

I wish we could've stayed here longer.  The rooms were so beautiful and some of the best I've heard from all of the Disney resorts (yay duvet covers, no nasty beadspreads!).

amazing pillows! I loved the decor here!

The bathroom area was so beautiful.  I loved that there were sliding doors to close off that area because I hate having to get dressed in a hot&steamy little room after drying off.  AND another major plus was having all that counter space because I for one am high maintenance and have a ton of toiletries.

So after checking in and dropping our luggage off, I met back up with my sister and Sara to head over to the Expo.  Maggie wasn't getting to the resort for hours later so we decided we'd hit up the expo, get our bibs and race bags, and do some shopping at the Official Merchandise area and then some of our favorite booths.

There were no lines for my bib but the tshirt/swag bag was inappropriately long.  I don't know why people don't realize that they should just go to the relevant shirt line instead of one huge long line and then filtering out. SUCH A WASTE OF TIME. Another waste of time was the ridiculous line for the Official Race Merchandise area.  The line zigzagged and we stood there for 1hr+ before even being able to enter inside!

We did our shopping at the official merch area and I had some amazing finds-- the special edition of Disney PHM Sweaty Bands, a cute long-sleeve black tee that says "Sorry Charming, Gotta Run" with a princess running shoe, the car magnet I missed 2 yrs ago, and the PHM wine glass and coffee mug!
My older sister spoils me all the time and this was no exception- see, runDisney and Dooney&Bourke team up for all of their major race weekends and create a special edition bag set.  My sister got the small crossbody one and got me this beauty:
special edition wristlet- front
special edition wristlet- back
After getting through the Official Race Merch area, we walked through each of the aisles (so crowded in a tiny space).  The expo usually is held in the ESPN Wide World of Sports but since the Braves have their spring training/games there, they held it at the Coronado Springs, which was a MUCH smaller space and not as many vendors as in 2011.  Not only that, each of the booths were super tiny and for a person who is claustrophobic like me, it was an anxiety ridden afternoon :( We swung by the SpiBelt/iFitness belt booths, the Luna Bar station for an afternoon snack of all their samples, sweaty bands, and sparkle skirts! My new love= Sparkle Skirts.  I ordered the minnie mouse sparkle light one to wear with my compression capris but when I got to the expo I tried on the sparkletech ones (they have little shorts inside and a guarantee no-ride up!) I got the Red foil/metallic one to wear for the race and my sis got me the black sparkle one! I love them! They are great for wearing in the parks (um.. which I did on Saturday) and travel (um.. flying back to NC), etc. As soon as I can save up more I am totally investing in more because these are the best running skirts ever! So many pockets and space that if I didn't even want to wear my Nathan 5K Runner's Waist Pack but of course I do because that is like my security blanket for running haha :)

OK so after hitting up Sparkle Skirts, I wanted to try out the KT Tape booth because so many people recommended it to me for my incredibly painful shin splints.  I stood in the line but it was painfully slow (my sis and Sara went through the entire rest of the expo while I waited in line...) so I jumped back out and figured when Maggie and I went the next morning after my sister and Sara's 5K to get her bib, we'd get in line right when the Expo opened in hopes of the line moving quicker! After getting out of the KT Tape line, my last goal was to find the commemorative items line to get my princess necklace and special pin.

Well, long story short, I got lost.  I finally found my way to the runDisney booth near the stage area at the expo and went to ask someone where I needed to go...little did I know that I walked RIGHT IN FRONT OF JEFF GALLOWAY. YES> THE JEFF GALLOWAY.  If you aren't familiar with who he is, he is an Olympian who helped make the Peachtree Road Race in ATL a really big deal in the running world, writes a monthly column for one of my favorite magazines--Runner's World, and a consultant for runDisney.  I started running and training for my first half marathon using his training plans and his run/walk interval method and used his book for half marathon training.  SO. I spot him taking pictures with other runners at the runDisney booth so after, I go up to him and blab on and on about how amazing his book and training plans helped me get ready for my half marathons and got me into running and asked for a picture.  He couldnt have been nicer to me, a grown adult being all fan-girl at that moment haha!

After getting my necklace and pin, my sister, sara and I were famished so we saw people walking around with chiquita bananas (my abs favorite) and apple slices sooo we stood in line at the chiquita booth to take a picture with the creepy chiquita lady in order to get the "free" banana and apple slices. Was it worth it? YES.
creepy chiquita lady
SO. we finally left the expo on Friday evening.  After, maggie finally arrived and we decided to head to  Epcot to get dinner and walk around! I love Epcot at night!!! We ended up going to my pick for dinner,  La Hacienda de San Angel.  I read on the Disney Food Blog after thorough research, that they had a special vegetarian menu so we were all starved and all ended up choosing our dinner from the vegetarian menu! It was hands down some of the best mexican food I've ever had.  Like serious authentic mexican food, not that fake texmex we have in NC (which I still lvoe).  I had the veggie tacos (as did Maggie) and my sis and Sara had the veggie enchiladas. I srsly wish I took pictures of the food :( --Our tacos had a delicious spicy corn salsa that even brought tears to my indian eyes.  I can handle my spices but this was so intense and amazing. My mouth is watering just thinking about that meal. And I havent even mentioned the chips and salsa they gave us when we sat down!! SRSLY IF YOU ARE EVER IN EPCOT, GO HERE. EVEN IF IT'S FOR LUNCH COUNTER SERVICE.

We walked around the rest of the night in Epcot and tried out some of the rides and the new Test Track.  I really enjoyed the rides we went on since it had been FOREVER since we actually rode the rides in Disney World!

hahaha 4 scared adults and 1 excited child...
We eventually headed back to the Coronado because Sara and my sis had to be up early for the Royal Family 5K the next morning! 

Look out for my day 2 recap post tomorrow! I swear, it is totally happening! I have no other plans but to work on this blog re-design/update and snuggle with my pup Rusty:)


  1. Don't have on our NC Mexican food. You never complained about El Rod's, either, haha. And I have to wonder if they're going to limit the race. I know a bunch of people who ran it, and it seemed too large to sustain.

    1. haha I love my mexican restaurants in GSO but this was pretty authentic w an amazing chef! haha OH and I never enjoyed food at el rods, only the adult beverages! I definitely think they will limit the race in the future- the Wine&Dine 1/2 registration opened last week and they capped it at only 14K. It was the 5th anniversary for Princess this yr so I suspect that was why it was so huge- 26K runners for the half and abt 8K people for the 5K race!


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