Disney Princess Weekend: Friday

 

I know I have already told you about my royal welcome ThursdayJeff Galloway Meet Up, the Expo, the 5k and the half marathon, and my blogger meet up, but there were a lot of other fun times during my trip as well that I wanted to share with you.

Friday after I met my mom, Karen and her mom at the expo, we went to Animal Kingdom Lodge and picked up my luggage. We then headed to the Grand Floridian where we would be staying on the concierge level of the main building for four nights, with a Magic Kingdom view!

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We had just enough time to change clothes and freshen up before appetizers were being served in the lounge.

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We relaxed and ate, then headed over to EPCOT for the pasta in the park party. I was given a free ticket though my fun blogging weekend, and my group was able to buy tickets even though it was sold out! The party was in the wonders of life pavilion, somewhere I had never been before.

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It was open seating, and they had little buffet stations (of the same food) set up all around the place. We found my FitFluential friends, grabbed some plates, and chowed down.

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There were a couple difference kinds of pasta, chicken, bread, salad, and dessert.

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One of the employees in charge of the logistics of the runDisney races came over and chatted with our group. Did you know Princess had about 600 port o potties?!?

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After we ate, everyone had pretty much cleared out. One thing I did NOT like about this event is the music was playing SO LOUD you couldn’t talk to anyone at your table! Come on Disney, music is nice, but lower the volume please!

We took advantage of everyone leaving and went to take some pictures with the princesses.

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It was time to go, so we made our way out and did a little shopping before Illuminataions. Oh, we also had special wristbands that got us into a VIP seating area for the show. It was nice to sit on the ground without people crowding all around us.

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We actually left a couple of minutes before it was over. I have been to this rodeo, and I know there is a mad dash for the monorail afterwards. We were able to get on the second one and head back to the lounge just in time for dessert.

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When we got back to the room, we realized Wishes was about to start, so we watched that from the balcony.

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After being all firework-ed out, we headed to bed. After all, we had a 5k in the morning!!!

My take on the Pasta party: I am glad I went to experience it, but I don’t think I would go again for the price. it was almost $50, and the variety of food wasn’t there, and the whole tone just wasn’t as excited and amped up as I thought it would be. The food was really good though! It was LOUD in there, and everyone just ate and left, maybe it just wasn’t what I was expecting? I can see how if you had a whole group you could make it really fun…but I think Disney could make it even better!

QOTD: What do you eat the night before a race?

*Don’t forget to vote for me for the blogger awards on Fitness magazine’s website!

On a Boat

 

Wow the weekend sure did fly by. I am, however, loving this extra hour of daylight. It officially feels like spring around here now. I hope you had a good weekend, be sure to catch up on the posts you missed!

Disney Princess Blogger Meet Up Recap

RWS Features #15

Weekly Recap: March week 3

Also, don’t forget to vote for me for best running blog! Courtesy of Fitness magazine. I would so very much appreciate it. I am only one blog away from being on page one!

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Disney Princess Blogger Meet Up Recap

I was nominated for a Fitterati, a blogger award for Fitness magazine, in the running blogs category. I would LOVE if you took a minute and voted for me, would mean so much to me and my blog! VOTE HERE.

I love Disney, I love bloggers, and I love being social, so a few months ago I decided to host a Disney Princess blogger meet up. I conducted a poll on my blog with possible dates/times, made up a schedule and location, and got together some giveaways.

I knew it would be hard for a lot of people to make it. After all, most were in Disney with families and kids, and I knew it would be hard to get away, but I still wanted to try. Let’s just say I am so glad that I did!

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these four came after our picture, so I just took a photo of them to add to the post, ha!

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Several of the girls who came I have been “online friends” with for a  long time, so I couldn’t wait to meet them. The meet up was on Saturday at 3:00 at the Grand Floridian. I thought this would be a great location because it is on the monorail, and has a great outdoor space for chatting and picture taking.

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I hosted some giveaways as well. A huge thanks to my boss and owner of Travel With the Magic, Kelly, who supplied many of the giveaways.

Janet had approached me via e mail before the meet up and asked if she could share her story and do two giveaways for her book. I was thrilled! I loved hearing her amazing and inspiring story. You should go check out her website to see what I am talking about!

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We chatted some more, traded business cards so we could all go check out each others blogs later, and of course…took pictures in front of the castle!

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We chatted a bit more and wished each other luck in the race.

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It was so great to put so many names with faces/blogs/twitter handles. The power of social media is amazing, and I love how warm and welcoming bloggers are. Connecting and networking is great, but making new friends is awesome, too.

Megan compiled a good list of some of the girls that were there, be sure to check out their blogs!

One reason I wanted to discuss this is because another great way to network and make friends is through going to blog conferences. I have only been to one blog conference, but I had an amazing time, and would love to go to another one.

Just my luck, there is one this summer in Colorado called the Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference. I was eyeing this conference last year, but simply couldn’t make it work with my schedule. This year is a different story, and thanks to the amazing generosity of the conference, as well as the amazing companies FitFluential,  and Refuel with Chocolate Milk (who I love, by the way. They had chocolate milk for us at the finish of the Rock n Roll New Orleans half, loved it!), 40 FitFluentials will be given the opportunity to go to this conference via a scholarship.

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I would love the opportunity to meet and network with other bloggers, as well as learn. I have by no means arrived and never will, and I am totally one of those nerdy girls who loves to learn! My fingers are crossed for this one!

QOTD: Have you ever been to a blogger conference? If not, what one would you go to if you had the chance?

Disney Princess Half Marathon

So, I ran the Royal Family 5k on Saturday, and then had to get up at 2:45 Sunday for the Princess half marathon. After only four hours of sleep, I wasn’t too thrilled to hear my alarm. I got up anyway, and put on my tutu.  It was if the world was instantly more fun! I was so excited to wear it.

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All 3 of us ready to run

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We made our way to the start line

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and since I had a free pass to the race retreat (thanks runDisney and FitFluential!) I left my mom and Karen outside for a couple of minutes so I could go inside and take pictures. The race retreat isn’t cheap, but I can see why. It has a private bag check, potties, tables, food, couches, TV’s, computers, and character photo ops!

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I grabbed a banana and a half of a bagel and some hot chocolate to warm me up.

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I quickly spotted my blogger group of friends and sat with them for a few minutes. Me and my fellow Belle, Meghann.

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Of course we had to get a Belle picture! Meghann, me, and Callie.

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I definitely will consider the race retreat next time, especially if it’s really cold. It was nice to not have to stress about breakfast or the bathroom!

I headed out and wished them luck, and met up with my mom and Karen right at 5:00. We decided to join the masses of people heading to the corrals. We came to a standstill for a long time, and then realized the culprit. Disney did something I don’t remember them doing at the past two marathon weekends I participated in…they had a row of port o potties on the way to the corrals…so the lines for them were literally blocking the people trying to get to the corrals! It was a bit frustrating and poor planning in my opinion. (But hey if that’s the worst Disney does, then that’s not too shabby!)

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We made a quick bathroom break ourselves, then headed to our corral. We got in about five minutes before the start, and had plenty of room to move around and take pictures.

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People behind us

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Before long, the fireworks went off, and it as time to run! There was so much excitement in the air, and of course, lots of tutus!

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As we passed the start, I yelled to Carissa who gave me another shout out. One for each race, I’ll take it girl! The first couple of miles were pretty uneventful. We tried to keep a good pace to clear out from the crowds. Unfortunately, that never really happened.

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We saw our first set of characters and had to stop. After all, our goals for this race were to have fun and get lots of pictures. The line was already really long, but we didn’t really care.

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As we were standing in line, look who I spotted in front of us! Dave Mari, who I ran Disney’s Wine and Dine with, Brandi, who I also ran with and who was my skirt helper for the booth at Wine and Dine, and Juli, who is a fellow Running Skirts sales rep!

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We took a picture with some of the men

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I had to take a picture with the Beauty and the Beast mile marker

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We then ran into these awesome ladies

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We finally made it to the Magic Kingdom and I started getting excited about running through the castle!

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We made it around to the TTC where these awesome drummers were playing.

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and then up the dreaded hill.

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During the full marathon, Bobby loved watching the tumble monkeys, and asked them if he could get on their trampoline, so I took this picture for him.

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We lost a lot of time stopping for pictures, and it was SO congested. I do not remember it being this bad for the half and full. I was constantly stopping, weaving, and bumping into people. It was impossible to even run two across, although some groups were walking 3 and 4 people across the road. oy.

I can see the castle!

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About to head into the Magic Kingdom

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About to turn onto Main Street USA!

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wwweeeee!

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I love love love this part of the race, but not going to lie, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I have in the past. When I turn onto Main street and see that castle I am bursting with emotion and I want to run…fast! There were sssooo many people I was basically at a walk the whole time, and spent my time going down the street a little frustrated that I couldn’t move.

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So I just took a bunch of pictures.

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We of course had to get the castle in the background

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We had to go to the bathroom, so we hit up the same one we used during the full marathon, the one in Tomorrowland. We were laughing because the women had taken over the men’s bathroom, too!

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Since mom was Cinderella I made her take her own picture with Prince Charming

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I’m ffllyyiinggg through Fantasyland!

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We made it to the back of the castle and this was actually one of I think three photo op’s we skipped. It was for Minnie and by time we realized it, we had missed the back of the line and didn’t dee it safe to swim upstream around all those people.

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We ran through the castle and out the other side and headed into Frontierland.

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Can you see me?

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and of course made a few stops along the way.

When we got to the backside of the Magic Kingdom, we saw a line for characters that was WAY long. My mom was getting tired and had a good idea. She said for us to stay in the line, and she would start walking and we would just catch her. Worked for us, so off she went. AAAAnnnddd we stood here for a long time.

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About this time, Jen texted me and I sent her this picture to show her how crazy long the lines were!

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We exited the Magic Kingdom and headed out on the skinniest portion of the race. The past two times I ran on the grass just so I could pass people. I think this part is dangerous and needs to be changed! We hit the halfway mark and the STRONGER sign with Kelly Clarkson’s song blaring. Loved it!

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We got to the Grand Floridian and I saw Belle! There was a cast member standing there telling me the line was closed. Huh? She said Belle had to go get ready for the day and go to the park. I got very frustrated. We pay a lot of money for this race and should have the characters there until everyone is done. I was about to burst into tears. After all, she was the only picture I really wanted! A sweet girl at the back of the line offered me her spot! I was so grateful! Just then, the cast member decided to let us in anyway.

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Belle told me I must have been rummaging around in her closet haha.

We caught up with my mom about mile 8.

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This is the boring part of the race (comparatively) but it was still full of people and we were still weaving around to pass. We did a few run walk intervals, and finally made it to the overpass heading to EPCOT. The skies were looking mighty dark and you guessed it..it started raining. hard. I stuck my camera and my phone under my tutu and we kept going.

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We could see the entrance to EPCOT, and knew we were getting close. Poor mom was wearing down, so I had to keep telling her to come on, and keep up. I wasn’t going to let her wimp out now!

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We made it over the last hill, and I could see the EPCOT ball!

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We made it into EPCOT and I told mom we were going to run the rest of the way. She didn’t seem to keen on the idea but I knew she could do it.

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People kept telling Karen “I like your frog!” No one seemed to get it was Pascal from Rapunzel!

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I kept telling my mom we were almost there, and to finish strong. I told her she is stronger than she thinks and that she was ALMOST DONE! We passed the gospel choir right as they started to sing “Joyful Joyful” and I ran by and slapped all their hands.

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We saw Karen’s mom as we made the last turn.

We could SEE the finish line. I told her we can’t stop now, we are so close! We picked up the pace and ran it in.

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My favorite race photo of me, ever.

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That is…until we saw Mickey mouse! We stopped dead in our tracks and I think my mom was about to kill me!

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We regrouped, and crossed the finish line together. I always get emotional when I cross the finish at a Disney race, and this one was no different.

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WE DID IT!

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Of course, my mom started crying, and I told her she DID it!

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Medals, and pictures all around

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Number 10, in the books.

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It started raining again, and we couldn’t find Karen’s mom. I was supposed to go back to the race retreat but everyone seemed a little stressed out so I didn’t say anything. Come to find out, they got breakfast, mimosa’s, and cute Princess flip flops. So sadly, I didn’t get any. Bummer, but it’s my fault.

We got on the monorail to go back to the resort and Princess was officially over.

This race gets two huge thumbs up from me. The organization is great, the characters are fun, and where else can you run in a tutu?!? I know for a lot of people, Princess was their first half. I was so proud of EVERYONE out there on that course, bettering their bodies, and becoming more healthy. That’s what it’s all about. PR’s are great, running your butt off is great, but you don’t HAVE to do those things to be a runner, or a half marathoner. It took us well over three hours to finish this race, and I don’t really care! I am strong, I am healthy, and I am happy. I never thought in my wildest dreams I would be working on half marathon number twelve. I feel so blessed to have the ability to run, and a healthy body to carry me through each and every race. I never dreamed it, but it is HAPPENING! If your goal is to run Princess next year, do it! Don’t put it off. Start your journey TODAY. We aren’t promised tomorrow. Start with a 5k, work your way up if a half marathon is your goal.  It will be tough but I know you can do it. Disney is a place where dreams come true, and I highly recommend all of the Disney races.

As a very wise man once said, If you can dream it, YOU CAN DO IT!

QOTD: What is something you have done that you never thought possible?

*If you love my tutu you can have one made of your very own! My friend Rachel makes them, check out her shop. She can personalize one for you!

I was always planning to go to the race, but a couple of weeks before I left, I was asked by runDisney and FitFluential to come as a part of a group of blogger media. Part of my expenses for the trip were covered. However, I am obsessed with Disney and their runDisney races, so all opinions are 100% my own.

Tangled Royal Family 5k

 

As most of you know I was given the privilege of hanging out with some amazing bloggers at the end of February for the Princess Half Marathon thanks to runDisney and FitFluential. As soon as I got home I immediately had to go back out of town for RnR New Orleans, so I am just now able to sit down and write my recaps for the 5k and half marathon.

I ran the 5k with Meghann, Callie, and Theodora. We all decided we just wanted to have fun and take lots of pictures….and that’s exactly what we did.

Karen and her mom also ran the 5k.

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The morning was chilly and dark, but we didn’t care. I said my goodbye’s to Karen and her mom when we got off the bus, and my running buddies and I headed up to the stage for some photos and a dance party.

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Callie had way to much fun with her giant tutu.

We said hello to Carissa, who did an interview with Meghann who so graciously mentioned all of our Twitter handles.

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Before long, (and after the electric slide, of course) it was time to go to the starting line!

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We jumped in somewhere in the middle and were ready to go.

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People behind us

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The race starts by taking you out and around a large portion of the EPCOT parking lot.

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Then we came into the World Showcase via a back door by Mexico. Shortly after, we started spotting characters heading around the World Showcase.

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We stopped for everyone except for one I think. Pocahontas was in America

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These two were in Morocco

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Waiting in line for character pictures is FUN!

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Let’s try again.

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Callie was trying to show Belle that the underside of her tutu was yellow for the half the next day and Belle was very confused as to why Callie was flashing her…so she flashed us back. it was hilarious!

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after the World showcase we headed back towards Future World.

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In line for pictures with Mickey mouse.

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The big cheese himself

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So….I saw a cameraman and got a LITTLE excited…

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we ran around the left side of the Spaceship Earth

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Then back around towards the finish line. (Sadly there was no gospel choir though.)

We finally made the last turn to the finish line! (which is the same finish for the half in case you were wondering.)

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We did it!

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I even got a shout out over the sound system from Carissa as I crossed the finish line!

I love that Disney gave out these little boxes, much easier to carry than ten mililon separate items! There was trail mix, hummus, and other great snacks inside.

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I said goodbye to the girls, my mom was walking to the finish line (she just missed me crossing!) and we were going to wait for Karen and her mom. Thanks again girls had a BLAST! A big thanks to Meghann and Callie, most of these pictures are theirs.

I found my mom and we waited on the rest of our group.

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We cheered them in, and headed back to the hotel for breakfast and a shower before a day in the parks!

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I give the royal family 5k two thumbs up. After the very disappointing Halloween 5k, Disney really redeemed themselves! Loved this race!

*Keep in mind this race was not timed. It is a fun run, and the purpose of the bib numbers was for photo identification for the professional photographers.

QOTD: What park would you most want to run a Disney race through?

Jeff Galloway meet up

 

Friday morning came very early, but I jumped out of bed when my alarm went off. I was so excited to get to be a part of the Jeff Galloway meet up/tweet up. We had to meet the vans at 6:00 to drive over, and it was still dark when we got to EPCOT.

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We waited in line, and had to sign a waiver. We were given our shirts (I was bummed I was given a large in my bag when I had ordered a medium, but oh well!) and I changed shirts on the spot. Who cares, right?

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me and Callie.

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me and Meghann

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I didn’t care that it was chilly out, I was about to run through EPOCT with no one in it, with some amazing people.

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Bob chatted to us for a bit and introduced us to Jeff as well as Rachel, the winner of the Disneyland half, Betty from Fitness magazine, and Suzy Favor Hamilton, Olympian. We split up into two groups to run. One of course being Jeff’s run/walk group, and the other group was led by Bob and Rachel, a straight running group. The plan was 2 miles around EPCOT, and we took off at a VERY quick pace. I am a warm up kind of girl so it was tough keeping up!

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We made it around the world showcase 1.5 times and then stopped in Germany for a great buffet breakfast. We each also got a princess tiara! I also took the opportunity to get a pic with Rachel. She currently lives in my hometown of Mandeville, LA, so of course we became instant BFF’s.

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I also got to chat with the super friendly Jeff Galloway.

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Rachel, Betty, Jeff, Suzy, and Bob all gave a short speech.

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aannddd then we had a dance party.

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To wrap things up, Minnie Mouse came to tell us hello and we all got a free 1 day park hopper pass!

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We were then sent outside to our own private character photo session. Minnie was very excited I was wearing her signature polka dots.

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I felt like a giant next to Rapunzel.

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The lovely Kelly Olexa. Love this lady so much!

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We had a great time at the meet up, I got to meet some great other bloggers and readers of my blog (hi guys!) The weather was great, company was awesome,  and I feel so blessed to have gotten to be a part of it. runDisney are some great folks, and I cannot thank them enough!

Disney Princess Half Marathon Expo

 

Hello from the Grand Floridian! We leave this morning, and while I am sad to leave my favorite resort…I will be happy to sleep in my own bed, and see my husband and pups. We have a long drive ahead of us though.

I am going to apologize for doing these recaps out of order, but a lot of my Jeff Galloway meet-up pictures are on my other camera, and I didn’t bring that cord with me to WDW, so for now I am going to tell you about the Princess half marathon expo.

On Friday after the meet up, we had a little free time. I joined Kelly Olexa at the pool for a bit before heading over to lunch with some of the girls and then out with the group to Disney’s Wide World of Sports.

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I had a turkey sandwich and some zebra domes.

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It was a beautiful sunny day, and I was excited to pickup my packets and also do some shopping.

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We were greeted by sweet Laurie, the expo director who told us a bit about the in’s and out’s of a Disney race expo.  Bob and Jennifer also spoke briefly (both awesome runDisney friends!), and then we headed into the tent to get our bib’s for the 5k an half marathon.

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Word of advice, print your waiver before leaving home. I am so glad I did and didn’t have to deal with the hassle of the computer lines and such.

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Getting my 5k bib was seamless and simple, and I took some photos while I waited for the group.

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eeeekkkk!

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We then walked the red carpet (oh yes!) to the expo to get our t-shirts and do some shopping. I was ready, wallet in hand.

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After I got my shirts, I hit up the official merchandise and did some serious damage.

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Then I headed to the Running Skirts booth to see if Juli needed any help. I chatted with them for a bit until my mom, Karen, and her mom arrived. We did more shopping before going to check into our hotel.

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Since I have worked a Disney expo before, as well as participated in other runDisney races, I knew what to expect as far as the set up goes, but Princess had that whole new element of royalty and girly girl fun which I absolutely loved!

QOTD: What has been your favorite race expo?

Number 10

 

We came, we played, we ran Disney! Half marathon number ten is complete.

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Today is our last full day in Disney, so I am going to go play, but I will be back to regular blogging soon with plenty of recaps and pictures. If you are new to my blog, hello! You can go fill in the blanks on some of my old posts and race recaps. Have a great day everyone, heading to Hollywood studios!

QOTD: What is your favorite Disney park?

Way to Much Fun

 

Hey guys! I am having way to much fun to be sitting at my computer blogging. Full recaps to come later, I promise. I ran the Royal Family 5k this morning with some lovely ladies and we had an amazing time. Had a blogger meet up yesterday afternoon, and as you read this I am probably running the half marathon! Hae a great Sunday!

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QOTD: What did you do this weekend?

A Royal Welcome

 

Hello Friends! What a day! y time in WDW has been amazing so far thanks to runDisney and FitFluential. There is still a whole lot more in store so stay tuned. I am Tweeting as much as I can but I have NO cell service in certain areas so I am sorry for the delay sometimes!

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Thursday morning my dad dropped me off at the airport at 6 for my 8:40 flight. I landed and hopped on Magical Express and checked into Animal Kingdom Lodge. The good news is I had a savannah view room, but the bad news is it was all the way at the very end of the hall. Those of you familiar with AKL know what I am talking about. It’s quite the hike!

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I even brought my stalker zoom lens and made a few new friends off my balcony.

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I texted the lovely Kelly Olexa, and we decided to head to the pool for lunch and relaxation.

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After an hour or two, Meghann arrived and joined us at the pool. Kelly had to do some work, so Meghann and I decided to hit up Animal Kingdom. We had time before dinner and a 4 day park hopper to use!

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It was interesting being at the park so late when most people were leaving.

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Meghann rode Everest (I don’t like dark rides) by using our awesome media fastpass that lets you get a fastpass for the current time. it. is. awesome.

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We split a soft pretzel (so glad we did later, we ate LATE!) and headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We met the others in the group in the lobby. But first, we had a goody bag in our rooms!DSC_0204

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cheese!

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we had an amazing time with amazing people and ate amazing food!  Callie, Meghann, Kelly, me, Brittney, and Christie. Ok, time for the expo, (I am writing this Friday) more later!

QOTD: What is your favorite place to dine in WDW?