Stuck at Disney World

After all of the posts that it took me to finish the Princess Half Marathon Weekend trip report, I decided to make this part of my report a separately titled trip report. I’m not including any links to the previous parts here, so unfortunately you’ll have to scroll back to the previous post to get links to any parts you missed. Yes, I’m being that lazy. 😀

Now, on with the show!
Monday, February 23, 2015.

I should have been picked up by Disney’s Magical Express on this morning to get to the airport and make my journey back home after participating and finishing my first half marathon, but there was an ice storm and my flight back to Texas was cancelled. The first flight that the airline could get me on was scheduled for Wednesday morning. So now, I’m stuck at Disney World for 2 more days.

Oh, darn.

Now that the initial shock of the situation had passed and I was sure that my kids were ok and being taking care of for the extra time that I was away, my excitement was setting in! I was going to have to check out of the room at Coronado Springs by 11am, but that gave me plenty of time to get my stuff packed and get some breakfast with Shari before I had to make my way to All Star Sports.

We took our time getting ready and Shari packed her bags since she was leaving later that day, then we made our way to eat at Pepper Market. I got French toast with eggs and bacon. Mmmmmm….bacon. Sorry, I pretty much never take pictures of my food so I forgot to get a picture before I began eating.


French Toast, Scrambled Eggs and Bacon from Pepper Market

Before we had breakfast I walked with Shari to the front desk and Bell Services where she got her Magical Express info corrected and dropped her bags off. There were a few hiccups with this process as I recall. Shari overall ended up not being that impressed with Coronado Springs. Her breakfast was even wrong…. I have to say I liked it enough that I ended up booking the vacation with my kids in March here. 🙂

I’d already talked to a Cast Member at Coronado Springs and learned that the easiest way for me to get moved over to Sports was to just take one of the resort buses over to a park and transfer by bus from there to All Star Sports. The CM told me that I could check my bags with Bell Services and that they would transfer those over to my new room later in the day, but I only had a carry on and my camera bag so she said I was more than welcome to just take those on the bus with me. I decided I was going to take my carry on with me. I planned to check in early and then do my laundry and just sit by the pool or something similar while I waited for my room to be ready. Check in time isn’t until 4pm and I calculated that I’d probably get to All Star Sports around noon.

I said bye to Shari as she headed back to the parks one last time before her flight out later in the day, and then I decided to walk around the resort a bit since I hadn’t really seen the Dig Site Pool area or much else of Coronado Springs while I was there. My legs were feeling better but that stupid blister I got during the race was still slightly problematic.


DSC_0309  DSC_0318






It was around 10am when I started walking around the resort. As you can see, it was cloudy but I still thought it was nice. I decided it was time to head back to the room to make sure I had all of my things packed and to just sit for a few minutes before it was time to check out and head to All Star Sports. Instead, I got lost and couldn’t figure out how to get to my room. :/ Coronado Springs is pretty big considering I have only stayed at the Disney Value resorts and I’ve grown accustomed to staying at Pop which is a lot smaller than Coronado.

I was just taking wrong turns every time thinking I was headed towards building 7B…but I’d end up at 7A or somehow turn myself around and end back up near the Dig Site. I’m not usually bad with directions but I couldn’t figure out where I was going wrong. I finally flagged down a resort Cast Member and asked which way to get to 7B, and I finally made it back to the room at about 10:55am. I double checked the room and made sure I had everything and then headed to the bus stop so that I could get to the El Centro bus stop.

I decided I’d just get on the first park bus that showed up, and that ended up being a bus to Magic Kingdom. I got pretty lucky and I didn’t have to wait for the bus from Magic Kingdom to All Star Sports for very long at all. Before I knew it, I was walking into the lobby of All Star Sports! Next time I’ll start with my check in there!

See Ya Real Soon!


Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend- Post Race Bad News…Or Not?

I’m wrapping up the end of my time at the Princess Half Marathon weekend! If you missed any of the previous parts you can read them by clicking
HERE for Part 1
HERE for part 2
HERE for part 3
HERE for part 4
HERE for part 5
HERE for part 6
HERE for part 7


Well, I did it! I managed to finish my first half marathon and I didn’t get swept! It wasn’t pretty, I made so many mistakes, but I did it and now I was hobbling my way back to the bus that would take me back to Coronado Springs. Shari tried to wait for me to finish (she finished around 45 minutes before me) but they wouldn’t let her hang out near the finish line so she headed back to the room. Unfortunately Cynthia got swept at mile 8 but she was ok with it! She did really well considering this was the first race she’d ever done! She knows she can do a 5k or 10k now, but she was proud of how far she got! I was super proud of her too!

Once I got back to Coronado Springs, it hurt like hell to walk…or sit…or stand back up…or walk… You get the picture. My blister was enormous and I knew it was better not to pop it since we were going to go to Hollywood Studios and have lunch at Sci-Fi Dine In Theater. I changed, stretched a little and we all headed to the bus stop to make our way to the park.

Allow me to confess something…I don’t remember some of the details of what we did while we waited for our reservation at Sci-Fi Dine In. I was hurting so much. It was blatantly obvious by how much I was limping. Between the blister, my sore shins and calves, and my swollen Achilles tendon, I couldn’t help but limp. I wasn’t in the mood to take pictures at this point. I know we rode Star Tours…possibly Toy Story Mania…I know for sure that we met up with my Disney friend Kenn and chatted for a few minutes before our lunch. This was the only picture I took while we were at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as far as I can tell:

Meet up with my friend Kenn

Meet up with my friend Kenn


But before we ate, I got a phone call from my mom.

I remember this phone call vividly. I answered thinking my mom was just calling to see how the race went. And although she did ask about the race, her main reason for the call was to let me know she got an email that my flight for the next morning was cancelled due to an ice storm in Dallas. My mom booked my airline tickets for me and used her email address, so they sent the cancellation notice to her. It’s a good thing though, because when we got the Magical Express info at our room that morning the time for my pick up was not listed. I thought that because I’d scheduled Disney’s Magical Express so closely to when my trip was that the info just never got entered or something so I’d decided to figure it out later that evening.

I freaked out for a moment. This was not an ideal situation. My mom was going to have to work from her end to get me on another flight mostly because my phone service at Disney World is always hit or miss and I needed to work on getting a new flight ASAP. She told me she’d call the airline to get my new flight booked. I tried not to worry about it and went to have our meal at Sci-Fi.

I love Sci-Fi Dine in Theater! It’s fun, it looks cool…the food is good in my opinion. But then again, I’m not a foodie and I just ordered a burger and fries… But it was yummy! The fact that I was tired, hurting, and worried about my flight situation made me not have as much fun here this time as I could have. I was ready to go back to our room. Shari and Cynthia weren’t really ready to go back to the room so they did their own thing and I headed back to Coronado Springs.

I’d already contacted my travel agent friends Tina and Don with Destinations With Character and asked them to find me a room at the value resorts just in case I had to spend an extra night at Disney World. By the time I got back to our room, my mom had messaged me to let me know the first flight she could get me on was on Wednesday morning. WHAT???

Crap. I’d only made plans for my kids and for missing work through Monday. Now I had to make arrangements for my mom and dad to help with my kids until Wednesday and I had to leave my job short handed for 2 extra days. I ended up talking to my mom on the phone and she let me know she’d make it work with getting my kids to school and all. I contacted one of my bosses and let her know I was stuck at Disney and wouldn’t be back at work until Thursday. Tina and Don had a room reservation on standby for me and they got me booked quickly and easily once I told them I was stuck at Disney until my flight on Wednesday.

I did some more stretching and decided to try to nap. All I kept thinking about was how I couldn’t believe I was stuck here for 2 extra days. But then I was like “Wait…this really isn’t that bad. I’m stuck. At DISNEY!” My kids are still being taken care of and I had another flight booked. O.M.G. I’m stuck at Disney World! This is the best bad news ever!

I didn’t go back to any of the parks the rest of the day. We all had to get our stuff packed because we all had to leave Coronado Springs the next morning. Cynthia and Shari would be flying home, but I was going to have an extended, and unexpected, stay at the Most Magical Place on Earth!

See Ya Real Soon! °O°

Princess 1/2 Marathon Part 7- Race Day Continued

I’m about to dive back into this trip report! But if you’ve missed any of the previous parts of my adventure so far, you can read them by clicking
HERE for Part 1
HERE for part 2
HERE for part 3
HERE for part 4
HERE for part 5
HERE for part 6

Alright…so I was getting close to Magic Kingdom but I was completely unsure of what my pace had been and even how long I’d been running. I decided that the adrenaline from running down Main Street and through Cinderella Castle would allow me to make up some time…even if I didn’t know how much time needed making up. In a backstage area before getting to Main Street there was this big metal looking wall type of structure that looked like it might belong at It’s a Small World. Right in front of that was Snow White! That’s my favorite character! The line to take a picture with her wasn’t as long as some of the other character meet and greet lines and I would have LOVED to have a picture with her, but I wasn’t confident that I was on track enough to lose the time waiting in line. I tried to get a run by picture or video but I couldn’t get my camera to open on my phone. :/ Ugh.

As expected, once I turned onto Main Street I got pumped up with excitement! There were people cheering the runners on and just the entire atmosphere was amazing! I made my way towards the castle and the course was taking us around to the back of the thing…you know, setting us up for a magical path to run through it…when all of a sudden something unexpected happened. The pack of participants just stopped. Up on a balcony at the back of the castle stood the characters of the only Disney movie that I have a huge love/hate relationship with…

That’s right, it was the cast of Frozen.
Anna, Elsa and Kristoff were standing there saying Frozen related stuff and being so gee golly cute that they brought this entire crowd of mostly adults to a complete standstill. Almost everyone was stopped trying to take pictures of the characters, trying to get selfies, taking video, screaming and passing out from excitement….ok, so maybe not screaming and passing out…but definitely causing a huge traffic jam.

My horrible picture of Anna, Elsa and Kristoff

My horrible picture of Anna, Elsa and Kristoff

A big chunk of us, myself included, tried going around the pack to get on through the castle and on our way, but the flow just completely stopped. Those of us interested in actually moving along with our lives slowly crept into the walkway tunnel thing through the castle and finally, for the first time in forever, I was able to walk through to the front of the castle. Here there were tons of people trying to take a giant group photo but obviously you know I was thinking “Let it go! Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Or at least I didn’t have time for that….I felt like now I was even more behind and I was seriously concerned that I might get swept if I didn’t get a move on.

Shortly after leaving Magic Kingdom I encountered the halfway mark…It was a mix of emotions because I was happy to be half way done, but I was freaking out because I was only half way done. Then about a quarter mile after I passed the 7 mile marker, I became deathly aware of a problem. I was getting a blister on my big toe. This was when I was first started talking smack to the universe. And a lot of that smack was mumbled aloud…

“Are you serious?”
“No freaking way…”
“Why do you hate me?”
“Are you freaking kidding me?”

I was mumbling stuff like this for the next few minutes because I had never gotten a blister before in training, or at all since I began running 2 years ago. And I definitely didn’t need to deal with this during my first half marathon. So I kind of adjusted my step so that the blister wasn’t hurting anymore when I landed on that foot. Then shortly after mile 8, things began to go downhill for me. 😦

Somewhere between miles 8 and 9 I began getting severe cramps in my calves and shins. I’m pretty sure it was due to dehydration. I’d only been drinking half a cup of the water and sports drink that was at the water stops along the race course and all of my previous mistakes of the day were catching up to me. I stopped 3 or 4 times to stretch and relieve the cramps, but almost as soon as I started to run again, I’d get another cramp in the alternate leg. It was horrible. I was in pain and very close to full on crying by now.

Several people along the way asked if I was ok and encouraged me. That was actually pretty helpful and I was able to push through and keep going but I was having to do a lot more walking than running at this point. When I was close to passing the 9 mile marker, my worst fear began to come true.

I noticed that suddenly, back here with the crowd of participants who were mostly all walking like I was, there were a lot of people really picking up the pace and trying to get going. Like they were trying to get away from something. Before I could even complete the thought about wondering what was going on, I was like, “Sh#$! No way!” and I turned back to look for balloons. More specifically, I was looking for the Balloon Ladies.

I mentioned previously that there are pace keepers on bikes as well as the Balloon Ladies that you must stay with or ahead of to avoid getting swept, or picked up by a bus that takes you to the finish. Well, as the name implies, the Balloon Ladies have balloons with them. I assume the balloons are there as a visual landmark to let participants know how close or far they are from the required 16 minutes per mile pace. If you see these ladies during a runDisney race, you better get a move on!

Balloon Ladies. They nicest people you never want to see.

Balloon Ladies. They nicest people you never want to see.

So as I see all of these people suddenly picking up their pace, some running as fast as they can, I glance back and look for balloons to see if the Balloon Ladies are hot on my trail. I actually don’t even see any balloons but I’m hearing the chatter about how the Balloon Ladies aren’t far behind and that there’s going to be a hard pick up (aka, sweep) at mile 10. Oh, of course there’s going to be a sweep in about a mile….when I can’t even run without getting severe cramps in my legs.

I’m not gonna lie…my eyes were starting to fill with tears now. The number one thing I worried about like crazy was getting swept. I tried a couple of more times to go ahead and run only to be met with painful cramps. By now it hurt so bad that I was limping really hard core. I decided I was going to have to walk as fast as I could, pain or no pain, to make sure I wouldn’t get swept. With at least more than half a mile left until I got to the 10 mile marker, I glanced up to see balloons bobbing up and down a few feet ahead of me on my left!

Holy freaking cow! Is this real life?

Ok, no big deal, I thought. All I have to do is keep up with the Balloon ladies and get a little ahead of them. Well that proved to be easier said than done in my current state. I was struggling just to walk fast. In a matter of minutes those shiny Disney Princess balloons got further and further away from me. I started trying to reason with myself.

I can do this!
Ummm, actually no I can’t.
Wait, no…I can’t give up!
Well….maybe I should just give up. It hurts too much.
NOOOOOO! I will NOT get swept!

Then, as extra motivation, the pacers on bikes ride casually up next to me and I hear one of them saying that the Balloon Ladies are a little ahead of pace so all of us next to the bikes are about 30 seconds from being behind pace. They reiterate that there WILL be a hard pick up at mile 10 for anyone who is behind the balloon ladies. And right now I am too far away from the Balloon Ladies for comfort. So I took several really long strides in order to stretch my legs and prepare to run because I can’t give up!

I start out cautiously running and pain shoots through my right leg almost immediately. I just kept telling myself “I can’t get swept, I can’t get swept, I can’t get swept…” and I ran with what felt like the most awkward and painful form ever until I caught up to the Balloon Ladies. I got 4 feet or so ahead of them and decided that I’d be able to walk again and stay with them. But nope, the cramps got even worse once I stopped running and the pacers caught up to me in seconds. I struggled to keep up with them and by now I was walking with one of the Balloon Ladies right next to me. I continued to struggle and before I knew it I was about 10 feet behind the balloons. Now I could also see the 2 buses waiting on the side of the road right next to the 10 mile marker about a quarter mile ahead of me.


Then, because I’m not on a big enough emotional roller coaster ride already, the Balloon Ladies suddenly step off to the left and stop walking. What? What is going on? I pass the ladies and keep looking back and in answer to everyone’s question about what happened, a pacer on a bike rides up quickly to tell us that the Balloon Ladies are stopping for a few seconds because they were getting even more ahead of pace. So to be fair, they stopped long enough to get back to actual pace. Thank God!

I decided that just to be safe I needed to run all the way to the 10 mile marker. So I braced myself for the impending doom and ran until I got to Mile 10, and then I ran 10 steps more. And then I cried. I was really upset with myself that I didn’t prepare properly this morning and that I was struggling so much because of all of the mistakes I made. And I still had 3.1 miles to go until the finish.

I got my emotions in check and tried to focus on staying with the pacers, who by now caught back up to me and were just behind me. Others who were next to the Balloon Ladies were asking if there was another sweep at mile 11. The ladies just kept saying “You’re not safe until you cross the finish line!” But then a minute later, one of the ladies said, “You’re not safe until you cross the finish line, but if I were you, I’d hurry up and get to mile 11.”

Most of us took that to mean that there were no more hard pick ups after mile 11. It actually made sense because after mile 11 there was not really room for a bus or truck to come onto the narrow road. This was a good thing for me because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t keep up with the Balloon Ladies after the 10.5 mile point or so. I pushed myself to walk as fast as possible until I got to Mile 11. I had a gamut of emotions from mile 10 to mile 11 and I talked to a few people who were struggling and in as much pain as I was. I remember the most detail of mile 11 til the end of the race because by mile 11 I knew I wouldn’t get swept. But I also knew that I wasn’t going to finish in 3 hours like I originally hoped to.

This was the first mile marker that I felt compelled to take a picture of.


Maybe because I knew I was going to finish the race without getting swept, I got pumped up again when I was about to enter Epcot. I was actually even smiling and cheering on the other handful of people at the back of the pack with me. The spectators cheering us on inside of Epcot made me cry with joy. I went from feeling low for being one of the last people finishing the race, to feeling happy that strangers were cheering me on to finish. I actually kind of got too happy and I was posing for the race photographer a little too hard.

When I passed Spaceship Earth for the second time and headed to the backstage area to get to the finish line, a lady whom I’d been walking next to for the last mile and I decided that we would run the last straight away to the finish line. By now I was excited to be so close to being done that I didn’t even think about my pain until after I finally crossed the finish line.

I screamed as loud as I could and as I got my medal I broke down and cried uncontrollably for a minute. A woman who was possibly a race volunteer walked over and congratulated me and gave me a hug. I was happy, hurting, and proud. My finish time was 3:59:52. A far cry from the minimum of 3 hours that I had hoped to finish in, but I finished and I learned from my mistakes. I’m already training and I plan to run this race again in 2016 without all the preparation mistakes and with a finish time of 2 hours and 45 minutes or less. I know I can do it!

Now that the race is over, I’ve got some park time to get in at Disney’s Hollywood Studios…and some bad news is coming. Check back for the next installment of my report to find out what goes wrong now. 🙂

See Ya Real Soon!

Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend Trip Report Part 6- Race Day!

It’s FINALLY time for the nitty gritty! Race day during Princess Half Marathon weekend at Walt Disney World Resort!

If you missed the first 5 parts of this trip/race report and want to read those first, just click
HERE for Part 1
HERE for part 2
HERE for part 3
HERE for part 4
HERE for part 5

And now, without further ado….

Sunday, February 22, 2015. 2am.

I had my alarm set for both 2am and 2:15am but I was so excited and nervous that I had no trouble waking up at 2am. Shari, Cynthia and I got up and started getting dressed for the half marathon. We needed to be at the bus stop at Coronado Springs at 3am to head to the race start location. I have to be honest, I don’t remember much of any conversations that we had in the room as we got ready for the race. I was so nervous. All I could think about was the fact that I did not want to get swept. All I kept thinking (and possibly saying) was that I did NOT want to get swept.

In case you’re not familiar…getting swept is the term for what happens when a participant in a runDisney race does not keep up the required 16 minute per mile pace during a race. At certain checkpoints, those who are below the pace (which is kept by pace keepers on bikes as well as by The Balloon Ladies) are not permitted to continue the race and are loaded onto a bus and driven to the finish. I’ll talk more about this later.

Like I was saying, I was worried about getting swept. I think this set the tone for my race. I was already psyching myself out and I was doubting myself way too much. This was not race mistake #1, but it was a big mistake.

I was so nervous that I felt nauseous and I knew that if I ate my peanut butter sandwich that I was going to be sick. So I didn’t eat anything. I count this as race mistake #1. I actually didn’t even want to drink anything because I was worried about having to stop at a port-a-potty and getting set back with the lines there. Mistake #2. :/

Once we were dressed, we headed to the bus stop. I was surprised by how comfortable I felt in my costume. That was a good thing because I was worried I was going to be majorly distracted by the collar on my cape. The apple was fake, but yes, I carried it the entire time. My hands tend to get numb when I run unless I’m holding something so having my phone in one hand and the apple in the other kept my hands from getting numb.

My Evil Queen Running Costume

My Evil Queen Running Costume

Apparently not everyone takes the “be at the bus stop at 3am” suggestion seriously. There weren’t that many runners on that early bus headed to the race. Once we got to the pre-race area in the Epcot parking lot, I was feeling a little less nervous. There weren’t all that many people there yet and we were trying to scope out where the corrals were set up. After a few minutes we figured out that the corrals weren’t in this area. But we took in the atmosphere and took some pictures.






Cinderella and possibly another character besides Pocahontas were available to take pictures with but the line for Cinderella got insanely long and there was no way we were standing in the line to take a picture with her. After looking around for a few more minutes we decided to figure out where the corrals were and we walked over to them.

Once we found the corrals, we went to get into corral M. Shari was actually assigned to corral L but she opted to give up her spot in L to start back with me and Cynthia in corral M. As we waited we were able to see a lot of the costumes that people came up with. That alone was super fun! There were so many creative costumes!

As we stood waiting for the race to begin, I actually saw a few people with whom I’ve met in Disney related groups on Facebook but sadly, not everyone was up for saying hello to me when I spoke to them. Eh…whatever….I’ll chalk it up to nerves. But now it was finally time to start the race. Every few minutes another corral was sent off on its way with an awesome countdown and fireworks! Corral M was finally up to the starting line and after our countdown and fireworks, we were officially on our way!


For months leading up to the half marathon, Cynthia and I told Shari not to wait for us during the race because we knew she was faster than we were. She kept telling us that she was staying with us and that was gonna be that because we were in it together. Well, less than a mile into the race I started to feel like I had never run a day in my life. I immediately regretted not eating my peanut butter sandwich. This was bad. I told Shari I was going to have to make my walk interval longer than expected. I told her to go ahead without me and I was going to try to catch up. Cynthia was still with me but she told me not to wait for her. So less than a mile in, we’d split up completely.

A few things happen now….one thing is that I managed to get myself going again with my run/walk/run intervals. However, I didn’t set my interval timer and I was just going along with some runners in my vicinity who were signalling the run and walk intervals for their group that was running together. A second thing was that I was getting caught up in the race entertainment and the cheering that everyone was doing about now. Any time that there was photo opp with a character of some kind or music along the course I got pumped up and started running more even if it was supposed to be a walk interval. I’m gonna call this Mistake #3.



I think my favorite thing on the way to Magic Kingdom was that 2 out of 3 monorails that passed us along the race course honked their horns at us in support! It made everyone scream and cheer and something about that made me a little teary eyed.

Anyway, the last thing of significance that happened on our way to Magic Kingdom is that I realized that not only had I not been keeping up with mile markers, I also wasn’t keeping track of my time and pace. Super duper Mistake #4.

I remember seeing the mile marker for Mile 3, but after that I didn’t pay attention to a mile marker until Mile 6. I’ll go ahead and post some pictures I took along the course because soon I’ll have a lot less interest in taking pictures.




My run by selfie fail...

My run by selfie fail…


Right around now I’m about to enter the Magic Kingdom by way of the off stage areas of the park. I could not wait to get to Main Street and Cinderella Castle! But since this post has gotten way long, I’m stopping for now. I’ll post the rest of the race within 24 hours!

See Ya Real Soon!

Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend Trip Report Part 5

Geez…am I ever going to get this trip report finished? Well let’s try, shall we? If you haven’t read the first 4 parts of this thing, you can do so by clicking
HERE for Part 1
HERE for part 2
HERE for part 3
HERE for part 4

Ok, so by now Cynthia and I were making our way back to Coronado Springs so that we could take the special race weekend transportation to the race expo so that I could pick up my race packet. This was one of those times that I wished that Disney had buses that would take you from the parks to other places like Downtown Disney and the ESPN Wide World of Sports. Sometimes I hate all the time I have to take to get on multiple buses to get to some places. But I also don’t feel the need to rent a car…so I guess I’ll ride the bus and shut up.

When we finally got on the race participant’s bus to take us to ESPN WWoS, there were only 3 or 4 of us total on the giant charter bus. Most everyone had already been to the expo the day before and earlier that day.

The only other race expo for a runDisney event I’d been to was the one for the Expedition Everest Challenge in 2014. The expo for Princess 1/2 weekend completely dwarfed the EEC expo!


Race Expo 2015 1

Race Expo 2015 2

We got our free Lasting Commemoratives bookmark, bought a souvenir race t-shirt and a nifty little RooSport magnetic running pocket. I was happy that Cynthia saw the booth that was selling these and made me stop to find out about them. That thing has come in handy more than once. I’ll be including video showing what I got and giving more details about my RooSport in my next PHM race recap video!



The RooSport magnetic running pocket that I purchased at the expo. Well worth it for me!

The RooSport magnetic running pocket that I purchased at the expo. Well worth it for me!

As we made our way back out of the expo we decided we’d get a snack, and on the way we passed Jeff Galloway giving a presentation on his Run/Walk/Run training and racing method! Shari and Cynthia were able to meet Jeff the day before and take pictures with him, but this is the best I was going to do that day. It was still exciting to see him! Using the Galloway method has been the best way that I can run long distances and not keep injuring my knee and ankle.

Jeff Galloway!

Jeff Galloway!

By now, it was really about time that we headed back to the room to get ready for bed. We’d planned on going to sleep around 8pm-ish because we had to be up early and get to the race buses at 3am. But we had a little time left still so we decided to make a stop over at Downtown Disney. Cynthia had her eye on a specific style of sunglasses with Mickey heads outlined in rhinestones on the sides of them, and we hadn’t found any at Magic Kingdom earlier in the day. I told her that I bet that a shop or two at Downtown Disney (DTD) had them, so we rode the race transportation back to the Art of Animation resort so that we could hop on a bus to DTD. It was faster getting on the Art of Animation bus because the Coronado Springs bus had just left or wasn’t there or something like that. I don’t even remember what the case was.

I took a walk by picture of the entrance to Animation Hall on our way to the bus stop….


Once we arrived at DTD, we found the sunglasses pretty quickly at Trend-D. This is such a cute store! I love the decor and the ceiling especially! If you’ve never gone into Trend-D, I highly suggest you check it out!

The ceiling at Trend-D

The ceiling at Trend-D


After we left Trend-D we decided to take a quick walk through DTD just so Cynthia could see some of what was there. I had/wanted to get a new picture of the Lego sea monster (or loch-ness monster…whatever you want to refer to it as) first, but then we knew we had to get going and head back to our room to prepare for race day the next (early, early) morning.

DSC_0261Shari had messaged us earlier to let us know that she wasn’t feeling very well and that she was going to go lay down. I hoped it was nothing serious because I didn’t want it to affect her being in the race the next morning. Cynthia and I got back to the room right around 8:00 or so and I thought about something…. I wasn’t hungry.

Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal but I felt like I needed to eat something before I went to bed because I knew I wouldn’t want to eat much in the morning before the race and we definitely didn’t need to do a half marathon without eating dinner the night before AND without eating something the morning of…. We decided we’d go see what we could find for us to eat for breakfast at the food court. We checked on Shari and she was feeling feverish, I had something to help her and I told her I’d bring her a Sprite back from the food court.

Cynthia and I went ahead and ate something at the food court and Cynthia asked to have some peanut butter sandwiches made so that we could have those in the morning. Yes….we were not very prepared fuel-wise for this race. I’ve actually got a list going of things I know I did wrong leading up to this race. :/

After we did all of this extra crap trying to get some food into our bodies and have something ready for the morning….Cynthia and I finally got to bed at close to 10pm. Ugh.

We’re finally getting to race day!! Stay tuned for Part 6! °O°

See Ya Real Soon!

My Princess Half Marathon Recap!

Yeah, I know…I haven’t even finished the trip report, but I finally got started with the video race recap of my weekend for the Princess Half Marathon! Check it out! I need feedback for future videos!

Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend Trip Report Part 4

I just got home yesterday from our week long family vacation to Walt Disney World! But for now, I need to tell you more about Princess 1/2 marathon weekend! If you’re just now joining me, you can read the first three installments by clicking
HERE for Part 1
HERE for part 2
HERE for part 3

If you remember from the end of Part 3, Cynthia and I split up from the group. While everyone else went to go ride Haunted Mansion, we headed to Tomorrowland. We got on the People Mover first. I love riding this! It’s relaxing and there are such nice views. Here’s some random video I took as we rode.

After our circle tour of Tomorrowland, we headed over to see the area where Dumbo and the Casey Jr Splash and Soak Station is in Fantasyland. After a bit of looking around there, we headed back to Tomorrowland to meet Shari for our FastPass+ for Buzz Lightyear.

Me and Cynthia on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

Me and Cynthia on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

I’d already forgotten all of the high point targets for this ride so my score wasn’t that great, but it was still fun trying to get a good score! Once we were done here, Cynthia and I went back towards Fantasyland while Shari and Maria either went to get a drink or maybe went to the smoking area. I don’t actually remember. What I do remember is that I convinced (or maybe the correct word is forced…) Cynthia to ride Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel. She didn’t really want to ride because there were mostly adults taking little kids on the ride but I told her it didn’t matter. We rode it despite having trouble climbing on and off of the carousel horses. I got a shot of an almost empty carousel as the previous riders exited and before they allowed us to get on.


Since we still had some time before our FastPass+ for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, I decided we should go watch Mickey’s Philharmagic. I love the songs they play during this show, but I caught myself dozing off while we sat in the theater for this one. I was more tired than I wanted to admit. Shari and Maria were there too but I went into the show before they met up with us so we didn’t sit together. After we exited the show, we found Shari and Maria and we all headed towards Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Again, no pictures of BTMRR…but it was super fun! It seemed faster for some reason and there were a couple of times that I felt like I stood straight up during the dips down along the track! I love that ride!

We were feeling hungry so we decided to get lunch. I was going to have to leave the park soon so that I could go to the race expo and get my race packet. Pecos Bill’s was close by so we had lunch there. I ordered the pork barbeque sandwich with french fries. It was pretty good! It was a lot of food and I didn’t completely finish it all though. I always forget how big the portions are at Disney World. If I had been thinking I could have shared a meal with Cynthia. Oh well…

Once we were done with lunch, I was ready to head to the expo. Cynthia decided she would go with me. So we made our way back to Coronado Springs so that we could catch the race weekend transportation to ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.

I’ll pick it up there next time!

See Ya Real Soon!


Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend Trip Report Part 3

I’m still early in my trip/race report, but in case you missed the first two parts you can read them by clicking
HERE for Part 1
HERE for part 2

Saturday, February 21, 2015 was my first full day at Disney World. My friends Shari and Cynthia both arrived on Thursday and my friend Maria lives in Orlando so they’d had a couple of days to have fun at the parks already. I was ready to get my own fun started!

We woke up early and headed from Coronado Springs to the Magic Kingdom.


Obligatory picture near the entrance to the Magic Kingdom! It’s Maria, Shari, me and Cynthia. 🙂

The park was supposed to open at 8am, but we arrived before 8:00 and they were already letting people into portions of the park. So we made our way towards Cinderella’s castle and over to The Crystal Palace for our breakfast reservation. I’d never eaten here before and quite honestly I love breakfast foods, so I was ready for this! But we were early so we took in a few sites while we waited.

Main Street performers with the Trolley.

Main Street performers with the Trolley.

Cynthia and me in front of the castle!

Cynthia and me in front of the castle!

Cynthia wanted to look through a couple of shops on Main Street since we still had some time to kill, so she and I headed to the shops. My friends had already joked about leaving me or about me being left behind because I kept taking pictures and video on our way to Magic Kingdom that morning, and even as we shopped I had my camera in my hand. But for some reason, it never occurred to me to get a picture or video of what happened next.

We were all wearing Celebration buttons that morning. It was Maria’s birthday, so obviously that’s what she was celebrating, but I told Cast Members (CMs) who asked that I was celebrating my first half marathon! I asked a CM in one shop a question and she asked what I was celebrating. As I told her, I realized there was a woman walking towards me also asking what I was celebrating. I just remember seeing the white dress, red corset, big white hat, the parasol…. It was Mary Poppins!

I don’t regularly do meet and greets with characters, but I immediately got excited that Mary Poppins was just walking up to us in the shop and talking to us. When I told her Cynthia and I were running our first half marathon the next day, she ever so elegantly said, “Good for you! I never run, unless chased!” She wished us luck and was on her way.

I felt like a little kid again. I was excited and shocked all at the same time, and I stood there the entire time holding my camera but it never crossed my mind to get a picture with Mary Poppins or at least shoot some video of her. D’oh!! I looked at Cynthia and noticed she looked unimpressed. Turns out she was trying to figure out who Mary Poppins was. She knew it was a character but she couldn’t remember who. This was Cynthia’s second visit to Walt Disney World and though she enjoys it, she’s not Disney World Obsessed like I am. So even though she was all smiles after she realized who we’d just encountered, she wasn’t as super Disney Nerd excited as I was! Hahaha!

It was getting close to time for our reservation at The Crystal Palace, so we headed back to find Shari and Maria near the restaurant. After a few minutes, the staff came out to welcome everyone and to start getting everyone seated and ready for Winnie the Pooh and Friends to visit during our breakfast!

IMG_0066  IMG_0065

I ate way too much, but it was delicious! The Pooh’s Puffed French Toast was my favorite! I ate almost all of it before I remembered to take a picture. Oops.


Pooh, Tigger and Piglet made their rounds in a timely fashion and of course we all had photos with them! For some reason Eeyore skipped our area the first time through and he randomly came back right after we’d already settled our check and were about to leave. We stayed at the table to get a quick picture with him too but I’ve managed to lose it somehow…Here are my character photos:




After we left The Crystal Palace, I asked if anyone wanted to wait in line with me to go on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. I really wanted to ride this and the wait was about 45 minutes according to the My Disney Experience app. I knew the wait would only get longer later and I was going to have to leave Magic Kingdom later that afternoon in order to go to the race expo and get my race packet. So we went ahead and got in the line.

Hey Cast Member Joe! Smile!

Hey Cast Member Joe! Smile!


I liked this ride, but it was really, really….really short in my opinion. I felt like the long lines for this aren’t worth it. If you can catch the line when it’s short or get a FastPass+ for this, do it. Otherwise, you might be disappointed in the long wait for the really short ride time. I’m still going on this again with my kids in a couple of weeks, but we won’t be waiting in a long line for sure!

By now, Maria’s brother met up with the group and he had her grandson with him. We had a FastPass+ for Peter Pan so we went to fly with Peter! I took no pictures of this endeavor. Get used to this theme. :/

Once we got done here, Cynthia and I split up from everyone else for a bit. The next chapter of my trip report will start there! Now I have to go do grown up, real world stuff. How boring… :p

See Ya Real Soon!

Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend Trip Report- The Beginning

Trip Report- PHMI officially started this trip report with random info about what happened after the race. I’m just awesome like that! If you want to read that short, uninformative installment, click HERE.

Otherwise, let’s get back to The Beginning!

On Friday, February 20, 2015 I left home and headed to the airport to start my journey to Walt Disney World for the Princess Half Marathon weekend! The flights were pretty boring and I tried to sleep as much as I could even though I wasn’t going to land in Orlando until about 10:30pm. I’d been waiting for this weekend to get here for months, and now that it was here I was a big mixture of nervous and excited!

Something about the Orlando International Airport (MCO) always makes me happy. Ummm…..probably because I only use this airport to get to Disney World… But at any rate, when I finally arrived and started to make my way to Disney’s Magical Express (DME), I was wide awake and full of smiles. Because I’d added my flight info so close to when my trip was starting, I was told I’d have to check in with DME to get a voucher for the bus ride to my resort. My friend Shari had been mailed my MagicBand so I supposedly needed a voucher to use DME. Before I left home, I’d actually made sure my past MagicBands were linked and active on my My Disney Experience account and I brought one with me just in case I could use that instead.

For some reason I thought that the Magical Express was going to be really dead at that time of night and I anticipated getting to sit in the front of the bus to get a good picture of the Walt Disney World gate when we arrived at the resort. Instead, I found that there were a good number of people also arriving this late at night. The line to check in with DME went pretty quickly though and my MagicBand worked to get me checked in without having to get paperwork printed out and such. YAY! The cast member pointed me in the direction of the line for Coronado Springs resort and I got in line to wait my turn.

Even though there weren’t a lot of people waiting to go to Coronado Springs, the bus was packed because they were putting people from Coronado Springs, Pop Century, and the All Star Resorts on the same bus. I ended up way in the back of the bus, so no picture of the gate for me this time! Oh well, I was just excited to get to the room!

Here’s the part where I realized I failed you all with my trip report….I took zero pictures once I arrived at Coronado Springs. I was cold, excited, and more concerned with getting video for the vlog edition of my report and I didn’t take one still photo. 😦 Sorry!

As soon as I got off of the Magical Express bus, I got my bag (I only brought a carry on with all that I needed for the weekend) and I started for the entrance to El Centro. This is the main building at Coronado Springs resort where you check in, check out, where the gift shop and the dining options are all located…oh and where the convention center is located. I didn’t even make it inside before I realized that I was going to need someone to tell me how to get to the room I was sharing with my friends. They’d already let me know that we were in room 7614 in the Ranchos section…building 7B, but all of that meant nothing to me. And since I got there at about midnight, my friends were asleep and I wasn’t about to call one of them to ask how to get to the room.

There was a Cast Member standing outside ready to greet all of us that had just departed the Magical Express bus, so I asked her what was the best way to get to building 7B. It was pretty cold that night so I’d resigned myself to the fact that I had a short little hike to the room ahead of me, but I just needed to know which direction to go. Without hesitation, the cast member said that she’d go ask someone to drive me to my building so that I wouldn’t get lost! Woo hoo! I wasn’t expecting that, but I sure did appreciate it! Within about 5 minutes, I was led through the lobby and back outside where another cast member was waiting with one of the resort golf cart thing-a-ma-jigs to take me to my building!

Again, I only took video at this point and I chatted with the gentleman who was driving me to the room. He was so nice and even stopped to let a family who was wandering aimlessly know that he’d be back in a moment to drive them to their room as well! I felt kind of bad because the family had 3 younger children with them and they actually all would have fit on the cart with us right then, but the cast member told them to wait where they were and he’d be right back for them.

Anywho, I was so excited to finally make it to Coronado Springs and to get into the room! Everyone was already asleep but after a quick hello to Shari and Cynthia (because I woke them when I opened the door to the room) I got ready for bed. We had to get up early for the festivities we had planned for first thing in the morning! And no, it’s not the race yet… 🙂

See Ya Real Soon!


So it Begins….

rundisneymickeyI’ve been up since about 3:30am.
I don’t even head to the airport until 3pm.
I won’t even arrive in Orlando until around 10:30pm and won’t get to my room at Coronado Springs Resort until midnight-ish.

The Princess Half Marathon isn’t until Sunday, but I’ll begin my Instagram Disney Trip/Race Report when I get to the airport this afternoon. Follow me on Instagram at @zianha22 to see the photos and videos from this weekend trip as they happen!

I’ll start my vlog for this trip when I get back!
Have a great Friday friends!

See Ya Real Soon!