Some people get their energy from others. I was definitely energized this weekend by all of the people that I met and hung out with. I had socialized with these friends in the virtual world, but when we met in person I was happy to hang out, chat and got to know everyone. And everyone was so friendly. Because of that I felt energized. I was happy and look forward to meeting up with them again at future events.
I was telling my sister how much fun I was having even though I went on this trip alone and she mentioned that it is good to do something for myself as my own person, outside of being a mom and a wife and an employee. I needed this trip and need to make this a yearly ritual for myself each year. Outside of marathon weekend, I want to sign up for wine and dine in 2014. So when does registration open up for wine and dine?
The real reason why I went to California was for the races, the Dumbo double dare. This was a 10k on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday.
The day I flew out was really easy. The kids were ok with my going on a trip and Kevin would benefit from having a weekend alone with the kids. When I arrived I picked up a rental car. I got a fiat! I loved it! When I pulled out of the garage towards the highway a panic set in. I thought I would have known easily where to go. But I had to pull over and get out my map and start up my GPS. So here I was on the side of the road at 5:00 on a Friday night on a holiday weekend while planes were flying in just over my head and landing. But I handled it. However, when driving on the highway there was traffic and I was hoping I wouldn’t miss any of my turns. The fiat has an option to shift or be automatic, that explains why the car was screaming in second gear at 50 mph and people were looking at me. I figured it out later when zipping around the streets of Anaheim doing u turns everywhere. Those roads are so strange!
I met up with Mandy and her family and we did the 3 pigs! Challenge and got our medal and piggie swag bag. Then we went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. It was delicious! I got the four cheese pasta and bread. Mandy and ken’s boys Isaiah and sack are so cute. Great kids. I talked to my kids before they went to bed and told them I left them notes under their pillows. They enjoyed that!
After dinner they went back to their hotel and I parked in the lot for downtown Disney, after 3 loops around the same area with multiple u turns. It’s all good. I wanted to visit the expo and get my coast to coast band. After some confusion as to where you actually pick it up, I walked the expo and found Jeff Galloway! I got his autograph and took a picture with him. I was elated. Again I was energized.
At this point it was 8:00 (11:00 back home). I was the least bit tired. Seeing Mandy and her family, meeting Jeff Galloway and zipping around in the fiat was way too much fun! I went to my hotel and checked in and asked where I could get milk. She told me there was a Wal-Mart a block away. I unloaded in my room and drove there for water, milk and coconut water. I felt like a country mouse stepping out into the big world being on a trip alone, renting a car for the first time in my life and being across the United States from my family.
I dumped out my race bags and checked out all the new things Mandy picked up for me and my race shirts. Then I unpacked and laid out my costume for Saturday. I got the coffee maker ready for my tea and oatmeal, but realized I forgot s spoon! I finally got ready for bed, set the TV on a timer, set my alarms and read my book. The fireworks started at 9:30 so I knew I wouldn’t be falling asleep yet. I think I eventually fell asleep around 10:30 PST.
I woke up at 3:30 and was on the bus to the race by 4:30. I hooked up Mandy and ken. I also met Jennifer Lazzario (eatsleeprun.disney.com) and Danielle Nardi (www.liverungrow.com). Finally we went to our corral. It was then that I spotted Sarah McGovern and she introduced me to Sid and Amanda. It took a trip all the way to California for me to finally meet her and she lives 20 minutes away from me. The plan for Mandy and I was to run then 10k, but to stop for pictures often. We did not have a time goal. You spend a lot of moneys for these races so you need to take advantage of the chance to get pictures of things you can’t always get when the parks are open. We had a great time. I loved the pictures we got of mater and lightning McQueen and cars land. That was my favorite. I enjoyed seeing the difference of Disneyland compared to magic kingdom in Orlando. One day I would like to bring my family to Disneyland.
After the race I went back to downtown Disney and bought yogurt and a bagel and went to my hotel for a shower. After that I took the bus back to downtown Disney and went to world of Disney to buy gifts for everyone. I had so much fun shopping by myself.
At 12:00 I went to the http://www.runningatdisney.com meet up and met Sarah McGovern. I had a blast. I grabbed an ice tea and chilled out there with Sarah and her husband Barry (great guy!), Sid, Amanda, Marc Acosta and the barefoot running guy and his wife were there. He wore the tie on sandals. We hung out and stayed off our feet. Then split up around 2:00. I wanted to go see the expo so I walked over to it and bought a raw threads castle to castle shirt that I wanted before the trip. There was a #teamrundisney meet up at 2 and the Mickey miles podcast at 3:00. On the way to the Mickey miles meet up I spotted Mandy and Kenn at the team rundisney meet up so I stopped in and met Matt, Krissy Murphy and Allie. I visited for about 20 minutes then went to Mickey miles with Kenn and Mandy. Kimberly Torres was also there so I gave her a big hug. Mike and Michelle were awesome! They are so welcoming and personable. I got pictures with them and I recorded an intro for a future show! Here again, my energy spiked from all the positive social interactions with great people and fellow lovers of running and Disney.
After that I walked to the Disney Land hotel and had dinner with Mandy’s family. Thanks for having me tag along with you all weekend you guys! I got a great flatbread pulled pork pizza. It was just right. They turned in for the night and I had to walk across downtown Disney again to head back to my hotel, but it was only 7:30 so I stopped in the World of Disney again to get the sweatshirt I spotted the day before. I also wanted to get more stuff for the kids and Kevin. I had a lot of fun shopping again. I took my bus back and took the little fiat for a spin. I went to fill it up with gas for the return trip back. I totally loved motoring around in that car!
Back at my hotel I packed and sorted everything out, laid out my clothes for the race and the flight home and prepped the coffee pot, charged up my phone and figured out the map for the return trip to the airport. I knew the fireworks would keep me up so I waited till after to go to bed.
3:20 came quick, I turned off the alarm and climbed back to bed, thank god I set my phone alarm too cause I dozed off! I ate, got ready and left the room at 4:20. I walked to the bus stop across the street but just missed that bus. I was getting nervous cause it was getting late. I made it by 5:00 to meet ken and Mandy, used the porta potty and went to our corral. We ended up climbing a fence to corral E because d was full. Many people were still lining up when the race started. We crossed the start line at 6:00.
We started running early on and did a 90/45 pace. That worked nice for us. We did not stop for pictures for this race. The first 4 miles were slower because it was crowded in the parks and when you tried to run there was a lot of weaving and congestion. At mile 4 we climbed the overpass towards the sun, passed my hotel and ran the streets of Anaheim. From there we were able to pick up the pace. Miles 6-7 went by fast. Mile 7-9 were tough for me. Running in the sun was hard. I just felt like there was no reprieve. We ran past the classic cars and people were cheering “you are almost there!” But we weren’t and that was bothering me. We came to a dirt path for a bit and were coming closer to the stadium but not close enough. I had Mandy lead for a bit. The stadium was the boost I needed. There were Boy Scouts in the seats cheering and the jumbo tron.
Back out to the roads again we were coming up on the last 3.1 miles. Those are the hardest for me. Mandy and I were trying to avoid the negative thoughts and were chanting mantras. I put on my music. I thought I saw the 12 mile mark and told Mandy we only had 15 minutes or so left, until I saw that it was a parking garage sign. That deflated me. The last water ration had Ice bags out so I grabbed one and cooled off my body and gave it to Mandy. She said it made a big difference. We finally entered the back of California adventure and passed the 12 mile mark and I cheered out loud. We took walk breaks a bit longer and pushed on for that last hard mile. We were getting close and decided to walk until the sorcerer’s hat then we will run to cross the finish.
We did it! 2:51 was our finish time. I enjoyed receiving our medals and especially loved receiving the coast to coast medal.
Mandy found ken but he wasn’t looking too good. We rushed him to the medical area and got him bags of ice and made him walk to the shade. Then his sugar was dumping so he ate peanut butter and skittles. He was trembling but the sugar was helping. We were we able to get pictures and then I had to leave. I fast walked back through downtown Disney and got to my bus stop in time to stretch before sitting. I made good time to shower, have my ovaltine, eat my leftovers from cheese cake factory and drive to the airport. The drive back was easy and I made good time. I sat with Amanda at the airport then said our goodbyes until next time! I also met Kimberlee and her family on my flight back to CT and we talked before we boarded and then again when we landed in Dallas while waiting for the others to board the plane for the last leg home. I have her name so I can hook up with her on Facebook. So now I have new friends for January!
I want to make a weekend race getaway something I can do every year. Not necessarily to California, but to a race Mandy will be at. Probably wine and dine because that has a fun event and better weather. Plus it will be cheaper to fly. Like my sister said it is good to do something outside of being a mom, wife and employee. I really appreciate my husband for supporting me and helping me make my dreams come true! I hope my kids also learn what it means to me to do things for myself and participating in this sport.
My next adventure is going to be Tower of Terror in Florida on October 5th. I can’t wait!