Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dopey 48.6 / Walt Disney World / Time with MOM


It will be hard for me to post a short post and truly include all the things I want to remember about my Dopey trip with mom.  

Two years ago I was talking with another running friend who wanted to race at Disney.  We discussed signing up that year for the Goofy Challenge and then she decided it was not a good time for her.  The races at Disney can be very expensive.  So I ended up just doing the marathon that year.  I loved the Disney experience and said if any of my friends ever decided to do the Dopey challenge that I would go back and do it.  Well, the opportunity came around early in 2016.  Several of runners on the run team said they were planning to go back and asked if I wanted to join them.  Of course, I jumped on the opportunity.  It's much more fun doing a race that is a challenge with friends.  So we registered in April.  It was by far the most expensive race I've ever signed up to do! Just a mere $560 for registration! That doesn't include any travel cost.  I honestly don't see how the people I meet that said they have done Dopey multiple times can afford it.  LOL  

Anyway, most of the runners were all taking their family and making a vacation out of it so of course I asked my mom.  Well, first I asked my husband kind of hoping he might want to go on a trip with me, but we all know he doesn't like the race scene.  He even laughed when I asked him and said I better ask my mom.   So you know mom was excited.  She has went two other times with me to Disney and LOVES it.  

We all booked our rooms and I started saving.  I'm glad Disney will let you pay on your trip months in advance.  So by the time we left, everything was paid.  I had found us really cheap plane tickets a couple months before the trip and grabbed them.  You can't beat a direct flight!  Plus the magical Disney express picked us up at the airport and took us to our resort.  Then when it was time to return to airport, the resort printed our boarding passes, took our luggage directly from the room, and we rode the magical express back to the airport.  

It was wonderful.  No driving, no worrying about anything.  I love how Disney will take care of you.  The only time I had to drag a luggage was from the airport baggage pickup to the car.  AND boy that was AWFUL>  Mom did not have a rolling luggage and it sure was heavy.  

Notice the walmart bag...she actually thought she could pull the dang thing with that! ha

We fought over who was going to carry it.  LOL  I won.  But we were both ill then we just looked at each other and laughed.  It was just one of those mother / daughter moments I won't forget. I told her she was no longer my traveling partner until she got new luggage. :<>) 

So let me get to Dopey....  We arrive at Disney on Wednesday morning.  I as so very glad we had an early flight.  The expo opened at noon so we went straight there hoping we could get in and out quickly.  Well, no such luck!  One reason is that I had to go to guest relations to fix a problem.  I had registered mom for the 5K about 4 weeks before the race through my active account.  I did not notice to click the button that said I was registering someone other than myself.  So when I keyed in all her info, it updated my info with all her info! I didn't not notice it!  A week before the race, I noticed people posting their Dopey bib numbers. I asked where they got them and they gave me link to get mine.  Well, when I checked the link, it did not show me registered.  Instead it showed mom registered to do the Dopey.  ha!  We waited in line almost an hour before we got all that fixed.  

Luckily somehow Disney had printed my name on the bibs.  Whoooooo hoo! The lady had no idea how that had happen since her name was in system.  It didn't mater to me! I was happy that I didn't have to place a blank label over her name to write my name with the marker they had given us.  

So we both got or bibs and shirts.

I got a shirt for each race I would be running. 

 Then we wanted to look around in the expo.  There were signs showing the expo in another building from where you picked up your bib and shirts. So we headed over there to find another LONG, LONG line.  

If you've ever been to the ESPN sports center at Disney you know there are fields where they play sports there.  Well, the line wrapped around one field and one building before getting to the entrance of the expo.  I as so shocked!  I've ran the NY marathon which has 50,000 runners and never saw a line like this to get in the expo!! I almost left, but I really wanted to get me some Dopey souvenirs.  I knew this may be the only time I run this race so I was determined to get me a dang souvenir.  So we waited and waited! Finally we got in and it was so crowded and hot that I could barely breath.  We rushed and I grabbed me a car magnet and a wine glass.  
They had some nice Dopey jackets, but really I was too hot to try one on.  LOL 

By the time we got back to our room it was nearly 4pm! I felt like I had been on my feet for 24 hours.  We quickly put our stuff up and headed to Disney Springs to find supper.  I knew we had to get in the bed early and I needed to get off my feet asap.  I was amazed how they have changed what use to be Downtown Disney to what is now Disney Springs.  Boy it's nice!  We were starving and stopped and the first place we saw that looked nice.  We ate at the Boathouse.  We had the perfect seats!

Right after we got set down our waiter came over and told us to be on the watch because there was a drone show in 15 minutes.  Our table was right out by the deck area.  We could see the lake perfectly and he said the drones would come right up to the restaurant.  He was right.  It as so cool.  There were a ton of them.  They formed different shapes in the sky with their lights.  People started rushing on the deck to see them once the show started so I was so glad mom and I had a high top table and we just sat there enjoying the view.  

Race Day 1 - 5K ...  this was the only race of the week that started at 6am.  However, we had to be on the resort bus no later than 4:30am to go to the start corrals at Epcot.  I was so thrilled that I was going to be able to walk with mom.  Earlier in the week I thought I wasn't going to be able to because the Dopey runners had to maintain a certain pace for all their races to be considered a Dopey.  I found out right before we left that the 5K had no limit.  So I could walk with her.   One of my runner friends even called Disney to ask.  Her mom was going with her and we both were worried about our Dopey status if we walked with our moms.  

It was a good morning.  Mom was excited to walk at Disney in a 5K.  We had a blast and we crossed the finish line together.   Never in a million years would I have dreamt that I would be doing a 5K with my mom at Disney! LOVE!!!

We ended up spending the rest of the day at Epcot.

 I just LOVE walking around the worlds.  I did the wine walk also.  So cool to test wine from different places.  

It was a nice day with awesome weather.  I didn't have us a full schedule like I've done in years past where we rush from fast pass to fast pass to try to do everything.  We had decided since I was running 4 races for 4 days that this trip to Disney would be just for leisure.  :>)  We did ride Soarin and it was amazing.  I think they may of changed a few things because I don't remember a whale jumping out before, but maybe it did.  

It's amazing... You are just like the pic..feet dangling and riding over so many different things.  At times it looks like you are going to crash right into a mountain and then you'll soar over.  It's a must at Epcot!

We ended the night eating at Teppan (hibachi) at Epcot.  The food was very good.  Then of course we stayed for the water show with fireworks.  Mom almost had to take out a few people trying to get her seat that we had been saving for over an hour so we would be right up at the water for a front row seat.  You don't mess with that woman when she's determined. ha  The show is AMAZING. 

Race Day 2 - 10K .. another early morning.  The rest of the races started at 5:30am.  I had to be on the resort bus no later than 4am to travel to the start corral at Epcot.  Today I was meeting my running friends.  We were all going to run together.  We all dressed as Minnnie.

Not sure why my eyes are closed.. ha

 It was cool waiting to start, but when we started running we warmed up fast.  We ran a tad faster than we intended, but we all felt good.  I think we were all excited.  It was a quick 6.2 miles and we were done.  

Everyone had their own plans with their family so we said we'd see each other the next day for the half.  

Mom and I spent the day at Magic Kingdom after the 10K. 

I had reserved us a lunch reservation at Be our Guest months in advance.  It's the new smaller castle at Disney.  You know... Beauty and the Beast.. Be out Guest. :>)   It is truly beautiful inside.  Our food was fast and very good.

The "Grey" stuff... soon good!

  It was so nice to sit inside and relax.  It was HOT this day.  
Dumbo Ride

We did ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train too.  Love this ride.  

Mom had told me she wasn't interested in doing any of the fast / wild rides this trip.  In the past I had made her get on every ride. ha   So we walked around the park, saw a parade, a show in front of the Castle and ate a Dole Whip!.  

You've got to try the pineapple ice cream if you go.  It's wonderful!  We were happy to get inside to see the country bears where it was cool and I was thrilled to get off my feet for a little while.   We grabbed a spot for the fireworks early and parked ourselves for about 2 hours.  Yes, people start staking out their spots to watch the fireworks at the Castle hours before the show! You want to be in a good spot.  It's amazing.   The Castle changes colors and they put on a wonderful laser show before the fireworks.

 Oh and of course Tinker Bell flies down from the tower of the Castle. LOVE!~  

So we are sitting there waiting and Penny texts me.  I had been watching the weather because it was calling for 100% rain on Saturday..the half day! We had all discussed how we were going to stay dry while running the half marathon.  Well, when Penny text me she sent me a picture of a Disney email saying the half marathon was canceled due to weather.  I could hardly believe it.  I just sat there in shock.  You'd thought someone had died by the look on my face.  I told her I had not even checked my email.  The weather was calling for bad lightening early in the morning on Saturday.  The exact time when we would all be loading the bus and going to our corrals.  Disney had decided for the safety of the volunteers and runners to cancel the half.   I wondered why they just didn't postpone the start time.  But I feel that one of the reasons they start the races so early is so they can get them over fairly early.  The races run through the parks.  You can only imagine how crowded the parks are already without runners so just imagine a ton of runners trying to run through while all the vacationers are trying to enjoy the parks.  ha  

We had this in our room when we checked in... they were expecting a crowd.. no wonder everything was so very crowded!

I was so sad.  I kept thinking, I've paid all this money, trained for months and now I will not be a true Dopey because they canceled the half.  I started looking at the Facebook Dopey page to see what people were saying and saw that several were making plans to still run 13.1 on Saturday after the weather cleared.  I told mom that I had to do that also.  I think she thought I was crazy especially after I had just read her an email where Disney said they would still give us our medals.  Now you know me.... I didn't want that medal unless I earn it.  So our group made a plan to meet some of the other Dopey runners and do our 13.1 on Saturday also! The only problem was we were at different resorts so we didn't know how we could get together.  I would have to take the bus to a park and then take another bus back to their resort to get to them.  So we all just decided to run at our own resorts with the runners that were running there and maybe cross paths.  My resort runners were meeting up at 7am to check weather and if no lightening we would run then.  

This was the group I meet in my resort lobby on Saturday morning. 

Race day 3 - Half Marathon.  I woke up at 3am thinking it was time to get ready only to hear the loud thunder, rain and lightening.  Boy I was glad Disney had canceled the half.  I tossed and turned in the bed and finally got up at 5:30am.  The rain had stopped.  I got dressed and headed to the lobby of the resort to see what runners were actually going to be there.  I did not know any of them.  I had only seen them posting on the fb page so I was a tad concerned on what pace they might all be running.  I had planned to really take the half easy since we had a full marathon to run the next day.  The group I meet was a lovely group of people.  Some newbie runners and a couple that had done Dopey several times.  They all made me feel right at home.  We headed out and after about mile 1 we kind of all settled in with the runners who were the same pace.  I ended up running with 3 women and 1 guy.  Two of the women (Michelle and Heidi) grew up coming to Disney every year with their families on vacation.  If you wanted to know anything about Disney, they could tell you.  They had also done Dopey several times.  I really enjoyed listening to them talk.  The other lady was a few years older than me.  She had done several marathons.  Her and her 2nd husband had recently gotten married at Disney.  She said they were still honeymooning... ha  The guy was in his 40s and a new runner.  He was doing intervals.  I talked to him about my interval running and how it had helped me.  A really big rain cloud blew up along with a massive downpour.  We quickly ran to find cover at Coronado Springs.  

We waited out the rain and then started up again.  Some at our resort had decided to just run the 1 mile loop around our resort 13 times.  We had decided to venture out as long as we had a sidewalk to run.  We ran around All star movies, sports, music, over to Coronado Springs, and the parking lot at blizzard beach.  

I was amazed at how many were out getting their 13.1 miles in that morning.  Even non runners started coming out and bringing us water and donuts while cheering us on.  It was truly an amazing half marathon! We all high five each other as we past each other while offering words of encouragement.  I'v always said that runners are truly different.  So encouraging!
These were on the sidewalks in several places so I had to grab a picture!

Soon we were done with our 13.1 miles.  I was so thrilled to get mine in! Us girls grabbed a picture in the resort lobby by the Disney sign that said the half was canceled and then we on to enjoy our day. 

Notice the sign that says the half is canceled. 

Mom and I went to Animal Kingdom.  It as 71 degrees that morning when running the 13.1 miles, but the temp quickly kept dropping.  By the time we got to Animal Kingdom it was 50 and still drizzly rain off and on.  It was cold and wet.  I really didn't know if we would enjoy the day or not.

 Everyone was in ponchos trying to stay dry and warm.  We did end up doing several of mom's favorites.. we saw the birds in fight, Bugs life, Lion King,

and something we had never seen before... the tree of life came to life at night!

You've got to see the show on the tree! AMAZING!

It was amazing.  I'm so glad we had not left the park.  I'm not sure if this is something new or if I'm just always gone by the time this show starts.  It's so cool how they animals that are craved in the tree come to life.  We just stood there in amazement.  Disney really does some of the coolest things. We grabbed food at the Rainforest Cafe and headed back to the room for me to get in the bed.  Big day the next day.... 

Race Day 4 - MARATHON and final challenge of the Dopey Challenge.  The weather had continued to drop during the night.  It was 30 degrees with wind at 15-20 mph! If there had been no wind it would have been ok at 30 degrees.  But the wind was just AWFUL! People were shivering when we got off the bus at the corrals at 4am.  It was going to be a long wait till 5:30am start time and due to the corral we were in, we knew it would be around 6:30 am before we started probably.  I was in corral F and I believe Penny was also.  Most of the others were in J.  The corral police would not let them move up in corrals so we all ended up in J.  I'm not sure how many corrals they were but I do know one of the girls at my resort as in corral MM.  There was tons of people in each corral so Disney started each one a couple minutes apart.  We ended up standing in a merchandise tent for awhile staying warm until several of us had to go to the bathroom.

Notice the hat...this is the first marathon that I started with a hat and finished with it! It was a cold day!
 Once we left the tent, we were not able to go back.  We waited in line at the Porty potties shivering until we made it to the corral.  Once in the corral we gathered in a circle to use our body heat to stay warm.  Two girls that were not part of our group had started talking to several in the group so we invited them in our circle.  One of them ended up running the whole marathon with us.  The other one left us once the race started.  She preferred running alone.  

One of the few times we were not crowded by tons of walkers/joggers.  Most of the time we had to run single file.

I was so glad we had all dressed in layers!  We saw so many that were not dressed in layers and they were shivering so badly.  One girl even had on nothing but a sports bra type thing and shorts.  She was so cold.  I kept thinking these people must be new runners cause most runners know to dress in layers so you can take off once you warm up.  I will say that even though I was in layers, I was still very cold.  I was actually worried about the energy my body was using to keep warm before the race.  I wondered if I'd have enough energy to finish 26.2 miles.  By this day I was tired. I could tell that I had only slept 3-4 hours for several nights and been on my feet for hours every day.  I was ready to get the 26.2 miles over with however, I still had excitement inside me.  I couldn't wait to get that Dopey medal.  

Finally our corral started.  It was still dark.  We saw the beautiful sunrise with a couple miles.  All seven us of stayed together.  It was so very crowded especially when we started out.  They had most streets with just one lane for the runners to run down.  Just imagine several thousand runners going down a one lane road! We gave each other a number and did roll call several times during the race.  I was #4.  A couple times other runners would join in with us and continue counting.  It was funny.  The miles seemed to just fly by.  It's so much fun running with a group for something like a marathon.  Right before we entered Animal Kingdom, Penny and Michelle started talking about stopping to ride the roll-a-coaster.  At first I couldn't believe we were going to do that.  It was a thrill darting off the running path and into the line to ride.  We quickly got on and rode.

Somehow I even got a picture from the ride! I guess those magic bands really work good. 

 I had forgotten how rough Mount Everest ride is until then! It's a fun ride, but it jerks too.  I had to really hold on trying to make sure it didn't jerk my neck too bad.  I did a live video post after I rode while waiting on others to ride.  :>) 

We were half way into the marathon by now.  Andres, who was from Mexico and running with us was stopping at every mile marker to take pictures.  It was her 2nd marathon.  Come to find out, she ran NY the same year I did and was in a corral time very close to mine.  We both talked about how we loved NY marathon.  

At the Castle as we ran through Magic Kingdom.

We didn't rush.  Anytime someone wanted to stop and take pictures, go to bathroom, or ride a ride, we stopped.  The feeling when we entered back into Epcot at mile 25 was AMAZING!  

You run the last mile around the world showcase to finish.  People in the park were lined around the streets cheering you on.  It was such a good feeling.  I had thought I'd probably cry when I finished, but instead I was smiling ear to ear.  We really had a blast doing the marathon.  It was by far the longest marathon I've ever done.  I think our finish time was 6:24.  Two years earlier I had ran the marathon there in 5 hours.  LOL  But I wouldn't trade all the fun we had for nothing! 

When we crossed the finish line they ushered the Dopey runners to the right.  It was so cool.  They had a person holding our marathon medal, then our half medal, then our goofy medal, and then a person holding our Dopey medal! You just walked right through and they put each medal around your neck.  and Boy the medals were heavy. LOL  

I had texted mom right before we came back into Epcot to tell her we were about finished. I had told her to go to whatever park she wanted to and enjoy the day because I know we would be a long time finishing the marathon.  She texted me back and told me she was waiting at the finish line. :>)  I soon found her and guess what?? She brought me the cutest stuffed dopey!  THANK YOU MOM!

He's so dang cute!! 

We grabbed a picture and then we were all ready for a hot shower and FOOD!  Notice I had put back on my sweatshirt that I originally planned to thrash after I got hot.  So glad I saved it because it was cold standing there at the finish line.  Of course we got our little run Disney box of food, but we all wanted some GOOD FOOD... and lots of it.  I was starving.  

Inside our Disney Run Box

Mom and I ended up back at Magic Kingdom.  

That is our favorite park.  We ate at the Crystal Palace and saw several characters.  I had forgot that is where Winnie the Pooh and his crew are normally.  Mom loved seeing them again.  After we ate we walked down to see Mickey.  I had brought all my medals so we could get a picture with all of them at Disney.  Two years ago when I ran the marathon, I saw several people with all their Dopey medals at the park taking pictures and I had told mom that I wanted to do that one day.  Little did I know it would be just two years later.  Mickey was so cool and had to look at each of my medals.  

We got some cool pictures and then decided we wanted to see the fireworks one more time.  Because it was still very cold outside people were not quite yet sitting waiting on fireworks.  I had brought my backpack with 2 blankets in it so me and mom found another great seat and wrapped up.  It was so sweet being wrapped up with my mom.  We talked about what a wonderful time we had each day.  Yes, we were both dog tired, but there is no other way to do Disney. My apple watch that I wear when not running said we had walked 29.65 miles while at the parks.  That's not counting my 48.6 race miles.. her here I told her since our flight was not till Monday night she could pick what park she wanted to go back to on Monday or we could go back to Disney Springs and see it in the daylight.  She decided we would go to Disney Springs and do a little shopping and have lunch before catching our magical express back airport at 3:45pm.   It was a beautiful day.  Much warmer than Saturday.

Yes, they still had Christmas decorations all over.  I was surprised because 2 years ago the same weekend I didn't remember that much of the Christmas stuff still being up. 

 I was not feeling too good though.  I told mom I felt like I was getting sick.  My sinuses were draining like crazy.   I just felt very tired.  I'm sure dong the 48.6 miles in 4 days along with walking the parks each day with no sleep was starting to take a toll on my body.  I was ready to be home and in my bed. 

The airport was so crowded.  We saw so many runners.  Several were still wearing a medal or two around their necks and a few limping.  As for me, mine were carefully packed inside socks in my bag so they wouldn't get scratched.  When we started flying, my ears felt like they were going to explode.  I so wished I had grabbed me a pair of earphanes!  Mom even said her ears were hurting.  I was oh so happy to finally be on the ground in New Orleans, but wasn't looking forward to driving home!  I finally made it home around 11pm and sure wasn't looking forward to work the next day.  

All week, I was extremely tired.  I could barely wake myself up at 6am each morning to get ready for work.  I did not run a single day.  I did nothing.  After work I came straight home and crashed.  Today (Saturday) is the first day that I'm finally starting to feel normal.  My sinuses are better and I did a light 3 mile run this am with Troy.  He was so excited when he saw me put on my shoes.  

So that's a wrap for Dopey and Disney!  Would I do it again? YES Anytime soon? NO ha   I need a few years to rest up for that again.  It was really fun and easier than I thought.  Maybe if I had run hard it wouldn't have been or maybe if I didn't have those 6 friends who I ran with on the marathon it would have been harder... Who knows... All I know is I'm officially Dopey!  :<>)  Oh yes, there was much debate on fb about whether or not you were dopey since the half was canceled.  I think each person has to think for themselves on that one.  I did run the 13.1 on the day the half was supposed to be so for me... I am DOPEY! :>)

Looking forward to another adventure with mom in the future. BUT ONLY IF SHE GETS NEW LUGGAGE>> hee hee 


Don't be afraid to go after your dreams! I'm now a marathon maniac! 3 marathons within 90 days! 

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