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2017 Glass Slipper Challenge: Princess Half-Marathon.

The last day of the Glass Slipper Challenge (10k recap, 5k recap) is the Princess Half-Marathon. It’s another early day and since I was the only one running the half out of our large group, I got on the bus solo and waited to meet up with Jess and Nicole before heading up to the corrals.

My parents, Justin, and Sue were due to get a bus to Epcot to grab the monorail to Magic Kingdom so I knew they weren’t too far behind me with their wake-up alarm. Unfortunately, there was some misinformation and my family and a few runners missed the last bus and were told the next bus wasn’t until 6am (well after the start of the race). My mom texted me that they weren’t going to be able to make it to Magic Kingdom and I could tell she was upset. I reassured her that it was no big deal and that I’d see them all at the finish line.

About fifteen minutes later I got another text from my mom saying that they’d see me in Magic Kingdom. Wait – what?!

The runners with them decided they were going to walk to the start line and since my family was already up, they decided to tag along. Luckily, Disney magic was on their side because a race bus pulled up alongside them and scooped them up and brought them to Epcot!

Princess Half-Marathon

Our plan for the race was the same as the day before – to run easy and comfortably and stop for photos when there was a character we loved on the course. We also decided that for the latter half of the race, we’d employ an 8-and-2 run/walk plan if we hadn’t stopped for a photo in a while. As I’ve learned before with Disney races, I enjoy the walk “breaks” mostly for their mental benefit.

We didn’t stop for many photos early on but as the race progressed, we stopped more and more. We stopped so much in Magic Kingdom that Mile 6 took us over 30 minutes to complete. #WorthIt

After seeing my family on Main Street and stopping for so many great characters in Magic Kingdom, the lonely roads of the highway seemed to go on and on and onnnn.  Once we got to Mile 10, I began texting my mom from my Apple Watch to let her know where we were and an approximate time we’d be at the finish line.

After our finish, it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready for a day in Epcot!

Epcot

When we first started planning our Disney trip, the dads came up with the idea of getting us all ridiculous matching shirts and decided on, well, hot pink Vandalay Industries t-shirts. Now, let me tell you how 20 Italians from New York ended up in hot pink Vandalay Industries shirts…

My dad found a company online and sent an e-mail to each family to order their shirts. Well, everyone ordered their shirts on the same day and the company (which is extremely small and later told us that they barely sell that many of those shirts in a year, let alone in a single day) cancelled all our orders stating that we were “fraudulent.” LOL. #irony

Obviously, we got it all sorted out and everyone had their shirts for Epcot day! We realized very quickly that we should have done something like this the previous two days as it was so much easier to find everyone with us all in the same obnoxiously loud color. #LessonLearned

We were quite the hit in Epcot; people came up to talk to us and took photos of/with us. We overheard a conversation between a mother and a daughter in which the daughter asked why we all matched and the mother answered that we must be here on a company trip because we all worked for Vandalay Industries. #AwHoney

After the fireworks, it was time to go back to the hotel and relax.

The next day, we all hung out at the pool to enjoy one more day of sunshine before coming back to cold NYC.

It wasn’t easy to leave… especially since this is the first Disney trip in a while that I’ve ended without having my next one already planned 🙁

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Next up: I’ll be carb-loading at my wedding. True story. Stay tuned. 

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2017 Disney Princess Weekend: 5k.

Let’s not even talk about how long it’s been since I last posted. Instead, let’s talk about the 2017 Disney Princess 5k!

The family all got to Disney Thursday morning so we could get to the expo, check in at the hotel, and then head out for an early dinner in Disney Springs. Because we were such a large party, runDisney helped us out with the hotel booking so we were all in a block of rooms and it felt like we had our own little corner of the hotel to ourselves.

After dinner at The Boathouse, I was on a mission to find Bride ears (did I mention I’m getting married? Because yea, I’m getting married. This September, specifically).

Surprise! – Jane’s Carousel, Brooklyn

Engagement Dinner – River Cafe, Brooklyn

I found the ears no problem (Justin got groom ears and he’s agreed to take some formal engagement photos in them sooo stay tuned for those).  🙂

Princess 5k

Pre-Princess 5k Family Photo

Once our large group got into the corrals, we split up by pace. We had a few who were running the whole thing, some who were going to run/walk, and others who planned to walk to the finish line. Like last year, Justin and I stayed with my dad for the 5k. The 5k isn’t timed and my father doesn’t have a running watch so I ran alongside him so we had an accurate finish time and pace.

Since my father uses this as a “goal race,” we didn’t stop for any character photos. Last year, he ran a 13:11 pace with no stopping (except for one wardrobe malfunction – he couldn’t get his throwaway pants off lol). When he ran his 3 mile training run the weekend prior, I ran alongside him to check his pace and he finished the 3 miles at a 12:40. He does all his training at a 14+ minute pace so this shocked him – isn’t it amazing what your body can do when you just listen to it?!

We finished in 38:35 (a 12:23 pace!) and a new PR for pops!

We grabbed our medals and our goodies and waited for the rest of the family to cross the finish line.

It was the first 5k for a lot of the family and they all did AMAZING! Everyone finished with a smile (except for lil’ Andrew but he’s 7, has little legs, and omg if someone tried to make me do anything like this at 7, I’d have thrown a complete hissy fit). No worries though – he recovered quickly and then became obsessed with all my medals the rest of the trip 🙂

Hollywood Studios

Once we were all showered and rested (ehhhh slightly rested), we were on our way to Hollywood Studios!

19 Italians take Disney! (#20 came on Saturday)

The weather was amazing and we spent the morning going on rides and enjoying some shows before lunching at Brown Derby. This is always one of my favorite meals at Disney and I cannot recommend it enough (the cobb salad is incredible and I’ve been told the crabcakes are as well).

In addition, they have a special 3-course option that comes with fastpasses to Fantasmic! My brother’s reactions to this show are more fit for an 8 year old than someone who is, ya know, an adult, but it really is so good. I’ve gotten choked up during the finale each and every time I’ve seen it and, in my brother’s words, it “always gets me.” #RightInTheFeels

Hollywood Studios had special magic hours for hotel guests on Friday so we didn’t worry too much about trying to fit in all the rides before the park closed at 8pm. Since we had an extra 2 hours to go on rides, we saved some of the longer line rides (like Rockin’ Rollercoaster) to the end of the night.

Some fairy dust before the 10k!

Once we got back to the hotel, Justin and I were quick to get our stuff out for the morning and go to bed- it was almost Enchanted 10k time!

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Congrats to all Princess 5k finishers! Especially my dad, mom, Justin, John, Nicole, Jim, Uncle Vito, Aunt Marisa, Matt, Uncle Andrew, Aunt Lidia, Amanda, and little Andrew! So proud of you all!

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Glass Slipper Challenge: Princess Half-Marathon

Alright I am FINALLY finishing up my Princess Half-Marathon weekend posts! If you’re interested: here are the 5k and 10k recaps from that weekend.

Princess Half-Marathon

My alarm went off, again, at punch-yourself-in-the-face o’clock and it was a strugglefest. With the approximate 3-4 hours of sleep I got after staying (voluntarily) at Magic Kingdom until after close, it’s no surprise that I was in a huge daze as I got ready to tackle the last 13.1 miles of the challenge. I was in such a daze that I actually left my hotel room without my bib number (whoops) and had to knock to get Justin to let me back in.

After that little mishap, I walked down to meet my cousin Mike in the lobby. Once at the start village, we relaxed a bit, stopped in the port-a-potties, and met up with Jess to walk up to the corrals. We were all placed in corral C so we were all able to start together even though Mike was running for time and Jess and I were looking to PR in ridiculousness.

Princess half 1

Again, we kept the pace extremely comfortable and stopped for photos with characters when we wanted.

Running through Main Street was magical, as always, although I did miss the Christmas lights on the castle, which give this part of the course an extra magical touch during WDW Marathon weekend. My family was in Magic Kingdom so I was able to see them as opposed to sending them shaky videos and photos like I did during January’s half and full marathons.

Princess half 2

I kept the family updated with where I was throughout the race so they’d know when to expect me coming down towards the finish line. With another 13.1 more magical miles in the book, my 3rd Disney challenge/5th Disney half/13th Disney race was complete 🙂

princess half finish

With all the magical business of the morning, we decided to make it a later day at the park and not leave for Epcot until noon. We did some hot tubbing (some people napped, I didn’t because apparently I don’t sleep in Disney) before heading out for another day in the happiest place on earth.

Epcot

Epcot is pretty much the best park for adults and there was a huge reason we chose Epcot for after all the races: booze.

epcot group

Before making our way to the World Showcase, we enjoyed the following rides/attractions:

  • Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival (So good! I could have watched a dozen more.)
  • Living with the Land
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track (The. Best.)

I can’t wait for Soarin’ to reopen. When Justin and I go back (yep, my next trip is planned – gotta make use of that annual pass!), it’ll be up and ready for us to enjoy 🙂

Once at the World Showcase, I demanded pizza and sangria in Italy for lunch. No one put up much of a fight.

The pizza at Via Napoli is incredible. The “kids” table ordered 3 of the largest pies and we all laughed at ourselves because of how ridiculous we were to think we would finish this much pizza. Seven minutes later (yes, seven, Nicki has it timestamped on Snapchat), there were about 2 little pieces left. The “kids” table also ordered bottomless sangria. #noregrets

epcot drinking around the world

The rest of the day was spent being entertained by the outdoor country attractions (I love Sergio in Italy and the chair guy in France) and enjoying a few more adult beverages (cantaloupe juice and vodka from Japan, limoncello in Italy, four different kinds of champagne in France, and my favorite grapefruit beer in Germany).

epcot evening

We had dinner in Germany before watching the Illuminations fireworks at the end of the night. I was happy that we had one more half-day to spend relaxing by the pool but bummed that another Disney vacation was coming to an end.

The next day was beautiful and we spent the morning and early afternoon lounging by the pool, sipping pina coladas, and getting a nice tan to bring back to cold NYC.

Until next time, Orlando.

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Glass Slipper Challenge: Enchanted 10k

With 3.1 miles and a day at Hollywood Studios under my belt, it was time for the official start of the Glass Slipper Challenge with the Enchanted 10k!

Enchanted 10k

My cousin Liz was also running the 10k so we met up in the lobby at holy-hell-it’s-early o’clock to get on the bus to the start village. Once at the start village, we had lots of time to sit down, make a stop in the port-a-potties, and meet up with my friend Jess before getting into the corrals.

As much as I typically hate 10ks, I absolutely adore the Disney 10Ks. It helps that I basically trot the entire time and aren’t pushing myself to a 10k pace, but it’s also because I truly adore Disney’s 10k course. I remember thinking during my first Dopey that I had never enjoyed this distance more.

In theory, the 10k sounds great. It’s a solid mid-distance run and you’re finished in less than an hour. Sounds wonderful, right? Wrong. In reality, racing a 10k is horrific for me. But running the 10k in Disney? Purely magical.

enchanted 10k

We kept a light and conversational pace, enjoying the scenery and character stops in Epcot, on the Boardwalk (where I saw the wonderful Alec!), and through Yacht and Beach Club.

enchanted 10k finish

9.3 weekend miles were down!

Magic Kingdom

With the early start time and a “short” race, we were up and at it pretty quickly, getting to Magic Kingdom before 10 am. Is there anything more magical than turning onto Main Street and seeing the castle up ahead? You can say yes, but you’d be wrong.

magic kingdom

I was pumped for a long and busy day in one of my favorite places on the planet.

magic kingdom 2

We enjoyed the following rides/attractions during our 12+ hours in the park:

  • It’s a Small World
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (One of my favorites)
  • Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (So much yes)
  • Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade
  • Splash Mountain (John’s face. #icanteven)
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Carousel of Progress
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor (This will never get old. Also, now I want to have a Monsters movie marathon.)
  • Haunted Mansion (Classic and THE BEST. End of conversation.)
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Festival of Fantasy Parade
  • Main Street Electrical Parade (The older I get, the more I love these parades.)
  • Celebrate the Magic (WHAAAAT?! Disney, THIS WAS AMAZINGLY MAGICAL. If you can watch this, do it. Do it now.)
  • Wishes Nighttime Spectacular

Don’t worry, we also stopped for Dole Whip… twice 🙂

magic kingdom 3

With the half-marathon the next day, my cousin Mikey left a little after 8 pm to get a solid night’s sleep. Me? Well I’m not as smart and I opted to stay until after the park closed. So yea, I got a little more than 3 hours of sleep and then ran a half-marathon. And then took no nap and went straight to Epcot to drink in the sunshine. #wasnteventired #disneymagic

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Next up: the Princess Half Marathon!

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