Saturday, March 09, 2013

Meetup Madness #rundisney

Hanging out with my new Bestie!

If you follow the #rundisney excitement, you may be aware that the meetup, a social media event prior to runDisney races is a pretty big deal. I was lucky enough to receive one of the coveted invtites!

I was getting make-up tips for Sunday!

Getting Ready

My plane outfit consisted of a sparkly shirt and tiara!

On Thursday we arrived in Orlando late. We arrived giddy. We hopped off the plane into this crazy humid weather (much like my hot yoga classes) and I had to be up 4 hours after we arrived at the airport. When we checked into our hotel I didn't really unpack. I knew I had everything ready to go for my early moring wakeup.
  • Outfit - check
  • Shoes - check
  • tiara - check
  • makeup - check
  • spi-belt - check
  • instant coffee - check
  • deodorant - OOPSIE!

My morning started off, well, in the frazzled way that most mornings seem to in my world. I was in a foreign country in a little hotel wearing running clothes and a tiara at 4:30 am, running around on a mad quest for deodorant and a temperature reading in Celsius not Fahrenheit. When I finally solved that problem (they had free stuff at the desk - mind you it smelled worse than I probably would have au naturel) my "chauffeur" for the morning showed up in a giant, unlabeled taxi van, and I wasn't sure if I was on my way to epcot or a scene from a horror film. What's with Florida taxis and no metres?

Since the deodorant chase put me well behind schedule and I hadn't had coffee yet, I asked to sit in the front seat and use the cup holder because I figured that I'd be much more capable of escaping (and faster) if I had some Starbucks in me. ( the instant via kind - because like I said, I came organized. deodorant aside). But, while I was calmly drinking my coffee, the driver, who in the end offered me a deal on my cab fare ( or what I think was a deal because NO METRE)  told me all sorts of stuff about his 20 years as an Orlando cab driver. I interjected with random comments about how this was my first time running in a tiara, asking his opinions on sparkle skirts and discussing my upcoming race. It was an odd conversation, but he did say that he thought the tiara would be okay for a short run (though risky for a half marathon), he was absolutely 100% in the Team Sparkle Camp with me and he thought my race strategy was good. We even did a minor detour so he could show me where the corrals were for the race.

The meet up begins

epcot in the dark. Beautiful

Amazingly we got to Epcot early. I hopped out of the cab, and while I was looking around and trying to breathe (I was practicing some yogic breathing - good thing I was alone - it did ground me) I turned around to see another cab pull up. Out came Jodi and friends. Holy crap was I excited to see a friendly face!

And with that the meet-up began!

At this point I'd like to invite you to play Laural's  meet-up recap drinking game. I suggest you take a drink every time I type OMG because it was that kind of day (shots of wheatgrass, of course)

There was a lot of mingling, and for those of us who hadn't met some of the runDisney stars there was also a lot of quiet "OMG, that's ..." being said quietly. I may have said it the most! I saw Kelly from Team Sparkle and couldn't say anything because she's a total runDisney celebrity. (she later ran with me ... OMG!) She had the best outfit. Loved it!

The I saw Jeff Galloway. OMG again. He actually looks so much like a good friend of ours, and my marthon mentor Lou, that I was blown away.

Then there was Heather (formerly from Running with Sass) who writes Through Heather's Looking Glass. She threw me for a loop because when I read people's blogs I kind of hear them in my head. I was shocked at her accent. And then she ran super fast (OMG!) so I didn't actually say anything. But, still.

AND THEN. I was chatting with Jodi and she lost her mind. I thought that maybe NSYNC had snuck in to sing for out, but no. It was the Another Mother Runners. BEST. MOMENT.EVER! Jodi started bouncing and screaming. It took me a second to figure it out. We all need our super fan moments. I'm glad I captured this on camera! And I almost started to cry because Jodi was so excited.

Post-freakout photo opportunity :) 

I'm short, okay! This photo is blurry. Can we guess who took the photo?

This is their other super fan! Who knew?!
All the excitement aside, it was picture time. Once pictures were over it was time to RUN!!!

At this point I should say that there's one big difference between Canadian runners and American runners. North of the border everything is measured in metric, eh! So, I train in kilometres, not miles.

We were given the option to go with the Galloway led run-walk group or the group led by the winner of previous races, Rachel Booth. I was already leaning toward the run group, but when the announcer said "we'll be doing an easy 5:30 pace" and laughed I was sold! Guys! I do training runs and sometimes go that pace.  Actually, race pace for me is about a 6 minute kilometre. Speed training is a 5:30 kilometre.

What he was implying was we would be running a 5 minute and 30 second MILE not a 5 minute and 30 second kilometre. OMG!

They didn't actually run that fast. But, they were fast. I basically sprinted most of the 5k to keep up.

Run run run! I'll take pictures from the back.
Lucky for  Jodi and I, our new Mother Runner friend Dimity ran with us. Okay - kudos to Jodi who could totally keep up a conversation about injuries and stuff. Part of me wanted her to have a moment. The other part of me really was thinking breathe in. breathe out. Pace yourself. But, kind of a dream to have that run!

There were a few stops. We saw the fairy godmother and snow white. And then we got to the Boardwalk entrance. It was locked because epcot was still closed. While someone ran to get the keys and everyone started chatting I took the time to breathe. Really. It hit me at that moment that all the OMG moments aside, we had this awesome running thing in common and what everyone was talking about was just running and health and the weather. It was running talk. And Disney talk.

When we started again I slowed a bit. Thankfully Jodi kept my pace, and we chatted a bit. The Boardwalk was lovely, and the run was fun.

As we continued along I bumped into Kelly from Team Sparkle skirts. In the many months leading up to the race I googled costumes and she came up over and over. Seriously, running with her was a pretty big deal to me.I'm not sure if she figured that out from my conversation. It was a little like when you're drunk, but you sware you're not even tipsy, so then you keep talking but you realize after the fact that you said a whole lot of *awesome* things. (my personal favourite was the seemingly random "I felt like a real runner the first time I ran in the snow" - which is cool to say in my little Canadian running group - probably not to a runner from California. OMG Laural stop talking!)

I didn't have a running pic, but this is Kelly

So, it was cool that she kept talking while I kind of gasped answers after that. I also tried to breathe. Also tried not to cry because it just seemed so amazing I was here and this person whose products I love was there. And, seriously, she's found something she loved and made it into a business. AWESOME!

We made it to the final destination - about 5km away and I was drenched in sweat. No complaints. I'll take that over snow any day. The run part was done. It was time to PAR-TAY! Or at least eat breakfast and listen to really really cool speakers.

The speakers were amazing! The highlights included listening to Ali Vincent, the first female winner of the Biggest Loser and Rachel Booth, the winner of the Princess Half.  I was inspired. I learned a lot. I had a ton of fun.

Lots of people won prizes. I didn't. But, who cares. I had the time of my life!

I think the biggest lesson of all of it was that dreams come true.

It's been a roller coaster year! Last year at this time I was running on my treadmill, putting in maybe 3k a day, with no real goals. Then one day I decided to do it, signed up for the Princess Half Marathon, and here I was, less than a year later, running with the fast group and being thrilled to meet running idols!

Amazing Amazing Amazing!

I'm soooo grateful to all these incredible people who inspired me. And I'm so grateful to my friend Princess Jodi. It would not have been the same without you!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

LOVED meeting you too!