Saturday, January 19, 2013

Disney Day 2 - The 5K and Animal Kingdom

Waking up on Thursday at 4am was great practice for this vacation, since every day became a cycle of: Wake up early, non-stop walking (or running), collapse, repeat.  Friday's Family Fun Run 5K had a start time of 6:30am, but thanks to the magic of Disney Transportation, all buses depart the hotel from 4am to 5am.  This is where I discovered a fundamental difference between Scott and I.  If it were up to me, we'd be taking the last possible bus, with a real threat of missing the start of the race.  It would really get our hearts racing, wondering if we would make it.  We'd have to forgo the last minute porta-potty stop and possibly sprint to the starting corral.  It would be exciting, chaotic, and badass.  Scott, on the other hand, is a planner.  He likes to get everywhere early, preferably before the volunteers even show up, just to get "settled in".  So, at an ungodly time of day, I was up and dressed and trying really hard to be excited about going to run a 5K in the dark.  It wasn't easy getting excited about the run, but the costume helped!

After a very, very long time standing around in the parking lot, making fun of some really bad country/christian rock singer and listening to a DJ unsuccessfully trying to get the crowd energized, we finally made it to the starting corral.  It was weird starting a race at 6:30 in the morning, and even weirder thinking that on Sunday at this time I'd already be an hour into the marathon.

Scott, Tricia, and I, along with their friend Joe, all ran the race together which made it quite entertaining!  And that's a good thing, because the first mile or so all took place in the parking lot and entrance road to Epcot, and passed by a waste water treatment area, so it wasn't exactly the magical experience we expected.

Finally we made it into the actual park and then the scenery was much prettier.  We stopped several times to take pictures.  It was so humid that eventually I had to take my glasses off because they were fogging up so much!

My costume was a big hit and I got a lot of compliments.  There was also an ongoing joke about dogs (some service dogs could be seen cowering away from me - Cruella) so this sign was just too perfect!
By the end of the race I was completely saturated in sweat due to the humidity, and the hair under my wig was soaked.  I'm so glad I decided to dress up for the 5k and not the marathon.

So to recap the 5K - It was fun to run with friends and dress up and be silly, but if I ever come back someday I will probably skip it.  A third of the race takes place in the parking lot, and it's a lot of money ($50!) just to run through Epcot.

We got back to the hotel by 7:30am (Disney is a real slam, bam, thank you ma'am kind of place) and I showered and got ready for our next stop - Animal Kingdom!

Ronnie, Jaimee and I went to Animal Kingdom for most of the day while we waited for Jess to arrive.  I don't think a play-by-play is really necessary here so let me just spell it all out in pictures!

While we were at Animal Kingdom, Jess arrived, checked into the hotel, and went to the race expo.  We made a plan to meet up at Downtown Disney for dinner.  We didn't have any reservations, but it was still early enough that we could get a table at Portabello's.  I had linguine with little neck clams, which was pretty good, but the real hit was the appetizer: mozzarella rice balls.  If you're ever there, try them.  Still, the meal wasn't as good as Planet Hollywood!  We made our way back to the hotel and met back up with Scott and Tricia, where we marveled at the fact that earlier this same day we had run a 5K.  It was so long ago it seemed like yesterday!  Since Scott and Jaimee were running the half marathon the next day, it was an early night for all of us.

Next up - Saturday's half marathon spectating adventure!

Several of these pictures were taken by Scott.  Be sure to check out his blog too!

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