the race after the detour after the race

After the non-stop race pace of the convention in Tampa Bay, I was fortunate enough to carve out TWO FULL DAYS by myself. I headed across the water to Safety Harbor and basically hunkered down with all my ideas, thoughts & inspirations and created a nice planning session for the business for 2008. The plan after that was to zip over to Orlando Airport to pick up my family, who were flying in for Steve’s conference at Disneyworld. (My husband’s publication is Endurance Magazine, part of a group of independent publishers who meet down in Disneyworld every year. Everything is fully paid for since the marathon is being covered by the media, including park passes, so a pretty cool deal). My parents flew in for the festivities this year, as well. Anyway, because of the unbelievable mass pileup on I-4, there were 14 miles of interstate completely shut down. The 1 hour and 20 minute drive became a 4+ hour detour by one-way rental car. [Sidenote: Enterprise really does pick you up. First timer.] It was actually a beautiful ride, though, I really enjoyed the drive. I forgot that you even could take a road trip without listening to the High School Musical soundtrack. When we all finally met up, hours after we were supposed to (their flight was delayed, too), you would’ve thought we hadn’t seen each other in years, not days. I swear the kids managed to grow since I’d left home. So….exhausted and exhilarated to be back together, we checked into the hotel and headed out for the evening.

Sophie was quite shy meeting Goofy, her favorite character; and Caleb was quite comfortable with Dido, his awesome grandfather.

The next morning, we promptly decided to run the Disney Half Marathon. Actually, Steve already knew he would, I was the one who said I would not. But c’est la vie. Training Schmaining. (*this is not the official tagline of Endurance Magazine, which always promotes responsible racing*) The bad news was that we had to wake up at 3am Fri nite/Sat morn after going to a party the night of/before. The good news is that media credentials get you a VIP bus that drops you off at the front of the race queue. Right in the front is super cool. There are tens of thousands of participants who line up in corrals hours in advance. I have been there/done that, so it’s awesome to just hang out on a heated bus until 15 minutes before the race starts and then walk past the Start line about 8 feet. This is what was in front of us… about 10 super elite athletes and the jumbotron.

And this is what was behind us, those thousands & thousands of runners.

Now of course I had the realization that starting in front meant that we would be passed A LOT throughout the race, especially in the beginning. I am no elite runner. Plus I wanted to stop here & there and take pretty pictures. This actually dovetailed nicely with my complex race strategy: Follow everyone until it was over and then go back to sleep.

They actually blow trumpets for you as you run through the castle.

All in all, a really fun event, followed by a hot tub and an honest-to-goodness nap. And it was nice to bring home two medals so there were no rivalries among the small ones…

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