Last weekend was a busy one! Friday Brian and I loaded up the car and headed about an hour out for Fit Niche. I won a gift card, and we needed some safety gear for Ragnar Relay. We bought 2 butt lamps and owed $9 after the gift card.
Then we drove on past Disney to Fleet Feet Orlando. We had a $100 gift card, and enjoyed seeing their new, larger location. They were painting the track on the floor while we were there. We bought 2 headlamps and Brian got a pair of marked down Sauchony running shorts and we spent about $1.10.
From there we drove to Titusville to watch the FL Runners Cross Country Invitational. Our daughter could not run because of her injured ankle, but she was still there to support the team. We had rain here and there for a few minutes, which brought in tons of humidity. Ugh. I spent a lot of time handing out drink samples at the Drink Chia! booth – because I met them a couple weeks ago and it was more fun than being ignored by the teens at our school’s tent. (I know, I’m soooo old! Why would a teenager talk to me?)
Have you tried drinking chia yet? The biggest claims are that it hydrates, is full of omegas and antioxidants and helps with recovery naturally.
Our girls varsity took 2nd place! It was a nice end to a long day – and just the beginning of a fun night. From there we turned the minivan around and drove back to Disney. Brian and I had a room with friends at the All Star Movies resort. We showered the cross country away and had dinner at Downtown Disney. Bongos to be exact! The restaurant was packed with an hour wait for dinner, but we managed to find 4 chairs at the bar together and ate there. I started with tiny shrimp in yucca bowls and then split chicken and rice for dinner. We walked around and enjoyed the feel of a cold front moving in.
Saturday, we met some of our Digital Running team members. After communicating online for months it was nice to put faces with names. I was also able to hand out fun goodie bags with team shirts, Bondi Bands, Drink Chia, Bodyworks Bands, coupons, natural remedies and more. After breakfast, 3 of us headed over to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon Expo. The line for race packets and Tshirts wasn’t too bad, but the expo hall was quite packed.
I was wearing my Bondi Band that said “RUN” in fluorescent green, and told the ladies at the Bondi Band booth I probably could have sold 20 right off my head in the past few days. A woman stopped me out running, a car attendant stopped me at the FL Runners meet, etc… the headband not only works to keep sweat out of my eyes, it also attracts a bit of attention.
I also went to get my free sample of organic yogurt. I told the woman at the booth I’m allergic to cucumbers and asked if there could be any hiding in the “natural flavors”. She said, “No, this is organic.”
I reminded her that cucumbers often are too.
We met up with Heather at the Running Skirts booth. She had run the 5k that morning and was working a 12 hour shift, and then was running the HM that night!
Sandy bought herself The Stick, which she had been wanting for some time, and got a good deal on. There was a Champion sportswear booth with really good markdowns upon markdowns, and I scored a $10 sports bra for one of the girls. I also handed out info about building our team for Ragnar Relay Key West, which we just decided to do INSTEAD of the Disney Marathon in January 2012.
We had a quick lunch and headed back to the hotel room for a nap to prepare for the 10pm-3am race and post-race private party at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
Around 6:45pm, Joe and I drove our spouses to Epcot, where they caught the bus to the race start at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports. In the meantime I enjoyed showing someone around Epcot who had never been before! We started with some “donde esta Donald?” in Mexico, and then rode the troll ride in Norway. We nibbled a bit on the Food and Wine Festival offerings, but not too much because we wanted to enjoy that with our spouses after the race. We found the big screen that was supposed to broadcast the start of the race for us, but they did not have the feed working. We hung around the screen talking to other race spectators, but when someone tweeted that Corals A&B were gone and C was lining up, I told Joe we might as well ride some rides. Our spouses were in Coral A, so we missed seeing their start.
We rode Ellen’s Energy Adventure with a very drunk woman, and then hit Test Track with a 10 minute wait time! The bit of screen time with Ellen made Joe a bit queasy, so I decided Soarin’ was probably not the ride for him. We were going to check and see if Off Kilter was playing in Canada, but we decided we were probably 10 minutes from Brian’s finish and sat by the big screen instead. At this point it was working, but the feed switched between 2 points – a random curve in the road of the half marathon, and the relay team hand off point.
Our meeting point was the big fountain, so we headed over there to wait for sweaty loved ones. I had Brian’s chia drink and dry sneakers out and ready. The temp dropped a bit and the humidity cleared away, leaving us with gorgeous 70-something weather at 11:30pm. My phone got a text that Brian crossed the finish line. We waited, and waited. No Brian. We figured he must have been waiting at the finish line for Sandy since spectators weren’t allowed at the finish line – and she’d love having someone there to greet her at the finish. Finally Brian came walking up. I gave him a huge hug and noticed 2 things right away.
- He was barely tired
- Sandy was not with him
Turned out Brian was not waiting at the finish, but rather spent 20+ minutes in a medical tent icing his knee. Other than some knee soreness he felt great, and was already sipping a beer. He was ready to eat and drink around Epcot. But no Sandy. Our phones got texts that she had finished, but no Sandy.We did, however, see our Columnist Contest Winner Tracy and her husband – who completed the Relay. She was the 8+ miler, and finished on such a high! She was smiling and glowing and bouncing like Tigger!
When she finally did arrive, she looked like she had been crying. Poor Sandy was waiting for us sweaty and tired at a DIFFERENT FOUNTAIN! After about 10 minutes of feeling lonely and rejected, the half marathon exhaustion started to wane and she realized she had remembered seeing another fountain on the park map BEHIND the “big silver ball” (aka Spaceship Earth.) Sure enough, there we were waiting for her. She was very nauseous, and even though Brian suggested she try to eat or drink to replenish, she couldn’t keep anything down. We decided to stroll around Epcot – as suggested by Jeff Galloway – to keep their legs from cramping up.
We nibbled yummy tasters from different countries (including Black Pepper Shrimp with Sichuan Noodles in China AND Artisan Cheese Selections with Thomasville Tome Sweet Gras Dairy, Le Delice de Bourgogne Lincet and Chevre Affine Wyngaard Kaas), not knowing until we returned the next day that certain ingredients had run out and we were getting sorta-kinda what the booths were supposed to be offering. When we hit Morocco, I suggested hot tea to Sandy to help warm her and hydrate. She bought a hoodie to wear over her hoodie, and sat and sipped the hot, mint tea. Slowly she started to feel human again. She was pissed because her neck and back were sore, which is not typical for her, and because she ran a 2:16 and was hoping to break 2:15. I had some Biofreeze waiting for her neck, and her husband had some coconut water that she tried to sip on. Also in Morocco was Sarah! (@5littleindians) We knew it was her by the gorgeous Snow White tutu she had twitpic’d earlier that day.
The cooler weather certainly gave Brian what he wanted! He trained with Sandy at her pace for the race, but never really trained on his own. So, he wasn’t sure if he’d even run his own race that night. But with the cooler air and excitement of the crowd, he let the Disney Magic take over and ran a 1:36:44 – a pace of 7:23 min/mile! You can read his race report here. Sandy’s is here.
We got our money’s worth and stayed at the party until just before 3am. Then we got a good night’s sleep and met friends at EPCOT the next day to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival from 1pm-8pm.
***Warning, if you’re hungry you may want to stop reading now!***
We started with a viewing of Captain EO, which is the same as it was in 1988. Michael Jackson at his finest! Then we started at the World Showcase Lagoon and enjoyed the food and drinks. Over the next 7 hours I shared:
- Beef Empanadas from Argentina
- Seared Mahi Mahi with steamed Rice, Hearts of Palm, and Coconut-Lime Sauce AND to drink a delicious LeBlon Frozen Caipirinha in Brazil
- an unbelievable avocado margarita at the new-ish tequila bar in Mexico
- a bite of Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup and Canada’s Chicken Chipotle Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta – my favorite!
- Cheese Fondue that tasted like white wine
- Caramel-Ginger Ice Cream in China
- Frozen Red Stag Lemonade by Jim Beam
- a not so great Sparkling Pomegranate Kir in France, where all the women serving were gorgeous
- Nürnberger Sausage in a Pretzel Roll from Germany, which I wished was closer to the cheese soup
- Amazing Griddled Greek Cheese with Pistachios and Honey in Greece (the hit of the day!)
- Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Lotus Root Chip from Hawaii
- a sip of Brian’s Seven Tiki Mai Tai and a bite of his Shrimp Cake on a sugar cane skewer with Singapore Noodle Salad in Singapore
- Potato Pierogies with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream in Poland
- and for “dessert”, Brian waited in a long, talkative line for ME to get a Baked Cheese Ravioli with Creamy Beef Bolognese Sauce, Parmesan Cheese, Melted Mozzarella in Italy
I missed the Vegetable Curry served in a Bread Loaf in South Africa, the chocolate lava cake in Ireland and the pumpkin mousse. I guess that means I need to go back!
We also managed to catch an Off Kilter show in Canada, rode the troll in Norway, met the inventor of the Bracelet Buddy, and met Duffy the bear. At a few points we bumped into Samantha from the Digital Running Club with her family, too – but I think we forgot to take pictures.
On the way home Monday morning, Brian and I stopped at Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Yes, we were still physically capable of eating. I ordered the yogurt and fruit parfait, hold the muffin. Here’s what I really wanted:
with fresh caramel mousse topping! I dare you not to think about food now!!