Tag Archives: disney

Final Thoughts on 2017

Standard

To say that 2017 was a crazy year is an understatement.  I started the year off in Walt Disney World with my mom and best friend.  I was pregnant and participated in the Marathon Weekend events.  Then, shortly after coming home, I found out I miscarried.  An immense amount of anger took over me.  But things have a funny way of working out.  No less than 6 weeks after my D&C I discovered I was pregnant again.  We had many early ultrasounds and blood tests to confirm the pregnancy.  We went for the 1st trimester screening test and were able to see a clear image of our growing baby.  At 20 weeks we found out we were having a baby boy.

All during this time I continued to run, using it as a coping mechanism from when I first found out the bad news, and then as a stress reliever to help keep some normalcy in my life. How much did I run this year?  Not as many races as I had in years prior, but quite a few.  I did three 5km races, three 5km virtual races, one 6km, one 4 mile, one 8km, two 10kms, a half marathon relay, two half marathons and one full marathon.  I am most proud of the 10km I ran at 35 weeks pregnant, which I completed in 1:02.50!

It was shortly after that race that I found out I had pre-hypertension.  This was discovered at my 37 week appointment.  I was done with work immediately, and one week later I was induced and gave birth to our son, Andrew Allen Pottage.  Labour was the most pain I’ve ever been in.  It was worse than any race I ever competed in.  But making it to this finish line was oh so sweet.

I have now pretty much fully recovered from not only the pregnancy and delivery, but also from my surprise appendectomy that I had at the beginning of December.  Now that I am ready to take on 2018, I have some big plans.

I will be joining Runners Soul marathon club for my 6th season.  I will be training for the half marathon distance, where I’ll run the Red Deer Half over May Long weekend.  Before May Long, I will do Moonlight Run 10km, 10 mile road race and the Walt Disney World Star Wars Half Marathon weekend, with both the 10km and half marathon events.  That will be an exciting trip, as it will be our first time on an airplane with baby Andy!  I can’t wait to take him to Disney World, and even though he won’t remember a damn thing, the memories  and photos will be ones to cherish.

The biggest running news for 2018 is that my husband and I will be heading to Berlin, Germany, in September to run the Berlin Marathon!  The opportunity was presented to us through our local running store Runners Soul, and there is a group of us heading out there to run in this World Marathon Major event!  And did you notice I said “my husband and I”?  YES, Dan will be running a full marathon!  He actually will be doing the Red Deer Full Marathon in May as his first full, in order to figure things out and see how much pain he is in afterwards.  But this is going to be such a memorable race-cation for us!

I’ll still blog in the new year, though, it may not be as often as I used to.  With the baby and all, things are a little different.  I will always do my race recaps, but also hope to talk about how training postpartum is going.  I am sure there will be some frustration as I try to get back to where I was before baby, and I hope to share how it is all going.

2017 started off really sour.  But it ended oh so sweet.

Advertisements

August 2016—All in One Post!

Standard

So, I did around 3,500 miles this month!….

In my car.

I haven’t been active here lately, partly due to my roadtrip!  On July 31st, I packed up my trusty 2009 Pontiac Vibe and hit the road.  Along with the essential clothing, toiletries and podcasts to entertain, I also packed my 9 year old beagle, Snoopy.  Where were we heading?  We were going across the border south east to my hometown of Franklin, Wisconsin.  We had stopovers planned in Longville, Minnesota (my aunt and uncle live there).  Snoopy is an excellent travel companion; I honestly cannot say that enough.  He just curls up and sleeps the whole time, does not fuss, and is excited to arrive to any destination.  So I kept myself occupied by listening to a variety of podcasts and when I really started losing it I would talk to Snoopy.

IMG_2932

All packed and ready to hit the road!

 

We made it to my mom’s on August 4th, and we stayed until August 22nd.  During that time, I was able to see all of my family that lives in the area, attend a closing day of Badgerette Pom Pon camp (I worked for Badgerette for 5 summers), watch the State Distinguished Young Woman show with my friend Maureen (I won 2nd alternate back in it’s Junior Miss hey day), go to two travelling beer gardens, see a bunch of my friends back home, eat and drink my way through both Wisconsin State Fair & Zoo Ala Carte, go to my favourite Mexican restaurant 3 times, play in a bag toss tournament, and so much more.

IMG_3042

“Swimming” with Snoopy in Lake Wabedo in Northern Minnesota

IMG_3073

When you are in Longville, MN, you go to the Meat Raffle at the bar….and win!

 

The main reason I drove was so I would be able to bring back the remains of my childhood that was still housed at my moms.  It wasn’t that she was forcing me to take it, but I have been gone since 2008, so I figured it was time.  Yearbooks, photos, games, puzzles, Barbies, Littlest Pet Shop, etc, etc, etc….It is now all back in Alberta.  I also packed up some New Glarus Beer, a ton of Wisconsin cheese, 32 bottles of Sprecher soda, and who knows what else.  Snoopy and I arrived back in Lethbridge on August 24th.  Wow, it felt good to get back!  We both missed his daddy Dan and his brothers Woodstock and Faron.

IMG_3362

That’s for DAMN sure!

 

During that trip, I also started running.  I had done my first 5km run prior to the trip in a numbing time of 33:43.  I had walked and jogged a bunch during it.  That was on July 28th.  Remember, my foot surgery was on June 10th.  I had been given the clear I could start running after my 6 week post op on July 21st.  I did my first humid (SO HUMID AND HOT) Wisconsin run on August 7th.  It was a little 20 minute jaunt that average 9:40 per mile.  Oww.  On August 11th, I went out to try and beat my July 28th 5km time.  I did so handedly, running a 30:02!  So close to that sub 30!  I did a couple other 1-2 mile runs during my time in Wisconsin, but I wanted to try and get under 30 minutes.  On August 16th, I set out to do that.  I ran that 5km in 28:20!  These gains I have made in less than a month since coming back into running are huge.  I was going nuts not running for over 6 weeks, and taking this time to get my newly fixed foot used to running (and running properly) has been great.

IMG_3529

5km well under 30 minutes!

 

Since returning to Lethbridge, I am happy that the humidity is gone.  I have ran on August 25th, 26th and 27th, and the weather has been glorious.  The biggest highlight was yesterday, the 27th.  I went out to run a sole mile with the goal of getting between 8:00-8:15, a pace I was always easily able to obtain on my runs, and my sweet spot for my Boston qualifying pace.  I finished that mile in 8:14!  Guess what world…LAMMERS IS BACK!

And guess what today is?  Today marks the start of WEEK 1 of my GOOFY CHALLENGE training plan.  I have put together a very non-aggressive 19 week training plan with the goal of “comfortable completion” of the 2017 Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge, which is a half marathon on Saturday, January 7th followed by a full marathon on Sunday, January 8th.  The even more special thing about this race is that I will be running my 2nd WDW full marathon alongside my best friend Ali.  It will be her very first full marathon!  I will be there to support her through those dark moments (especially between miles 15-23!!!)  She has run half marathons before, and I have set her up with a training plan to coincides with her Spartan Race and Crossfit schedule.  It will be a weekend to remember!

 

pottagepose

The original “Pottage Pose” from the marathon portion of the 2014 Dopey Challenge in WDW

 

 

19 weeks is a LONG training plan.  When I ran the Vancouver Marathon in 2015 and Boston in 2016, I had an intense 16 week plan.  This plan does not include speedwork.  It just has two easy runs a week plus a long run on the Saturday.  Then, in late October, I add another mid distance run on Friday, which will help prepare me for the two day challenge that Goofy presents.  I am not going for any speed records at this race; I want to get my body back into running shape so I can begin to push myself again come the new year!

I have updated my 2016 race schedule, as I have a few local events in October and November.  I will be recapping those after they occur, and I will definitely be keeping you posted on how my Goofy training goes.  Until then, I need to get ready for my first day back at work tomorrow….Teachers start this week, with students coming in the day after Labour Day.  For teachers, this is our “New Year”.  Happy New Year to all the teachers, students and parents out there! 

Disneyland 10km Recap (Better late than never…)

Standard

I’m sitting in the basement at 8:30 pm aimlessly switching between HGTV and the Sunday Night Football game. This is a first since August. School has been so busy that I have fallen behind on my posts. I ran the Disneyland Half Marathon and 10km back over Labour Day weekend…yes, first week in September…and haven’t written the recap yet. Well, it won’t be as long and glamorous of a recap as usual, but I’m getting it done tonight!

image
I went out to California Labour Day weekend of 2015, much as I had the year prior. I was going to do the RunDisney DumboDouble Dare Challenge. My BFF lives in Redondo Beach, so accommodations are easy! I booked the direct flight from Calgary on Thursday evening of the weekend knowing I’d be back before work started again on Thursday….but, oops. Misread the school calendar. While I knew I’d be taking a day off of teaching on the Friday, I thought it was just a work day (year prior classes hadn’t started yet). But I would miss a teaching day. And I hate missing teaching days. Especially since we only would have had one regular class day before I bailed. But I had the days planned to use, so it was what it was, and I went on my way.

image
Now, as a RunDisney veteran (so to speak) I knew what to expect with this weekend. I knew the lay of the land. But this weekend was different as my goal was to place in my age group in the 10km, beat my personal best of 41:30 in the race, and help my BFF crush her half marathon personal best.

image
Summer training went alright…but I was burnt out. I spoke in previous posts that I was feeling the burn and needed to rest. But with this 10km goal I didn’t want to stop. 10km race day came and I was anxious. And warm. It was by no means hot in Anaheim this particular weekend but the air is just different than Alberta and I was feeling clammy. I also had just had a sub par performance at a local Lethbridge half the weekend prior, that while placing and winning prize money, I had felt like garbage with stomach issues. I was nervous this would happen again.

image
Racing Disney races with a goal time in mind is so different than just doing them for fun. If you do them for a goal with the first corral you are in the DARK the whole race. I mean, it starts at 5:30 AM after all. I began with a dead on split at mile one of 6:31. If I held this I could well beat my goal. But my legs were already feeling a bit woozy and my body warm, so as I entered California Adventure I slowed to a 6:48 for mile 2.

imageNow, note…I am writing this recap a month and a half after the fact. I cannot remember the details but I knew I was counting women in front of me from the very start and trying to peg if they were my 30-34 age group. I just wanted to be top 3 in that.  

Between mile 3 and 4 I was still trucking along but slowing. A lot. And I was getting frustrated. I had been at an extreme level for myself in April when I ran my 41:30 and felt like I should be able to match that here…low elevation, happiest place on earth….but as I ran down Main Street, through Tomorrowland, around Small World and through the back stage, I slowed to a 6:51 and 7:00. Damnit. What is going on? I had had mile repeat workouts at 6 am this summer that were fastest than this. I was running at “my happy place” but not happy.


I knew I was still in an OK position to hopefully place in my age group. I pushed on what I could for the last two miles. I got really scared as one woman passed me with about 800 left because she looked my age and I wasn’t sure how that would make the results look. Miles 5 and 6 were 7:23 and 7:18. I finished with an official time of 43:28. I was mad. Frustrated. I felt like I was better than this.  

image image imageIn the end, this was good enough for 3rd out of 1046 in my age group. Yeah, I realize how that sounds, and now it looks like I’m looking for a pity party….but while I reached my goal of placing in a RunDisney event, I didn’t do it to the caliber I know I am capable of. Maybe I have now set myself into a bad spot, as I spent the first six months of 2015 breaking my own personal bests and thus, maybe I think I can keep up with that?

image
Second week of October I received the email from RunDisney verifying my address and where to send my age group award. And this weekend I just finished coaching five amazing grade 12 runners at Alberta Cross Country Provincials. These things put it in perspective. 1.) I did reach a goal. I set a goal to place in my age group at a RunDisney event. And I did. 2.) All weekend I told my girls to go out and run the best race they could. That every day is different. That every course is different. And that just because they ran a certain time on a 4km course in Medicine Hat, Alberta, didn’t mean they could get that or beat that, or beat the same girls for that matter, while running on a new course in Grand Prairie, Alberta.

image
Every race is different. Some don’t turn out exactly how you hope, but that’s why I just keep running. After being around all these amazing young athletes this weekend, I realize how stupid I was to get mad that I didn’t get my time goal. Getting a personal best isn’t going to happen every race you run; I realize that. But I had a convoluted idea in my mind that while in Disneyland, anything can happen. I’ll just have to set that time goal off to the side burner for now, with the heat on simmer, and I’ll stir it occasionally until it’s time to taste it.  

image

Dopey Challenge-3 in & 1 to go….!

Standard

Hi guys!

A short update on how things are going so far down in Disney! (If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook this isn’t new news…but thought if do this anyway!)

The travel down here was almost a disaster due to the weather issues out east and the extreme cold in Toronto. After a last minute expensive flight change, we got to Disney in the same day as originally planned. We may honestly still be in Calgary if we hadn’t done this!

5 km was Thursday and we “ran” with my mom. That was just fine! She finished somewhere in the 50s, but hubby and her told me to go ahead at mile 2. I did a slow and easy 44 minutes.

20140111-201301.jpg

On Friday, I did the 10km with Dan at a slow jog and finished at about 1 hour 9 minutes. Stopped at a few character stops, and it was great! Humidity was rough though!

20140111-201524.jpg

20140111-201415.jpg

Today the humidity was even higher! I had planned on doing a slow half marathon at about a 10 minute mile pace and stop at every character stop. I did not want to get wrapped up in the excitement and run to fast I ran with a fellow Dopey Challenge member (and Wisconsinite!) and we kept eachother in line and did just that! I was a bucket of sweat by mile 2 but we had a blast taking photos! Did a 2 hour and 32 minute half, with about 10 photo stops plus stopping to say hi to my husband and mom in Magic Kingdom and his wife near the Polynesian.

20140111-201608.jpg

Tomorrow is the big show 26.2 miles to go. I am feeling really good actually and pretty pumped and ready to go. Humidity is suppose to break and should be cool at start. I am planning on racing this tomorrow and using all my resources left.

No matter how it goes tomorrow, I am already incredibly happy with the results. This has been an amazing journey this year and I have learned so much about myself as I have trained and competed in all my races. I know my dad is extremely proud of how I have done too. The race tomorrow is for him, as I will be Buzz Lightyear….it will help me soar!

if you are still interested in donating to either of my charities (American Heart Association or Heart & Stroke Foundation) please follow the link above to the CHARITIES page! Thanks so much–anything is appreciated.

20140111-201725.jpg

Throwback Thursday….Disney Style

Standard

In anticipation for my RunDisney experience of my life, the Dopey Challenge, I decided to ask my mom to dig through the old albums and find a handful of “ugly” Disney photos from my trips back In the day. Now, her response immediately was “I don’t want to do this tonight….” Followed by “You weren’t ugly!” Then I restated it as “awkward” and she decided to do the searching.

She sent me 7 photos, in no particular order. However, I will sort them by years in order for your viewing enjoyment. The first photo is from my first Disney trip in October 1991. I was 7.

20140102-192519.jpg

This is fun and funny because 1.) I have a coordinating lavender and white tank with corduroy shorts. 2.). I have on a giant fanny pack with I am sure just a mini pack of Kleenex and room for my autograph book. 3.). My Mickey Ears don’t fit over my Afro. But I still love the cuteness and innocence of it all

Next up is also from October 1991. Enjoy me posing like a loser on the bridge in the Japan Pavillion at EPCOT:

20140102-192758.jpg

After 1991, we went again in 1993. That trip provided these gems:

20140102-192928.jpg

20140102-192943.jpg

From what I can gather by looking at these two photos….I enjoyed wearing MC Hammer Pants, windbreaker, hats that fit over my Afro, fanny packs were still cool, and I still enjoyed coordinating colors and plaid shorts. :::sigh::::

1995. Family trip #3. Short “Jerome” haircut that fits nicely under a hat, big bad glasses, and a cheesy grin. I think the Evil Queen says it all:

20140102-193233.jpg

1997 brought the times of shortalls and plaid tank tops. Did I think I was country? Or southern? Or cool? Sweet big pewter LOVE earrings too. This photo makes me smile, though, as it catches my dad and I sitting on the now defunk Mike Fink Keelboats. My Afro is grown out and I’m sporting a middle part. And dad is sporting an embroidered Disney Muscle shirt like it’s his job!

20140102-193503.jpg

After 1997, my looks and attire got less awkward. Who knows…probably in 5 years I’ll be laughing at crap I wore this year. But at least I grew out of my short Afro hairdo and bad glasses and fanny pack stage. Please note….my mom DID NOT send any photos including shots of her back in the day with us. I think I got my fanny pack skills from her 🙂

In closing…2000. Now in high school and too cool for posing for photos, so instead I’ll sink into the tube at Stormalong Bay at Yacht & Beach Club!

20140102-193747.jpg

I Had Good Intentions When I Signed Up For This–A Guest Post by Mom

Standard

While Andrea is diligently training for her Dopey Challenge, I wish I could say the same was true for my first experience with a 5k. I had every intention of really working on a true 5k training program, but my orthopedic doctor put an end to that. Changed my approach to training at my health club with a walk 3 laps, run 1 lap plan. Twelve laps equal a mile. Tried that a few times, but my knee just wasn’t cooperating. Since I probably can walk faster than my slow jog was, I am now walking as many laps as I can in 45 minutes. My goal is do the 5k in 45 minutes or at least less than an hour. I’m going to try to do some “running” during the race, most likely at the start and again at the end. Since this is not only going to be my first 5k but also my last, I want to look good coming across the finish line!

You may wonder why I even decided to sign up for this 5k given my knee problems. The answer is simple. I’m doing it to support Andrea in her fund-raising efforts in memory of her dad. I’ve made yearly donations to the American Heart Association each year since Andy’s death, but what she’s doing goes much deeper. I am so proud of her efforts, both with her running and fund-raising thus far. Since she asked me to do another post, I’m also going to ask those of your who haven’t donated yet to do so. It doesn’t matter the amount. Even though she has surpassed the goals she set for both United States and Canadian donations, I know those amounts can get even higher with additional support from the followers of her blog. Not only will additional support help Andrea’s cause, it will give me the extra support I need. I’m freaking out about this little 5k! I am not nor have I ever been a runner. Andrea will attest to this!

20131203-144315.jpg

All I wanted to do was put on sweatpants…..

Standard

….but I had to go run 7 miles.

Now, yes….I know….I don’t HAVE TO go run 7 miles. It’s my choice in matter because of my training. But today I had 7 scheduled, with 5 tomorrow, and then nothing for Thursday and Friday leading into my race Saturday evening in Walt Disney World. The Wine & Dine Half Marathon is this weekend….and I couldn’t be more pumped for my first ever RunDisney …. But I am in a weird flux of tiredness from work and being gone multiple weekends for other races, where all I want to do after a day at work is hole up on the couch.

20131105-213444.jpg

Example A.…today, I left school at 4:45. Went and got a Skinny Peppermint mocha from Starbucks, got home, and proceeded to eat black bean salsa dip I had made this weekend. The prospect of me getting out on my run by 5:30 was dwindling. Then, I put on my running tights and plopped on the couch. Not good. Then, I whined to my husband that I didn’t want to run. But I somehow mustered up the energy to get my ass out the door.

I had my headlamp on, as it was already dark at 5:45 pm. Daylight Savings Time really does suck! I made my loop on all sidewalks….out of our neighborhood and headed down to Sunridge. It was once I got onto University and nearing Riverstone that I started hearing this devil voice saying to me “you are tired….turn left now and go home. You don’t need to do all 7!” Cut it short ! See….like I have said before, I don’t run with music….so these voices kept taunting me. I had to ignore them.

The farther I kept looping out away from home, the more likely I was to actually do my whole 7 miles. I hit the point of wanting to run straight home after passing the university stadium. I wanted to turn left! But I forced myself forward, swearing in my mind. Who knows….I probably dropped an f-bomb out loud in the dark. Whatever.

Funny thing is that as I head down the far end of Columbia, with a little under 3 miles to go….I hit my happy place. I started thinking about my weekend in Disney I have ahead….I started strategizing how doing a 10pm night race in Eastern Time Zone is going to be just fine for me in Mountain….at this point in my run it was nearing 6:30 pm….that means last week it was 7:30 (and my body still thinks this!) and in Orlando right then it was 8:30! This night race with no elevation would be great! (As long as he humidity breaks!)

I got home with all 7 miles completed. And I was happy. Sure, I had a million things to mark at home (ok, more like three different class sets of assignments, but you get it) but for my own sanity, I needed this run. Even though I didn’t want it to start, I knew I needed it. I now have showered, cleaned, marked one class set of worksheets…..and am in my sweats. With a glass of red wine. And in 48 hours I’ll be waiting at the Calgary airport for my red eye flight to Disney.

…Life is good….

Thoughts So Far….

Standard

Yes, I am still in Walt Disney World. Today was day 10 of our 16 day extravaganza. We are now turning the corner on the weekend and heading into the home stretch! So far, Maureen and I haven’t wanted to kill the other person yet. And that is step one. We keep joking it is like we are back living in a college dorm, and that joke is even more of a real fact right now because as I type this, Maureen is out of the room roaming the balconies of Pop Century talking on her phone and looking for cell phone service. Oh man.

So many of you who read this are my friends and family, so you probably have seen a lot of my updates on Facebook or Twitter. So instead of posting a ton of photos and rehashing a bunch of stuff you may have already noticed along the way during my travels, I am going to touch on a few key Best & Worst Moments of this visit so far. Bear with me here—-I am working on adrenaline, magic and wine.

Worst Ride in Walt Disney World
Holy shit. I read all the blogs about it, but didn’t believe it could truly be that bad. If you have someone in your group that suggests trying this ride, shut them down, or please skip it yourself. Stitches Great Escape is so horrendous, I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. Maureen did determine the small target audience is ages 4-6, because at that age you have some understanding of simple jokes and are amused by pointless humor and bad effects. Never again!

Best Ride Refurbishment
Test Track. While the ride system is the same as the original, the theming was redone by the new sponsors, Chevrolet. We were both hesitant, but were pleasantly surprised with the main feature of the ride—designing your own vehicle to “test” on the SimTrack. It is fun designing your vehicle in the reshot and we have a good time seeing how it performs on the course. Also, the post show area has lots to do.

Best Ride Surprise
Enchanted Tales with Belle! We did this on our first rope drop morning, as we had heard the lines really get long later in the day. While we don’t have kids, we do have an appreciation for the cuteness factor…and this show has it. It’s an interesting mix of live entertainment, meet and greet, and walk-through experience. Every time will be different, as audience members participate. Highly recommend it, especially if you have small children.

Best Crockpot of Butter
No contest—this category was designed for the French Onion Soup at Les Chefs de France that Maureen had for lunch today. Now, we are not making fun of or complaining about the amount of butter we saw used within the soup….it was delicious. But Maureen knew upon seeing it arrive in front of her it was going to be a rough go.

Best Castmember
Oh, and our server at Les Chefs de France was awesome—his name was Mehdi. He was adorable. Had only been in Florida since August 1st. Told us in advance he is still learning his English, and it was his first day on his own at the restaurant. So maybe we had a soft spot for him right away, but he did a very good job, was super sweet and even asked us questions about where we were from and wanted to know where it was located. We could tell he had been a server before because he knew how to carry out lots of plates with ease. Mehdi—your boyish charm will win your tables over.

Worst Counter-Service Meal
The “butter chicken” I had at Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavours. I have eaten butter chicken before from Indian restaurants back home, and other Indian foods also, and this was disgusting, it was almost laughable. Ew.

Best Child Meltdown
Actually haven’t seen a blown out chld meltdown yet. Those are saved for the adults this trip. But we have heard many kids saying some random-ass things. And one of the best was when it was 1 pm at EPCOT, pure sun, no clouds, 95 degree heat…and a set of parents were casually looking at the Yorkshire Fish Shoppe counter service menu, but they walked away. Their son, about 8 or 9, naturally exclaimed “Just pick one restaurant and stick with it, COME ON!” He had to be hungry.

Best Adult Meltdown
Hands down had to be while at Cinderella’s Royal Table for dinner. And this isn’t one adult, but a whole family that wins the award. Family came in for dinner and immediately started arguing—between the one teenaged daughter and the dad. Mom tried to calm it down telling them to just drop it, and to get over it (must have been from an existing argument earlier). Long story short, dad dramatically left (he was in a wheelchair so it was dramatic as he had to leave but then wait for the elevator), then the problem daughter started crying, mom started getting pissed, second daughter started standing up for her sister, and then mom told them to just wrap up the food and she left. And to top it off, the two daughters were on our bus ride back to the hotel later that night. Nicely done family. Way to waste approximately $250 on a dining experience.

Best Feature of Pop Century Resort
The white blanket on the bed. Wrote a note to the housekeeper to keep using the soft white blankets instead of the nasty pink ones (didn’t write nasty) . They are luxurious. And appreciated in this value resort dorm room.

Worst Feature of Pop Century
The cockroach Maureen found in the bathtub that I had to try to get out, but then disappeared down the drain. And currently, the alarm going off in a nearby room which is obviously unoccupied at the moment. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

Best Character Photo
Our Toy Story friends meet up, where I got to recreate my dad’s photo from April 2003. The picture says it all.

20130810-223615.jpg

Only five more full days in the park to go! So many more things to occur…..what will happen next?

16 Days of Disney Shenanigans are About to Occur…

Standard

20130727-183540.jpg
I have visited the Walt Disney Resort on 14 vacations – 6 of these vacations have been with my parents, 3 of them were with my high school dance team, 3 of them were just my mom and I together, and 2 of them have been with one of my best friends, Maureen. On August 1st, her and I will be heading on our third trip to WDW, but this time we aren’t messing around—we are going for 16 days!
20130727-183452.jpg
We knew about a year and a half ago we were going to be heading on a WDW trip together in August 2013, and originally we thought maybe a week. We are great travel partners and most importantly, the way we both want to tour the ‘world’ is the same—–early morning alarms, be first at every gate to enjoy a rope drop, cry tears of happiness at every possible moment, eat tons of food, and overall do every possible thing we can.
20130727-183338.jpg
So why are we going for 16 days? Simple answer—because we can. But, it really isn’t all that simple. Maureen and I are both teachers, her back in Wisconsin and myself up in Alberta. Summer trips work best for both of us. And historically, the WDW Resort has value rate pricing in mid August, so it makes hotels more affordable. The last two trips together, we stayed at Pop Century—we like to refer to it as Pop Century Resort & Spa…..but it’s anything but. I’m not going to knock it—it serves its purpose. It’s a Disney value resort on property, with a solid location and good bus service. You can get pretty low rates during value season, and if you get a AAA rate like we did the last two times, it makes it even better. Add on to it that we split the room cost and it makes it really affordable. We swore the last trip, though, we were staying moderate the next time. Maybe even a non-monorail deluxe resort! We just couldn’t handle the craziness of this resort again….
20130727-183614.jpg
…flash forward to our planning for this trip. Maureen has a friend who works part time at WDW and he offered to use one of his family and friend rates for us for our stay. Well, lets just say the discount is ridiculous. So, it was either we stay at a moderate for 7 days OR we go back to the Pop Century Resort & Spa for 16 days for basically the same price….

We chose to go back to the “spa.”
20130727-183848.jpg
So from August 1-16th, Maureen & I are moving in to Pop. We joke we need to do a change of address with the post office….we are going to be gone for a about 1/24 of a year….but this is a time in our life where we both still don’t have kids, so we can manage and afford to go away for this long. And since we are both Disney fanatics, there is no discussion ever of going anywhere else together.
20130727-183304.jpg
Expect random updates and entries the next few weeks, but they will probably all be Disney related. So if you read this just for running, you will have to wait until my Spartan Race 5km on August 18th in Calgary. Actually, there may be running segments in my posts, as I run after getting a fast pass after rope drop to meet Maureen across the park at a different ride! This trip is the first step to my RunDisney experiences, however. I have been so pumped for this trip, and then it gets me equally excited for my trip in November for Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon and my January trip-of-a-lifetime when I compete in the Dopey Challenge during Disney Marathon Weekend.
20130727-183246.jpg

Mom, Can You Do Me A Favor?

Standard

I have indirectly noted in my past few posts that my mom is here in town for the month. She got in on June 29th and is visiting basically all July. We are heading for a mini getaway to gorgeous Banff, Alberta, where tears may shed as we see Lake Louise! It’s been a great visit so far—lots of Disney talk and lots of talk about my Disney marathon weekend.

I asked my mom on Wednesday if she would be so inclined to write a blog entry for me this week. She could choose the topic. So, here is her contribution to the page! Enjoy!

Mom, can you do me a favor? When that comes from my daughter Andrea, I’m never too sure what to expect. In this case, she asked me to do a guest post for her blog this week. She said I could cover any or all of her topics–running, Disney World and her Dad. Except for the fact that I will be doing the 5K with Andrea and her husband Dan this January as part of the WDW Marathon, I have no input on running. Therefore, I will touch on Disney World and her Dad–my late husband Andy.

Andy passed away about one month before our 23rd wedding anniversary. Even though it was more than two years’ away, I had been thinking about how I wanted to celebrate our 25th. A lot of couples go to tropical islands, renew their wedding vows, or have a party. I knew I wanted none of those. So when Andy asked what I thought I’d like to do, I was ready with my answer. I wanted to go to Walt Disney World and stay at the Grand Floridian. It had been a dream of mine to stay in that gorgeous resort, and I figured 25 years of marriage would offer the perfect reason to fulfill that dream. That dream, along with countless others, was shattered when he passed away. For a time I thought I still wanted to stay there on one of my visits, but I realized I just couldn’t do it–at least not yet. I’ve eaten at two of their fine restaurants–Narcoossee’s with my dear friend Denise and Victoria & Albert’s with Andrea. Walking into the elegant lobby and exploring the grounds, along with dining at those restaurants, is enough for me now.

20130714-075534.jpg
Many new memories have been added with my four visits since 2004, but the memories of visits with Andy are still the most special. I’m not ready to add a very, very special one that was supposed to include him as of yet. Who knows, maybe I’ll change my mind one day. Otherwise I’ll just take my dream “to infinity and beyond!”