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Old 10-02-2012, 01:00 PM   #1
DisneyBelle27
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Smile She's Going Solo! ToT 10 Miler, MNSSHP, & F&W! (W/PICS) *UPDATED (finally) ON 1/20!*

Day 1: In which our intrepid explorer gets very little sleep, embarks on a journey on an aeroplane, gets soaking wet, and experiences her 1st ever MNSSHP (all w/out passing out from exhaustion!)

Friday, 9/28/12-Monday, 10/1/12

My first ever solo trip began eeaaarrrlllyyy Friday morning, when my alarm went off at 3:30am. Only for Disney would I ever happily get up at 3:30am, especially after going to bed at 12:30am and probably getting a grand total of 2 hours of sleep! My wonderful boyfriend drove me to Newark Airport and, miracle of miracles, my flight went off without a hitch. Finally, after my plane ride, I got to board this:



And then finally, I was home!



My trip was for 4 days and 3 nights. I had a 6:15am flight out of Newark, NJ Friday, and a 7:59pm flight home on Monday. I had planned the trip around running my first EVER Disney race, the ToT 10 Miler, it was my first WDW solo trip, and I was aiming to squeeze as much awesomeness as possible into my limited time!!

I arrived to ASSp around 9:30am, checked in, but of course my room wasn't ready yet, so I headed right out to MK! This was my 1st time being in the World at this time of year. The fall decorations were awesome!



















Some Halloween merch:


Gotta love the crane. VACATION RUINED. WHERE'S MY GF UPGRADE?!?!


Boy was it hot and humid! At this point I was getting a little stressed about just how hot it would be for my night race the next night. There were a decent number of people in MK but it didn't feel overwhelmingly crowded, except, of course, for the walkway through Fantasy Land in front of Peter Pan's Flight. There could be 2 people in the whole park and it would still feel crowded there! Lol. Overall, for this entire day (including when I return to the park later for MNSSHP), through a little strategic planning and efficient use of the FP system, I don't think I waited more than around 10 minutes for ANY ride! And being solo was awesome, I could do whatever I wanted, without having to worry about anyone else!

So, let's see what I accomplished:

Rides/Attractions:
Swiss Family Tree House, Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan's Flight, Winnie the Pooh, Haunted Mansion, It's a Small World

Foods:
fried shrimp basket at Columbia Harbor House, pineapple Dole Whip float (sooo perfect for such a hot day!)

Dole Whip float:


Swiss Family Treehouse:


It's a Small World:


Jungle Cruise:



The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (my 1st time!)


Haunted Mansion:




At this point I needed to leave, so I could take a bus back to my hotel in order to take a bus to the ESPN WWoS Complex for packet pickup for my race. Oh yeah, and then actually see the inside of my room for a couple minutes!

But fear not, my dear readers, this was only MK part 1 for this day, I will return later in the evening for MNSSHP & get all those great headliners in!

Coming up in my next post: the rest of Day 1
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My awesomely awesome first ever solo trip to the World trip report! http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post46328869

Past WDW trips:'86 off-prop., '89 CBR, '94 CBR, '99 off-prop., '01 ASMusic, '01 CBR, '07 ASMusic, '08 PC, '09 3 nights POFQ, 4 nights Wonder, '10 6 nights AKL, '12 AS Sports w/ToT 10 Miler
Previous cruises: RCCL Enchantment of the Seas w/Metro Dance 11/08 (maybe you saw us perform in the theater!)

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Old 10-02-2012, 01:31 PM   #2
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Yeah ! A solo trip report and a runDisney race ! I want to hear all about your trip !
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:39 PM   #3
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Day 1 continued...

So it was time to head over to ESPN WWoS, my first ever time there (if you haven't noticed, this trip is filled with "firsts" for me: solo trip, ESPN WWoS, Disney race, MNSSHP, and F&W Festival!), to pick up my race packet. Here's what the Health and Fitness Expo looked like:



Checking in and bib pickup was all the way at the very back wall, Runner Relations was in the back right, where I submitted my proof of time to get out of Corral D and into Corral A, and along the right wall was where you picked up the included t-shirt and bag-check bag. I had also preordered the limited edition Inaugural Tower of Terror 10 Miler race pin. Here's my loot! Oh, and the tshirt glows in the dark! Woot!



Really not sure what the ToT has to do with Stitch, but Disney seems to like to throw him around indiscriminately. Oh well.


For anyone interested, the bag they provide for bag check is a large, sturdy, clear plastic, drawstring bag. It's HUGE!!

So, I tried to head out back to my hotel and in typical Florida fashion it started to POUR the minute I stepped outside, so I hung out under the entrance awning and chatted with a fellow solo runner who was also hanging out there. The rain let up (or so I thought) so I made a beeline for the bus, when, of course, it started pouring again. This is where the "get soaking wet" part comes in, .

Ah, good ol' subtropical weather (this is a view from the ASSp food court, where I warmed up w/a hot cup of what Disney likes to call coffee):



Anywho, the rain finally stopped, and I made my way over to my room where, thanks to Magical Express, my bag was waiting for me.

Sorry, I forgot to take a pic before I made a mess :



As you can see, it's typical Disney (lack of) quality room lighting!



Well, I took a brief nap (remember, I'm running on about 2 hours of sleep at this point!), and then got ready for my first MNSSHP!!

My "costume":



I know, I know, it's not much! I just loved those ears though, the look of them and the little hat on top made me think steampunk, lol. But wait til you see my costume for the race!!

And off to the party we go!







MNSSHP was awesome!! I didn't do any of the trick or treating or character meets, because I wanted to focus on seeing the parade, the fireworks, and hitting the headliner rides that I'd missed earlier in the day.

The parade was FABULOUS, probably one of the best Disney parades I've seen! I really loved the Haunted Mansion/gravediggers section!

Sadly, I do not have a fancy schmancy camera (anyone feel like buying me a present? Lol), so you'll have to bear with my night time pics, I did the best I could!



Time for the Boo to You parade!







The fireworks were fun too, with some fun music, but at least to me, nothing amazingly out of the ordinary for Disney.

In terms of rides I basically walked onto:

Astro Orbiter, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Haunted Mansion (again). It was great!

Buzz Lightyear:


Big Thunder Mountain:


Food-wise, I had chicken nuggets and fries from Cosmic Ray's, and funnel cake from Sleepy Hollow. Mmmmmmm....funnel cake.....now I want some more!!

Oh, and I got this totally awesome ornament earlier in the day at the Christmas shop in Liberty Square!! I ended up finding Sally and the mayor the next day at HS, in the Villains in Vogue shop.


Coming Soon!! Day 2: Hollywood Studios and the ToT 10 Miler! Stay tuned folks!!
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My awesomely awesome first ever solo trip to the World trip report! http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post46328869

Past WDW trips:'86 off-prop., '89 CBR, '94 CBR, '99 off-prop., '01 ASMusic, '01 CBR, '07 ASMusic, '08 PC, '09 3 nights POFQ, 4 nights Wonder, '10 6 nights AKL, '12 AS Sports w/ToT 10 Miler
Previous cruises: RCCL Enchantment of the Seas w/Metro Dance 11/08 (maybe you saw us perform in the theater!)

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Old 10-02-2012, 01:59 PM   #4
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Awesome! My friends were caught in that downpour at AK that day, yikes! You sure accomplished a lot on your first day.
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:39 PM   #5
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Can't wait to read more and of course see the picture's. I will be going on my 3rd Solo trip next year...I just love going all by myself. No one to answer to
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:52 PM   #6
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Joining! I can't wait to hear about your first Disney run.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:01 PM   #7
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Day 2 In which our intrepid explorer heads to the bright lights of Hollywood, takes a too-short nap, makes an ill-fated trip to DTD, and perspires like never before in her first Disney race.

So, day 2 begins, and I drag myself out of bed after yesterday's marathon length. But hey, I'm in Walt Disney World, who the heck needs sleep?!

I get ready, nosh on one of my money-saving Nature Valley granola bars packed in my luggage, fill up my refillable mug with a cup of "coffee" in the food court, and hop a bus to Hollywood Studios!

Gotta love the streetmosphere!


HS is not my favorite of the Disney parks, I think it could do with some expansions, but I still love it! One awesome exhibit that I think a lot of people overlook is Walt Disney: One Man's Dream.



Some of the highlights:

Walt's 2nd grade desk


model for Main Street, U.S.A.


Walt's office


model for Adventureland


New Fantasyland expansion


model for the Tree of Life


Ok, sorry, I'll stop with the museum stuff now!

The park was not overly crowded, because it was closing super early because of the race. I still didn't make it onto Toy Story Mania though, since the wait got up to over an hour, and fp's out past 4, which was after I wanted to leave the park. Le sigh. Such is life.

I did get on The Great Movie Ride, Star Tours (my 1st time on the new, revamped version, very cool!), Tower of Terror, and Rock n' Roller Coaster.

For lunch I had the chicken bleu sandwich at the ABC Commissary. It's a grilled chicken breast on a bun, with lettuce, tomato, cheese, and bleu cheese dressing. It was pretty good, although the dressing wasn't as bleu cheese-tasting as I like.

Not long before I left, I enjoyed one of these:


It was excellent! Fresh, warm, and not at all dry. Yum!

Now, I ended up leaving at this point, and went on to make my one real tactical error of my trip. I knew that it was Frankenweenie Weekend at DTD, and that Jack Skellington and Sally were appearing as characters for the first time ever. So I left the park early, took a 1/2 hour nap in my room, and headed over to DTD. I arrived around 5:20, and the 2 characters were supposed to start appearing at 6pm. I must have been having a brain dead moment, thinking I'd have time to see them. I arrived, took one look at this line,



turned around, and headed back to the hotel. I did at least snap a few pics of some Lego sculptures I hadn't seen before:





And a little bit of fall decor


Coming up next, the ToT 10 Miler, Villains Hollywood Bash, and sheer exhaustion!!!

Stay tuned for part 2 of Day 2
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My awesomely awesome first ever solo trip to the World trip report! http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post46328869

Past WDW trips:'86 off-prop., '89 CBR, '94 CBR, '99 off-prop., '01 ASMusic, '01 CBR, '07 ASMusic, '08 PC, '09 3 nights POFQ, 4 nights Wonder, '10 6 nights AKL, '12 AS Sports w/ToT 10 Miler
Previous cruises: RCCL Enchantment of the Seas w/Metro Dance 11/08 (maybe you saw us perform in the theater!)
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aulika View Post
Yeah ! A solo trip report and a runDisney race ! I want to hear all about your trip !
Quote:
Originally Posted by disney_runner View Post
Awesome! My friends were caught in that downpour at AK that day, yikes! You sure accomplished a lot on your first day.
Oh man was that some crazy rain!

Quote:
Originally Posted by penni520 View Post
Can't wait to read more and of course see the picture's. I will be going on my 3rd Solo trip next year...I just love going all by myself. No one to answer to
Quote:
Originally Posted by IheartDDuck View Post
Joining! I can't wait to hear about your first Disney run.
everyone to my TR! So excited to see you here. Can't wait to get more of my trip posted, I should have at least the rest of day 2 up sometime today!
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PM me if u want me to send you a great countdown chain I made!

Dreaming of my next countdown ticker

My awesomely awesome first ever solo trip to the World trip report! http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post46328869

Past WDW trips:'86 off-prop., '89 CBR, '94 CBR, '99 off-prop., '01 ASMusic, '01 CBR, '07 ASMusic, '08 PC, '09 3 nights POFQ, 4 nights Wonder, '10 6 nights AKL, '12 AS Sports w/ToT 10 Miler
Previous cruises: RCCL Enchantment of the Seas w/Metro Dance 11/08 (maybe you saw us perform in the theater!)
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:12 PM   #9
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Day 2 Continued...

So, before my tactical DTD error I had already put on my running capris, sports bra, tank top, and LOTS of glitter. It made for some interesting bus ride conversations!

When I got back to ASSp I realized I should probably grab some dinner, since the race wouldn't start until 10pm and I needed some sustenance to make it 10 miles! So I had a beef and bleu sandwich on foccacia (that might not be spelled right, lol), some coffee (to help me stay up late!) and more water. All day I'd been hydrating because I was afraid of showing up to the race dehydrated .

After my early dinner I headed back to my room to finish up my costume. It kind of came together in pieces, with no real solid concept, but I ended up deciding I was a night fairy, since it was a night race! I had black wings, a black tutu that lights up (sadly, you can't see the lights in the pic), and a small mask that, while running, I ended up wearing on my forehead like a tiara so it wouldn't drive me nuts!

my race costume!


I had also done a lot of pre-planning when it came to my bag check bag. I had extra plastic shopping bags for wet clothes and sneakers, clean tank top, shorts, underwear, and flip flops, freshening wipes to take a "sponge bath" with after the race, face wipes, deodorant, and advil. All of these things would become life savers, as you'll see!

Buses to the meeting point for the race started running at 7, and since I didn't want to feel rushed or stressed I hopped onto a bus around 7:15ish. Mistake! Lol. I didn't really think about just how early I'd be, and traveling solo too! I spent a lot of time wandering around the massive parking lot we were set up in, looking at costumes and people-watching. They had some food kiosks, a ToT bellhop dj, a bunch of photo ops with various backdrops and crazy long lines, and a million porta potties.

At this point, dear readers, I'd like to share a little lesson in the importance of not being a sheep. There were a whole bunch of porta potties out in the open area, and a fairly large row of them in each of the gated-off corrals. The ones out in the open area had a bunch of lines about 15 people deep. I looked at them and shook my head. I walked over to my corral, A, showed my bib to the person manning the entrance, strolled down to a porta potty on the end of the row, and ended up having to take the wrapper off the tp! Let me tell you, there is no better porta potty than a pristine, unused one!!!

I can't stress this tip enough, and it applies to a lot of things in the park. Bag check lines, park entrance lines at the turnstiles, food kiosks with multiple lines. People are natural followers, and if you take a minute to look around you can almost always significantly decrease your wait time!!

Fortunately, after a while I ran into the guy who I'd met while waiting out the torrential downpour the day before at packet pickup, so for the remainder of the time, right up til the start of the race (since he was in my corral) I had someone to pass the time with! He was running in a kilt with his family's tartan, which I thought was pretty cool!

Finally, a little after 9:15pm, Corral A was walked to the starting line, followed by the other corrals, in order. Here's what it looked like, this is just my corral! The silly thing was, we all had to squeeze through that narrow opening in the gates there, so the start of the race was a little anticlimactic, with a slow walk to even get to that point!

Corral A, waiting at the start line:


After 2 wheelchair starts, and our slow crawl through the start line, we were finally off! Man was it HOT and HUUUMMMIIIDDDD!!!!! 78 degrees w/a heat index of 81, and 84% humidity for the duration of the ENTIRE race!! I definitely had not had the opportunity to train in those conditions recently!

Let me give you a little of my running background. If I was at my peak, I should have been running this race at around a 9ish minute per mile pace (8:30 in normal conditions, but I'm guesstimating slowing down with the heat/humidity). However, at the beginning of the summer I injured my knee running my first 1/2 marathon, and spent about a month and a 1/2 with no running and being in physical therapy. It's only fairly recently that I've been able to really start it back up again, and obviously I've had nowhere near enough time to get back up to what my pace should be. So, my whole goal for this race was to run as much of it as I could, finish it, and HAVE FUN! This was the furthest distance I'd done since before my injury, the longest I'd gone since my recovery was only 6 miles!

So, the race was pretty cool, with a number of characters along the way, areas with spooky music and lighting, and a cool section connecting the highway to the WWoS Complex that was a trail through the woods with some spooky scenes and lighting set up! The race left HS, went to the entrance to AK and u-turned through the gates, back down the highway, through the trail through the woods, around warning track of the baseball field and the track at WWoS, back out the entrance, onto the highway, through the HS entrance,



around the side to enter through the Lights, Motors, show, through the Streets areas, through the costume sewing room area of the Backlot ride, across the park in front of the hat, out into backstage, around the back of ToT, and across the finish line, not actually right next to the ToT but pretty close to it.

Overall, the race was pretty cool, but I've heard from those who have run other Disney races that the entertainment along the course was lacking. The humidity was the real killer!!! It was kind of like running through a swimming pool, . I didn't see any of this myself, but I heard a number of people got sick because of the conditions. I managed to run the first 7 1/4 miles straight, w/1 fast bathroom stop, and grabbing Powerade at the water stations, but unfortunately I ended up with some cramping and had to walk parts of the end. Overall, I probably walked about a mile to a mile and a 1/2 of the race, but I mixed it in with running, and ran across the finish line!!!

Crossing the finish line!!!


Here are the general race stats:
-10,000 registered participants
-8,724 finishers

So, my results:
time - 1:57
overall place - 2,928/8,724 finishers
gender place - 1,482/5,653 females

Overall, considering my background coming into this race, and the weather conditions, I was pretty pleased!

As we were funneled past the finish line and up into the park I was given two bottles of Powerade, a banana, and a RunDisney snack box with things like a Clif protein bar, crackers and cheese spread, trail mix, etc.

I sloowwwllly made my way over to bag pickup, which was in the Indiana Jones arena, got my bag very quickly, and took a quick look at the changing tents, which were just big tents, completely open inside, with no privacy. I said, screw that, and went to a restroom, where I had a nice private stall all to myself!!

Remember how I said my pre-planned bag packing was a life saver? It really was! I was able to change out of all my sweaty running clothes (which weighed about 10lbs w/sweat, lol), clean all of myself up with wipes, put on fresh, clean clothes and flip flops, wash my face, use some deodorant, and apply a little mascara. I felt AWESOME, and felt so bad for all the people I saw afterwards, walking around in their hot, sweaty running gear!

I headed over to the Backlot Express and grabbed a well-deserved hot dog, fries, and Yuengling beer! Boy, did that hit the spot!!! And every time someone walked into the restaurant with a medal on, all the CM's working there cheered and clapped!

I definitely earned this! Hot dog & fries, yuengling, free Powerade, and my finisher medal!


Better view of the medal. It glows in the dark and the elevator moves up and down!


At this point, after the previous marathon of a day, a morning in the parks, the DTD debacle, and a 10 mile race in the heat/humidity I was BEAT! But, I still wanted to do some rides. It was around 1:40ish and I checked my Disney mobile magic app for wait times, and sadly, ToT and Toy Story Mania were both around a 1/2 hour!! There was no way I was waiting that long, and I was definitely too tired to stay really late, when the lines would go down. At least I'd gotten to do ToT earlier in the day! So, I went and did Star Tours again, and then headed over and saw MuppetVision 3D. At that point, around 2:15, I threw in the towel, and headed out to catch a bus. Fortunately, since Disney had chartered a bunch of coach buses, there were a ton lined up, so I got on one immediately, got back to my resort, cleaned up and got ready for bed, lay down, and passed out IMMEDIATELY!

Overall, it was a pretty awesome day!

Coming soon, to a TR near you!! Day 3, my first ever Food & Wine Festival at Epcot!! Keep your eyes peeled!
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PM me if u want me to send you a great countdown chain I made!

Dreaming of my next countdown ticker

My awesomely awesome first ever solo trip to the World trip report! http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post46328869

Past WDW trips:'86 off-prop., '89 CBR, '94 CBR, '99 off-prop., '01 ASMusic, '01 CBR, '07 ASMusic, '08 PC, '09 3 nights POFQ, 4 nights Wonder, '10 6 nights AKL, '12 AS Sports w/ToT 10 Miler
Previous cruises: RCCL Enchantment of the Seas w/Metro Dance 11/08 (maybe you saw us perform in the theater!)

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Old 10-03-2012, 01:39 PM   #10
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Awesome job on the TOT 10 miler! I was thre too and it really did feel like running through a pool!
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:07 PM   #11
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I haven't been to MNSSHP in years, but everyone says that the parade is definitely one of the best parts. And Hallowishes.

I agree about HS, it's not my favorite park either, but the attractions that they do have I love.

One Man's Dream is a must do for me every time, because I always like to see if there is anything new there. Plus, I'm a museum freak, so it's kind of like a mini museum to me.

Very cute, I like the race costume!

Wow, considering what you had been through with your first 1/2 marathon, that's really good ranking!

I'm going to have to remember your trick for bringing something to change, a magic bag if you will. My SIL and I have a goal of doing a 1/2 marathon at Disney, so that will come in handy.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:57 PM   #12
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Wow, great race details! You did an awesome job with your pace, especially considering your recovery and training just prior. Excellent planning for changing clothes. I look forward to doing this race in a few years - the medal is awesome!
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Medals pending: 2014 ToT 10 miler, 2015 Dopey Challenge, 2017 January Half w/daughter, 2018 Glass Slipper Challenge, 2018 Tinkerbell Half, Avengers Half??
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:10 PM   #13
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great job on the race!!
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:30 PM   #14
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Congrats on running the tot, I am thinking of running for next year, can wait to hear more of your trips
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneychix View Post
Awesome job on the TOT 10 miler! I was thre too and it really did feel like running through a pool!
Thanks! Yeah, it was crazy!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by IheartDDuck View Post
I haven't been to MNSSHP in years, but everyone says that the parade is definitely one of the best parts. And Hallowishes.

I agree about HS, it's not my favorite park either, but the attractions that they do have I love.

One Man's Dream is a must do for me every time, because I always like to see if there is anything new there. Plus, I'm a museum freak, so it's kind of like a mini museum to me.

Very cute, I like the race costume!

Wow, considering what you had been through with your first 1/2 marathon, that's really good ranking!

I'm going to have to remember your trick for bringing something to change, a magic bag if you will. My SIL and I have a goal of doing a 1/2 marathon at Disney, so that will come in handy.
Thanks! Yeah, I felt soooooooo much better after I cleaned myself up and changed, almost like a new person!

Quote:
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Wow, great race details! You did an awesome job with your pace, especially considering your recovery and training just prior. Excellent planning for changing clothes. I look forward to doing this race in a few years - the medal is awesome!
Thanks! The medal is so cool, I love it!

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Originally Posted by raraavis View Post
great job on the race!!
Thank you!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellaally View Post
Congrats on running the tot, I am thinking of running for next year, can wait to hear more of your trips
Thanks!




Ok, hopefully I'll have some more updates up tomorrow!!
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me (30) Portnoy Peart
PM me if u want me to send you a great countdown chain I made!

Dreaming of my next countdown ticker

My awesomely awesome first ever solo trip to the World trip report! http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post46328869

Past WDW trips:'86 off-prop., '89 CBR, '94 CBR, '99 off-prop., '01 ASMusic, '01 CBR, '07 ASMusic, '08 PC, '09 3 nights POFQ, 4 nights Wonder, '10 6 nights AKL, '12 AS Sports w/ToT 10 Miler
Previous cruises: RCCL Enchantment of the Seas w/Metro Dance 11/08 (maybe you saw us perform in the theater!)
DisneyBelle27 is offline  
 

Tags
food & wine festival, mnsshp, solo, tot 10 miler



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