Tuesday, January 31, 2012

princessy prep

as i was packing for our overnight stay at the disneyland resort, i remembered that i had one last detail to complete my tinkerbell costume for the race.  i got out the materials: hot glue gun, mini claw clips, and a pack of fluffy white pompoms.


in about fifteen seconds, i had these:


i clipped them onto my shoes, and voila!  instant tinkerbell running kicks.


i'd been a little concerned about freezing my balls off while waiting for the race to start, since we'd been told to arrive by 4:30 and be in our corrals (ugh, makes us sound like cattle) by 5:15.  AM.  eek.  and then i read that lots of people bring jackets and sweatpants to stay warm at that ungodly hour, toss them aside when it gets too warm, and disney washes it all and donates to local homeless shelters.  so i scooped up a cheapy hoodie and some pants that magically happened to match my theme.


and one last thing to complete my ensemble (yes, i sure do have a special bag for my tiara):


because i had a team dinner with my fellow autism speaks running mates, i got some unexpected alone time as i drove down to disneyland to check into the hotel.  paradise pier is the least expensive hotel out of the three at the resort, and we had a group rate that made it even cheaper.  score!


despite the fact that it's the "value" hotel, it looked like it had been recently renovated and was super cute inside.




i was rather amused by this:


i decided to stroll over to the health & fitness expo again, just to make sure that i hadn't missed anything the day before.  plus, i'd been mulling over one of the warm-up jackets emblazoned with the tinkerbell half marathon logo, and thought maybe i'd scoop one up.  oh, and i decided i'd get in line at the abc booth again in the hopes of scoring a second pan am bag for the teen.

one outta two ain't bad, right?


i got back to the hotel with just enough time to put the bag away and head into one of the meeting rooms for the team dinner.  as i strolled in, i spotted a table with a young asian couple and a girl who appeared to be riding solo and sporting a hot pink running jacket from old navy - which i recognized because i've been training in that same jacket for the last few months.  i figured it was the perfect spot for me.  and as we introduced ourselves and chatted a little, i was happy to learn that they were newbies to the half marathon thing too, and they were all super nice.

the grub.  carb heaven.


i giggled a little to myself when our host invited us to indulge in the dessert buffet and said something along the lines of "you've worked really hard and avoided this kind of stuff for months, so you deserve a treat!"  because, duh - i'd had cookies on the drive down to anaheim.


we gathered in front of the banner for a picture.  this was just a fraction of the group, as our team actually had 65 members.


with my table BFFs.


i got to relax for a little while in our room as i waited for the girls to arrive.  and when they did, i handed the teen the fun noisemakers i'd gotten at dinner.


we headed straight over to downtown disney so that they could have some dinner.  and because it had actually been three hours since i'd eaten, i was hungry again.  oy vey.

the teen and her prize from the balloon lady at the restaurant.  do you love it?


and then the bean and i clowned around in one of the shops.




back at the hotel, she was excited to see this cute room with lounge chairs in her size and a steady stream of disney cartoons.


upstairs, i laid out the essentials for the next (super duper early) morning.


just to be sure, i tried on all of the pieces according to the tips i'd gotten from team sparkle.  after all, i didn't want to have to worry about continually tugging on the wings to keep them in place.  and so i was extra glad i'd packed a bunch of safety pins.


and finally it was time for bed.  with a 3:30 wake-up call, i had right around five and a half hours of sleep.  ack!

Monday, January 30, 2012

expo-sing ourselves

i did it!  and i didn't die or throw up or faint or anything!  it was one of the most amazing weekends EVER.  totally ranks up there with giving birth to my girls and marrying the hub.  seriously, it was that awesome.

we kicked it off on friday, when the bean and i headed down to disneyland hotel for the health & fitness expo.  that's where we were to pick up our race bibs and shirts, and i knew that if i waited much longer it would be a madhouse.  there were 12,000 people registered for the race, and every last one of those folks had to come down to check in and get their gear.  plus, i knew that there would be fun merchandise to shop from, and since i'd read that it often sells out, i wanted to get me some.  heh.

since she'd just spent all morning at school, i put the bean in her stroller to make things easier on both of us.  she pointed out all of the signs to me as she recognized the castle and the disney logo.


we both let out an awed "oooooooh" at the tinkerbell-themed signage.  we're such girls.




i was pleased to see that i'd timed things right and didn't even have to wait in line to check in.  armed with my bib and timing chip, we strolled through the test area to make sure the chip worked. and not surprisingly, it did.  as i stepped on the mat, my name popped right up on the screen.  yay!


as we made our way upstairs, i was overwhelmed with the sheer volume of vendors selling all sorts of fitness and running related gear.



i decided to take care o'business first, though, and headed to the very end to get my shirt and bag.


i'd ordered my sparkly running skirt from team sparkle weeks ago, and they'd tweeted that there would be some fun swag bags for everyone who came to the expo wearing their skirt.  so i put mine on over my jeans, feeling like a goober, and headed over.


sadly, they'd already run out of goodies.  the expo had only been open for three hours at that point.  boo.  i love me a freebie. well, most of the time anyway.  there was lots of free yogurt being handed out at this booth, but i wasn't really all about trying to juggle a spoon, a cup, and the stroller.


i smirked to myself as i passed this booth.  "heehee!" i murmured as i eyed their merchandise.  "i don't need to spend $40 on one of those, i made myself one that's even cuter!"


unfortunately for me, that smugness would come right back to bite me in the ass later. dun dun dunnnnn.

when i saw that there were some fun prizes being given away here, we got in the growing line to spin the wheel.


the hot guy who was working the wheel was happy to let the bean do the spinning for me.  i smiled pretty and said "ooooh, i would reaaaaaaaaaallllllly like one of those pan am totes, i love that show so much!" and he grinned back and replied "i think i can make that happen for you."  and when the wheel slowed down, he might've given it a little nudge to make it land in just the right spot.  yesssssss.


official merchandise time.





yes, those ears were a little creepy.  but i did let myself buy one of those "i did it!" shirts, hoping i wasn't jinxing the whole thing by buying it before running the race.  i really wanted one of the zip-up jackets, but i couldn't stomach the $50 price tag.

on our way out we checked out the run disney booth, where one could sign up for future races and check out all of the bling.



i was excited to see the medal i was working to earn.


and, one similar to what i'll be running for come september:


this is the one that you earn when you run a race in disneyland and disney world in the same calendar year - the "coast to coast."  SO not gonna happen for me this year.


before we left, we got in line to take a picture here.  too bad it came out super fuzzy.


all in all, it was a great start to what promised to be a kick ass weekend.
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