The Magic of RunDisney #iPPP

It’s hard to put my Disney World experience into one, reasonably-sized blog post.

So, I’ll break it into three parts.

1) The Race.

Because of my location, I trained on my own while the rest of the Kansas chapter trained together. Needless to say, they were pretty in sync when it came to how they’d be running, and I just tried to keep up. The three of them (Donna, Krystle, and Niki) were extraordinarily patient and encouraging, and never left me behind for a second. I know that had it not been for them, I would have let my mental hurdles get the better of me and wouldn’t have finished as strongly as I did. I’m happy with the way the race turned out…I didn’t PR and my time is nothing to brag about, but I did get pictures with characters along the course, which is way better, I think (I’m still waiting on most of those).

WDW 8

I also thought a lot about why I was doing the race, and those names written on my heart (literally and figuratively). I believe that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is making great strides for blood cancer patients and treatments and I’m so honored and thrilled to be able to be a part of that difference-making. On Friday night, we heard from the dad of a now-eight year old that was able to go through a brand-new course of treatment that involved the HIV virus attacking her cancer cells. It was moving, and encouraging, and reminded us all of exactly why we had worked so hard for the last several months.

WDW 9By the end, I was exhausted, proud, covered in sweat and had to pee like the proverbial race horse.

2) The Food.

In my experience, Disney was great about letting me know what was gluten free and accomodating me when I asked. At the Friday dinner, a server brought me a plate of gluten free pasta. At the Sunday night party, almost everything on the buffet was gluten free, and they brought me a special dessert.

WDW 10

And when Susi, Nicolette, Laura and I went to the Kona Cafe in the Polynesian Resort on Saturday night, the chef personally came out and asked me what I was in the mood for. He even made me a custom sushi roll, and it was delicious.

WDW 14I also called room service on Thursday night, in an emotional state after navigating the airports, hotel, and race expo alone, and ordered gluten free pizza. It may have been the best gluten free pizza I’ve ever had, because of, you know….emotions.

3) The Company.

I already mentioned that I was lucky enough to meet Floridians Nicolette and Susi while I was in town, and that was awesome. I also met another native Floridian and long-time bloggy friend Amanda. I felt like I knew her already, from the years of following her on social media, but I was so, so happy to meet her in person finally (and her husband and handsome little man!).

WDW 15

But. Perhaps the most overwhelmingly positive thing about the weekend is the real life quality time I got to spend with an online friend, Laura. She was the reason I signed up for Team in Training in the first place, and from the first time we sat and talked in my hotel room Thursday night, it felt like we had known each other forever. Over the course of four days, we conquered Magic Kingdom, indulged in Marathon Madness cocktails and Dole Whips, laughed until our faces hurt, and took a whole lot of selfies. I’m so very grateful for her.

WDW collage

Robin at Farewell, Stranger and I want to see your funny, your yummy, your heartfelt, your favorite phone photos of the week. All you need is a blog post containing at least one photo from any phone camera. Link up below!

GFunkified

40 Responses to The Magic of RunDisney #iPPP

  1. Laura says:

    That bottom photo is terrible. How many chins do I have? But regardless, you made me melt as I read this post. I'm so glad that we got to do this together. I still feel like I should just be able to walk out my door and get to yours in two minutes flat. I'm grateful for you. :)

  2. I'm so glad you had such a great experience and am so proud of all you have done. It looks like a really fun weekend. Almost makes me want to run another half. ;)

  3. Kristin Shaw says:

    I so love these photos of you and Laura! I wish I could have come too. But I don't really want to run a half marathon. ;-)

  4. Dude, I'm so happy for you and proud of your accomplishments! And I love every single selfie of you and Laura!

  5. catseatdogs Makes and Bakes says:

    Looks like great fun! Running is no longer my top exercise of choice but I have done a couple of half marathons, so I know how much darn work you have put in and how much that medal and all of those wonderful photos mean! Good for you. Full marathon next? Clare x

  6. Leigh Ann says:

    So proud of you, Greta! What an experience. And I'm jealous you got to hang with Amanda and of course Laura!

  7. angela says:

    LOVE that you and Laura had so much fun together. You deserved some time to regroup and be pampered a little!

  8. euregirlsandboys says:

    I'm so, so impressed by this WHOLE thing! Seriously. And I'm glad you had a great time and got to hang out with amazing bloggy friends :)

  9. Alison says:

    I love that you and Laura got to do this together! Congratulations on finishing your half-marathon!

  10. Kerry B says:

    I stalked you on FB during your run. So proud of you. Training alone is so difficult so you should be extra proud! I hope to strengthen these knees one day so I can run again but I've been saying that for 7 years now. Slacker:(
    Great job Greta!!!

  11. Congratulations on finishing your half-marathon. I am so inspired to join one too. Will I? If I do, you will be the first to know! :)

  12. about100percent says:

    I'm in awe of your dedication to this foundation and your commitment to running! It almost makes me want to strap on a pair of running shoes and hit the streets! Ha ha ha, no no no. I'll settle for pics of you and Laura any day.

  13. Julia says:

    Looks like you had a blast! Disney is great with any special dietary needs and they will make pretty much anything. Glad you had a great experience.

  14. […] EXCEPT for when I met my dear friend Greta!!! I’ve known her for years and years and like she said in her post, it feels like I know her […]

  15. Leighann says:

    so happy for you and that you got to participate in such a wonderful run. way to go!

  16. Life of K says:

    That's awesome – the trip, the half marathon, the friends.. congrats!

  17. TheSuniverse says:

    People tend to look down on emotional eating, but I think it makes everything more delicious.

    Sounds like you had a great time!

  18. Jennifer says:

    I'm so glad that you guys got to hang out together and have a good time. Y'all look so happy in all of these photos and I just want to hug you both.

  19. Colleen says:

    This just looks like the most amazing time. I love it.

  20. galitbreen says:

    Greta! There's so much magic to this post! And I love all of the photos!!

  21. Alma says:

    So proud of you Greta and all the work you do for others.
    My favorite part of this though, were all the selfies of you and Laura.
    Your smiles kept me grinning wide too.

  22. Kimberly says:

    I am so proud of you for running for those who can't. Even though you cannot see all of those little hearts you touched that day…know that you made a difference xo

  23. Kim says:

    Amazing job! What an accomplishment!

  24. amandaeaustin says:

    So proud of you, so jealous of your picture with …is that filmore with Sheriff lights?? ;) And SOOOOO glad we could finally meet!!! It was like you are just a next door neighbor who I hadn't seen in awhile. You're an inspiration, I hope you know that. I'm not just saying it…whenever I think, "there is no way I can get back in shape/run/do a half", I think about you and how hard you worked at those 500 miles last year…and then I just KNOW I can do it too. Thanks for everything you do!

  25. misselaineous0375 says:

    I am so dang proud of you! (and Laura) y'all did awesome!! And that looks like so much FUN too! I'm happy to hear they were so accommodating with your gluten free needs too, that is amazing!

  26. AngelaYBlood says:

    It sounds like such an amazing experience. I loved following along online on your advenuter. I also love to hear that Disney was so great about gluten free foods…if I ever get a chance to take my kids, it's great to know that. I also love that you had so much fun with online friends. I basically love everything about this. :) Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!

  27. Greta, I'm just so proud of you. Always inspiring to me. You put yourself out there again and again. It really makes me want to connect more with people, you know, in real life. xxxxx.

  28. Dee says:

    Such a wonderful opportunity. Looks like you made the very best of the time and enjoyed every minute.

  29. mom27g says:

    Can I tell you how proud I am of you?!?! You are amazing!

  30. Joelyn Morgan says:

    So proud of you Greta! That was an awesome and amazing experience for you! I am so happy to hear you supported such a great cause and had an amazing time.

  31. pirate1013 says:

    As a Disney Nerd, I'm a little jealous. However, I am in no way prepared to run a marathon of any kind. Awesome job! The food all looked so good. too. Disney is great at making accommodations. It's makes things just a little easier when you aren't fighting to get something to eat. You've inspired me to put this run on my bucket list.

  32. Just Jeanae says:

    I am so proud of you! Way to bring the Funk :)

  33. Jessie says:

    Sounds like you had an amazing time!!

  34. mommahunt16 says:

    Sorry it took me so long to post girl….I read your recap from my kindle a few days ago and I hate typing on that thing. I am so proud of you and so glad you had an amazing time. I am amazed at how many miles you logged in 2013 and how hard you worked for your big moment. Congrats on such hard work and for running for an amazing cause.

  35. […] was spent at Magic Kingdom with Laura, then I managed to get an extra ticket and sneak my way into a marathon weekend “after party” […]

  36. […] Amber. Fun, right? And a great way to get to know another blogger. I’m pairing up with my Disney World partner-in-crime, Laura. You can check out her answers to my questions, too! 1. Why did you start blogging? Back when […]

  37. lydsrich says:

    I'm so glad you had such a great time. You have me wanting to get to Disney!! :) It was really fun "watching" you on Facebook.

  38. […] started training for the Disney World Half back in September, and while I was training for that, I signed up for another one here in Kansas […]