Monday, October 8, 2012

Guest Post - Tower of Terror Pt 1 - Expo

My dear friend, Amanda, who is responsible for persuading me to run the Disney Princess half marathon with her, experienced her first runDisney race a couple of weekends ago at the Tower of Terror 10 miler.  I have asked her to put together a guest blog post about her weekend, and this is the first of two.  So heeeeeeeeeere's Amanda!
Long story short....a friend of mine has run Disney races for a few years now.  I enjoyed running before I was pregnant so I thought I might want to do it.  I had my daughter....made excuses....felt bad about the excuses...cry me a river...blah blah...decided I was going to run the Princess half marathon in 2013.

Same friend told me about the Tower of Terror 10 miler and suggested that I sign up.  I got ballsy and did.  I figured I had better get my butt in gear; therefore, I began attending Coconut Creek Adventure Boot Camp four days a week to cross train.

I then decided I should probably see if I could talk someone else into this crazy running idea.  Thankfully, Jen loves me and was easily persuaded.  The days passed, goals were made, miles were run, goals were met, and before we knew it Jen was running her 15k and I was up next!

September 28th, we hit the road around 6:45a.m. and made pretty decent time.  We arrived at Port Orleans French Quarter a little after 10.  Since we are originally from Louisiana we stay at Port Orleans any chance we get.  It just feels like home to us.  The rooms have been updated since our last stay there in 2010 (I love the new bedding).  Forgive me for not taking pictures...I completely forgot.

Our plans that day were to hit the Magic Kingdom.  I couldn't bring my daughter all the way to Disney for her first time and not let her enjoy a park.  While we had plans to go to the Expo that day, my daughter was having such a great time we decided that we should just spend out time at the MK and do the Expo the next day.
It's Mickey!!
That night we headed to Downtown Disney for dinner at Raglan Road - the burger was fantastic!  Upon return to our hotel I discovered my husband forgot to pack one case of water - CATASTROPHE!!!

Thankfully, our hotel room was close to my friend and I was able to steal some of her water for the night.  I was not going to spend $2.50 for each bottle of water I needed.  No husband got the "You don't get it! I need to hydrate! I can't believe you forgot it!  It was right by the door!" angry whisper lecture over and over again while my daughter had dreams of Mickey and dancing pirates.

That night I attempted to sleep in bed with my daughter, who was restless from being overtired.  At 2:30 a.m. in tears knowing I wasn't getting enough sleep I woke up my husband.  I'm pretty sure I was a little mean from being aggravated about the water.  Nerves had already set in and I was scared I would be too tired to run this race.  I go to bed at 8 when my kiddo does, and I do my running and workouts in the morning.  A 10 .m. start?!  WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?!

Around 7 a.m. I decided that was about all I could sleep.  I got up, made a cup of coffe, and tried to be as quiet as I could be as I got ready for breakfast and the Expo.  Our room was freezing, so I turned up the A/C.  NOTE:  Now at POFQ the heater comes on to "heat" the room up to the degree you ask it to.  I thought my coffee was catching fire!  Once we were all up and moving we headed down to the hotel restaurant for beignets of course!

Since we are local and had our own vehicle, we decided not to take the bus to the Expo.  The driver had a other stops so we decided it would be faster if we could drive (This also gave my husband a chance to buy water)  My daughter crashed before we made it 2 minutes to ESPN Wide World of Sports, and my husband and his friend took this opportunity to skip out on the Expo.  They took my daughter and let her nap while my friend and I enjoyed ourselves (read - spent too much money) at the Expo.

The Expo is the one thing I couldn't picture, or dream of (Please tell me I'm not the only one that dreams of races before I run them).  When we walked in my friend mentions how small it is compared to what the Princess will be.  **jaw drop** I was very happy to have her there to walk me through what to do!

First things first - pick up my bib  **SQUEE!!!**  As we headed toward the bib pick up, waiver in hand, my heart began to pound.

Butterflies have officially arrived.  I signed off for my packet and headed over to verify my bib.

I walked across, and my name flashed on the screen.  *gulp*  That's me.  That is my name.  I am really about to do this.

Now to pick up my shirt and bag. 

NOTE:  The runDisney shirts run a little big, or they did this time.  They didn't have any XS left for me to exchange to so I had to stick with my small.  I'm not complaining - it's a nice shirt and it glows in the dark  I will wear it proudly even if it swallowed me whole.

If you are like me and new to runDisney and hear people talking about bag check and don't want to be a total newbie and ask what they are talking about, here you go.  This is the bag:

If you have no one meeting you at the end of the race (or the person you're meeting doesn't want to carry your things for you) then you stick anything you may need in this bag.  They give you a sticker to put on your bag to identify it.  I'm sure you guessed it...your bib number and first letter of your last name.  That's about as much as I can tell you about the bag check.  My husband had the stroller and diaper bag so I just gave everything to him.  If I'm running 10+ miles he can carry my flip flops!

Next up, shopping (of course!!)  Sadly, they were out of the TOT pins.  I didn't know what they were so I didn't order it when I signed up.  I figured I would see it at the Expo and pick it up if I wanted.  WRONG.  They were all gone.  I think this was my biggest complaint about the race.  There are so many people, and people that would love one or even two of things I don't understand why Disney doesn't make more.  It's frustrating to feel like you have to rush to be first in order to get certain things, rather than take it easy and enjoy your time.  I highly recommend pre-ordering a pin when you register!

 I didn't let it get me down for too long as we found the Bondiband booth.  Jen has raved about her so I really wanted to try one out.  I had my heart set on a dark gray one, which I found right away, but I could not pass up the cute ones with sayings.  We could have sat there for hours.  My friend actually bought two, then while we she was helping me find the perfect one she ended up with two more.

We also stopped by the Hippie Runner booth as I eyed the SPIbelts.  I wanted something to carry my small camera and cash in, but nothing too big.  This belt has two zip pockets, places for your GU, and you can also hang your bib from the belt (unless you're short like me and then your bib hits your legs).  It was perfect.

Our last stop was by the ever so popular One More Mile apparel booth.  You can get shirts, stickers, and other items with funny sayings on them.  It seemed to be a popular place.  I tried to resist the urge, but could not.  I completely understand why they say to save your money for the Expo now.

The fun stuff I bought
The Expo was a lot of fun.  We didn't stay long and enjoy it as we should have, as we needed to have lunch, relax, hydrate, and prepare for the race.  In all honesty that was probably better for my wallet.

Lynn and Amanda at the Expo
Because this long guest post makes me feel like I have overstayed my welcome...and I still have more to come with my race are the Bondiband coupon codes I was given -

Buy 3 get 1 free coupon code:  1
Five for $25 coupon code: 5

Check back later this week and enter the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror with me!

Thanks for the recap Amanda!  Can't wait to cruise through the Expo with you in a few months!

Until next time,



  1. I heard this race was a beast with humidity and heat! I wish I could have gotten in, but wasn't sure how I'd feel about a 10pm race - next year I'm getting in!

  2. Love this guest post! Sounds amazing, thanks for sharing... can't wait for pt. 2!!!


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