Princess Half Weekend: The stay & meetups

This past weekend was definitely a run/fun-packed one! Kris and I headed out early Saturday to check in at the Disney Pop Century resort! We weren’t planning on staying on Disney property, but decided to last minute since it was quick and easy to get shuttled around everywhere including the race’s start! Spoiled 😉
Right when we got there, Kris and I did a quick & hot 2 mile shakeout run before we decided to venture out for lunch at Downtown Disney. We decided to run between our hotel and the one next door, the Art of Animation, to see what the other resort looked like.
We were starving by the time our shuttle made it into Downtown Disney and ate at the closest place to the bus stop: Pollo Campero. Chicken? Yes please! To our surprise, there were burger, chicken, and salad/wrap options all inside! I opted to go with the Salad line and had a Grilled chicken with Citrus dressing salad (had corn and black beans in it too) – Kris grabbed the same salad and we shared yuca fries and some rice. Kris’ sister, who lives in the area we were at in Orlando, met us up in Downtown Disney to head to the expo. Another downside to the expo this year was that it was not at the Wide World of Sports (Spring Training brought the Atlanta Braves there – how convenient) so we had to get shuttled over to Coronado Springs. Unfortunately, for those driving on their own, there was no expo-goer parking permitted either. Once we got there, we met up with a few of Kris’ sister’s friends & made our way past some Prince Charmings into the venue. You could see there a lot of vendors were squished into a smaller-than-usual area. We picked up our bibs and I bumped into Carissa again!
Making the most of what we had, we quickly went through the booths to see if we missed anything – a lot of the stuff we wanted was already sold out. This included Team Sparkle limited edition Princess shirts & a 13.1 Disney Princess Half magnet. Bummer. I checked the time and saw we were due to head over to the Casitas for the Zooma Meet up! Now, only us bloggers and tweeps can understand how fun meetups are. You chat with peeps off and on online – getting motivation and support through your training and life in general – but never meet sometimes until these things. I’ve learned a few things along the way from most that I’ve talked to, so meeting in person (aka IRL – in real life) is so awesome!

 
Meetup tip: We’re peeps and not screen names – learn the names of those you chat with online.
I was pretty excited for this quaint meet up as I was able to meet up with a few of my Tampa girls and meet some others who I’ve been tweeting/chatting with for some time now! Yay for being a nerdy-blogger-social-media-addict! Right when I walked in I found Marcia who I’d met at CFLBlogCon last September & Tricia from Zooma who I’d not met IRL before.
Tricia (1 of 3 Zooma Run girls) & Marcia (Travel Run Eat)

Meetup Tip: Have your camera/phone charged and ready to go to take a ton of pics!
There were snacks and beverages laid out for our refreshment as well as an array of giveaway prizes (that I didn’t get to win, btw, dangit.) All of us even got a free Zooma goody bag with sparkly headbands and Zooma Annapolis shirts.Then, I heard someone yell my name behind me, I looked back and saw Tammy & Shannon! I knew these girls from some Twitter chats and from Sweatpink. Shannon and I had been chatting for some time about paleo eats and being badassadors (we’re both Fitlfuential and her company is Badass Fitness 😉 and she was delivering some paleo muffins at the meetup!
Tammy (GingerMantra) & Shannon (Badass Fitness)
 
No joke, I had to squeeze Shannon’s guns for myself…she’s a beast, and for that I look up to her 😉

Meetup tip: make sure you know someone real well before hugging or touching biceps
I also had my first “I read your blog and follow you on Instagram and Twitter” moment! I was tapped on the shoulder by a girl who said she follows my blog and had also been following me on Instagram and Twitter, so she wanted to introduce herself and meet me. Wow. How humbling! Here I am just mumbling about my life and working out and what not online and I never thought I’d reach others…actual readers. As dorky as it may seem, it made my day. Erin, which was her name, was running the Princess Half as her first half marathon! We talked about her strategy and training since she’d be running it with her hubby. Aw, happy moments 😉

Meetup tip: You may acquire readers after blogging a while, be friendly and show love! It’ll make your day like it did mine!
Kris and I headed back to Downtown Disney to bid her sis “see ya later” and grab dinner before we headed back to the hotel. I’d asked where we could get a meal with rice, my new favorite pre-race food. Our choice per her sis’s recommendation: Bongos.
We did our best to walk to the room and relax before a super-early 2:05am wakeup, but were still wired and needing to wind down! We arranged our gear ever-so-OCD-like and respectively laid down with our feet on the wall. Lol. Elevating our feet should help from walking around all day right? Barely falling asleep around 9pm, we were set to wake up and run our Disney Princess race in the morning!
 
Have you done a girls’ race weekend?
Do you have trouble falling asleep the night before races like me?

HI! I'M KAT - I am a pug-mom, wife, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, & Fitness Coach focusing on living the fit life while tackling work, coaching others - doing it all! My blog is to hold me accountable for all the goals I plan on accomplishing and also a way for me to try to inspire others through my own experiences - if I can do it ANYONE can! Fitness is a huge part of my life as well as travel and seeing all that life has to be lived! PAY IT FORWARD!

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55 Comments
  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 12:50 pm

    I can’t believe we let another Disney race go by without meeting in person. Looks like you had a fabulous time, but yes, the new location for the Expo was challenging (being polite here 🙂 I know you are running the Divas Half in Myrtle Beach….we have to meet!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 12:51 pm

    I totally stalked you through this whole thing too.
    LOVED living vicariously.

    • Reply
      February 27, 2013, 2:39 pm

      It’s ok Carla, you’re my favorite stalker 😉

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 1:03 pm

    Lol. Love the pics! Lookin foward to reading more…:)

    • Reply
      February 27, 2013, 2:39 pm

      And I’ll send you pics soon! Remind me!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 1:27 pm

    Fun!!!! I love meet-ups!!! Can’t wait to read about the race!!!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 1:37 pm

    Looks like so much freaking fun! Love your meet up tips too. Especially the touching biceps one, LOL. I have only been to 2 meet ups, but they were both a lot of fun. I might go to another one this weekend IF my Seattle plans don’t fall through. Crap is hitting the fan at work right now so I am little unsure about leaving town.

    • Reply
      February 27, 2013, 2:40 pm

      I feel ya girl! I wanna blog and social media twerk full time! 😉 btw how far is Portland from Spokane? 😉

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 1:43 pm

    Glad you had a good time. The Art of Animation looked cute.

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 1:43 pm

    haha Yes! Learning names is very important. 🙂 It was fun to meet you in person and chat about running. Maybe we’ll meet again soon. My husband is in grad school in Tampa (online program) and I’m always looking for races in the area to run while he is in class! lol

    • Reply
      February 27, 2013, 2:41 pm

      Check out my race calendar, it’s packed! Thanks for saying hi and well def keep in touch! 🙂

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 2:02 pm

    How fun!! I love this one: Meetup tip: make sure you know someone real well before hugging or touching biceps.. hehe.

    I had one chance to meet a couple bloggers, but seems like there aren’t so many opportunities in Detroit that you guys have down there!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 2:52 pm

    Sounds like a great time! We’re doing a Disney vacay with the kiddos in a few months and we’re staying at Art of Animation…can’t wait!!! I’m planning on running between the 2 hotels as well!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 3:58 pm

    That looks SO MUCH FUN!! So jealous you got to meet up with those awesome gals!! I’ve seen a lot of your pictures and it looked like a great race! Maybe I’ll run it someday! 🙂 xxoxox

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 4:43 pm

    Awesome!!! What a fun time! I’ve ran all my races with friends 🙂 So fun!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 6:15 pm

    It is so sad that I live in Tampa and I have never heard of this race but then again I am not that big on half-marathons. I prefer to run smaller distances like 5k’s which are easier on me. I have never been too talented at running and find it awkward for me and hard so I like to stick to fast paced walking and yoga. If I were to ever do a half marathon however, I would definitely have to look into this.

    • Reply
      February 27, 2013, 10:03 pm

      Disney races are the best if its your first longest distance…good distractions 🙂

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 6:16 pm

    Looks like a great time!!! I run all my races solo but hopefully one day I can run with some friends.

    • Reply
      February 27, 2013, 10:03 pm

      It’s great to pass the time away this way!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 6:49 pm

    fun! I hate that I missed the meetup but I had some other obligations come up 🙁 Looks like a blast!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 7:00 pm

    You haven’t even posted about the race and I am already just tired reading about everything you did in such a small amount of time. I read Badass Fitness too, and I am envious you got to meet her. Congrats on your first, “I read your blog, IRL moment.” Those are the best. I had a couple this weekend too. Shocked the ‘S’ out of me if you want to know the truth. I can’t wait to hear about the race. Awesome Post Kat!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 7:12 pm

    You did some great meeting up (and race prepping!). How fun. I love meet ups–so nice to put faces to names.

    • Reply
      February 27, 2013, 10:04 pm

      Haha they’re the best! We need a big Fitfluential one!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 7:15 pm

    Wow, sounds like a great adventure! I bet it feels great to run into people you’ve associated with in the blog world. Also, can’t help but mention a Congrats on your first “I read your blog and follow you on Instagram and Twitter” moment! That is thrilling and now you know that you do have actual readers of your blog!

    • Reply
      February 27, 2013, 10:05 pm

      It’s very humbling and I’m so glad t reach others!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 7:17 pm

    Love the Meetup TIps 😉 Too cute! Too bad the Team Sparkle shirts were sold out already! I saw those on Instagram and they were cute!
    Love meeting peeps in real life too! Can’t wait to hear about the race!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 7:36 pm

    I’m loving all the Disney Princess Half recaps. I need to hit a Disney race one of these days ….. just not sure how to skate by without taking the kiddos. Or maybe, I’ll just take them and hubby too. Hmmm….

    • Reply
      February 27, 2013, 10:05 pm

      Yes bring them! There’s kids races too!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 7:54 pm

    I never thought about doing a race as a girl’s weekend but that sounds like so much fun! Fitness and fun all in one, and the Disney Princess race sounds like a great place to do it! I have a ton of friends that ran in it also and they all said it was a blast, I’m glad you had fun!

    • Reply
      February 27, 2013, 10:06 pm

      Is a break that’s fun at the same time! 🙂

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 11:28 pm

    Great expo recap! I love your tips. How was Bongo’s? I’ve never eaten there.

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013, 11:57 pm

    Great recap! I wish I had tapped you on the shoulder at the ZOOMA meetup! I recognized you from your Twitter pic but you were otherwise occupied and I had to bolt for dinner. Bummer, but what a great first Disney race/weekend! (for me)

    • Reply
      February 28, 2013, 1:28 am

      Aw I wish you would have! I’m so glad you had a great weekend! 🙂

  • Reply
    February 28, 2013, 1:00 am

    So since a reader recognized you in real life, that means you’re basically famous!

    • Reply
      February 28, 2013, 1:28 am

      Lol not really I make sure I eat a healthy dose of humble pie weekly,…gluten free of course 😉

  • Reply
    February 28, 2013, 1:31 am

    Isn’t it funny when readers “see” you IRL? Kind of weird at first but then it’s fun.

  • Reply
    February 28, 2013, 1:56 am

    What an amazing time! I love blog meet-ups! I want to run this next year!

  • Reply
    February 28, 2013, 2:14 am

    I have never done a meetup, but think it would be so cool.
    Also nobody has ever recognized me from my blog, but I would probably geek out!

  • Reply
    February 28, 2013, 3:11 am

    Great tips! I need a girls run weekend 🙂

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    February 28, 2013, 12:14 pm

    Thanks for the meetup tip. I will definitely make sure I know someone before squeezing them… lol! Love the 80s themed place. So cool!

  • Reply
    February 28, 2013, 2:09 pm

    Looks like a great time! I’ll definitely remember to not forget peoples names. <- biggie for me!

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