Nobody cares if you're not a good dancer. Just get up and dance. The same holds true for racing. Whether first or last, we all cross that same finish line. Just get out there and run.
- Dean Karnazes

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Run Disney Atlanta Meet Up (aka- The Running Of The Disney Nerds) *LONG and Photo Heavy*

Yesterday morning was THE morning! I woke up at 4:45 and I only wake up that early when absolutely necessary, but for runDisney, I woke up without any complaints. I had been looking forward to this meet up since I found out that I was selected. When I got to Turner field and pulled into the lot and was greeted by all the other runDisney nerds, I was with my people. We headed into the stadium to check in, get our shirts, take an excessive amount of pictures and got ready to run. It was really foggy Saturday morning, so I wasn't exactly sure if I'd be able to get many pictures until the sun came up. You can see for yourself.

Can't wait to earn this one!
I even made some new friends while I was waiting in line for my shirt, check in, and also while I was waiting for everything to get going. It's always great to meet some fellow Disney lovers to geek out with, one of the ladies was telling me all about her upcoming trip. I'm not even going to lie to you, I was so jealous listening to her plans. I really want to make a weekend trip to Disney World before Christmas, I'll explain why in a different post. Anyways, after a while of waiting in the cold and chatting, the festivities got underway.

 Then Mickey made his appearance because it can't be magical if Mickey isn't there, that's just a fact. ºoº

We were split into two groups for the run. The first group would run straight through, and the second group would run 20/20 intervals with Jeff Galloway. Also part of the Galloway group but not pictured here was Olympian Barbara Parker. I obviously went into the Galloway group with what seemed to be a large part of the group. We got our directions from Jeff, and then waited for the all clear to get started.

And away we went! 
The course was a simple two mile run, from Turner Field to the Capitol building, around it and back. I knew that I would be bringing up the back because I always do, but I tried to keep the group in my sights for as long as possible. I even toyed with the idea of cutting the course short and coming back early, I DID NOT and I am really glad that I made that decision. To be perfectly honest, I was worried that I would miss something on the course if I turned around. As I reached the Capitol, the Galloway group was finishing their run around the building and heading back. I waddled along at a pace that was quasi-decent for the first mile, but that second mile, oh heavens. That second mile was magic, but I expected nothing less because this was a runDisney run after all. I managed to eek out that second mile faster than any mile I have run in years! I had a 2 mile PR earlier in the week at Crossfit, but this mile was even faster. Ok, faster for me, which may not be much to some but it is HUGE for me. I even got high fives from the lovely Atlanta Police Officers manning the course! Being last isn't always a bad thing, and this time it was definitely not a bad thing. When I got back to Turner Field, I was directed to a ramp that lead to field level. I was so excited because I really do love the Braves, and getting a chance to run on the warning track, was so cool. But wait, there's more! None other than Minnie Mouse was waiting for us. I waited in line for my photo op and took the opportunity to get some from the field.

I had my picture taken with Minnie, and headed out for my trot around the field, it was just so stinking cool!

When I got back, we were served breakfast. The whole sugar detox thing I've been doing this week went out the window because they had my favorite pineapple chobani yogurt. I tried to take the tiny side track and keep the rest of the day on track but I failed. That's ok though, because it's back to it today.

Then came the informational sessions....

1. Michael Cane from ESPN

2. Tammy Jenkins from runDisney, who announced the new hashtag #whyirundisney. You can share your story in a 15 second video on instagram using the hashtag #whyirundisney. You might be chosen to have your reason and a follow up featured via runDisney. I am trying to come up with a great way to share my story within the 15 second time frame.

3. Then it was time to hear from none other than local Jeff Galloway, he really is such a nice guy. He gave away some swag and debuted his trail running book.

4. Next up was Tara Gidus, The Diet Diva. She had some great pre and post run nutrition advice, you can find her articles for runDisney here. When I spoke with her afterwards, she told me that she has a new book out called Flat Belly Cookbook For Dummies.

5. Ali from New Balance, who announced that they will have more shoes available. It seems that they were not really ready for the huge response the shoes generated. They did present the second teaser video The 2014 shoes will have Sorcerer Mickey for the men and will be pink with Minnie. Also, in 2014 they will be offering the shoes in children's sizes as well. Barbara Parker also spoke but I don't know why I don't have pictures. She shocked the audience when she told us that she has never been to Disney World. The entire audience gasped, and it was pretty funny. Her poor husband was pretty much told that he has to take her to Disney World.

6. Warren Green from Runner's World talked about the Runner's World Challenge group that they are training for the Marathon Weekend, and that they will be training more groups for future events.

All in all it was a great event, and I feel so honored to have been a part of it. Now, I couldn't leave without getting a picture with Minnie and Mickey because that would just be very un-Disney. While we waited in line runLinzey had the group in line do her famous jazz hands picture.

Got to chat with Jeff Galloway and Tara Gidus before I left and got my swag bag.

Here's the swag bag, it was pretty cool.

A Puma gift card
runDisney water bottle
runDisney tech hat
A new runDisney magnet for my new car! 
This carabiner water bottle thingy. What are these actually called anyways?
runDisney band
runDisney pen, which Bella is sure to steal
Luna and Clif bars!


giraffy said...

SO FUN!!!! Thanks for all the pictures! :D (and congrats on the speedy run!)

Denise said...

That sounds like an amazing time! I am a lover of all things Disney too! Glad you were able to be a part of such a fun event!

Karien P. said...

So fun!! Loved the recap!

Fruit Fly said...

Dang, hello swag!!! What a fun event. I'm so glad you got to go!

Betsy said...

That sounds like such a neat opportunity!

Patty White said...

Love the pics & recap. Looks like you had blast. Love the bling!

:DISTherapy said...

What a grand time- I can't wait for one of these events to come to the Northeast!!

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