Monday, February 27, 2012

More on my Disney Princess Family 5k

I was too excited (and busy) to post more than just that picture last time, so here's what happened between Friday's "I don't know" and Saturday's "YES!!"

I went to bed at 11 p.m.  I was really doubting whether or not I was going.  I set the alarm for 4:30 a.m.  It went off and I fought with myself in bed.

"Get UP!"

"No, it does not matter. I won't be able to keep up!"

"Get UP!"

"Why? I'm going to make a fool of myself not being able to keep up. They'll put me in a golf cart.  I'll be mortified!"

"So WHAT?  Will you know anyone there? Will they ever recognize you? Who CARES.  GET UP!"

I got up, got dressed, put ointment on my knee, put on my knee brace, got some water and a banana, my fannie pack and camera & left the house at 5 a.m.

I was nervous the entire ride but I got into the Epcot parking lot and followed the crowd.  It was nippy.  The day was still dark but there were lights on and a stage with a dj talking and playing music.  I walked around to enjoy the show.

There were thousands of people there.  Thousands.  They had over 5,000 sign up.  The dj's playing music.  People are dressed up.  Tutus galore.  Even men.  One man in his 60's with a gut that would rival Santa's was sporting a purple tutu & crown along side his wife.  There was a Seth-Rogen-look-a-like there with 5 other girls.  They were all wearing pink personalized shirts, running shorts, tiaras and pink tutus, including "Seth."

There were women dressed as Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Aurora, Cruella, etc. etc.  There was a man dressed as a horse and another as a chameleon; both characters from "Tangled."  There were strollers, wheelchairs, kids, adults, skinny, fat and in between.  It was great.

Then they asked us to get into our corrals, based on our running times.  Being Miss Hurty Knee, I chose

Hello!  Yes, I am a dork in my hat

By the time I got to the start line, probably 5 minutes had already  passed on the clock.  We walkers were WAAAAY in the back.

When we got to the one was in a rush in the walking group.  Nope.  No rush.  I was told I *had* to maintain a 16-minute mile.  I'm doing a speed-walk-hop-avoid-hurting-knee-more thing, and no one's in a rush.  Oooookay.  I slow down a bit.  There are hundreds of people behind  me.  I am NOT GOING TO BE THE LAST ONE!  Yahoo!

We start around the back of the Epcot lot and we're already at mile one before we're even in the park.

Yes, the time stinks, but this is overall time. I had to wait 5 minutes to even pass the starting line.  So about 18 minutes.  Imagine if I could have run!

Then, right after mile 1, we're inside Epcot being cheered by Cast Members waving Mickey hands, or clappers, clapping and hooting at us. Congratulating us.  I was grinning from ear to ear and teary-eyed from happiness.

See? This group of walkers are WALKING.  I could see across the lake to mile 2 where people were  jogging.

Prince Charming dad and his cute Cinderella.

There were places along the way where you could stop and greet characters and get your picture taken with them.  Basically, you have time to do this because you're running, and so have time to stop and get in line.  Since I was walking, I did walk-by photo shots.

UGH, This is my average to be DONE and I'm on mile 2.

This is Snow White.  MISTER Snow White.
As we near the end, people are getting excited and start picking up the pace.  I'm o.k. though. There are HUNDREDS still behind me.

The last point one is right around the corner.

I cross the finish line with a huge grin on my face.  No tears though.  Walking 3 miles is just not a big deal.  I want to run it.  But I was still super-happy.  

They're not saying "No Photos" as in, you can't take them.  That
was the line to go through without having your photo taken by the Disney photographers is all.

We all got our pictures taken throughout the day and after the finish line we got our pictures taken with a backdrop with the name of the event on it.  We got a goody box with healthy snacks, bottled beverages and, oh yea, our medals.


Oh how I wish I had known how easy and cool it was!  I would have had Isabel with me.  She totally could have done it.  Jacob too.  Next year, we are ALL doing it.

Jacob and I might even do the Expedition Everest Challenge in May.  Who's with us??

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Knee and the 5k

On Monday the 20th, I had my first appointment for my knee.   The fantastic Jewett Orthopaedic facility in Lake Mary is where I went.  Talk about a well-oiled machine! They're the team physicians for the Orlando Magic, UCF, etc.

X-rays showed my bones were fine.  Great, in fact.  According to the doctor, my bones around my knee were well-aligned and not chipped.   I was given a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and instructions to wait for a call from their MRI department.

The MRI was set for Friday the 24th at 7:45 a.m.  Sadly, it was on the same day as the day I was to head to Disney's Wide World of Sports to pick up my race pack. Saturday the 25th was to have been race day.

On Friday, I headed towards the clinic & had my MRI done, using a very small machine where only my left leg needed to go in. Yay!  I am scheduled to go in next Wednesday 02/29 to discuss the MRI findings with the doctor.

I got in my car and headed south to Disney's Wide World of Sports to get my race pack and attend the Expo.  I wished that I had someone with me; a sister, a friend.  No one would or could run with me.  The ones that would have are living in California, Washington State or Minnesota. :(

I'm walking up to the main area and my throat starts to constrict.  I am holding back tears of disappointment and every so often and little squeak escapes; a wail trying to make its way out of my throat.

I walk up to the section that lists my race number.  Some sections have a huge line.  Mine only had two people in line.  I kept swallowing back the tears.  I will NOT make a fool of myself in front of these Disney volunteers.  I give them my information and they hand me my bib and my pin.  There was a deadline to have your name on the bib.  I was one day late and yet, there it was - my name on my bib.

The man directed me to the next area, where I would turn in more forms and pick up my T-shirt and clear "bag check" bag for race day.  I thank him, turn around and the waterworks begin.  I walk with my head down, so people can't see me crying.  I cry until I get into the next section, wipe my tears and enter.

If you recall, we've been here before, for my nieces' gymnastics competition.  Today, the entire place was full of vendors and super-excited people.  The 5k on Saturday was just the piddly run.  These women were here to run the Half-Marathon on Sunday.  Some were doing both.

I walk to the back to pick up my T-shirt and bag.  Then I walked around for a bit, trying to calm my nerves enough so that I could speak with race personnel without blubbering like an idiot.  With my nerves steeled, I asked them about walking the race and explained my knee problem.  The 3 unoccupied people behind the booth were very cheery and told me that I should try it anyway walking.  If I could not do it, then someone would pick me up in a golf cart and take me to the end.   If it hurts too much, just stop.

I don't know if I will be able to maintain a 16-minute mile pace.  I'm vacillating between "sure why the heck not" and "why bother?"  I'll let you know I guess soon.

So, let me show you my loot.

My T-Shirt

My numbered, personalized bib

My Pin (had to pay extra for it).

The program with lots of good information,
mostly geared towards the Half Marathon people.

If I manage to complete the race in the allotted time (doubtful),
here's the medal we receive.  
   I need to sleep on it.  I am not sure what I will do.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Buffy Season 9: No 3, Free Fall Pt. 3

Spoilers after Steve Morris' gorgeous cover.

So I make all this fuss about the mysterious young guy's necklace and bracelet, and in this book, they're missing!  Same day, same time, no more necklace/bracelet combo.  LOL - go figure.  I mean, they show his hands and neck close-up, and someone forgot to draw in his necklace and bracelet.

Buffy's in awe of this guy, Severin, whose powers can basically suck the demons out of the bodies they've inhabited.   She and he go back to his gorgeous digs because the cops are after Buffy for "killing" vampires.  Since the world knows about them now, they have rights, a-la "True Blood."  Severin tells the tale of how his girlfriend decided she wanted to get made into a vampire, cause they're so cooool, except when she's "made," she's super-feral and attacks him.  He defends himself and suddenly, some power from his hands removes the evil from her body and she's on the floor, dead.   The vamps are feral now because Buffy destroyed the seed where magic comes from in Season 8, so now any new vamps made, are not..coherent or something.  Magic made them coherent and cognizant.

Meanwhile, Spike's hunting the green-ball-force field guy from parts 1 and 2, finding him/it in Alcatraz.  Oddly enough, this dude is not trying to kill her, he wants to thank her for destroying the seed of magic that released him from some jail, by protecting her from the siphon.  An evil being that siphons energy. Hey, don't we know someone who....

Rut Roh.  Severin leads Buffy into a trap and we're left hanging until the next episode.

I loved the "call to Scoobies" and seeing that Andrew's listening to Lady Gaga while repairing a robot arm.  *snort*  WHAT is he going to do with that?  Willow's being avoidy, and Xander and Dawn are kind-of annoying because they're fighting over Xander forgetting Dawn's birthday, but her birthday has not happened yet.  She's annoying. Can she get eaten?

Now we have to wait and see what happens in the final part of "Free Fall", which is already out..and then some. I am really behind on my posts.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

La Familia

The Saturday before my Panama trip, we went to see my dad and step-mom's new house. I am so behind on my posts.  The passing of a loved one tends to put things into perspective.

Dad and Nellie got themselves a great new place.

Check out that open door there.  That would be FOUR sliding glass doors that nest into each other, leading out to a screened in patio.  On cool days, like this day, they leave the doors open and let nature cool the house.

The stairs off to the right of the above picture lead to a loft room with a half bath.  It's the only room on the second floor.

My sister Lissette came over with her hubby John and my two nieces.

Isabel and her cousin Lyric

The tech nerds.  Jacob, Dad and John with my sis Lissette.

Little Miss Giana aka Gigi.

Step-mama Nellie with her granddaughters Isabel and Lyric.

Nerds in the house!

And I say Nerds with love, being one myself!

We had a nice lunch (Shepherd's Pie - YUM!) listened to old music I grew up with in Puerto Rico and NY and then headed home because I had to fly out to Panama the next morning.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another 5k Update

This one is NOT good.

While in Panama the week of February 5-11, I worked out in the hotel's gym.  Both of the treadmills were down, so for 3 days I used their elliptical machine for 45 minutes each day.  Then on Thursday evening, one of the two treadmills had been fixed, so I was raring to go.

That morning, checking my emails, I saw my final registration instructions in my email.  I was SO EXCITED, especially after learning that this year's Princess/Theme was Rapunzel from "Tangled."  This meant my medal for completing the course would be "Tangled"-themed.  Yahoo!

So, I am on the treadmill and jogging at a good pace. I am psyched! I am jogging longer than I do at home.  I am thrilled, I am....DOINK.  I am hobbling.  I am slowing down.  My left knee has decided to poop out on me.  I slow down and get off, only having done 20 minutes.  I go to the front desk and ask for ice (there are no ice machines anywhere) and they say they'll send up some ice.  Twenty minutes later and I am calling from my room asking where the ice is.

When it finally arrives, I pour it into an empty garbage can liner and place it on my elevated knee.

This. Cannot. Happen.


Friday I hobbled at work in Panama, keeping my leg iced as much as possible while working.  Saturday, we had to go into the office.  My Panamanian co-worker brought me his knee brace from when he had surgery and told me to take it on the plane with me.   Later that evening at the airport, I could NOT keep up with my Orlando co-worker who had come down with me, getting constant pings of pain. I ended up getting wheelchair assistance from Copa airlines AND they gave me an entire row of seats to myself.  All three seats so I could stretch my leg out.  Upon arriving in Orlando, I got wheelchair assistance from the plane, all the way through customs, baggage claim and passenger pick-up.

It's Monday the 13th when I type this.   I am using a cane my sister Brenda had left in the car she gave Jacob.  Thank goodness it was there.  I have felt fine and then the next second felt awful.  I made an appointment with an Orthopedics specialist who cannot see me until  Monday the 20th.  Then that next Saturday the 25th, is the race.

Too soon.  So close.  I almost made it.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Military Funeral

My former father-in-law, my son's grandfather, was given a hero's funeral today.

Alex was born in Brooklyn, New York, on December 27, 1939, to Alex and Marie Frisenda.  He enlisted in the USMC at the young age of 18 and proudly served 20 years as a helicopter pilot, which included two tours to Vietnam.  He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and President’s Unit Citation for his efforts in the war and was responsible for the safe medical evacuation of soldiers from all branches of the Armed Forces.  He was a 32 Degree Scottish Rite Mason, a member of the Shriners, VFW, and the American Legion.

At the funeral home, the males of the family, including Jacob, bore his coffin to the hearse for the hour and a half ride to the cemetery.

I love Kyle saluting to the far left. 

Jacob and his big brother Gregory.

 He was buried at Florida National Military Cemetery with Marines escorting his coffin, giving him a gun-salute and sending him off with Taps.  It was absolutely moving.

The guns in the background.

Lone bugler playing.

Family members say one last prayer.

Aunt Sharon and Jacob.

Jacob was given one of the cartridges from the gun salute.