WARNING: Extremely wordy post, I’m still on a running high!
I DID IT! I actually ran 13.1 miles without being rushed to the ER on the Disney ambulance (I had a few pre race nightmares)! I have something to confess, unfortunately I lied to you all. In my previous post: Setting & Achieving Goals, I told you all that I wasn’t setting a goal time to finish my race in and I just wanted to be happy to finish the dang thing.
Well that was a BIG load of CRAP….sorry! Secretly I knew I wanted to keep a 10:00 minute mile pace (this is fast for me so don’t laugh) and finish the race in 2 hours & 15 minutes.
Let’s take a journey through my head as I go through each mile:
This is the course map.
I arrived at the ESPN Worldwide of Sports at 7:30 PM as directed. Sat around and twiddled my thumbs with 9,999 other runners until my Corral began at 10:10 PM.
Sidenote- Sitting around for 2 ½ hours with no cell phone and no friends, SUCKED! Especially when my parents and Mike were enjoying themselves in Epcot at the Food & Wine Festival without me! Not cool.
The Start – 10:10 pm
I snuck my way up to the front of my corral and broke away from the pack immediately after the start gun. After all that waiting, I was ready to RUN. Earlier that day Mike helped me make a playlist on my ipod and found the most amazing first song to get me going.
“Start it up” by Lloyd Banks
Mile 1 -10:18 pm
I hit my first mile, saw the clock and said “holy shit I better slow down, I’m never going to make it if I keep up this pace.” I tried slowing down, but I was feeling really good so I continued to weave in and out of runners to break away from the crowd.
Mile 4 –
The first 3.75 miles flew by, my legs felt great, the air was perfectly cool, and the atmosphere was ravenous. I couldn’t hear much going on around me because my headphones were pumpin’, but I did see a concert going on in the middle of the road at one point, and a couple of guys prancing around on stilts.
I was in the zone.
During mile 4 we weaved in and out of Animal Kingdom. I remember the sidewalks being narrow, bumpy ,and dark. Disney employee’s lined each sidewalk holding up their Mickey Mouse gloves awaiting each runners high-five.
Call me a bad sport but I passed on the high-five, and smiled instead. Think about all those germs…blegh!
I was still in the zone.
I finally built up the courage to snatch some water at the H20 station. I passed two or three water stations prior to this one, but I decided to pass and observe everyone’s water snatching techniques. Very tricky stuff.
After studying each runners technique, I devised a plan: Run to the very end of the water station, grab the very last cup and MOVE OUT OF THE WAY! Well, my plan failed terribly. I got the very last cup and some dude pushed me out of the way while saying, “God – uuuggghh, move!” Then he proceeded to steal the very last cup I had my eyes set on, toss it over his head in attempt to cool himself off but threw it in my face instead.
Water station = epic fail. Didn’t matter though, I was still in the zone.
I got a massive cramp in my side that slowed me down. Every time I passed the clock I knew I was safely running just under 10 minutes miles, so I had a couple of minutes to spare. I decided to walk a little to ease the cramp, so I walked at a fast pace for about 30 seconds and wa-lah my cramp started to fade! I swallowed a GU which was absolutely disgusting, took a couple sips of water (safely), and kept on truckin’.
Finally after the monotony of miles five through eight, things were starting to brighten up as we trailed through Hollywood Studios (A.K.A. MGM). At last, something to look at other than trees and running shoes!
People were periodically stopping to take pictures with the Star Wars cast, and other various Disney characters. There was absolutely no chance I was stopping to take a picture let alone even crack a smile at this point. My knees were starting to hurt and I just wanted this dang race to be OVER!
I lost my zone.
Finally I started seeing friends and families (not my own) on the side of the path holding up signs and routing us on to the finish line. At this point I no longer had feeling in my legs and I forced myself to “enjoy” the scenery and leg out this last mile. Mike and my parents were patiently waiting for me at the Wine & Dine Festival at the Mexico kiosk, and I couldn’t wait to get there! As soon as I crossed the finish line I bee lined it for my bags, totally skipped passed the official photo taking area, and called the fam.
My knees were killing me and all I could think of is, “OMG I can’t believe I just ran 13.1 miles in two hours and ten minutes!”
All in all it was an unforgetable weekend, we stayed at a gorgeous resort, I got to spend quality time with friends, family and Mike……AND I finished my first half marathon with out dying! 🙂
Thank you all sooooo much for all the love, your supportive comments were so encouraging! ❤
Will I do another half marathon? YES, but with a friend or a group of people.
How does my body feel? The day after my knees were still killing me, but my muscles felt good.