Warning: This post is super long!!!
Race Eve: On Saturday I met Robin, along with some other DailyMile members who were running the Disney Princess Half for dinner. I still tend to draw back into my shell when I'm in a group of people that I don't know well, but they were all very friendly and encouraging... just like they are online.
Then I headed home and began getting ready for bed. After triple checking both the alarm clock and the alarm on my cell phone later that night, I finally went to bed around 8:45, only to wake up at 11pm. I stayed in bed desperately praying for sleep and then I began having random thoughts of going to Waffle House. It's been so long that I couldn't even tell you when I last ate there so really?
It was around that time that I concluded that getting a good nights sleep was a big fat #FAIL. So I got up, made breakfast, got dressed, and put on my tiara. It was still really early so I had to wait around a bit. I sat on the couch with my furbabies and watched Mean Girls and part of Legally Blonde. Then 3am hit and it was finally time to head out to Disney!
Pre-Race: For some reason, whenever I get off at 192 I always fail to take the ramp onto Disney property. Per usual, I realized I was headed out to Kissimmee before making a u-turn and getting back on track.
After waiting around in the athlete holding area the gate was opened, and we headed towards our corrals. I was the fifth person to go into Corral C so I got right up front.
Did I mention that it was cold? Well it was, but it wasn't cold enough to damper my excitement! I actually participated in the Cha Cha Slide, and even worse, the Macarena during the 45 minute wait. What seemed like a short time later, the fairy godmother announced that it was time for the race to begin and after counting down the runners in Corral A were off! The corrals were released 7 minutes apart so 14 minutes later it was my turn!!!
Start - Mile 3: I normally struggle with the first three miles of my run, but not today! My first three miles flew by... but not before I passed a bunch of walkers who I'm assuming started out to fast, a high school band, Flik from A Bugs Life, and Captain Jack Sparrow and his ship. A lot of people stopped for pictures but I was on a mission!
Mile 1: 10:10
Mile 2: 10:31
Mile 3: 10:41
Official 5k pace: 10:31
Miles 4-6: This was without a doubt, the best part of the race for me! My cheer squad was somewhere around mile 4.5. I should mention that my cousin was so excited that she had some random (but fun) lady screaming my name too lol. After taking a few pics and giving my camera to my sister, I ran on feeling like a rockstar.
Before I knew it we were entering Magic Kingdom. When we turned the corner onto Main Street USA I could feel the biggest grin come across my face. It was awesome because spectators were lined up along the street! Then I saw the castle. Now, I don't normally get excited about stuff like that but it was seriously amazing to run through the castle (still wearing a huge grin, of course). I stopped long enough to take a picture, which I'm pretty sure is going to look really dorky because I vaguely remember throwing my hands up into something that probably resembled peace signs. Then I headed on.
Mile 4: 11:14
Mile 5: 10:31
Mile 6: 10:55
Official 10k pace: 10:55
Miles 7-9: I don't remember anything exciting about Mile 7. But Mile 8 is another story *sigh* About halfway through Mile 8 I realized that my hamstrings had been tight for a while and it wasn't going away, so I stopped to do a couple of stretches. When I started running again Oh Em Gee!!! My hip was hurting! But I kept running, albeit it slower. After all, this was my first half marathon and I didn't go there to walk. But by mile 9 I was doing just that, which did not make me happy Ugh!
Side note: I wish there were more spectators between Miles 9 and 10 of the course because that part runs along another service road and is very boring. My cheer squad clearly isn't any good at following directions because they'd all gone back to the finish line at Epcot instead of spreading out along the course as instructed.
Mile 7: 11:20
Mile 8: 11:26
Mile 9: 14:21
Official 15k pace: 11:30
Miles 10-12: By mile 10 I decided that I was going to run the last 5k come hell or high water. Unfortunately the version of hell that I envisioned didn't have the effing onramp that I came to around 10.44 miles. I would have been okay with the incline because it wasn't that steep, but the stupid thing also had a wicked slope to the right. The slope increased the pain in my hip and it was just too much!
I still didn't feel physically fatigued and I had been strong mentally up until that point. But having to walk that ramp was sooo frustrating that I began tearing up. And it was a slow walk at that. I looked down at Gabbie (my Garmin) and realized that there was no way that I was going to hit my 11:00 min/mile pace goal and started getting even more bummed about the whole situation. I'm sure I looked like a princess who'd kissed one too many frogs at that point.
Once I got to the top of the ramp I looked over the overpass at the sea of people who were behind me and in such good spirits. That actually cheered me up a bit. I ran on and realized that I was coming up on Jack Sparrow again, then Flik, and the highschool band! That must mean that I was almost finished!
Once we got back into Epcot there were spectators and volunteers cheering us on and telling us that we only had one mile to go. I really did not want to walk any of that last mile so I prayed that there would be no more sloped ramps and kept going. When I rounded the corner and could spot the finish line I started grinning like an idiot. I didn't have it in me to sprint to the finish line but I did finish it running!
Mile 10: 13:18
Mile 11: 14:32
Mile 12: 12:55
Mile 13: 11:43
Last .25 before I stopped the timer: 2:37
Official time: 2:37:37
Garmin time: 2:36:24 for 13.25 miles (Not sure why, but most DailyMilers said their Garmin also charted the course at 13.25 miles instead of 13.1)
Post-Race: I picked up my finisher's medal and walked towards the food before realizing that my hip felt like it was gonna fall off lol. My only thought beyond getting a banana and something to drink was to get to my car so that I could stretch and sit down. After finding my family, we took a couple of pictures...
then I headed off in the direction of my car. Only I couldn't find it! I seriously wandered around the parking lot for at least 10 minutes before realizing that it was on the row that I had initially started on, but farther down the row FML. I dragged my left leg into my SUV and headed back home. Somewhere on the trip back, I realized that I was rubbing my medal, grinning, and planning my next half marathon!