Tuesday, March 6, 2012

race day recap

2am is very early. Oddly though when the alarm went off I was up and ready. It was probably all of the adrenaline flowing through me, but I was set. I started the morning off like I do every single day with a cup of tea. I got my gear on and sat down for breakfast. My normal long run breakfast had been oatmeal with pumpkin puree and some fruit. Lately I haven't been feeling the oatmeal, especially down in Florida with the warmth I just wasn't into it. I had decided to go with granola instead. I bought a few packets of it from Target our first day in Florida and I had been eating it for breakfast with a single serving of unsweetened applesauce every morning to see how it effected me and my tummy. I had breakfast, and then started hydrating. I did my makeup (just light concealer for pre race pictures and mascara) and then we were ready to go!
3am Mike! (with pins waiting for his bib #)
3am Momma! Packing up the post race bag
3am Me! Phew I look sleepy!
We left at about 3:15 and were parked and walking to the bag check area by 4. That includes that time that it took for me to get dressed when we got out of the car. I had to put on my belt and tutu, and it took a really long time to get it perfectly adjusted. There was music blasting, party lights and group dancing going on when we got to the bag check area. It was pitch black outside but it felt like 8pm not 4am! It was seriously an awesome sight! We hung out and danced for a while. Then it was time to head to bag check. They had it super organized and I didn't have to wait at all. We walked right up and handed them our bags and it was done. Super easy!
We're there!!!
Mom helping me glitter myself. You can kind of see some of it
in the picture, but it was overwhelming. I was a glitter monster.
Post glittering!
Porta-Potty zone.
Then I proceeded to glitter myself and get ready to head to the corrals. I managed to use an entire can of spray glitter on myself. I was definitely sparkly! After we went through the bag check we were in this massive square made of porta-potties. It was insane. I have never seen so many in one place in my life. At this point there was a tiny hiccup. They had been very clear that we must be to our corrals by 5am and that it was about a 20 minute walk from the bag check area to the corrals, but they wouldn't let us through to start that journey until after 440. Now for us it wasn't even close to a 20 minute walk and we even stopped to use the bathroom. Not a big deal at all though. We got to the corral and were pretty close to the front of it. It was awesome. A lot of people were complaining about the cold, but since I had been training in 20 degree weather, the 55ish degrees outside felt amazing. I actually ditched my throw away shirt before I even got to the corral because I didn't need/want it anymore.
Then we waited. Luckily there was a DJ playing some awesome music. I did the cha cha slide, and danced around keeping my energy up. It was 5am and I had been up since 2, if I just sat still I think the exhaustion might have set in.
Right before heading to our corral
Corral F is for Fabulous, fearless and FAST!
Waiting in the corral
And we're off!!
Finally it was our turn to head to the start line. Every corral starts with the fairy godmother giving us good wishes for our journey and then fireworks on the start line. Nothing gets you going like fireworks.

Entering the Magic Kingdom right at sunrise...Just how daddy would have wanted!
Miles 1-3 are the beginning stretch. You're running on the roads from EPCOT to the Magic Kingdom. They had a few characters and some entertainment. It was really dark out still and I really had to pee, so I ran right past them. I kept taking my headphones off to hear the music/people cheering us on. That part always helps me.

Awesome drum line. I loved this!

The castle is in sight!!!
About to run through!!! The moment I've been obsessing over!
Random girl, but I had to take a picture of them because they're Jenni's favorite!
Miles 3-7ish are through Magic Kingdom. I took off my headphones the minute we ran into the park. It was actually super deceptive though. You run through the car entrance and then there is nearly another 2 miles until you're running through the park. Once I got to mile 3 and ran through the car entrance, I decided I could wait for my bathroom break for the real bathrooms in the park. Those 2 miles were hard with a full bladder. Seeing the drum squad was pretty awesome though, and the DJ playing Eye of the Tiger seriously got my morale back up. At mile 5 I saw Jess on the side lines. I was SO excited to see here for a couple reasons. First off, it was really awesome to have people there cheering me on. Also, she had a spare pair of socks for me and the ones I was wearing were rubbing wrong and giving me a blister on my arch. I sat down and I changed my socks on the side of the course. Then I got up and I continued the journey. Unfortunately when I stood up I got a weird migraine aura. I normally get these with low blood sugar, or right before a migraine hits. I was really hoping it was just low blood sugar. I ran with it until we hit a water station at about mile 6. But in that time we ran through the Magic Kingdom. It was AWESOME. It was the first time I had been there in 10 years, so much had changed yet so much was exactly the same. I cried a little, but mostly held it together. Then we ran through the castle. The moment I had been most excited about!! How could a race be anything but awesome when you get to run through Cinderella's castle?! Finally we got to the water station, I took my first GU and drank 2 cups of water. Within a couple minutes the aura went away but I got a tiny bit paranoid so I started taking it a little easier on myself. I walked more than I wanted to, but I kept going.
Miles 7-11 are hard. There were moments when I was talking to my dad in my head begging him to help me through it. I was tired, pushing myself to keep going and I was feeling defeated. I knew I could finish. I knew I was WAY far ahead of the balloon lady, but I was in pain and my doubts were kicking my butt. At about mile 10 we got a 45 second burst of rain. It felt amazing, but it made the ramps (what Florida calls hills!) a little slippery so I walked up them. I loved the entertainment on this part of the race. The DJ's the announcers, the green army men telling us to "take the hill"! It was just so fun!
Finish strong!
After mile 11, mentally I knew I was almost done. I pushed a little harder. I ran more than I had in the previous 4 miles, I was ready to finish this race strong! After passing the mile 12 marker we ran into EPCOT and up to the fountain and then back down to the ball and out into the parking lot. This is what I now refer to as the longest mile of my life. I don't know if it was because I was tired, or because people on the sidelines kept yelling "less than a mile to go!!", but it just felt SO LONG! But then you leave the park and see the gospel choir and the mile 13 marker and you're so close. I put it into high gear. I ran and as I was entering the chute to the finish line, I saw my friend Molly who came to cheer me on. I was so happy, I was about to finish my first half! I ran through the finish line and there was my mom who had finished just a couple minutes before me. I hugged her, told her how badly I hurt and proceeded to get my medal and head to the med tent to get ice for my knee and foot.
In the med tent getting my ice on!
One heck of a mother/daughter team!
My mom is an amazing rock star!
Mom figured out how meet up with everyone else while I sat and enjoyed the sweet pain relief the ice was giving me. We decided to meet everyone on the other side of bag check. At this point it was raining on us and we were freezing. My only complaint is that Disney should have had the space blankets for us at the finish line. After running I always get cold, but when you add in the rain, I was FREEZING. Mom and I made our way to bag check and we stopped to get the box of post race food/goodies Disney had prepared for us. I also picked up a thing of Goofy fruit snacks. Then we got our stuff and then met up with Jess, Dan, Molly and Mike! Mike finished a LONG time before me and he was a champ. He had a poncho and had eaten. He was doing great! We collectively decided to leave Disney and head back to the condo to change then head to lunch at the place across the street from the condo.
I hobbled my way to Molly's car and turned the heat way up and enjoyed sitting for a minute. Then I broke into the box of goodies. I ate the fruit snacks first and I don't think anything has ever tasted so good. I was starving. There was trail mix, crackers, hummus,  and a piece of dark chocolate in the box. I chowed down on the trail mix (minus the raisins) and the dark chocolate and enjoyed the 10 minute ride. I slowly ran up to the condo, rinsed some of the yuck off myself, put on my "i did it!" shirt and we went to lunch. Lunch was amazing. I had a turkey club (no bacon) and had no food guilt. After lunch we went back to the condo and all took long naps. It was 1pm and we were all exhausted. I slept for like an hour and a half and it was awesome.
The rest of the day was pretty low key, the highlight from then on was going for soft serve ice cream down the street. Yum!
It was really the perfect half marathon day. I couldn't have asked for a better experience.


Val Fox said...

You did so great! Congratulations!!

bnfunky said...

Congrats!!!! I bet that was stinkin AWESOME! I am not a runner, so I really really admire people who take the plunge and go for it. I love Disney...this would have been kind of emotional for me, as cheesy as that sounds. So happy for you, though!

Laura [Beauty & the Beard] said...

love the glitter and tutu, congrats aagain. btw you two make such a cute couple!

Jamie said...

Awesome job...glad you had a good time. Also nice to see that changing your morning food routine didnt mess with your tummy. :) wooohoo!!