The alarm went off this morning at 2:50. That's a.m. As in, only a couple of hours after I went to bed. I was actually awake when the alarm went off because I was paranoid about oversleeping, so needless to say I am pretty darn tired as I type this.
Before I left, while I was making my PB toast and doing my daily duo (yes, I made sure to do it today too!), I made the time take some lovely self portraits of me and my fabulous outfit. Check out this hotness. Remember this was 3:15am.
I made plans to meet up with Erin and Colleen at the pre-race "party" at 4:15...again a.m. Gotta stress the earliness of this venture - it was dang early! Traffic was absolutely horrendous driving into Epcot - like way worse than previous years. I attributed this to the fact that there were even more runners this year than previous years (22,421 people ran the half today).
I didn't make it to Epcot quite at 4:15, but I made it in plenty of time to meet up with Erin and Colleen, who I haven't seen in about 3 years, and plenty of time to take pics and hit the porta-potty lines before making our way to the corrals.
|Colleen and Erin|
|Me and my college roomie!|
It was about a 20 minute walk to the corrals from the pre-race staging area, but with the influx of people who were making their way to the corrals at the same time, it took closer to 30 minutes to get out to the starting area. Craziness.
Oh, and in addition to it being dang early, it was dang COLD!!! It was about 45 degrees and it felt every bit of 45. I had on my nifty arm sleeves (AKA, knee socks on my arms) and a hoodie and I was still close to numb. My hope was that I would be able to chuck my hoodie before the start of the race, and then chuck my arm warmers shortly thereafter. Not the case. I wore the hoodie well into mile 2 and the arm warmers the whole time. Brr!
Erin and I were in the same corral - Corral G - so we were able to chit chat before the race. It was Erin's first half marathon, and she was excited and not at all nervous. We decided to not stick together. She wanted to do her own thang, and I totally respect that. And she runs without music. I can't even fathom what that is like. Here we are before our corral started.
With every start of a corral, they did an official countdown and fireworks and stuff. Here's my amateur photography skills at work.
It's always exciting when the race officially begins, even though my corral didn't start for another 35 minutes. How crazy is that? Before our corral's official start, they showed the first place runner running through Magic Kingdom, which is mile 5. He had finished 5 miles before I even started! Craziness! This is how far away we were from the start line. Like a mile.
Anyway, soon thereafter we were off!! I was still suffering from hypothermia and at this point I could not feel my hands at all. Thankfully, the feeling came back after the first mile.
Let's talk about my running. As you know, my plan was to do 4/1 intervals, and I did. I started running through the start line and my pace was PERFECTION. It wasn't too slow, it wasn't too fast, it was PERFECT for me. Like buttah! I didn't even feel like I was running, that's how awesome it was. I was so pleased and happy. On some of my training runs I would run too fast and then poop out. But this was perfect pacing for me. Even though I felt good enough to run longer than 4 minutes in the beginning, I decided to still take my walk breaks when they came around. So glad I did this, because this allowed me to keep the pace going without getting too tired too fast.
Apparently I was so wrapped up in my awesome pace that I didn't even realize that my camera had bounced out of my pocket without my knowing. AAH! Lucky for me, someone tapped me on the shoulder and told me and as I turned around someone else was handing me my camera. Wow, thank you so much nice people. I would have died if I had lost it!! People are so nice.
Speaking of nice people there were dozens of people who tapped me on the shoulder or turned around to me, acknowledging my shirt, saying "great job on 10 half marathons!" Aww, so nice!!! (for those who don't know, my shirt says "This is my 10th half marathon!" on the front and back) I totally felt the love today.
And pretty soon, I was making my way into the parking area for Magic Kingdom - about three miles in.
I've run this course 8 times now, and I know it like the back of my hand, so there were no surprises at all through the course of the race. I will say I am a little bit ready for Disney to come up with a new course sometime soon. We'll see if that happens.
Anyway, I kept the pace all the way up until we entered Magic Kingdom, which is like the best part of the race everrrrr. Why? Because of this....
I tried taking a picture of myself in front of the castle, but that was a major fail. Luckily, someone saw my failed effort and offered to take my picture for me. Aww, such nice people I tell ya!
And after that, it was back to running.
|Through the castle|
Running through the park never gets old.
After the park, it gets uber boring, and this is usually where I totally crap out. I was OK on the backroads of Disney, and I was OK as we came up to the Grand Floridian and the golf courses. It was between mile 8 and mile 9 where the race turned for me. When I ate my Sport Beans ...
And that's it for part one! I'm gonna make you wait for part two and my story about the Sport Beans! I'm a meanie, yes. But I'm so tired and just ready to stop typing. So until tomorrow.... :)
To read Part Two of my Half Marathon recap, click here.
To read Part Two of my Half Marathon recap, click here.