Sunday, February 26, 2012

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

I did it!!  Another half marathon in the books.  My eleventh.  And subsequently my eleventh Disney race.  Cuz I’m a Disney girl.  If you can’t tell by my outfit today...

I was not the only one dressed up at the Disney Princess half marathon.  In fact, I was probably wearing one of the more understated costumes of the day.  You would not believe what people were wearing - it was awesome.  I would say about 75% of the almost 20,000 women running the race were in some sort of sparkly skirt, tutu or other type of fun skirt or outfit, and many were in full blown costumes.  And of the maybe 100 guys in the race (I swear I only saw like 10 dudes), many of them were dressed in skirts, or at least pink, too!  I love this race.  

So let’s start at the beginning....  My alarm went off at 3:15am and I immediately cursed half marathons, running and everything about today.  Seriously, the worst part of the half marathon is the alarm clock.  Well, and the 2 or 3 days of utter pain and misery in my lower half, but I digress.  So the alarm went off, I crawled out of bed and made my way into the bathroom, and as soon as I saw my red sparkly skirt, I was awake, and a little excited about the day to come.

I changed, got some breakfast (I had caffeine before this race, something I have never done, this was a good call!) and took some lovely self portraits of myself before leaving.  

The weather was cool, but not cold.  Thank you God.  I was so afraid that my skirt and sleeveless top would have to be covered by a parka, but thankfully, my new arm sleeves did the trick.

I met up with Amanda and we made our way over to Epcot for the start of the race.  After a quick porta potty trip and a couple of pics, we were on our way to our corrals.

Amanda was in corral G and I was in corral F so we took a picture, said our goodbyes and made it over to our respective corrals to wait until the start.  At the start of each corral they shot off fireworks.  How cool is that?

And soon, we were off!  My plan was to do 2/1 intervals - 2 minutes running, 1 minute walking - until I couldn’t do it anymore.  I started running and I felt GOOD!  Not too much ankle/achilles pain.  I ran super slow, but hey, at least I was running, which was more than I was expecting with ol’ tendinitis foot.  I did my 2/1 intervals solidly for 5 miles.  Didn’t miss an interval, I felt SO good!  

And then I hit the big hill before the entrance to Magic Kingdom and totally lost steam.  Grr.  That hill always trips me up.  So I decided to run down Main Street USA and then walk the rest of the way through the park.  Because, why not stop and enjoy the scenery, right?  

As I was taking my nice long walk break around the park, I came across a couple of character stops without too big of a line, so I said “what the hell” and jumped in line.  I paused my Garmin and got my picture taken with Tweedledee (or Tweedledum?) and the White Rabbit.  

And the flub, I forgot to turn my Garmin back on for about 5 minutes.  AAH!   And then I came across some more photo ops...

Woody!  And, again, I paused the Garmin and forgot to turn it on again until like 5 minutes later.  GRR!  So, I really don’t know what my final time was, but I should probably add 8-10 minutes to my Garmin time.  Hrmph.  

So anyway, I exited the park and decided that my time was up on the running.  I tried going back to my 2/1 thang, but I my ankle was super sore at this point.  So I just started to walk.  The back end of this course is sooooo boring.  Couple that with walking and you have some real excitement.  Miles and miles of nothingness, though this time I did find some fun photo ops to partake in.  Like the Crooning Prince Charmings...

And these fun character ops...

Yes, that's a Mickey Mouse golf cart

And there was an awesome stretch of road where for like a mile they blared only one song - “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson.  OMG, so perfect.  I LOVE that song, and seriously, it was the most perfect song for the situation.

Anyway...  There’s not much to say about the last 5 miles.  I was hoofing it and drinking a lot.  Every water stop was like a liquid buffet for me.  Water?  Sure!  Powerade?  Don’t mind if I do!  I was all about the hydration today. 

Around mile 11 it started to rain.  Fantastic.  Not hard, but just enough to get us wet.  And I feel like it got colder at that point too.  Thankfully there were only 2 miles left.  On the stretch between 11 and 12 I was really starting to hurt everywhere - my legs, my butt, my ankle, pretty much everything.  And I must have been hobbling along because a woman stopped me and told how much she admired me for going through with a half marathon with a bum ankle.  I guess she saw my ankle brace and was like “good for you!”  So I must have been looking extra gimp-y at that moment for her to stop and say something.

And then she said something else that made me laugh out loud.  She said, “and good for you for going and doing your thing in the woods in front of everyone!”  I was like “WHAT???” and she said “weren’t you the Minnie who was in the woods doing her thing?  We were all cheering for you!”  And I emphatically said NOOOO!!!  EW!  She was like “it looked just like you!”  I was like “it WASN”T!!!!”  I have never had a bathroom attack during a race, but I’m pretty sure even if I did I would not drop trou in the woods.  There are like porta potties every 500 feet on the course so I always wonder why people (especially girls) opt to go in the woods.  

Anyway - I finally made it to mile 12.  ONE MORE MILE!!!

At this point I was uber excited to get to the finish line, so I turned up my favorite last mile song - Ricky Martin’s La Copa de la Vida - and sped up!  I ran (or hobbled) across the finish line with 3:10 on my Garmin, which means I finished in about 3:18-3:20.  Eh, I’ll take it!  

So there you have it, half marathon #11.  My fourth Disney Princess Half Marathon.  It was an awesome awesome experience despite my aches and pain and I am SO glad that I did it. So, another down. And now, I think I am going to take a nice long break from distance running for a while ...

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