Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Princess Half Recap

Since it's been over a week I think I owe you guys a recap of my first ever (and definitely not last) half marathon!

Saturday morning we attended the race expo, getting our bibs was no problem. There were no lines for that by the time we got in. After getting our bibs we headed over to get our race swag and to get in line for the RunDisney goodies. We walked in and the guy manning the "I Did It" t-shirt booth gave someone the last one. I was a little sad about that but luckily I had my sixth sense in overdrive and I overheard a woman talking to her daughter about whether or not she wanted the shirt. I casually stood near her and she offered me the shirt, I was psyched! That was on my must buy list for the expo! After checking out all the other goodies in there we looked around the expo (which was pretty crowded, I can't even imagine what it was like Friday) and I met the ladies from Another Mother Runner and they were so sweet. Loving on M like everyone was ALL week.

Once we were done with the expo we took the bus back to Downtown Disney and met up with the boys to do some prerace grocery shopping and dinner prep!

Sunday morning came awfully fast, I guess 2:30 am usually does. Couple that with a little case of race nerves and being overtired from our Friday evening/Saturday morning travel fiasco I can definitely say I wasn't rested. But once I got up and moving and got some food in my belly I felt a bit better. I was still nervous for the heat and humidity since training in a northern Vermont winter was 80° cooler than the Florida temps. We made it to the parking lot at Epcot around 4am and it was pretty smooth sailing for bag dropoff and porta potty usage.

Then we began the pretty long walk to the corrals where we sat and waited for quite awhile. I sipped on water and had a banana while we were waiting since I ate at 3:30 am and knew I wouldn't make it on the bagel thin with nutella alone. We sat around and waited, chatted it up with some people near us.. and soon enough it was time to start! You would think being all the way back in corral G would make it seem like I was waiting forever, but once everything started it wasn't too bad.

 Once the race was underway it was hot and HUMID within a mile. We were drenched. We had a tough time running around people who were walking on the left side of the road and stopping/starting without giving anyone a warning. Once we were in the Magic Kingdom I found my sister in law (and the reason I was running this race). She was in corral F so I never imagined I would find her, especially with 24,000 people running the race. We ran together the whole second half which was awesome. During the race I had my shot blocks every 3 miles or so and pretty much picked up water or powerade at each stop. It was necessary. Around mile 8 my feet started to get really sore, I am just not used to being so sweaty when I run since the weather is a bit different here in Vermont. I was definitely expecting blisters when I finished but I lucked out in that department. And everyone lied about the hills, the mile 11 & mile 12 ones are way worse than mile 10. But finishing the last hill at mile 12 and getting into EPCOT was amazing, all of the people cheering and the choir when you pass the last bend was just what I needed to push myself through the last mile of the race. I finished in 2:52:44, and I am not disappointed. It was my first half and I did what I set out to do. I ran the whole thing and FINISHED!

 As much as it is awesome that I finished, I have a few things for next time (because I'm pretty sure there will be a next time).

I will make sure to have a 10K time to submit to RunDisney for a better corral placement. If people want to walk or walk/run a race that is okay by me, it was just hard to keep dodging people/jumping on and off of sidewalks and curbs. I would rather be out of the way and hopefully miss as much of that as possible.

We didn't stop for any character pictures and I think I would have if I were in a better corral to start earlier.

For my next race I am definitely going to get some speedwork in, because I know there won't always be a choir around the corner getting me to the finish.

RunDisney, you haven't seen the last of me!

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