Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Disney - Saturday (half)

Wow 2:15 a.m. is darn early! Yet it had to be done if I was going to have time to eat and drink sufficiently, roll my legs and catch the bus by 4 a.m. at the absolute latest. Most races I feel nauseated in the morning, but this time I was famished! I had a 400-calorie bar and a full Nalgene bottle of water (32 oz). I packed another 16-oz bottle for the ride and walk to the start. I had packed a mylar blanket from a past race, but I stepped out of my room into a sauna. It was crazy humid at 3:45!!!

I knew the race was huge, but I didn't have a feel for it until I was walking from my room to the bus in the front of the hotel. The room next to me was lit up, and the one next to that, and after that. On the main grounds, I immediately saw 30 people walking to the bus line. Yes, a line. It was less than 10 minutes though and we were on our way!

The race finished at a parking lot of Epcot and started somewhere near there. The buses dropped off their passengers, then we had to walk close to a mile to the start. There were 16 corrals and I was in J. I was early so I did some good quality stretching, then just hung out and talked to other runners. Corrals were on both sides of the median and who did I see walking down the median? Mad Dog!!!! I yelled out his name, but he didn't hear me.

For at least an hour prior to the start, there was a dj playing music, interviewing runners, etc. Then fireworks! and nothing... It took my wave almost exactly a half hour to cross the start. It was fine with me. I didn't feel particularly ready to run. My legs were still sore and I was in no hurry.
Around the 1-mile mark, we passed the first of the characters - Captain Jack Sparrow and someone else from Pirates of the Caribbean. I didn't stop for a photo with them.
This one is just funny - there is a parking price for a tractor??? Who brings a tractor to Disney World???
Each of the mile markers was a character from a movie. People were stopping to take pictures with the mile markers. I photographed each of them, but I don't need to upload all 39 :)
The sun was starting to rise as I entered the Magic Kingdom, which was definitely the best part of the course. Most of the course was on back roads and not scenic at all. The parts in the parks were great, but those were less than 1 mile of the half.

Here is the line to see Winnie the Pooh. I passed most of the characters, but when I saw Pooh, I knew that was the time to stop. I wanted to give him a hug, but the photographer with my camera took it too soon. Oops! I look like I'm about to grope Pooh or something! He gave me a kiss after lol
 It was cool and overcast, which wasn't altogether terrible weather.
We ran on an overpass and all these people are behind me. Despite my glacial pace, I had no worries whatsoever of being last, or anywhere close!
The last stretch was in Epcot, which was open to the public by that point. With 0.2 miles left, the air filled with the gospel choir's singing and I sprinted to the end!!! No I didn't! I walked the last three miles or so. When another runner encouraged me to pick it up, I said I was conserving energy for tomorrow! :) I did manage to jog across the finish, which was in a parking lot.
My time - I'm not sure exactly. Somewhere in excess of 3 hours, which is far and away my worst half ever, but whatever. I was definitely NOT running this one for time. I considered it more of a fun run - enjoy the scenery, stop and see the castle and the characters and don't stress about time. It was a good strategy, especially given the gimpiness of my hip and legs.
If anyone is counting, this is half #4 and yes, I made the tutu. I made it pink with blue undertones so I could wear it with both shirts I packed, but decided to not wear it for the full because when it got covered in sweat and dew, some of the streamers clung to the backs of my legs and felt not so pleasant.

There were medical stations right at the finish - both staffed and self-treatment. I grabbed a bag of ice from the self treatment area and immediately held it on my hip. As a Goofy runner, there was one final step, which was to pick up a wristband that confirmed I finished the half and would be eligible for the Goofy medal the next day.

The food was pretty much crap - a small box with sample foods from the sponsors and a banana. Waited a few minutes for the bus and wound up sitting next to an elderly woman from Novi, Michigan, because I can find Michiganders anywhere in the world. She and her friends invited me to go to Downtown Disney with them, but I really just wanted to relax at the pool.

I was so happy the hotel cafeteria was still serving breakfast because it's exactly what I was craving, despite being awake for 9 hours at that point. The sun came out after breakfast and I donned my compression sleeves, jeans, a long sleeve race shirt, a floppy hat and crashed under a pool umbrella for 6-7 hours.

After dinner it was time to hit my feet with a pumice stone, soak in epsom salt, roll and go to bed early, so I could do it all again the next day!

On the plane ride home, I made a list of all the characters at each race. Here is who I remember from the half - anyone remember any that I forgot?

Pirates of the Caribbean
Cinderalla, Prince Charming and 2 mice
Phineas and Ferb
The Nightmare before Christmas guy
Buzz Lightyear
Glow in the dark kites
Winnie the Pooh
Launchpad McDuck
The Red Queen
Mickey playing golf
an old train with conductors
2 reindeer
Green Army guy
Donald and Daisy
the Alligator from Peter Pan (or some other alligator? idk)

1 comment:

  1. YEAH!! So glad to see you made it through!! You looked great to or TU TU!! ha ha
    This is one of my favorite halves I have ever done. I am determined to get back to Disney and do it again!
    When I see your pictures I want so bad to be there.
    I ran it the year of the cold front. The year animals were falling iguanas were falling out of trees and manatees were dying. It was very sad.
    But leaving on a good note it was FUN!!
    Congrats, You just keep on Going Michelle! WTG girl!