As you may know, I had been dealing with foot/ankle pain for about a month by race weekend, so my training had been spotty at best. I hadn't had a good run in ages, and I hadn't been great about doing long runs at all. So, I was a little bit nervous. Luckily, our plan all along was to treat this race as a training run for the Tobacco Road Half Marathon, so at least I didn't have to worry about time. Also, we wanted to enjoy our limited time at Disney and go to parks, which I knew would probably interfere with my ability to run my best on Sunday.
So, Marissa and I drove down to Orlando on Friday after work, arriving around 1:00am. We were staying with Kimmy and her parents, who were running the Royal Family 5K on Saturday morning, so we basically crawled into bed the minute we got there. We woke up Saturday morning and got ready so that we could go to the parks with them when we got back. Saturday we spent most of the day in the Magic Kingdom and then took the bus over the expo. We actually already had our packets, but wanted to see the expo. I bought a 13.1 charm to put on a necklace and Marissa and Kimmy bought bondibands!
Anyway, after spending all the money on the planet, we headed over to the Animal Kingdom, because I REALLY wanted to do the safari. Unfortunately, we just missed it closing by about 5 minutes. It turned out okay, because we had a really great pre-race dinner (lo mein!) in Animal Kingdom before heading to bed.
The race started at 5:30am, so our alarms went off around 3:45. Yikes. With the terrible traffic, even leaving around 4:15am, we just barely made it to our corral in time for the start. They had fireworks go off for every corral, which was pretty cool. Also, this was the first race I ran that legitimiately started in the dark.
|slightly creepy photo of me pre-race|
|three princesses, ready for 13.1!|
I think the first mile had two bands and a DJ, which was pretty fun. After that, every mile or so there were some characters or set up where you could stop and take your picture. Unfortunately, the lines got pretty long, so Marissa and I opted to skip most of the photo ops. However, I was loosely dressed up as Belle from Beauty and the Beast, so when I saw the Candlestick and no line, I decided to take advantage.
|be our guest!|
In case you aren't familiar with the course, the race starts in the Epcot parking lot and goes down the highway towards Magic Kingdom. On the way there are characters or music about once per mile (or it seemed to be at about that frequency). Then you get to run around Magic Kingdom - which is pretty cool - you even get to run through the Castle and down the main drag, and there are lots of spectators there
|not sure why i look so awkward.|
Marissa and I stayed together until around mile 12 when we were in Epcot. My feet were killing me and my training hadn't been great, so I was really struggling, while she was feeling great... so she took off! This ended up being quite good for me, because I was determined to finish WITH HER, and chased her through the last 1.2 miles until I finally caught up to her! Mile 13 clocked in at 9:37 and the last 0.2ish (my Garmin said I ran closer to 13.2) was 8:33 pace! We crossed the finish line together, for the first time since our 10k back in 2010!
|M makes me really run it out.|
|Official Finish Time: 2:27:06|
Anyway, after the race we went back to our place to shower and get ready for another full day at the parks! Obviously, I convinced the girls that we needed to wear our race shirts and mdeals to match. Not only to each other, but to approximately 7,000 other race finishers, hah. We saw Epcot and the Magic Kingdom again