Here it is! The recap of the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon!
I decided to run this race in October, 2011 after finishing Leg 3 of the Detroit Marathon Relay. I wanted something to train for and to look forward too. I can't believe that it is already over and I'm on to new races and new goals!
I woke up around 2:30 after getting a swift kick to the back by a little sweet pea sleeping besides me so I decided to take some time and stretch and relax in bed before getting ready at 3am. (the time the REAL alarm was going to go off, lol) I woke up and went in the bathroom area of our room and closed the curtain so I would not disturb everyone too much since I had to turn on the light to get ready. After a quick, but thorough, foam roll I got myself dressed and ready to go! I made sure to stay nice and warm in some yoga pants and my North Face fuzzy over my race outfit.
I made it to the bus stop around 3:30am and was shocked to see that there were around 40 people ahead of me. 4 buses came and went until an empty one finally arrived that I was able to get on. I snacked on a zucchini muffin, some applesauce and some water on the bus as there was quite a bit of traffic getting to Epcot. When I got off the bus, I immediately found my good friend who just got off her bus a minute before me. We always have the best timing in life ;)
We made our way into the "race tent" area of the parking lot and she checked her bag while I went to check into my "race retreat" tent! Oh so worth it!! Private bag check and porto-potties that were less used and somewhat staffed! We met up again to make the long, long, crowded check to the starting corrals. Me in B and her in A. I'm really hoping that for Disneyland I will also qualify to get in A, thinking it is 99.9% possible once I do Bayshore as I expect to have at least 5-10 minutes less off my time as there are no pictures with characters on that course ;)
Once we finally got through the crowds and made our way to our corrals, there was little time to wait! Her wave took off at 5:45 and mine at 5:51 am. By the time I got in my corral it was around 5:30 or so. Before I knew it, I raised my camera in front of me in anticipation for the first fireworks for corral A!!!
(This photo I bought was much prettier than the one from my phone, so enjoy!)
Before I knew it, I was off! I quickly made it thru the starting line and another runner started chatting with me. The roads were dark and before we knew it, mile 1 appeared. I planned on walking 60 seconds every mile to help keep my legs fresh after all the park walking so I said good bye to my new friend. I felt good, and was so excited and alive with energy! Disney had a hot air balloon set up somewhere in the first three miles as well as a pirate ship with the characters for us to enjoy!
By mile 3, things changed and I felt myself dragging along a bit as my legs just did not want to cooperate.
5K Split 31:13
Of course I kept going and told myself the Kingdom is coming up soon and of course my legs are not happy with me! I then saw a sign with Dory on it that said "Just Keep Swimming." So appropriate for the timing! There was a water stop between miles 3 and 4 and then we ran past the Speedway and came upon mile 4. I'm going to call this mile a total "tease!" At the time, I thought we were starting to enter the Magic Kingdom, granted I thought it was kind of soon but it sure looked like it! There were some cool Japanese drummers to welcome us too!
Yea, I now realize it was the Transportation and Ticket Center... Ugh, my legs! I kept swimming and came upon this awesome sight!
Based on the map I had in my head, I knew we were getting close and it would not be long before we would be in the Magic Kingdom! Before I knew it we were behind the scenes and then made a sharp right hand turn onto Main Street USA! We made another right to head across the bridge to Tomorrow Land, past the speedway and the tea cups and weaved our way between the carousel and Snow White who was waiting for Princesses to join her for photo ops.
10K Split 1:10:28
We headed into Frontier Land, and then I saw him! The character I waited for and raced for, lol!!!
Louis, the Alligator that I saw in all the runDisney advertisements for this race!!!
I had so much energy and was so happy running through the Magic Kingdom but before I knew it, we were through Frontier Town somewhere around Splash Mountain and backstage again. I finished up my applesauce that I brought along with me and headed on the roads and was happy to hear Kelly Clarkston's song "Stronger" at Mile 7 and see the WDW Firemen and a huge ladder truck! I was delighted to find Lilo and Stitch too across from the Polynesian!
Mile 8 and my legs were BURNING!
Walk breaks were getting harder to do, it just felt better to run! Right after Mile 9 there was a medical tent staffed by some awesome volunteers giving people large squirts of BioFreeze!!! I happily accepted and with one hand (tried to keep it localized so I was not going to get it in my eye) lathered it all over the front and back of my thighs. Ahh, relief but really having issues walking.
15K Split 1:42:58
Before Mile 10 there was another water stop that I just ran through, easier to run at this point than walk. Then, there it was, the gigantic highway off ramp that we needed to run up! Great, my legs really wanted to run on an incline sideways and going up at the same time. I plugged along and was at the top before I knew it then down an over. Heading towards Mile 11 now and for some reason, thought I only had 1.5 miles left before mile 11 but um, no I then realized I had 2 miles. Disney had a huge video screen showing all the runners and an announcer saying where everyone was from. That was cool but then I saw another curvy ramp to run up and then down. Keep running!!! I headed towards the Epcot Parking lot and passed Mile 12 before entering the park through backstage around Innovation. We took a run towards World Showcase and then looped back at the World Lake towards Spaceship Earth!
I was doing good, but waiting for it to be over!
Finished in 2:23:33!!!
A new Half Marathon PR by 33:16! That is a 5K time!
I proudly accepted my medal and headed into the tent area again!
I was so excited to see that my friend was waiting for me! I did not expect to see her! It was great to congratulate each other before we headed to meet our families. I then headed to the tent where I was greeted with a cool down towel, flip flops and a ticket for some alcohol! Yea! Seriously!
I waddled over to the alcohol booth, got a big check on my bib and a glass of champagne to celebrate! I then plopped down at a table and probably ate 2-3 muffins, cookies and crackers with more applesauce as I was so hungry. A quick change of clothes and I got a call that Hubby, Pea and Monkey were right outside the Race Retreat!
I got lots of hugs, kisses and congrats as we walked (I waddled) to the Epcot entrance to head for breakfast. We needed to find Akerhaus for our meal so we wandered toward the World Showcase. My left foot felt like a blister was brewing on the inside of it so I stopped to put a blister strip on it that I had in my iFitness belt and we asked for directions. We arrived in Norway and had an awesome breakfast and an incredible day in Epcot and lived Happily Ever After!
I LOVE DISNEY RACES!!!