Saturday, March 1, 2014

And Done!

Days to Race: -6
Distance/Time: lots and lots

I still can't believe it's over. Nearly a year of training, lots of blood, sweat and tears, a few trips to doctors, surgery and some iron transfusions and it's over. I ran a frickin' half-marathon guys!

I was up at 3:30 a.m. which gave me just enough time to throw on my costume, eat a little food and then join 20 thousand of my closest princess friends. Traffic was a mess, even so early and I was grateful that we'd gotten a room at the Beach Club Resort, which meant we didn't have too far to go. Once we arrived, it was a huge party complete with long lines to the bathroom. There was a stage and music and so many clever costumes. It felt like it was 10 p.m., not the wee hours of the morning.

Finally, we made our way to our corrals. I made friends with a Snow White named Gretchen who was from DC. We were both in J, so we kept each other company while we waited, counting the gun fires as each corral was released in turn. Finally it was us. I didn't even know it at first because no one was moving. We were just too crowded, but then we were at a walk, a trot and finally a jog as "Eye of the Tiger" played.

At about mile 2, a cheer went up and I looked left across the median to see a lone runner streak past. I later found out it was an Olympian athlete who crushed the course record by finishing in 1:11. I can't even comprehend running so fast and sort of wonder if she enjoyed the half as much as I did. It was incredible.

I passed the princes photo shoot and others (Ants, Mary Poppins, Snow White) and kept going. Through water stops and medical tents and porta johns. One of my new friends had advised me to stop at every water stop even though I had a hydration belt. It would be downtime. I don't quite know if I agree, but the humidity was high and I needed all the liquids I could get.

At some points, the course narrowed and the walkers clogged the route (myself included). Sometimes it was frustrating because I wanted to go faster, other times because I knew I was in someone else's way. At mile 5, we entered Magic Kingdom and ran down Main Street towards the castle. The streets were lined with spectators cheering everyone on. I couldn't help but grin and then we were through the castle and back on the road. Soon after, the theme song for the race played: "Let it Go". Amazing song and perfect when I needed that extra boost.

The last few miles were something of a blur as we climbed exit ramps and continued on the roads. I stopped at the second prince's stop for the derpiest picture. With four princes, I wasn't sure whether to stand by Flynn (as I was Rapunzel) or position myself in the middle. I chose the middle and Flynn looks so sad in the picture! Really the guys doing that must have had to put up with a lot from us runners. It was hard to smile pretty for the picture when my thoughts were on the road. I am not good at having my concentration disrupted. In the end, it looked like I was going to cry!

At mile 13, they had a gospel choir. Really! A gospel choir. By then, I knew I had this. I still couldn't believe it was done. I was a sweaty mess and my forehead was gritty from the salt in my sweat having dried. But I crossed the finish line and got my medal and found my Mom and sister and cried a little. It was over. At 9:30, I was heading home for a bath and then drinking around the world at Epcot. It was all an amazing day.

And soon after I discovered that there's an Avengers Half at Disneyland. I'd get a coast-to-coast medal and be running with the boys (and girls). It's crazy, but I'm doing it! Stay tuned folks. The ride ain't over yet!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Almost there

MW: 138
Days to Race: 4
Distance/Time: 1 mi/13 min

I have my gray kitty to thank for the 5:30 wake up. He decided to try to eat something on my dresser that was not kibble. So I got an early start and Dodger got his breakfast. Well played lad. Well. Played.

I was going to take it easy. No need to push too hard, just aiming for the status quo. My biggest worry has been the sudden stiffness in my right knee. By the end of my last run the entire leg felt like it was bionic. After barely a mile, though, I could feel the swelling begin (I'm assuming the cause is inflammation). So I cut the run short and popped an ibuprofen. Maybe Friday.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

One week to go!

MW: 137
Days to Race: 7
Distance/Time: 4 mi./55:30 min

I can't believe it's almost here. I'm still working on my costume and making my way through all the Disney animated films. Just three more to go! Watching them as an adult is much more different than watching them as a child. Today was 4 miles, nice and easy. I'm trying not to worry about my stiff right knee.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Taper Time!

MW: 136.4
Days to Race: 12
Distance/Time: 2.5 miles/32:56 min

I'm turning into such a wuss with this cold weather. It must be my old age creeping up on me. Again, I relied on the kindness of my boss and used their treadmill. My boss is also the one who will be sewing my sparkle skirt (due to arm chafe concerns, I will not be wearing a tutu). Clearly I owe her big time.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Me + 4:30am + 12.75 mi. = pizza

MW: 136.7
Days to Race: 15
Distance/Time: 12.75 mi/2:55:46

Thanks to the snowflakes in today and tomorrow's forecast, I decided to do a dry run for the half this morning. That meant waking up at 4:30 and getting out there by 6 to run 12.75 miles. I didn't want my first half to be in training. I ran until the town woke up and now I'm on the couch trying not to think about bagels since I'm making pizza. That's a lot of carbs. :-) This was the last long run until the real thing!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Calm before the storm.

Days to Race: 19
Distance/Time: 2.5 mi/29:53 min

Nice but cold today. It felt good to get out there and just do it. I'm thinking when this princess stuff is over I might leave the watch at home for a week or so. Right now, I'm just happy there's no snow on the ground. I am so over winter!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Out-Paced

Days to Race: 21
Distance/Time: 4.1 mi/53:44 min.

I was back home in PA for the weekend which made for a slightly fragile run this morning. It was a positively balmy 31 degrees! My Magic Mile was a bit slower than the last time, but it was also involving more hills than I am used to so I'm still pleased.

One interesting thing is that another girl was out running the same circuit that I was but in the opposite direction. As I did my walk/run interval, she plugged along at a steady pace. Not only that, but she was still running when I went in. It was the first time in a while that I was not the longest runner. Not sure I liked the sensation of going in early...

Three weeks till the run! Costume is 85% finished.