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!