It’s been a week and a half since I ran my first 1/2 marathon. I am finally coming off the high I had for the days following. It really was that exhilarating. I’m not even joking about that. Don’t get me wrong, I felt like I was going to die or my knee shatter into tiny pieces (I’ll get to that in a minute) during the last 3 miles, but for about 5 days post race I felt the best I have in a long time. I don’t know if was the physical aspect, the adrenaline during the race, or just the pride I felt once completing it, but it felt good.
I didn’t get much sleep the night of the race. My alarm was set for 2:45am, but I was terrified I wouldn’t hear it and I’d miss the whole thing. So I dozed off and on for the 6 hours I was in bed, and eventually woke up before the alarm even had a chance to go off. I put my princess attire on, got all my race day gear and food together, and headed out the door. I rode with a few other women, some of which were training for full marathons. They were a bit intimidating, but offered some great advice.
There were SO many people there. We walked about 20 minutes to our starting corrals, took a bathroom break, and then lined up. It was insane, but super exciting. I think the fact alone that it was in Disney World pumped me up, and then seeing all the people in their costumes and the anticipation to run added fuel to the fire.
Another girl and I were in the same corral so we lined up together. Because of our potty break, we were in the back of the bunch so we made our way about half way through and patiently waited. Soon after we lined up, the Fairy God mother and a few other announcers came on a big screen and got the race started. I was in corral B so we had to wait our turn.
The Fairy God Mother and all the other racers shouted “bippity, boppity, boo” and it was on. Fire works exploded and people ran. Of course we had to wait for corral A to go first, but they had fire works for each one.
Once they got to ours I was ready to go. We made our way across the starting line and slowly picked up the pace. There were so many people that it was hard to get around everyone. I was weaving in and out, passing in the grass, and dodging slow people. This went on for about a mile or so, but it got whole lot better.
I felt so good for the first few of miles. My first one was a 8:15 min/mile. Awesome I thought. I knew I’d get slower as I went on, but I was shooting for a total of 2 hours and 10 minutes (around a 10 minute mile). I was at my goal at the half way point. If I would’ve stayed on track I would’ve finished in 2 hours 5 minutes. Then mile 9 happened.
My knee started to bother me. Great. I started having knee problems around Christmas time, but it had been fine for a little over a month. I thought I was in the clear. I kept going. I did not want to stop, but another 1/2 mile went by and I did. I was limping and upset.
I walked off and on for the next 2 miles. Every time I passed by the medical team I ran. I did not want them to see me limping for fear they would make me stop. At this point my goal time was out the window. All I wanted to do was finish. I got to mile 12 and started running again. Seeing all the family and friends cheering on their loved ones made me keep going. I didn’t want to stop that last mile.
As I saw the finish line approach I could feel my body tell me to stop. I crossed the finish line. I did it. I achieved a goal I made about 2 years ago.
Once I crossed and they placed the medal around my neck, all I could think about was water and sitting down. I did not like that they made you walk an extra 1/2 mile (or what seemed like it) to get water. They should have given you the medal and a bottle of water or Gatorade.
I walked to the finishers tent, got my knee wrapped, sat down and chugged a bottle of water. It was so humid and muggy, and I was dripping with sweat. It was gross, but I didn’t care. I ate some food and called Seth. He and the kids were waiting for me at the finish line. I think I sat there for another 15 minutes before I got up to meet them.
The kids were looking at me like they had no idea who I was. Maybe it was the crown on my head or being covered in sweat, but they were like uh, mom? Haha.
As soon as I got home I took a cold bath. It sucked, but it helped my muscles. Then I jumped in a nice hot shower. It was the best shower of my life.
My favorite part of the race was around mile 6. They lead you to the Magic Kingdom and you run down lit up Main Street towards the castle. You go through Tomorrow Land and the park. They lead you back through the castle while taking your picture. It was pretty awesome.
People ask if I would do it again. My response; in a heart beat. It was awesome, sucked, fun, exciting, painful, and great all at the same time.
I ended up finishing in 2 hours and 19 minutes (although my GPS said I ran 13.89 miles). Not too bad for a bum knee and my first half. Next time I will do it in 2 hours. That’s my goal!