|In front of Cinderella's Castle|
I chose the half marathon, since I am just uncertain when exactly I might be feeling ready to tackle 26.2 again. Maybe never. Who knows.
Anyway, Todd, Owen and I left for Florida on Thursday, January 8. Our departure was rather confused and rushed because Southwest decided to play this little game where they called and said our flight was delayed until 5pm. Then, later, they called back and said our flight was delayed until 4pm, causing me to skip Owen's nap and run around the house yelling "We're out of here in THIRTY MINUTES, GUYS!" Then, on our way to the airport, they called and said our flight was delayed until 3:45pm. Not cool. But, we made it fine anyway, we just ended up getting into our hotel (Animal Kingdom Lodge) very late. Late enough that Owen had to sleep in his clothes since our luggage hadn't arrived yet.
|Todd and Owen before Owen's race|
Next, it was time for Owen's race! He and I waited in the corral, and he enjoyed a little pre-race nutrition (a granola bar). The kids in his age group were racing first, and they were racing about 10 kids at a time. But, there were maybe 200 kids waiting to race, so waiting was taking forever. It was getting so close to lunch and nap time that Owen was getting super grumpy.
Finally, after about 30-40 minutes of waiting, it was our turn. We were rushed up to the starting line, and in doing so, Owen dropped a plastic hand clapper that someone had given him. There was no time to turn back and get it, so we left it behind. Well, this was no good for Owen. He wanted it and started to cry. I tried to calm him and the race started. I put him down so that he could run, but he went boneless and would not even stand. Other kids were starting to line up at the starting line, so I picked him up and carried him down the track, dropping him down every 15 feet or so to see if he'd support him self (nope). Kids from the next heat were passing us. Then, kids from the next heat were passing us. Finally, we finished, with Owen still super-sad and boneless. We saw Mickey, crossed the finish, and got a medal, which Owen slapped away when I tried to give it to him. Naptime, Mommy!!!
Later, Todd's parents and nephew came by and we spent some time at the playground at the resort. They went home and we had dinner, and my sister and niece came by. They were staying with us to watch Owen during the race, so that both Todd and I could run.
We were up at 3am or so. Owen didn't sleep well, so I'd been up off and on all night. Todd woke up with a terrible cold and decided that he wasn't going to be well enough to run the race. He ended up coming along to spectate for me, though. I was waiting for the bus in the lobby of the hotel when I read an email from my aunt and uncle about my grandmother who was not doing so well. They were calling hospice, so things weren't so wonderful for me as I was heading to the starting line.
|He is proudly wearing his medal|
We made it to the runners village after sitting in front of quite possibly the most irritating two women in the universe on the bus. I found Jeff Galloway's tent, and Todd had some coffee and I had some water, and we sat down and talked to other Galloway runners while we waited. Jeff also had his own set of portable toilets to use, so I went ahead and used one of those, too. Yay, Jeff! We missed meeting Jeff, though, by a few minutes. It's ok, I've met him before.
Soon, it was time to leave Todd. I headed down to the starting line and Todd headed to the monorail to wait for me. The walk to the starting line was LONGER than I remember. Granted, I haven't walked from the runners village to the starting line since 2010, but it just never seemed like it was quite THAT long. Finally, I made it down there, and then FINALLY I found my corral. It took FOREVER. By the time I was in my corral, the race had started, but I was in corral K - the 11th one. So, MORE waiting.
What I like is that they were shooting off fireworks and making a big deal out of every single corral start. How awesome is that? By the time my corral started, though, Todd had been waiting at mile marker 4 already for... um, maybe an hour? LOL.
As my corral was getting ready to start, I threw away the pants I'd been wearing. They were Starter pants that I'd purchased for the Marine Corps Marathon in 2007, and I'd either brought them to or worn them for a TON of races. Todd even wore them (they were mens pants) when he ran the 2010 Disney marathon with me. They were purchased to be thrown away at a starting line, and finally, 8 years later, they were being thrown away. So sad :(
The course was crowded. The last time I ran the half marathon, the course was crowded but there were fewer waves. The additional waves didn't help much. The course was packed the entire 13.1 miles. I was enjoying the entertainment on the course and the general awesomeness that is a Disney race, and I was also in awe of the amount of people doing the Dopey Challenge. This is the first marathon weekend for me since the Dopey Challenge came about, after all.
I felt great at the first mile marker, and then I checked runkeeper. Oh, I was doing a 14 minute mile. No wonder I felt great. But... I couldn't go faster. There just was not a way to go faster without weaving and I didn't feel like expending my energy weaving through a crowd. I wanted to enjoy the race and I didn't feel like the conditions were right for trying to go really fast. That was the mistake I made in Indianapolis.
|not actually sure where this is|
on the course...
I looked for Todd in front of the castle and finally found him, but I actually had to double back a bit to find him, wasting more time. So, eh, whatever.
There isn't a ton to report on the race, honestly. It was so wonderful to be back at Disney. I was heckled by a guy wearing a Patriots jersey because I was wearing a "Fleet Feet Baltimore" shirt and the Ravens were playing the Patriots that night. The crowds on the course never thinned. I took vaseline from a medical tent at mile 10, the first time I've done that. I was wiping my hands off for the rest of the race. Mile marker 12 was the Frozen mile marker, with Elsa blasting her music LOUDLY.
|Epcot... almost done|
Final time... 3:05:59, my worst half marathon time ever and the first time I've finished a half marathon in over 3 hours. Eh.
We headed back to the hotel and found my sister, niece and Owen, and they took Owen out for a while so Todd and I could shower and rest. I love my sister. Later, my mom joined us and we ate dinner at Boma.
The rest of the weekend was Disney all the way. I was so grateful to not be running the full marathon. We did get to see it in Animal Kingdom on Sunday morning. I cheered them on, but I was happy to not be one of them. We had a great time all around, heading home on Monday.
Now I just have to think... what about next year? Registration for Marathon Weekend 2016 opens April 28.
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