I DID IT!!!! I completed the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Honestly, I was not sure I could do it. The farthest I have ever run at one time was 7 miles. Not the greatest training plan but sometimes life gets in the way. In fact, I was contemplating not even running it a few weeks ago because I was not sure if I would have anyone to watch CB while I ran since Eric was probably not going to join us. Well, both my youngest brother (who lives in Fort Lauderale) and his girlfriend came up and my mom came out to Orlando with me and CB. Eric also asked me to run, so I decided I would.
We arrived in Orlando on Wednesday night, after a long day of flying. My body was a little cadywhompus from my jaunt to Tampa two days ago. So I was exhausted! I just wanted to sleep. Getting to sleep about one am was not good for me. We then were able to check into our resort early and my mom, CB and I headed over to Shades of Green Resort to get our tickets to the Disney Parks. With Eric being on Active Duty, I got to enjoy one the benefits of 4-day passes for $99 to four of the parks. What a beautiful resort! We will definitely stay there the next time we come down here. My little brother then joined us that evening.
Friday we hit the Expo at ESPN World of Sports. I was greeted with Fairy Dust. Then I got my bib for the race! After I got my bib, I went to collect Clair's bib and ears. She was running in the children's race the next day. Then it was to get my goodie bag! Each runner got a purple mesh bag that had our t-shirt and other goodies in it. I then bought another t-shirt. I was not going to get an "official" shirt that said "I Did It" quite yet, just bad juju. Then it was off to Disney World! The only time I had been there was when I was pregnant with CB. The excitement on her face was awesome! Getting onto rides took awhile though with the lines. Taking a four-year old through DW and having to explain patience is not fun. But Splash Mountain was a hit! She loved it. After about 7 hours, we left to pick up my brother's girlfriend at the airport. Another late night! I was a little disappointed I didn't get a short run in, but I was just too tired.
Clair's race was Saturday morning and we were supposed to be there at 9:45 am. Well, because of some frustration and confusion, we didn't pull into the parking lot until 9:55. Our spot was almost a mile from the entrance, so I took off with CB. I started carrying her, but it didn't last long and she wanted to run. So I let her down and she took off running. She was hustling! I was running right behind her, and she ran the whole way to the track. I was very impressed. We arrived at the track and a volunteer told me that we were ok on time....relief! So after they finished the mile run, CB ran the 200 meter race. I ran behind her and got video of her running for Eric (too bad he will probably get motion sick watching it). When she crossed the finish line she was so happy (and I was SO proud!) She was then given her medal. It brought tears to my eyes. Then we hit Animal Kingdom. It was so much more calm than DW. CB ate her way through the park. By the end of the afternoon she was crashing, and I knew I had to get some sleep.
My brother bought some GREAT Italian food, and I was ready to carbo load. Oh my goodness! It was so good. About 9 pm I crawled into bed. I needed to get up at 3 am on Sunday, and I wanted a good night sleep. Well, sleep never happened. At 2:30 am I decided oh well....I am going to do my hair. At 3:25 am I left the hotel room to get to Epcot. When I got there the area was full of people ready to run. At 4:30 they had us walk to the start line. It was a mile walk to get to the corrals, but a good warm up. I hit the port-a-lets and got into Corral B. It was an hour before the run started and I was freezing. At 5:50 I couldn't feel my toes. Then the Fairy Godmother came out to inspire us to find our inner princess. My corral start time was 6:07. So the first corral started to fireworks and cheers at 6 am. Then we started. It was so exhilarating! But after I passed the first set of port-a-lets I felt like I had to go to the bathroom again. Damn mommy bladder! So next stop was the next station. Thankfully they were not too far apart. So at mile 2.5 I hit the bathroom and started back up. My pace was about an 11 min mile. My goal was to never hit a 12 min mile.
The course was great, there were Disney characters along the way. I didn't stop because I was afraid near the end I would need to walk, and that would slow my time down and I really wanted that finisher's medal! Along the way I sent texts to my brother and mom because I wanted them to know when I was expecting to hit Main Street, which is where they were. We came into Disney World at mile 5.4. The crowd was cheering everyone on, and I saw my brother, his girlfriend, my mom and CB. I kissed CB and kept going. It was surely an energy boost. Winding my way through DW I came through Cinderella's castle. I kept telling myself, I can do this...I can do this. Then the course took us through Frontier Land and out of the park. After mile 7, I knew I was over the hump but I had never gone farther than this. I told myself if I was tired, I could walk after the Clif Shots station at mile 8.4. Well I may have slowed down (alot), but I didn't walk. Since my time was still good, I decided heck I was going to take my picture with some characters! Mile 9.5 had the heroes of Disney....5 (incredibly) cute guys and I was in the middle of them! Soon after that was Jack Sparrow....(and OMG, he looked just like Johnny did in the movie!) SWOON. Well the photographer couldn't get the picture to take on my phone, so after holding him for a few moments I decided oh well!
The miles then hit double digits. My confidence was bursting. I was going to finish! So I continued to go, my pace was getting up to a 12 min mile. I didn't care anymore, I wanted to keep going no matter how slow I was. The course was going up the ramp to Epcot where the finish was. Mile 11 was getting closer. I couldn't believe I was only 2 miles from finishing. My time was 2 hours and 10 minutes. I set off with 2 hours and 45 minutes being my finish time. Mile 12 came and went. I couldn't believe I was only a mile away. There were people everywhere cheering all of the runners on. As we made a loop at mile 12.5 the volunteers told us we were only half a mile away, keep going. Tears started welling in my eyes. I was ecstatic that I was finishing and sad because Eric wasn't there to share this with me. He has been a huge support to me, and I know that without his encouragement I probably would not have done this. As I made the turn towards the finish line I looked for my Chear Squad (the name given to those who had reserved seating at the finish line....). As I neared the finish line, I saw them (literally AT the finish line!) and threw my arm in the air, I DID IT! About 200 feet from the finish line the finisher's medal was placed around my neck! And guess what....my official chip time was 2 hours, 45 minutes and 49 seconds! (Which did not take into consideration my bathroom break). So I even beat my goal! But I hurt like hell. My knees hurt, and I could hardly walk, but I did it. What an awesome feeling!
Stay tuned for the rest tomorrow......