So I ended up feeling good enough that I decided to go ahead and run the Disney’s Princess 1/2 Marathon this morning. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do it again! The weekend started off with my mom and I heading out to the Fit for a Princess Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. It was really nice to have her along this weekend and I really enjoyed it.
My mom was quite impressed with the layout of the expo and the expo itself. I really liked that they moved packet pick-up to an outside tent to alleviate some of the congestion inside the expo. The one thing I didn’t understand was why you still had to get your shirt from inside the expo. There was plenty of room in the tent to do both. Oh well.
I picked up my bib and was in Corral G due to my anticipated finish time. I signed up for this race before I ran Savannah, so I just assumed I’d be as slow as I was the first go round. With my time from Savannah printed out I was able to hit up the runner services booth and have myself moved to a closer corral in less than 10 minutes. I wouldn’t have worried that much but I was hoping to get in the same corral as a friend of mine (Hi Steph!) and it was supposed to rain this morning and I knew that every minute earlier I started was going to be another minute less of running in the rain.
At the expo we walked around to check everything out, picked up my “I only run in Orange and Blue” shirt from Raw Threads, and bought a visor. Oh, and my mom (and grandpa) bought me a KICKASS pair of new running shoes. They are amazing but I can’t have them until my birthday in July. Oh well, I will have them in time to train for Savannah 🙂 Back to Raw Threads… they are freaking awesome! My mom ordered me my shirt for Christmas but it was too big. I emailed Jen at Raw Threads and asked if I could exchange it for another size. She said I could just mail it back to her and she’d send out a new one. She did, but unfortunately it never got to me (darn USPS). I let her know and she said she would hold a shirt for me at the expo. How cool is that? So I was very happy to be able to rock my orange and blue this morning.
After the expo my mom and I headed over to the Marketplace at Downtown Disney. It had been about 20 years since she had last been down there so it was cool for her to see all the changes. We walked around looking at all the shops (for way longer than we expected) and then headed to Outback for a nice post race dinner. We were back to the hotel at a reasonable hour and I was in bed by 9:15 pm. I felt like it took me forever to get to sleep, but my mom said I was asleep in no time.
I woke up at 3:00 am to get ready for the race and was out the door by 3:30 am. My mom stayed at the hotel because it was just too much of a cluster to get her over to Epcot so she could see me maybe once before the end of the race. Disney said to expect MAJOR delays because of the road closures, but since I was staying one exit PAST Epcot I didn’t have any problems. I met up with my friend Stephanie – we chatted with the wonderful guys at the Yum Yum Cupcake truck, hit up the port-a-potties (yuck, especially in the dark), and headed to our corral. Since we were in Corral D we started just about 20 minutes after the initial start, so we were on the road by 6:05 am.
Other than things being a little slow moving at the start (way too many people walking) things were very smooth for about the first 6 miles or so. But then everything just hit me like a ton of bricks. The fact that I had a cold for the last week and had only run once during that week was definitely taking its tole on me. I didn’t stop to take any pictures because I was just focused on finishing the race. A couple of times I thought I was just going to throw in the towel, but I was determined not to give up. It also helps when your best friend wakes up at 5:30 in the morning just to wish you good luck. I couldn’t give up after that right?
At the 15k mark I realized that I wasn’t doing as terrible as I thought. I pushed through the 12 mile meltdown (more on that later) and finished with a time of 2:55:03. It was 8 minutes slower than my time at Savannah, but a full 29 miles FASTER than my previous Princess time, so I was VERY happy with myself. As luck would have it Steph finished about 5 minutes before me and I was able to meet up with her at the photo lines. We grabbed our snacks (and her bag) and then picked up some celebratory cupcakes (of course) before getting in our cars to head home. I made it back to the hotel in about 20 minutes and then quickly rinsed off and changed my clothes for breakfast – Cracker Barrel was calling my name!
One of the best things about this weekend was sharing the whole experience with my momma. She hadn’t been to a race with me before so she didn’t understand all the craziness that surrounded it. She may not have been there when I crossed the finish line, but she was there when I walked into the hotel with a great big hug and a smile. Plus she put up with me talking about racing for two days straight. Thanks momma!
When I got home I immediately had a nap date with my puppy. She spent the night at the doggie hotel and was just as pooped as I was. Although she did look very pretty after her “go home bath.” Other than a few blisters and a bit of soreness I am feeling pretty good. So when is the next race??