*I got incredibly lucky having Lesley as a running partner!
|Working on our "pink eye" and Norwegian sparkle|
At about midnight I finally decided to try to sleep. Before that I had my traditional pre-race bath with Pre. Sounds so wrong, doesn't it?? I had 3 alarms set: 2:00, 2:05 and 2:10am. I felt like I had just fallen asleep when the first alarm went off. My mom (our ChEar squad) jumped in the shower while Lesley and I tried to function and get pretty. Pretty? Yes! We had to shimmer and sparkle. I think fun make-up it is the key to any good race after all! By 3:30 we were on the bus heading to Epcot. I can't believe how well my nerves were. Perhaps I was too tired to be nervous!?!
|We found Lucy!! Wait, Lucy found us!!|
|That's right ... B!!|
We got to the race area to see a huge swarm of people, DJ, tents with merchandise, food and clothing check, and a row of potties. First stop - the potty! And who did we see?? Lucy! What a place to have our first meeting, right? She is so freaking adorable .. it made me even forget about the putrid smell for a moment! A couple of pictures later and we got to the text from Rad Runner that it was already getting crazy crowded. So we moved through the tents and got ready for the 20 mile walk to the corrals. It wasn't 20 miles? Sure seemed like it! One more pit stop, just to be sure, then we began basking in the glory of Corral B. My first half ever, and they put me up by the speedy people? Okay! I'll take it and enjoy every second of it because it might not happen again! Once in the corral we saw Giraffy, my friend Kristen and Katye. Who knew in a sea of 17,000+ you'd find so many people you know?!? Before we knew it, it was time!
|Kristin - a speedy Corral A runner!|
|Katye and Lesley - I'm just the photo crasher that missed the Snow White memo!|
|Impressive fireworks, right? ;)|
For us the race started in the dark at about 5:55am. The first two miles were packed and I just really wanted to be able to stretch my legs and take a normal stride. After two miles uphill in the humidity we had a race strategy discussion. We had both been in the parks for days at this point, and I know I certainly haven't had the chance to train for 13.1 miles at race pace in this kind of weather. So we said good by to 2:20, but hello to a finish time of 2:30. I took pictures on the run since we didn't plan to stop for any photos. My legs were feeling great. I was having a blast! I knew this race was going to be one I would always look back on with fond affection.
Around mile 5(??) we saw Lilo & Stitch. They had no line. We decided why not just stop for one teensy little photo. It would be cute! The sun was just starting to rise, as was the temperature. Our picture was so fun, that would couldn't stop! We couldn't stop getting character photos! It was at that moment we decided to throw out any time goal at all and just have fun. From then on we hit every single character stop, sprinting between them to try to save some time. The looks on the photog's faces when we crouched down and got into our Haunted Mansion photo was priceless! All of Magic Kingdom was ... magical! During my training runs for the last year I've been looking forward to running through the park and making that grand exit from Cinderella's Castle. It did not disappoint at all. In fact it went by too fast.
Around mile 8 we ran into my friend Sarah who was working where the Camero and mechanic guy were. Did anyone else throw on that feather boa? I did - and it was soaked in sweat. Sarah had it on before the race and it was all dry and fluffy. *shudder* My hair took on a life of its own during this race. I should have braided it I guess. After the race it took over 30 minutes to brush out the big snarl it turned into. But Lesley was so awesome and tried to pretty it up so that I wouldn't look as gross when I threw myself on Captain Jack Sparrow! Oh yes, I totally said, "Meow" and went in for the kill. The high maintenance pretty boy heroes were hysterical. The two beside me were whining about the sun in their eyes. Lesley was ready for some special time with Prince Eric, but he was too busy talking to her about the Gu in her fuel belt. Boys!
Mile 10 came and so did the hill right after. Even though it was a struggle, it was easier than I thought it would be. This is also when Lesley got in mom mode! She pulled out her Ace when she told me to think about my necklace (my Pre "Love to Run" one that I never take off) and she started quoting him. Ooh - she's good! "See that lamp post? Can you make it there?" So we did. "How about we try for that next one?" Dang it - her tricks worked! This was really the first spot we actually walked for more than just a few steps - but we still kept it small. My problem wasn't my legs, it was the heat and the humidity. Around mile 11 I started feeling delirious. I felt like my eyes were rolling in the back of my head. I couldn't run straight. I couldn't see. I was so sure I was just going to collapse and melt. On the final hill I said, "I want my mommy." In the very last stretch toward Mile 13 she really pulled out the goods... "Do you know what is waiting at the other side?" "My mommy." "That's right. So let's go run to her!" That worked! I DID call her out on her trickery however. Her Garmin died and I knew it. Yet she looks at her Garmin, and says "We only have 1 mile to go!" Poppycock! I know that we were about 1.5 miles out at that point and she was trying to trick me with math and fudge the numbers. Ha! I may have been out of it, but I caught her! ;-)
The finish line was in sight ... and she grabbed my hand and said, "Let's finish this!" So we did - and it wasn't my normal kick, but we did ramp up the pace and cross with our arms high in the air and smiles on our faces. I get chills just thinking about it! Oh - and "my mommy" was there to see us cross and she cried!
So with all of our photos we still finished in 2 hours and 50 minutes. Not bad, all things considered. I mean we took about 150 pictures with my camera that day!
I had such a fabulous time! I don't regret our photo decision at all. This ended up about fun - and fun is what we had!! Up next ... pictures!
|My favorite on-course entertainment. I had goosebumps all over!|