So here it is in TWO Race Reports. Up first is the 5k.
Mickey and Minnie Royal Family 5k -- February 23, 2013
Disney Princess Half Marathon -- February 24, 2013
This was my third half marathon in one year. It wasn't originally a goal to do it that way, but wow. So, I went into this one with the plan to stay with my sister as long as possible. I wanted to help her get as far as possible. Additionally, she had a friend to run with her from her online running group, the Running Mom's Mafia. My goal was once her friend caught up, I'd leave, but I'd decided to stay with her. I wanted to see her get to the castle and get that picture of her in front of the castle. I love my sister dearly and I'd give anything to see her meet this goal and succeed. So here goes. First of all, 2:15 am wake up calls bite the big one. Holy crapola. I can usually deal with weird hours being a parent, but darn, this one just bit me hard. I finally got moving, up to the shuttle at 3am with my sister and away we went. I had my oatmeal and banana, but no coffee. For someone who works at a coffee shop for a living, no coffee is totally detrimental... I need my coffee. I ate my oatmeal and met some friends in the parking lot party that is a Disney pre-race. On the way to the corrals, I saw the following sign.
Have a Magical Race!! I certainly will! I continued towards the corrals and made a final stop at plastic potty land. On to the corrals and found Krista. As the official start crept ever closer, the anxiety started getting to me, I hadn't trained for it like I had last year, but I knew I could do the distance. The heat and humidity had me seriously concerned. I have had issues with heat in the past and been treated for heat exhaustion. So heat was a BIG CONCERN for me. I honestly didn't know whether to throw up, bag it before the start or just suck it up, start it up and go, or just see what would happen. I did toss my banana and gatorade that I had saved for my last minute race snack because I knew there was no way in hades it was going to go down or stay down. My stomach was in knots.
The Wheelchairs start, Corrals A, B and C go. Okay, now it's our turn. Time to go. We had already lined up on the right side of the corral so we could stay with Krista's pacing and walk when she needed to, but seriously, I know the flat out runners don't care for the interval people, but really, is there the need for rudeness, bumping and grinding. I am glad that seemed to settle out quickly. I really hate Green Rooms, but when you gotta go, you gotta go. With 21,000 women and 1500 men, nobody cares. I was actually overly hydrated. I kept my intervals up by running ahead of Krista and then waiting for her so I could stay loose and not tighten up. We really only got separated a couple of times where I lost her and one was right after mile 2 when she headed for a green room and I headed for a plastic potty. I don't remember exactly where I found here, but I know it was sometime after the 5k mark. I believe I was about 4 minutes behind her at that point. Once I caught up with her, I settled back in with her and her friend that was pacing her and we kept going. The next time I lost her was at the 4 mile water stop. I didn't stop, but I grabbed powerade and turned to find her because I had jogged ahead and then couldn't find her, so I started my intervals and figured I would either find her or her next interval would pop on my phone after the castle. I knew where she would run, but it would be hard in the sea of humanity that was running.
Now, I saw quite a number of injuries at the race this year. Last year I heard of one. I saw several people bite it, one very hard off a curb right before the Magic Kingdom. I pray that no one was seriously injured, but the one I saw off the curb, was bleeding badly from the face and I hope there wasn't teeth or mouth damage. I believe she may have briefly knocked herself out. The course was much tighter than I remember it being last year. I found Krista and Denise shortly after seeing this woman fall/trip. I am glad I did because seeing Krista make the turn onto Main Street from Backstage and see the castle is one I likely will never forget. I hated that she didn't make it there last year. We got pictures and kept going. I ran ahead briefly to attempt to get a picture, but I bagged that option when I couldn't run through the castle, but had to walk chest-to-back and shoulder-to-shoulder and it took several minutes to do so. It was TIGHT!! I skipped the photo in front of the castle in order to save time. Off to frontierland and out to backstage. Mile 6. After leaving the Magic Kingdom we hit the Halfway point and the motivational song with due to the vote was Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys. I love the song, but for running, not quite the tempo I would choose.
Shortly after this is what I call the family mile. This picture was at Mile 6.5 and Family Mile is at Mile 7. Our resort is at 7.7 miles and it was great last year to see the family, but the big mistake was when I saw them, I flat out sprinted to them and lost my intervals and spent too much on that sprint. This year I didn't see them until I was almost on top of them and that's a good thing. I got to them about a minute or two ahead of Krista and waited for her to get there. From there, we left together and shortly after that was mile 8. At the 8 mile mark, there were yellow Mears busses and police officers. I knew from friends that had run previously and been swept that based on that the sweepers had to be close and that it wasn't a good sign. At that point I knew for the sake of my race I had to move it. Krista knew that if it got to the point it was close I would go, I knew that I still had a 16 minute gap, but additionally, I also knew that I was possibly going to slow down if I held true to last year. I got to mile 10 and collapsed physically. I knew I didn't stand a chance if I didn't move it.
I made it to mile 10 and I still don't know where the last mile marker they will officially sweep is located. Many people that have done the Princess half will tell you that the most brutal part is the ramp at mile 10 because of the angle and the distance. This year RunDisney and ESPNW put some great motivational signs up. This one is my favorite of the ones I saw.
Very well said, unfortunately, not long after this and a couple more pictures, my phone died. But my favorite part was crossing into Epcot. It is actually two favorite parts. One of my favorite parts from last year was this lady in a scooter holding a sign that said "Complete Stranger, I'm Proud of You Too" I hadn't seen her at the Magic Kingdom and was telling these two ladies I was running near about her and lo and behold, there she was. I couldn't help but laugh and neither could they. I told her that I was telling them about her and I thought I had missed her. I lvoe that lady and she made my race last year and did again this year. Right after that I was running through an Entrance to Epcot and I hear four kids yelling at me. One yelling Go Mommy and the other three yelling Go KK. My mom had made it to Epcot with the kids and had caught me. YAY!! When I needed it most, there was my mom with my daughter and my nephew and nieces. I was golden for the last little bit.
I hated that my phone was dead because I didn't get a picture with the gospel choir at Mile 13 last year. I high fived the front row and kept right on going. This year I had planned on a picture. Well that plan got changed with no photographer and no phone camera to take the picture with it. Thanks to the gospel choir, you know you are almost there when you can hear them.
Last but not least. While my sister did not make it to the finish, a piece of her did. I carried her tutu across the finish line with me. Her pace buddy caught me at mile 13, right after the choir and handed me her tutu and inhaler. I can't wait to see my finish picture because I believe I am twirling my sister's tutu over my head at the finish. Not sure. If I get a picture of it, I'll post it. Y'all have fun, I sure as heck did.