The night before the race, I ended up with a horrific migraine. Seriously folks, this one had me crying in bed at 9:00 at night wishing for the speeding meteor of death to take me out. This race happened to be scheduled at the worst time of the month for me, and all my hoping and pleading with the universe didn’t reset my body’s clock. I finally fell asleep with an ice bag on my head around 10:00.
My first alarm went off at 1:45 am. I cracked my eyes open and realized I had no pain. Oh thank the gods. Of course my nervous energy kept me awake and I got out of bed at 2:00. Alex got up then and woke up the girls. Hannah got right up and Kali took a bit longer. Mary was awake at this point, but not up.
I will say, I cannot remember a time when I have had coffee, toast, and a banana at 2:15 am. That was interesting.
We geared up, got in the van, and headed out to Epcot!
Traffic was busy for that time of the morning/night, and we realized that lots and lots of cars were going to the same place we were. We saw a sign on I4 that said "runners parking – next exit.” OMG. I was really getting nervous.
We parked, got out, and followed everyone else. There was a ton of stuff going on at this point. There was a DJ playing some awesome music, tons of big spotlights, a few different picture backgrounds to choose from (we chose the princess one and got in line) and lots of port-o-potties! Yay!
Sure, I look excited now. By mile 10 I was not looking this happy anymore.
Alex and the girls went to go find a viewing place while Mary and I went over to our corral. As we were walking there, we ran into some friends of ours! Amazing since there was about 15,000 people there. Mary can spot anyone in a crowd. It was nice to catch up with them and we all hung out together before the start of the race.
Finally, at 5:45, the first corral started! Fireworks went off after the Fairy Godmother counted them down. She did that for each corral and there were fireworks for each one, too.
We were the last corral to start, and the closer we got to the start line, the more nervous I got! I knew I could do it, but I had those last minute “OMG, I’m not sure I can do this” jitters, and was really hopeful that my migraine would stay away and Aunt Flo wouldn’t be too much of a hassle during the race.
We were off! I hit the start button on my Garmin and we took off. Mary and I had decided we’d each run our own race. She wanted to take pictures, I wanted to go. No sense in me trying to get her to go and her trying to get me to stop. We saw each other a few times along the way; that was really cool.
There was so much entertainment along the route! Bands, music, performers, characters. It was incredible! I loved seeing the green army man from Toy Story, Stitch, all the Princesses, and the different bands. There were other characters out there, too, but I couldn’t see who they were as I went by. The gospel choir at the end was awesome, and I really liked the drummers from Japan in Epcot.
Along the way my parents and Alex called a few times to see where I was. At mile 5.2 I got to see Alex and the girls! That was sooo cool!
Look! You can see Space Mountain on the left.
Hannah and Kali took pictures as they went from place to place…..
Kali made signs for me and Mary. Isn’t she adorable, even in the middle of the night?!
I love her.
Hannah was rockin’ the picture taking! I love her, too.
Alex made me a sign, too. So did Hannah, but she didn’t take a picture of it! I love all of my signs, and the book and letters that the girls made for me.
She took this one from the monorail.
There’s our friends Katie and Julie! Emily finished ahead of all of us; she’s a running rock star.
Go Mary, go! Youth is a good thing to have.
Around mile 5.5 we entered the Magic Kingdom. If I remember correctly, we came in through the back side of Main Street, through Tomorrow Land, past the Speedway and Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, past the Carousel, and then around to the back of the castle. The Castle! It took my breath away. I realized that when I was training, I knew that when I hit mile 6, I’d be at the castle and here I was. I got a little teary-eyed. I saw Mary stopping to take a picture (dang, how did she get up there already?!?!) and I went through. Running traffic got a bit backed up with everyone slowing down for pictures. Mine must look weird since I had this confused ‘why the hell is everyone stopping’ look on my face. At this point I knew I might finish under 3 hours and I was going to try my best to do that, so I wanted to go!
I totally forgot where we ran after we left the castle. I should probably look at the map, right?! When we left the Magic Kingdom, I knew that half of the race was already over and I was still feeling good. Yay! This run/walk/run thing is awesome!
Alex called and said they just got to 8.1 and wanted to know where I was. Uh oh, I was at 8.3 already; I had just missed them! The crowds were so big, that he was going to head off to the finish, but he wasn’t sure he’d get there in time.
When I saw the green army man at mile 10, I knew the end was close. When I saw the pirate boat at 11, I was getting happier (though really tired!). When I saw Epcot, I got teary-eyed again. Alex called and we knew they wouldn’t get to the finish in time. He joked and said I should slow down and walk so they could make it. HA. Nothing was stopping me now!
We went through Epcot (okay, my only beef here is that Epcot was open at this point and guests were trying to cross in front of the runners. They had it roped off, but the cast members were letting a few people cross, but too many went and we nearly ran them over. I was not happy about that at all.) around Spaceship Earth, and then we were off to the finish line.
Hannah took this one – not sure where they were though!
I checked my Garmin and realized I could still get in under 3 hours. At this point the heat had gotten to me and my chest was a little wheezy as I was running. Geeze! I think that even though I had water at every stop, Gatorade with me, and GU along the way, I was still a bit dehydrated from the heat. The weather was unseasonably warm (a high of 86 that day) and I was a big salt lick by the end.
I crossed the finish line with an official time of 2:58:55. I had done it. I did it!!
(excuse the blurry picture – sorry!)
Mary came in at an awesome time of 3:06. Rock on, my favorite 20 year old!!!!!
We made it to the sweaty end. I grabbed some water, a banana, and a Luna bar and then headed off to a much-needed potty break!
I found Mary shortly after that, and then Alex and the girls got there. We took a quick picture with our friends, and then we went to find the van. I could not wait to sit down, get some a/c, and take off my shoes!
I am happy to report that I only got 1 little blister. I love my Asics. My legs feel great today, too! However, Mr. Migraine came back last night and I’ve been suffering all day today from it. I haven’t been able to enjoy the post-race afterglow yet, damn it!
My medal is hanging up and I need to put the 13.1 sticker on my van. I have earned it.
I loved the race. I loved training for the race. I love the way running makes me feel. I love being vegan. I don’t want to lose all of the progress I have made, so I need to find another race to do. Kali said I should do the Space Coast half in November. I think I want to do the Disney half in January. The Princess half is scheduled for the same weekend next year, and I am terrified that I will be saddled with another migraine then (mine come at certain times of the month). Plus, it’s colder in January and maybe I can run faster!
Thanks for the best birthday and Christmas present, Mary! I love the benefits of a healthy life ♥