Friday, March 1, 2013

And We Are Off.....

The race started and it was packed. I was able to get moving at a pretty good pace. I knew I needed to take it slow as it was plenty warm and humid. I had my water bottle, skittles and phone on me.

It was dark!

The first thing I saw in the distance was a pirate ship and Jack Sparrow! I knew I wanted to stop and take pictures, but I also wanted to be smart about it. I have been running a 13:30 minute mile in training, but Disney is serious about the 16 minute mile limit. I didn't completely understand this when I headed out.

After the race there was all sorts of comments on the Run Disney page about walkers starting in earlier corrals to give them a buffer from the sweep bus. I was in Corral F, so I did have some buffer. Apparently the sweeper bus picked up many runners at mile 8, but I was unaware and apparently not close to that action - thankfully!

We then passed the princes. I didn't run with Laura, but she stopped at many places I didn't so I am going to  intermix our pictures so you get a good idea. Plus hers are so much clearer then mine!

Each mile marker was a cute little storybook page. At the 5k mile marker I was running a 13:31 minute mile. So right on pace. I had a lot of walkers in my corral, so it was hard to get around and through people. We were out on the road, so we had good space, but there are only so many ways around friends all walking together. I am by no means fast, so I am fully supportive of walkers. It does add on to the mileage though.

We ran past the speedway and I saw this sign. I wasn't considering it at this point, but I thought knowing where the exit was would be a good thing. I missed a picture of Lightening McQueen just outside the Speedway.

The first several miles there were DJs and these photo ops, but I only did drive by pictures. I wasn't ready to stop yet and didn't know what was ahead of me.
We headed toward the magic Kingdom. I made sure to watch my footing as we headed over the speed bumps entering the parking lot. I had heard about them at the expo and falling was not on my docket for the day.

We hit main street and everyone was clearly excited. I was still running nicely and had stopped at every water stop, alternating water and poweraide.

Yikes! Hot, Humid and excited to be here? 
This is more like it! 
We ran up Main Street, through Tomorrowland, around Fantesyland and then through the castle.

I had to stop for Tiana, even though this was the same one I had pictures with on Friday night.

Wish I had stopped for Mickey and Minnie

At the 10k mark my time was 1:30:02, 14:29 minute miles. Not sure what caused the slowdown as I was feeling good still. The course did narrow quite a bit, so that could explain some of it. 

They had a vote for the song of the race before and at the halfway mark it was playing. So fun and got me moving.

Things were still going well at mile 8. I was tired and hot, but still moving forward. I was walking some, but not too worried about my time or stamina. At mile 9 they had a gu station, but I haven't had one yet and I didn't think that I wanted to experiment. Maybe I should have grabbed one for later to try it. My time at the 15k was 2:18:21 a 14:51 minute mile pace. Still within a decent range, but a little slow for me.
And then I hit Mile 10, or thereabouts. I can't be sure as the memories are fuzzy. I decided that I needed to stop and go to the bathroom. Kicking myself for not doing so in the park, but we were through it on our way back to Epcot by this point. So I stopped as the line wasn't very long. Soon after stopping I started to feel a little woozy. I stopped and sat down on a guardrail. A nice runner stopped and asked if I needed something to eat. I declined as I had a good breakfast and had been drinking and eating my skittles. I know it sounds low tech, but I wasn't going to change things up in the middle of a race. I decided to keep going. Soon I decided I needed to look for some help. I wasn't sure what was ahead, so I stopped at a security SUV.

I stopped and took a breather hanging over the hood of the SUV. I eventually sat down and caught a cool breeze from the side of the route. I am not sure how long I sat there, maybe 10 minutes, but eventually I decided I should try to keep going. I didn't really think about much there, just trying to listen to my body. After my stop, I slowly started gaining my energy back again.

I don't look like I almost passed out, do I? 
We had to go through a clover leaf pattern so we could see the folks on the overpass above us. Then it was a nice hill to get up there ourselves. Some folks were talking about sweepers, but I wasn't worried. There were so many people behind us that I didn't think it was possible to get into trouble.

I hit mile 12 and knew I could finish the race. I just pushing forward at that point and not paying too much attention to others. It was still crowded and in many places there were runners darting through the crowd. I can't figure out how they got behind me if they were so fast, but I can only assume they have great character pictures!
Coming into Epcot I saw a woman walking that clearly was going to pass out. She kept talking about how she had missed her time goal and how she had to finish. We were still at least 3/4 of a mile away from the finish line. I ended up moving on to alert the medics.

Finally we saw Epcot. The race takes you in the park a little ways and then you turn around and head right out into the parking lot. As we exited through the employee gate there was a gospel choir. So cool!

Finally the finish line was in sight! I didn't get my camera out until too late, but this is what it looked like to me.

Mickey and Minnie were there, and so were the medals!

The Volunteers were awesome! 
I finished in 3:31:51. Not anywhere close to my half in October, but I wasn't going for time, so it was all ok with me. A tough, but super fun race.

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