(Sorry guys, my 12-year-old-minded husband came up with this title and I promised him that I would use it when I recapped the half marathon. So you guys are stuck with a giggle-worthy title today. )
Woohooo!!!! WE FINISHED THE HALF MARATHON!!!!
But we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves here. Let’s back up and recap.
Disney Half Marathon
We flew into Orlando airport at 11:45pm on Thursday night, meaning that by the time we got to our hotel it was nearly 1:30am. Definitely not the most relaxing start to our weekend, but given that Chris and I are both running a little low on vacation (thanks to the Honeymoon + the holidays), we couldn’t afford to take a whole day off work on Thursday. So we made it work…
Despite our late night, we were up early to spend some time with my family at the All Star Music resort.
Now, this was my first time ever staying at a Disney resort hotel since I have a lot of family that lives in Orlando, but it was quite a fun experience! Disney definitely follows the mentality of “Go big or go home” when it comes to their designs; there was music stuff EVERYWHERE!
After breakfast and some time catching up, Chris and I headed over with some of my family to the ESPN Wide World of Sports for the Expo.
Chris and I were able to pick up our race packets and swag bags before we headed over to check out all of the goodies available at the expo. My mom picked up her stuff too, even though she actually decided not to run this race due to a pulled hamstring. Such a bummer, but we’re hoping to run another race with her this spring instead.
Of course there was some mandatory picture taking!
Gotta love my sexy ankle brace. I ended up wearing it for the race and was SO glad that I did!
We then headed over to the expo, and holy cow was it gigantic!
Chris and I spent a good 2 hours walking around and checking out all of the booths. There was even a representative there from the Marine Corps Half Marathon in Fredericksburg (which is basically in our back yard), so we spent some time talking with her! It was nice to have some VA representation there! I also bought a few small swag things, which I’ll show you all later.
The rest of the day was spent carbo loading (the resort had a great “runners special” meal with pasta and breadsticks) and passing out by 8:00pm. Or attempting to pass out, considering that I woke up every 2 hours by smacking Chris and going “WHAT TIME IS IT???” Whoops.
Our alarm eventually DID go off at 2:30am and we were up and running around getting ready thanks to some serious nerves and adrenaline. The resort also had great to-go breakfast boxes (it was a very runner friendly resort, in case you didn’t already guess) that included a bagel, peanut butter, a banana and a granola bar. We then hoped on the transit bus to head over to the starting area.
About 10 other family members of mine were running the race, but they were all staying at a different resort, so I knew that the chances of running into them in the morning, in a crowd of 25,000, with no cell phones, was almost zero. Yet sure enough, luck was with us and we managed to spot a cousin of mine! We spent the rest of the prep time talking with them, standing in the giant port-a-potty lines, and making the SLOW walk to the corrals.
Chris and I were actually in F corral (it went A-H), since we had never run a race before and had no time to submit at registration. So we broke off from the group to go find our F people in preparation for the start. Then there was LOTS more waiting. But at least the MCs were pretty hilarious and fun to listen to as corrals A-D started the race.
At 6:10am it was our turn.
On your mark…get set… go!
We were off! Well, slowly at least. There was a LOT of dodging and weaving during the first 3 miles or so because there were SO. MANY. PEOPLE. Although I will say, that sure made the first few miles go by quickly!
The race took us down the highway, through the magic kingdom (and through Cinderella’s castle, which was so awesome!), back down the highway, and through Epcot to the finish line in the Epcot parking lot. The sun ended up coming up about mile 4, and it started to get HOT around mile 6 or so when the humidity REALLY picked up. Considering we did most of our training in below 50 degree weather, 75 and humid was definitely a little different.
I’ll give more of a recap tomorrow about how we ran and our feelings during the race, but I will say that I was VERY happy to see Epcot and the finish line come into view!
At 2:26:50 Chris and I crossed the finish line hand-in-hand! Woohoo!! And then we basically waddled to the medical section for some ice. haha.
We were definitely happy, but EXHAUSTED!
It was an AMAZING experience that I will never forget!
And I have to admit guys… I’m starting to catch the running bug!
I’ll have more of a recap tomorrow about the race itself, but I didn’t want to leave you all hanging without a recap of some kind!
So tell me: What was your first race experience like (it can be a race of any kind!)