Before the alarm went off at 3am, I woke up. Amy stirred as well and we turned off the alarm about 5 minutes before it was to go off. Time to get dressed, tape up the feet as if I am an elite runner and slather the Blue Emu cream on the calves and feet. This is what early and nervous looks like in my Snow White themed running attire - it ain't pretty that early!
I was so tired and nervous, I started to try to focus on being positive. "I will finish, I can do this, its going to be so much fun, think of all the cool pictures for the memory book" I said to myself.....Amy my roommate had a pre-race panic attack "can I do this kind of thing", but she calmed down before we left. We headed down to the lobby to meet up with Jennifer an online Disboards.com buddy that we were giving a ride to...never met her before, but figured doing a good deed for someone would be good karma for us all.
Jennifer was super nice - and told us her 10 year old son was like "Mom, you are riding with strangers you met on the internet?" ha ha. Poor thing had been diagnosed the day before at the doc in a box while on vacation with Bronchitis and was just hoping to finish. Me, well I had my Plantar Faciitis issue and was also hoping to finish without snapping a tendon! Eve had a hamstring issue she had been working through as well, and yep "hoping to finish". Jackie had been dealing with some funky knee thing and had a history if ITB so you guessed, she just wanted to finish. Amy was still nervous at this point too. What a car ride! We left the hotel around 4:10 with no set directions but did not need them, traffic was CRAZY....it was easy to see where to go because of the traffic and Disney had done a great job with the signs
We made it to the Epcot parking lot and when we got out to make the trek to the start, I wanted to take a photo for posterity - here is Amy's picture right after I realized my mistake and why my camera wasn't working....
Yeah, I am about to cry in this picture and not because I need to lose my spare tire - but with more training and better diet, I will lose it because with this go round my butt and hips got smaller, time for the tummy to catch up....oops back to topic.
I had my camera but when I took my charged battery out of the charger the night before, I put it back in my camera bag NOT in the camera, and I didn't have the bag with me. I had that face of about to cry and I remember Jennifer saying Oh No..... I cried because I wanted those pictures on the race, they were my safety. They would be my fun if my foot gave out and I had to stroll from character to character until the van picked me up. Race Plan B was a shambles and the lack of sleep and highly charged emotional state of "will I finish" came out as tears. I think it was Eve who said, "Its OK, now the bad thing has happened on the race, its all good from here on out, this just means you ARE finishing." The other girls rallied to get me back in a positive frame AND gave me my time to grieve the loss of Race Plan B.
We made the long walk to the starting Corrals....seriously, it was a 20 minute walk in a herd of princesses. By the time we got to the bathrooms at the Corrals, my grief period was over......I was starting to say, I am here, have fun and lets finish this thing! Plus there were so many fun costumes and men in Tutu's and tiaras as well. We all did the obligatory empty out in the potty before the start, took a group photo and headed to our corrals. Amy and I were in B, Jackie in D and Eve in E....Jackie hung back with Eve. As we departed from our foursome, we reminded each other, Pray for Me I will pray for you!
A shout out to Amy for the pictures!
When we got in the corral, again I felt like a herd I sat down and stretched out some. The president of Run Disney gave us a pep talk, Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasco from Survivor gave us a pep talk and thank you for running a race which supported the Leukemia and Lymphoma society - he is a Cancer survivor, we sang the national anthem and awaited the start. Cinderella's fairy godmother was up on the platform - she reminded me of Paula Deen for some reason, waiving her wand and giving us her magic fairy dust. As the first group went off, fireworks shot up in the sky. Holy cow, 8 more minutes and it was time for us to go.
Amy and I were happy at this point, "I can't believe we are finally here about to do this". I remembered the sage advice I got on disboards about the first mile setting the pace mentally....start out with your positive mantras and a smile on your face. Focus that first mile on how much FUN this is and is going to be. The fireworks went off and off we went running.
I HAD to keep it slow and the pace I would have to run to avoid injury was WAY slower than the people I was with. I told Amy to "Run your race" and off she went ahead of me. All I kept thinking was "I can't believe I am here and doing this half marathon". I appreciated all the training I had completed and thought "I am so glad I got up to 10 miles and that was a great run that day". I reminded myself I was so lucky to have a supportive Physical Therapist with the foot and she told me, "I think you ARE going to finish as your foot is SO much better than when we started". I thought of myself when I started couch to 5k back in July and those hot humid summer mornings when I was trying to just get into doing my cardio. I thought of the runs in the cold winter as I tried to figure out how to stay warm without overheating. The payoff was here! I worked hard, time to enjoy. It was going to be a beautiful sunny day, no worries about keeping warm here.
I told myself I could have quit, but I didn't because I wanted to be exactly where I was right at that moment.....doing a half marathon, and lucky me was at Disney. The song playing on my ipod when we started was "Wanna Be Starting Something".....how appropriate!
Off into the early morning darkenss I jogged deciding to try my original 2minute jog, 1 minute walk intervals. If I got tired or my foot hurt I was prepared to switch my running interval to 1 minute or 30 seconds, or heck walk the darn thing! I had my sunglasses for when the sun came up, my garmin to help me stay in a pace to finish without getting swept up, my IPOD strapped on my arm to tell me when to switch from Running to walking and some inspirational tunage, and my new spibelt with my Cliff Blocks, lip stuff, glasses, and room key... Pack rat I was, all ready to attack the 13.1 miles ahead of me to the finish where my medal awaited me!
I was indeed smiling.
Here we go
to be continued.........................
Disney 1/2 - Part 3