We flew out the Friday before race day to head to Florida for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. We caught an 8am flight – and took off to a gorgeous sunrise.
We left behind the cold Pennsylvania weather and snow. It was glorious!!
My dad picked the hubby and I up from the airport (he had arrived a few hours earlier) and after a quick lunch at Chipotle and a stop at Publix to stock up on Gatorade, we headed to the ESPN Wide World of Sports to pick up our race packets. The bib pickups were separate from the goody bag pickups which was a little bit annoying. I’m not a fan of having to carry my bib around without being able to put it in a bag or something. I always get nervous I’m going to misplace it. The bib pickup for Goofy folks was super short – no line.
The T-shirt/Goody bag line was super long at another building. The line stretched so long that it even went outside. It moved pretty quickly though and we didn’t mind being in the Florida sunshine.
We got three super awesome long-sleeved tech shirts for the Half, Full and Goofy, in Yellow, Blue and Orange respectively. They’re so nice I’m not sure I’m going to be running in them much. They’ll probably be used for lounging around/bragging more so. ha.
After we picked everything up and walked around the Expo a little (it was SUPER crowded) we checked into our hotel super quick and headed to Downtown Disney for dinner. We ate at the House of Blues and all of us got salads (I got Caesar – my pre-race tradition) and pasta with marinara sauce. It hit the spot. After dinner we headed straight back to the hotel to put our legs up and sleep.
My alarm went off at 3am the next morning and I woke up without an issue. I changed, ate my cereal + Almond Milk and we met up with my dad and made the walk to the busses. I think we were on a bus around 3:45ish. There was no line or anything.
I dressed up as Minnie for this race – I haven’t dressed up for a Disney race yet and though the Half would be a perfect opportunity. I found the red running skirt at TJ Maxx, the red tech shirt at Wal-Mart, the Minnie ears online and used white sticker dots from Staples. Most of them fell off over the course of the race though, as you will see in the photos. I found the gloves at Target for 50c, and basically just wore them for this photo. It was already in the 60s by the time we were waiting to walk to our corrals.
I also ran this race as part of the Sandy Hook Elementary Memorial Half Marathon. I wore the bib on my back. Unfortunately I did sweat a lot so the bib ended up ripping off of my back but I tucked it in my SpiBelt so that I carried those kids with me for the 13.1 miles. I saw a lot of other people with these bibs too. It amazes me how the running community can come together to support a cause. It is a great thing.
The first four miles went pretty quickly. Our strategy was to run as much as possible in the first few miles and then switch to 3/1 run/walk intervals once we felt we needed to. Around mile four I started to feel light headed. I attribute this to taking a cup of powerade at the first water station. After that I just took two cups of water at each one and felt a lot better. We ran down Main Street (such a rush!!) and snapped a picture in front of the castle.
The sun was starting to get hot though, and it was really sticky and humid. My husband was also starting to feel a little discouraged around mile 7. We told my dad to go ahead and I stuck back with him as we ran/walked our way to mile 10ish. I knew this wasn’t going to be a great half for me time-wish. Around mile 10 it was getting even hotter (I’m pretty sure it got into the low 80s while we were out there) and we were on highway which meant hot asphalt. It was tough. My husband was also getting discouraged, because it seemed like we had so far to go. I gave him as much positivity as I could.
It was awesome to see the Epcot ball and know we were close.
After going around the Ball, I knew (from the Princess Half a few years ago) that we didn’t have long to go. We also found my dad who had stopped to wait for us so we could cross the finish together.
We crossed in 3:27:21 (chip time). Not a good finishing time for me by far, but I wanted to stick with my husband, and with the heat I knew it wouldn’t be smart to push it given we had 26.2 to cover the next morning.
Finishers photo!! I felt pretty good after the race. My feet were tired but that was about it. We made our way to the buses and got lunch at the hotel. I got a breakfast platter and drank a bottle of chocolate milk. It was perfect. I took an ice bath before we showered, hoping it would help my legs to feel as fresh as possible the next day.
We grabbed dinner that night at Portobellos in Downtown Disney, which was a great carb-infused meal for Marathon Eve. We went to bed early because we had a 3am wake up call again the next day and I slept like a log.