So, my training was a bit intermittant towards the end... I kept getting sick and working two jobs and going to school full time while trying to train during the winter, well... It sucked. I was starting to have some serious doubts about my ability to finish this thing. I only got _one_ ten mile run in a week and a half before the race, before that my longest runs had been 8 miles. Ten miles sucked and really sapped my confidence!
I got into Florida Wednesday night and was able to get in a good three miles Thursday as my last little go before the big day! It was amazing to run in a tee and capris after spending all winter bundled up in layer after layer! Because my mom doesn't have a company vehicle anymore, my parents don't have an extra car at the house that I could use and I needed to make sure I had my yogurt and bananas and protein bars and G2... I asked my dad if I could take his truck and he offers to go with me and then ended up paying for it all! Awesome dad, FTW!
Friday morning my parents and I headed to Disney!! The race expo was nice, but CRAZY-busy and a pain! I had set aside a hefty chunk of my paycheck to blow at this expo (I was spending two weeks with my family and wouldn't be buying my own groceries or my daily frou-frou coffee drinks or putting gas into my truck! I had some money! lol) I ended up only getting a shirt ("13.1/Half Marathon/ALL Princess") but this meant that I was able to get Jacki a ticket so she and her babies (my surrugate niece, Ruthie, and nephew, Emmett) could spend the entire day with us Sunday!! (Her husband, Nick, had to work all weekend) So the rest of the day, Friday we went to the Magic Kingdom. It was my mom's birthday so we decided on a nice dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern in Liberty Square! It was DELICIOUS and my mom got a cute little Birthday cupcake! We ended up heading back to the room at that point and were in bed by 9:30!
Saturday was an early morning, we were at the Disney Hollywood Studios by 8am (7:51, actually) and scoped out the Butterfinger Cupcakes to make sure they had them! I kicked my mom's butt at the Toy Story Midway Mania game and I'm proud to say that both times we rode it my accuracy was at least 45% lol! Spent the day wandering around and were back to the hotel by 7 after eating dinner at Tepan Edo in Japan! I'm so thankful that my parents were very conscientous about where we ate for me! No greasy-disgusting-vactation-food!! I sat headed to the poor-girl's-massage (aka the hot tub) and soaked for a good 30 minutes, letting the jets go to work on my legs!! I was out cold by about 9:30 again, which is good because my alarm was set for 3:15!!
I had everything all set up ready to go, including bandaids for any potential blisters, which ended up being VERY needed! I was out the door by 3:40 to go wait for my taxi! (only certain resorts had shuttle buses... I originally asked around to see if I could share a ride with someone but decided I'd rather not risk anyone else sleeping through their alarm! Cab=best idea ever! He got me right up front and knew all the short-cuts to get me to where I needed to be without waiting in the lines already starting!) For the next two hours it was a WHOLE BUNCH of waiting around and shivering!! It was 34 degrees when I checked at 4:45 and it felt MUCH COLDER! I had two pairs of throw-away pants (some running capri tights that I wore until it warmed up a little and a pair of velour pants that I tossed right before the start) and a throw-away sweatshirt. I couldn't figure out how to work my arm band with the sweatshirt (it would be a HUGE hassle to wear it over the shirt and then take it all off to lose the shirt) so I just ended up tossing it right before starting... It wasn't a horrible idea, but I really wish my gloves hadn't gone missing somewhere along the trek to the start! You could see the frost all over the ground which made it seem even colder than it already was!!
I was (somehow!) in Corral A, which meant I started right at 6! There where five corrals starting 7 minutes after the one before it, so some people didn't even start until 6:28! This also meant that there was NO WAY I would be the last one crossing the finish line! I might take the longest, but there would still be people behind me! They started us with fireworks and all sorts of fun stuff! The family members cheering along the first mile were a WONDERFUL boost! There was NO WAY they could have seen who they were cheering for, but they screamed the whole time like everyone out there was their best friend about to win first place!!
The first mile FLEW by, I'm usually pretty good at judging how far I've gone, but I was absolutely AMAZED to see the first mile marker!! The same for the second and third miles, I couldn't believe how fast they went, and I was keeping my normal, slow pace!! I stopped for the first couple photo-ops, the lines were short with only 5-10 people in front of me! I lost my capris right after the third mile once the sun was up and was cat-called by the hundred or so women that passed me while I was trying desperately not to fall over, getting them past my shoes!
The first real struggle came right before the five mile mark. If you're familiar with Disney World, you'll know that by the Contemporary Resort there's a water bridge, where the road goes under the lake! Running down that slope was killer on the shins and running back up about did my quads in! But after that, it was time to run in the MAGIC KINGDOM!!! I sent my mom a nonsense text letting her know I was headed into MK (my iPhone was strapped to my arm and the touch screen is impossible to text with while running so I just hit a couple letters and sent it) Apparently everyone was trying to figure out what the abreviation was! Running through MK was wonderful, but I wish they would've drawn it out a little, given us more time in there!
Right after hitting the back stage area, and after mile marker 6 the blisters on my feet started acting up. It's a good thing I thought to bring my own blister bandaids! I stopped real quick to slap them on my arches only to have about five minutes of relief until the slid down my feet!
Everything was wonderful up until mile 8.5-9. I wasn't stopping for the photo-ops anymore because all the people that had started behind me had caught up to me and the lines were getting pretty long and I still wanted to make my 14:30 minute/mile pace goal! When I made this goal, I tried to take pictures into account, but I underestimated the lines! I had to stop to wipe the sweat out of my eyes (it was excruciating! I was running with my eyes closed every couple of steps!) and get some lube for my chub-rub! I usually run in running skirts, but I've never done more than 6 miles in one! Luckily Disney is very liberal about their medical tents and there was one right after mile 9! I was able to lub up and grab some tylenol! I will ALWAYS take tylenol with me on my long runs now!! I don't know if it actually helped THAT much or if it was more of the placebo-effect, but all of a sudden my blisters stopped KILLING, my quads felt fantastic and it was like I had brand-new feet!!
The over-passes were torture near the end, but I still kept up with my "run three songs, walk one song" pace until just after mile 11 when my left calf started doing this WIERD thing where it felt like a rubber band was shooting down my leg with every step! It didn't really _hurt_ but it DEFINITITELY didn't feel good! I was able to slather on some biofreeze and kept going. (I took the advice of the woman next to me: "You've made it this far! Slap some biofreeze on it and deal with it after you've crossed the finish line!") I don't know if it was the actual biofreeze or the act of massaging it on my calf that helped, but it subsided as quickly as it had started! (if anyone has any ideas as to what it was, let me know! I ate my regular bagel w/ peanut butter, banana and yogurt for breakfast about 1 1/2 hr before starting, had a packet of Sport Beans about 15 min before starting and another pack at mile 7. I also did water at _every_ water stop (one per mile) and powerade at every other stop so I'm not sure if it was electrolytes, or lack of sodium (i'm a sweatty person) or if my achille's was acting up!)
I made it to mile 12 without crying, but when I saw my parents there cheering for me, I lost it!! For the last two miles, every step I took was a step further than I'd ever run before! I had run 12 miles and was feeling GREAT! I finished my last mile through tears with a big ol' smile on my face! And about half way through that last mile another woman tapped me on my shoulder to tell me she'd been keeping my pace the entire last six miles, taking walk breaks every time I did and she really didn't think she would have done was well as she had if she hadn't been pacing with me!
I sobbed as I crossed the finish line (trust me, the pictures are horrible!) and stood in line for my picture with my finisher's medal! I got an armload of food (no joke. Water, powerade, a banana, a bagel, a fruit cup and an orange which I promptly dropped and lost as it rolled away into the crowd) and went in search of my family. I made it about half-way to where they were before realizing "HEY! I just ran 13 miles!! Why am I walking all over trying to find them!?!?" So I called my mom and told her just as much and sat down right where I was (the middle of a massive, empty parking lot)
My mom (carrying my cupcake) and Ruthie found me and Ruthie did her little "Yeay, Aunt Beki! Yeay!"-cheer! I ate my cupcake as we found our way to my dad, Jacki and Emmett! The rest of the day was great! Lunch at the Rainforest Cafe which Ruthie LOOOOOOOVED and Animal Kingdom after that then Magic Kingdom until it closed at 10. I felt amazing for almost the entire day, but started to drag a bit around 9 or so, about the same time Ruthie started to crash, too! ;-)
All-in-all, it was amazing!! I kept saying during my training that I wouldn't be able to do this race again, because it was WAY too difficult to train that much during the winter... But I think if I work my way up to being comfortable at 10 miles (right now, I'm comfortable at 8) and stay that way through the fall and winter, I should be able to do this one again!! And I'm DEFINITELY doing the "Wine and Dine H