I’m not even sure what to say about this half marathon. The first half of the race went really well, but the last half was kind of a mess. Which is kind of unfortunate because when I think about the race it is really easy to focus on the bad parts and forget how fun the first 10k was. Also I’m sorry for the blurry photos, most of them were taken while running!
My finish time: 2:14:07 (personal worst, haha!)
Mr. Shoe’s finish time: 2:20:59
The plan for the race was for both of us to run with my sister, Colleen, for the first 10k and then try to pick up the pace for the last 7 miles. I wasn’t really sure how this would go since I have heard a lot of bad things about how congested the course at Disney can be and how some sections will get so bad you will be forced to walk. My proof of time placed my in corral A, but if I wanted to start with Colleen, we would be starting in corral F. Running with my sister was more important than my finishing time, so I decided to risk the slow sections.
The first half of the race felt like it flew by. I was able to chat with my sister and husband. We had a fun time checking out the crazy costumes other runners were wearing and seeing the character stops along the course (we did not stop). It was also nice to have company during the severely banked sections of the course (painful!). Before we knew it we had reached the entrance to Magic Kingdom!
Running through Magic Kingdom was pretty spectacular! I don’t know exactly what I expected from this part of the race, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to a big deal. I was surprised how excited I got to see the castle, run through Tomorrowland, and, finally, run through the castle. I think it helps that there was a lot of crowd support through this section and the sun finally started to come up.
After one last picture as a group it was time to get serious. With Mr. Shoe on my tail, I started picking off runners. Although the course was narrow at this point and fairly crowded, I was able to run the entire time. I heard from later corrals that this part of the course was crawling along later; someone mentioned a 25 minute mile because people were walking so slowly. I am very happy to have missed out on that fun. At some point I ended up losing Mr. Shoe. I had two goals in mind. First, catch the 2:15 pace group. Second, if possible, finish in 2:10. Although I finished under 2:15 (and could even see the pace group ahead of me!) I didn’t actually meet either of my goals.
With about 3-4 miles left I started getting a side stitch. This side stitch then mutated to extremely painful stomach cramps. Every other step sent shooting pain through my abdomen. Running was nearly impossible. The extra impact from running downhill actually made running impossible. I was in trouble. I felt like I was stopping to walk every 30 seconds. I stopped at a medical tent to drink some water and take a break, but nothing seemed to help. I started looking for Mr. Shoe because I was certain he would be passing me soon. I never saw him so I forced myself to press on.
Finally, I realized that I only had a quarter of a mile to go, and I managed to sprint it in. As soon as I got done running, I started to cry. I didn’t really know why I was crying, but I couldn’t seem to stop myself. Not really my best moment, haha. I waited for Mr. Shoe to finish and then it was time for a second sprint, this time to the bathroom for stomach issues (Sorry to over share. Extra sorry that this isn’t the end of the story).
Once I saw my sister come through the finish area (2:33, just slightly off her goal of 2:30), I knew I needed to haul my ass up off the pavement and over to our meeting area. Pretty soon her family and our parents joined us. This was about the time that I realized I might be more than just usual race tired. It was around 70 degrees out and I was feeling cold and nauseated. Fortunately it was time to head back to our hotel for a shower.
Showering had to wait until my stomach got under control. It really hated me after this race and it culminated with me in the bathroom begging Mr. Shoe to find me a trash can so I could throw up as well (really sorry!). I think it was just the heat that got to me. It was easily 60 degrees warmer than the weather I had been training in and I stupidly wore a long sleeve shirt. I really hope it was just the weather and that this wasn’t really an indication of my current fitness.
|I love my husband and his willingness to wear matching pink shirts. He’s the best!|
I’m not sure if I would sign up for another runDisney event. One the one hand, running with a group and enjoying the course entertainment was definitely fun. I really loved running with my sister and want to plan another race with her at some point in the future. But on the other hand, $180 in registration fees (plus flights and a hotel) is a lot of money to spend on a race that I wouldn’t actually be racing. I don’t want to rule it out completely since every few years the Disney World Marathon ends up being on my birthday and it would be kind of cool to run a birthday marathon. So maybe in 2018?