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Monday, January 11, 2010

Marathon DONE!

I did not sleep well at all on saturday night, which had me a little concerned but I figured adrenalin and the crowd would get me going...but dayum, it was hard to get up when my alarm went off! It was actually COLDER for the start of the marathon, if you can believe it! It was 26.2 degrees at the start of the marathon. Funny stuff! We did the same early morning shiver and huddle to stay warm while we waited for the start. People were bundled up in blankets, trash bags, and parkas! Instead of seeing alot of costumes, it was more how creatively you could wear your trash bag and mylar from the day before, lol. I think the marathon was a much bigger deal than the half, as there were more fireworks at the start ;)

I got to chat with a few people around me, and met a couple great people. One guy was doing this marathon as his first, and on his year anniversary of starting his weight loss journey. He lost 65 lbs (and looked great!) Another girl (with whom I ran for about 7 or 8 miles) was an adventure racer and I coninced her to come to the dark side and try ultras ;) She and I ran together for the first 7 miles or so, and I am sure the fact I was careful of my pace because of her being with me, helped me do well overall.

The sun came out which helped tremendously. There was a 'breeze' but the sun made me think I was warmer, lol. I felt great at the half marathon mark, and was picking up the pace by mile 18. I really went out looking at this race as a training run and I just wanted to have fun. I ended up feeling really good and as soon as I left my running partner I had to hold myself back a bit, as to not crash later in the race. There was definitely more entertainment since it wasn't raining/sleeting which was awesome, and we go to run through ALL the parks which was really cool. They had a bunch of DJ's out on the course being goofballs which was also a bast.

Had a few emo moments again, just the magnatude of the race was again, overwhelming...and passing many people who I knew would not finish...but had the courage to start. The military people who were on the course, (I stopped to thank them) and a few families running together for another family member than had

The finish line was very cool, and unfortunately the family did not see me finish. I was early so I don't think they were looking for me yet. I gave them a time to meet me at the family reunion tent, so we hooked up there. It was an amazing time and I am glad I was part of it. Don't know if I would do it again...but I might! I really had a good time and Disney does a pretty good job at organizing these races.

So, these are my official stats:
Half Marathon:
time- 2:24:49
I was 6520 out of 17,099 finishers
2689 out of 9673 women
563 out of 1789 35-39yo women

Full Marathon
time- 4:50:04
6593 out of 16,883 finishers
2320 out of 8182 women
469 out of 1516 35-39yo women

There were over 25,000 runners at the full marathon start and only 16,883 finished. That's alot of DNF's! I think there are alot of people who enter who really probably shouldn't. With other options like the half and 5k one doen't HAVE to do the marathon. That just seems like a high DNF rate to me. There were ALOT of walkers, and Team in Training coaches on the course(who have to pay for an entry even though many of them will not, nor do they plan to, finish) Walkers were definitely an obstacle, and I'd much rather run 26 miles than walk so I give them alot of credit but I don't know how many of them were ale to walk 26 miles in less than 7 hours. Lots of run/walkers too, who I am sure made it.

Oh, and a WooHoo for my kiddos too...My oldest did the 5k, and Lilly and Max ran the Mickey Mile (together, as she would not leave was SO cute I cried) I am so proud of them! They got medals too :)

The other very cool thing is everyone wears their medals after the race as they go around the parks and so there is a whole lot of congratulating, etc going on. THAT was really cool. I have never experienced that in the road running community, but the genuine support and happiness surrounding this event was really fantastic.  I would honestly recommend that if road running is your thing, and even if it isn't and you can run this distance, you come down and do this once. It is and was definitely worth it. :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Disney Half Marathon...DONE :)

And by done, I mean done in the snow, sleet and rain. Yep, snow in Florida. Who knew? It was mostly in the sky but hell, I did not come to FL to run in the snow! :)

Up at 3am to make it to the bus by 4am, which *they* said you had to do. No problem, as I would have been up anyways. When I left my room I was thinking..."20's...not bad for a run!" as I am used to much colder. Oh, how silly I was...:) I had my pilfered trash bag for extra warmpth, and my coffee, bananas and on the bus I went. We had to sit in be expected for a race with over 20,000 people running in it.Got to te start, stood in an INCREDIBLY long porta-john line and huddled next to a spot light that was giving off minimal heat. The crowd was unbelievable. I have never been at a race this huge in my life. I think the biggest race I have ever done was a thousand or 2...MAYBE. This was just...unbelievable. The constant wave of people EVERYWHERE was mind-blowing!

Sometime around 5am they had us walking like a herd of cattle over to the starting line, which took 15  minutes, I bet. Then you had to get into your corral (I was in the LAST one as I didn't give them a time I'd finish in, ugh) and we waited there for a good half an hour until it was time for my 'wave' to start. They had these HUGE tv screens on the bridges over us so you could watch the start of the waves before you, which was awesome.  I think my wave went off at 6:10, but I walked a while before I actually crossed the timing pad so I don't know when I officially started, but it was probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 6:20am.

The race itself. Well, for the first 3 or 4 miles I basically ran on the grass to avoid all the walkers, and slower runners. I don't know what was going on but there were a rediculous amount of people walking at mile 2-4. I know some people do the run/walk thing even on roads, and I hit every one :) It was hard to find my pace with all the stopping and starting everyone did, plus the random stopping for pics in the middle of the road. The snow turned to sleet, and it started to get light out. Running though the Magic Kingdom was the BEST! Man, what a blast that was! Everything was lit up and they even had some rides running!

After the Kingdom, it was back out on the roads. I will say, the support and aid stations were fantastic, the crowd was amazing, and I continued to be super impressed. The weather ALONE would have kept people away, you would think. But not here :)

At about mile 10 you head up over a bridge and you can see the THOUSANDS of runners behind you...seriously, for as far as you can see, it is just a wall of people. It was very emotional and overwhelming for me at that point, and races usually don't do that to me. I know there were A LOT of people out there running for Team in Training, and other charities and for other people and it was powerful. Coming down and back into Epcot, knowing there is less than 3 miles to go is a rush. The crowds were crazy, there is music, and you pass around this one loop that lets you look at the other runners...another emotional moment knowing so many have a story about why they are here. The looks on people's faces was so great. On to the finish...WOOT! :)

I think I finished in about 2:20 or 2:30 depending on how they time it. I tried to run in the grass anywhere i could to preserve my legs and feet as the pavement down here is not what my body is used to( I am always sore when I run in FL...their asphalt is very rocky...) but I'd be lyin' if I said my legs felt good. I got my medal and my mylar blanket and we headed straight for the bus. We had to wait for a bus for a good half an hour (not fun with 3 VERY cold and wet kids!) and a hot shower NEVER felt as good as it did when I came back! :)

Inhaled some salad and fruit, and slept for an hour and now I am waiting for the family to come back from who-knows-where :) so we can hit Downtown Disney.

Tomorrow...the MARATHON! It will be slightly warmer and SUNNY!!! WOOHOO!