so the Run Disney craziness steps up a gear comehalf marathon day. I am exhausted. It’s 6.45pm on half marathon day and I am not far of sleeping. I did want to write all blog posts on the day of the race though. The half marathon was fun. No really it was. I never thought I would say that.
we left the hotel room to get the monorail at about 3.35am. As part of th Runners World Challenge we got entry into the race retreat tent and the plan was to get there, find a quiet corner, grab a bagel and sit calmly. However, the queue for the security check was mental and we didn’t get to the tent until 4.35. The scale is just indescribable. Masses of people everywhere. Anyway, just as we got to the tent loads of people from the Runners world bit left which panicked me a bit. However, there was time to check in our bags and have food just not in quite as calm a manner as we had hoped.
Then we set off to the corals. We were in J for this race. It is about a 15 minute walk from the main holding area to the corals and they started with A and went all the way through to P. I don’t know how many people ran this race but it was thousands. Yesterday we’d had a conversation about Paula Radcliffe and were saying how she was our running hero. Well we were in for a lovely treat because Paula is here. She was running the half. In fact I think I heard them say she was running the Dopey Challenge. I ran in the same race as Paula!
corals started in roughly 2 minute intervals today and we crossed the startline at about 6am. I was a little stiff for the first bit and Kath called for a toiled stop at about half a mile in which was a great call because the queues were short and we both felt more comfortable after that. The first stretch is along roads and across car parks with music and Disney characters along the way to keep you entertained. As with the other races we didn’t stop for pictures or anything. I just can’t get my head round stopping for a photo during a race.
The first half of th half was really uneventful which I guess is good. I felt comfortable and we were plodding along at a steady pace every now and again reminding ourselves to take it steady and conserve energy for tomorrow. At just before mile 5 we passed our hotel and made jokes about nipping in for a shower and a nap. Just after we entered the Magic Kingdom and passed the 5 mile marker. There is nothing quite like running up Mainstreet USA with Cinderella’s castle up ahead. Annoying people just stopped in the middle of the road to take pictures. I get the wanting a picture bit, but please, just stand to one side!
Running through the park gave me a little boost and mile 6 came and went and we were suddenly half way. At mile 8, now back on the road I. Started struggling. I’m not really sure why but suddenly our two minute running intervals seemed long and our 1 minute walks seemed short. Kath offered to take an extra walk and I gladly accepted. Part way throught that walk a woman called Jacqui asked what intervals we were running and if she could join us because she was really struggling. Of course we said yes.
Well two really good things came from that for us. One, it took my mind off me completely and I focused on helping her get through. We chatted a bit but not much on the walks but for the most keep our 2 minute intervals going. She was struggling but she kept going and we promised not to leave her and we didn’t. The second was that it made us slow down a bit. That sounds daft but we were probably going a little too fast given the marathon tomorrow and going at that slower pace just helped me in particular finish feeling really strong. The other main benefit of course was that Jacqui finished. She was in pain and I’m not sure she would have got to the end still upright without Kath’s unwavering leadership and my constant talking telling her how amazing she was. It was so great to be able to do something positive like that and help her. I hope someone would do the same for me!
I missed the 9 mile marker completely, then were were at 10 miles. It’s hard to explain how good it feels to get to double figures on a half marathon!. Only 5km left! And on we went. The three of us, always telling ourselves and each other that we only had to run 2 minutes. Then we entered Epcot, I loved that last little run through the park. I knew we were nearly there, I knew we had got ourselves and Jacqui there and that we would make th finish line in roughly 3 hours. I suspect I was grinning like an idiot. We turned into the final Epcot back lot, passed the 13 mile marker and saw the finish. Jacqui was cramping up and really really struggling. I felt great. As we turned into the straight I saw Jacqui relax and we picked the pace up just a little and we ran, as we had promised her, the three of us together across the line.
2.58.59 is the official time. Kath is delighted to have gone sub three, as am I. I worry it wasn’t slow enough and took too much out of us for tomorrow but actually I feel ok. We have stayed off our feet mostly. We had to leave Jacqui because we thought we had to check in for Dopey but actually we didn’t. We then couldn’t see her again so we made our way to the Race Retreat where we could get some food in addition the the snack box we got immediately after finishing. I had 3 small bottled of water, some scrambled eggs and sausage and then we used the stretching area.
Back at the hotel we had a cold bath, did some yoga, had lunch and then slept for a couple of hours. The. We did more yoga and went for teat in the Magic Kingdom. We had a lovely pasta with veggies drizzled in garlic and olive oils and sprinkled with feta cheese. Then we came back, got our things sorted for tomorrow and now I’m ready for bed.
I have run my 3rd half marathon. It was a good run, a really good run and I feel ok, I really do.