Saturday night I ran my first half marathon, the Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World. Let’s just say it has been a rough couple of days following the race. Let’s start at the beginning though.
On Friday afternoon I flew down to Orlando, checked into the hotel, and headed to the Heath and Fitness Expo to pick up the race packets for my mom and myself. I wandered around the expo for awhile and was happy to find a band to fit my iPhone 5 for when I’m working out. I just upgraded my phone and since it was taller than my 3GS, I was bummed that I couldn’t use my old band. Glad I found one though…just in time for the race.
During the day on Saturday I decided to relax by the pool. Since it was a nighttime run, I didn’t want to tire myself out by walking around the Disney parks, so the pool it was. Once the sun went away and my mom arrived, we decided it was nap time. Didn’t get much of a nap, but it was better than nothing. Finally it was time to leave for the race.
The atmosphere was similar to what is was at the 5K I did back in February. There was a DJ and characters. People were dancing around and having fun. The downside was, having to be there so early I had to keep moving and stretching to keep my muscles from tensing up. I didn’t do a very good job with that, but will get there.
So around 9:30pm they had us go into the race corrals. I was in the second to last one and my mom is in the last, so we had about an hour of waiting before we actually got to start. That was the hard part. There were so many people around that I didn’t have room to continue to warm up. Once I finally started I felt fine though. I ran the first 5K in 32mins, so I was feeling good. Plus, the path was great.
We left ESPN Wide World of Sports and headed towards Animal Kingdom. I was glad to get to Animal Kingdom because running through the park was much more fun than on the road…and I really needed to go potty, but I didn’t want to go in the icky port-a-potties. Anyways, I think Animal Kingdom was my favorite part of the run because we covered a lot of the park. We came in through the entrance of the park and around the tree of life, then out the back of the park. That was about 5miles long. It started to get a little tough at that point because we were back on the dark road again and there wasn’t much to look at anymore. All I could do was focus on my running. My pace slowed a little bit, but not too much.
As I made my way along the course I passed a couple of characters. I got my picture taken with the ballerina hippo from Fantasia and the Army Toy Solider from Toy Story. I wanted a picture with Goofy, but he had a really long line, and I wasn’t about to ruin my time by waiting in line to see Goofy. After all, I’ve seen him plenty of times.
Finally I reached Hollywood Studios. I was so glad to be running through the park again. I figured like Animal Kingdom, it would be easier it. And it was for awhile…then we ran behind the scenes at the park. That made it a little harder because I wasn’t going past all my favorite stuff. We did run past one of the wardrobe rooms, which was also. They had all the parade costumes in there, so that was really cool to see. After that we came back into the park and ran down the area with all the Christmas lights, which was beautiful. I’d seen them before when visiting DisneyWorld, but running through it was amazing. And the other part that was great, Wreck-It Ralph was there! Even better, he didn’t have a line for pictures. I was so surprised seeing the movie only came out a week and a half ago. Plus, I had just hit mile 10, and I was starting to feel it in my legs. I needed a quick break, so that was my chance.
After leaving Hollywood Studios we ran along the Boardwalk and into Epcot. Reaching Epcot was the best feeling ever. It meant I had just over a mile to go and I was almost done. My legs could feel it big time. I had only gone 11.5 miles while training, so one I hit mile 12, I felt like I was going to die. I knew I was close to finishing though, and I couldn’t stop. I kept pushing through and I did it. I finished my first half marathon in 2:34:43. I was so happy. My goal was 2:45:00, so finishing under it was even better.
Everyone told me that once I finished my first half marathon I would be so excited to sign up for another one. They were all wrong. The last thing I want to do was walk to the bus let alone run another. Awhile back I posted saying I wanted to run the Princess Half Marathon in Disney. Once I finished the Wine and Dine, I said never again. Obviously, I plan on running again, but not anytime soon. My mom and I were talking about it and we think in 2014 we’ll try the Coast to Coast Challenge. I think that will be the next time I run a half marathon. I’ll stick to 5K and 10K races for now.
These days since the half, my legs and mainly my left knee have been killing me. Going to my 5th floor walk up apartment has been awful. I can’t wait for this pain to go away.