Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Walt Disney World Half Marathon Race Recap

Saturday morning I ran the Walt Disney World Half Marathon (sorry I didn't post this before today... Saturday after the race we had to check out of the condo we were staying in and into a hotel and then rest up for the Marathon on Sunday, Sunday was the BIG DADDY OF THEM ALL, and then Monday we checked out and had to head to the airport) as race number 3 of 4 of my Dopey Challenge adventure.

Flat Carlee - complete with KT Tape covered Brooks Ghost 6, Pro Compression (black on black) Marathon Socks, a Minnie Mouse Sparkle Athletic skirt, my Garmin Forerunner 110, a Sparkly Soul Inc Minnie Mouse headband, a Red Road ID, my Endurance SPIbelt, a Minnie Mouse hair tie, a black Nike tank top, and Minnie ears borrowed from a friend!

Before I get into the race, I need to mention part of my "costume". A few months ago I won a YEAR'S SUPPLY of KT Tape (meaning 24 rolls). Since they have 12 colors, I figured I would get 2 of each. I have been blessed by not having to use the tape for injuries (knock on wood), so have been able to do a giveaway and send some as gifts to friends with the duplicate colors. For my Half and Full Marathon costumes YELLOW shoes would work PERFECTLY! I decided I would use the yellow KT Tape and cover my shoes with it (they are near the end of their life, so even if it happens to leave a little sticky residue on them it won't be the end of the world). I even found some "bows" at the Dollar Store to stick on my shoes for my Minnie outfit.

I wasn't sure how it would hold up, but at least I would give it a try!

Originally I didn't have any type of plan going into this race. In case you missed the last two race recaps, on Thursday I did the Walt Disney World 5K with my mom (we did more of a run/ walk race... ran when mom could breath, walked when she couldn't) and on Friday I did the Walt Disney World 10K with a friend and her hubby (it was the longest distance he had gone and we ended up doing scheduled run/ walk intervals throughout the race).

In Epcot's parking lot before my parents got back into
the warm car while I made my way to the start ;)
And YES, those ARE socks from the Dollar Store that
I made into arm warmers (used them for the 10K too)!

I found my friend Michael before heading over to the corrals and we decided we would do the race together (he had just PR'ed in the 10K distance the morning before). Funny thing was, we were dressed alike and we didn't even plan it - TWINNING!

Don't judge me, it was cold out so I wore a garbage
bag and Mylar blanket to keep warm... My Michigan
blood has thinned over the last 8 years of living in SoCal.

I told my parents before I got out of the car that morning I was going to try and go no faster than 2:10. I even had figured I would try and stop for character pictures to delay my time (sometimes my legs just get going and I have a hard time slowing down). Although I had been training with back-to-back runs, I still wasn't sure how my body would feel after all of the early morning wake-up calls, so wanted to make sure I would conserve enough energy for the Marathon on Sunday.

Well, that plan lasted until we arrived in the corrals (in my defense that walk is a good 20 minutes or so ;)). Michael asked me what my game plan was. I told him what time I was thinking about. He asked me, "Are you able to go sub-2?". I told him I had done the Holiday Half two weeks prior and PR'ed in 1:44 so I knew I COULD go sub-2... Right about then he cut me off and said, "Well, how about we shoot for 1:55? We can do the first 5K at 8:30/ mile pace, the next 5K at 8:15/ mile pace, the third 5K at 8:00/ mile pace and for the last 10K we can't let anyone pass us?" Let's be honest, it didn't take much convincing... Positive Peer Pressure at its finest ;)

Oh yeah, and how can I forget that Michael and I tried to get a Conga line going before the race started (practice for our upcoming Phoenix Marathon)?!

No one else wanted to join in...

We met up with some other rockstars in the corral and waited to be released (although the corrals were being released about every 10 minutes for the 5K and 10K, the time between them for the Half and Full seemed to be more like every 3-5 minutes).

Some of the COOL KIDS! Not sure how I got jumped into the group ;)

Some of the fireworks to send of the corrals
(caught on my phone before our corral moved up to the start)

They really had a great little show for each corral!

The starting line for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon

My dad got some of the fireworks from the opposite side of the starting line

They were pretty awesome!

Now with the hoards of people and the darkness, it was hard to even see us,
but this was a "starting" picture my dad caught... Think it sums it up nicely...
A BIG BLUR of runners!

The first few miles were pretty dark and crowded. It seemed like the first character stop (I believe it was Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl) was around Mile 1.5 and that is where the crowds started to thin out a bit. Don't get me wrong, there are still a crap-load of people running in these races, but at least there was a little more room to move and not have to dodge elbows and avoid people tossing their extra clothes right and left.

I ended up running with my Mylar blanket for the first 3 miles or so. It turned into more of a parachute with the winds, but since I was wearing a tank top I wanted to keep it as long as I could. This is about the time Michael stopped for a potty break and I kept trucking. At that point I came across Joe and Jeff Galloway. I said "HI" and kept on cruising (I am SOOOOOO terrible at getting mid-race seflies... maybe one day I will remember I need to capture the moments...). FUNNY STORY ALERT: Joe told me after the race that once I ran by, Jeff asked Joe if I was Joe's DAUGHTER! HAHAHAHAHAHA! I am about 4 or 5 years older than Joe (but I think the beard/ goatee/ shrinking facial hair makes him look older and maybe the Minnie Mouse outfit made me look younger ;) ).

Michael caught back up around mile 4 and we danced our way through the Transportation and Ticket Center and towards the Magic Kingdom. My parents were planning on being near the castle, so I was excited to try and see them. I knew they might be a little thrown off by my time, but hoped they would still make it from the start to the castle (via the monorail) in time. Although I didn't see them, I did HEAR my mom yell for me once we exited the castle, so I threw up my arms and waved!

Here we come out of the castle!

Cruisin' along!

I am surprised my parents were able to find us!

I am hidden by a runner, but you can see TALL Michael!

And there we go!

Off to rock the remaining 8+ miles of the race!

Picture my dad grabbed on his cell phone while waiting for us to come by!
Sure, it might not be the best quality, but isn't it STUNNING?!

My dad thought the clouds in the sky looked like a hidden Mickey... 

STOKED some of the Christmas decor was still up!

This was a picture my dad grabbed as they were leaving MK

Spaceship Earth... 

I was pretty surprised that the lines for the characters didn't seem too long when we went by them. Seeing as Michael was in BEASTMODE, we weren't going to stop at any of them, but I figured since we started in Corral E the lines would start to get long (that didn't seem to be the case, at least when we went by them anyway).

Although Michael and I run together virtually once a week (meaning he runs in Dallas and I run in Oceanside, but we run the same distance and "support" one another) and hung out before the Avengers Half, this was the first time we have actually run together. It was great getting to chat the miles away. We hit a groove and just kept on charging along. I have to be honest, even though the pace was faster than I was expecting to go, it never felt too hard or like I was going to be overly tired for the following morning.

At one point in the race we were doing the YMCA and later on we were JUMPING when Kris Kross was jammin'. (We even timed one of our jumps perfectly without trying and had runners behind us tell us that they thought they could see some synchronized swimming in our future.) If you can't tell from the picture below (which might be one of my favorite from the race), we had a FUN time!

Yes it's blurry, but can't you see the joy on our faces?! Minnie and Mickey ROCKIN' the race!
(PS Michael was showing me how StuftMama takes "in-race" selfies, which was why we
were laughing at the time. Apparently she will NOT use the selfie option and turns the camera
around so she has no idea what she is capturing! WORKS FOR HER, AND APPARENTLY

Our per mile pace wasn't exactly on with what Michael had mentioned at the beginning of the race, but we did continue to get faster throughout the race. Sure, shooting the gaps between people when we were trying to pass them was getting a bit harder towards the end of the race, but we were still keeping a great time. We ended up crossing the finish line in 1:50:16. What is CRAZY is that before running the Holiday Half two weeks prior, that would have been a PR for me (but in total transparency, before December I hadn't raced a half marathon since March).

Not too shabby for having to run a full marathon the following morning...
And having already run 2 races the 2 days before!

(You can watch the "live feed" of the finish line here. Around 1:20:45 they call out Michael's name and then we show up on the screen by 1:20:55)

Screenshot of us coming in!

Thanks to Michael for grabbing this shot for me!

This was Michael's info, but since we were running
together the splits are the same (the places will be different
for me of course) - NEGATIVE SPLITS!!

After we finished we made our way over to the characters that were out in the reunion area to snag some pictures. (I have to be honest, I was pretty surprised that they STILL didn't have Mylar blankets by the Half Marathon finish... it was only in the 40s when we finished and you start to cool down pretty quickly!)

Goofy's Challenge is the Half and Full Marathons on back-to-back days

Goofy (I'll let you decide who is who ;) )

Daisy is sooooo cute!

The Dopey Challenge is the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Full Marathon within 4 days

I know I look freezing, but I guess I was getting down to Dopey size ;)

Jessica is a ROCKSTAR! She likes to run #AllTheRaces!

Some races you go in without a plan and end up having a great race regardless. Sure, we ran it in a decent time, but what will stick with me even longer are the PEOPLE! The medals will come and go, but the magic and the memories are what last forever!

Participant shirt and finisher medal

The half belongs to DONALD!


Do you tend to do better when you go in with a plan or you just wing it?!


Erica @ericafinds.com said...

Wow - sounds like a blast. I generally wing it. I would be terrible at Dopey, because I always run too fast (until I can't run too fast anymore ;))

KookyRunner said...

Looks like you seriously had a blast. Thanks for sharing your recap and photos with us on the blog and on IG!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful job! Love your recap of the half :) Can't way till I have time to run a disney race!

Emilie said...

I've been reading your blog for a long time but I never comment. I had so much fun following your IG over the weekend. Dopey is one of my bucket list items. I wish they would lower the prices...$500+ is a bit steep for me so it's something I need to save for, but SO worth it, right? There's nothing quite like a runDisney event. Congrats on a great weekend!

Kimberly said...

Great job! I am mad impressed with your time and costume skills. I would have never thought of the KT tape on the shoes. So glad the challenge continued to be a great experience.

Meridith said...

It was SO cold - Mylar blankets would have been very appreciated! I really wish that I'd seen you at some point this weekend but love reading your experiences. :)

Kc said...

Awesome job!!! I love racing with friends and usually perform best when I don't follow my plan (even if it kills the Type A in me haha!!)

SD Mom said...

I love running with friends. And I love conga lines. Maybe that's why we are friends too!

Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes said...

OMG, you are adorable and what a genius idea with the KT tape!!

Danielle said...

Wow, you totally rocked this race! And I was totally surprised they didn't have mylar blankets too! I feel like I remember getting them after the half & full in past years and this year we REALLY could have used them!