Posts tagged ‘running’

Princess Half Marathon- Final Post

It was right after this that I started to really feel a pinching pain in my right hip. It started around the 10k split but wasnt too bad and I was able to put it in the back of my mind. This is something I have experienced before on some longer runs and I knew it wasnt going to go away. Just before mile 8 it became really bad. The pain feels like each time you put weight on the right side someone jams a big needle into the hip joint…not fun.

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I took a long walk break hoping that I would be able to move into 1m/1m intervals for the remainder of the course. After my first few attempts at run intervals I knew that wasnt going to be a possibility. I had to switch to walking and walking fast. As I now had to reevaluate my goals for this race I made a new plan. For my own sanity and ode to the work that I put in for this I wasnt going to let myself fall behind pace. I was going to complete the remaining miles with each mile in the 16 minute per pace. In my head this became crazily important.

My GPS watch became even more important to me as it allowed me to be able to watch my pace closely and make sure I didnt fall behind. My walking pace varied between 14:30 and 15:45 minute miles. Im not sure what people would make of the expression i was most like wearing on my face at this point. I would like to think it was one of sheer determination, but it probably more like a painful grimic. I was doing my best to put the pain out of my mind though, i had a job to do.

It was around this time where I thought running with my Ipod might have been a little bit helpful. The entertainment and characters were a lot more stretched out. A little background on my internal debate on whether or not I was going to run with music. This is something that I thought a lot about in the weeks leading up to the race. I had always had my Ipod with me on my training runs, however, I wasnt sure that I would be able to take it with my for the half as I wasnt sure how I was going to carry it. In the past I have tried to run with a running belt to carry some of my things, but I couldnt seem to keep them from slipping up and bouncing around my waist. They ended up being a hindrance rather than helpful. This wasnt an issue for my training runs as I wasnt carrying that much with me, but for this race I would need my phone and clif blocks. My skirt has no pockets so I had to tuck my phone on one side and fuel on the other. I figured trying to manage my Ipod too would be too much. I dont think it hurt in any way to not have it and I was by no means bored, but the music might have been nice for those few miles.

Just after crossing out of the MK resort area was the mile 9 marker. There was a nice volunteer there who was offering to take picture for people.

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Just after mile 9 I came across Atta. Her line was only three people, even though I knew that I needed to keep moving to not fall behind I wanted one more character shot after all these pictures were one of the main motivating factors behind running this thing.

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Just before the on ramp was the mile 10 marker.

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Now about that onramp… OMG that is the longest onramp I have ever seen. It just kept going and going, I thought it was never going to end. I was walking on the inside of the ramp on the grass. I know that people tell you not to walk on the grass, but I was being careful and it was necessary for two reasons. One, it was ever so slightly less painful to walk on the grass as it wasnt so hard and two, even though I was walking I was passing people and there just wasnt enough room to go around people on the road. Near the top for the ramp were the army men from Toy Story. They were encouraging us to run faster.

We finally finished with the ramp that just wont end and found mile marker 11

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At this point I was starting to feel ok, I was still in a lot of pain, but I knew now that I was going to finish this and finish in within my 3:30 time.

About half way through mile 11 the DJs and race announcers were there cheering people on. A little further on another DJ planning music trying to give us that last bit of energy and excitement we needed to finish this. She was playing some Bon Jovi, Livin On A Prayer. A bunch of us had found some energy and were singing along. The DJ just shook her head and commented that that was probably the only 80s song that all of us 20 somethings knew…well she isnt wrong :shrug:

There were also some last characters, Mulan and Mrs. Incredible. It was great Mrs. Incredible was just finishing her set and ran with us as she made her way to the trailer…in heels

Soon after I could see mile marker 12

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You can see just over the clock Spaceship Earth. This was, it we were finally going to go through Epcot and the finish, just one more mile to go. Im not gonna to lie, I started to get a little emotional at this point. I had been thinking about it and training for it for so long and now it was here.

We went passed the ball on the right side and towards the World Showcase. I felt really bad for Pinocchio as he wasnt getting any love. I think everyone just wanted to be finished by this point. Right after the fountain was the Fairy Godmother. She had a little bit of a line, but nowhere near as bad as it would have been had she been any sooner on the course. I passed on both as I too just wanted to be done. Just at the entrance to WS we turned back to make our way out of Epcot and to the Finish line.

I saw my mom and sister for the last time on the course. There werent that many people in Epcot so they were easy to spot. I guess most people go straight to the finish.

Just as we were out of Epcot I could hear the Gospel Choir, then I could see them. I couldnt believe it, we were almost there. I didnt get a picture of the 13th mile marker as I was pulling myself together. I was determined. I was going to run that last bit through the finish no matter what. And I did, I ran through. It felt so strange.

Just after I crossed the line it hit me, I did it…I completed a half marathon. If you would have told me a year before that I would be standing there having done it I would have laughed and told you never gonna happen, yet here I was.

 There were tears in my eyes as I found a volunteer and received my medal.

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Princess Half Marathon Part 3

The road narrowed down to one lane as we started towards the Contemporary Resort

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 I soon was running under the water bridge and up the hill that everyone talks about. I didn’t find it that bad, I ran down the hill but mostly walked up the other side as there was things to see. About halfway up the hill they had the giant puppets out that they had for the mile 20 spectacular for the full in January. I guess this was our mile five surprise  .

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 Sorry for the blurriness. I could only slow down a little as the course was only one lane still and I didn’t want to stop in front on anyone. The crowdedness of the course could really be felt in the areas that were one lane. RunDisney stated that there were just under 24,000 runners participating this year .

Hey look… we made it to the fifth mile!

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 It was just after the mile 5 marker that we turned into the backstage area that would lead us down Main Street USA .

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 Our path towards the Castle had us entering MK from just behind Tony’s. There were a lot of spectators lining the left side of Main St and Cast Members on the right. There was cheering and lots of energy. Based on what others had said I expected Main St to be really congested and not really be able to run, but this was surprisingly not the case. Magic Kingdom was one of the easiest areas to get the space to run in. The only difficult area was actually going through the Castle.

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 Once we ran down Main St we made a right into Tomorrowland. Buzz was out but I passed. As we made our way into Fantasyland Alice and the Mad Matter were out. The line wasn’t so bad (about 12 ppl deep) so I thought them would make an excellent first character picture.

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 My eyes are closed in this one, guess I was in need of a quick nap…lol

 After a quick thank you to Alice and the Mad Hatter we ran around passed new Fantasyland. PS It is so fun it to be able to write that we were running around Magic Kingdom. Doesn’t the idea just make you smile :)

The next character I saw was Gaston. There was no question… I was definitely stopping for this one. Gaston always has great lines. I was greeted with a “Come on over, don’t be shy.” Aside from the Hatter he is the only character that really said anything.

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 Gaston’s line pretty much lead right into Belle’s since she was my princess on my bib I wanted to wait for a picture with her. Plus now that she has Story time with Belle this is really the only way to meet her in her ball gown without standing in line for 2 hours.

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 Mickey and Minnie were out just before you ran through the Castle but there line was soooo long that I knew I couldn’t waste the time.

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 I have to say, running through the Castle was a bit anticlimactic. I expected to feel super great and excited, but didn’t. It was sooo crowded that we all had to walk and we were on top of each other. I tried to create some space so that I could get a picture but there was no way.

 After our run (walk) through the Castle we made a right into Liberty Sq, then into Frontierland. It was here I made use of the real bathrooms. I was surprised to find no lines to use these. I have to tell you real bathrooms during the race were the way to go. They had things like soap and paper towels…the indulgence. As I was walking out I hear two girls quickly talk to each other about using the boys room to avoid the line, I told them they could go ahead to the girls room that there was no one there. They gave a quick thanks and I ran back to the course.

 After Frontierland we ran backstage. They had one area set up for photos with one of the parade floats as a backdrop. When I ran past it was Aurora and Prince Philip, I heard that they were switching out with Cinderella and Prince Charming.

 As we ran out of the backstage area we pasted the mile 6 marker and soon after the 10k spilt, time 1:34 pace 15:16. That mile in MK with pictures and stops really slowed my overall pace. Based on my running watch the mile through MK was just over 25 minutes.

 This was not the pace I was aiming for, but feeling good cardio wise after taking it easy through Magic Kingdom I knew I was going to have to pick up the pace. I made a plan to run the next two miles straight as some of the humidity seemed to have let up, of course stopping for pictures.

 Before I knew it we were at the hearing the half way song This Girl is On Fire.

 Can’t tell but im pretty sure this is the mile 7 marker, though it may be 6.

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 Just after stopping for Mary Poppins and friends I found my mom and sister again. It was funny, I found them pretty easily, waved and yelled Hi and they still didn’t see me. I had to back track a few feet and walk right up to them before they realized it was me. A nice spectator took this picture for us.

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 I quickly ran off with a “have to go, I’m behind.”

Princess Half Marathon Part 2

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 By this time the corrals were starting to fill up and it wasn’t long before they were sending off the wheelchair athlete.

 Then it was time for the first corral. With their send off there were fireworks from all around including towers of sparklers. It was an impressive sight and helped to get me excited to run this race. I couldn’t wait until it was our turn.

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 We slowly made our way forward until it was time. They sent us off with fireworks of our own and by calling out people by their costume. They also gave one last warning to make sure to hydrate well.

 I placed myself just over midway back in the corral hoping that I would be a group of people with a similar pace. It worked pretty well as according to my Garmin we were running just shy of a 12 minute mile.

The first few minutes were a little strange for me. It was the change from all the excitement back in the corrals to the now seriousness of what we were all setting out to do. There was not a lot of talking and the music was quickly fading behind us.

 Because of the heat and humidity Disney I thought added another water stop either just before the first mile marker, it surprised me as I was not expecting one until after the second mile. Looking back at the map i guess i just missed that one as i usually dont take water that early. This time i made sure to grab a cup. The first mile marker came on quickly. I tried to get a picture, but it came out so burry that you can’t see anything.

 It was after the first mile that I knew that I was going to have to adjust my strategy. The humidity before the sun rose was killer. I had run the first mile with no walking and planned to run the second the same way. After running in the humidity I knew that I was going to have to add walk breaks in early or I was going to overheat fast. For the second mile I shifted to run 5 minutes walk 1 strategy.

Hey look, we made it.

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 It was just after this mile marker that I started to feel thankful about my change in plan as I saw a girl being sick on the side of the road… this was only just after the second mile marker. That’s how you know the humidity was bad.

 Just before we hit the second mile the course had opened up as we were on the main road heading for Magic Kingdom. The first set of characters was in this area, the pirates. There was a long line and I knew that they would still be out when we ran by later on the course so I passed on them for now.

 Like a beacon we could see in the distance the entrance to the Magic Kingdom area calling us. Soon enough we found ourselves running through the toll plaza :goodvibes. During our approach to the area they keep making announcements about the speed bumps telling us to be careful. While running thru the plaza I heard a girl turn back to her friend and jokingly tell her to be careful. Now I’m sure you can all guess what happened next…she tripped over it. It looked like a small misstep and she seemed fine…im sure that was not the last time something like that happened on the course that morning.

 After the gates just before the Speedway was the 5k split, time 39:20 Pace 12:39, not too bad considering the weather and not that much slower than my planed 12mm pace. Soon after we veered to the right towards the speedway and through another water stop. By this point I was taking both powerade and water. I had never run while drinking powerade so I crossed my fingers that my body liked the idea. It ended up being fine throughout the whole race.

 Near the Speedway the Cars characters were out. There was a line again and they were not a must for me so I took a picture and kept going.

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 The road had begun to narrow again and the course became more crowded as we ran through the mile four mile marker, I don’t know what I was looking at but I completely missed this one. I didnt realize until half way through the mile that i must have missed it. I was starting to think that mile was the longest mile ever :rotfl:

 By this point we were heading into the Ticket and Transportation center. There were a lot of people in cheering on the runners. They had great signs and the energy was really nice. There was one person with a funny sign that said “I took the monorail, it was faster.” There were a few more funny signs along the course. I had to laugh out loud at a few of them.

 I started to look around for my mom and sister as this was the first area we planned to see each other at. I thought I must have missed them as I was almost out of the ticket and trans area, but saw them at the last minute right by the monorail ramps. I shouted a quick hi and waved as I passed. It was really cool to see them on the course. After I passed they were going to make their way to the Grand Floridian via the monorail to try to catch me as we ran out of the Magic Kingdom.

Princess Half Marathon Part 1

That night I had not slept like I hoped that I would. If fact I barely slept at all.  I believe I fell asleep around 1:45 am and my alarm woke me up at 3.  Yep, thats just over one hour.  This was going to be interesting.
 
When my alarm went off at 3 I jumped out of bed surprising myself with the amount of energy that I had given my lack of sleep.  I quickly gathered my things and waited for the wakeup call to come…half because the others were still sleeping and half because I wanted to hear Stitch.   Soon Stitch was informing me that there was “no sleeping”. 

I quickly jumped in the shower to finish waking up and got myself together.  The plan was to be out of the room and waiting for a bus by 3:30.  I was doing pretty well and got out the door and down the stairs on time.  Halfway I realized I forgot my water so I quickly ran back up to get it all the while thinking that running up and down stairs before a half marathon was probably not the best idea.

Once I got to the front of the lobby I could see all the runners and guests.  The line for the buses was really long, but the buses kept coming and the line moved really fast.  I was sitting on a bus at 3:40.   Based on the time that we were leaving I figure I would be there with plenty of time to spare, but once we were leaving the Pop Century area the traffic started getting really heavy and I was getting nervous.  The drive ended up taking about 45 minutes from Pop to the drop off location.

Once we were off the bus we had a short walk to the family reunion area, but the entrance was sooo bottlenecked.  There were these pho stained glass windows set up and they had lines of people trying to take picture with them.  It took able 15 minutes just to move into the area.   Not such great thinking on Disneys part. 

Once I got through I wandered around for a few minutes.

There was not much to see and time was ticking as the final race instructions said we had to be in the corrals around 5.  I wandered over to the port-a-potties that they had set up but as soon as I got in like there was an announcement that corrals a-c should start making their way over.  I hopped out of line as I had read other reports stating that there should be more bathrooms on the over side.  There were a lot of bathrooms on the other side of bag check with lines 15-20+ people deep.  I quickly found what I thought was going to be a shorter line (one of these days in going to learn that my gut always picks the wrong line) and waited my turn. 

At a few minute to five I starting walking to the start corrals eating my second banana (I had one on the bus ride) for breakfast and made it to the corral area a little after 5.  The walk to the corrals was much shorter and less congested than I had heard from others.  In not sure if RunDisney has made any changes in the setup for this one.  Corral C was one of the closest corrals so I was there and anxiously anticipating the start by 10 after..not bad.  As i waited in my corral, my nervousness started to turn into excitement.  I was really going to do this!

They had DJs play music and soon enough the pre-race program started.  The had an interview with Sean Astin&I was happy to see he was proudly wearing his tiara (my mom and sis saw him later during the run and said he wasnt wearing it anymore)

They also interview a girl who was going for her coast to coast.  She was the last runner to cross the finish at the Tink half and was aiming to complete this half as well.