Another bright and early morning: wake up at 320. It was still early but I felt okay (which is encouraging as I would need 2 more mornings for Dopey). Laying out everything the night before and having everything packed ready to go (including food and mug) helped immensely as did going to sleep around 945.
It was going to be another hot and humid morning so I didn't need anything to cover up with which was great!
Off to grab some more tea and head to the buses at 345. The line was longer this morning but we still got on a bus within 10 minutes. One full one left, another one pulled right up. Very efficient!
A very interesting thing happened because when I was getting ready I swear I heard music and I did! The corrals were literally across the river from our hotel-too bad there wasn't. A bridge to walk there because we could have been there in 5 minutes. Since they were so close, it meant a lot of the roads by us were closed and it took us about 20-30 minutes to get dropped off which gave us plenty of time for breakfast. I had Ezekiel bread with peanut butter and a banana and it was a bit tough to get down, I still felt full from dinner and my body still hadn't adjusted to the time change yet, but I forced myself.
We met up with Whitney at bag check and started the long trek to the corrals (around 15-20 min) and determined a running plan for the day. We would try and do 2 minutes running:1 minute walking and hope the crowd would be thin enough for it to work.
We were scheduled to run in G but went back with Whitney in J so we could all run together. We thought we were far back but the people behind us and the whole other side was all behind us. Definitely more people than last year but we weren't sure how many at the time. And it seriously looked almost double the size of tinkerbell! (It was at least 6000 more this year and about 8-10000 more than tinkerbell so we were right!)
Before we knew it, it was national anthem time and then soon to be our turn to start! With corrals back to P, they let them off 3 minutes apart.
We moved up to the start and were ready and off we go! It took about 30 minutes for us to start.
I do believe the problem was for multiple reasons as we were starting in a slow corral, there were a lot of people, there were a lot of walkers from the start and the corrals were only 3 minutes apart. I think the corrals should have been smaller in the back and let go every 5 minutes.
We finally hit mile 3 (not many mile marker pictures as they were pretty much the same as the day before) and saw characters! Finally!!
One of the first ones was of course the pirate ship and captain jack sparrow. I've never taken a picture with him and the line was very long and it wasn't going to happen today either.
We finally got to the picture we had waited for: the heroes! They had Aladdin, Eugene (aka Flynn rider), prince Eric, and Hercules. We waited about 10-15 minutes and it's definitely worth it. At the same time we saw the top runners head towards the finish Which is always so inspiring! Maybe one day I can move that fast!
We headed towards TTC and MK. I thought the fog would burn off and it never did! They had the typical pictures-the villains (whom I would love to see one day but it's hard to do heroes and villains as their lines are so long!) they had a few cars out by the speedway as well.
We then entered TTC and this is one of my favorites as the crowd is excellent and exactly what you need heading into the backlot of magic kingdom.
We continued the journey and headed towards the road to MK as I like to call it. There was a great DJ pumping us up for the hill. With chi running, I have learned to tackle hills with ease but most people around us had not as we came to a dead stop! It was kinda crazy and it caused major crowding issues especially because the grass around was pretty much mud from the rain the day before.
We continued into MK and it was a snails pace. We walked so much here which was frustrating as I was feeling great and wanting to get in some good miles. We finally made it into MK which was sad because it was so foggy it was hard to see the castle coming down Main Street. Even worse, the crowds were half of main st so there was nowhere for us to spread out too! More walking :(
Through tomorrow land and back through fantasyland. We passed Mickey and Minnie and many other characters but the lines were so long by this point we did not want to stop anymore.
We turned the corner by the princess meet and greet and came to a dead halt. Not a walk but a dead halt. We walked mind numbingly slow through the castle(those will not be good pics on marathonfoto!) and finally got to the other picture we had been waiting for: the castle picture! It turned out adorable as you can see below.
We saw tiana and friends in liberty square and headed off towards frontier land. Once we hit the backlot we finally found Snow White! And then sleeping beauty and prince Philip came out too! We took a picture and continued through the backlot and this is where I split from Mallory and Whitney. I wanted to get some good hard miles on tired legs to try and simulate the tough conditions of the marathon.
Well that was harder said then done because once again we were crowded and people were very slow walking. I was darting in and out of people and spent most of the time running on the grass.
Soon I hit mile 7 and "let it go" came on. Don't get me wrong, it's amazing song and gets me through some tough times running but it is not a good pump up song half way through. And I heard other people remark that as well as we passed but I sang along anyway.
On the road back by TTC we passed many photo opportunities: Mary and penguins for grand Floridian, Lilo and stitch for poly, the guys by the wedding pavilion with the glass slipper, Pocahontas. Great photo ops but the lines were insane!
Continued on and finally got to the clif shot area. And of course they still had mocha because it's always at the end and a lot of people don't like it. I used to be that way but soon discovered its greatness!
However, big disappointment here. There wasn't a water stop after it! All gels and shots are supposed to be taken with water so I was worried it wasn't going to work as well (and it didn't).
Also we usually use the real bathrooms in MK but the one bathroom line we saw was at least 25 people long so I thought I could hold it and I could not any longer. I pulled over around mile 9 to pee quickly(never used a portapotty on course before) and then stopped by the medical tent for Vaseline because my legs were starting to chaf because of the heat.
I asked for Vaseline and the lady claimed it was on the stick. Nope, it was biofreeze which worked really well especially because then I couldn't feel my thighs! I will definitely use that trick again.
I got water and was chugging along and was debating stopping for Flik and princess atta but once again long line. I did not want to stop to long for fear my legs would lock up.
I keep going and all of the sudden I notice a girl in front of me stop and look like she was going to pass out and I heard her say-I can't breathe. She said it loud enough I could hear it through my music.
No questions asked, I just stopped immediately. The therapist in me kicked in and that was it. I was the closest person to her, there was no way I could continue on.
I stopped with a few other people and we found her an inhaler on the course and taught her to use it (this is where having two siblings with asthma came in). She started breathing normal again and said she had never had this issue before in her life and thought it was just nerves.
Me and one lady told her we would both stay with her until she felt better or the end; whichever came first. We all started talking: she was Morgan from Pa, 20 and doing her first half with her mom. Terry was also from PA and a mother of 3 also doing her first half marathon. We calmed her down and tried to do intervals with her but her feet were hurting so we just walked. As we walked, I texted Mallory to let her know what's up and also Chris to let him know where we were. The tracking was horrible and very delayed so he had no idea where we were.
I probably stayed with her about 2 miles. By that point we caught
Up with her mom and let her know what happened. Once we dropped her off, terry and I continued on. It was hard to run with the narrow roads but as we approached Epcot it started to open up.
Around mile 11.5 I went ahead of terry and continued into Epcot. I wanted to stop for a picture but there were abandoned stands all over the place-not sure who had been there earlier.
Turning into Epcot, I finally found someone that my sisters would love: Princess Sofia! With only about 5 people waiting including two dressed like her that said their nieces picked out their outfits (I think they are onto something. Last time I was home, Ashley suggested a few outfits. I think I will have to ask her for her opinion on my 10k costume in August and jan!)
After Sofia, I knew it was a quick loop through Epcot and that Glass slipper and coast to coast would be mine! Rounded the corner i took some pics(see below) and heard the gospel choir and I was done-HALLELUJAH I WAS DONE! I felt so much joy! All that hard work and training and I finished. And even better-this was my taper run for the LA marathon! 3 medals and taper town? Definitely heaven!
They gave us the mesh bags (great for carrying everything) and I went off to find everyone and wait for Malory and Whitney to finish.
It did slow me down to walk and Mallory and Whitney almost caught up with me (when we went up the onramp with the green army man, I saw them on the bottom while I was on the bridge). But I would never regret stopping. We are all in this together; if you start, you deserve to finish. I know in my heart Morgan and her mom finished and that's why I love running so much. No one gets left behind!
Overall, I love this race! However the crowding were a big issue this year with so many more runners than the year before. I really hope disney figures out a way to deal with race crowding.
Afterwards we got champagne and took a crazy bus ride to poly where the guy passed it(going to shades of green and grand Floridian first) and I had to pee so bad. We got there late to our reservation for kona and waited about 30 minutes. However we had an amazing brunch before a jaunt back to the hotel for pool time, shower and sleep!
I'll talk more about our celebration in my next post but it was great!
What were your thoughts on the princess half marathon this year?