Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WDW Weekend: The Half Race Recap

Race recap time from this weekend!
 
After working at the Expo on Friday, I relaxed for some time back at our room (such a comfy bed!) and then hubs and I decided to take the shuttle bus down to Downtown Disney to find my favorite pre-race food: Pizza. It just works for me ;) We found out that Wolfgang Puck Express, right outside of the shuttle stop there, was the place! Bingo Bango!
 
We made it home around 8:30, and as always, I was too antsy to go relax and head to bed. I made sure my race gear was all set up for the morning. With the weather reports forecasting race weekend to include lows of 60s and the highs of 80s, I didn't bother to bring a throwaway and stuck to my usual skort and dri-fit tank duo.
 
Wait, I didn't mention that I had a 2:15am wake-up call looming over me! Yea...what the heck was I doing up at 8:30?!
 
 
Piglet Gear: Check.
 
I didn't fall asleep until almost 11:00pm. Whoops. I thought for sure I'd doomed myself for race day. But, I was able to wake up... on my own...at 2:00am to get ready for my 3rd half marathon! Excitement > Red Bull. I made it to the bus stop by 3am and there was only one other runner waiting there at that time. She was super nice, from Nebraska, and was running Goofy - whoa. Slowly but surely, tons of runners made it to our bus stop. By 3:15am we all started to wonder where the bus was. Oh, it came, and drove past us...full of runners. Another finally arrived by 3:30 and we were on our way!
 
With the way that the start line is set up, it was almost easier to just walk to the start from the hotel. With road closures and the fear of being hit by a plethora of Disney buses, racers tend to not take that route. At the staging area, I made one trip to the port-o-lets and then checked my bag. I brought my Camelbak, but then decided against it since there would be water stops every 1.5 miles. In that same area, I even ran into Dani - again! So, I was able to chit-chat and make inappropriate jokes with her and her wife before we all headed to the Corral area - it was nice to laugh and giggle the stress away instead of standing there...alone...wondering if I should pee again.
 
 
 
Dani and I arrived at Corral A after biding Tori "see ya later." It was SO cool to be up in the front by the announcers and elite runners! What the heck was I doing up there?! I saw my other blender bud, Carissa, whom I met at CFLBlogCon - I knew she was a runDisney announcer so it was awesome to see a familiar face up there.
 
 
Carissa spotted me, so we were able to enjoy a lovely bit of quick catch up and a photo opp. Kelly was with us in in the same Corral and said "hey, did you guys see Drew Carey over there?" We looked over near the jumbo screen and there he was! We waited a bit behind some ladies who were chatting with him before we could hop in and say hello. What a nice guy?! He looks awesome too, and told us how he's been running and planned to run the race but was injured. Boo. He let us take a photo too, so he definitely rocks!
 
 
Another celeb who was in the front area of the Corrals was Joey Fatone, from NSYNC. He, IMO, not so friendly. If you met him and feel differently, don't shoot the messenger - it was just my impression. Drew was out by the runners chatting and visiting. Joey had on his iPod and only stayed by his wife and security entourage {shrug.} When Carissa interviewed him, Dani and I realized we were 'accidentally photobombing' him in the video feed {snicker, snicker - laugh, laugh.}
 
Jitters were officially gone from all of the fun we had. Thanks Dani! I knew she was much speedier than me, so we bid each other "see ya later" and waited for our start at 5:42am. Ipod - on. Camera - ready to use for the first time in-race (even though I didn't plan to stop-stop for pics), Garmin - still searching....dangit. I was ready to run through Disney! Before I knew it, fireworks were off and we were on our way into the dark of Epcot Center Drive headed to the Magic Kingdom!
 
Miles 1-3: I was cruising along. Admittedly, I had a goal to try to PR at Disney..even though everyone I talked to said it couldn't be done because of the crowds and mass amounts of people. I figured I'd give it a shot despite the 37,000 runners all around me. This section of the race went through World Drive and was very dark and tricky. I maintained a steady pace of 9:15 - feeling good and breathing well - as I watched for other runners and tried not to trip! It was advise I'd been given from past Disney runners - don't try too much in the beginning, there's too many people! The one thing that bugged me about these runners were that some didn't practice good race etiquette that I've been used to in other races. I would find a good straight line to run in and before I knew it someone was coming from around my right side and be running right in front of me...slower than I was going. Not cool bro. I reached into my spi-belt and took my first Shot Blok.
 
Miles 4-6: I knew we were getting close to the Magic Kingdom by the screaming and cheers. Along the way up to this point there were only a couple of cheer sections but now it was getting serious! I was still doing well and actually sped up to a 8:45 pace...I should have been consistent, but I think the excitement got to me! We entered the Magic Kingdom and I was able to see Cinderella's castle and a ton of characters! I wanted to stop for Jack & Sally from the Nightmare before Christmas, but told myself I wouldn't stop for pictures. At that point I realized I was excited but being too serious. I remember I wanted to run this race as part of the Sandy Hook Elementary Memorial Virtual Half and switched mental modes. I took in the sights, the glory of main street, in their honor. I began to smile and raised my arms in celebration. I high-fived spectators who yelled "Go Piglet!" and settled into a happier place. Before I knew it, I was running through Cinderella's castle and smiled for the biggest picture! I heard someone yell "Go Kat!" - but looked back to see no familiar faces. It ended up being Kris and her sister Marci - I needed that! I took another Shot Blok as we left the park.
 
Miles 7-9: As we exited the Magic Kingdom I decided to slow down a bit. It was Mental-game time. I knew I still had a little over half of the race to go and didn't want to mess up. I was on deck to PR, but started to doubt myself. I started to miss having company. When the characters weren't around, I looked to see if there were any runners I could chit chat with or whatnot. None. No one was super chatty - at all. I'd been stopping (cruising in) for water at each stop as it was very humid and the weather became warmer and warmer as the time went on.
 
 
I hit my wall by mile 9. I started to miss hubs. A couple running together literally both passed me on each side and then joined hands right in front of me. I almost teared up. He's rehabing and coming back, but he wasn't there with me. Sad face. Before I knew it, another couple ran by me on my right and then another on my left. I stopped to walk and regroup. There was no reason for me stopping. I felt great physically. I just missed having hubby next to me to push me along - or even my running buddies there. When I have company with me, the miles don't feel like miles. I know, though, that I need to just get used to being solo and have gotten better race after race with that. I didn't stop for long and started up again but by now I'd gone down to around a 9:45 pace. Not terrible, but not PR pace. I thought, finally, whatever! I was in Disney, who cared if I PRed?? I was on deck to continue my half marathon streak, finishing with a PR didn't matter.
 
 
Miles 10-13.1: I knew by this point that I'd gone out too fast. Eh, it's ok. I was in the happiest place on Earth! I grabbed a Clif Shot Gel, which are my 2nd fave, and headed for Epcot. Even though most of the runners were quiet, like I'd realized earlier on, I was okay striking up conversation with others - whether they liked it or not ;) About a mile an a half out I noticed one guy stop to walk, shaking his head. I patted him on the shoulder saying, "it's ok, get ready to finish strong!" and he smiled before starting to jog again. A mile out I saw a girl who I'd been even-paced with for some time stop to walk. She had been walk/running but we were so close! I told her, "stay strong, we're almost done, let's go!" and she started running again. (after the race she ended up thanking me because she needed the motivation - yay for motivating someone!) Coming into the finish chute, I heard "Come on Kat, let's go!" and saw Kris screaming for me. I took a deep breath and headed in towards the finish line. I looked to my right and saw Drew Carey again! He said, "Yea, almost there Piglet!" and before I knew it I was done. Half Marathon #3 - done in 2:05:35. Not too shabby. I was a little dazed when I finished from that last surge and because it was getting hot with the sun coming out. I stumbled over to the finisher photo section and took out my phone. I never run with it, but kept it with me because of how big I expected this race to be. Hubs saw me, but I didn't see him. I stopped to drink my water and another Shot blok and to stretch. When I walked into the bag check, hubby was there. He gave me a big hug and kiss and congratulated me, oh happy day!
 
Kris texted me and found me with hubs and our friend Sunita's hubby as he'd just finished right behind me (yes, you can say I chicked him ;) Sweaty hugs all around, and I was back to my happy place!
 
 
 
 
 
I was sweaty as all heck, but brought a hotel towel to sit on the shuttle seat. We headed back to the room so that I could shower quickly and then gorge a huge breakfast.
No PR, BUT with this race, I also acquired membership into a club I've been wanting to get into for quite some time!



 
 
I'm so happy. I know I had my mental struggles, but physically I felt super awesome. I had no pain going into this race and none coming out. I have since done a moderate recovery run of 3.15 miles, a 5 mile tempo run, along with crosstraining. Am I getting to better at this? I sure hope so! I have 3 more on deck each month through April, bam!
 
You can take a peek at my other WDW Weekend post here!
 
What mental struggles do you have on runs? Do you love running solo or with others? Would you eat this entire Mickey-waffle like I did?

51 comments:

  1. The part that caught my attention...2AM?!? ah! Painfully early! And yes, I would eat that hole Mickey pancake :) Great job Kat

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  2. I agree with Jenelle, that is a crazy early wake up! I've gone out too fast before as well, it can be so hard to control at a big race when your adrenaline is pumping. But you still ran an awesome time! (On 3 hours of sleep!) And you were stinkin cute as Piglet. :)

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    1. A the things I do for Disney ;) thanks Laura!

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  3. The weather was tough for races this weekend at WDW. So glad you had fun despite no PR. There is always the Princess next month!

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    1. That'll be a race for fun, it i can't wait for princess photo stops!

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  4. PHYSICALLY I FELT SUPER AWESOME.

    that made me smile. you did FANTASTICALLY.

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  5. Congrats!! Loved reading your recap :)

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  6. Monday morning, all I wanted was mickeyy waffles!! And I have the pictures to prove it! I have always been one to run solo just because no one I know is my pace. This weekend I was able to run the half and the full with someone and it truly made a world of difference. I have never had so much fun. I also had "some" goals, but was really in it for fun. I definatly need to find some "slower" peeps I can run with more cinsistently.
    I am glad you had a great time and now a maniac!

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    1. I really had to take it all in and stop worrying abut time...too hot for that!

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  7. Wow. Corral A? You ROCK, mama! And a finish time of 2:05? OUTSTANDING!!! WTG!!! I love that Drew Carey cheered for you. That is so cool! Sorry you had a moment where you missed your hubby. :-( Isn't it awful when our minds start to play with us during a race? Way to stay strong and finish strong! Hope he's back running by your side soon enough.

    So, I feel like I missed out on the Disney Magic because I didn't meet Drew Carey AND I did not get any Mickey waffles. I want my magic do-over! lol ;-)

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    1. Aw it's ok! I missed the marathon action! Drew was a total bonus, what an awesome guy!

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  8. Ohh man that is early. I was such a ball of nerves before WHM that I got about 2-3 hours of spotty sleep anyway and still did ok. Gotta love that race day adrenaline! Yay for no pain! Congrats on #3 and your Half Fanatics title! :)

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    1. For sure, I was still pumped! But went out too fast because of it lol. Thanks Beks!

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  9. Way to go Kat! And corral A rocks!!! I was in that corral for the Princess Half and loved it! I'm all about the pictures so there were no lines when I started in that corral! And yes...I DID eat that entire Mickey Waffle...with bacon!!! So good!!!

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    1. I saw that Mindy! We both rocked it! I want another one after every race! ;)

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  10. Congrats on the run, miss speedy!! :) Looks beautiful and bummer it was so hot, but sounds like an amazing time anyway!!

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    1. Thanks Jen, a great experience for sure!

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  11. Congrats!! What a race! I'd have a hard time corralling myself with all the excitement in the air. You looked so cute dressed as piglet!

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  12. Very nice job on this one! This was a great recap. You definitely shared your exact feelings at each point. Nice job. Running by yourself is tough, but as you do it more you get better at it. It builds up mental strength. But I have to say that I want to start running more with people. I'm thinking of going on Thursdays to the run on Bayshore now, and one day I really am going to head over to y'all's neck of the wood and run with you.

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  13. Great race! That is really cool that you met Drew Carey and that he cheered for you at the finish. A race memory I am sure that you won't forget. Your costume is super cute- I like pink so piglet is perfect!

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    1. Thanks Tasha, it definitely was! I love dressing up, for the full I'll definitely do it somewhat and have my name on me somewhere for cheering!

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  14. Great job!!! I like to run races solo but also enjoy running with a buddy. I would destroy that mickey waffle, lol

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  15. Amazing Job Kat! I always find the Disney races fun. People I have talked to have mixed feelings, but I really enjoy it. Now that you have "raced" it, next year run it just for fun and go ahead, stop and take some pics. I did that last year during the Goofy and just had the best time at a race I could ever have. (And truth be told, I was only a few minutes off my PR) There is something to strategic walks in Half and Marathon. It works.

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    1. Thanks Brad, definitely doing that at PRincess!

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  16. Looks like a fun race. Great job! I like to train with someone I know, but can manage ok on my own during a race.

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    1. thanks Amy! I need more practice for sure ;) esp on long runs

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  17. I loved this recap. Congrats on becoming a half-fanatic! I hope to be there too!

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    1. Thanks Kelly! You can definitely do it!

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  18. Awesome job and I love your costume!! You are too cute! Congrats on your 3rd half marathon! That's awesome and sounds like it was a lot of fun.

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  19. Woohoo--congrats, girl! :D Your costume is the cutest, and you look *so* jacked in your finishing picture!

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  20. Way to go! Congrats on becoming a fanatic!!

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  21. Congratulations on your third half! You rock ... and, as usual, so does your costume. LOVE it.

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  22. LOVE reading your race recaps... I run the Tink this weekend and will send you a mental high five..I want to join Half Fanatics too!

    Also, patting that guy on the back- awesome. A lady did that for me during the Iron Girl (it was freezing cold and my body hated me) and she kept smiling at me, nodding to keep going when I tired out.... I end up finishing just before her and had a PR that day, wow... I thanked her afterward, her smile and pat just really helped me make it through that cold, cold race! It's amazing how that works, go you!


    Cannot wait to meet you in person...we will probably never run in the same corral but it's going to be awesome!

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    1. HI was surprised how many people were so to them selves this race! You are going to have THE best time at Tinkerbell! Enjoy it! Don't worry about time...there's so much to see! I can't wait for princess next month too! Coast to coast baby! Well have a blast in Portland too!

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  23. You did awesome, and such a great time too! My hubby has never ran with me, so I know what it's like to run alone. My last half I started talking with another girl, and I swear she is what got me to the end, with a PR! I love having someone to talk to, especially towards the end of a race.
    I love your piglet outfit too!

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  24. Congrats on going Half Fanatic!!! Your outfit was so damn cute and I tried to keep my eye out for you. So crazy you ran next to Drew! Good job for gutting through the tough spots.

    Well, here's hoping we have a chance to meet another time!

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  25. Great job! So happy that I got to see you and I love you photo bombing skills!

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  26. Congrats on the Half Fanatic!!! Loved the photos!!

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