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!
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.
Finding my "happy pace"
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!