Sorry for the delayed post today! Chris and I both woke up feeling off this morning and decided that a few extra hours of sleep was definitely needed. So instead of my usual morning blogging time, I cuddled in my bed for an extra 2 hours.
Which was probably good considering I went in to work late and still turned around and came home an hour later because I was feeling icky. Just one of those days!
But I did promise you guys after my general recap of the Disney Half Marathon yesterday that I would talk a little about my experience with the running aspect – so here I am. Curled on my couch. Because I love you guys!
I have to admit, I was terrified about this race before hand. The whole week before I kept going back and forth about whether there was ANY chance we were going to be able to do this.
And to be honest, even that morning I was really not sure if we were going to make it in any reasonable amount of time.
It was such a big race and there were so many people that going through the prep that morning with check-in definitely kept me distracted. By the time we actually got to our corral (about 3 hours after we woke up that morning, mind you), I was a total bundle of nerves and adrenaline!
I did manage to take some Clif Shotbloks about 45 minutes before the race actually started, which gave them plenty of time to digest in my belly!
Chris and I ran the first 3 miles in the dark, and pretty much spent the entire time dodging and weaving between people. Because we’d never run a race longer than a 5K before, we were in F corral (out of A-H) where there were a lot of walkers. While all the dodging was a little frustrating (like when people would suddenly stop in the middle of the road to take a picture and you’d almost body slam them), it definitely made the first 3 miles pass super fast. Our pace was a little slower than usual though thanks to the sheer number of people!
The original plan was to run the first 3 miles and then start our intervals of 1.5 miles running, 2 minutes walking. However after 3 miles, Chris and I both felt extremely good because of the slow pace and decided to go to 4.5 miles instead. Right around 4.5 miles was also when the sun started to come up, although neither Chris nor I really remember it! All of a sudden around mile 6 it just dawned on me (no pun intended) that it was light!
Around mile 5 we headed into Magic Kingdom and took our first Clif shot. At this point I was feeling really good, and was having a blast running through the park. Minus through Cinderella’s castle, where people just STOPPED to take pictures. So frustrating!
Mile 6 is where we really started to feel the sun. It was unexpectedly VERY warm and humid in Florida, and there were warnings everywhere about staying hydrated. Luckily from the Mile 6-9 stretch there were several water stops and a Clif Shots table so we got some extra energy and hydration.
Once we passed Mile 9, Chris and I were in uncharted territory, as we’d never gone longer than 9 miles before. But our legs were still feeling pretty good at this point surprisingly enough, so we decided to take our last walking break at mile 10.5 and run the rest.
Mile 11 is where is got HARD. We were rounding the corner towards Epcot on the highway, which meant that there were several overpasses to go up and over. I was feeling hot and tired and my legs were definitely starting to feel all the pounding on the sidewalk. But Chris and I kept telling each other how close we were to the end and pushed on.
We went through Epcot around mile 12 and it’s very deceiving because you KNOW you’re close to the end, but they make you do an up-and-back and then wind around a bunch of corners. So you keep thinking “the finish line is JUST around the corner”, but then it’s not! I think this was also the point where Chris and I started joking “I could really use some of the Virginia snow right about now!”
But at 2:26:50 we crossed the finish line, hand-in-hand. THANK GOODNESS!
Afterwards I was definitely feeling super sore. My legs were exhausted and my left ankle/achilles was definitely aching a bit. But at that point I really didn’t care – I was on such a high!
We managed to meet up with my family and Chris and both devoured our post-race food boxes that Disney provided.
Then we went home and napped. haha.
A few days later, I’m feeling almost completely recovered. My left achilles is a little strained so I’m taking it easy on the running this week. But otherwise, I’m feeling awesome.
And most importantly, I have seriously caught the running bug.
There you have it – my recap of running the Disney Half Marathon. For anyone who is looking for a good first half to run, I would absolutely recommend it. There was so much stuff going on (marching bands and music and Disney characters) that it definitely made it a fun experience.
After 20 years of running this race, Disney definitely has it organized down to a T, and everything was very well run and orchestrated. Despite all of the people and the weaving we had to do, I absolutely would do this race again!
So tell me: For those who have ever run a half before – what was your experience like? And if you haven’t – would you ever consider it?