this entry is also posted over at runawayfriends.tumblr.com …a blog started for 4 friends to keep each other updated as they train to run a half marathon in march! check us out! or get out and run yourself! :D
phew! en route to 13.1 in march I made a little pit stop to run 13.1 through disney world this past saturday with my dad. for those of you who were nice and cozy under the covers at 6am when we crossed the start line, I have recapped my experience in the following paragraphs…
I have never been a fan of cold weather but now, as I approach my 2 year anniversary here in florida, I can safely say I despise the cold. and just my luck it was a bitter 35ish degrees the morning of the race. additionally, it was sleeting. it was so uncomfortable that even my connecticut dwelling, snow shoveling, soup and sandwich loving dad had a moment of hesitation about running in those conditions. but after warming up a little during the walk to the start line we both felt ready to take on the task in front of us.
I totally cheated and started in the same corral as my dad. I believe we were assigned different corrals this year because of our times from last year. by far a better runner than I, he was placed in a corral 2 in front of me. disney is on top of almost everything but double checking correct corral placement is not on the list, I guess. I was a little nervous that I would get discovered and banished to the back so I tried to cover my bib as much as possible. we all got herded forward and we crossed the start line at 6:01am. just a mere 3 hours after waking up! :D about 10 seconds in I waved goodbye to my dad as he took off in front of me.
I felt pretty good and was just trying to take in the moment. I was flooded with memories from last year when I was in the exact same position but with just a tshirt on and not 3 layers, one of which was a hooded sweatshirt. ahh those were the days, when florida was actually the sunshine state…I got into the zone relatively fast and I think it was because of 2 things. the first of which was because of that hooded sweatshirt I had on. with the hood up it made my shadow look like rocky which subsequently made me feel pretty bad ass. the second reason was that “right round” by flo rida came on my ipod and I don’t know how many of you watched The Sing Off when it was on a few weeks ago, but the beelzebubs (tufts version of the conn-men, but with slightly more notoriety) did that song and it was all I could picture as I ran. it brought me so much joy that I continued to hit the back button and that one song carried me pretty much to the 2mile mark.
I’m thankful for a strong start because it definitely got harder. and colder. and wetter. my clothes got heavier but I couldn’t stand the thought of shedding them (side note…disney collects the discarded clothing, launders them, and donates them to charity…yay!) because it was so cold. my legs got stiff and heavy but I pushed through to the 7 mile marker because that is where I took my first walk break last year and there was no way I was going to let myself go backwards! once I hit that point though it was really hard to get into a groove again. I did intervals from there on out. I tried to run a song, walk a song but even that proved to be a challenge. ultimately I just kept moving. my goal was to beat 3 hours even if it was only by a second. I was tracking to about 3 hours which helped keep my head in the game. just before mile marker 12 I kicked a puddle and officially soaked my feet and that’s right about the time my right ear bud shorted out and I couldn’t fix it.
I had mixed feelings towards the end because I’m happy to be running through epcot center and everyone is cheering you on and I’m so close the finish, but I’m also miserable because I’m cold and I think I have a sore throat and the gray sky is just sucking any energy I have into it’s ugly gray mug that I just want to punch in the face. that is when a cast member on the corner yelled “only 100 yards to go!” and having been in marching band for several years I know what that distance is and I repeated to myself “I can run a football field! I can run a football field!” over and over again. I saw the giant clock above the finish line read that I had not beaten my 3 hour goal but that I could certainly still beat my time from last year and I pulled from the dregs of energy left at the very bottom of my body and went for it (note: that sounds like I had a sudden increase in speed right at the end…don’t be misled. I did not.) but I crossed the finish line feeling strong (even skipped high fiving minnie in her track suit in the interest of time).
all in all, even though it was exactly the same course, it was a much different race than last year. which, I guess is a good thing. I battled less training (my fault), more body weight (my fault again), and awful weather (not my fault) and actually improved…so I’ll take it! and I now have more focus so I will be a force to be reckoned with come march. or at least I’ll have a pretty good shot at beating 3 hours. haha
and it’s supposed to be back into the 70s by the weekend which means running outside is actually an appealing way to spend time!
so that is my race report. I hope it is more encouraging than not. because no matter the conditions, finishing something like that is so rewarding and no one can take that away from you. I asked my dad if he was happy that he ran and he said “you know maria, they say you never regret a race that you run, but you always regret the race you didn’t.”
couldn’t have said it better myself.
4 years ago
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