January 9, 2016
I had another busy day after the 10k yesterday. After running, I went back to my resort for a quick shower and then headed to the airport. Originally, I was going to pick up two people that were to arrive about 30 minutes apart. As it turned out, the first person’s flight actually arrived about 15 minutes early while the second person’s flight was about 30 minutes delayed. To prevent my first passenger from missing some of her planned activities, I picked her up and delivered her to her resort and then proceeded back to the airport to pick up passenger two. Needless to say, I spent a few hours in my car!
Once I delivered both of my friends to their resorts, I headed back to mine to change shoes before heading to the park. While on my way back to my resort, I got in a bit of a traffic jam thanks to some wild turkeys. They were just sauntering across the road trying to get where they were going. (There is a joke in there somewhere. Why did the turkey cross the road?)
I made it back to my resort, dropped some things off in my room, and changed into some sneakers for park walking. Then I caught the bus from my resort to Animal Kingdom. While I was riding, I messaged my friends to see where to meet and checked my Fast Pass times. I could still make my Expedition Everest time. I also realized how hungry I was. Or rather, how hangry I was. Food would be a must.
I found my friends, found some food, and then spent the afternoon just wandering about Animal Kingdom. After Animal Kingdom, I decided to hit Epcot. Some of my other friends had a dinner reservation at Via Napoli in Italy for dinner. Unfortunately, the reservation was a little later and I wasn’t sure if I would make it.
When I arrived at Epcot, I had just gotten through security when my phone rang. I sat down on a bench to talk for a few minutes. At one point, I realized I had missed what my friend had said. I realized that I had just fallen asleep WHILE talking on the phone. I got off the phone, walked to Starbucks for a drink, and then headed right back to the bus. I decided to grab a bite at the quick service at the hotel because I knew I was not going to make it much longer. I was beat.
I did get all of my gear ready before I hit the pillow. So, this morning when the third early alarm rang, I was at least somewhat prepared. I wasn’t happy, but I was organized.
I met some of my girlfriends at our pre-race spot. I also met my friends John and Will. I got some pictures with everyone before we all decided to head to our corrals.
Once corrals started going, they started going quick. I don’t know if it was just me and excitement or if runDisney shortened the amount of time between corrals. It just seems like it was two blinks and it was time for corral ‘I’ to run.
John, Shellie, and I decided we would run together. My Garmin was still set for 30 second/30 second intervals and we agreed to run through the first couple to allow the crowding to clear a little. We established a nice pace and our intervals were very comfortable and consistent. John even commented about how even paced we were keeping.
I did experience a first during the first few miles of this race. We were just trotting along, keeping our intervals. We were around mile three; a good stretch of straight road headed to the Magic Kingdom parking lot; and we had just passed a marching band that was part of the “on course entertainment”. Off to the right, the monorail track runs alongside the road. So here we are just run/walking and we look over to see several dudes taking a pee break. This wasn’t the first time any of us had seen that. But, we also saw a woman taking a break. While this wasn’t necessarily unusual, it was a first because the woman didn’t run into any bushes or even try to hide; she just dropped her britches right in the open field. I kid you not, we could see her butt! Shellie and I could not stop laughing about this. And, the worst part was that there had been a porta potty about 200 yards back where the marching band had been! We just shook our heads and laughed. Definitely a first!
The course for this race hasn’t changed in the four years that I have done either Goofy or Dopey. Once runners pass through the Magic Kingdom parking area and the Ticket and Transportation center, we run along a road that will lead us in front of the Contemporary and ultimately to Magic Kingdom. Along this road is a steep downhill followed by an equally steep uphill. This section is also on the marathon course and the Princess half marathon course.
As we rounded the curve to head down the hill, someone caught the edge of Shellie’s shoe. It all seemed to happen very quickly but to Shellie, it was slow motion. She was down in the blink of an eye. I was just behind her over her right shoulder and John was just behind her. We stopped and John and another runner reached down to help her. She jumped up and took off running. John and I stood there momentarily, jaws dropped.
Shellie is a petite little thing. It couldn’t have been more than ten seconds and I lost her. John is taller than me and he could still see her. So, we powered up the hill trying to catch Shellie. When we finally made it to the top, Shellie had stepped to the side of the course and was waiting for us. When she made it to the top of the hill and didn’t see us, she realized we must be behind her. She had thought we had run ahead of her when she fell.
We stepped off to the side to walk for a minute. Shellie had cut the palm of her hand near her thumb and she had bad road rash down the right side of her calf. She was bleeding and didn’t even know it. Once she was OK, we started our intervals again and made our way to Magic Kingdom.
Once in Magic Kingdom, Shellie and I made a bathroom stop. John didn’t need to stop so he kept going. When we came out of the bathroom and ran to re-enter the course, some of our friends shouted to us from a picture stop. Shellie decided she didn’t want to stop because she wanted to get to medical and get her hand and leg cleaned out. I decided to stay and told Shellie to text or call me if she had any issues. She was hurting and just wanted to get finished.
I stayed with Denise and Jenny. Denise has been injured so she wanted to take it easy and Jenny is five months (ish) pregnant so she just wanted to get through the race. Our other friends ran ahead to picture stops and we jumped in when we got there.
After a short stretch of one-lane road, the course opens a lot after exiting Magic Kingdom. And, it gets a bit boring. There are some character stops along the way and there are sections where there are lots of cheering spectators. But, for the most part, it’s mostly blah until you get back to Epcot.
Runners exit Magic Kingdom just after mile six. We took it easy and did some run/walk intervals. We finally got to a point, though, where Jenny just didn’t feel like she could run anymore. The baby was pushing down a bit and she was uncomfortable. So, we walked. And we had a great time. We made it to the medical stop around mile 11 and Jenny stopped to refill her water bottle. Denise and I decided we wanted margaritas but then found out that we couldn’t get them because World Showcase wasn’t open yet! What a bummer.
After stopping for characters right before the finish line, my official finish time was 3:56:44. That is officially my slowest half marathon ever. And it’s probably the most I’ve laughed ever during a race. I had so much fun with Jenny and Denise. And, while I felt awful for letting Shellie leave us, I am really glad I stayed with Jenny and Denise. Making sure Jenny made it safely to the finish line was relieving. We were all concerned about her even though she had doctor’s approval to run.
We collected our medals and some water and food. I am meeting up with Shellie, Denise, and some other friends for lunch at Be Our Guest. I know Shellie went to medical so I can check on her status while we are at lunch.
One more race to go and it’s the one I have been most concerned about. I know I walked a lot of the Space Coast marathon and I got through it. But, I haven’t gotten in the back-to-back runs that I’ve needed and that is what concerns me. I’m still feeling good thankfully. I am going to take it easy in the parks today, try to get an early dinner, and then get some rest before tomorrow.