Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Juli, Becki, Lori, Shannon, Dave, Me and Laura with Elastic Girl!

Me and Brenda before the race!
February 26, 2012.
Race weekend started on Thursday, when I drove up with Renee to set up the Fit2Run booth with other employees. Thursday involved lots of heaving lifting and then unpacking merchandise.It was a long day. We were back at the expo by 7:30 to set up a little more before the 9 a.m. opening. What a crazy day at the expo! I had a pretty good view of the Disney Merchandise booth. Those Dooney and Burke bags went fast! It was crazy! I was working the Skirt Sport booth both days. I kept pretty busy there, but did have time to wonder around the expo a few times to spend all my money. :) I got a new bracelet, silver ring, pink polka dot 26.2 and 13.1 bumper magnents, a princess tank and cup from the race merchandise area. I saw a few friends at the expo, which was great! I worked until 7:30 pm. Long day! My legs and feet were feeling sore. I still had another day of working! Saturday was a shorter day through. I got there at 8 and left at 3 pm. It was even busier and crazier at the expo that day! After work, Renee and I met up with Brenda at the hotel and then headed to downtown Disney. I picked up a special lego present for my son, before we headed to dinner at Wolfgang Puck's Cafe. We got back to the hotel and went to ask about a coffee pot. With a 3 am wakeup call, we knew we were going to need some coffee! They had no coffee pots and the restaurant wasn't going to be open that early. So, we made a quick trip to Wal Mart! We found a $8 coffee maker! Back in the hotel, we set up the coffee maker for the next day and got to bed a little after 9 pm.

I didn't sleep well that night, but I felt OK once I had a cup of coffee in me! We left the hotel a little after 3:30 am. Lots of traffic (much more than 2 years ago) heading into the parking area at Epcot. Once we parked, we had a pretty short walk to the first area for runners. We made a porta pottie break, took a photo then made our way to the corrals. Renee and I left Brenda at the porta potties on the other side of bag check. She was in corral B and we were in A, so we wouldn't have been able to hang out much longer anyway. Very hard to get to the corrals. So many people walking that way. I think it's about a mile to the corrals. Just before getting there, we made a pit stop at the potties and then made our way to the first corral. The group that I was trying to meet up with were near the stage, but it was part of the elite corral. We made our way towards the front of the corral and after a while, I was finally able to spot the group ahead. I figured once we got running, I could find them. We didn't have to wait to long in the corrals before the fireworks went off we were off and running!

Look at this crazy guy I found!
Renee was way ahead of me from the start. :) I quickly found the group I was looking for. I ran the race with Dave, Lori, Juli, Brandi and Shannon (Mrs. USA!). It took me a little while to get used to the pace. It was a little slower than my regular long run pace. Eventually I got behind them so that I wouldn't keep pulling so far ahead! I believe our first stop was with the pirates. A little past the pirates was a giant hot air balloon. After passing the balloon, we could see the Magic Kingdom sign up ahead. It was very dark in this section. All of a sudden, in my periferal vision, I see a woman fall to my right. Our group stops and goes back to check on the woman, who I later learn, is named Sherry. We ask her if she is OK and if she needs help getting up. She says she thinks she broke her shoulder and that she doesn't want to move. Shannon runs over to a security guard car that is just a little ways down the road. He takes a very long time to come over to us. Meanwhile half of us are standing in a semi circle around her to protect her from the on coming runners. Two doctors stop to check on the Sherry. One, Laura, stays with us. Finally two police cars show up and then a medical guy on a bike shows up. A bike! One of the police officers tells us to go ahead, they will look after Sherry. So we all take off again. Laura decides to join our group since she is way off of her normal race pace by now. We finally make it to the 5K timing mat. Time of 57:26! While waiting in line at the next photo spot, I text Brenda to see if she had passed by already. Then I checked my facebook page to see what my time was for the 5K. Saw that it was so slow, so I posted an update to let my friends know that I was OK. That's a 10K time for me!

Me, Juli, Brandi, Lori, Shannon,
Laura and Dave!
We made our way into Magic Kingdom, stopping for photos with all characters. Once we were in the park, there were even more stops! A couple of photos with the Castle behind us, Minnie Mouse, Princess Tiana, Jessie (Toy Story), Buzz Lightyear, Prince Charming, the cast of Sleeping Beauty and a few others. As we are leaving Magic Kingdom, we pass a medical tent with biofreeze and patrolium jelly. I get some of that patrollium jelly, go off to the side and put it on a couple of delicate spots at the top of my legs (under shorts) that feel like there might be chaffing! I quickly catch back up to the group. At the next porti pottie section, I notice there is no line, so I tell the group to go on, I'll catch up. I make a quick pit stop, then catch up to them again. It is getting harder and harder to run. By now, most of the people on the road are walkers. It's very hard to run around them. We are often off on the side of the road, running in the grass to pass them.

The last few miles are mostly running. Not as many character stops from mile 10 on. The slant on the couple of overpasses really irritates my IT Band, so I run up on the grass again, because it is flatter there! Soon it is raining on us, but thankfully, it doesn't last long. We make it into Epcot, so happy that we are getting close to the finish! We try a big "Dave Mari" jump in front of the big globe and then head towards the finish. We all link arms and run across the finish line together!

Time: 3:54:37! Almost 2 hours longer than my normal half marathon time!

We got a group photo taken with a few other half fanatics and then I said good bye. I sent a text to Brenda, who had waited over an hour for me. It started raining just before we meet up. We make it to the car and then have to wait in traffic for a bit before getting on the road.

I had a wonderful time running this race! Hope to make it to the finish a bit faster next weekend at Gasparilla half. :)

Sherry update: I found her on facebook! Her friend said she has a fractured humerus between shoulder and elbow. She said recovery will be 8 weeks. Good to hear she is doing fine!   

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