Friday, March 1, 2013

5th Anniversary Princess Half Marathon

February 24, 2013

With Mary Poppins and her gang.
Disney weekend started out in Tampa on Thursday. I worked to help set up the Fit2run booths at the Gasparilla expo, which had it's races the same weekend as the Disney Princess half marathon. Friday, I worked at the expo and was on my feet for about 10 hours. I left downtown Tampa at about the worst part of the day, 5pm. It took me an hour and a half to get to the Disney resort, where the expo was and were I was staying that night. I made it into the expo about 20 minutes before closing. I got my bib and shirt, before checking out what they had in the race merchandise area. It was a small space, much smaller than the marathon weekend merchandise space. I didn't find the race tank I was hoping to buy, but did get a coffee mug. I checked in with the Rock n Roll/Women's half marathon booth, were I would be working the next day. I had hoped that I would be sitting a lot, but unfortunatly, the tables were set up high, so no sitting at them. I then headed off to check in and then find dinner. There was a massive line for the restraurant in the resort. I waited, got a dinner to go, then headed to my room. I was up for another hour or so before going to bed. I was tired! I was then up again before 6am. I ran 3 miles (3 loops) around the resort before heading back to the room to pack up and drive over to the parking area set aside for expo workers. The expo was crazy busy all day! I couldn't believe the lines for everything! Just as big as the marathon weekend expo. The expo closed at 6pm. We were packed up within 10 minutes and out of there. Katie, who was sharing a room with me and Brenda that night, showed up just before closing, so we headed out for dinner at Outback Stakehouse before heading to All Star Sports to check in. My 3rd hotel in 3 days!! We left a key at the front desk for Brenda, who was at a wedding and would be in later. After getting settled in and relaxing for a while, we were in bed by 9:30 with a 2:30 am alarm set. 

Me, Brenda and Katie before the race
2:30am came around quick! We got dressed, got our gear together and then headed out the door to my car. The drive to the Epcot parking area went pretty fast. I remembered to get into the far left lane, which always puts us in the parking area closest to the waiting area and finish line. We sat around for a little bit and then just before 4, we headed out. We went in search of the meeting spot for the Half Fanatic group photo. there were crazy long lines to get photos with Characters, but no fanatics. I looked on the facebook page to see if anything had changed. The meeting spot had been moved to the front of the merchandise tent, which was were we came in! So, we headed back over there. We found Della and a couple of other fanatics, took a quick photo, then made our way to the porta potties before heading off toward the corrals. Once we got near the corrals, we waited for the porta potties again before heading into corral A. It was great that the 3 of us were in the same corral. I lead us up close to the front, but not right at the front. Then we sat and waited. The time actually went by fast. Soon the lone wheel chair guy was off and then it was our turn. After a pep talk from the Fairy God Mother and a blast of fire works, we were off!

Normally I'll post my split times and discuss the miles and how I felt. But, I'm going to skip that for this report. Within the first mile, I could tell this was going to be a race for fun and not for time. My stomach was upset and my legs were tired from all the standing I had been doing. Plus, it was very warm this morning, with very high humidity. The opposite of last weekends weather for the marathon! I tried to keep a decent pace, pretty much at the fast end of my long run pace. I decided I would stop for photos and just go with the flow. I hit the first steep hill, which is an underpass leading to Magic Kingdom. I decided to walk it, since there was no point getting to tired. As I walked up, Juli passed me. She was looking so strong running up that hill! At the top of the hill, I got a photo with the Gene puppet. In Magic Kingdom, I stopped for a photo with Buzz Lightyear and then Jessie, before running through the castle. There was a long ling to get a photo with Mickey and Minnie, so I didn't stop there. I've got a couple of good photos with them already. I ran through the castle and over to the front for a photo. They had 3 photographers and only me there! Seems like not many runners in corral A stop for photos. Good for me. :) As we ran out of Magic Kingdom, I stopped for a photo with Aurora and her prince.

The rest of the race went well. I continued to just take it easy and not look at my watch to much. Since I've run this race 4 times now, I kind of remembered when to expect things. They had plenty of water stops, which was good, because I wasn't carrying any water with me. The cliff gel spot was around mile 8. I knew to wait to eat that, as the water stop was a little way down the road. I stopped for me photos with one of the Ants, Mary Poppins and then with Elastic Girl. I felt really great as we made our way into Epcot. I think this is the best I have felt while running through here! I've always felt really yucky when I get to this spot. :) Heading out of Epcot, I knew I just had a few turns before seeing the finish line. Mickey and Minnie were waiting for us as we crossed the finish line. I gave Minnie mouse a high five and then crossed the finish.

Finish time was 2:15. Not my best time, of course, but I'm happy that I ran it for fun. I'll probably not run this race again for a few years. 

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