The fireworks went off and it was time to get going on this half marathon!
I tried a couple of new things in this race. I wore my Garmin on my left wrist and my Timex on my right wrist. I had the Timex set to beep 4:1 intervals as I knew that would be my key to get through the race. I also decided to wear my iPod. I haven’t raced or even ran with music since…oh…2006? But I figured the music might be helpful if the going got tough.
I wanted to make it my goal to get as many pictures with characters as possible, so I was pretty delighted when I spotted Eeyore and Tigger on the side of the road. I shoulder checked, ran across to the other side of the road and nabbed a picture. Eeyore is my favourite Disney character ever, so I was happy that he was the first character I saw.I was feeling pretty warm so I had tied my heavier top around my waist. As I ran toward the Transportation and Ticket Center I hoped that I’d see my parents so I could pass it off. I also knew that my friend Maddy would be around there too, but I didn’t manage to spot anyone I knew there. Gotta love running through there though as there are so many people and it is so loud! You also don’t have to far to go to the Magic Kingdom either. Which…I probably should have remembered for the next day, but oops…
I was keeping on schedule with my walk breaks and taking in GUs every 45 minutes and I was feeling good. On to Main Street! I was again trying to scour the crowd for my folks here but no dice. I remember running down Main Street and Christmas carols were playing. A lady in front of me complained, “Why do they have to be playing my least favourite carol as I run down the street? I hate I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas!”
On to Future World and there was Buzz Lightyear! Also one of the best things about arriving in Future World is the opportunity for a real bathroom with flushing toilets and running water. Yeah, I stopped – thumbs up for bathrooms!I then had my first character picture fail as I missed the Alice in Wonderland folks by the Tea Cups! The line was long and I didn’t realize it was a line up for characters until it was too late. Oh well, on to the next folks – Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook and Smee!Then around the corner where there was a lot of action by the castle. The Fairy Godmother!The Trumpets!The Ugly Stepsisters! I’m so sad that this picture is out of focus. I think it was one of my favourites from the day.And finally, Cinderella and Prince Charming! And then it was time for the highlight of the race – running through the castle!Then I spotted my parents. Let’s run over and say hello!Oh, and I can pass my long sleeve top off as well!Then the woman in front of my parents was telling me to move out of the way since I was apparently blocking a picture for her.OK, pass the top off, time to get going again!Ah yes, I did just post a serious of rather unflattering pictures just for your enjoyment! Time for more character pictures. I’m going to guess that is Tiana and Prince Naveen along with Louis the Alligator from Princess and the Frog. I haven’t seen the movie yet (although I do own it on Blu-Ray) so yes, I had to google those character names just now.Now on to Frontierland and a couple of characters from the Country Bear Jamboree. I totally felt like how they looked…Then on the way out of the Magic Kingdom I paused for a seat on the front of the train.Time for the hard part! After you leave the Magic Kingdom it gets a bit tough. You are on such a high running through the park and now you are on a pretty darn boring road running past the the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian. I had another character fail as I ran past Mary Poppins. I was on the wrong side of the road and it was just too crowded to cross. Luckily I had plenty of time to spot Donald and Goofy up ahead though.Somewhere after here I was starting to hurt. My legs were saying, “Yeah, you remember all of those long runs that we DIDN’T do? Yeah, we aren’t so happy anymore.” My quads were feeling pretty stiff. As we made our way back on to the highway the sights were becoming few and far between. This hot air balloon shaped like Epcot was pretty cool though!And the green soldier from Toy Story was a hoot as he tried to motivate the us as we ran past in his own unique way.Mile 11 – guys on stilts! No clue where these guys are from, but I was hurting (and mostly walking by now) so I was happy to stop for a picture.And the last characters on the course! Guess what, I have NO IDEA who they are! I just really wanted an excuse to stop forward motion for a bit. I’m pretty sure they must be friends with Tinkerbell but that’s about it.Finally, mile 12 just before we entered Epcot. By this point in time I was not only dealing with tired and hurting legs but I had hot spots on both of my feet. Sure, maybe I could walk the marathon with sore and tired legs but those hot spots were completely unpleasant. There was no way I would attempt the full marathon if I wasn’t going to have fun so I knew in my heart of hearts that this was it for racing.I attempted to run a bit more as we entered Epcot and then finally, the finish line was in sight. I high fived Goofy and then finally…I was done!I managed to set a new Personal Worst as I clocked in at 3:15:57. BUT I did manage to get a lot of pictures with characters and I did have fun. That being said, next time I will definitely make sure I train for something like this. Bad Leana for falling off the bandwagon so badly this fall.
Anyhow, stay tuned because the stories aren’t over yet. I have one heck of a dramatic spectator report for my mom’s marathon.
It involves a plan, a major math error, transportation malfunctions, beer and a black eye. Really!