Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Put One Foot in Front of the Other... Wine and Dine Half Marathon Recap

So it’s time for a race recap!  This past weekend I ran Disney’s Wine and Dine half marathon.  It was my first half and such an awesome weekend.  I finished in 2:23:49 which is awesome considering how I could barely run through the airport in March when trying to catch a flight back to the states from Australia.  My very first run was on May 5, 2012 when I decided to take on this journey.  I set out just to see how far I could go…I felt so out of shape when I didn’t even make a mile.  Who knew I’d be running my first half marathon just 6 months later! 

Expo!  So many runners!
My weekend started Friday morning when I packed by bags and headed to the expo.  Upon entering ESPN WWOS I felt my first wave of race jitters.  It was overwhelming the amount of people there...being a novice runner I’ve never seen so many runners in one place before.  I loved walking around just taking it all in but at the same time I was becoming more and more nervous.  I picked up my packet and then headed to the Animal Kingdom to meet some new friends.  I’m thankful for Team runDisney for introducing me to some great people.  I practically spent the entire weekend with a group of people I’ve not met before (well in person anyways) and it was awesome.

Saved my knees!
That night my mom and her friends got into town… we had dinner and then settled into the hotel for the evening.  It was so nice to see my mom and be able to spend some time with her and her friends this weekend.  I liked her being there to share in the excitement of race weekend with me.  Saturday, race day, was an early start.  I went to breakfast with my mom and her friends and then headed to Hollywood studios.  I showed them around and did a few things but ended up leaving early, around noon, to head back to the hotel for a nap as I was worried about being able to run a race at 10pm when I woke up so early.  Before Saturday, I had never run a night race before and my bedtime is usually before race start.  On the way back to the hotel I stopped back at the expo to get my knees taped.  Many of you know that I’ve been struggling with IT Band issues, some days I make it 10 miles and others I make it 2.  The pain gets that bad…I was praying for a good day but I also wanted to do everything I could to make it a good day.  My friend, Mickey, suggested having them tape my knees with KT tape at the expo.  Best advice ever!!!  Running the race I felt very little knee pain.  My left knee got tight around mile 6 but it was minimal and I had ZERO knee pain the next day!  Now I can’t say it’s all due to the KT tape but I think it played a role along with my knee straps and a lot of prayers!  After the expo I had my pre-race meal with friends at Earl of Sandwich.  Perfect place to carb load :) 

I made it back to the hotel around 4pm, changed into race clothes and passed out.  I woke up at 6pm to get ready to head to the race.  At this point the race day jitters was at an overwhelming high and got the best of me.  I broke down and cried..I managed to get into the car but couldn’t seem to put it in drive.  I was terrified…terrified of working so hard yet not finishing.  I was scared my knees would hurt an unbelievable amount, nervous I’d be too slow.. I called my best friends, my roommates.  They are amazing at these things and calmed me down enough to get me to the race.  They’ve provided me with an unbelievable amount of support through this journey.  I’m very grateful that God placed such caring and supportive friends in my life.

Once I arrived to the race starting area I immediately got in line for a picture with Mickey Mouse.  Would you expect anything different? Hahah I stood in that line for 2 hrs! but didn’t even care.  Disney provided great entertainment while I waited.  Everyone was up and dancing around in their costumes enjoying the few hours before race start.

I wish I would have taken more pictures of the race...I think I was too nervous of being slow to even attempt to take pictures.  I did take a few and will share what I have but I promise I’ll be taking more pictures next Disney race!  As far as the race itself I surprised myself with my performance.  All through training I’d run 2 miles straight and then convert to 3 min run and 1 min walk intervals.  However, during the race I went 6 miles before my first walk break!  And then only walked a minute at the end of each mile.  I didn’t know I was even capable of that…must have been a combination of being terrified, unbelievably excited and all of the adrenaline consuming me.   The first 8 miles went so quickly and then I started to feel the exhaustion from the day.  While running I was listening to my Christian playlist..and it was perfect.  Right when I was feeling exhausted around mile 10  “One Foot” by Building 429 played. 
Action shot!

I don’t really know where this road is going
I don’t  really know why this door is open
Put one foot in front of the other
…One foot, one foot at a time…

These lyrics spoke to me and gave me the strength I needed to finish.  A reminder to stay strong, I can do it…just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  God never fails to lift me up.  I’m thankful for the perseverance He has taught me.  Without Him I wouldn’t have made it to this point.

The last mile seemed never ending but I made it! I was so excited to finish!

After the race I changed clothes and headed to the after party with friends.   We stayed out until 4 am! Yikes!!  I’d been up for an almost 24hrs!

Sunday morning came way too soon lol.  I headed back to the parks with my mom and her friends.  We walked around played in Epcot.  My mom wore my medal (it was too heavy for me to wear all day) and took in all of the congratulations.  I ended the weekend in Magic Kingdom with Wishes and a ride on Space Mountain.  It was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend :) 

I can’t wait to do it all again in January and then again in February!  That’s right!  I signed up for the Princess Half Marathon yesterday!!

Wow this post was unbelievably long…sorry for that!  Enjoy the few pictures!

Napping on a bench in Epcot Sunday!