Saturday night my friend Emma and I completed the Disney Wine & Dine half marathon at Epcot. It was her first race and my fifth, but let me back up to before the race (segue into the past via doodly doo doodly doo and spiral effect a la Waynes World). At about 11am I woke up Saturday morning and took my time gathering my stuff, chatting with my family and half-assedly trying to print my race waiver to "save time" at the expo (where I glanced at the hours and noticed it only ran until 4, so I decided I wouldn't stress but I should probably head out), and I was finally in my car about to drive to Orlando around 1:30pm. I arrived at Emma's house at 3pm, but I didn't realize that just because someone lives in Orlando doesn't mean it takes 15 minutes to get everywhere in Orlando (like my little hometown of Ocala). So she informs me that it takes about an hour to get to the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex from her house. *Insert freakout here* We then jumped into her Prius, started stress-drinking Gatorade, speeding and even running a toll plaza due to a lack of exact change. We arrived at the sports complex at 3:50, sprinted to the expo and picked up our race bibs by 3:52 and picked up our t-shirts and explored for approximately 5 minutes before the announcer said the expo was closed. That's when we decided we were safe to take pictures.
Poor planning not only works out, but it also adds a rush of excitement to your plans!
We stuck together pretty well for the first nine or so miles as a mega-death blister formed and throbbed on the side of my left big toe. Finally I needed to slow down and told Emma to go on without me (another lesson learned: When Emma says she's not good at something, she's lying -- always. ;) I then went on my journey through Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot alone. There were mascots everywhere, a giant mechanical turtle, an EPIC Christmas light display (seriously, it was amazing) and finally crazy, trippy fog with a ceiling of laser lights above it leading us to the finish line. Lately my GPS watch has been fritzing on me, so I didn't bother bringing it. I set the stopwatch on my iPhone just so I'd have an idea, but I was interested to see how I did without constantly checking my pace. I didn't look at the stopwatch for almost the entire run because, in true running fashion, my music library kept shuffling on the slowest, saddest, most un-epic running songs ever (nothing like these, maybe I should take my own advice..), so I was pretty stoked to see that there was still a chance I could finish under two hours (my fastest one yet was 2:01:51 from the Five Points of Life Marathon in Gainesville about two years ago) at mile 12. Of course, by this time I was completely exhausted and my blister had probably developed its own brain by this point, but I was determined to at least not slow down.
And I didn't. I finished in 2:00:43, and I officially have a new Personal Record. I am also feeling pretty stoked because not only do I think that if I had been in Corral A I could've broke 2 hours, but I also get to train with Emma in San Francisco when we live together, doing epic races and pushing each other to run faster and be better.
Today I am thankful for great friends like Emma, who are willing to go on adventures, talk for hours and who just seem to get me, 100%. Congratulations, my friend, you rocked your first half marathon.here, my drink voucher had to be saved for another time -- there was no way my stomach was about to tolerate any kind of alcohol. Some how we still managed to stay out until 4am and didn't arrive back at her place until 5am, which probably explains why I can still barely walk. These calves better be huge by the time they stop burning.. Just saying.
It was a wonderful weekend and I am so glad we got there before 4.
Linking up here & here!