Friday, January 24, 2014

2014 WDW Half Marathon Recap

I've finally stopped sneezing long enough to recap the Walt Disney World Half Marathon that was on 1/11/14.

I was super excited to head back to Disney and run, especially when the weather was looking like it would be warm for the race...something completely foreign to me as every other year I've run Disney, its been 40 or colder!

My training runs had been awesome leading up to the race, and the past few months I'd been putting in some extra ellipticalling time, so I was raring to go. The past 2 times I've run Disney, my finishing times hadn't been that great. In 2010, it was snowing and in the 20s, so I was glad to have just survived with all my fingers and toes. In 2012, it was also cold and I was coming back from a season riddled with injuries. So, 2014 was going to be my year!

Race Prep: Trying to dry out my shoes that got drenched in a downpour at Expo...Yummy

Race day dawned so muggy, you could have cut it with a knife. The Turtle decided his days of trudging through with the cattle in the back corrals were over, so he and his sister were my support team. Now that's love. Getting up at 2am so you can wait hours and hours for your wife to run? Amazing! (Oh...did I mention I'd signed up his cell up to get text alerts when I hit the 5, 10, 15k and finish..which would be about 4 texts between 5:30 - 7am...ya know, just in case he slept in...Oopsie!)

Around 4:30 a.m. the Turtle and his sister went to hop a monorail to Ticket & Transportation to cheer me on at Mile 4, and I started the mile walk to the corrals.

My pit crew!

Corral A was full of the usual scary, razor-faced runners in their tiny shorts and 0% body fat bodies, all of whom were doing elaborate stretches and mini sprints with serious glares on their faces to try and intimidate their fellow runners. Yeah, I fit in reallll well, like always. I headed over to the one fence nearest the stage where all the cameras were (you expected any less?). My strategy worked when I got to be front and center on the screen when the race coordinator interviewed Jeff Galloway! Jeff talked with me and a few other runners before the race and shook my hand, so cool! I also got to be about 10 feet away from Chris Powell and his wife, the trainers from Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition, who gave a speech and were going to run with a couple who were participating in the show (he's really short!)

Let the race begin!

The starting fireworks got me so pumped and I was off, keeping it under a 7 minute pace. The first couple miles went really smoothly, passing fun balloons and local marching bands.

I saw the Turtle and his sister at Mile 4 and shouted at them that I saw Chris Powell as I headed toward the Magic Kingdom. I've said it before and I'll say it for the rest of my life, there is nothing more magical than running onto Main Street with huge crowds cheering you on as you run towards Cinderella's Castle. It's amazing.

And, as usual, I almost totally wiped out as I ran down the path out of the Castle...that's 3 times now, I'm not liking this tradition.

After we leave Magic Kingdom, we head into the darkness from Mile 6-9. This year it was lit a lot  better, so my fear of alligator attacks was down. I was on serious cruise control as I headed in to Mile 10.....

Mile 10: What the hell is that weird lump under the arch of my foot!?!?!? The Dr. Scholl's Heel Insert in my left shoe had somehow slid forward (despite the ridiculously tight way I tie my shoes). I kept running another 1/4 mile until I realized if I didn't fix it, it'd probably slow me down. I stopped my Garmin, slid the insert back, retied my shoe and took off.

I wish I could say this was the only time it happened. By the 3rd time around Mile 11, I just ripped the thing out and ran with one insert in, one out. As I reached the Mile 12 sign, the clock read 1:27: 50something. Sweet. I knew I would get in around 1:35, 1:36...just as I'd wanted.

I ran past Spaceship Earth, around the turn around, and headed toward the finish. Wahoo! As I got to the finish, I couldn't wipe the grin off my face, I was so happy!!!

Look at that happy face!


And then my world came crashing down. Ok, ok. It wasn't that dramatic, and now, having a lot of time between it and now, the blow isn't so bad. And in the grand scheme of things I know this is nothing, nothing! I checked my official chiptime on the bus, my happiness came to a screeching hault. 1:39:00. HUH!?!??!


How is that even possible? If the clock wasn't even at 1:28:00 when I hit mile 12...that would mean I'd have to have run an 11 min mile for my last mile...which is impossible. If I'm anything, I'm consistent with my pace. And to go from doing 7:15-7:25 avg pace for all my miles to suddenly 11? No way!

My Garmin said I did a 1:37...which still doesn't seem quite right to me, but is definitely more on par than this! I stopped my Garmin all 3x I had to fix my shoe, and I realize that isn't reflected in my chip time, however..... the last time I stopped for my shoe was Mile 11. So that still doesn't add up.

Before I realized how off my time was

Needless to say, I cried the whole bus ride back to the hotel (and this was no pretty cry either...I seriously need to give myself a break).

Since then, I'm over it. As over it as a Type A / OCD person can be. It still frustrates me, but what can you do? I talked to another runner who said his time was off too. And I never got a recorded chip time for the 15k point.

Anyway, it didn't stop me from having a fantastic time at the Parks for the rest of the vacation! And now that I'm back, I'm practically twitching to run, I miss it so much. Mickey gave me his cold, so I've been taking it easy on the elliptical this week, but I cannot wait to get back on the track on Monday!

Post Race lunch...I could've eaten a horse!


  1. That is SO weird the chips were off. WTH?? Sorry it made you cry.I blame the early wakeup and Mickey's germs for that. Your finish pic is adorable.

  2. Congratulations on finishing the race! You look great, by the way. Are you going to buy the finish photo?

  3. Congratulations Tink! Sorry to hear about the chips being off. You still did great!

    I've always wanted to run in Disney! Reading your recap made me miss Disney! :)