I am so psyched! It's finally here - my TENTH half-marathon!
I didn't set out and plan it to be my 10th half-marathon, but when I was looking for races to do last year, I was counting how many halfs I'd already done and realized that this one would be number 10. So I didn't do ANY other halfs after St. Augustine 2016.
This race is special to me. It was the 2nd half-marathon I did (Princess Half Marathon was my first), but it was the first half-marathon that seemed "real." As if running 13.1 miles on Disney property is any fewer miles than running 13.1 miles not on Disney property.
I've run this race every year since 2014, and
For this year though, I just want to get through it!
We drove down on Saturday, fueled with Polar Pop sodas and donuts from Daylight Donuts.
Our stop at the Expo was uneventful. It's a small expo, so I never plan to be there long. We got my bib, my shirt and my bag, then walked around for about 10 minutes (again - SMALL). Stopped by the table to see if I won anything in the raffle... I didn't.
After that, we decided to go get lunch. Hubby programmed the Garmin to go somewhere, but he wouldn't tell me where it was. We drove for about 15 minutes before the Garmin showed what the finish line was - Long John Silvers!! Oh, he loves me! He loves me so much! He's not a hue fan of LJS, but he knows I am, and so is the kiddo, even though she didn't realize where we were going until we turned in to the parking lot. This LJS was great, because it was a stand-alone shop, not a hybrid (like LJS+KFC or LJS+Taco Bell).
I ended up getting the 2 Fish and 8 Shrimp platter, but substituting chicken planks for the fish, with fries and extra hush puppies for the kiddo. Hubby got the 3 piece chicken platter, and the kiddo got the 8 piece shrimp platter. With drinks, it was about $30.
|Not busy at all|
|2 Chicken, 8 Shrimp, Fries and Extra Hush Puppies (for the kiddo)|
Afterwards, even though I knew it was going to backfire, we headed to Epcot. Disney still had the Festival of the Arts going, and since I had a Graphic Arts major with us (the Kiddo), I thought she'd want to go check it out!
Unfortunately, due to traffic and crowds, we didn't make it to the Anime class. However, Hubby had heard that one of our favorite bloggers, EasyWDW, was going to be having a book signing at the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot, so he wanted to attend that. Also, unfortunately, Hubby read the times wrong... Josh had already been gone for an hour by the time we got there!
So, here we were at Epcot and everything we wanted to do, we were late for! Since we were in Mexico, we decided to take a ride on
|Fountain inside the Mexico Pavilion|
|🎶🎶 We're three caballeros, Three gay caballeros 🎶🎶|
|I don't remember which character we drew; it wasn't memorable I guess|
|That mac is not nearly as tasty as it looks|
Sunday morning dawned VERY cold, both outside and inside the room. Outside, it was around 48º and raining. I'm not sure how cold it was inside, but I had the shivers that just wouldn't stop. I ended up pulling an old trick that works well in small spaces - turn on the hot water in the tub and let it go (this trick also works if you're in a room with only a sink). It will warm up the air and create humidity (because of the steam). After a few minutes, it was warm enough to strip out of my jammies and start pulling on my running gear.
|This would be the perfect weather for running - IF the sun was out!|
|I'm holding up my hands to represent "10"|
|Don't let the smile fool ya - I'm so damn cold right now!|
|Even with all these bodies, I'm still freezing!|
I didn't take a lot of photos this time around - 1) because it was raining hard during many of the miles and 2) I've done this four times... not much changes.
I made it to Mile 1. I was cold. I was damp - not fully wet. Yet.
First for me? I peed in the men's bathroom. I've heard tell that women do this at a race, when there are both men's and women's bathrooms. I've never done it. But the line for the women's room was long, and there were only a few in the men's line (all women), so I got in that line. Men - they didn't seem to care! They, of course, were let in without having to wait in the women's portion of the line. And when they came in they were surprised to see chicks waiting for stalls. After the initial surprise, however, they just whipped it out and peed in the urinal and went on with the race. Kind of cool to see non-uptight people just going about the business of peeing.
|C'mon, you'd take a photo of the men's room too!|
|Look! I didn't run any of that!|
|Quality photo right here...|
Oh well, I'm too cold and wet to really feel guilty at this point. It is what it is, and I just have to keep going.
|I liked her idea of wearing a base layer under a tank! Stealing for the future|
|It's drizzling at this point - enough that I'm happy to still have my jacket|
|Mile 5 - let the slog begin|
|"Only those who risk going to far can possibly find out how far they can go"|
|No, I'm not!|
|Don't I know it!|
|This one was blank on the "front" side - you had to turn around to see that it said "You are going the wrong way"|
|Thank you, Candy Ladies!|
|Blue Raspberry (eww) and Cotton Candy (yum)|
|The Mat-Minder always looks so bored, no matter the race|
|I am GratefulAde for the GatorAde|
There were more signs ahead.
|Shit, I don't have any change!|
|Completing my TENTH one of these is a REALLY big deal!|
|I do believe! I do believe in fairies, uh, I mean, the voice that says I can!|
|Mile 7! More than halfway!|
|I wonder if he was the winner?|
|Yep, still raining. More than a drizzle, less than a full on rain|
|Mile 8, feeling okay|
|Yep, The Motherfucker Mile™|
|15k mat with it's little raincoat|
|TEN! Mile TEN!|
I made it to Mile 11. I was getting passed regularly by marathoners at this point; many of them were supportive, with "you go girls," and "you got this." Much appreciated, fast people! Thank you.
|This photo is like an accurate representation of my addled brain at Mile 11|
|One point One! One point One!|
|The finish line is between the teal building and the pink building across the lake|
|Mile 13 (the caption is tiny, like the sign)|
So I did.
After I passed the Mile 13 sign, I pulled myself up and ran around that fucking corner like I was the hero of an action movie. I ran through that chute like I was Meb and I felt bad ass!
I got my medal from Liz, who we volunteer with at Disney, and then... well, it got weird. She had her arms open, to move me out of the middle of the chute, but I mistook it for an invitation for a hug, so I hugged her! She was cool about it and hugged back, but it was awkward.
This medal meant so much to me (seriously, I think I'm gonna lose it just typing this...). This medal means I finished TEN half-marathons. That's kind of a big deal. But this medal meant so much more. I smoked from about 1990 to 2007 (with a few breaks for pregnancy and quit attempts). I failed PE in 8th grade because I refused to run track. I was always "the fat girl," "the lazy girl," "the girl who never ran for a monorail." It was easier to raise my child with TV and video games than to run and play with them at the park. I was the girl who couldn't take stairs without being completely out of breath halfway up those stairs. I was the girl who made fun of girls like me.
I'm "the girl who ran ten half-marathons."
|Those fat, cold fingers are trying to mime "10"|
|"Hey, how you doin'?"|
Oh, and other what?!?! news: I beat Leah Powell (Queen Mum, founder of SparkleSkirts)! It was only by about 2 minutes, but it counts! She finished just under 4 hours. Betty, as usual, was about a half-hour ahead of me and finished at 3:35:41.
Once I came down from my high of realizing that I just ran around the corner and finished my 10th half-marathon, I realized I was FREEZING! (By this point, it'd warmed up to about 50º - the high for the day was only 54º!) We headed off to the Celebration Publix so that I could change my clothes. I think I also got something to eat or drink, but I don't remember.
|Dude! I want that new-style passholder magnet!|
We arrived early, so we were told that they would text us when a table became available. Weather was still terrible (cold and wet is the worst combo - you can feel it in your bones!), so instead of sitting outside, we wandered back inside of the resort and sat at Martha's Vineyard Lounge. If you're interested, check out EasyWDWs review. It was comfy. It was quiet. But most of all, it was warm!
|Comfy couches - looking toward's Ariel's Lounge|
|Bling and Celebration Button (labeled it from home)|
|Hot water with lemon - yes, it does warm you up inside!|
|The Kiddo is such a rebel|
|He's so photogenic!|
Neither the Kiddo nor I were up to going to the parks, which made Hubby kind of grumpy, but he knows by now that if I'm too tired to go to a park, it's not gonna be a lot of fun if I'm forced to go to a park.
We headed to WaWa for road trip food, and both of them realized something that shouldn't be true - they were still hungry! Dude, you just put away a pound of ice cream, how are you still hungry?
There was nothing at WaWa that they wanted to eat, so we decided to drop into the Wendy's drive-thru. Both of them wanted nuggets, and I admit - the idea of something savory after all the sweet was appealing. I attempted to order 10 nuggets for each of them (a 6pc box and a 4pc box, since they didn't sell 10pc boxes separately), and a 4-pc spicy nugget for me (they don't carry anymore! Wah!). This would have been about $7. After I gave the cashier our order, she suggested we order the Family Size chicken nuggets. Uh, what is Family Size? Fifty chicken nuggets! It was $9.99, but after a moment's consideration, we went for it. Come on - we HAD TO!
Behold, the beauty that is fifty chicken nuggets, piping hot from the fryer, in a huge plastic to-go container.
|Yes, there really are fifty in that container|
After we got home, I chilled out on the couch for a while, then unpacked all my swag.
|Raw Threads Bamboo Tee (so soft!)|
|Close-up of the graphics|
|Yay... another string bag...|
|The BEST tumbler in existence (seriously - GET ONE OF THESE THINGS!)|
|I love the vibe of the medal this year|
|What the heck is this thing?|
|Hey, it lights up!! It's a light-up armband thingy!|
Up first - from the first season, Chandler smoking in Central Perk:
Then, Chandler smoking again after quitting for three years
Lastly, this is important - to anyone who feels like they aren't bad ass because they only do half-marathons, or don't feel like a runner at all because it takes them 4 hours to cross a finish line - shut up. There is no only in what we do. There is only AWESOMENESS in what we do. Own it.