I was up early and ready to head out on race day, which entailed a 2.5 hour drive to Disney. We checked into the hotel, picked up our packets and got some lunch (I went with chocolate soy milk and some nachos. Hubs had chicken soup and a salad). The Expo was a hit, as I bought 3 more pairs of socks and a new fuel belt. Hubs bought a knee brace after talking with the Doc who was there, and it was a great purchase!
After lunch, our wonderful cousin arrived who had driven down to cheer us on. Hubs took her over to the Expo to get a ticket into the after-party while I tried to nap. Before we knew it, the time had come to get ready and leave. I showered, got my pins on (a Goofy pin, a running Mickey pin and a Fantasia pin) and adorned my hair with ribbons. My Mum had sent me the pins, which were all my Dad's. Goofy was his favorite. The running Mickey was fitting and Fantasia was a favorite movie of his and apparently the first movie I ever went to see. For dinner I had a Snickers bar and some breadsticks.
We parted ways with the Cousin, who headed over the Epot to entertain herself while we waited to start and then race. The waiting area was done well, better than the 5k I was at in January. There was music and dancing, a screen set up to keep in touch with the 2nd leg relayers over at Animal Kingdom and a great atmosphere. I was getting nervous, but doing my best not to let it get the best of me and upset my tummy. The start was done well and in keeping with the time they said, so we were off and running just after 10:10.
Miles 1-3: I was creaky and getting settled into my stride. I spent most of that time reminding myself not to go too fast and that my legs would loosen up. Hubs was feeling great (yeah, new knee brace!) and broke out to go on ahead.
Miles 4-5: I was feeling great and actually had some faster miles.
Miles 6-7: These were hard! My stomach was upset and I was really struggling to tell myself that I could get through these miles. For some reason, the distance seemed forever. I found some good music and just buckled down to focus on one mile at a time.
Miles 8-9: My foot was hurting, but my belly was better. I had gotten a great recommendation to use Pedialyte for my electrolyte drink. I knew I wasn't supposed to try anything new on race day, but I also knew that my distance runs typically have my belly upset - so trying the Pedialyte couldn't be any worse, right? Right! It was great, in fact! Definitely something I will use in the future! My energy was not the issue, it was just my belly and my foot. Somewhere in the midst of Mile 8 I was wondering if my foot was really going to make it the rest of the miles. I had my head down and was struggling. Out of nowhere a lady come up next to me and said 'we got this!' and high-fived me. It was crazy! I have no idea who she was or why she chose me! We ran the rest of the miles together, talking a little, but mostly finding comfort in the fact that we had a running buddy. It was really like a gift from the universe! I know it sounds cheesy and corny, but she was literally like an angel for me!
It was at the end of Mile 9 that Hubs caught back up with me. He was doing great! His knee was doing awesome and he was feeling awesome! He fell back to check on me and finish with me.
Miles 10-11: I walked. I just hurt too much and couldn't do it anymore. I walked all of Mile 10. I had told myself before the race that I would walk, to store energy and do better overall. Ugh! I just couldn't stop running until I felt as if I absolutely could not run another step. Not wise, I know.
Miles 12 and 13: The last few miles got harder. I hadn't realized that the exit ramps (we used the ramps to get into and out of the parks) would be banked, so I had spent time running at a funny angle and it was tiring out my legs. The enthusiasm of the course had waned by the end, and this was one of the only things that disappointed me. I was in the allotted time and we actually passed an area where the speakers were being taken down, and wires rolled up! :( It was really awful! My running buddy angel and Hubs got me through the last bit. I pushed hard to run as many steps as I could. I couldn't listen to music, though I'm not sure why. I just needed to air around my head and to talk to myself. I ran most of the last 1.5 miles and we crossed the finish line running!