United Airlines NYC Half Marathon 2015 Recap

24 Apr

WARNING:  This recap will be pretty boring.  I didn’t really take a lot of pictures and by a lot I mean, I only took 1…because my stupid phone has a habit of telling me my memory is full EVEN WHEN IT ISN’T!  So, this will be pretty wordy.

I’m going to be honest.  I was not feeling this race.  The hassle of going to Central Park, the hassle of running in Central Park.  The exhaustion from having done Goofy (a half and a full marathon) and Glass Slipper Challenge (10k  and a half marathon…plus a 5K the day before for good measure) all within 2 months of this race had me feeling drained.  It was cold and dismal out and well, yeah, I just didn’t want to do it.

BUT, I had entered the lottery for this race.  And actually got into this race.  Since I never “win” anything, I couldn’t NOT do it.  So, i headed off to Central Park for the start of this race.  I had absolutely no goals in my mind other than survival.  I didn’t do a bag check because bag check closed about 30 minutes to an hour before I had to be there before the corrals closed.  I opted for extra sleep.

There were 3 waves, all with I want to say approximately 10 corrals each.  I, of course was in the 3rd wave (yay for later sleep time).  I was in talking with people in my corral to kill time until it started.  We were all discussing races, run strategies, etc.  When I told them I was going to run/walk because it makes me faster, I got some judgmental looks.  Whatever…I would have my revenge later!

We inched closer and closer to the start line and I’d say about 50-100m before the start line people started running, including all the “friends” I had made in the corral.  I kinda looked at them like, “ok, you want start you go right ahead, I’m not trying to run more than I have to”  which also worked out well because I was able to see Karla announcing runners at the start!  And totally geeking out over seeing her, I proceeded to yell and jump up and down.  Yup, I’m a dork.

Central Park sucks.  OK, that’s not entirely true.  But, when 90% of the races you do are in Central Park, Central Park sucks.  Plus, this time of year, nothing was blooming so it was kind of depressing on top of the HILLS OF DOOM!  I started off the first 2 miles way too fast (for me).  I skipped a couple of walk intervals because they came on a downhill and I wanted to take advantage of that.  After about 2.5 miles you briefly leave the park to run down and back on 110th street.  When you come back in, one of the HILLS OF DOOM happen.   I had another 3 miles to do in this park, my legs have been through a lot, and so I just said F it…I’m walking this sucker.  And I did.  I know that was the wrong attitude to have, but honestly, I didn’t care.  Another day, another time, I can motivate myself.  I saw a pace group run my me and the pace leader was saying all sorts of motivational things, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  That HILL OF DOOM was just not worth the cost of the rest of this race.  So I walked it.  I walked the WHOLE HILL OF DOOM.    And then I walked the other HILL OF DOOM.  And I’m ok with that.  Sometimes, you just gotta walk.

IMG_4389

My one and only picture from the race…BUT I LOVED THIS SIGN

IMG_4489

Clearly not on a HILL OF DOOM. I think I was smiling because I could see the exit from the park! *photo by marathonfoto

FINALLY it’s time to leave the park.  I was so glad to be out of there!

OK, another confession…running down 7th Avenue, into Times Square was kind of freaking cool.  That right there made the race worth it.  There was tons of people and crowd support!  It was almost like you were in a parade or something.  Basically, this stretch makes you feel like a big freaking deal and that’s something to enjoy.

IMG_4491

Look at me, I’m the King of New York! *photo by marathonfoto

You get about a mile on 7th Avenue, all of which you’re singing “King of New York” from Newsies because that’s how you feel.  After that, you head west on 42nd Street until you hit water.

I feel it important to mention the Germans at this point.  There was a large group of Germans running together and they were pretty much my motivation to keep going.  I saw them in Central Park.  They were all different speeds…the faster ones would stop and take pictures and then catch up while the slower runners kept on trucking.  Keeping them in my sights became my goal for the race.

Under normal circumstances, this stretch of the West Side Highway would be great.  Beautiful scenery…yes, even with New Jersey being on the other side.  You get to run by naval ships and other cool things.  The downside: the wind.  This stretch was so cold!  So I tried to focus on the entertainment of the Germans.

Around mile 10. one of the judgmental people from the corral spotted me when I was on a walk break and started walking with me (I thought you didn’t walk).   She had said something along the lines of “we started together (which we kinda didn’t) so let’s finish together”   I always prefer running with someone to no one, so I said sure.  We ran together, then it came time for my next walk interval and she said she was going to keep running.  OK.  (See, for the record, she left me first…again).  So I took my walk break, then caught up to her again on my run break.  Then she walked with me again.  Walk break over, she sent me ahead saying she wasn’t ready to start running again.  So I kept running.  I never saw her again the rest of the race.  She never caught up with me.  Considering her “predicted finish time” on her bib was listed as 15 minutes faster than mine, I took added pleasure that my method (she judged) made me faster than her.  I’m kind of a bitch, I know, but I told you, I wasn’t feeling this race.

About mile 11.5 we head into the World Trade Center, which was/is a bit overwhelming for me.  But it’s motivating.  It keeps you going.

Mile 12, we’re now in my part of town…office wise.  Somewhere around here I also lost the Germans.  They were behind me somewhere and again, never saw them pass me.  This is also where you enter a tunnel where you feel like death.  It’s dark and no air circulation.  So, it’s great in that it’s not freezing, but then you’re dying from heat.  And it’s a pretty long tunnel, which also makes it a pretty boring stretch.

Finally you exit and run along FDR Drive, almost up to South Street Seaport, but not quite.  You turn, make another turn and you see the finish line…which I don’t have a picture of.

IMG_4490

Almost done!

The finish line is on Wall Street and Water Street.  After you finish, you walk for what feels like another mile until you get out of the race tunnel.  No seriously, I was let out near my office which is some blocks away.  What I did enjoy/appreciate at the finish is that they had clear bags filled with a water bottle, a gatorade bottle and snacks for us.  I LOVED that they had it in a bag.  Makes life so much easier to carry the stuff.  Also great?  The volunteers handing out the blankets.  Besides them there handing out blankets, they saw me struggling to get my blanket on with the wind and my goody bag in hand and so they helped put it on me AND they were all equipped with tape so the blanket would stay on without holding it!  That was also great.  Take note people!

The subway is right there by the finish, which is convenient…I was almost tempted to go to CrossFit right there and use their foam roller but I was too cold and really wishing I had checked a bag so I had something warm to put on.

I don’t know if this race is worth the price tag.  Obviously weather is out of their control, but I think that if it was sunny and/or less windy, it definitely would have been a more enjoyable race.  Central Park still sucks but running down 7th Avenue is pretty cool.  Right now, I’m registered for other borough races that will guarantee me entry to next year’s race…so we’ll see how that goes.

I Need To Win Lotto

22 Apr

…preferably before next Tuesday.

As you all know I have a couple of healthy but financially burdensome addictions: CrossFit and (Run)Disney.  Registration for WDW Marathon weekend opens on April 28th and yet again the temptation to register is there.  I managed to resist the early registration round (although there are still sports for the half, full and Goofy).

I enjoyed my time during marathon weekend.  I really did.  Albeit it was a bit colder in the beginning that I would have liked, but the airfares were the right price, most of my Disney buddies were down there, they still have some of the Christmas stuff up (which was extra nice since they didn’t have it up during W&D like usual) and well, it’s the largest of the race weekends and it feels awesome to be a part of that.

IMG_3997-0

Even Goofy (you son of a bitch) thought I was crazy for doing his namesake challenge!

IMG_3929

Turns out Nicole and I can actually hand out without running being involved!

IMG_4025-0

Danielle can always be found in WDW during marathon weekend…

IMG_3965

oooooooooooooooooooooooo

Even when I was completely miserable and having panic attacks and meltdowns I was happy there!  Doug could hear it in my voice when I call the instant I got there!  Plus, having (hopefully) completed the Marine Corp Marathon, it would be more like maintenance than training for this one!

If I fly down Friday night and fly back Monday, the vacation time shouldn’t be an issue.

From a financial standpoint, I can kinda do it, but not really.  I can fly down for free with my Jet Blue miles and I already have an AP so that’s not an issue, BUT the staying somewhere and registration costs, that’s the killer.

So for all intents and purposes I CANNOT/SHOULD NOT REGISTER FOR WDW MARATHON WEEKEND!  Right?

Seriously, I need to win lotto.

Please everyone, register for WDW Marathon weekend so that by the time I get to my computer everything is all sold out!

Because I Used to Talk About Running

21 Apr

So, this blog was started to be about running and my training and then CrossFit took over my life and legit race training took a back seat (hard to argue with 2 PRs within less than 3 months with nothing but CrossFit)  BUT with registering for another marathon, I gotta get more runner focused.  I also need to recap the NYC Half Marathon, but that’s neither here nor there.

I’m currently on a hiatus from running (even during CrossFit) because I am accident prone and hurt my ankle stepping off the curb.  No seriously.  I was walking on the sidewalk, and a bad step later…

While I’m trying to be on the cautious side of recovery, accoutanbilibuddy Rachel tagged me in a Running favorites questionnaire and in  my typical late fashion, I’m going to answer the questions now!  Weeks later!  Because that’s how I roll.

1) Location: Trail, Road, or Indoors?

Depends on the run.  Certain days if it’s absolutely perfect weather out and I need/want to clear my head, the road.  However, I have had many of my better runs on the treadmill.  It allows me to catch up on my DVR  while forcing me to hit paces I didn’t know I was capable of.

2) Time of Day: Morning, Noon, or Evening?

I’m not a huge fan of getting up early.  And there’s something peaceful about running at night for me.  Scheduling wise, evening works out best with my job too, BUT if I was a morning person, I would definitely see the appeal to run early morning before the world wakes up.

3) Weather: Sunshine, Mild or Hot?

This is kind of a trick question for me.  When it’s sunny out, I usually have more of an impulse to run, but given the heat the sun creates, I run better in overcast.  Either way though I think low humidity should be a choice because that’s my preference, as is everyone else’s I’m sure.

4) Fuel: Before, After, and sometimes during?

Other than water, the only time I ever fueled during a run was during the long runs of marathon training…although I’ve started trying to fuel a little during half marathons.  Typically I like to fuel a little before hand (too much and I get cramps) and I’m not quite sure if stuffing my face because I’m hungry actually counts as fueling afterwards…

5) Accessories: Music, Watch & More?

If I’m running outside, I have my Garmin, my water bottle and my phone which also doubles as my music.  That’s usually pretty much it.  Treadmill, I have nothing but the TV.  Does TV count as an accessory?

6) Rewards: Food, Wine, or …?

I’m almost always rungry after a run which is why I usually try and plan my runs to be done right before I was going to eat a meal (speed work while dinner is cooking, finish up a long run in time for lunch).  Pretty much at the end of every race though I like a beer (or even during a race – best mile 25.5 beer ever at WDW marathon!).

7) Type of run: Long, tempo, intervals, hill repeats, progression, or recovery/easy?

I’d say it’s a tie between intervals and easy runs.  Intervals I enjoy much more because they’re easier to handle the run intervals that way.  I only have to survive this long and then I can “rest”.  Plus it allows me to push my pace more than I typically would.  The appeal of easy runs is just that.  They’re easy.  They allow for “enjoying” the run.  No worrying about time or distance, just getting out there and relaxing in the process.  You know, that is if I actually enjoyed running :P

And there you have it!  I’m supposed to nominate some people to answer these questions, but I’m going to take the lazy way out and nominate all of you!  No, seriously, you’re all nominated.  This better show up on someone’s blog or ELSE!  (what?  It’s my blog and I can make empty threats if I want to!)

Sooooooo Somehow THIS Happened…

15 Apr

11134147_10101789031932462_1474939923023292907_n

I know what you’re thinking: WHAT DID YOU DO?!?!  Or…”I told you so”

I had originally typed this long post to discuss my 180 on making this decision, but I deleted it.  Why?  Just because.

So the point of this post?  I’m doing another marathon.  Be prepared folks.  Marathon training is coming.

Chanukah Chalf Marathon Recap

26 Mar

Yes, this recap is happening about 4 months after the fact, but better late than never right?

I’m not really sure where to begin with this recap, so let’s start with logistics.  For starters, the race was technically called the Running of the Lights, not the Chanukah Chalf as there was also a 5K and 10K option (but Chanukah Chalf sounds way better).  It was put on by NYCRuns which I was pretty pleased with after the Queens half (although I am NOT pleased that they’ve moved the Queens Half to my Easter Sunday so I can’t do it this year…bastards).

Sorry, I was digressing.  NYCRuns is a good, inexpensive, we don’t have to run in Central Park all the time racing option.  I registered for this race as part of my Goofy training plan.  Figured I would run the 13.1 and then tack on the extra 5 miles I had to do get my 18 miles in for the day.

Little did I know, the walk to the start would be a mile from the subway (or just feel that long).  The weather was actually pretty great.  I know the previous year it was freezing and WINDY, but this year, there was hardly any wind (I know because I was wishing there was some at some points) and the temperature was fairly mild for that time of year.

I’d be lying if I said I wanted to do the race that day.  I really wasn’t feeling it.  I only mention this because this would end up being a pretty big factor in how the race went.

The course is both great AND horrible at the same time.  It’s flat, super flat with maybe a microscopic hill that’s pretty much not worth mentioning.  And the scenery.  The path takes you under the Verazzano Bridge and all along the water in Brooklyn, great scenery.  The part of the course that sucks is that it’s an out and back and then a longer out and back, so there’s a 2 mile stretch that you run 4 times.  As if that’s not bad enough, this means that if you are slow like me, not only will you see everyone pass you at least once on the way back, but you get to see them pass you a second time on the way back.  That REALLY sucks.

shoreroadhalf

Sorry, apparently my course map got saved as a pdf.  Oh well, click on the link and you can see what I’m talking about.

Since I was planning on using this as a training run, I was gonna do my 4:1 intervals, since that was my plan for the marathon.  It’s a smaller race so there are no corrals, just one big free for all.  I don’t remember any type of fanfare for the start, just the people in front of me started running so I knew it was time to go!

10845948_10101566067080812_1448533267511451670_n

Not a bad view near the start and finish…I can see my office!

I was frustrated early on because I thought I was experiencing a relapse of what happened in Wine & Dine where my legs just weren’t warming up and feeling stiff the entire time.  Plus I didn’t bring any water with me, which is bad when the race only has 5 water stops.

Eventually my legs started working and that’s when mentally I just started telling myself, the faster you run, the faster you’re done.  I also started spotting some other runners and deciding I had to pass them.  I admit it, I got a little competitive.  But a realistic competitive, not a let me try for a sub 2 hour competitive.  Before I hit the first water stop (about 2 miles in) I had decided I was going to PR this race.  Why?  I don’t know.  I mean, I definitely didn’t train to PR.  I guess because I wanted to be done running as soon as I could.  This actually meant a change in my strategy.  Normally I walk the water stops because, as you may have heard me mention, I cannot run and drink water at the same time.  Instead of doing this, I grabbed the cup of water and did my best to hold on to it and not spill it all and would drink it on my interval walk break.

10403684_10101353532846122_7518717142839651788_n

Not taken during the race, but same view…

I would watch the fast runners on the way back pass me, hate them for their speed, but keep on trucking.  I used my desire to be done and my competitiveness to keep picking off runners (not many, there were not a lot of back of the packers).  But I would see a runner, decide that within x number of running intervals I would pass them (see, I was still being smart and not trying to sprint to pass them right away!)  And this was working pretty well for me.  The mile markers weren’t really there (very confusing considering the multiple out and backs) and none of them had timers on them so I had no idea what my pace was.

At some point I caved and looked at my Garmin and saw that not only could I PR, I could FINALLY get a sub 2:30 (I told you I was slow).  By mile 10, I was dying, I was dehydrated and could feel all the salt I had lost from my sweat (sorry for the TMII).  BUT, I looked at the time and saw that unless I had an EPIC collapsed, I could pull off a PR and could still possibly get that sub 2:30.  At the last water stop though, I made an executive decision.  I walked it.  I was worried it would cost me time, but I was so dehydrated and I needed to every drop of that water and couldn’t risk spilling it running while waiting until my next walk break.

I was still “battling” with runners trying to pick them off if for no other reason than to just keep my pace going.  I finally saw the finish line and began to sprint…ok that’s not entirely true.  I tried to sprint.  But I couldn’t.  But I finished!  And I PRed!  AND…drum roll please….2:29:05!  That’s right!  I finally hit sub 2:30!   I will now never mention my finish times again so that you’ll all forget how slow I am :)

17894_10101756779157282_6600273848968193034_n

I’m sweaty and dying and red but I PRed!

Would I do this race again?  Honestly, unless I lived in Brooklyn and it was super close and easy to get to…no.  I enjoyed their Queens race much better.  Although it was a 2 loop course, it had a more appropriate number of water stops, had photographers at the finish (I would have liked a finish line shot of my PR/sub 2:30 race) and had actual mile markers with timers.  But I’ll let you choose for yourself

Pros
-Super Flat
-Pretty Scenery
-Cheap Registration
-Decent Race Shirt (long sleeved)
-Chocolate Gelt at the Finish – all finish lines should include chocolate with the post-race snacks :)

Cons
-Out and Back 2x – for me this is just mentally tough
-Inconvenient To Get To – took me almost 2 hours to get there, and it’s a decent walk from the subway once you do
-Lack of Water Stops – I know not everyone hydrates as much as I do, but I’ve never had so few stops
-Eh Medals – I know medals don’t matter to a lot of people, and the design is actually really cute, but, the medal was the same whether you ran the 5K, 10K, or Half.  And it was cheaply made (the Queens Half one they did was not).
-No Photographers – disappointing if race pictures is your thing
-Had to Run Around People NOT Racing – this was not a closed course, it was on the path that was open to the public and since the weather was so nice, there were a lot of people out there walking and fishing (why you would fish in that water I don’t know) which caused issues, especially with runners in both directions.

I don’t know, perhaps my race standards are too high for this?  I could take or leave this race.

We’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat – 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Recap

17 Mar

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the wetest of times.  I know I’m overdue for this recap, but figured as long as I got it done before I registered for the 2015 Wine & Dine it acceptable.  OK, technically I registered 2 weeks ok, but I have until noon until all non-DVC and non-AP people can register, so I think I’m ok…maybe.

No doubt you have all heard tales of the rain.  SO MUCH RAIN.  So I’ll try not to mention it…other than right there.

10362356_10101566091007862_5835818282178419636_n

Only time you get to see my costume dry…

While waiting for the bus, I met up with Katherine, Ballerina Jenn  and my running partner in crime Nicole (our other running partner in crime Kim was meeting us there).  On the bus and off to the start we went!

Before the race started I was trying to coordinate a meetup with Danielle and CrossFit Jenn.  It was not going well, we couldnt seem to find each other.   BUT all hope was not lost.  Apparently while online for the port a potties Danielle was talking with CrossFit Jenn about trying to meet up with me and it just so happened that Ballerina Jenn was standln on line with them!  “I know where Kelllie is!”  And so we were able to all meet up!  Yay!  Did this story really have a point?  No, I just like it and so therefore in the recap it gets included!

10688453_10101536124261462_5066735821862996195_o

Yeah that’s right, I’m the only one not smart enough to wear any type of throwaway! Pictured (from left to right): Me, Katherine, Danielle, Kim, Nicole, Ballerina Jenn and CrossFit Jenn

I was also really excited to finally get to meet Abby!  I love how I have to come to Disney to meet with all these incredible people who live (or used to live) in the same city as me!  WDW brining people together.  Anyway…

10806293_10101536124281422_2042547451075427257_n

Abby, Me and Katherine! NYC in the house! …kinda

Before we knew it, it was time to migrate to the corrals and it was almost go time!  And of course the rain started JUST IN TIME FOR THE RACE START.

10805560_10101566063567852_4290611301345330697_n

Still without any coverage! When will I learn! *photo by marathonfoto

10626162_10101566091012852_2147358065611317376_o

And we’re off!  Heading out of Wide World of Sports and off to Animal Kingdom.  Along the course we saw a few would be photo stops but no characters at them.  It was very sad.  Just as we passed the Country Bear Jamboree set up they came out.  Darn it!  Just missed them!  Oh well, I will redeem myself during the marathon.  Whoa.  Marathon.  That’s weird to say.

As is our habit, we are providing on course entertainment with singing and dancing.  Which was fun, except…I don’t know if it was the rain or what, but my legs just did not want to warm up.  They felt so stiff, it was like running on stilts. So I was EXTRA slow.  But a few miles in and we’re at Animal Kingdom!

IMG_3675

Hey there Pluto! What’s up? How’s it hanging? Nice little dry area you got here…mind if we stay?

Just like that, we’re out of Animal Kingdom (it’s always such a blur it seems).  Midway to MGM Hollywood Studios, at around the 10K mark, I had gotten uber frustrated that my legs were STILL NOT WARM AND I WAS MOVING LIKE MOLASSES.  My frustration turned to anger and caused me to get a little stupid.  I would skip water stops (which I NEVER do) which led to me getting cramps because that’s what happens why I don’t hydrate every 5 seconds when I run despite my speed.  Needless to say, I had become a bit of a Debbie Downer on that stretch to our next park, but never fear!  If there’s one thing that snaps me out of it is…THE NARDI CHALLENGE!  No, you can never do the Nardi Challenge too many times.

IMG_3688

Even in the mud, it must get done! THE NARDI CHALLENGE IS NOT FOR WIMPS!

After that, the annoyed/frustrated/Debbie Downer funk I was in had been snapped and I was back to joining in the singing and dancing.  Given the weather, we were singing rain themed songs in addition to our usual Disney numbers.  We were even getting some requests!  Because we are kinda a big deal…

At last, we enter MGM Hollywood Studios which is always my favorite part because I LOVE THE OSBORNE LIGHTS.  I could stay there and watch and listen forever…but probably not the best time to do that in the middle of the race…

IMG_3684

OMG It’s so PRETTY!

IMG_3676

Not the best pic, but who cares! WE’RE IN DISNEY WORLD! IN THE OSBORNE LIGHTS!

Once we exit  MGM Hollywood Studios we’re so close to Epcot!  We exit, run along the secret path from the park towards the Boardwalk (and I say secret because until W&D 2012 I didn’t know it existed…sad but true).  I’m pretty sure it was a long this route that some prancercizing was done.  Because wer’re singing and prancersizing in the rain…

Characters were limited on the course, at least for us, most likely due to weather because I do remember there being more other years, so when I spotted this guy right before we run into Epcot, I HAD TO STOP!  OK, it isn’t quite the Genie character I saw during the marathon (again, that’s weird) or the one I got a shot with during Princess, but I WAS DRESSED AS THE GENIE I HAD TO STOP! …Plus the Genie was, is, and always will be one of my favorite characters ever.

IMG_3678

“The ever impressive, the long contained, often imitated, but never duplicated… Genie of the lamp!”

In Epcot, we saw my sister (did I mention anywhere here that she had come on this trip with me?  No?  Oops!  My bad!  My sister was on this trip with me, which was awesome!) and Kim’s husband and her friends.  So we stopped for a second, gave hugs, well, Kim gave hugs, me and my sis don’t roll like that…but she does take pictures of us!

IMG_3683

While Kim is busy hugging, Lisa (my sis) is busy snapping photos of the Genie and Iago

Less than a mile to go and our swim run is over!

IMG_4111

*photo by marathonfoto

WE DID IT!

IMG_4110

*photo by marathonfoto

I had never been so thankful for a mylar blanket EVER.  And actually it was my first RunDisney one, so double yay!

IMG_4109

*photo by marathonfoto

Rain or shine (although it is kind of hard to shine at night) the Wine & Dine will always be my favorite race.  I mean, how do you not love a race that hands you a beer (a good one at that, hello Yeungling) as soon as you cross the finish line?  So in the words of Arnold “I’ll be back!”  Good luck to all you registering today and I will see you in November!

2015 Glass Slipper Challenge Part II – Princess Half Marathon Recap

9 Mar

This is was the first time I’ve done a race 3 days in a row and by the time the morning of the Princess Half rolled around, I wanted to smash my phone and never visit the Tiki Room again! (That’s the song that plays when my alarm goes off.)

If you’ve been reading my blog, you may (or may not) be aware that the Princess 2012 was my very first half marathon.  Yes, that’s right, that was the birth of this RunDisney racing monster.  What you also may (or may not know) is that I ran it with my friend Cat and she is actually the ONLY reason I even ever found out of about RunDisney races.  Crazy I know.  As a result, despite this not being one of my favorite races, I will always do it when I can because I have an attachment to it…the Glass Slipper Challenge being my only chance at perfection doesn’t hurt either…

So, given that history with this race and my friend Cat, I was ecstatic to have her run it again with me!  And, well, I’m just always ecstatic to get to run with Nicole, because, hello WE ARE THE ON COURSE ENTERTAINMENT!  As an added bonus, this was her first time doing the Princess!

This is now my 3rd time doing the Princess Half and can I just say I have never experienced the issues I did this year until now.  Basically bus after bus after bus going by and being unable to get on them.  Then, when we finally did get on the bus, MAJOR traffic jam.  According to the bus driver, in past years, Disney would keep a back entrance open for the buses.  Apparently (and stupidly) they decided to NOT do that this year.  I kept hearing my bus driver say on the phone “we’re not going to make it.”  It was discovered later that he was talking about something else, but given the time, the traffic and all else, panic was kicking in!

But never fear, we all made it safely into corral in time for the race start.  AND IN TIME FOR THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE DISNEYLAND PARIS HALF MARATHON WHICH LED TO SCREAMING AND CHEERING (ok, mostly entirely from me).   Yes, since then reality has hit and I realize that from a financial standpoint, it just ain’t gonna happen which makes me very very VERY sad.  Sigh.

Moving on!

Right, so, if you all were there last year (or remember my recap from last year) it was the race of humidity death!  While the race was pretty humid again this year, it was NOTHING compared to last year, so my crankiness level (as well at the 20,000 other plus women’s) was much lower.

The course for this race is the same as the WDW Half Marathon and is essentially an out and back from Epcot to Magic Kingdom back to Epcot.  Not the most exciting, but with us on the course, it’s always enjoyable :)

I didn’t mention that the race had actually started have I?  Right, ok, so the race started!  Corrals were being sent off one by one and pretty soon it was our time to go!

Nicole had only made one request, she wanted a pic with all the princes.  Given the size of the line and the placement of the photo stop (within the first 2 miles) We skipped them, figuring we’d hit them on the way back…but we hijacked someone else’s picture just in case they were gone on the return trip.

IMG_4241

We’ll be back!

Then before we knew it (it’s always before we know it) we’re at the tollbooths to the Magic Kingdom!  Although Nicole and I noticed a lack of the announcer’s “caution runners, speed bump ahead” on repeat.  Can you tell we’ve done this a few times?

IMG_4242

A few miles later and we’re in the Magic Kingdom!  Yay!

IMG_4243

You can never have too many Castle/Main Street pictures

IMG_4345

*photo by marathonfoto

I had my camera (on my phone) set to selfie mode when I handed it to the cast member to take our picture with Buzz Lightyear.  She noticed the selfie mode and had some fun with it!  Disney CMs are the best! :)

IMG_4245

MAttie the CM having fun with my phone! Love it!

IMG_4246

“To Infinity and Beyond!” (Sorry Nicole that Cat is covering your face! I’ll yell at her)

IMG_4249

Anna and Elsa making an appearance again at the castle

IMG_4343

*photo by marathonfoto

IMG_4346

One of these days I’ll get the jumping in front of the castle picture right! *photo by marathonfoto

It always seems like we’re leaving the Magic Kingdom almost as soon as we enter it.  It’s always so sad leaving MK since it’s a loooooooooooooooooooong stretch of highway until Epcot.  Did I mention it’s a long stretch?  Because it’s a long stretch.

BUT what made it better was a Genie photo opp!  And he was vacation Genie!  After missing him in January, there was no chance I was missing him again.  In fact I’m pretty sure I gave my running buddies no choice in the matter.  I might have even yelled at them “WE ARE STOPPING FOR THE GENIE!”

IMG_4252

I can die happy now. YAY! (I kinda wish I had worn my Genie costume for this race now)

The sun was rising, it was getting hotter, none of us remembered our sunglasses, but the humidity seemed “less” bad that when the race first started.

But more importantly, right before that HORRIBLE up ramp on the way to Epcot…THE PRINCES WERE STILL OUT!!!! Line be damned!  We’re getting this picture!  Nicole had called dibs on Aladdin and I had called dibs on Flynn Ryder.  Although despite this, my friend Cat ran right for him “claiming” she didn’t know who he was.  Right…mmmm hmmm…suuuuuuuure.  I’m not bitter or anything.  I just had to show Hercules who had the guns in this group!

IMG_4260

I’m coming back for you next year Flynn! What? I don’t have an unhealthy crush on an animated character or anything…

As I mentioned, we were right before that HORRIBLE on ramp, but if you know Disney races, you know what that HORRIBLE on ramp means…NARDI CHALLENGE TIME!  Except the Green Army man was being annoying and making us work extra hard for it.  He had JUST finished posing for a picture with someone, saw us standing right there, and then proceeded to run/walk further up the hill.  Stand still man and let us do our damn push-ups!  As a result, not the best push-up shot, but we did ’em!  The tradition continues…

IMG_4279

Nardi Challenge complete!

And just like that (almost) we were back in Epcot…we were just into Epcot when we spotted this lady, and with one person on line for her!  (Is it still a line if it’s only one person?).

IMG_4267

Where was the pumpkin coach 11-12 miles ago lady?!?!

Now my favorite part of the race is coming up.  I had actually tweaked my knee entering Epcot forcing me to run even slower, but that went away momentarily for the part I live for.  The High Five stretch.  After you enter Epcot, there’s a small stretch where you run to the lake and back and you’re literally RIGHT next to the runners going in the opposite direction.  I don’t know why I love this part so much, but I love giving out high fives and words of encouragement during this short distance.  I also love cursing at those who are too “good” to give me a high five back.  “Seriously lady?  You ran around my hand?  REALLY?!?!”

IMG_4344

*photo by marathon photo

IMG_4347

*photo by marathon photo

And then Epcot was done.  But before the race was over, I had a momentary lapse and was “that person.”  You know “that person” you always tell people to not be during a race.  Well this specific “that person” is the person who jumps right in front of another runner and jacks their picture.  I, very wrongly, did it to Nicole.  But when it comes to Goofy You Son of a Bitch, my mind gets a little cloudy.  Sorry Nicole!  But I had to high five Goofy You Son of a Bitch!

IMG_4348

I was so “that person” and I’m ashamed. Goofy You Son of a Bitch made me do it! *photo by marathon photo

Afterwards we got to meet up with Super Speedy Princess Lisa and Kim, who came down (or up) just to cheer for us!   We also had a travel sized version of Rachel with us as she was the only accountability who could not make it (it’s ok, she’ll make it up at Wine & Dine!)

IMG_4282

We love you Rae!

Kim has also made us each our own personalized signs!  Because she is that awesome!

IMG_4297

Box jumps are evil…

And, because Doug was not here this trip, Lisa was amazing and had a beer waiting for me!  These ladies are the best!

IMG_4268

No race is complete without a beer!

Just like that, another Princess Half Marathon complete, another Glass Slipper Challenge in the books and I’ll be back to maintain my challenge perfection next year!  Hopefully these fabulous ladies will be there too :)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 142 other followers