Nobody cares if you're not a good dancer. Just get up and dance. The same holds true for racing. Whether first or last, we all cross that same finish line. Just get out there and run.
- Dean Karnazes

Monday, March 7, 2011

Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend Race Report - My First Half

The race report... FINALLY! *Warnings- Picture heavy post and a bit of TMI*

All the Garmin stats are HERE

So, I had set my alarm for 2 am, and I woke up before that. Only I would take my phone and take a picture of the alarm clock when I got up.

I got myself dressed, and made my breakfast, but sadly my breakfast exploded. See, the evidence of said explosion. We ate, and headed out to meet the driver from the car service that took us to Epcot for the race.

We got to Epcot and were pretty sure that we were the first people there. We actually weren't that wrong, we were some of the first people there, but I felt a lot better knowing that we were there, even if it was ridiculously early.

This pic cracks me up because it looks like I'm droppin' it like it's hot.

In case you didn't know, Saturday was the Day of Dance and we had to celebrate, even if it was a day late. There was a DJ, music and lights, so we had to dance. We requested a few songs, and I started teaching a little impromptu Zumba class. Ok, so it was more like me dancing but eventually I got a couple of princesses to join in. Someone was recording it, and I would love to see it. After a few songs, I decided that it was time for a potty break, so in the ever growing lines we went. You'll never guess who I happened to run into while I was waiting.... none other than RR and Lesley! It was a meeting none of us will ever forget. 

So, before I forget, I wrote on my arm to remind me of a few things during the race. First of all, was a reminder to STICK TO THE PLAN. Sadly, I didn't stick to the plan, I let me brain get the better of me towards the end, but I will definitely do a million times better next time. I am going to win this mental battle I seem to have every race. The other stuff I wrote on my arm was inspired by Kelly, ok, I totally stole her idea and dedicated each mile to someone. My first mile was dedicated to God, and each mile after that was dedicated to people who have been influential in my weight loss and running journey. Just so you know, I ran a mile for all of you, you guys were mile 8. Sadly, there weren't enough miles for every person that I wanted to run for, but there will be more races.

We made the seemly endless trek to the start, but not without two more stops at the porta potties. I was so scared to lose time stopping to pee during the race, little did I know that I would have to stop during the race regardless. Once we finally made it to Corral F (F for F***ing FAR), we tried to shimmy our way to the front, or at least as far to the front as we could manage. We watched the faster waves go, and each time the Fairy Godmother sent them off, I got chills. Finally, they got to us, she said her little spiel but it seemed a little lack lustre compared to the others, she might have been out of magic by then, or maybe I was being overly critical, both of which are completely possible. We were off like a herd of turtles....

We started strong, but sadly spent a LOT of time at the beginning just trying to get through the crowds. People were walking more than 2 deep, and taking up a ton of space. I ended up running on the grass a few times just to be able to pass. K and I called when we were passing on the left or right, but some people just wouldn't budge and some looked at us like we were insane. In case you were on the course in our general area, we were the loud broads talking about a few inappropriate things, and randomly yelling things like "woohoo", "go us", and "we're all so bad ass". Karen and I were in a great mood but a lot of the people around us were grumpy/serious princesses. I get that they were there to get it done, but I just thought that we would have fun getting done. We did find a few people along the way who were super awesome and tons of fun. I guess I thought that the super happy vibe that I expected and heard about would trickle all the way down to the back of the pack. We even ran into Sarah, and a friend of Shannon's, but we didn't end up running with them. So, we did end up stopping to use the bathroom right by the Richard Petty thing, we lost almost 10 minutes there. Can you believe that?! When we were done, K and I "sprinted" to try and make up some time and we managed to catch up to some of the people we had left when we broke off to pee. Anyways, not too far from the Contemporary, there were some pretty gymnast boys doing their thing, and we sped up and tried to look all cool when we passed them but not before yelling out something about how hot they were. We made one of them blush. 

This was the last picture my phone took before I couldn't get to the screen anymore
from the salt from my face. I was trying to post on Facebook along the way.
There were four of these along the way.
Before we knew it, we were heading into the Magic Kingdom. Where was the time going? It was all I could do to keep it together as we were making our way through Main Street. I know it seems silly that I cry or get all misty eyed at so many races, but I think it just hits me that I have come so far in the past year. In February, of 2010, I had started the weight loss thing but running wasn't even on my radar, I was just a different person. Back to the race, we made our way through Tomorrowland and made our way into Fantasyland, and there it was, the castle. We stopped for a picture in front of the castle, but when we looked for it through ASI's site, it was no where to be found. It was the only picture stopped to take.... go figure. In MK, K and I were chatting and somehow decided that February 27th is New Lucy's birthday. Old Lucy, who was weighing me down is dead and gone, and we buried her just outside of the Magic Kingdom. All of that is silly, I know, but there was something about finally mentally letting go of the 200+ pounds that have still been weighing me down that was very empowering.

This was a surreal moment, I had been looking forward to
this moment for so long.
Woohoo!!! GO US!!! 
So, let's get down to some knitty gritty of the race. I was doing well sticking to the hydration plan, I was alternating powerade and water. Plus I was also making it a point to pour some water on my head at water stops so I wouldn't get too hot. Unfortunately, the fuel plan sort of back fired on me, and I had no issues with it during training. I ingested entirely too much caffeine with the GU and blocks, FATAL error. I had some awful GI issues during the race but I refused to stop, because I didn't want to lose any time. Had I stopped, I probably wouldn't have slowed down as much as I had towards the end. Stupid move on my part....lesson learned. I didn't even finish the fuel I had left in my spibelts because I just didn't know if my stomach could take it. Also, learned a valuable lesson about chafing. I won't go into detail but I just didn't know that there were certain things that needed to be hit with glide. Yowzers!

Best sign I saw on the run

Nine miles in!! 
K and I were briefly separated when she raced ahead to use the restroom. I put my headphones in and jammed out. I had my hands up, I was randomly hooting and hollering, and probably annoying the crap out of the people around me but I was having fun. When K and I reunited, we even ran into a lady I know from the gym. As we went along, I slowly started to wilt, mentally speaking, I was turning to mush. You can look at the garmin stats and watch me fall apart. When the pace really slowed, is when the plan went out the window. Around mile 10, K ran ahead, we had agreed that if one of us needed to speed ahead, we would let the other go, so I let her go. Although, it made me a bit sad because I was already teetering on the edge of losing it mentally, I knew that I had to prove to myself that I could finish this out on my own without K. I dug deep and tried to keep going, so I kept telling myself something that Amy had said to me the night before... "finish the drill". I knew that I had one thing to do and it was finish the drill, and part of shedding old Lucy meant finishing the drill. I was beating myself up about how slow I was, and not even thinking that I was doing the damn thing. Then it happened, we were coming into Epcot, we were in the area right before we went into the park when I started wheezing. I couldn't get a handle on it, so I got my inhaler out and took two hits. I started feeling some relief, but I wasn't 100%, I struggled with it until the end. Why did this come on? It hit me that I was going to finish this thing, and I had a bit of a panic issue. At that point there wasn't any other option than to finish. I also cried during all of this because I just couldn't believe that I was going to finish it. Darn it, I'm crying writing this out. Anyways, a lady beside me started chatting with me when I was tearing up, and I told her my story and she told me all about her husband who has started his own weight loss journey. Thank heavens for her! Then, right at mile 12, there was a girl who was looking like she was going to fall apart, so I chatted with her for a bit, and maybe help her like the other lady had done for me. Then, we turned to leave Epcot and what do I hear... the gospel choir. I completely lost it, it just touched me so much. The lady who helped me earlier and I stopped to take pics at mile 13, and then she said "you know we have to run the rest of the way in". That's just what we did. I ran past Mickey and Minnie, and I wish I hadn't, I just finished. I stopped to take a picture for some people and then K found me. Somehow she managed to stick around the finish line and wait for me. As soon as I saw her, I broke down into the ugly cry yet again. We hugged, and I told her that I still didn't have a handle on my breathing. She said that I needed to get to the medical tent, I told her no. Why you ask?! I needed to get my medal first, I didn't go through that and not get my bling. So, I leaned on a guard rail thing while I waited for my medal. As soon as I got it, I had her walk with me over to the medical tent.

Only one mile to go. Can you tell that there were tears involved?

My new friend was kind enough to take this picture for me.

Not sure where this was taken.

Again, there were tears just before this picture was taken.

I got it done! 
Had to get a pic of the medal before getting medical attention 
The medical team they had on had was awesome. They got me checked in and taken care of incredibly quickly. I had a team of doctors checking me out within minutes of getting there. They did hear some wheezing but we managed to get a handle on the breathing and I stayed in the tent until everything was back to normal. Can I tell you what the sad part about being part of the penguin crew? When we cross the finish line, the party is pretty much over. Everyone has scattered, even picking up my bag after they discharged me was sad because I had to go to a completely different tent where they had the last bags waiting on pick up.
Can't believe I forgot to take the ice pack off my back! Who does that?

We headed over to the taxi pick up place to meet the car that was picking us up. We stunk like we had just finished 13.1 miles, I felt so bad for the driver because we smelled so bad. Then when we pulled up to the Mona Lisa, I yelled something out of the car window which was so stupid on my part. Ugh, I stuck my foot in my mouth yet again. We got ourselves showered up, put on our "I Did It" tees that we bought at the expo, packed up and headed to Golden Corral. Sadly, Foodmaggedon which we had planned was a total flop, but the intent for it was there. We got an A for effort.

You may have to click on this one to see what the signs say


Jennifer said...

I'm so happy for you and gosh darn proud too! I wish I was there with you like we had planned last year but my life got in my way. You did it, and I always knew you would. You have a kind heart and strong determination, you will do anything you want in life Lucy! Love you!

Lucy said...

Thank you so much Jen! I love you tons!! HUGS!!!!

Teamarcia said...

Congrats! What an awesome accomplishment! You go girl!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I absolutely loved your recap of the race, simply fabulous. This was my first half too and like you it was truly an emotional event.

Amy said...

Totally crying as I read this!!! So proud you "finished the drill"

Anonymous said...

Haha! I wish I could be so happy at mile 9 of my runs! I guess toutous and tiaras do that to you! Amazing accomplishment! Great job!:-)

Liz Finch said...

Lucy, you are my new inspiration. I'm losing weight, too, and my goal is to run the DP1/2 in 2012. Your post got me all teary-eyed. Way to go having a positive attitude even when others weren't!!!

Cheers, and you have a new follower!
L Finch

The Accidental Runner said...

Awesome job finishing your first half! You did a great job reviewing it as well-I loved reading about how you felt during the race. I could definitely feel the emotion. So happy for you!!!!

FruitFly said...

I have read your report so many freaking times - it is about time I comment!

Mentally losing it -- I was right there with you! The heat just zapped me. I think it fried my brain. I was just clomping along wanting my mom. Thank Heavens for Lesley! Seriously!

I love all of your pictures and your whole story in general! We wanted to stay and watch all of our fellow bloggers finish - but at the same point we looked at each other while wandering around in the aftermath and were like "um, my tummy doesn't love me, it's hot, I'm tired, let's go." I was on such a high - yet my body was NOT loving that weather at all.

So now that's behind us .... I cannot wait to see our post-Vegas reports!! I'm already sweet talking my drag queens into coming out to cheer at the start. Can you imagine?

In conclusion, and most important .... CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

Lucy said...

Thank you all so much!

RR- I cannot wait for Vegas!!! How cool would it be if they really do come out to cheer at the start!

Meggan said...

Way to go!! I am a new follower and plan on reading your blog today!

Kelly said...

Congratulations, Lucy!!!!

I loved reading your race report and I'm so touched you used my "Don't Quit on Their Mile" strategy. You have some AWESOME pictures here and it looks like you are really having a blast. I am totally redoing the Wine and Dine this year to enjoy it like you enjoyed this race. I want fun happy race pictures too! Even though you say you lost it mentally towards the end, you totally HAD this thing from the very begining. I'm so proud of you!

And I totally understand what you mean about the party wrapping up once you finish. Almost all of the water stops I passed toward the end of my first half were making comments like, "Are we almost done?" "Is this the last of them?" It totally sucked and didn't help with my mental state.

Now I'm totally jealous of all the blogger love out there and I want to do Vegas just to hang with you guys.

Congrats again, Lucy! You are such an inspiration!

Morgan said...

I just found your blog through Just Trying is for Little Girls, and when I saw that you did a half-marathon recently I had to read about it. I am signed up for the Disneyland Half in September, which will be my first ever half, and reading your recap was just so inspiring. I got teary and gaspy and all. I am at the point in my training when I just don't want to do it anymore, and I am feeling so hard on myself, but reading what you accomplished really gives me hope. I can't wait to read more of your blog.

Lucy said...

Morgan- You are so sweet! I completely understand about hitting the wall in your training. Go and enjoy your first half, you can worry about time and all that other stuff at your next race.

Crystal said...

This is so inspiring! I've signed up for my first Half for the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2013! I'm so nervous. I have weight to lose but determined! Good Job with the race!

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