Disney Half Marathon!

This past weekend was the Disney World half marathon. I've been looking forward to this race for a while, because Disney is always tons of fun. I headed over to Disney on friday afternoon so I could pick up my race packet.

When I got there I was able to get my corral changed, thanks to some good advice! I was originally in corral D, but based on my recent race times I got switched to B. Exciting. I guess I've really improved since I registered for this race!
Corral Upgrade!

The expo was super crowded and the booths were so close to each other. It was a nightmare. I didn't really spend much time there looking around. You would think I would be used to crowds like that, since I am from NYC, but I just don't like it.

At ESPN Wide World of Sports

Then it was off to carb-load. I got some dinner and then headed back to the hotel. I was determined to get a sufficient amount of sleep. That meant I was going to have to go to bed very early, considering I was to wake up at 2:45am. Crazy!! I got all of my stuff together. I had bought some new funky shorts I was excited to wear and I had my Minnie Mouse ears ready! I just hoped they would stay on for the length of the race. I also bought some body glide, because at the last half I did I chaffed for the first time. I wasn't going to make that mistake again! It was painful during the race.
Got my stuff ready to go!
I got in bed at 8:30. I wasn't really tired, but I was going to try and force myself to sleep. That didn't work. I was tossing and turning and just couldn't get comfortable. Every so often I'd go on Facebook or instagram. Check out what everyone else had done in preparation for the race. Last I looked it was around 11:30pm. I think I finally fell asleep around then. 

My alarm went off at 2:30am. Then again at 2:45am. I DID NOT want to get out of bed. I realized it was 3 the next time I looked at the clock and had to jump up and get ready. Outfit on, CEP sleeves, watch, body glide, Minnie Ears!, GU, phone.  I had a small cliff bar and made myself a shake. I definitely needed fuel for this race. Couldn't run out on an empty stomach. Then off to Epcot I went. 

There were tons of people lined up and waiting to go. I looked for my corral entrance and started walking to the start line. It's a bit of a walk since there are so many runners. 

Before the race

I waited at the start. in my new speedy corral, for a while. Then the first wave of runners were off. Fireworks filled the sky. I remembered loving that from the Tower of Terror race I did back in September. 
Fireworks at the start!

Then Donald Duck counted down for corral B - 3, 2, 1! I was off and running through magical Disney.  I had a lot of energy to start out, but within the first two miles my ankles started hurting. I have weak ankles, and I'm not sure how to fix this exactly. I have to research this and start working on building strength there. I kept going. The race was fun, there were lots of people dressed up in different costumes and fun outfits. There was a group of four guys dressed up as the cast from Aladdin. It was Aladdin, Jafar, Genie (with full blue face) and Abu (yes, full monkey outfit). I think they were my favorites. 

I got to Magic Kingdom and got excited to run through that park. I ran under the entrance sign and of course had to try and take a picture. 
Entering Magic Kingdom!

Then I ran towards Cinderella's castle. They still had the icicle lights up on the castle, and I absolutely love when it's done up like that. I also had to stop and snap a pic of the castle. It was an amazing experience running through the park with the castle lit up in front of me. I've been to Disney quite a few times, and I love it. But there was something different about the experience of racing through the park and seeing it like that. 
Running by Cinderella's Castle!

I was doing really well with time and pace, but I kept seeing all these character stops and I decided that it was Disney. I needed to have fun. It's not always about your race time, or having a better pace than the race before. You need to let yourself have fun with running sometimes, and this was the perfect place to do it. I stopped after running by the castle to take a picture with Belle and the Beast.
Me, the Beast, and Belle

The line was a little long and I knew my time would suffer, but I didn't care. I wanted to at least get one or two good character pictures. After the picture I started running again. 

I wound up talking to people during the race, which is something I love about runners and racing. Everyone is so friendly and social. Two of the conversations were on the hills towards the end of the race. A guy stopped me and said he hated the hills. I agreed. He said he was taking it easy because he was doing the goofy challenge. And then he told me that the next days full would be his first marathon. Crazy! Then he sped off in front of me. He was just taking it easy! Impressive!

I stopped for another picture with Lilo and Stitch.
Lilo and stitch!

I got a bit tired during the last few miles, but I made it to the finish. My official time was 2:33:07. Not bad at all knowing I stopped for pictures!
In Epcot, almost finished!

After the race I took some finisher pictures.
And I'm done!

I also saw Jim, who was only partially done with his race weekend. He ran the Goofy challenge (full and half). That's something I definitely want to put on my bucket list!
Me and Jim

I also got the pleasure of meeting Jen! We became instagram friends and have been following each other. She's super encouraging and an awesome runner! I was excited to get to meet her at the end of the race. And she doesn't live far, and we have some of the same races planned. Hope to be running a race or two with her in the future!
Me and Jen!

After the race I headed back to the hotel to shower and head back to Tampa. I was proud of my finish time and my fancy Donald Duck medal. Couldn't wait to add it to my collection. And couldn't wait to see my friends later for the St. Pete Glow Run!!

More about the glow run on a later post =)