Disney Dopey Challenge - Half Marathon

I had run two of the four races of the Dopey Challenge Weekend and had an awesome time out with the Magic Milers. There were still two races left and these were the big ones. 13.1 and 26.2 miles of magical Disney fun. I still wasn't nervous. I had run my fair share of halves and even though I wasn't fully prepared I knew I could make it through. And it was Disney - I was going to have fun.

The alarm clock went off at a crazy early hour again. My only complaint about Disney races is how early you have to wake up. You want to enjoy all that Disney has to offer when you are there for a whole weekend, but unless you're in bed by 8pm you are TIRED when you wake up. I was alone that morning since Adam had to work so I got ready and had my typical bagel with peanut butter pre-race breakfast. Then I made the trip to the shuttle buses to Epcot. This was becoming routine. 

I met up with some of the Magic Milers I had met the day before and of course there was always the pre-race chatter. Then it was off to our corrals. I walked the wrong way and ended up in my corral late. It wound up working out OK because I'm not in any of the first corrals so there's plenty of time before we even start to move up. Fireworks went off for each corral and finally we got to mine. And I was off. 

Fireworks at each corral start

I tried to just keep a slow and steady pace. I knew I wasn't feeling 100% since I was getting over a sinus infection, I knew I wasn't trained for this race, and I knew I had 26.2 miles to run the very next day. The marathon distance scared me. I tried to push those thoughts out of my head and just focus on the 13.1 ahead of me. I could do this. 

Running towards the entrance to Magic Kingdom

It's always a fun part of the race when you get to run through Magic Kingdom. To me, there's something magical about running through the entrance, all lit up. Maybe I'm just a big kid, but I just love it. 

It was very shortly after entering the Magic Kingdom that I spotted Justin (one of the Magic Milers). I believe it was around mile 4. I said hello and we started talking about what kind of pace we were running. I had forgotten to put my watch on that morning so I had no idea how fast at what pace I was running. I told him I would try to keep up with him for as long as I could, but for him to just go ahead when I got too slow.

We wound up talking the whole time and he pushed me when I needed the motivation to keep going. And he pushed me to keep going even when I didn't. It was sort of a love/hate relationship at some points. (Just kidding, you know you're awesome Justin). I was excited about the fact that Justin kept me going, but also afraid that I was pushing myself too hard considering the fact that I had a full marathon the next day. 

Justin and I

I ran the rest of the race with Justin. From the moment we met up around mile 4, to the moment we crossed the finish line we ran together. There were times during that race where I wanted to give up, or run slower, or walk and he kelp me going. There were times I was hard on myself for being slower than my normal half-mrathon speed, but he kept my mind off of the negatives. We crossed the finish and I had a time of 3:08:09. 

I was a little disappointed in my time, that was my WORST half marathon time ever. But I kept reminding myself that I didn't train and I had also run two races prior. I was still doing things that some people never even try to do, and for that I should be proud of myself. 

I went and got my 3rd wristband saying I completed the half. I got my medal. I chatted with some of the milers for a little while and then I decided it was time to shower and rest up. And I needed some food.

Showing off the bling

I had run 3 of the 4 Dopey Challenge Races. One one was left. The monster of them all - the full marathon.

My Other Dopey Challenge Race Posts Can Be Found Here:

Magic Milers Meetup 
The Inaugural DisneyWorld 10k
Disney World 5k