Sunday, March 18, 2012

Publix Marathon recap

So I had signed up for the Publix Georgia Half Marathon a while ago. For the last week or so I had been contemplating switching to the full. I kept going back and forth - like it'd be so awesome to have a second marathon done but I want to try to PR again in the 1/2 and it'd be easier and I'm not sure if my body would be able to handle it. I hadn't done any real training since Disney. My longest run post Disney was 12! But at the expo, my legs seemed to feel okay and I just went ahead and did it and switched to the full. I didn't really tell anyone because I was afraid I was going to have problems and not finish.
So Saturday I got some carbs in, rested my legs most of the day and then tried to get to bed early. Nice thing was I was able to sleep until almost 5 - for Disney I had to get up at 245am.

I ended up getting there late - after I checked my gear, I started to the corrals and they were already playing the anthem! I didn't get a chance to make a pitstop and finally snuck into Corral E - since the race had already started.

First two miles was mostly just trying to get there as fast as I could because I had to go to the bathroom. Then until the split at mile 7, it was pretty easy going. There were some nice cheering sections. At the split it was pretty crazy to see the amount of runners staying on the half - seeing as I had been in the same spot the last two years - there's a LOT of runners. But after the split, it was soo quiet.

The hills started. I made a couple more stops to go to the bathroom before mile 13 but was okay after that. When I came up on the 1/2 point, I was surprised that I was a good 10 min faster than I had done at Disney (since I felt I was walking so much).

There were so few runners (due to the fact that there were less than 2k marathon finishers and that I'm so slow) that sometimes it was tough to know where the course was. I never had any trouble because the course support was great but it felt kind of lonely at times when there was only a few people that you could see. Finally made it back downtown - yay - and the Tech area. It was nicer here because we were back on the 1/2 course so the cheering was back up. Got to Tech and saw my time and knew I was going to PR by then (even if I had to walk the rest). So I tried to run when I could - got to the last mile - and saw the 1/4 mile left sign. And I started booking it when I saw the finish line and the time.

Feet are killing me and I've chaffed in places I didn't know could get chaffed but #2 is done. After Disney I didn't think I'd run another but got it in my head that I really wanted to finish under 5. So I'm happy I did it.

My Disney time was 5:05, and I finished this one in 4:50!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Disney Marathon recap

I finished!!!
Here's a long LONG recap of the weekend...

So on Thursday I had my last PT session. Everything felt great - I go back to the orthopedic this week and if all looks good I'll be officially discharged from PT.

Friday morning - sent the kids off to school and headed out. We got to Disney around 4ish and went and got checked in and then took the shuttle to the Expo. Got my bib and bought a shirt. I was really looking for those car stickers that are for marathons but have Disney on them - but we couldn't find them. Got my shirt and bag and headed back to the hotel.

We went out to dinner with Allen's brother and his fiance at the Cheesecake factory. I got some cheesecake for dessert :) Went back to the hotel and went pretty much straight to bed. We were both tired.

Saturday morning - got up pretty early and had breakfast at the hotel. Then off to Hollywood Studios since it had early hours. It was so empty! We rode Star Tours - there were only 2 other people with us during our ride. Went to RockNRoller coaster and no wait there either. Then we rode Tower of Terror (no wait). We were thinking of riding Toy Story but the wait there was the longest.

Went to Animal Kingdom and rode Everest a couple of times and Dinosaur. It was getting close to lunchtime then so we headed back to the hotel - I really didn't want to hurt my feet by walking around a lot. We were just going to have lunch and rest and then go back out but we both fell asleep.

We got dinner and then I stayed at the hotel while Allen went back out to Epcot. I had a dinner of pasta and chicken and it was decent for it being a hotel meal. I was in bed by 8pm and probably had the light off around 9pm.

Of course I had trouble sleeping and finally around 2:45am gave up and got up and showered and dressed. Had a quick meal of bread and pnut butter and apples and I was ready to head to the bus around 330am.

This is the part I hate about races. We got to Epcot around 4am and I just sat around and waited until 430 before putting my warm clothes in my bag and doing bag check. Then the wait for the bathrooms before heading to the start line. I remember thinking last year that the walk to the start line was super long. We're like cattle getting lined up in our corrals! Got to my corral just after the anthem.

My corral was set to start at 5:47am but I think we went a little early - there wasn't a whole lot of time between them letting us go. It was cool seeing fireworks for each start.

So finally our corral is ready and we head off. Just like last year, the first mile went by super fast. I started out a slower pace - it ended up being about a 11min/mile and I kept that up for the first 5 or so miles. I was feeling really good.

Got into Magic Kingdom and I have to say that getting in there is such a rush - all of the people cheering for you along Main Street. Then through Tomorrowland towards FantasyLand. Seeing the castle and running through is still a highlight of the entire race.

Out of MK - took my bathroom break around mile 12 and came up on mile 13 and the relay runners headed off to switch. Got to 1/2 point and some girls ahead of me started singing Bon Jovi - "Whoaaa..we're halfway there...." My time at the half was decent - around 2:23 - so I was feeling pretty good. I was still doing well - no pain and still running.

Finally came to Animal Kingdom - not as amazing as running under the signs for Epcot or at least next to it for Magic Kingdom but the workers were saying "welcome to AK". Saw lots of animals on the side that people were getting pictures of. It was kind of smelly but finally we got into the park and ran through. It was cool going past all of the places we had walked through on Saturday.

I think I finally started walking a bit. I think AK was miles 17-19 or so. I was doing well with water stops - doing Powerade then Water. Had my Sports Beans.

Got to mile 20 and I remember thinking I was doing well as far as time. I was 40 minutes faster than my 20 mile training run. Of course Disney is pretty flat and I always tend to go faster in races. By that time my feet were starting to really hurt. I had used some BioFreeze on my ankles and neck so they were doing good.

I was alternating walking and running. Got into Hollywood Studios and it was open so there were lots of people in the park. So fun running through crowds! Each mile seemed to take a lot longer - but that was probably because I was walking more. Ran along the Boardwalk - that was kind of fun.

And then - we were back in Epcot. The feeling of getting in and running through the World Showcase was just amazing. Seeing mile 25 was like the best feeling ever. One lady tapped me on the shoulder and was just like - "You DID it!" I think she was running Goofy. And seeing mile 26 and knowing I only had .2 miles to go - ran as fast as I could as we headed out of Epcot to the finish line. Saw Donald and Goofy and I gave Goofy a high five as I passed in. And DONE. In 5:05!! I was predicting 5:30 so I'm extremely happy with my time - though now I wish I had run just a little more to get it under 5 - oh well ;)

When I finished my first half I definitely did not feel the same overwhelming sense of accomplishment. I got my MEDAL and foods and went to get my bag and sent a txt to Allen saying that I was done. Unfortunately he missed me crossing the finish line since he was looking for a different color shirt. But I was able to give him a hug when I finally saw him.

Just the BEST feeling in the world. My only pains at that point were my feet and it was slow going to the bus. Got some coffee at the hotel and just rested a while before showering and heading back out to the park. Wore my medal and it was so cool to have people congratulating you. We only stayed long enough to ride Space Mnt and Thunder Mnt, People Mover and Pirates. We also had lunch there and got a Ice Coffee Float - got presents and back to the hotel to rest.

It was just a wonderful weekend - I can't wait to do it again!!