We woke up at about 2:30 AM (it still makes me tired thinking about that...) and threw on our costumes and headed to the bus.
We got to the run site and had music to listen to and lots of other princesses and princes to look at for a few hours. We then walked towards our corral. (We were all in corral C). After count downs and entertainment it was finally our chance to start (around 5:40 something).
The race started off really well. The first 9 miles one of my friends and I stayed together...after we hit mile 9 though she was able to maintain our speed...and I had to slow down a bit.
Throughout the entire race there were water/powerade stops (Thank you Disney!). There were characters that if you chose to you could stop and take pictures with, I was concentrating on the "I want to actually finish this" piece so I didn't stop (except once in front of the castle). There was some entertainment with bands, a choir, and all sorts of things. The best part was running through magic kingdom.
First, the crowd was really into it...everyone was screaming and cheering for every single runner. And let me tell you...I placed 9,097...so there were a LOT of other runners in front of me. We got to loop around the park and ran through Cinderella's castle. It was awesome...and definitely gave me a boost at the point where I was getting a little tired.
I definitely struggled the last 4 miles of the race. My feet and legs started to cramp, my ankle started to tighten up. I had to walk a few times throughout those 4. The volunteers (who were awesome throughout the entire race) definitely helped with cheering runners on, providing water, biofreeze, and Gu. But those last 4 they seemed extra loud and extra encouraging...which is definitely what I needed. Though...they kept saying, "You're almost there." and it felt like that was a lie. Haha. But, when I finally turned that last corner and saw the finish line...that was one of the most amazing feelings in the world. I was about to complete a half marathon. I was about to have just finished 13.1 miles. I definitely choked back some tears (which is extra difficult when you're running).
I couldn't believe I finished...even when the volunteer handed me my medal, even after I had been sprinkled with fairy dust, even after I waited in line, not really knowing what it was for to get my picture taken. I just couldn't believe it. It goes to show you, if you think you can do something and you work for it...you can. I mean, I ran cross country in high school but normally couldn't finish/run all of those 3.2 mile races. And here I was, having just done a 1/2 marathon. I've been a diabetic since I was 16 months old, but here I was holding a medal saying I'd just completed a 1/2 marathon. Was it fast? No. It took me 2 hours 49 minutes and 19 seconds. The winner did it in about 1 hour 17 minutes. But I didn't even care. I'd just finished.
I really do want to thank my friends who were there with me. My friends and family who cheered me on from afar and all of those people cheering, whether it was friends/family of other runners, volunteers, Disney employees or the other runners. That's what I've loved about running, it doesn't matter how fast you are, it doesn't matter what your final time is...if you're trying, they're cheering you on. I love that. I absolutely love that about running. People appreciate your attempt, your effort. And it's everyone...crowds and fellow runners alike. That's amazing to me.
So, in this long detailed race story you're probably wondering...I thought this was a crafting blog? No fears! I did do a craft. Very, very simple. It's a shadow box for my race bib and medal. I figured since I got such a huge sense of accomplishment, I want to be able to display the medal for those days when I'm feeling a little down. And remember..."hey, you ran 13.1 miles...you've got this."
Michael's is typically having sales on their frames which is awesome. I got my shadow box for about $13. And here it is: