Getting up that early wasn’t as bad as I had assumed it would be. I got out of bed and made myself half a bagel with peanut butter. I paced the room as I ate it. I wanted to eat something first in case my stomach decided to act up. After having a conversation with Judy a few nights before I had been worrying I was going to have a Bridesmaids moment. You know the scene where she is in the wedding dress and runs out in the middle of the street and starts going to the bathroom? Yea, I didn’t want that to be me. That’s the edited version. For those of you who don’t get it.. I’m talking about pooping here people! For PG purposes I now call it ‘evacuating the dance floor’. Feel free to use it. Maybe next time you are running and you REALLY have to go you can just yell out I have to evacuate the dance floor!! and everyone will get out of your way… but I digress. .
So after I got ready I went down to the front to meet up with Lara and catch the bus. I didn’t get very far because the line for the bus was wrapped around the pool and ended right near my room. Thankfully it moved quickly and soon we were on our way. The traffic was insane so I am glad we took the bus over to Epcot instead of driving. Once we got off the bus we walked towards what I call the runners village and waited for Andrea. Once she got there the 3 of us headed inside and waited for them to announce it was time to walk to our corrals. On the way I stopped to use the bathroom because I knew I still had about 1 ½ hours before the race would start. We walked as close to the front of our corral as we could and just stood there and talked. Finally it was our time to walk to the starting line. It seems like it took forever to get there. I cannot tell you how many times that morning I said “this is happening!’. It must have been at least 100. We didn’t start until 6:30. So imagine being up since 2:45 waiting for this thing to start! AHHHH!! They played called me maybe on the way to the starting line so belting that out like a rock star calmed my nerves. A few words from the Fairy Godmother and we were on our way.
My legs were very tight. I had to keep stopping to walk. The good news is a I am faster walker then I had originally thought I was so it wasn’t too hard for me to keep up. Lara had went on her way and Andrea and I trucked along. Mile one came pretty quickly which surprised me because normally that’s the longest mile. At some point after that.. or maybe right before.. we saw the winner of the race running on the other side of the road to the finish line. I said out loud how I thought she was a pain in the ass. We had just started.. COME ON! Some older lady next to us said “yea, but she is younger.” To which I looked over at Andrea like hello how old does she think we are?? There were characters and DJs at different points of the races to keep you going. They had people with signs that said things like ‘there is a pedicure in your future’ and other random stuff like that. I had to use the bathroom (of course) but I held it in until we got to the real bathrooms in Magic Kingdom.
Right before we went into the entrance to Magic Kingdom (the one where you pay for parking) we saw Lara for a few minutes and we kept going. Running down main street was awesome. Seeing all of the people with signs waiting for their friends and family made me tear up just a little. We finally got to the castle, the moment we had been waiting for, and we had to walk through. Yes! Walk! There were so many people going at the same time it was more like a slow crawl. I was a little disappointed with that and I am sure I was not the only one. That was one of the cons about this race. With a little over 26,000 people running it was crowded at times. It might have been better for the people in the front corrals but being in the last one meant we were behind all of the slower people from the corrals ahead of us. At some points it was impossible to get around people. They tell you not to walk in a big group but to move to the side so people can pass you but of course people don’t listen. It doesn’t help that I am not into the whole weaving in and out of people to get in front. What if I tripped and hurt myself? It’s one thing if it’s just the beginning of the race but when you have to do it the whole time it gets a little ridiculous. I spent most of the race chasing Andrea’s speed demon self anyway. I told her she could have just left me and I would be fine but she insisted on staying. Start together, finish together. That’s how it went.
After the Castle I finally stopped to use the restroom. There wasn’t a line! That was awesome! It did take me forever though to get my pants back on the right way but that’s alright. They held me in nice and tight during the race. After magic kingdom we headed down some more back roads and around mile 10 Lara caught up with us at that point which made me happy. We hadn’t planned on running together but it was nice to finish together. That was also the point we had to run up the ramp. We walked it but still once we got over it I thought that was it. I was wrong. There was 2 more after that! The good news is once we got over the last one we were at mile 12!!!!!!! Woooo! Almost there. At that point there were other girls who had finished leaving beeping their horns and hanging their medals out the windows. I am still not sure if this was motivating or annoying 🙂
Heading into Epcot we knew it was almost over yet we couldn’t find the 13 mile marker! Where was it?!??! I keep yelling ‘I don’t want to finish yet, I don’t want to finish yet!”. HA! You would think after 3 hours I would be ready to finish but I wasn’t. I wanted it to last forever. I still wasn’t ready to let go of that moment. However, I had no choice. It was time. We passed the choir and the 13 mile marker and there it was, beyond some bushes and a slight turn, the finish line. I was so happy I couldn’t stand myself. I just kept saying keep smiling they are taking your picture. We saw Ross, Sergio, Amelia & Liam. We waved. We then saw Kris and Klara, waved again.. and it was over. We had crossed the finish line. 13.1 miles and I felt like that was the fastest 3 hours of my life! Andrea and I hugged, got our fairy dust and she started crying. I wish I had. But I guess the excitement over came me and I couldn’t stop smiling. We got in line for our medals and walked back towards the runners village. On the way we grabbed some water and powerade and stopped for some pictures. They had people with gloves on to help you open your drink if you couldn’t. That was nice. What they didn’t have was someone to help open my banana! That was rough. I had to fight with it but I eventually got it open.
Once we got back into the family reunion area Sergio greeted me with beautiful red rose. Aww
I probably left out a few things but still I think I covered most of it. My time was 3:13:57 I believe which was a little disappointing seeing as how I finished 14.5 miles in 3:05 when I did my practice run. That’s okay though. Like I said it was very crowded. Would I do it again? Yes but just for fun. Just to cheer on all of my friends who will be doing it next year and using it as their first half marathon. I don’t think I would ever use it for a PR course though. Even if I was a lot faster it’s not the kind of course I would want to speed through honestly. It’s more of an enjoy the moment with your friends kind of course if you ask me.
After the race I went back to the room. I showered, iced my legs and drank a little champagne. I slept for maybe 45 minutes and then I got up and enjoy the rest of the day having lunch at Bongos and then heading over to Hollywood Studios & Magic Kingdom. I wore my medal and the shirt they give you for registering. Everyone kept saying congratulations. It was really fun. Half of the people in the parks had on the shirt and/or their medals.
I just wanted to say thank you again for all of the support you all have shown me. I was overwhelmed with your comments and text messages. Every time I got my phone out to take a picture I would see them on the screen. It helped keep me going. I know my mom, Kevin and Judy were having a little watch party. All of those nuts were up as early as I was waiting for updates. They crack me up. I could just imagine all of you cheering me on from various locations as my updates came up on facebook. Run Brittany run! … and that I did. I did it with all of you in my heart. Stop it. Don’t make me get all teary eyed. I am getting too old, too emotional for all of this!
It was a great weekend. It went by really fast but it was great. I almost feel like maybe it didn’t happen. With that being said there is another half marathon in my future. I have decided I will not be retiring my running shoes just yet!
How was your Princess Half marathon experience?