When I left off, my sister and I were just reaching mile 3 and had been weaving in and out of people for the beginning of the race.
Around this time, the course began to narrow and it became more difficult to get around walkers. Eventually, we stopped for a walking break ourselves, and continue to walk up a pretty decent incline that was just before the entrance to Magic Kingdom.
Upon entering the park, we veered off the course for a bathroom stop. I loved the fact that we were able to use the park restrooms… so much better than using port-o-potties (I only had to use one once, before the start!)
Running up Main Street in Magic Kingdom was awesome. Looking back, I wish we would’ve stopped for a few photos, but by this point – yes, still pretty early on in the race – we just wanted to stay focused on the task at hand. We actually didn’t stop at any of the photo ops (which is why this post is virtually picture-less).
Magic Kingdom was where things really went downhill for me. After running through the castle (awesome!) my stomach started cramping up really bad. I stopped at another bathroom in the park, and when I met up with my sister, she could tell I wasn’t feeling well.
I’m not sure if it was the Grand Floridian burger not sitting well, the heat and humidity, or race-related nerves (I’m guessing a combination of all three!) but this was the first time that I doubted I would be able to finish. I definitely felt discouraged because we hadn’t even reached the halfway point.
Luckily, I started to feel a little bit better as we continued on.
Our least favorite part of the course was after we left Magic Kingdom. It was great being able to run through the park with spectators cheering, but after that it was a long stretch before we entered Epcot… like, a good 5 miles.
One of the things that we found most frustrating during the race was the volume of walkers. If you’re choosing to walk the race, hey, that’s great! But that wasn’t our intention and it seemed that every time we got going again, we’d hit a group of people walking. We’d try to keep running but we’d realize we could be walking at the pace we were “running,” and eventually gave into the crowds. (I’m sure this was not a problem for runners in corrals A-C, but being towards the back really worked against us.)
This made it even more difficult to start up again when the path became less crowded. Our feet were aching. (I ended up with a black toenail when all was said and done! TMI? Sorry!)
During this stretch, we stopped at nearly every water station and my sister stopped at the food station as well (I skipped it since my stomach was hating me).
There were quite a few hills throughout the last few miles. I knew these would be coming – I had read many recaps of people who had run the race previously – but knowing they were coming and actually tackling them were two different things.
Around mile 11, we became determined to finish… ASAP. We started running – and of course, weaving! – and didn’t stop until we crossed the finish line.
Just like with Magic Kingdom, I loved running through Epcot. Seeing the spectators was one of my favorite parts of the entire race. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy as I was to see the finish line though!
My sister and I were in a daze after completing the race, and barely spoke to each other! We got our medals, grabbed our goodie box of food provided by Disney, and immediately jumped in line for a bus back to the hotel. I didn’t even stretch afterwards, which seems so ridiculous/unbelievable to me now!
I can’t believe I actually did it. Despite being relatively active, I’m not even a little bit athletic and up until about 3 years ago, I was virtually sedentary. To know that I have the ability to complete 13.1 miles blows my mind (even if I did take a lot of walking breaks)!
I plan to do one more post on the race… some final thoughts on the experience and what’s next for my running “career” (ha!). Stay tuned!
Have you ever run a race? Would you classify yourself as “active” or “athletic”? I fail at all sports.