Friday, April 27, 2018

Dark Side Challenge Weekend

Ok, y'all, if you follow me on social media, you have probably seen a lot of my pics already, but it's time to talk about the race weekend. I was feeling pretty emotional afterwards, so I thought it best to take a few days to just chill before I reported back!

You register for Disney races so far in advance that it's impossible to know how you will feel on race weekend. I never imagined that I would have spent most of the previous four months injured and off of my feet! I only started running 2 weeks before the race weekend and my longest run had been a 10k.

I tried to go into the weekend optimistic, but also realistic. Yes, there were 2 bonus medals on the line, but ultimately I need to start training for MCM next month and that's more important.

So I arrived on Wednesday night, and hit the expo at opening on Thursday morning. Everything was quick and easy with the new setup, and there was no frustration whatsoever. I got everything I wanted, plus a little more, with money leftover!

This included the virtual half marathon medal, which came with a BB8 keychain and a magnet. I hit the Magic Kingsom for a little while and came back when I knew Darlena had finished at the expo. She flew in that afternoon, and this would be our first time meeting after being blogger and Facebook friends for years! Darlena blogs at Run Find Your Happy Pace. If you don't follow her, you should. She's amazing! We had some dinner and came back to the hotel early since I was running the 5k.

My plan for the 5k was to walk the whole thing. That was the plan. Yup. I planned it all out. However. I joined a RunBet and I needed 2 more runs at below 18 minutes per mile and I wasn't sure how the half would go. So. New plan was to walk most of it. I set my watch for a 1:15 run and 1 minute walk, thinking i would run one interval and walk 2. Meh. I followed the intervals and kept it at roughly a 16 minute mile. Oh well.

No pain. No trip to medical. Just a beautiful romp through EPCOT.

On to the 10k. Darlena and I ran with a group, the Sub 30 Ties.

There was a lot of fun involved, a lot of pew!pew! And a lot of photos. We were on the big screen at the starting line party and at the actual starting line. So fun! The group mostly stayed together, but I didn't want to push too hard so I lagged a little. I was never too far behind, though!

There may have been some shenanigans in EPCOT and Animal Kingdom afterwards....

On to the half. I'm not gonna lie, I woke up and my feet were already tired. I posted on Facebook that I wasn't feeling it, but I would go as far as I could. I did get to meet some Skirt Sports Ambassadors on line for the potties, we were all in the same general area, which was funny.

I used the same intervals and just concentrated on sticking to a 16 minute mile. I had a decent headstart ahead of the Balloon Ladies, about 18 minutes, but I didn't want to waste it. Every mile I hit, I did the math to make sure I was still ahead.

I may have become mildly obsessive. In any case, I started setting mini goals. If I wasn't gonna finish, I was determined to hit some goals. The first was to get to Animal Kingdom.

Next was to get out of it. I got swept in the parking lot during the marathon in 2017, and I wanted to surpass that.

Next goal was to get to Hollywood Studios. I was starting to struggle a lot and I knew that if I could get there, I was almost safe. My friend Kristin caught up with me right around now and she stayed with me until the end. So blessed. She really pulled me through!

We separated a bit here so she could get some character photos and met back up at mile 11.

Holy heck. Leaving Hollywood Studios and not a balloon lady in sight! On to the boardwalk. By now I was only walking, I had stopped running somewhere around mile 8 or 9. I wasn't in any actual pain, just really tired and sore.

My PbRC O'Hana was on the boardwalk at mile 11.5 which was so needed! Shortly after, we entered EPCOT. I almost cried. It's just about impossible to get swept now and so so many were still behind me!

At mile 12.5 the inevitable happened.

Balloon Ladies. They were spurring people on, but let's be honest, no one was getting swept a half mile from the finish, not if they were upright and moving along. Many panicked and ran, but I just kept plugging along and tried not to cry.

And then this happened.

I have no words. I finished all 3 races with no actual pain. I cried. Quite a bit. And then I collected my bling.

I'm still in shock, almost a week later. We are showing up in our Tie Fighter costumes all over social media, which is fun. I'm already planning my return....

No comments:

Post a Comment