Friday, January 18, 2008

Disney - The 1st Half

When I hit the half-mary mats at 1:58 and change, I wasn’t sure which emotion would take over. There was relief that less miles lay ahead than were already behind me. Unfortunately, there was disbelief that it had taken this much gas out of my tank to get this far.

It all started as well as well can be:

04:10 Left hotel
04:35 Pull into EPCOT parking spot, barely 100 yards from finish area
05:00 Leave car and walk to finish area
05:05 Marvel at people buying hot dogs from concessions, must still be carbo loading
05:10 Realize it’s a FINISH area, not a START area – ah so
05:30 Complete ½ mile walk to the START area
05:35 Wander into Corral A – stake position at back-most spot
05:40 Visit edge of tropical forest for 1-1 nature time
05:41 Wander back into Corral A
05:45 Speedoman enters corral – boo hiss eeww
05:50 Obligatory speeches begin
05:58 Barriers between corrals are removed, crowd surges forward
05:59 Fireworks overhead
06:00 GO!

When the crowd surged forward, the 4:00 pace group from Corral B moved up and I pretty much started with them. The first 6 miles were uneventful, running in the dark, a loop around EPCOT, just keeping up. The pace seemed fast, and Garmin said I was averaging 8:50's instead of 9:09. I was also drenched immediately from the humidity. A storm passed through the previous night, and it was still foggy and misty. I'm not sure when this pic was taken, but can you see my clothes sticking to me? Good thing I remembered nip guards!

The next 6 miles took me towards and through the Magic Kingdom. The pace team was still in sight, but creeping further and further ahead. We pretty much ran through all the major areas, Main Street USA, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland, and Frontierland. The highlight of course is the signature run through Cinderella's Castle. Disney cast characters were everywhere, and several people stopped to take their pictures with them - must not be trying to PR. If you really want to mess with some runners, next time stop and do a little shopping in the gift shops along the way - that will psych them out!

Once we left Frontierland, I knew I was in for a lonely 5 mile stretch of highway to the Animal Kingdom. It was approaching 2 hours and my 3rd GU. From this point on, it would be a GU-fest every 30 mins.

It was also along this stretch that I hit the half-mary mats. I was lost in my relief vs. disbelief debate with myself, trying to muscle down that 3rd GU pack, when someone pulled in behind me and to the right, and said "how're you doing?". A bit startled, but too tired to react instantly, I must've turned my head in slow motion and lo and behold it was David grinning from ear to ear! I wasn't expecting him, but it sure was good to see him. That's how I felt, but not what I said - I barely mustered 10 words total - pretty sure "tired", "tough", and "hard" were in there somewhere! David said something about see you at the end or something, and then he was off.

2:00 and change in the bag, still on pace, but I could sense trouble lay ahead. All the parts were still working, although the engine was beginning to lose power. One thing I knew I absolutely positively did not want to do, above all else, was ... walk. That, was a mighty battle. Next time up, the 2nd half.


peter said...

Nice report. You have me on the edge of my seat. That's a lonely trek down to the Animal Kingdom from Frontierland, and then there's that backroad wasteland in the early twenties, uhh! But you know what's fun? To go bsck to the park months later as a paying customer and relive your trek through there. Especially if you drag someone else along, as in, I stopped here and readjusted my belt, I stopped there to have a GU, I saw a Green Armyman over here. Trust me, they love it!

Bex said...

Good race report so far! Lots of foreshadowing. Way to soldier on, even though your energy was flagging. In retrospect, do you know why that happened? Perhaps it was the fast pace in those early miles - not sure what the pacer was thinking.

Josh said...

Looking forward to Part II

Black Knight said...

Late congrats for your 4:17:23. A marathon is always magic! Nice report, waiting for the part 2.

Anne said...

As one of those who posed for pictures throughout the race several years ago, not only did we foolishly give up a PR, some of us even waiting in line for Cinderella and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, giving up entirely!

David said...

You would have loved this morning's weather last week. It was 47F at 6 a.m. and stayed there pretty much until noon.

Susan Oseen said...

My husband and I signed up for the entire race (the half and the full). Everyone has such amazing race reports that I am so excited about it.

Deene said...

enjoyed this report. looking forward to the second half.

Rae said...

Man, Disney looks WARM! And I would totally be one of those people who stops to have their pic made with every single character!!!