Sunday, November 11, 2012

My First Half Marathon!

Back in the spring, I read The First 20 Minutes and was inspired to run more. I'd been running short distances fairly regularly, basically following Couch to 5k. The book somehow pushed me from that, to deciding that I wanted to run a half marathon. I found the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon and was so excited about it that I managed to convince my friend, Erin, that we should do it. I mean, it's a race through Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios that ends in EPCOT during the middle of the night! (To put this change in attitude in perspective, she asked me to do it as a relay last year, and I thought that was too far!)

We signed up after one short (5 mile) test walk. I sought advice from running friends and a couple of half marathon books (Half-Marathon and Half Marathon Roadmap). With all of that, we cobbled together a plan and got to it.

Towards the end of training, I was really worried about it. I admittedly slacked off on my maintenance runs and was concerned about the required 16 minute/mile pace. I kept having visions of Mickey Mouse scooping me up off the track and throwing me in Disney jail.

But we stuck to it, and last night, we did it! We even beat our own expected time! We thought we would do 15 minute miles, but we narrowly beat that to finish in 3:14:40. And it was a crazy about of fun.

Me, ready to go

We met up in a sea of 14,000 runners and waited around for the start.

The starting line

There were characters and music and such all along the way.

Our only character photo op during the race

Our favorite part of the course was the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights in Hollywood Studios around mile 10. Luckily, I had the good sense to flip the camera to camcorder and record it!

We apparently looked insane by the end, but we did it, dammit!

We got our medals, our free bags full of sangria, our snack boxes, bottles of water, bought some delicious Yum Yum cupcakes, and had a midnight picnic in front of The Land. We road a couple of rides, ate some Food & Wine Festival food, and finally headed back to our hotels at 4 AM!

I'm still waiting for the official photos to be posted, so hopefully there will be more to come!


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