Friday, January 13, 2012

Ellen's First Half Marathon

(My Friend Ellen just completed her First Half Marathon GO ELLEN!  I asked her to write up a race report for it but she had no place to put it. So here it is.)

Ellen's 1st half marathon 

Date: Saturday January 12, 2012
Location: disneyworld

March 2011 my brother asks, "Do you want to go to disneyworld?" and of course with no hesitation I answered, "YES!!!" I have not been to dworld since 2005. Then he adds, " I'm going to dworld Jan 2012 because I'm running the half marathon. If you want to go you have to run a half with me. So do you want to go?" My confident yes slurred into a questionable, "yes???" And with that said he pressed "enter" and said, " you are registered." My next line was, "ohhhh nooooooo!"

And the training begins. Up to this point I could only run a mile and after running the mile I would be panting and gasping  to breath. I started with a walk/run method and after 2 months I was able to complete 5 miles. During my long runs I was able to complete 3 miles straight. I changed my training method and started just running the miles straight and added 0.5 miles each week. By the time it was the 12 week mark prior to D-day I completed 5.5 miles. I changed my schedule to the novice training schedule. However I was disappointed that I was only able to complete 7.11 miles because some factors got in the way of my training. Also 2 weeks before D-day I had the flu. At this point, I began thinking of dodging strategies from the dreaded truck that picks up runners who can not maintain 16 min miles. So imagine me zig zagging and running in circles because if the truck can not catch me then I can not get picked up, right?

A Week prior to race day I was numb. I wasn't excited like I normally should be. It reminded me how I felt when I was in med school where in order to go home for vacation I would have to go through a week worth of finals which means 6-8 hours total of sleeping for the whole week. It's only until after the last test I can only realize I get to go home. In a similar manner, I have 13.1 miles standing in my way of happiness. 

We leave for Orlando and we find out other people on the plane are on the same mission. Arrived in Orlando and still no emotion. We went to the pasta dinner and the food was surprisingly amazing despite the fact it was a buffet.  The pasta was decent with a gourmet potato salad. But the surprise of the night was the chicken and i was saddened that I only got a small one. So we all waited for the the next batch of chicken to come out. The dj and ambience was ok but I was more disappointed with the attendance of the characters. I expected more but the only ones that were there we're Mickey, goofy, Donald an Minnie and the lines were 40 min long each. And the characters alternated so if you get in line for Mickey, by the time you get to the front it's goofy. 

Day before the race we go to ESPN wide world of sports to pick up our bibs and packets. And it just got real.

Then off to Hollywood studios for a light and easy day. Nerves were kicking in and I didn't want this day to end because I knew that if this day ended I would have to run 13.1 miles. I was really hoping for a ground hog day moment. We went home around 8 and I prepared my stuff and surprisingly I was able to sleep. 

Nuclear alarms go off!!! It's 3am. It's race day. Ohhh noooo.!!! The rest of the group wake up and by 330 we are out of the room and headed to Epcot. Still no emotion while the rest of the group was psyched. As soon as we get to the area we checked in our bags, used the restrooms and then the we started moving. It took 20 mins to walk to the corrals. 

The first corral started the race at 5:45. I was in corral E which began at 6:00. 

The countdown to start was no disappointment with fireworks blasting in the air for each corral. As each corral starts, we get closer to the starting line. It just got real even more. 

It was our turn. And Donald yells out, "ready, set, GO!!!" and we begin to run. There is no turning back. In the back of my head all I kept thinking was, "what was I thinking?" simultaneously with a, "oh nooooo!" Our running pace for the the first 5 miles was a comfortable 12-13 min miles. There were high school bands, people on stilts giving high fives,  and so many volunteers handing out water and powerade as well as props like hot air balloons along the way. We were still on schedule despite our restroom breaks. By mile 5 we see the magic kingdom sign and adrenaline kicks in...whoooo hoo!!!

We enter the park and as we run through main street I could not stop smiling and tears fill my eyes as my attention is focused on the castle. It's real!! I'm here!!! 

We go around the park and I see Repunzel and Flyn Rider. 

At this point, it felt like we were running on clouds because any feelings if tiredness were out the door. We enter the castle from the back and exit to the front where my brother is there waiting for us with this sign: 

We exit the park at mile 7 and our stamina is slowing down. By mile 8 each person in our group had running issues. My cousin's foot spasmed and locked. So we walked the whole mile 8. It sucked for me because everyone had bigger paces so I was forced to speed walk but it hurt even more. At this point I was wondering if I would be able to complete the half. I started jogging ahead then walk and then the group would catch up. By mile 9 I figured out that it hurt less running than speed walking and I left the rest of the group because they said they were going to walk because of their injuries. Mile 10 there was a steep incline over an overpass. I walked up the incline and ran across and down. By this point I was running 14 min miles. By mile 12, I entered Epcot territory and I was running on fumes. 

Inside Epcot, I ran into Phineus and Ferb which gave me a boost of energy. 

Epcot was a tease. I thought we would go around the world show case but we basically ran up to the lagoon and ran back. Concentration on my breathing  was out the door. I just couldn't wait to stop running. By mile 13 there was a choir singing and after the corner I saw the finish line. 

It's exactly how I imagined it. As I got closer I stopped with a picture with Donald and crossed the finish line. At the finish line my brother and linden were there. 

I honestly don't know how long it me to complete the half but all I know is that I didn't get pick up by the truck. I'm sure I added an hour worth of stops because of restroom breaks and character picture opportunities but it was worth it. Disney marathons make it easy for anyone to complete a half with all the distractions. If I can do it, then anyone can do it. 
 Again I want to thank Jubal, Joey and Jeremy for the moral support and guidance. Also to Kuya Gil who waited in front of the Castle since 4am and Linden who was there with Kuya to cheer us at the finish line. Lastly Leo my little bro who pressed "enter", because of it wasn't for you I would not get to go to dworld and of course complete a half marathon which is something I never imagined doing.

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