It is not easy getting up at 2:15 am, EST when the body is still on CST. I have done it twice and I only have to do it one last time. Let me give a quick recap of the Donald Duck Half Marathon and then I have to go to bed.
Yes, we were up at 2:15 and out the door to the shuttle bus by 3:10 am. Today it was quite a bit different from the 5K and 10K pre race set up. For the 5K and 10K, we had an area that was about 380 meters from the finish line that had five or six lettered corrals for the runners. This morning for the half marathon the lettered corrals went up to the letter P. The start was about a mile walk away from the race finish area where gear bags were dropped off and the pre race staging area was. So this morning there were all the people running just the half marathon, the people that were running the Goofy Challenge of the half and full marathon, and then us Dopey folks who were running everything they could throw at us.
I got into my corral early enough that I had to end up leaving to find a port-o-can while I was waiting. I made it a point to sit and relax at the back of the corral. Of course all of the fast people head right up to the front. The people in the back made for interesting people watching. Corral F is not too far down the chain from A and B that house the people who are running at a stupid fast pace and not taking it slow enough to get their money's worth out of the event. So as I was watching people enter Corral F, I had to wonder if some of them spent more time putting together their costume to run in than they did executing their run training. Soon enough, we got started and the fireworks were shot off for each corral. I could not tell how long it was between each one, but it was around two minutes. The weather was warmer and even though there was a breeze, it was still warm enough for me to only have on a short sleeve toss-away shirt.
As I made my way across the start line near the back of my corral, I kept an super easy pace and just hung back with the people that were around me before the race started. When my first walking break came at the five minute mark, I will admit that it was hard to slow down and walk as everyone was passing me up. As I ran through the dark, I stuck to my 5 min run/5 min walk race plan. It was convenient that I was on a run interval when I passed lots of spectators near the monorail station and again on Main Street USA inside the Magic Kingdom. It was humid so I had taken care to slap petroleum jelly on the insides of my legs to keep the previous day's chub rub from getting worse. I felt it the entire way. but it wasn't as painful as having a wild squirrel biting the inside of my legs.
I think that it was around mile 6 that the sky started to lighten a bit. The clouds and fog hung in there but all it meant was that no one was going to get sunburned. I did have to dodge in and out of people on some narrow areas of the course, but for the most part, I was able to stay on target with my pace. At mile 7 I had one of the Team in Training Coaches walk with me for about 100 yards as she checked on me and how I was doing. It was interesting to see the tail end of the walkers at 8.5 miles as they were at the 3.5 mile mark. Around mile 9 I saw a girl running in a Speedo bathing suit and then realized that it was one of my friends from Hawaii that I went through Newton Coaching Certification with. It was so great to see Amy and to let her know that I will be in Kona in March. She let me go as she was sticking with friends and I headed down the road. At mile 10 I got to walk with another TNT coach as he checked on me. At mile 11 I considered grabbing more petroleum jelly to slap between my thighs but I knew that I could tolerate the discomfort. At mile 12, the spectators were gathered at Epcot to cheer the runners into the park. At 12.1, I finished my walking and I ran it all the way in. I was impressed that my GPS was pretty accurate today compared to Thursday and Friday. I was getting great updates on my pace every five minutes and I knew that I was going to be under my goal of 2:30 using my run/walk interval. Official results say 2:21.37, or a 10:48 min/mi pace.
I collected my wristband to prove that I finished the race for the Dopey Challenge, got my medal, a banana, and then headed out to get a few pictures before climbing on the bus to get back to the resort.
Breakfast tasted wonderful, the pool was cold for my leg dip, and the walking I did around Epcot today has kept me from being sore. I think the dorky compression calf sleeves helped as well. I had a good German meal in Epcot for dinner. I know that will be the most helpful for tomorrow.
Ok, I am falling asleep at the computer. Keep me in your thoughts tomorrow as I finish this for Josh. It is pouring outside right now. Let's hope this finishes up before 2:15 am.