Half Marathon Details: The Story Behind the Results

By January 13, 2010 culture No Comments

Over the past few days, many dear ones have called, e-mailed, and sent text messages of congratulations after Mike and I completed the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday. Most wanted to know how we fared in the race, but they also wanted to hear the details.

Life is in the details, isn’t it?

It’s the sharing of frigid weather and sleep deprivation and costumed participants and running through Disney parks and the like.

This is my attempt to open the window on this little part of my life. The Q&A format seemed fitting here to cover the wide array of questions I’ve gotten. Enjoy!

Friends and Family: How did you feel during the race?
ES: Great through mile 10, then the highway ramps in miles 11 and 12 sucked the wind out of my sails (and lungs). It wasn’t horrid, but it made me wish for the finish.

F&F: How was the weather?
ES: It was cold (31 degrees) and sleeting at the start. Ice pellets in the eye are always a nice race-day touch. I much prefer cold-weather running, however, so the temperature was fine for me once we got moving. Waiting for 30 minutes in the starting corral was a bit painful.

F&F: What was it like running through the parks?
ES: A complete blur! I am so sad I didn’t slow down to take more of it in. I need to do another Disney half, with friends—you know who you are, gals!—so we can take pictures and drink in the atmosphere. And we must have costumes.

F&F: Were you happy with your race results?
ES: Very much so! I accomplished two goals: 1) I broke the two-hour mark, finishing in 1:58:38, which is faster than I thought I could run, and 2) I ran the whole race without walking or stopping. Several other victories:

  • My slowest leg of the race was the first 5K (3.1 miles), oddly enough, when I was with my pace group and feeling fresh.
  • My middle 10K (6.2 miles) of 54:50 was faster than the 10K race time of 55:23 that I submitted to enter the Disney half marathon—and I ran another 3.8 miles after that!
  • I didn’t stop to walk, even when I was feeling extremely beat at mile 11.
  • I kept my pace without the help of my pace group (I went ahead when they slowed for water after mile 6, and they didn’t catch me again until the finish line—oops).

F&F: How did it feel to cross the finish line?
ES: I wish I could say euphoric, but honestly, I was just very glad to be done running. The last 2.1 miles of the race were difficult for me mentally, and I was initially disappointed in my race because I did not cross the line feeling ecstatic. After seeing my splits for the race though, I am so pleased with my accomplishment! The last leg of the race felt pitifully slow, but it actually wasn’t. I was just tired. (Fancy that after running 13.1 miles!)

F&F: How much sleep did you get before the race?
ES: Sadly, no more than 4.5 hours. It was ridiculous to get moving so early, but we were done and back to our room by mid-morning for a good nap. (I really can’t complain, as this was self-inflicted.) I wouldn’t want to make this a routine.

F&F: Any post-race aches or pains?
ES: None! No blisters, no leg cramps, no vomiting. My legs felt slightly stiff Sunday, but not even enough to alter my gait.

F&F: What was the most memorable part of the race experience?
ES: So many impressions . . .

  • Wendell, aka Goofy Bear

    The fireworks starting the race.

  • I got to run with Superman and Flash for a stretch.
  • A royal bugle-call welcome while running through Cinderella’s Castle.
  • The lounge singer stationed outside the Grand Floridian Resort.
  • Seeing pallets of bottled water and thinking of how good we have it here in the States.
  • Chatting with the people in my pace group (until we got separated at mile 6).
  • Having Mike waiting for me when I finished.
  • The Gospel Choir stationed at mile 13, singing praise songs—a fitting way to end the race!
  • People sitting in the freezing cold to cheer us on.
  • Seeing Wendell, aka Goofy Bear, in Magic Kingdom, which made me giggle and think of our friend Tim.
  • The nice lady who smiled at me as she gave me my medal.

F&F: Will you ever do this again?
ES: Yes! I’m already registered for the half marathon in Champaign scheduled for May 2010.

Photo Source
Wendell Photo: http://home.att.net/~disneysue/characters/wdw/wendell.html

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