Sunday, October 23, 2011

Disney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon - My First Ever! (Part 1)

Finally time to get ready for my first ever half marathon. I felt a little nervous, but mainly just excited to get out there and do it! I got dressed in my new Running Skirts outfit, packed my race bag with WAY too much stuff (but I like to be prepared!) and headed to my car. I had to drive to the finish line and park at Epcot then board a bus to the start line at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports. All of the buses were different. This was mine:
Dream Coach? You got that right! I was living my dream and soooo excited! While on the bus, they played a video explaining different points of our evening and offering tips. Most of the things they mentioned I already knew from reading Disney's very thorough race materials or from blogs that I had read. It was still a good last minute reminder and one more way to keep me pumped!
The buses dropped us all off at a large field. There were so many people already! I immediately got in line for the first of what would be many pictures for the night, but I was going to document it all!
The field was alive with activity! I walked around to try to find a friend from my Galloway training group and to get myself oriented as to where everything was: bag check, photo ops, corrals, water and the all important porta-potties! Not much luck finding Brittany, so I hopped in the line to get my picture with Chef Mickey.
While in line, I saw a group of the Disney running bloggers I follow walk by - that was pretty cool! I was too chicken to call out to these people I had never met before (have to work on that) but it was really fun to see @DisRunner, @DisneyProject and @InIronsPL! I also was able to find Brittany. I tried calling out to her, but the DJ and music were so loud she couldn't hear me! Luckily, she stayed in that same spot and after my pic with Mick (I wasn't about to leave my spot in line!), I was able to meet up with her. 

 It was time to check my bag and head towards the starting corrals. The bag check was quick and painless. They were loading all of our bags into big pods that they would then transport to the finish line. It was all pretty cool the way they had it planned out! I kept my "food supply plus" bag out so I could have what I needed right before the race and then dispose of anything extra. I had these great pockets in my new Running Skirt which I immediately filled with my Sports Beans and lip gloss. The rest could wait. 
Needless to say, I did not have any Ziplocs with me...I will remember that for my next one! :-)
Brittany and I sat and rested for awhile chatting about our lives. She asked about my playlist so I pulled out my iPod, only to discover the battery showing red! What?!? How could that be? I had just had it plugged in to my computer earlier as I was making last minute adjustments to my playlist. I was so distraught! I needed this music! I made sure it was off and clipped it on, praying that when I needed it, somehow, someway, it would work! We headed to the starting area and got in line for one last potty stop. We went straight to the corral after that. It was almost time to start. Brittany was in Corral D but was able to walk right in to Corral B with me. We were packed in there like sardines but very giddy & excited sardines! Corral A went off at 10:00 PM. We were next in Corral B at 10:05 PM. We even got fireworks to start us off!! So amazing! I love Disney!!

It took quite a while to actually cross the start line. Brittany and I ran together chatting for awhile. She decided to stick with her intervals from Galloway and took a walk break. Me? Being the competitive, stubborn girl that I am, I kept running. Nothing fast, just a good easy pace. She caught up each time and we kept up with each other until about the first mile and a half water stop. I lost her after that. Which really, was good for me. This was my race, my night - And I wanted to experience it all on my own! I turned on my iPod and ran. 

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