The weekend started on Friday afternoon with my drive down to Disney World to run the Disney Princess Half-Marathon. I'm glad I only live 7 hours away. Also discovered that it takes exactly 1 tank of gas minus 18 miles to drive from ATL to Disney World. At 3.54/gallon, that is a good thing.
Actually, it's a little less than 7 hours...it did take me 15 minutes driving around the Westgate property trying to find my grandparent's place. There was no rhyme or reason to the layout. And it was dark. And I can't see very well in the dark.
Saturday morning my mom and I went to the expo to pick up my packet and look around at all the booths. It was insanely crowded (after all, over 17,000 people were running the half-marathon). I almost bought this:
Sticker. Perfect for me and my love for all things Pirate-y (such as rum).
I did get a car magnet that says, "Running is my therapy." Which is very true.
Since we had to be at the park at 4am, an early bedtime was necessary.
Except I can't go to sleep if I'm not tired.
I fell asleep and woke up at 2:45am to get into costume.
We left for Epcot at 3:30am.
I was in my corral at about 5am.
To avoid mass hysteria at the start, there were 6 waves of starts. I was in the 3rd wave. Corral C. Corral B's starting music was Firework. We got Single Ladies. Not sure I like that implication. I pretended it was Firework. That's a lot more inspirational. It was enjoyable to watch Fairy Godmother try to do the Single Ladies dance though. That's an odd sight. I also enjoyed her saying, "I'm seeing lots of the bling-bling."
Also, they discourage ipods and claimed to have music throughout the whole race so I left my headphones at home. WORST MISTAKE EVER (after buying Saucony's). There was not music throughout. And when there was...well, there's only so much heart-pumping to be had by a remix of "A dream is a wish your heart makes." I had to listen to women talking while running and walking. I will be using my own music for Disneyland. Guaranteed.
If I get the ability to put shoes other than flipflops on before then.
So anywho, at the start, each wave gets fireworks. Just a couple. Here's wave 2's:
So then my wave started. And despite not having to when the fireworks went off, by the first portapotties, I had to stop. Same thing happened at the LA marathon. I think it's nerves. Sorry if that's TMI.
Then, along the way they have photo opportunities with characters. First up, Cap'n Jack:
He was growling sweet-nothings in my ear. I'm not even kidding. I was blushing. And I'm sad to say, I giggled like a bieber-loving school girl. And it wasn't even the real Jack Sparrow (aka Johnny Depp) -- I would've fainted if it had been I think. Also, this has to be the worst picture of me ever taken.
Between Cap'n Jack and the next photo op, my left foot went completely numb. I kept going, hoping the feeling would come back. It did come back, while in line for these sexy beasts:
Actually, Aladdin, John Smith, and Rapunzel guy were the only good ones. Prince Eric creeped me out with his mask-like (but not actually a mask) face and Tarzan had clearly had gone far too dark and orange with the spray tan. And he poked at me like he was a gorilla. It was uncomfortable. But then Aladdin used his sexy voice to tell me he liked my crown.
And yes, I bloody giggled again.
I don't know what's wrong with me.
My left foot went completely numb again until I crossed into the Magic Kingdom. Evidently, it really is a magical place. So magical, in fact, that it gave me back the feeling in my foot.
But then the pain started. Horrible awful pain in my feet that I've NEVER experienced before.
But I kept going.
Because, doggoneit, I wanted that darn tiara medal.
But I was going super slowly.
Then I got a picture with Princess Tiana. I don't like it though, so I'm not posting it. But I did put it on facebook for Little Miss to see (my princess-in-training/cousin's daughter).
Then I got a picture with Chip and Dale.
They wouldn't let me go. I thought they were going to kidnap me and get revenge on behalf of all their squirrel cousins that I have killed since getting my Driver's License.
My mom and Tim, and my grandparents were waiting at Cinderella's castle as I came running by. I stopped so they could take a picture of me running. First person to make sense of that gets a cookie.
An imaginary cookie.
They're really the best kind. No calories.
They got there early--GMA took this pic:
Then I came upon Beauty and the Beast and Gaston. I got in line. See, my favorite princess is a constant battle between Belle and Aurora. But the line was long and going insanely slow. After 10 minutes, and still a lot people in front of me, I heard some people going "oh no, look" and I looked. And there was the pick-up van. See, waiting in all those lines for photo-ops seriously inhibits your time. And there is a time limit for Disney races that is strictly enforced. If the van gets to you, you get picked up and don't finish the race. I quickly got out of line and started booking it...and found it increasingly annoying to have to dart in and out of people lolly-gagging along, some 4-5 people across (There's runner's etiquette for a reason, people!). Although, it turns out that the van appeared closer than it actually was. But I didn't find that out until I had given up Belle and passed Sleeping Beauty and Prince Philip.
So I, yet again, do not have a picture with either of my favorite Disney characters. Maybe at Disneyland. At Disneyland, I'll skip everything except for those two. And I will be wearing shoes that aren't trying to murder me so I can move faster.
At Mile 11, I started cussing out (via mumbling) all the cars that were honking. I was tired, in serious pain, and it was annoying the heck outta me.
At Mile 12, I didn't think I was going to make it. Every step I took felt like a million giant needles were piercing my feet. But Stranger Lady started running beside me and talking. That kept my mind off the pain long enough to cross the finish line. So thank you Stranger Lady, whoever and wherever you are. You remind me of my college French professor.
Within seconds of crossing the finish, I demanded my medal from the first volunteer I came across. She said, "Congratulations" and I answered with "Where's my medal?" in a very Jersey kind of way (meaning it came out waaaay harsher than I meant). She pointed me in the right direction. When I bent over so the little man could put it around my neck, I nearly fell over forward into him. Luckily I managed to avoid that.
Then I met my family at the red carpet where my grandpa was ousted from the wheelchair so I could sit in it. That sounds bad, I know, but it was only 50 yards to the car and I couldn't make another step. And he doesn't NEED it. And he wasn't the one that pushed me to the car. This isn't sounding any better, is it? ...Moving on...
Got back to the grandparents' and gma took off my shoes and then everyone gasped while I exclaimed, "no wonder they hurt so bad." Seriously, I've NEVER seen bigger blisters (half popped/half intact). I'm blaming a combination of the shoes and the seriously slanted roads. I had run 12 miles just 7 days before and only got a tiny blister and the run wasn't the least bit painful. Which was why I was really confused as to why my feet hurt so bad for most of the race. To spare you the nastiness of what it actually looks like, here is one foot, bandaged:
The circled area is how big the blister is. Actually it's like 3 blisters in one. The first popped, and then another came directly underneath that and then there was one right next to that. There were two right next to each other on the other foot. It's painful. Even now. Actually, right now it's pretty angry on the left foot. The color red is involved. I'm sorry if that's TMI. At least it's just the bandage.
But, it's all worth it because I have this:
My tiara medal. And my free tech shirt too.
And I raised $1,001 for To Write Love On Her Arms.
Which is the best part of all of it.
You may think I'm crazy for already planning on the Disneyland Half-Marathon, but you get a special medal if you run both in the same year. But I will be reverting back to my trusty Asics from now on. No more Saucony. Bad Bad Saucony. They turned out to be worse than Nike. Asics have never ever hurt me in any way, shape or form.
The only thing I'm worried about is that Labor Day Weekend in LA is HOT.
Like, really hot.