dopey 1/2…this was the real challenge

Saturday morning I woke up yet again at 2-something am.  I was tired, grumpy and nervous.  Since I was feeling blue, my mental game was off as well.  Knowing this, I had some concern about the upcoming Donald Duck 1/2 marathon.

c'mon donald - I need your rebel spirit for this run!
c’mon donald – I need your rebel spirit for this run!

The start line was a different experience than the last two races.  There was still a ton of energy but there was a higher level of seriousness than the other two.  I was back in corral “L” and they went to “P”.  I should have left about a 1/2 hour earlier as I had to stand in line for the buses and then book it to the start line.  Part of this was just a perceived sense of urgency since once I got there this is what I found:

dopey sitting 1/2
everyone was sitting around and I joined in – it was a good idea

All of the races had staggered starts and it was going to be about a half hour before we started (not to mention there was still about a half hour before the start on top of this) so I rested up a bit as well.  As we got closer to the race start, I realized I was starving.  Then it started to rain a bit and it was definitely warmer than the other two days.  See what I mean about being grumpy?

the 1/2 is the first time running through the magic kingdom!
the 1/2 is the first time running through the magic kingdom!

With a bigger set of fireworks (than the other races) we were off!  In some of the literature, it suggested walking almost the whole 1/2 in order to be ready for the full the next day.  I respect this suggestion but I didn’t want to be out there for that long.  I hadn’t been running long before the humidity became more and more pronounced.  I stopped for a pic of the pirate ship

dopet pirate ship
blurry pic but I love my pirate stuff

and of course THE CASTLE!  The 1/2 and the full are the only races where you run through Cinderella’s castle and it is fantastic.  Cheesy?  Maybe but both days I got goose bumps as I ran through main street with the castle in the distance and then actually running through it.  It IS magical!  As are the crowds who line main street and cheer and high-five you as you run through.  I soaked all of this up and it totally dissolved my crabbiness.

I kind of felt like a celebrity!
I kind of felt like a celebrity!

Disney is more than prepared for the heat though and the water stops were aplenty.  In both the 1/2 and the full there was a water stop at almost every mile and a bunch of medical tents.  In preparation for this challenge, I figured the full would be my soul-sapping race.  I didn’t give enough credit/respect to the previous two races and by mile 6, I wanted to be finished.  I was surprised by how my legs were fatigued more than I would have imagined.  My plan was to walk once every mile and I stuck with this plan but man, I was getting tired!

I’m sure a major part of this fatigue was the humidity and heat.  Wow!  Thankfully, it wasn’t overly sunny and there was a breeze that would hit every once in a while – yay!  But I was dripping sweat.  I mean, sweat was dripping from my elbows!  Part of my Dopey costume consisted of arm sleeves.  I pushed these down and tried to use them to wipe my face but the sparkle wasn’t very absorbent!

isn't funny how a shiny medal makes you forget the pain?
isn’t funny how a shiny medal makes you forget the pain?

I started running a bit faster – I ran negatives splits even.  I knew this wasn’t a wise idea, I knew I had 26.2 miles to run the next day and none of this could make me run smarter.  I will say, I drank a water bottle full of nuun and I took water at every station and powerade when I ran out of nuun.  I brought my Honey Stinger gummies with me and ate those as well.  I hit a GU stop and because I was feeling hungry and tired I took a mocha GU.  This did NOT settle well!  At this point, I thought I might throw up, was crazy hot and just ran faster to get to the finish line.

The cool part?  I got to give Minnie a high-five at the finish line!  Oh yes, I was beyond geeked about this and might even buy this picture.  I pushed my epilepsy a bit too much at the end and had to rest after the race.  The funny thing?  I was so bloated when I got back that my stomach was pushing against my tshirt for a little while!  I drank more and more water and thankfully the bloat went away.

dopey 1/2 finish
I was so happy to be done! I didn’t care that I would hurt the next day, I wanted to give it a really solid effort!

While passing mile markers, I used the clock to estimate my pace.  I was doing 13 something per mile.  My goal became a three hour finish time.  Due to my desire to be done and the possibility of regurgitating a GU, I finished in 2:50.  I knew I would probably regret this on Sunday but I had an iced mocha to drink, a nap to take and some food to eat!

this coffee was tough to find but made me feel right as rain!
this coffee was tough to find but made me feel right as rain!

6 thoughts on “dopey 1/2…this was the real challenge

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