Finally the day of the half marathon! I had been really excited about this and not at all nervous until I went to bed. I don't know why but runDisney half marathons makes me insane! I ended up not really sleeping much at all that night, After trying and trying I just finally decided to lay there and relax. My alarm went off around 3:20 but I was up before then getting things ready. I showered dressed quickly and tried to calm down for a quick minute while my Mom got dressed. She wanted to make sure she got a good spot at the finish line so just decided to come on the bus with me to the race.
We got on the bus at around four a little later then the day before and it was still a breeze. There were a few more people on the bus but it was not a problem at all. We got to Epcot pretty quickly headed through bag check and then on in to find a bathroom. I noticed that New Balance had put a wall up of everyone's name that was doing the Glass Slipper Challenge. They only had the names of the runners for the half and the 10k at the expo so I was happy to see this when we got to the race. Anyway moving right along...the lines for the bathroom were insane so after waiting for a while I bagged it because we were being told to head to the start line. My Mom and I parted ways and I headed that way. I didn't realize how far away the start line was it seemed as if we walked a mile to get there. I really wanted to use the bathroom before we started to I waited in line at the start line. Not the best idea these lines were not moving either and I was getting super stressed about not getting to my corral on time. By the time I got to my corral I ended up in E, I was suppose to be in D but couldn't get there because they were moving the corrals up, A and B had already started. A few minutes later I was stating!
I started off the race at a great pace and I was feeling good. My knee was not hurting and I was just trying to enjoy everything around me. Already only a few miles in the entertainment and crowd support were great. I was very eager to get into magic kingdom though so kept focusing on that. I also didn't stop for any character pictures because the lines seemed to be very long. We finally went under the sign that said welcome to Magic Kingdom but seemed like forever until we actually entered the park. Once we got in it was amazing! we ran around Magic Kingdom and then through the castle!!!!! I had heard that this can be a bit crowded and that waiting to get your picture taken in front of the castle can be a bit of a wait but that was not the case. I flew through the castle and luckily there was not wait for a castle picture. I ran over had my picture taken and was off again. The picture didn't come out as good as I had hoped but it was ok. Heading out of the castle I stopped and walked at one of the water stops. I wanted to have a few sports beans and drink some water and running and doing this can be a bit challenging. I continued on and was still feeling great then came mile 8.........
At mile 8 I felt as if someone came over to me and stabbed me in the knee with a knife. GREAT! I told myself slow it down a bit and chug along you only have five miles left you are more then half way done and you can do this! I stopped once again to try to stretch my knee out but it was just not working. I decided at the next medical tent I would grab some Tylenol hopefully that would work, but the next medical tent literally was like a million miles away! I kept running and running thinking there has to be one soon and then finally there it was! I ran ove grabbed some Tylenol and then was off again telling myself your feeling better your feeling better....I wasn't. At around mile 11 things got just a bit worse, we headed up a banked on ramp which was not my friend! A couple of girls around me said "I am going to go run on the grass I think it might be a bit more even" I really should have listened to this advice. Midway up there was an army man yelling at us to get up the hill, and stopping people to do push ups. If my knee hadn't been feeling awful I might have stopped and done some, but instead I just chugged up the hill. I knew the race would be over soon and that is what I was focusing on. I kept running and then finally saw the finish line and Mickey! I sped up gave him a high five and crossed the finish line. My time was not my best but that was ok. I knew my knee was going to be an issue from the beginning so I was just happy I was able to finish the 19.3 miles. Even with all the knee pain I loved every minute of the Glass Slipper Challenge!
After I crossed the finish line I heard my Mom calling my name I yelled to her that I needed to get my medals and I would meet her over by the buses. I grabbed my beautiful medals, took my finishers picture then headed out to find her. One thing I forgot to mention was the mesh bag they gave you after finishing. I loved them and it really came in handy after the race to carry my water and Powerade and then during the day in the park carrying my medals! Also thank you so much to the nice lady that saw my struggling to get my stuff in the bag and helped me out!
Once I found my Mom we took some pictures and then headed to the bus. I wanted to stick around a little bit but also really wanted to get in a hot shower to stretch out my knee. The bus ride back seemed like it took five seconds thankfully. I headed to our room and then straight into the shower. I also wanted to get back to Magic Kingdom and spend the day care free with my medals eating all the bad food I wanted and trying to score a reservation at Be Our Guest for dinner (Which we ended up getting!)
My overall thoughts of the race, knee pain aside...I loved it! Crowd support and runner support was AMAZING! There was a lot more going on than during the 10k also I just love running through Magic Kingdom and the Castle, it is truly an experience that gives you chills. The course was also great and pretty flat with the exception of the on ramp at the end of the race, but you have an army man there "encouraging" you to get up that hill with no walking! All in all it was awesome race day!