I was getting tired. I had passed double digits, there were no more characters on the road, and I was overwhelmed that I had less than a 5k to go. Many, many people were walking at this point, but I kept up a slow jog. I was still feeling good (I had to use my inhaler again around mile 9, right when I passed the Central Florida Accordion Club playing Disney tunes (it’s a real thing).
Careful spectators (or Disney workers? There were people with camping chairs cheering runners on, including little kids. High-fiving a little girl lifted my spirits) had placed pine cones in a YOU ROCK formation. Hehe.
Mile 11! I was overwhelmed. I’ve always liked the number 11, and I was especially glad to see it here. “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” started playing on repeat in my head….
Right around this point, there was a turn and we headed (slightly) uphill. Now, I go to college next to the mountains, and I didn’t think it was a big deal, but it was definitely an incline and we were all tired at this point. There was an announcer with a video camera and microphone, and as you ran by, he asked you where you were from. It was pretty cool (I said my college town, not my hometown, because I had already heard someone say my hometown).
I knew I was going to finish with a smile on my face. I was so, so excited….
And they must have heard me humming, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” because I got to pose with Mushu, too:
I was so tired at this point. I remember passing an older spectator in a wheelchair with a sign that almost made me cry…I just wish I could remember what it said! I was too tired to take a picture…if anyone remembers what it said, it would be awesome! She was after the characters, but before entering Epcot.
I see the ball! I was grateful that it was almost over, and was feeling really tired.
Chip AND Dale?! Awesome, awesome. I knew the finish line was close and I was excited to run through the World Showcase…or so I thought.
I consider myself a Disney enthusiast, but I’m still puzzled as to whose Fairy Godmother this was. The fairy godmother of runners?! Maybe….
I was really, really looking forward to running through Epcot and finally finishing! Yeah!
Just kidding…you don’t really run through Epcot. You just run slightly under the monorail, into a little turnabout, and run right back out the way you came. I was sad (note to self: CAREFULLY READ course description!). It wasn’t a big deal (I had most been looking forward to running through the MK, anyway), but at this point in the race, it was a let-down. I did, however, hear tons of things about the gospel choir that was coming up near mile 13!
Right before the gospel choir, it started to drizzle. I whipped out my camera to take a photo of mile marker 13, and my lens got a little foggy.
But then I saw the finish! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
There weren’t too many spectators at this point, but it was still really cool. One of the spectators I saw throughout the race must have been following someone close to my pace, because I saw his just keep swimming sign several times.
I picked up my speed to run through the finish line. Then I did a double-take and ran in the OPPOSITE direction from the finish. I almost missed THIS:
The perfect photo finish! Now only if my lens hadn’t been foggy…I still think it’s pretty cute, though. (Do I look like I just ran a half-marathon?!)
After I waited for my parents (unfortunately, they got stuck on a monorail when it broke down, and missed me finishing by minutes), we took the bus back to the hotel and showered. I was too revved up to sleep and I was dying to go to the parks to show off my medal. So we headed to Hollywood Studios. On no sleep, pretty much, having been up since three am.
I’m exhausted, but happy. We grabbed something to eat:
Then we went on Star Tours, watched a parade, and I started to have a gigantic headache. It’s hard to fight your body, even if you really want to have fun. We headed back to the hotel for some much-needed snooze time.
Then later that night, around 7, we headed back to Hollywood Studios! Even though I know it’s not MGM anymore, sometimes I still call it that….
We caught my favorite Disney show in the history of Disney shows…Fantasmic! I bought a giant Mickey rice krispy treat (that would be a giant rice krispies treat shaped like a Mickey head, covered in chocolate, and covered in M&M’s on top of that…yum. I was definitely thinking about getting one of these at mile 10!)
We rode Toy Story Mania (another great ride!), Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (okay…only I did), The Great Movie Ride, and the Tower of Terror. I had never been on this last one (my mom has been teasing me, saying she’s going to take me on it since I was five). Supernatural things and heights scare me (even though I LOVE roller coasters…go figure), and some people in the lobby were saying it was the scariest ride in Disney and be prepared to be terrified…I was cursing like a sailor the whole time (the elevator was pretty empty), but the drop was really mild! I was pleasantly surprised and I thought the coolest part was when the doors opened and we got to see the whole park lit up at night. My mom thinks it would be cooler during the day, because you can see more, but I always think rides at night tend to have just a little bit more magic.
As if I didn’t have enough sugar in my life (true fact: every stomach has a compartment just for dessert. The dessert compartment. This is how I always managed to go, “I’m sooo full,” when I ate real food and still had room for dessert. Now you know!
Mmm, ice cream sundae. Delish. We took the bus back to the hotel and I fell asleep quickly. What a magical day.
Oh, man. After this series of posts, I’d love to go back to Disney. My roomie plans to run the Tower of Terror 10-Miler in two years, and I think that’s probably the next time I’ll be back. Have you ever been to Disney World? What about Disneyland?
I’m a huge fan of thinking about what I’m going to eat after the race to get myself through some tough mileage…do you ever think about food when you run/work out? How do you motivate yourself?