This past week my Wordless Wednesday declared-I Did It, I Did It, I Really Did It!
I ran all 13.1 miles of runDisney’s Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon. I know, so did a lot of other runners. But this was my third runDisney race, and at the previous two I had been swept, meaning I was behind pace, and not allowd to finish.
I always put a good face on being swept. The first time I made it 8 miles, and the second time 7 miles. Not too shabby-respectable even, but still I hadn’t finished. Yes I got a medal. Yes I got a lot of congratulations. Yes there were a lot of people proud of me. But still I wanted to truly finish.
Tower of Terror 10 Miler 2013: The second runDisney race that I was swept. In my recap I admitted I had a bad moment where I was going to quit racing. Thankfully I have awesome friends, one who I was seeing literally upon finishing who told me that was ridiculous.
I knew for Wine & Dine I had to think positively. I had to not let the negative thinking creep in. The Balloon Ladies are well know with runDisney runners. They keep a 16 minute a mile pace, and if you see them on the course you need to keep up with them, or better yet stay ahead. If you fall behind you could be in danger of getting swept.
While I know that in real life the Balloon Ladies are perfectly lovely, nice women-I knew that if I saw them, or even heard they were nearby it could doom me. I also knew I needed to be completely focused on my end goal. At the start of the race I made a playlist, put my earphones in, set up my interval timer (I run 30, walk 30), and kept putting one foot in front of the other. And I was not stopping for anything.
The Day of the Race
I had major stomach issues. I wasn’t sure why, I didn’t think it had to do with nerves about racing, but it is not like my anxiety about the race was helping. Ever hear of being nervous helping an upset stomach? Nope, me either. I took Pepto Bismol, ate very lightly, and crossed my fingers.
About 2 hours before the start of the race. I was feeling better. Still not 100% but better.
My Family & Friends Keeping Watch
I am blessed to have family and friends who are incredibly supportive of my racing. During the runDisney race a runner’s splits can be sent to people via text, facebook and twitter. Splits are the times throughout the race when a runner’s time is recorded-at the 5k, 10k, 15k and finish mark with this particular race. Unfortunately like all technology it is not a perfect science-while some of my friends got my splits, one of my very good friends-the one in the picture above with me-did not. This was unfortunate since she was one of the few people who knew going into the race that I was not feeling well. She would spend a good deal of the race worrying that I had not even been able to make it to the 5k mark.
Because of my determination not to let anything distract me-I never looked at my phone until after mile 11, and I was sure I was safe from the sweepers. It was only then that I saw all the texts telling me to keep going. And of course my friend who wasn’t getting any updates if I was ok. I texted her I was fine, and pretty sure I was going to actually finish. I texted my parents that I was almost done.
And I kept going. Even with being basically 100% sure I could not be swept I was not stopping. I did take out my earphones, and stopped listening to my music. It was about 2am.I wanted to make sure I thanked every volunteer I passed, in addition to the people who just came out to cheer. I cannot even tell you what an amazing feeling it is to have supporters cheering you on as you near the end.
The one person I was going to stop for no matter what was Peggy Sue. I have been waiting a long time to meet Peggy Sue. Peggy Sue is a devoted supporter of runDisney runners. She is a legend among runDisney runners. When you see Peggy Sue you know you are near the end, and safe from sweepers. I wasn’t sure I would actually get to see her. It was nearing 2am when I enterted the spot she had been all night. I did not know if she would still be out cheering on runners. But that is why she is the amazing woman she is-she was still in her spot, holding up her sign, greeting everyone who went by.
I wish I had taken a picture with her. I went up to her, and told I had been waiting a LONG time to meet her. I thanked her for her unending support of all the runners. She offered me some Starburst and a cold compress. I took some candy, thanked her, and went on my way.
A fellow blogger did get a picture with her. April writes the blog: Mom’s Running For Her Life. The picture below is April with Peggy Sue. I wanted all my readers to see who Peggy Sue is-I cannot say enough good things about her. She is loved by so very many!
I really could not believe it when I made it to the finish line. Never was I so happy to see Mickey who greets all runners at the finish line!
With my past two races I have worn my medal after being swept since my feeling was I didn’t quick either time. However I always had mixed feelings about wearing it. This time was different. While I was in shock, and true disbelief I could not stop smiling. The next day, even though it truly hurt to move I was not going to just lay around. I met friends for brunch with a huge smile on my face, my I Did It t-shirt, and my medal around my neck!
I am beyond touched by the support and congrats I got on finishing this race. I also am amazed when I hear-I could never do it, ever. Trust me-if I can do this-you can as well. I of course want to preface, always check with your doctor before beginning any type of working out. But while I have lost weight in the last year-I do still have 40 pounds I need to lose. I finished 13.1 miles. It wasn’t fast, probably wasn’t really pretty, but I did it. You can do it as well. Check with your doctor, and once you have the ok, start putting one foot in front of the other. Plus keep coming back here to read more about my training.
See you on the race course!