Back in January, I ran the Disney half marathon. I signed up for it in August, as a way to keep my exercise on track while I started working two days a week. I figured if I had a goal I would keep up the exercise (which meant getting up at 5:30 at least twice a week). Running works well because it can be done anytime, anywhere, unlike the step aerobic classes I had been taking.
After I had registered, I found out the race starts at 6AM, which means I had to be to the start line at 4AM!!! Ugh. Somehow I managed to get a decent night's sleep,was up at 4, and made it to the start line at 4:20. When I arrived, I realized how large 16,000 people is. The line went on forever (see picture of the start line, above). In fact, I didn't cross the start until 10 minutes after the first runners began.
The course was fun - we began at EPCOT, ran to Magic Kingdom, then back to EPCOT. All along the way, there were characters, bands, and cheering onlookers. The best part was when we ran through Cinderella's castle and down Main Street. The worst part was when I realized that meant I was only halfway finished. I made it, though, with a respectable time of just under 2 1/2 hours. Later, when I checked all the times, I realized that put me in the top 25%. That is not a reflection of my speed, merely a reflection of how many recreational runners were in the field. It still made me feel good.
Now, a glutton for punishment, I am training for Grandma's Marathon held in Duluth, MN. My brother Dave is running the full marathon, while I will do the half. I've been increasing my mileage, and hopefully my speed, too. A friend gave me the coolest watch that has a GPS unit on it, so I can track my distance. No more driving my routes in order to get the correct mileage! It also calculates how many calories I burn...all the more I can eat that day!!!