- One of my biggest regrets from the race is that I didn't take nearly enough pictures. I was terrified I would be too slow to finish (Disney sweeps you if you go below a 16 min average pace), so I mostly counted on the race photographers to capture my Disney magic and skipped almost all of the character opportunities. Unless you are looking for a PR, races should be a lot of fun. Next time I'll take a leaf out of One Crazy Penguin' book and try to stop and smell the roses more. Or should I say take goofy pics? haha PS: Race photographers at big races=hit or miss. They don't always see you and you don't always see them. So if they capture a pic, chances are you aren't ready for them.
- Jeff Galloway is my homeboy. Jeff Galloway is the official runDisney coach and he created the training plan I used for the race. He is also a very strong believer (and possibly the creator?) of the run/walk method. Most runners who use this method can run farther and faster than if they just ran the whole thing. For asthmatics, it also makes running possible for some of us who really struggle. I highly suggest trying it out. It literally saved me. If you're interested in seeing his training plan that I used or have any questions about it, email me at roswell@Okstate.edu.
- Hydration and sleep are really as important as they say. I knew this ahead of time. Everyone knows this. But following through with this? Not so easy. Especially in Disney. Next time I WILL get some sleep and drink plenty of fluids all week.
- Money- was it really worth it? Disney races are expensive compared to others, so many have asked if I think it was worth it. The answer is 100 thousand times yes. The race had so much support and magic the whole way it was incredibly memorable and special. There were fireworks, characters, unbeatable views, great training plans, race swag, a gorgeous medal, and so many opportunities to enjoy yourself and create memories. On top of that, the support was unbelievable. I haven't been to other half marathons, but I've heard slow people are often discouraged or feel out of place. At Disney this is totally not the case. I think the back of the pack got the most support. I never felt slow or like I wasn't an athlete or that someone didn't think my accomplishment was any less than the other runners who finished. Disney does an amazing job of making you feel proud and accomplished no matter your time. They also have hundreds of cast members (staff) out on the race cheering you on. You couldn't go more than .25 miles without a "Good job" or "keep going". The cast members helped so much to keep me going. But the most important reason I think it was worth every penny is that it truly turned my life around. There was more than one day that if I hadn't known I had this amazing race to go or that we had put so much money into the race all ready, I wouldn't have kept training.
- Stay with your partner, it's not worth it. I have to make a confession: I'm a terrible daughter. Mom and I talked before the race and agreed we wanted to run the race together until about mile 13. Then if one of us felt like sprinting to the end, we would split up. We we're totally agreed. We even agreed that if one of us was slowing the other way down we'd split up earlier if we needed to. We talked about this because if I had an asthma attack, I still wanted her to finish. During the race I had to stop twice for the bathroom (yay mother nature!) and my mom stayed the entire time waiting for me. She lost at least 10 minutes, not to mention totally let her legs get stiff waiting just to run with me. She was a rockstar. By mile 13 I was not in good shape. I was exhausted, tired, dehydrated, and cramping. My brain was turned off. I just wanted to get the race over. So like a dummy, I said "I have to run to the finish. You coming?" and mom who was feeling the same things decided no. So, like a true jerk, I took off to finish without her. We finished 10 seconds apart. Once blood started pumping to my brain again I felt like the total jerk I was. Mom had stuck with me through the whole thing and I traded finishing by her side for 10 measly seconds. Was it worth it? Absolutely not. Clearly I wasn't in my right mind at that point, but I definitely learned never to be so dumb again. Sorry again mom! :(
Don't forget my Virtual 5k!