“A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.” - Walt Disney

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Race Report: My First Marathon - Mickey 2012: Part 1

Part One: Pre-Race
Want to skip to Part Two: The Race?  Check it out here.

View from our rooms
Before I knew it, and long before I felt ready for it, Christmas and New Years were over, and race week was here.  My BFF and I flew to Orlando on Thursday night, and made it to the hotel with no problem.  We love staying at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort - and we were even upgraded to a water view room with a view of one of the quiet pools!  After a quick dinner, we went to bed early, because the next day was going to be a busy one.

Race Report: New Year's Double

As a celebration of the New Year, my friend (and fellow ROTEr) Janice and I signed up for the New Year's Double races in Allen on Saturday, New Year's Eve 2011 and Sunday, New Year's Day 2012.

Janice was adventurous enough to sign up for the double Half Marathons, but since it was the weekend before the Disney Marathon, I chose to participate in the double 5K's.  After all, I still got the same cool medals and shirts for doing the shorter races, and I wouldn't risk overdoing it before my big race.

So Saturday morning, we drove over to the park in Allen where the race was being held.  I was slightly chilly, so it was a little rough waiting for the race to start, but once we got moving it wasn't bad.  As part of the Half, Janice's corral left 15 minutes earlier than mine did.  The 5K course was nothing exceptional - just a loop (with a short out-and-back) around a large neighborhood park.  It certainly wasn't my best 5K time ever, but I was just taking it really slow and easy.  After I finished,
I got my New Year's Eve medal, and post-race goodies, then setup my own one-person cheer station just past the start line/halfway point/finish line for Janice.  I saw her come through for her second loop and whooped and hollered for her!  Since it was a smaller race with a multi-loop course, I started seeing the same people over and over again, so it was fun to cheer for them each time I saw them pass.  As it came close to time for Janice to finish, I moved over to the other side of the finish line to see her finish.

After Janice got her medal and goodies, we hopped in the car to head home.  We made a couple quick stops at Target for some last-minute shopping, and at Chili's for lunch.  The race director had organized a special showing of the movie Spirit of the Marathon at a local theater (Cinemark was a race sponsor, and had employees running all the races), and we were able to get free tickets to see it on Saturday afternoon.  FUN!

Sunday morning, we repeated the process we'd just done the previous morning, ready to repeat the same races.  I was sorta feeling having spent the entire morning on my feet the day before, so this second 5K was a little slower than Saturday's.  Again, I finished my race and got my goodies, then waited for Janice to come through the halfway point starting her second loop.  After I saw her there, I cut across the park, and met up with her again after the bathroom stop and we did intervals together for 
about half a mile.  She then continued on, and I again set up my 1-person cheer station just past one of the aid stations and just before/after the monster tunnel crossing.  Here I was able to cheer people on as they were starting down and coming up the tunnel ramps.  A lot of the same people were running the Day race as the Eve race, so again I got to see a lot of the same faces, that were now becoming familiar ones.  I saw Janice again two more times here, and then again at the finish.

After the race, we stopped at a VERY crowded In-N-Out burger (newly opened in North Texas, so still a really popular place, especially on a weekend at lunchtime) to indulge a little.  Then we headed back to the house so Janice could shower before having to drive to DFW and catch her flight home.  It was a really fast and full, but really fun weekend!  And a great way to get in a last couple of taper runs before Disney, with some bling to show for it!

Separate medals & plate.
Both medals in the plate.
Medals at the finish line!

New Year's Eve 5K: 43:32 min, 13:57min/mi
New Year's Day 5K: 43:44, 14:01min/mi