It was HOT for the 10K – it was even HOTTER for the half marathon. RudDisney still had a heat warning and was telling everyone to take it slow and stay hydrated. My character was going to be Rapunzel for this run so I put on my purple sparkle skirt, the Rapunzel themed shirt I got off Etsy, and pinned a little Pascal (that I also got off Etsy) to my shoulder. Kevin once again dropped me off at Epcot and I made my way to the start. This day was gonna be tough…
After a long wait, it was my time to start running. I knew this was going to be a tough day because of the heat and also the house we rented (LOVELY as it was) the bed was horrible and my back was hurting.
It’s a pretty long walk over to the start and I was already sweating from the humidity. When my wave took off it got even worse. I was seriously second guessing the shirt I wore because (although adorable) it wasn’t an athletic moisture wicking tee. There was nothing I could do about it so I just kept going. Pascal and I made the trek to the Magic Kingdom – down the long (pretty boring) highway. This race honestly isn’t my favorite course, but running through the castle is just so fun.
I was a little surprised that there were no photo pass photographers right as you leave the castle like there were at Dopey last year. There were way to many people trying to squeeze through I doubt I would have been able to get a good photo there anyway. There were some at the bottom of the castle and I was excited when these pictures showed up in my photo pass:
Pascal and I stopped for a few selfies along the way. The lines for the characters were pretty long and I knew I was going slower than usual so I didn’t bother stopping except for the villains. This stop put me sooo far behind, but I had to get at least ONE character stop right?! That’s the whole point of these races. The queen from snow white asked me if I knew I had a creature on my shoulder and then told me to get rid of the pest – call pest control. Poor Pascal! I wouldn’t do that to ya buddy!
We ran away from those meanies and back out onto the highway towards Epcot. At some point along the course they were handing out cool sponges – THANK YOU!! They were much appreciated. It also seemed like there were a LOT of water stops – maybe they had extra because of the heat? I’m not sure. I kept trying to drink water or Gatorade at every stop, but once I would start going again I would have to really slow down because I felt like I was going to vomit.
I AM NOT VOMITING AT DISNEY WORLD I promised myself. I never had this feeling before during a run – and I hope I never do again. The further along I went I noticed people were passed out along the side of the highway.
OK – new resolve – I am NOT vomiting OR passing out at Disney World.
I slowed WAYYY down at this point. I knew the Balloon Ladies were getting closer and closer. If you don’t know they are the pacers for the final wave and if you fall behind them you will be swept from the race and not able to finish. They put you on the “Parade Bus” and drive you to the end. I kept turning around to see if I could see them coming and sure enough somewhere between mile 10 and 11 I saw the dreaded balloons bobbing towards me in the distance. I started to panic. I did not want to be swept this close to the finish.
NEW, new resolve – I am NOT going to vomit, pass out, OR get swept at Disney World.
I started to pick up the pace. I could see the Parade Buses as the the Balloon Ladies steadily advanced towards me. I reminded myself to stay calm – one foot in front of the other. KEEP MOVING!
Just like that I DID IT! I passed the Parade Buses and the Balloon Ladies didn’t catch up to me – yet….
We started going up a highway ramp and I had to slow down again. At this point the Balloon Ladies were right on my heels. I heard someone ask them how many more places they could sweep us and they replied; “2, MAYBE 3.” This was really frustrating to hear.
At this point I was over it. I didn’t care if I vomited, passed out or got swept.
I wanted it to be over. It was too hot for me. Right before mile 11 the Balloon Ladies passed me and I let them go. I decided if there was another Parade Bus I was going to get on it – and sit in the AC the rest of the way to the finish line. I realized as I plodded along that the Balloon Ladies just said this to keep us moving. There were no more spots from mile 11 to the end of the race where they could sweep you. I HAD to keep going. I reminded myself I was so close to the finish line and then I would be done! I couldn’t let Pascal down now – he clung to my shoulder for so long! Although, he is a chameleon so he was probably LOVING the weather. 🙂
FINALLY we went through Epcot and I crossed the finish line. WAHOO! I felt worse after this race than when I finished the entire 48.6 miles of the Dopey Challenge. I collected my medals and the snack box they give you and started heading towards the parking lot where Kevin would be waiting.
I chugged a water and a Gatorade and at some point I saw Kevin making his way towards me in the parking lot. I burst into tears and said, “I’m SUFFERING!” Ok, a bit over dramatic, I know. He grabbed some of the things I was carrying and we made our way back to the rental. I wiped my tears away, glad this race weekend was OVER – now I could relax and enjoy the rest of the week we were going to spend in Florida!!!