Monday, May 2, 2011

Day Three-Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, pt. 3

At the half-way point I was feeling awesome!!  At mile 7 I was still going strong and started to take a few pictures along the way.  The Orlando Fire Dept. was there and I just had to take a picture for my fireman loving BFF.

I took a few pictures for Bug-a-Boo too.  She is really into Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty right now so I had to snap some photos to show her.

At mile 9, I hit a wall.  The last 8 miles were the best 8 mile of my life.  I felt great and I had little pain but at mile 9 everything came to a shrieking halt.  My knees were killing me and I was getting hot and was extremely tired.  I looked around and noticed that almost everyone was now walking.  There were only a handful of people that were still running.

The medical tent could not have come at a better time.  At the stop they had water, gels and BioFreeze, which is like industrial strength BenGay.  I got a couple handfuls and slathered my knees, thighs and calves.  Without it I don't think I would have made it.  My knees were in bad shape.  Fortunately, I had my phone and Prince Charming was texting me and sending me pictures of Bug-a-Boo to keep me going.

I also had my mileage dedication list and was referring to it often.

The night before the race I decided to make a list and dedicate each mile of my race to a special person in my life.  I carried it with me for inspiration and at each mile marker I would say (out loud), "this is for you, _______."

The list was an amazing tool and really helped me out when I was feeling like I couldn't go any more.

1=Jude and Tracey Clover - without whom I never would have had the idea.
2=Dad - my hero.  he can't run, so I'll do it for him.
3=Mom - my other hero.  for always being there and teaching me to never give up.
4=Tara - "if you can run 4 miles, you can run 13 miles".  Thank you!!!
5=Mamaw - for being a tough old broad and a wonderful friend and Mamaw.
6=Michelle - for being such a wonderful and supportive friend.
7=Heather - for always being there with encouraging, supporting words.
8=Tom - for being my angel, my prince and the best husband and for supporting my insanity.
9=Scott - for being the type of little brother who will never let me forget it if I don't finish. 
10=Jan- B.F.F. - 'nuff said.  I love you!
11=Aunt Dorothy - for being the best role model a girl could ask for.
12=Sydney - my joy, my love, my reason!  Always remember that mommies can do anything and so can you!
13=Me - for finishing!!
I thought that is was rather appropriate (and coincidental by the way) that mile 9 was dedicated to my brother.  He is the reason I kept running that mile.  It was also fortunate that my BFF was mile 10 to carry me through the the enormous hills that awaited me (unknowingly) at miles 11 and 12.

From mile 10 to 11 I was doing pretty good.  I was able to get a cool picture of all of the Prince's.  They were standing on a stage while the song "I Need A Hero" blasted from the speakers.  It was pretty cool!

Tarzan, John Smith, Prince Eric, Flynn Rider and Aladdin
As I approached the mile 11 marker I heard a voice over a loud speaker yelling at us.  It was Sarge from Toy Story.  He was yelling words of encouragement and support and as I looked ahead I knew why.  There was a huge overpass hill approaching.  I was able to run up and down it (very slowly) but I was hurting at the bottom.  I was able to get some more BioFreeze and continued to the mile 12 marker.  Only 2.1 miles to go.

I was so excited to see the Mile 12 marker until I saw another huge overpass hill.  COME ON!!!!  REALLY???  I decided to just walk this one.  I was almost done and I knew that if I ran over this hill there would be no way I could run across the finish line.  At the bottom of the hill I took a few deep breaths and started running again.  More determined than ever.

As we entered EPCOT the excitement and relief was overwhelming.  The finish line was just a little ways away.  Running through EPCOT was so beautiful.  All the flowers were in bloom and the energy was fantastic!

Just  before the Mile 13 marker a full-on Gospel Choir was waiting for us.  I was so happy and overcome that I started to cry a little.  Only Disney would think to put a Gospel Choir at such a pivitol point.  As I rounded a corner I knew the finish line was only .1 mile away and my "Power Song" came on.

Eminem's "Lose Yourself" from the movie 8 Mile is the one song that no matter how bad I feel it gets me going and keeps me going.

I heard the intro and couldn't believe it.  What are the chances it would come up on my iPod at that moment...
"Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment.  Would you capture it?  Or just let it slip?"
I kept running visualizing that finish line...
"You better lose yourself in the music, the moment, you own it, you better never let it go.  You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow.  This opportunity comes once in a lifetime."
Just ahead I saw the finish line and I saw the Goofy hat my Prince Charming was wearing and I heard the yells of my beautiful Bug-a-Boo...
"Feet fail me not 'cause this may be the only opportunity that I got.  You can do anything you set your mind to, man." 
OMG!  There is Goofy holding up his hands to give me a high TEN.  The finish line is just ahead.  I stop and wave so Prince Charming can get a picture.

I have been working for this and training for this for almost a year and now I'm about to cross that finish line.  Here I go!!!!

Disney's Princess Half Marathon Finisher!!!  OH YEAH!!!

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