I woke up the morning of the 10k feeling rested and ready to race! The good thing about getting up early and running the 5k the day before is that I was tired enough to fall asleep that night despite all of my excitement. The 10k started thirty minutes earlier, so that meant I had to get up earlier. Every night before bed I made sure that I had everything that I would need laid out and ready to go, including my costume. About thirty minutes after I woke up we were heading out the door.
This race I was dressed as Princess Leia. I had found the perfect Leia dress at JcPenney that looked like it was made for running. The material felt great and it even had netting on the back in case I got too hot. The only problem was that it had a hood attached for the hair and a tight collar around the neck. My mom was able to remove the hood and collar and re-sew a neckline to create a perfect running costume!
I was really feeling the nerves by the time we got there. I planned this race as my goal race. I figured that it would be the easiest to go my fastest which would get me a great proof of time for future races. I really wanted to finish in less than fifty minutes, but I would be happy with just beating last year’s time of 51:25.
It was a cool morning so when it was time to enter the corrals I removed my jacket, but left the white matching arm warmers on. Once again I headed to the front of corral A. Time seemed to speed by and before I knew it we were once again walking towards the start line. The announcers talked for a bit and then at about 5:30 the fireworks went off and I sprinted over the starting line and out onto the course.
This course was the exact same as last year, right down to the entertainment. That didn’t bother me, but I thought they could of at least had Ariel and Prince Eric on top of the first overpass instead of Anna and Elsa since the theme was The Little Mermaid this year. After the overpass we made our way through the Epcot parking booths where a speaker warned the approaching runners of the speed bumps. I don’t remember that happening last year, but it sure was nice.
One of the hardest parts of the course came at about a mile after we turned the corner and headed back towards the park. There was an overpass we had to run up, but it wasn’t as bad as I had remembered from the year before. My hill training really paid off on those inclines! The first mile took me 7:36 according to my Garmin. I was very happy with that because that was about the time of my first mile the year before. The problem I had that year was that I really slowed down after mile one, especially in the second half. This year I wanted to try and maintain my pace the best that I could.
Mile two was 8:02 with the incline which wasn’t bad at all. I allowed my self to slow down a bit for mile three. I planned on really picking the pace back up for the second half. Mile three took me 8:10 and then we finally entered the World Showcase. I tried not to look at my Garmin too often and went by feel. If I felt that I could speed up then I did. When I wanted to look at my watch to see how far to the next mile it was almost impossible because of how dark it was even in the passing lamp lights. I could have hit the back-light button, but I was afraid that I would accidentally mess up my track.
I did end up picking up my pace during mile four at an 8:04 average, which could be because of my excitement of running through the different countries and onto the Boardwalk. The Boardwalk didn’t seem as difficult this year either. Last year I was afraid I would trip on one of the boards, but this year it didn’t seem to make a difference. It was one of my favorite parts because I was almost finished and the guests from the Boardwalk Hotel were out there cheering us on. Mile five around the Boardwalk took me 8:12.
Like most races, the last mile was the toughest. Mile six brought us through a backstage area and back into the park. I used everything that I had in me to maintain my pace and beat my previous record. I knew by my time that I probably wouldn’t make my goal of under fifty minutes, but I also knew that I wasn’t going to give up and I would try my best. I was able to maintain my pace and finish mile six in 8:12 as well.
The most welcoming sight was when I passed Spaceship Earth. That was always the symbol for the end of the race to me. I sped past it and then passed the six mile sign. Only 2/10ths left! I ran as fast as I could and looked up at the clock when the finish line was in view. All I had to see was that the clock was past the fifty minute mark and the disappointment settled in. I know that I must have had a disappointed look on my face, but I ran hard anyway. I smiled and did my fist pump over the finish line! Then it hit me, I beat last year’s time! A new PR is cause for celebration!
After I got my medal and snacks, my family informed me that my tracking said my time was 50:17. They told me how great I did. I only missed it by 17 seconds! If only I had made those seconds up, but I was still proud of myself. There wasn’t too long a line at the characters so I headed over there to get pictures taken with my medal on. I was in line for Rapunzel, but by the time I got up there Aurora took her place. I took my photos and then we headed to the parking lot.
On the way to the parking lot we past a medal engraving tent. I stopped to check it out and was informed that it was $20 and it would take less than two minutes to get it done. Chris paid for my medal to be engraved and I was really pleased with the outcome, that was until the results were posted by Track Shack. According to my results I finished in 50:15. I was happy to have finished two seconds faster than I thought, but now my medal had the wrong time on it. I asked the next day at information and the guy didn’t know why there was a difference and didn’t think two seconds mattered; he must not be a runner. I emailed Track Shack later and was informed that they use a different timing system for the runner tracking then the official results and that is why there is a difference. The right time is the official results, which means that my medal engraving is in fact wrong. I will have to try to get it fixed somewhere, or just live with the wrong time. I would advise that you not get your medals engraved at the finish line. It’s not their fault, but since the official results don’t come out until later in the day, there is a chance that the time they engrave will not be correct. They also don’t engrave the place on there. I will not make that mistake again.
After we left Epcot, it was time for a well-earned breakfast at the Contemporary resort. I had never been in the resort before so I was extremely excited. The food at The Wave was really good (sweet potato pancakes!) and the grounds were beautiful. We were able to take a great family photo just outside by the water. After we went to pick up our free gift at Fit 2 Run at Downtown Disney, it was rest and relaxation the rest of the day for me so I would be ready to tackle my first Disney half marathon the next day!