2015 runDisney WDW Half Marathon

It's hard to believe that it's almost been two weeks since we were in Disney for the runDisney Marathon weekend! Before we left I posted my raceday wishes vs. reality and I'm happy to report that I successfully completed the half marathon! I definitely didn't think I was prepared to go the distance but it turns out that I was and I couldn't be happier with the result!

Saturday morning we were up bright and early and it was freezing.  I am so happy that I packed an Under Armor heat gear zip up before we left and I even packed extra mylar blankets with me (best move ever!). Between those two items I was able to stay decently warm (but not particularly happy at 4 am...). We were staying at the Grand Floridian so rather than taking the buses we took the monorail to Epcot. I have to say this made a world of difference. There was no long line to wait in, we were quickly dropped off and I bet we could have even left 15-20 minutes later and made it with plenty o time to spare.

Once we were at Epcot we walked to the start line and found our corrals. I think runDisney should consider counting that two mile walk (okay, it might not actually be that far but it's a decent distance!) towards overall mileage for the day.

I was in Corral M and my family was in Corral P, we said our goodbyes and good-lucks and went our separate ways. Because it was so cold and I wanted to save my legs, I did a little stretching and sat for most of the time in the corral until the race began and it was time to start moving up.

I love the anticipation as you move closer to the start line and I love the sendoff runDisney gives every corral. It makes everyone feel like a rock star at the start and I love that!

Miles 1-3 were relatively uneventful. It was dark but I was familiar with the course and I took my time, stayed to the right and felt great. I always love running through the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. The sun is always rising so the sky isn't pitch black and it makes a great picture.

I always gain momentum once I pass through the Transportation and Ticket Center. I love seeing the crowds and as we approach the Magic Kingdom, I look forward to seeing my family and running through the castle, of course!

Once I reached the Magic Kingdom the sun was up but it was still cold! My hands were freezing so my husband handed me some gloves (they were a big help). I stopped to say hi to my family, took a few pictures and before I knew it, I was at the 10K mark! I have to say, I was surprised at the lack of characters inside of the Magic Kingdom! I was really disappointed that Mickey and Minnie weren't outside the castle. I wasn't sure how much longer I was going to be able to continue so I stopped and waited 12 minutes for a picture with Cinderella. Looking back, it was a good move to stop and catch my breath, take a break and score a picture! I was really excited when I hit the 10K mark as that was my original goal. Anything past mile 6 was a bonus in my book for this race.

I knew there was a medical tent shortly after mile 6 and I was having some aches and pains (I'll spare ya the details) and running was no longer comfortable. I could keep a pretty decent pace walking (around 14:30/15:00) and decided to keep going and reevaluate when I reached the next medical tent at mile 9.  Once I did reach mile 9, I just didn't have it in me to stop. So again, I decided to keep moving until the very last medical tent at mile 11.  With every mile that ticked by I just kept telling myself  "_____ more miles" or " ______ more minutes" and before I knew it I was at mile 11. This is the part of the course when you walk up the off ramp (yay, what a treat at the end of the race!). As I was walking up and over the overpass, I could see the sweepers and I knew; I either finish or get swept. At that point I was not going to pull myself out of the race. I was hydrated, the weather was okay, my aches and pains were manageable and I was in constant contact with my husband.

After I had passed the last medical tent and mile marker 12, I knew I was going to make it...I had to finish, look how far I came! Reaching that milestone was the momentum I needed to push me over the finish line. Running (err..walking) through EPCOT with all of the people cheering was a great moment. I stopped for some of my favorite pictures along the way and savored every minute of that last mile.

Of course I had to run across the finish line. My family (who had already finished) were cheering in the stands and it was so much fun to see them as I crossed the finish line. I had a lot of momentum but had to stop dead in my tracks when I spotted this guy for a picture! Usually, race officials won't let you take a picture with Mickey (at least that's been my experience with Mickey pics at the finish line) but this time there was someone there to snap a pic...score! 

I was absolutely thrilled when I finished and received my medal. I honestly didn't think I was going to finish. It wasn't easy but it wasn't awful and I'm so proud of myself for not giving up. I'm also proud of my brothers and soon-to-be sister in law (who ran with a fractured foot!) for finishing as well! 

It was a great race and one that I definitely won't forget. I'm not sure if I would run a half marathon again during pregnancy but it gives me confidence knowing that if I wanted to and I set my mind to it, I can accomplish difficult things. Another great runDisney race weekend in the books! 

Question: Did you run a race during the 2015 runDisney WDW Marathon weekend? How was it?! Have you gone into a race unprepared? Ever run a half marathon pregnant?


Friday Five 1/23: About Me

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with the ladies of DC and bringing you a Friday Five that's all about ME (as if this blog doesn't have enough about me already....) but it might be some fun info you didn't know about me if you are new to my blog.

Here are five things about me:

1. Oh BABY! In case you didn't know (do I mention it alot? ;) ), I am pregnant and we are expecting a baby girl in April. It truly is a very exciting time in our lives and I am giddy with anticipation.

2. Teacher- I am a kindergarten teacher (this is my fourth year at that grade level) and I don't think I could teach anything else! I love my kiddos and feel very luck to be able to sing, laugh, and learn with them everyday.

3. Just Married- My husband and I were married in June of 2014. We're enjoying being newlyweds and soon to be parents!

4. Cat Lady- Yep, I am a cat lady and not ashamed of it. We rescued our two cats from local shelters and they instantly become beloved family members.

5. Love to Run- Hmmm...can you tell from the name of my blog that I love to run?! I am not the fastest or strongest runner but I love the feeling I get from a good run and the sense of accomplishment I feel when I cross the finish line. My favorite race distance is 13.1 and I'd love to run a sub 30 5K in a race (I've done it once or twice on training runs). I have run one marathon with a friend and I'm not sure if I would run a full again. I think I'd like to focus on speed in the half marathon.

Thanks to the DC Trifecta bloggers...Courtney (Eat, Pray, Run DC), Mar (Mar on the Run!) and Cynthia (You Signed Up for What?!) for hosting the Friday Five linkup each week! Be sure to stop by their blogs as well :) 

Question: Tell me something about you! Anything you're wondering about me?! Happy Friday!


Pregnancy Favorites

Last week I share my first and second trimester of pregnancy experience and today I wanted to share my must-have items for surviving those first (really tough for me) months. Here are my pregnancy favorites for the first and second trimester

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate- It's so important to stay hydrated through pregnancy for mama and baby. If you suffer from morning sickness like I did, it's even more important to stay hydrated. Choose a waterbottle and take it with you everywhere. I was never without my water bottle and often added lemon or fruit to my water to make it more flavorful. 

2. Preggie Pops + Drops- I was a BIG fan of these in my first trimester during all of those bouts of nausea. They didn't "cure" my nausea but they were something sour to suck on and eased the nausea for a bit. 

3. Palmer's Cocoa Butter- With your skin stretching and changing around my belly, I wanted to keep it as smooth and moisturized as possible. I use this after every shower and it's kept my skin nice and soft and I also love the cocoa butter smell! 

4. EOS Lipbalm- One of my early pregnancy symptoms was really chapped lips so I was always carrying one of these lipbalms with me. Pregnant or not these are my favorite and they come in great flavors! 

5. SPROUT app for iPhone - This is my favorite pregnancy app. It gives you week by week updates on baby's growth and also gives you a cool 3d render of baby as he/she changes weekly. I had the free version (which is great) but upgraded to the $3.99 version for the kick counter and contraction counter (when the time comes..eeek!). Definitely worth the extra money :) 

6. Pillow- Trust me when I tell you to go out and splurge on a really comfortable pillow. I have a king size pillow that has been my best friend throughout this pregnancy. 

7. Pre-Natal Vitamins- There are a lot of prenatal vitamins out there. It took me awhile to find one that agreed with my body. Find one that works best for you and stick with it. Those vitamins are essential for you and baby! 
*Note: I tried the gummy prenatal vitamins and just couldn't do it, they had an awful taste and were coated in sugar (yuck!)

Question: Do you have any pregnancy favorites for the first or second trimester?