|Me with my sash and tiara at the expo.|
So, I sleep peacefully and the alarm goes off. I had built in a 9 minute snooze to the plan, so I hit snooze and let myself wake up slowly. But then my text message goes off. It's a text from Chris asking if I'm ready to go. What? It's 2:15, right? NOPE! My 2:15am alarm was set to WEEKDAYS ONLY, so the alarm that just went off was the 3:15 one. I absolutely FREAKED OUT. I had come all this way and had such big expectations and I wasn't even going to make it to the bus!! I had thankfully laid out all my race gear the night before and threw it on like a crazy person. I put on the wig and some quick make-up, but not the original eye rhinestones I had planned, and was out the door by 3:40am. I also had no time to debate the ridiculousness of the wig, so on it went and my dorkiness factor just shot through the roof!
|Annnnd ready to go in 20 minutes! This photo has no indication of the STRESS I was feeling!!|
We caught the second bus from All Star Music and after what seemed like a long bus ride, got dropped off at the staging area. My adrenalin was still pumping through the roof but I did manage to calm down on the walk to the corrals. It seems like people were already walking toward them when I arrived so I followed the herd. The corrals were pretty damn far away. I waited in Corral C for about 45 minutes before they started letting the earlier corrals go. At Tink, it seemed more like people wanted to socialize, but no one around me really seemed too talkative or friendly, so I just watched the big screens where they interviewed the gal that came in last at Tink and Sean Astin. We got nice fireworks each time a corral was let go and finally it was our turn!
You know how they say not to run too fast the first few miles of a race? Well, no problem because it was literally elbow to elbow people. I started my run/walk and had a terrible time trying to navigate through the walkers, and meanwhile was getting bumped pretty badly by the runners behind me. It certainly wasn't ideal racing conditions. The first 4 miles were kinda miserable. It was warm and humid. I couldn't get a good groove with run/walk due to the crowded conditions. I was not really having fun. I don't even remember much in the way of entertainment along those first few miles. I never thought I wasn't going to make it to the finish line, but I was a little sad that this experience was going to be something to "get through" and not really ENJOY. I was basically walking at this point because I just couldn't make running intervals work. I was discouraged at my pace and sweating my beetonk off in that wig. I just wanted to keep it on until the castle and then I was seriously thinking of taking it off and tying it to my quiver. And then, like Disney magic, we were entering Magic Kingdom and I started getting emotional. How many times when I trained, did I think about this moment? Running down Main Street!! It was happening!! And I did get to run because suddenly, it seemed everyone started running too.
|Running down Main Street was the highlight of the race!|
|Yay! Now I can take the wig off, right??|
|The photo op responsible for a 26 minute mile!|
|The clock time was 4:16, but my chip time was 4:00:11.|
Did the Princess live up to the hype? Well, the beginning was a nightmare because I woke up late and had no time to mentally prepare myself. The middle part with Main Street and the Castle was everything I wanted it to be - just absolutely magical. The last half was a blast! And the best part was that I got my Coast To Coast medal and completed a goal I had set for myself more than a year before, as I sat on the couch. For those reasons, I'm going to give the Princess a thumbs up. Yes, the expo was kinda a mess and yes, there were too many people on the course, but as an experience I had dreamed about, it was all I wanted it to be. Even in my big dorky wig, I felt like a fierce princess!
|Me with my three medals!! Yay!! Goal completed!!|