Well, we can now check “marathon” off our race list! OK, not really. That may be getting a bit ahead of ourselves. But we successfully completed a marathon relay this past weekend, covering 42.2 km between 5 of us. The day was so epically long that a race recap would be more like a novella, so we decided to give you a Coles Notes version: some fun facts about our team, the relay and what we learned as we hit the 4-month countdown to Disney’s Princess Half-Marathon. We are determined to take lessons from each and every race day experience to help us sparkle and shine in Disney World!
Races start early. We all know this. What we hadn’t accounted for was how crack-of-dawn early we needed to get up in order to travel to this one and catch the bus to the start line. The race started at 8 am. As the first runner, I had to catch a 6:45 am bus to the start line. My drive was over an hour (slightly longer as we missed a turn in the pitch black dark and pouring rain!). So, I was up before 4 am and on the road by 5 am. I had my power shake en route. Do you see a problem here? Yes! I fuelled way too early and “bonked” at 8K – it was a real struggle to stay on pace and finish strong. Lesson learned: eat something closer to race time!
Sometimes it rains on race days. Not ideal, but nothing you can do about it except suck it up. On this particular day though, it poured at times and the temperature fluctuated. Luckily, we had extra socks and shoes on hand to change into after the race. We admit, we only packed them because we don’t like wearing our running shoes after races (no need to put extra miles on our pretty shoes!), not because we had anticipated finishing with full-on soakers. But at least we had extras – not everyone did. We saw runners trying to dry their shoes by heaters. Nothing felt as good as our dry socks and shoes that day! Little slice of heaven! Lesson learned: be prepared for anything. (I think this lesson has only justified more shopping…we now need extras of EVERYTHING for any and all weather possibilities!)
Running is a solitary sport. You can talk about it with friends, you can meet at races, cheer each other on, you can even run together at times – but no one can do the miles for you. Ultimately, it is just you and the road. That is what makes it so much fun to be able to turn it into a team sport for a day! It is a really different race experience. We think everyone should try it, at least once. Oh, and if you are going to run as a team, make time for a post-race celebratory lunch or dinner! This is where we got to hear about all the things we missed and put all of the pieces together to get a sense of the whole team experience. The day was wet, it was cold, it was long – yet we had a great time! That is all because of our friends who indulged our outfit choices, got up in the middle of the night, and made us laugh so hard we almost cried. Lesson learned: running friends are the best kind of friends!
Fun Fact: Between Alana and I, we ran an equivalent of a half-marathon…very fitting as we check off another race en route to the Castle!