Goofy 2012: The Half Marathon

After the quick warm up 5K the day before, the real meat and potatoes of the weekend began Saturday morning. As with last year I got up threw some clothes on and just headed to the nice warm Race Retreat to get ready. There seemed to be a lot more people around this year than last, but that could just have been me not being away in my own little world as much as I was 12 months ago.Paul finishing the half-marathon

I’d had a few stomach problems the night before so was feeling slightly delicate and just made do with a banana and a hot chocolate to keep my hands warm. I then attempted to get down to the start with 30 mins to go. Unfortunately about 15,000 other people had the same idea, and it was just chaos. As with the previous 2 years I was running to my corral to make sure I got there on time. I also suspect I may not be allowed into America again, as with all the running around and delays I ended up urinating behind a bush while they sang the National Anthem, which I suspect is probably against the law!

Moments after I made it into the corral and had Runkeeper up and running along with the right running playlist the fireworks were released to signify the start. For the first time I was in corral A, so got away first. It took over an hour for everyone to get over the start line!

I had decided ahead of time that the plan would be to get 10 miles of about 8:45 and at some point put in three miles of around 8 min pace, just to see how my heart rate reacted as a guide for pacing on Sunday. So I duly set off at 8:45. Being in the first group away this actually meant I was running about the pace of the people around me for a change and not the headlong sprint that it has been before, trying to overtake people as I had been put in the wrong corral for my times.

It was quite a boring run, which was to be expected really. You can’t enjoy yourself too much when you know you have to keep something in the tank for the next day. Fortunately though I didn’t have any of the wardrobe malfunctions of last year, so it was easier to keep a nice steady pace.

I was meant to meet up with Sarah and Max at the 5 mile mark as it is right outside the Contemporary Resort where we were staying. Due to some communication mishaps that didn’t happen, but I wasn’t too fussed as it was only really a training run anyway.

As with last year running up Main Street in The Magic Kingdom was fantastic with all of the lights on, and we were treated to another spectacular sunrise as we headed out of the car park. Once we left Magic Kingdom and set off back up towards World Drive it suddenly became much colder as we were in a more wooded area, and I started to notice that my upper body was a bit cold.

At the 10M mark it was time for an acceleration and my legs duly obliged.   I actually managed to just get under the 25 min barrier that had eluded us the day before. My final time was 1hr52min15secs which is pretty close to my predicted finish of 1hr53min.

I went for a 20 minute massage, which helped a lot, but was in a cold tent and not the nice warm Race Retreat, so I was shivering uncontrollably by the time I was finished. A cold walk over to the Retreat and I was able to get all my clothes back on and warm up nicely and also fill up with eggs, sausages and potatoes!

I didn’t seem to be too the worse for wear. My feet and toes were sore like they normally are (the main reason I need to have a long rest when this season is over), but they normally ease off after the first few miles so I wasn’t unduly concerned heading into the marathon..

So that just left 26.2 miles standing between me and enjoying the rest of my holiday!