I was a little nervous about the half and full but I was determined to do it. I decided to splurge on the Race Retreat, which is a private tent for before and after the half and full. I forgot about it and ended up having to go back to the expo to get the wristband for it.
I woke up at 3 on Saturday and took the monorail over and made my way to the Race Retreat tent. In addition to new restrictions on costumes, they were also checking all bags, even small running belts. P had bought me a new FlipBelt because I misplaced both of my Spibelts, but the check was really quick since I only had my credit card in there with some cash.
The Race Retreat was pretty nice. They had bananas, bagels, and coffee and they had all the characters from Pinnochio for photo opportunities.
The half was pretty good and the same course as what I remembered from the Princess Half last year. I was dragging pretty hard by mile 7, but instead of just switching to more running to get it over sooner, I forced myself to keep my walking intervals in there too.
After the race I indulged in a 10-minute post-race sports massage before going back to the Grand Floridian. I also made myself sit in an ice bath for 10 minutes. I felt great and not sore at all and I was really amped up and talking a million miles a minute.
We didn’t go to any of the parks that day but we went to Disney Springs and saw The Force Awakens. We’ve been waiting to see it so we could be together for it and I absolutely loved it. Disney Springs also looks great and the movie theatre we went to had dine-in food and a full bar. So we watched the movie while noshing on delicious burgers and drinking draft beers.
Sunday morning I was ready and woke up right on time again. I was so anxious I forgot to put my bib on! I went back to the Race Retreat, and was a little disappointed to see if was still Jiminy Cricket and Pinnochio again. I would have liked to see the switch out the characters from day to day.
I really liked the marathon course but the hardest parts were the stretch to ESPN Wide World of Sports and then ESPN WWOS itself just because I felt like I was running around and not really going anywhere. They had lot of characters, out though and the spectators were great and it helped a lot. I stuck with a five minutes on, five minutes off but ran straight through all the parks. I was hoping to ride Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom, but it wasn’t open yet and I didn’t feel like staying to wait. My favorite part there was the petting zoo they had by the runners. I stopped to pet a few animals (of course!)
P had gotten up early and went to Hollywood Studios and rode Star Tours over and over again until he felt sick so I texted him when I was getting close and we found me as I was going through.
I was getting more excited then because I knew I was almost done. I was definitely tired by mile 22. I didn’t feel bad or tight, just that I was ready to be done. I made my way through the Boardwalk which was so crowded it was hard to get by anyone, and then finally through EPCOT to the finish.
I was so excited to be done and though I felt fine, I knew I’d be hungry so I went back to the Race Retreat tent and had some brunch there. It was all very good and much welcomed after running for over five hours. The characters were still the same again, and the massage area was backed up for 45 minutes and they were only doing 10 minutes at a time. I walked over to the main massage tent, where I waited for less than five minutes and then really indulged in a half hour sports massage. My hamstrings felt pretty tight so I did another ice bath for 15 minutes back at the hotel and then rubbed some Thermoderm onto them.
We went back to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios for the day though I had to call it an early night again because I was exhausted. I never felt sore like I thought I would, but the balls of my feet were tired and my hamstrings were a little tight. With the running and walking, I clocked over 36 miles total that day.
Looking back, there are a few things I’d do the same or differently.
Things I’d Do Again:
- Run/walk intervals. These made such a huge difference in keeping me from being sore and staying happy.
- Ice baths. They definitely work and I think also helped keep the soreness down. After the full I had zero issues squatting or with stairs. I’ve always had some stiffness before so it was strange not to.
- Sports massages. Because you’ve earned it and they feel amazing.
- Bring two pairs of shoes. It rained a lot on the 10K so it was great to have a second pair of shoes for the half and the full.
Things I’d Probably Skip:
- Race Retreat. It was $230 for two days and I don’t think it was worth it. If they’d switch out the characters and serve beer and champagne after the races, I’d be all in.
- Not stopping for characters, especially on the full course. Honestly, I should have stopped for more characters. It’s a fun race, after all.