The Enchanted 10K on Saturday morning was nothing short of amazing. Driving to the staging area was calm and serene; there were maybe two other cars on the road at 3AM. (I drove from US 192.) I vegged in my car for awhile and then made my way through security and bag check.
Looking around, I noticed that the scene was eerily calm. I knew that there would be a little more than twice the amount of people racing on Sunday, so I took in the fact that I didn’t have to wait in line at the bathrooms, I could find an open area to stretch and zen out without tripping over anyone…and there were only six corrals (up one from the last two years).
I went over to Corral D and quickly made friends as we waited for the corrals to launch (two of which happened to be part of the #PrincessMen group!!). (Was it just me, or did the timing of the launches seem a lot more spaced out this year?)
When we were let loose, I fell into a very steady rhythm. I didn’t run with music, and I was completely okay with it; I didn’t miss it at all. My Garmin later showed me that my splits were in the 11:30-12:30 range, even when ascending the Mile 1.5 hill. That’s never happened before! Woohoo!
My pacing consistent, and I briefly walked twice in 3.1 miles (also never happened before). After the 5K mark, I had many runners racing up to me after recognizing my signature hair bow (“You’re our bow girl!” was one my compliments!) and telling me that they read my blog and appreciated all of the advice I had given on the Princess Half Survival Guide I had created. This gave me so many warm fuzzies, and it was fantastic to know that my experiences and advice was helping my fellow runners achieve their goals and that they sincerely appreciated my efforts.
(^^photo courtesy of Allison!)
This energy boost came at just the right time…it was EPCOT time!
My spirits were soaring and I was in a comfortable groove. Hell, I even broke what I was saying about not wanting to take pictures and took some anyway. (I had never experienced World Showcase accented with pink before, so naturally, photos were a must!)
All was fine and dandy…until nature called. Naturally. The GI issues some of you know about came creeping around, and before I knew it, I lost about five minutes in the bathroom and my mile 5 split was around 17:00. Yeaaaah. Bye bye, Goal B PR of <1:15.
My tummy was being very wonky, and I had to dig deep to get to the finish. The Yacht Club and Boardwalk area of the course is one of the most energetic areas of the entire weekend. I found two of my runner friends from last year’s PHM, Heidi and Elizabeth, along Mile 5 at the Boardwalk and naturally had to run over to give hugs and say hello!
(^^photo courtesy of Elizabeth!)
Once I passed Spaceship Earth, I became obsessed with my watch. I was nearing my original 1:25 PR in 2013, and I had just minutes to go to improve that.
As I rounded the last corner and headed down the straightaway, it was a now or never moment. I bolted for the finish. I didn’t care how much my shins and knees hurt (and they were kind of wrecked seeing as I had never run so fast before during a race.)
After checking my time, I found that I PRed by a minute and a half.
What? I PRed? WHAT THE HELL?! What is this madness?? This hasn’t happened in years! YAAAAAAAAY!
I felt, and still am, absolutely elated. I will accept a 1:23:38 for my new PR, and I’m so thrilled that it happened on my favourite course to date.
Next up: 2016 Princess Half Marathon Recap!