Sunday, March 1, 2015

GSC 2015: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I've officially completed my third half marathon and my second Glass Slipper Challenge and lived to tell that tale! So here goes- the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I arrived Friday morning with my friends and we headed immediately to the WWoS to get our packets and do a quick sweep through the expo.  I mean it when I say quick- I had seen the merchandise, but I also knew that most of it was gone and I had gotten what I'd liked the two previous years, so I didn't even bother checking out the larger runDisney section for anything.  We split up with a meet up time about 20 minutes later. A few minutes for a new Raw Threads tank and a stop by the Handana table for one of those beauties, and I was good to go! We headed to Animal Kingdom for the afternoon (best part of my day was the giraffe that passed within reach of our safari vehicle) and then back to our room at All Star Sports with a stop for a big plate of pasta in the cafeteria.  It was an early night, since we had all been up since about 4am to catch flights, and an early wake up call was coming!

Saturday: We started the day off bright and early with a 2:45am wake up call, and a 3:30am trip to the bus after debating for ages over how many layers we needed to wear to combat with the 30 degree weather.  We finally made it over to Epcot and spent the next hour or so desperately trying to stay warm.  My BRF Meg and I had decided to go as Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, but ended up ditching our shorts and skirts for black pants instead, which was the much warmer choice.

The "Tweedles"- neither of us is Dum here!
I REALLY enjoyed the 10K this year.  I continue to be slightly disappointed with the first half of the course and the lack of entertainment on it, especially this year when I was looking for any distraction from the cold.  However, by the time we got to the World Showcase, I had managed to lose my throwaway shirt and was able to enjoy a gorgeous sunrise over the lagoon and then on the trip around the Boardwalk.  That has easily become my favorite place to run at Disney, and I can only hope that someday I will have the money to be able to stay at one of the Boardwalk resorts.  My time was the worst 10K time I've had yet, a ridiculous 1:14:50, but since it took almost 20 minutes for me to warm up, I had nagging ankle pain after mile 4, and I was trying to save myself for the half, I was ok with taking things slower than normal.
When taking a picture with the classiest mouse in town,
you pose like she instructs you to pose!

The plan was to take Saturday easy and stay off our legs.  First up on the easy day list though was brunch at Chef Mickey's! I absolutely loved this experience.  For one, who doesn't love the classic Disney characters and getting unobstructed photo opportunities? Second, I don't usually like buffets  at Disney because they are more expensive and I don't feel like I eat enough to make it worthy of increasing my credit card limit. :) However, a buffet brunch 3 hours after running 6 miles was EXACTLY what we needed and we took full advantage of all of the food at our disposal.

After lunch, Meg and I took the scenic route back to the hotel via monorail stops at the Poly and Grand Floridian.  She had never been in either of the hotels, so we took some time to explore and take some pics before heading back for a nap and some time with her family in Downtown Disney.

Sunday: Sunday started much like Saturday had, with the exception of it being a much more reasonable 55 degrees when we headed to Epcot.  The wait on Sunday seemed much more reasonable that it had it years past, and after one last group picture we headed to our individual corrals to get the party started!
Amy, Jenni, Meg, and me before the start!
Miles 1-3: The Bad
I quickly realized that my legs were hating me for running on Saturday and then spending more time on them than necessary the rest of the day.  They felt dead and did not want to move very well.  I started to feel better around the time I got to the Welcome to Magic Kingdom sign, but it definitely took a while.

Miles 4-7: The Good
I always love this part of the course! Starting with the run through the transportation center and seeing our first spectators, running along the Contemporary and seeing the DJ, and of course running through Magic Kingdom makes me super happy every year.  They also manage to be my fastest miles (which is a good reminder to me that a 10K is my distance for strong races and maybe I should focus on that one for a while).  I crossed the 10K mat feeling good, but I also seriously felt like I would be better off stopping there and calling it a day.  My legs were tired, my ankle hurt, and as the sun was coming up I was getting increasingly warmer.

Miles 8-12: The Ugly
I don't even really want to talk about this part of the course.  It was where I kissed any chance of a PR goodbye, where I let the mental part take over my body and slow me wayyyy down. There was little to keep my going, except knowing that there was no way I was stopping unless I was injured.

Mile 13(.1): The Good
I wouldn't be running if it weren't for this girl
and her support!
Running into Epcot (and changing from a 2:1 interval to a 1:1 interval) helped me to get my head back in the game.  I made it through the dreaded hairpin turn and headed out of Epcot with a smile on my face.  I crossed the finish line in 2:38:27, which just barely beat my worst half marathon time from my first PHM.  I didn't even care at the point, I was so over it.  I found Meg at bag check and managed to get a couple of pictures before we hobbled toward the busses and back to the hotel.

We celebrated on Sunday as we always do, with drinks and food all over Epcot.  By the time 7pm rolled around, I was done with the day and ready to sleep.  Health apps said we had put almost 23 miles on our legs that day, and my legs would have agreed (and probably said more).

This will probably be my last PHM/GSC for a while.  I've got my school exams next March right after the race, and I know that those have to take priority.  It definitely won't be my last runD race though- Meg and I are already talking Wine and Dine 2016!

How was your race and how did you celebrate? Any PR's out there this year?


  1. We did GSC too for the second year. We love the 10K race but agree with you on the lack of entertainment in the beginning. Congrats!

    1. Congrats to you guys too! PHM and GSC hold special places in my heart as the first major races I ran, so it's great to go back every year!