This was not the race I had planned.
It was not the race I had trained for or prepared for. It was not the race I wanted.
But sometimes we get stubborn in what we want. We get focused on getting things in only one way, one form. And the universe,well, it just doesn’t work that way every time. Often, we need to be open to the gift around us. What have I been asking for? Really asking for? And what did I get?
No, this was not the race I had planned. Thank goodness.
Welcome to my Disney Half Marathon experience.
Let me walk you through it.
Readers of my blog will recall that for the past two weeks I have been fighting some plantar fasciitis in my right foot. While it had been healing, the ultra prudent thing would be not to run a 13.1-mile race. For the record, my coach would have rather I spectated, but understood my desire to start the race and attempt the finish line.
So I went through an internal debate the day before the race. How do I approach the race? Do I try to go hard, perhaps set a PR? Do I just plod through it?
I knew this much: A. I wanted to start so I would start. B. I would listen to my body. C. I wanted to enjoy the experience.
Marathon Weekend at Disney isn’t just about distance running but about going the distance on unusual sleep patterns. The race began at 5:30 a.m. Runners needed to be in their starting corrals at 5 a.m. While there was free shuttle service from the resort hotels to the start at Epcot, Best Boyfriend Mark and I still needed a 2:30 a.m. wakeup call.
Even for an early riser such as myself, that was God-awful early.
But the morning went smoothly. I woke up, did some yoga (sun salutations), drank my Starbucks Via coffee (a holiday gift from Mark) and ate my oatmeal. Getting to the start was easy as was bag check and the bathroom lines. (This, as must runners will attest to, is very important).
The walk from the start/finish area to the actual starting corrals is about half a mile. For some reason, the walk took forever with bottle necks in seemingly unusual places. The procession included me, Mark and friend Greg. John, the other member of the running crew, had yet to arrive to the start as his shuttle driver apparently got lost on the way from the hotel to the starting line. This, I’ve been told, is not unusual for John. It’s why the guys like racing with John. He absorbs all the bad luck karma out there. But he rolls with it rather well.