I got there early to take pictures with a friend. Since I had taken most of my pictures before the 10k, I just sort of kept her company in the lines. I did have to take a picture with Goofy and Donald again because they were dressed as chefs this time!
The nice part was that the first road ended up being pretty wide. We had a few lanes so everyone spread out and I was able to set a decent pace. My legs quickly reminded me that we had run 6.2 miles the day before and I was definitely feeling it early. I'd get a few good patches though and felt decent at times. I walked up the hills... I mean overpasses, and through the water stops, but for most of the race I ended up running more than I expected. I really got into a groove and all that trust in myself I had worked on through my training came into play and my legs really did do a great job. When I did walk, I kept up a sub-15 minutes pace, so even that training paid off!
I hit a wall somewhere between mile 9 and 10 which made miles 10 and 11 really long... especially the two on-ramps that we had to climb. I got my las bit of energy back for mile 12 and felt good except for my knee trying to lock towards 12.5.
I didn't stop for as many pictures either. I have pictures with most of the characters who were out and the length of the lines made me think twice about stopping. I really don't regret it either, which is surprising considering I used to love taking pictures with all of the characters.
When I got to the finish line I was surprised to hear that I had just run my fastest half marathon according to my Nike+ app. Later on I would discover I ran my 2nd fastest half marathon according to my official time, and that fastest time was set in 2010, when I was still training with my collegiate triathlon team! That definitely made the finish sweeter.
I got my first medal and a Dr. Cool towel at the end of the race and walked what seemed like another mile to the challenge tent. I was curious how they were going to decide how you actually deserved a medal. Essentially you walked up to a table where someone was waiting for you with a laptop. They typed in your number and approved that you deserved the challenge medal or not. There were no extra bracelets or anything like that, just a quick check on the computer. At least when I finished it worked out really well.
Later that night I met friends at EPCOT for the post race party. At 7:30 there were long lines to get your bracelet for the party and they really weren't kicking non-party people out till later that night. Considering I had to work today, I got a few things to eat and then went home. Today I talked to some friends who stayed and said there were long lines for most things, and even part of the party where everything, including food booths, were closed! I don't think I missed much by leaving before illuminations...
Today- 1 day later- I'm sore and the morning was a bit rough. However, after walking around at work and later on at home, I'm starting to feel good. My quads are a little tight, but overall pretty good. Probably better than I should be feeling considering how bad my training was before the race. I am excited to run the half marathon, and only the half marathon, during marathon weekend. I'm curious to see how good I can do without being sore and continuing to improve my training again!