May the Fourth Be With You!! It only seems fitting that I should write my recap of the Dark Side 10K on Star Wars Day. Okay, so here goes nothing.
I had to set my alarm earlier than I have ever set it before. I had my wake-up call set for 3:45am, and Flat Jenny was laid out on the bed next to me ready to go!
That call came much too quickly as did the alarm on my phone and on my Polar A360. I wasn't taking any chances of oversleeping and missing my race.
I dressed, took a selfie and hopped on Disney transportation.
Disney transportation was a DREAM! I walked right outside the hotel lobby, the bus was there, I got on, and off we went. We stopped at the other All Star Resorts, picked up a handful of people and soon we were pulling in to EPCOT! It was so cool to see EPCOT in the wee morning light! I made my way over to the staging area, along with hundreds of other people. Amazingly for as many people as were there, it was so organized!
I was hydrating myself and waiting in line for the restroom at the same time! I was multi-tasking! I made my way over to the starting corrals, stopping for a quick photo opportunity!
I was in Corral E, which was the second to the last corral. Even though I was in the back, I didn't feel like I was in the back because there were so many other people there with me. I was alone, but I wasn't.
And for each and every corral Disney did an entire countdown, fireworks, the whole shebang. It was so well done, I actually got chills waiting to start running.
When the fireworks went off and the crowd started surging forward, I began to run.
Before I knew it I was at mile 1.
You can see in the background how many people were there! It was very busy. But at this point we were running on a road so it was quite wide and there was enough room to pass. I was jamming out to Selena Gomez and just enjoying myself!
We entered EPCOT and ran through the World Showcase. Hola from Mexico.
We left EPCOT and entered the Boardwalk area. Once we made it through Boardwalk it got VERY congested and crowded here. There were more walkers than runners, so unless you wanted to pass on the grass in an area about 6 inches wide you were pretty much forced to walk. I did my best to pass when I could, but I was forced to walk more than I wanted.
I was feeling really good. I was happy that I had brought along my own water and towel so I was able to wipe the sweat from my brow and hydrate myself as needed.
I could see the Tower of Terror off in the distance and I knew I was doing okay time wise. I still had no desire to stop for any photo opportunities with the Star Wars characters because I had no idea how close the balloon ladies were to me and I was bound and determined to not be picked up! I wanted to finish this race!
I hadn't done a very good job of looking at the course beforehand so I honestly had no idea where we would be going, I was just following the crowd! I was surprised when we ran up to Hollywood Studios!
And then we were INSIDE Hollywood Studios!
I was still feeling good, still happy, still jamming out to Selena. We ran right in front of The Tower of Terror but it was very crowded (again!!) so I didn't stop to take a photo right up front.
We ran out of the park and on to a main road. There was a lot of traffic but I never felt unsafe. Mile 4 came and went!
What you can't see in this photo is a giant overpass. It was a big hill and up and down I went. Still no balloon ladies. We went off road into an area that reminded me of Endor. It was soft terrain and I was doing a slow jog, trying to make up time from walking up the overpass.
And then there was mile 5!
I heard people saying that now that we were off the main road that even if the balloon ladies passed us we would not be picked up because we weren't in any danger. But I didn't let that slow me down! I only had one mile left and I wanted to finish strong! I kept running and running and running. We went through the Wide World of Sports and I was taken back in time to the day before when my trio ran on this same stretch of road and I got a little teary-eyed. I wiped the sweat from my eyes and kept right on trucking.
As I was running in I took a photo. And then the big happy tears started to run down my face. I had done it! I had finished the race. I did not get picked up. I did not get passed by the balloon ladies.
I earned my medal!
I didn't hang around too long at the finish line. I snapped a few photos and went over to take the bus back to the resort. I had been texting with the trio and they were ready to hear all about my race!
I had to wait about 20 minutes to get on a bus but really it wasn't a big deal at all. I chatted in line with other finishers and the time went by quickly.
When I looked at my data I was really quite pleased with how I did! I had negative splits throughout the race!
And while my per minute mile pace was higher than I had been hoping for, it was fast enough to keep me on the course!
My heart rate data (which I turned on as soon as the bus dropped me off at EPCOT) shows that I did work hard!
My friend Danielle told me that after this race I would be hooked on Disney races. At that time I told her "nah, I won't be hooked I'm not too much of a Disney fan." But she was right! I am hooked! Without a doubt I will do a runDisney event again!!
I had a great time, my kids had a great time and we will be back!
And in honor of May the Fourth, this is what I am wearing today!
The ears should look familiar, and my Cardigan has the Rebel symbol and the Imperial symbol on it. Tonight at my library I am hosting a HUGE Star Wars party! I'll share photos of that event later next week.
And now I'll leave you with a bit of wisdom from the Star Wars universe.