I got my picture with the Alice crew, which I was super excited about. Then was a stop at the restrooms, and I went outside to meet Rachel who introduced me to Karen and April. I read both of their blogs (which you should check out) and it was exciting to meet them! Rachel and I then went in search of her friend, who we didn't end up finding, but we did find this guy with a sign that said "I'm your Prince Charming"! It was so cute. We took pictures, but I can't find them right now to post. After that, we headed out to the corrals. It is seriously a long walk, and I was just trying to ignore my toe hurting the whole time. It was then I also realized how much my feet hurt, from doing the 10k and the park the day before.
Once I was finally completely locked in to my corral (M), I realized I had to go to the bathroom, but there was really no way out at that point in time. I ended up stopping just before (or just after) the first mile, and waited in line about 7 minutes. That put me way behind pace already. I knew I wouldn't be able to stop for any pictures, but I knew that already. I got to the 5k mark and really never got into a groove and never felt good about the race at all.
At this point, I was just upset and angry and every bad emotion. This was supposed to be my race. Princess Half Marathon is what first inspired me to run. This was supposed to be the culmination of all my hard work, my destined race. And it was just all falling apart, getting worse with every step. Around mile 5, I texted Ray (who was waiting in the Magic Kingdom) that I was just going to walk the rest, and if I got swept then it was whatever. By the time I got through the castle, I decided I was just going to turn myself in to the next medical station. At the pace I was going, I knew I'd get swept eventually, and there was no point in putting myself through more pain. I was crying, in a really bad place, and just wanted to be done.
I stopped in front of the castle and Ray took a picture of me trying to keep it together, and I finally got to a med tent. I stopped my Garmin at 6.44 miles, but I'm not sure how much it was off from weaving and everything. I got put on the "parade bus" and waited until everyone else was done. We were the sweepers, and stopped to pick people up along the way. There were a few tears, but most people had good attitudes. Some people had injuries and knew they wouldn't make it the whole way, some didn't have a goal to finish, just to get as far as they could, etc. I wasn't happy, but I wasn't crying anymore, and these other women were helping to lift my spirits.
To summarize my experience, this is what I put on Facebook:
While I'm still, of course, a princess (and have an amazing Prince Charming) and got a medal, I did not finish my half marathon today. My feet just had too much around mile 6.5 and I couldn't make myself go anymore. But in the past few days I've had an amazing time with Ray, who continues to be a wonderful motivator even when things like this happen, watched him experience Disney for the first time, ran a great 10k, gone 25.25 miles in two days according to my FitBit, seen and met great friends, and had a wonderful time. I'm disappointed that I didn't finish but I've decided it's ok and I have another half to try again next month.
So, we'll see how RunTheBluegrass goes at the end of the month. I'll include the few pictures I have from Sunday in my picture dump post, along with pictures from Epcot Saturday afternoon.
Have you ever had a DNF? This was my first.