Sunday, January 15, 2017

Disney - The Race (WW # 76)


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Disney (Part Two)

When I left off (The Prequel), the fireworks had gone off and I was on my way.  My official start time was 5:52.  My feet and hands were completely numb.  The weather - with that cold stiff wind - was brutal.   I did not regret my decision to wear extra layers.  I saw runners in towels, blankets, bathrobes, garbage bags, and heat sheets. It took four miles for my hands and feet to wake up.  After being numb for so long, that was painful.




My strategy?  I'd just have to take it one step at a time. My lower back and hip had been hurting for weeks. It's an old water skiing injury but unusual to be pulling so much in the hip.  I gave serious consideration to DNS-ing.  I desperately clung to the hope that it normally doesn't hurt when I run (just doing everything else!).  But 26 miles?  I would be a fool to think it wouldn't hurt at some point.



The first miles were about jockeying for position.  I had to get away from the large 4:30 pace group whose run/walk method was causing extra weaving for me.  Later, they came up from behind during a very narrow section. Someone pushed on my back for a few seconds .  Was I supposed to move?  I'm biding my time to pass people.  They should do the same.  And do not touch me!  My blood boiled for a little while. They never passed as they slowed again to walk.  Thankfully I never saw them, or felt them, again.   

Disney is all about entertainment!  There were marching bands, cheerleaders, DJs, energizing music and those much-anticipated character scenes.  I have now run four Disney races and have never stopped for a picture {GASP!}.  I can't wrap my brain around standing in lines that deep.  I do find the character stops to be a delightful distraction.  I was disappointed not to see the hot air balloon this year and assumed it's absence was weather related.



First up, Magic Kingdom.  Running down Main Street is breathtaking.  The roaring crowds, the epic Disney music, Cinderella's Castle frosted against the predawn sky -- it's magical.   The conductor blew the train whistle as I crossed the tracks in Frontier Land.  That brought back a special memory from my first half!  I felt the race really started after exiting the park.  Back on open roads, it was easier to run and time to get to work.  There were several miles to zero in on pace before the next park.  The sun rose and it felt even colder for about an hour or so. I have to give major props to all the volunteers and spectators standing in the cold wind for hours on end!

For our arrival at Animal Kingdom, they had a variety of animals out to welcome us -- some in cute costumes!  This is the most challenging park with it's narrow, uneven, curvy pathways.  But, there is not a lot of time spent here.  When I crossed the timing plate at the halfway point, I saw 2:13:xx on my watch.  Could I negative split the race?   Wait!  Hold.The.Phone -- I'd be thrilled with an even split!  I can do this!  There was a sizeable crowd at the park exit and their cheering provided a great energy boost. 

My support crew!   PoPo's pre race help (aka: wind blocking) was invaluable.

After more highway miles, my least favorite section came next.   In my opinion, too much time is spent on the ESPN Wide World of Sports property.  Other than a quick lap around their super cool running track and Braves practice field, most of the running is on sidewalks.  Narrow. Winding. Concrete. Around and around.  The mile 20 marker was a beautiful sight as it signaled the end of this section.  It's here I start to think - I did it!  The worst part was over. 



Blessedly back on the highway and after a much appreciated uphill exit ramp (where my heart went out to a fallen runner), we entered Hollywood Studios.  Seeing my favorite Tower of Terror made me smile.  I knew they would be giving out candy and had been anticipating this for miles.  {It's the little things.}  I grabbed a pack of Crispy M&M's.  But...couldn't open it.  Whaaa?  After an eternity, I gave up and stuck it in my top.  I finally got a Tootsie Roll opened and popped that in my cheek.  Heaven. It stayed there through the finish line.  That trickle of sugar was exactly what I needed to get through the last few miles. 

Hollywood Studios is connected to Epcot by hotel properties so the highway miles were over.  Dig In.  Just Keep Running.  It doesn't matter how fast.  Just Keep Running.   Both of these parks were open and I appreciated the extra cheering from the park visitors coned off in their own lane.  Just Keep Running.

Mile 26.  Head Down.  Digging Deep.  Long past caring about wiping my face!


There it was.  The Ball.  Spaceship Earth.  One more turn, the choir in their golden robes singing We Are The Champions, and  --  the finish line.  I high-fived Donald.  {Where is Mickey when you need him?}  With a quick wave to a shouting PoPo, I kept moving through the long chute.  I stopped for an official photo and was handed a snack box and two bananas.  In the reunion area, I found PoPo who had my favorite Starbucks coffee waiting.  I gave him a tearful hug, guzzled that latte and finally ate those damned Crispy M&Ms.


Disney is big on fun and will never disappoint.  It was not easy.  In fact, I don't consider any race easy.  It's about pushing to your limits, accepting the things you can't control, and managing your own personal and unique struggles on any given day.  Each section had it's challenges.  The park paths are narrow, some hair-pinned and uneven. And all that ESPN concrete?  Quite the test.  The course flatness is also difficult.  The constant pounding using the same exact muscles in the same exact manner wears on you.  I missed the ability to push on an uphill and rest on a downhill.

As expected, I was aware of my back and hip after about an hour.  I made a conscious and continual effort to shorten my stride.  It was manageable and I never walked a step.  I appreciated the ability to be doing what I enjoy most.  Since it was cold, I only drank at half the water stops: mostly Gatorade, some water.  I ate my typical 4 peanut butter GUs and twice took an offered banana.  I find them easy to eat as they need little chewing, although I don't eat the whole thing.


I knew the course would measure long.  Last year, 26.7 miles.  This year, 26.6.  I think it's a combination of weaving, the inability to run tangents in crowds, and those extra curvy parts.  I was on track to run sub 4:30 for the entire race but worried about the extra distance.  It got me.  At 26.2?  4:26  {Boom! Yaasss!}  At race finish?  4:31  {Close! Agghhh!}

I was thrilled with a 13 minute PR.  You may remember, I fell during my last marathon.  I know without a doubt, I did not spend 13 minutes being bandaged at the aid station.  So, I feel very good about the progress I've made at this distance.  It got incredibly, deep-digging tough but I did not fall apart.  I was pleased with my endurance, even though my back and hip were uncomfortable for the majority of the race.  

I was grateful to be running.

And...wait for it...I loved each and every step!  Surely you knew that was coming!



What are your thoughts about the pace group pusher?

What is your favorite post race treat?





96 comments:

  1. I am hoping the pace group runner who pushed you did it on accident because I would find it very rude that a runner push another runner in an effort to get them out of their way. Perhaps this person felt they were going to run into you and that's why they pushed you to move over??? I have no idea.

    I know you said it wasn't easy but Holly you always make it look easy! You know I love Disney races but I really had to re-evaluate whether or not I loved the Disney marathon course with all its Uneven roads, on ramps, hair pin turns, etc. And as much as I don't care for the course, you make me want to run it again sometime. There is nothing like crossing the finish line of a Disney race! Congrats Holly. That's an amazing PR. You definitely deserved those M&M's..lol -M

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    1. The push was not accidental. It went on too long. Oddly, I was not being pushed sideways put forward. I think maybe they were waiting for me to turn around (to tell me to get out of the way?) but it was dark and I didn't want to take my eyes off the ground. No course is easy, in my opinion. But at least this one is MAGICAL!

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  2. Great recap. Like Miranda said above, I sure hope the person who pushed you didn't do it intentionally! Those pace groups are great for people who are in them, not so much for those who aren't.

    I'm so proud of you, and I think you've still got a faster marathon in you! I'm looking forward to some fun races with you this spring!

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    1. It was definitely intentional. It wasn't a shove, just a steady push forward in the center of my back. If it happened again, I had a few choice words at the ready! I think I have a faster marathon in me too. It won't be easy, but I'm up for the challenge. Uh yeah -- I'm ready for some spring fun!

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  3. Geez, I do run/walk and I have never, ever deliberately touched anyone while doing it; the only exception being the time I grabbed 2 women in my fun run cause otherwise I would've face planted . . . thankfully they didn't go down and I was profusely apologetic about it. And it did save me from falling, too. So boo to the uber-rude people.

    But congrats on a huge PR! I can't even begin to image running 26.6 miles without every walking.

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    1. The push was just weird. Maybe they were trying not to fall on me but that's not the way it felt. I brushed up against a young girl taking an inside corner and apologized profusely. I thought she'd stay to the outside. It happens.

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  4. Great race recap and congratulations on the PR.

    Even though I've never been to Disney I can imagine what each part looks like from your description. I'm not sure I'd like the winding twisting paths much either.

    There's a parkrun near me where you have to climb some narrow zigzag steps near the start and it gets really congested. I've only ran it once but there was a lot of pushing at that part but I think (and hope!) it was more do to with people having to put on the breaks unexpectedly as everyone slows down. But the congestion was enough to put me off from returning.

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    1. Honestly, there are more miles spent on their highway system than inside the parks. But -- some people don't like that. I do. You can spread out and run straight. The congestion of large races does add an extra element of to your running.

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  5. I cant believe someone pushed you like that! Ive had runners behind my step on my heels when we slow down too much or stop due to crowds, but I assume it was accidental because I know it can be tough to stop abruptly. Glad you enjoyed yourself! Disney sounds like such a fun race and Id love to do it someday. Congrats!

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    1. I've had accidental bumps and elbows before. I'm not sure what the intent actually was, but this was intentional. It was dark and very crowded at the time. Thankfully, it didn't cause any problem.

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  6. The fact that you loved every step is the most important part! That and the fact that your hip held up ok. I've been pushed or elbowed a few times in larger races not sure if it was on purpose or not. Kind of par for the course in a big race (pun intended) LOL

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    1. I've had my share of accidental bumps during races, but this was different. It certainly didn't ruin my experience. It just caught me off guard. I was relieved my hip held up. It felt better afterwards than it had in a month!

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  7. I had someone push me once...it was a rainy day and I was trying to avoid a huge puddle as we turned a corner....and this person pushed me (gently, but still a definite push) into the puddle as we made the turn. What the what?!? I think it's rude...it's one thing if they're trying to pass you and you're in their way...if they say,"excuse me" or "sorry" I can shake it off.....but nothing from this guy. And my shoes were a soppy mess for the rest of the race. But enough about me...CONGRATS to you!!!!!

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    1. Great description -- gentle but definite. That's it! Nothing was said to me. I waited for it to happen again as the group didn't pass. I didn't veer to the side. It was too crowded! The wet shoes would have really had my blood boiling!

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  8. Way to go on putting another marathon in the books! I really want to run a Disney race and hopefully sometime I will! I can't believe someone pushed you! Way to stand your ground and not move! :) At least maybe with your blood boiling, it warmed you up a little bit! Great finish time! I'm glad that your hip and back held up for the race! Thanks for hosting and I hope you have a great week!

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    1. Oh yeah, the boiling blood warmed me up and put a pep in my step. I wanted to get as far away from that group as possible! You'd enjoy Disney. Just get ready for a crazy early start time.

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  9. YES! Congratulations! So, so thrilled for you. You knew you could do it, I know you could do it, but the marathon gods of the first two you ran wanted you to have to wait for it. I'm sure that makes the PR that much sweeter! Congrats again!!!

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    1. I was happy everything came together for this one. Even the cold wind was better than last year's heat and humidity. I think knowing the Disney course helped a little too with the PR.

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  10. Congrats on another marathon HoHo, plus a beautiful PR!! These pics make me miss running in Disney - even though it's not an easy course I think...
    Way to Go!

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    1. It definitely is a mixed type of course, with highway miles and plus the park pathways. I can't help but enjoy any time spend at Disney. I'm a big kid at heart.

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  11. Great recap Holly! Congrats on your PR - so glad your hip and back behaved!

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    1. I'm so glad I was able to manage that discomfort and it never developed into anything painful! That was such a relief. It feels better now than it has in weeks. LOL.

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  12. First, congrats on a fantastic finish! Second, WTF! I've never paced a race, but that seems rude and dangerous, Maybe others who've been pacers can explain. It sounds like the course is tough - flat, winding, concrete can be brutal.

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    1. It was a huge pace group, taking up the width of the path. I honestly believe they thought they had the right of way. I don't see it that way. If I'm having to wait for an opportunity to pass people in a narrow passage, then they should have to as well. I'm glad I didn't move.

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  13. OMG I couldn't help but swear out loud as I read about someone pushing your back. Seriously who does that?!? It would never occur to me in a million years to expect someone to move out of way in a race. I mean wtf?
    Congrats my friend! You were SO ready to spank this one and I'm SO glad you did! Now bask in that monster PR for awhile. <3

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    1. It was dark and so crowded and I didn't dare turn around and chance a mis-step. But, I was secretly waiting for it to happen again so I could unleash my fury. LOL. I hope I can keep progressing at this distance.

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  14. Wow, that is an awesome pr!! Bummer that the course ran long, or that the tangents are so difficult to run, but 13 minutes is fantastic. Hope you are recovering well!

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    1. I went into it knowing I would probably run 5 minutes longer than I should, but I was stilled pleased with my progress at this distance. I hope I can train smart enough for the next one to take off even more time.

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  15. I loved reading your marathon recap, Holly; congrats on your PR! I would have been quite annoyed at someone pushing on me from behind and would have probably asked them not to.

    I love when a race offers chili after a really cold race, especially a trail race! I'm usually not hungry after a 5K or 10K. Speedy shorter distances leave me so spent I can't eat for quite a while.

    Thanks for the linkup!

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    1. Disney does not attempt to serves hot or fresh food but instead gives out a prepared snack box that is truly nothing to write home about. That's OK with me. We ate at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Epcot. It was definitely worth the wait!

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  16. What a great recap and congrats!!! What an amazing PR - and with getting pushed?! Yikes. Were you surprised by teh cold weather? I guess you do well with the cold!

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    1. I was hoping for temps in the 40s, but I was surprised by the 30s with that brutal wind. But, I'll take that over the typical warm and humid FL weather any day.

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  17. Congrats on your race! My favorite post race treat is definitely beer :-D I have never run Disney, and I am not a "Disney person" per se but I do think it would be fun someday.

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    1. Well, I'll admit to a few margaritas that afternoon. LOL. I don't think you have to be a Disney person to enjoy this one. All the sights and sounds are a delightful distraction. The miles seem to magically fly by.

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  18. I am SO glad you had a great race! I think the big races like that are super tough- all those people and people touching you- EEK! We have the short 5K around Legoland and people don't realize how hard it is to run thru a theme park! Kudos to you sister and congrats on that shiny PR! <3 hugs to you! XXOO

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    1. Not falling is winning! LOL. The parks are so curvy and narrow! Thankfully a good many of the miles are on open roads, although still crowded. I'm very happy to have earned ashiny new PR. :) Hugging you right back!

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  19. Congrats on the PR!!! Running at Disney is so much fun, regardless of whether you stop for character pictures. There's so much to see and do during the race! I have my eyes set on running the marathon there at somepoint. It won't work out for 2018 (I think my friend and I are going to run Princess next year), but I'm hoping sooner than later.

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    1. That was my fourth Disney race. They certainly do not disappoint! But, you have to accept they will be crowded -- and will have an insanely early start time. But, they make up for that with all their wonderful sights and sounds.

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  20. Congrats on the PR! I hope the back is feeling better now. It is always something, but you overcame :) I am glad PoPo kept you warm before the race and had Starbucks at the end! What a good guy!
    I can't believe you have already run 3 marathons! You really do make it all look easy my friend, but I know it is not.
    I know the pace groups are annoying that run/walk, I think that is why I always feel a little strange doing intervals now, I am know I am annoying. We were trapped behind a large group Princess weekend. I can't believe someone pushed you. I have been grabbed by someone who lost their footing, but never pushed that I can remember. That is a bit over the top.
    It is funny how the little things give you such a boost during a race. I was just like when I got a few pieces of banana after mile 20...total heaven. LOL
    Well done Holly!

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    1. Well, at least I came away from this one with no wounds. LOL. This was a really big pace group and oddly enough -- I remember thinking from their pace sign that they should have been in the corral behind me at the start. And they did finish behind me, unless they disbanded. I was not pushed. Just touched for several seconds in the center of my back. I assumed it meant "move". I didn't!! HA.

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  21. Congrats on your PR! I think if I ran any Disney race I'd stop all the time to take it all in along with photos with everyone!
    Great recap...now I need to read part 1 :)

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    1. My family is a big fan of Disney. It's in easy driving distance for us. We usually stay a few days and enjoy the parks. I take my photos then. But, I keep going back to experience the race over and over. After two halves and two fulls, it has yet to disappoint.

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  22. I give you huge props for standing your ground, but also not verbally losing it on the person who pushed // touched you. I can ASSURE you, I would have turned around and gone ape shit.

    There are 2 types of run-walkers in my opinion. The ones who make it obvious what's about to happen & stick to the sides of the course, and the ones who could care less & are obnoxious about it the whole time.

    Congrats on your PR AND being so consistent even in that second half!

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    1. It was so dark and crowded that I didn't dare turn around for fear of running into the person ahead of me -- or falling! This pace group was BIG and WIDE. I don't think they should be allowed to run that many across.

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  23. You are absolutely amazing...26.2 miles without walking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I eat Peanut Butter Gu for my halfs (no surprise) and I love me a Starbucks when I'm done. or ice cream or pizza...

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    1. I went into the race thinking I'd be forced to walk at some point because of my back/hip issue. When I got to about 20 miles, I thought -- NO WAY am I walking now. I swear we are long lost sisters! I had all of those treats at Disney.

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  24. I am shocked that someone actually pushed you during a race. How incredibly rude. There is no excuse for that and whether or not they were in a group, that is never acceptable behavior. I laughed that you have never stopped for photos during Disney race. We have rarely stopped except maybe during the 5k's. However, once I did not have my running buddy with me and since I raced the 10k the day before, I did the half for fun At about mile 3, Barbara asked me what my intervals were and so I joined she and Jeff Galloway for the remainder of the race. It was so much fun and gave me the opportunity to take photos! So glad you had such a wonderful race Holly. You deserved it.

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    1. I've been accidentally brushed and knocked against...no big deal. This was a purposeful push forward - not to the side. I'm not sure what the pusher thought it would gain. There were people in front of me too! I figure I can always take pictures later in the parks if I want.

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  25. Congratulations Holly on your PR and overall great marathon despite the cold! I hope your back and hip is better! When I ran Princess Half I waited in line for pictures and got really behind. I could not get around the crowd! I was running on grass at one point. Most people were courteous. I'm sorry someone was all up on your back. My marathon dreams are on the back burner for now. You inspire me so much! Have a great week!

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    1. In my first Disney half, I was in a late corral (because it was also my first half). I had to run in the grass to get around the walkers. I'm glad now I can supply a previous finish time that will get me at least a little further ahead in the corral placement!

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  26. Oh Holly, reading this ALMOST makes me want to consider attempting a full :) How sweet of PoPo to have Starbucks waiting for you ...now that's love!! I'm so happy that everything clicked and you did so well, especially with the cold and your back/hip pain. You are one tough cookie!

    As to the pace group pusher?? Totally rude! That would have made me furious and I'm sure I would have turned around and smarted off! I'm sure they are so focused on keeping that "pace" but need to realize that everyone is trying to "just keep moving" in those tight quarters. Kuddos for keeping your cool!

    Congratulations! Now we can start thinking about that bike ride ...50 miler? Dare we attempt a century???

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    1. What's the song? The dream that you wish will come true... It's a different mindset from a half and you can absolutely do it if you choose! I admit my bike is a little lonely lately. I need to do something about that. 100 miles? EEK. The most I've gone is 65. Definitely worth consideration though!

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  27. People like the pusher is why I have elbows. I understand why there is so much bumping and elbowing in track running, and if that person got too close, wam! I'm sorry, but I have the same thought: don't touch me! If I'm falling, that's one thing, but don't touch me to push me faster.

    Great job on the PR!

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    1. I was determined to stand my ground but it definitely gave me the incentive to get away from that pace group for the last time!

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  28. I can't stand the pushy type of people! If you don't want to be in a big crowd, don't run a big race! Congrats on a strong finish! WOOHOO!!!!

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    1. It does take a special kind of patience to run in a large crowd. Obviously, this person thought they had the right to push on through. I didn't give. LOL.

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  29. I would have been so annoyed by the pushing! There are words like excuse me or something but to push..aargh how annoying! I bet you were so happy when you finally got away from that group! I had a young boy weave in front of me during a half marathon for what felt like miles.. I would go to pass him and it was like he knew it and would get right in front of me. I finally just stepped on the back of his foot and he almost tripped, but he did get out of the way after that.
    Great job on the race! I hope to get to Disney someday!

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    1. I expect the crowding at a big race and a accidental bump or two. But, the pushing was odd. I hope you get to a Disney race one day.

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  30. I have been waiting for your recap since the race weekend! Congrats on the PR (and in less than ideal conditions). I'm kicking myself a little bit for not coming down and running it with you, but I'm definitely not in marathon shape yet and that would be pushing it. So happy for your and love your positive attitude. If someone pushed me in the back during a race, I might punch them in the throat. Although I love Disney races better than anything, I've seen some of the worst race behavior from runners during these events. Congrats again!!!!

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    1. I was pushing it by running two marathons so close together so I'm glad it turned out OK. I'm also trying to take my recovery seriously now, but it's very hard.

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  31. Really happy that the race went so well for you! You deserved a good one after having that bad fall in Chicago. But that pusher - what the heck?? When I pass other runners, I move around them - I never in a million years would push them to get past. That was weird.

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    1. I was wanting to go around the people in front of me because it was narrow and clogged up. There was simply no room so I was waiting my turn. I would never dream of pushing anyone!

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  32. Congrats on your PR!!!!
    I can't believe you were physically pushed. I strongly dislike it when I have someone tailing me so close I can feel thier breath on me. I've been known to stop suddenly or make a sudden swerve in order to make said person tailing me run into something and/or fall. Kudos to you for keeping your cool!!!
    Your official sub 4:30 WILL happen soon. 2017 will be your year!
    🙂🙂

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    1. I'm happy everything turned out well, despite the pusher. After falling hard in a race, the LAST thing you want to feel is someone pushing you. Trust me.

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  33. Congratulations on a PR and a great race! I think that letting go of expectations really sets us up for a PR, we are able to relax and just grateful for the gift of being able to run instead of "chasing down" a time or goal. I agree with you on curvy courses and every race hurting... if you race a 5K right it hurts too! Plus, I am glad you enjoyed Disney and had fun with your family and the race. Disney races are meant to be enjoyed anyway :).

    I hope you're having a good post-marathon recovery and not too sore or hurting!

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    1. Thankfully, I didn't get sore - just a little tenderness around one ankle. But I'm not good at recovery. I just want to go back to a normal running schedule already.

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  34. My blood would be boiling, too! I wonder what they were trying to accomplish by pushing?! Sounds like a toddler technique, if you ask me! Way to stay above that behavior and focus on your race.

    And the PR. AWESOME work!!! I know you will hit that sub-4:30 goal with ease in your future races and just celebrate that 13 minute progress for now. I can't even begin to imagine the crowds at Disney. Like Boston, but worse?!

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    1. Actually, Disney numbers are probably lower than you think. Less than 18,000. But it is congested in the beginning especially just before reaching the Magic Kingdom where the course narrows significantly.

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  35. Those pace groups were massive. Sadly, I can definitely believe that the push was intentional. There are some rude, entitled people out there. I'm so glad the race went so well for you despite the cold! You'll definitely get that official sub-4:30 soon!

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    1. I actually enjoyed the cold temps. The wind was the big issue. I'm glad the push didn't really affect me -- other than to make me mad. LOL.

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  36. Congratulations!!! Great PR! I can't believe the person pushed you... I don't know what I would have done in that situation, but it definitely would have gotten my blood boiling too.

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    1. I refused to turn around for fear of falling in that narrow, crowded section. It was also still dark. I just kept my eyes on the pavement but had my not-very-nice words ready if it happened again.

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  37. Sounds like a great day of running! Gotta love those. Congrats on your PR. I would have been livid if someone pushed me -- you handled it well! I'm glad PoPo was there with a latte after. I really like chocolate milk after a race. My favorite post long run food is a McDonald's hash brown, but I don't have them after races very often. I'm so impressed you ran it all (esp since I didn't run my whole half this week haha)!! Great job!

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    1. I usually don't drink my beloved coffee before a race so it's the first thing I want afterwards. It was a good day of running. Other than my hip/back being uncomfortable, it really came together nicely. Hash browns? Hmmm....

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  38. I'm not a huge fan of pace groups for that reason and a few others. I hate to say it because one of my good friends is a race pacer, but she also forces her groups to run only in doubles and no more than 3 wide depending on where they are, which I really like that about her. I think it was absolutely rude they pushed. So odd because my experience with my first Disney race (way too many years ago) was a lot of pushing and shoving too, but it wasn't the pace groups.
    The run walkers, I have no problem with those who like to race like that but so many need to realize if they are going that method they really should be more in tune with how it's affecting others behind them.
    However, with that said you did AMAZING!!! 13 min PR is fantastic, maybe getting ticked off by the pushers made you pick up the pace and maybe it even in the end had a little to do in helping, LOL since you were probably trying to avoid them and stay ahead!
    Great job, your an amazing runner!!!!

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    1. I'm not even sure why that group was in my start corral. It should have been in the one behind me, per the info I was given. They definitely did push me to a faster pace -- at least for a little while. The group was simply too large. That's why I had to get away from them. When they would walk, they were clogging the road. That's why I thought it was so strange for one of them to push me. You are going to be walking again in just a second anyway!! It really didn't affect my race, thankfully.

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  39. Woohoo! Awesome recap! Congrats again on the PR! That's cool they gave candy out. I too, would be angry if someone pushed on my back, totally uncalled for!

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    1. I was disappointed I couldn't open my M&Ms! I tried for the longest. My hands don't work when they are cold. I'm lucky I got the Tootsie Roll open.

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  40. This is amazing! Congratulations on your PR!

    That ESPN area is the worst. I wish they had somewhere else to funnel the runners.

    I don't think anyone should purposely lay a hand on anyone in a race situation. That being said, I'm a benefit of the doubt kind of person, and I wonder if someone maybe got tripped up in their own feet due to the logjam of people and had to use you to regain their own balance? That's all I've got LOL!

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    1. One reason I didn't just blast that runner (or even turn around) -- I gave them the benefit of the doubt. Although the push felt purposeful, I just let it go. Maybe it was done with good intent. It certainly didn't ruin my race and I only mentioned it in my recap because I thought it was odd.

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  41. Yay! Congrats on your PR Holly! Hate when I can't open something during the race, glad you were able to enjoy your crispy m&ms afterwards! :) I still hope to do a Disney race at some point. Your recap totally makes we want to experience it at least once!

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    1. My hands don't work when they are cold. I had pre-cut my GU for easier opening and had no problems with those. You should experience a Disney race! Your kids would be in heaven too.

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  42. Awesome job!! There's always something that will keep us going back for more! I love how you persevered, and will have to try m&ms as a mid-race great! Hopefully you got to them at some point!!

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    1. Oh yes, I ate some of them right after the race! I'll always go back for more. I think I'm hooked on this distance just like the half.

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  43. OmG! I can't believe somebody laid a hand on you!! keep your hands to yourselves people!! it's not that hard!

    What a great race! Congratulations on the PR!

    That is so sweet of your husband to have your favorite Starbucks at the finish line!

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    1. My family did that last year too. And, he remembered! He texted one of our kids to make sure he got the right one. LOL. I have to give him props for effort.

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  44. Congratulations! I'm so happy that you nabbed that PR and to think, you almost didn't even start the race!

    I would have been SO mad if someone touched me during a race...I'm not sure what I would've done in that situation, thankfully that was the end of it and you didn't see them again!

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    1. I was really over stressing about the pain I was in. Knowing it was not caused initially from running is the only thing that got me to the start line. I'm so grateful it turned out OK.

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  45. Congrats! I love running down main street toward the castle. Magical is a great way to describe it. Sounds like an awesome race for you and I'm glad you got your marathon PR!

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    1. Turning the corner and seeing that castle never disappoints. It's where I get the goose-bumpy I-made-it-happen feeling every single time.

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  46. Congrats on enjoying the race and getting that PR! Whoo hoo!!

    My blood would boil, too, if someone TOUCHED me during a race. Brushed by me, sure, it happens on a crowded course, but for a few seconds? Uh. no. That's just rude.

    What an amazing man you have to greet you with your favorite latte at the finish!

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    1. That's why it upset me somewhat. It was intentional. I completely get the accidental ones -- I was slammed into at Chicago by a diagonal runner, but it was not on purpose. That latte tasted extra delicious!

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  47. I've never had someone push me from a pace group, but I am in support of the Galloway pacers because that's how I run so to have a group help me keep that time and intervals would be awesome. But pushing is rude. I would have said something to that person.

    Congrats on the PR! I ran the Disneyland Star Wars Half and also got a PR on course. It was a pretty fun and magical run- I always stop for pictures but Disney courses are some of the best just because of the entertainment factor. Although the scenery in California was better than the highways at Disney world.

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    1. Congrats on your PR. Star Wars sounds like such a fun race. I've never thought about the CA scenery...but you're probably right about that! I do like the FL highways simply because their easier to run than in the parks. At least they sprinkle in some character stops to help with the boredom.

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  48. That was awkward someone touching you to move in the marathon! I'd be ticked too! So many memories reading this recap! I loved the animals in animal kingdom my wheels had not fallen off yet. I get the too much time in ESPN! This is where I started to hurt and my thoughts were you've got to be kidding me I still have over 6 more miles to go! sigh. Ohhh I had forgotten about the candy in Hollywood though!
    I have to say PoPo really came through for you and Starbucks waiting on ya! Yup don't tell him though he may get the big head!;)
    So very proud of you for digging deep and getting the time you are so very capable of !!

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    1. I was so bummed to not be able to open that candy. It made me feel so OLD. LOL. But, my hands don't work when they are cold. Plus the knit gloves didn't help. Ugh. So when are you going to bite the bullet and run another full marathon? Hmm?

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