Friday, January 20, 2012

Anna & Bobby do the Disney Half-Marathon. No, for reals!

If you don't remember from the last post, at this point I had received an invitation to run in the place of my friend and her running partner for the Disney half-marathon, a full two months earlier than I had planned on running my first half, so we'll pick up where we left off.....

My first instinct was no, I was totally unprepared, I had only run 8 miles at the most at this point, so there's no way. And naturally, I was worried about holding Bobby back. Then I thought of the outfits we could wear, and what's another five miles? I didn't think Bobby would want to do it, so I first checked in with Jen to see if she was back from visiting her family up north and ready to run. 

Unfortunately, she had a nasty case of bronchitis and laryngitis and was down for the count. After asking every person I came into contact with (since Bobby had already declared himself out), Bobby then said he would do the race with me while giving me that look that said, "Of course I'll do the run with you dumbass, why would you think I wouldn't? Because of all those times I said no repeatedly? Wow, you really are naive!" That's how it came across, anyway, but I didn't care; we were going to the races!!!

I think #2 is holding that other horse back.

I started sewing immediately. I couldn't do anything about my running at that point, so I may as well work on something constructive. I decided to make a Minnie Mouse themed outfit, complete with running skirt, sports bra with matching bow, black knee socks with bows, and black arm sleeves with matching cuffs. I simultaneously began drawing on abs with fake tan and applying it copiously to the area between my knees and bikini, concentrating on the back of my thighs, because everyone knows fat looks better tanned. 

The skirt came out super cute but I was sewing right until the last minute. I was in a hurry, so I took my shirt off to try on the arm sleeves that I was making out of a black spandex shirt and I happened to be wearing a black bra. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror in the skirt and bra and I thought wow, this looks really slutty! Crap, what am I gonna do now? This is Disney, not Gasparilla. Hey, maybe once I finish the arm sleeves it'll look more runner-ish! I put them on with the sports bra and checked back in the mirror. Yep, I was just missing the pole. I put my hair into pigtails, and now I just looked like a perverts fantasy. If the fantasy is older women wearing age-inappropriate Minnie Mouse outfits. 

Going to Disney, big boy?
I frantically run in the office to check with Bobby, who immediately confirmed that yes, I looked like a stripper. My only backup was to wear my normal running shorts and tank top but I decided to put the whole outfit on and luckily, once I got the socks and tennis shoes on, I just looked super dorky. Kind of like a failed hooker that doesn't make enough money for a car so I have to run home from my shift at Diamond Dolls to make my lady of the night house calls to make ends meet. So we were off to Disney!

We have to be in our corrals by 5 am and we were instructed to be at Epcot by 4 am to make that happen. We woke up at 3 and were out the door by 3:45 and make it to the Epcot parking lot by 4:30. Bobby, who I now know cannot have liquids approximately a week before the race, peed no less than three times on our way to our corral, which was C. (The fast runners get to be in corrals that start earlier than the slowbies in the back). He seriously peed so much that next time he has got to wear either a catheter or a man-diaper. When he tells this story, I started dripping water into his mouth while he was sleeping and made him shotgun a gallon of water against his will the next morning so technically, this was my fault. What can I say? Holding him back just seems to come naturally I guess. It's a gift!

Guess what it is? That's right, a fresh can of "Hold Back Your Man!"

Our corral crossed the start line around 5:45 and we were off. We decided on a run 6 minutes/ walk 2 minutes rotation that Jeff Galloway (official Disney marathon trainer) said would give us a ten minute mile and while we weren't quite that fast, we thought we were cranking it. Which I had to admit was a little hard to do while simultaneously holding Bobby back. Oh, but instead of speed walking for two minutes, I instead ended up waiting by the side of the road while Bobby ran into the nearest porta potty/ wooded area/ middle of well lit parking lot to pee. Again. As in once a mile. I was wondering why our time for our first three miles was so slow but I am completely blaming Bobby for that one. Next time he's either wearing a Poise pad or a catheter. 

See Bobby, they are barely noticeable!

Around mile five, we approached the main entrance to Magic Kingdom. This was gonna be good.The crowds cheering everyone along were getting bigger the closer we got and I am a whore for  a crowd. No, I mean it in a different way than in the old days. Are there a bunch of people cheering? Well, let me just run along the outside and high-five everyone until my hand blisters! We run up Main Street in Magic Kingdom and it's like being in a parade- it is so cool!

Soooo.... come here often? Me? Every single mile.
We take a right and run through Tomorrowland and through the castle from the back just as the sun was coming up. It. Was. Awesome. Totally worth it right there. Then it was off through Frontierland and out some bleak service road, where I befriended a Magic Kingdom worker while Bobby took his 8th bathroom break. It's surprising how much you can learn about someone in two minutes outside a Porta Potty. Then it was out of Magic Kingdom and  back to the other side of the road we had run up approaching Magic Kingdom. A little anti-climactic after the castle, but we were still going strong. Well, strong for us, meaning we were moving in a forward direction.

Until Mile 9. Bobby's knee was giving him some problems and now it was completely kaput. I tried negative reinforcement (if you don't run I will trade you in for a younger model, at which point he just laughed), positive reinforcement (if you run I will clean the bathrooms AND wash the car- in just my bikini! at which point he cringed), and then just gave up. I never realized how hard and frustrating it is to be supportive. Now I know how Jen felt in Sea World! Is there a medal for being a martyr? I want to apply. Of course, this was all part of my ultimate plan to hold Bobby back during the run and I have to admit that I was pulling it off brilliantly. Knee injuries take years to get just right AND I'm not that smart so you can imagine the strain it's been.

The desire to leave his ass and keep running was almost overpowering since I was having a good day, which happens so rarely, but it was eclipsed by my desire to finish the race with Bobby. Of course, if I had known at that moment that Bobby would later make his bold declaration that next year we would not be running together because I would be 'holding him back', I would have left him roadrunner style right there and then. But since I was still in my martyr state, we walked the last four miles and tried to make the time fly by guessing if people were wearing costumes or if that was just their actual running clothes (see photos at the end of this post).

But there were a few upsides to walking; for example, we weren't all sweaty for pictures, we could stop and try every flavor of gel they were giving out (it turns out they only give you like a dozen before they start giving you 'looks' when you ask for more), and we could generally be a road block to everyone trying to actually run. We were the Ford Taurus driven by a blue hair in the fast lane on 275 of runners. 

We decide to run the last hundred yards across the finish line, which we had almost to ourselves at that late time, and go collect our medals. Of course, it was a typical Anna & Bobby situation. Here we are, heading into the homestretch, bleachers packed, crowed cheering. 

Bobby: Here we are, finishing our first Disney half-marathon! (he's saying all of this to the camera that he is holding up in front of his face while running)

Anna: Hey, put the camera away, they'll be taking pictures.

Bobby: Anna, what do you have to say? (swings camera over to me)

Anna: Put the damn camera away, they're taking pictures!

Bobby, now pissed: I'm just trying to get it on camera and of course you have to tell me what to do!

Anna (now pissed that he's ruining my big moment and possibly our pictures): They are going to be taking pictures and I would maybe like one of us together without you holding your camera in front of your face!

In my mind it's the equivalent of those people who will only stop to enjoy something for as long as it takes to take a picture to then immediately post to Facebook instead of enjoying the moment and then waiting- God forbid- until afterwards to post the picture to Facebook! Oh, how will your adoring crowds manage with such a delay? There will be an uproar, people will riot in the streets! Or they won't give a shit because nobody reads your posts except you anyways.

So we are trying to smile for the invisible cameras but we are both a little ticked at the other one at this point- until we cross the finish line. Then we get over it quickly because it was pretty f'ing cool that we had actually finished a half marathon! Who would have thunk it?
This was actually the day before the race when we picked up our packets and still could bend our legs.

More bananas? Are you serious? Does Chiquita make a commision?
We head out through the crowds and are siphoned through an exit where people are lined up to grab something that's obviously free. I'm assuming it's got to be good by the reaction so I cut in line and it turns out it's just dang bananas and granola bars. Come on people, they are fricking bananas, not tickets to see Aerosmith or something!

Is this asking too much? Really Disney?
At that point I had been up for six hours, burnt probably upwards of one hundred calories, and wanted some real food, like hotdogs or hamburgers. Couldn't Disney set up a meat buffet for the rest of us? Ten bucks for a styrofoam container and you can stuff it full of all the meat products it'll hold. It's a cash cow! F that fruit and granola shit. Give me pulled pork, I just ran 13 miles, dammit! (if you use the term 'run' loosely, much like my bowels after 3 pounds of pulled pork and hot dogs)

We don't think of stretching since we weren't exactly straining ourselves for the last hour and a half so we get in the car and wait for a half hour to get out of the parking lot. I have to pee like crazy so we drive the mile back to the hotel and I plan on sprinting from my car to the room. This idea comes to a screeching halt as I open the car door, step out, and fall flat on my face.
Um, I'm just planking...yeah, that's it....

I can't figure out why this hurts so much!
Okay, not really, but almost. Bobby and I are STUNNED to find out we are in so much pain that we can barely walk. It's like the scene from Blue Lagoon where Brooke Shields is giving birth but she's been on the island so long she has no idea what's going on despite the fact that it's totally obvious to everyone else watching the movie. You would think it would be obvious that we'd be in some pain after running way longer than we ever have before we were honestly struck dumb at how painful it really was. 

We walk towards the hotel with the straight-legged gait of Frankenstein, the only sounds coming from our mouths being a wretched, "Ugghhhhh huuuhhh huhhhhh", our faces drained of all color. The only thing keeping the other patrons at the Gaylord Palms from grabbing torches and driving us out like the zombies that we appeared to be was the open weeping. I don't think zombies cry like that. And to top it all off, we had exactly twenty minutes to shower and get the hell out of the hotel room. Life is cruel.
Me need shower! And common sense!

We hobble to the elevators, and because it's late morning, there are a lot of families and guests milling around and I'm glad I still have my race number on to explain the hooker-ish outfit. Although nothing takes the 'sexy' out of a Minnie Mouse costume like a gimp limp and stopping every twenty feet to grab my knee and wail openly. Sometimes I'd throw up a fist shake to the heavens and cry out, "Whhhyyyyyyy?" just for variation. Everyone likes a good show and just because I was in pain didn't mean I couldn't give one. 
Why am I so out of shape, why???????

After hot showers, we are a little more mobile and we pack up the car and head home. Bobby was exhausted (most likely from all of the being held back) so I drove while he napped for about an hour before stopping in Seffner because I am falling asleep at the wheel and we need some grub. We then both take a quick nap in the car like vagrants and then take five minutes to walk the twenty feet from the car to the front door of Bob Evans. We order like we have the munchies and when the food gets to the table, we eat like two homeless people that got their first twenty in weeks and decided to treat themselves with an 'inside' meal. Now that's more like it! Disney, make sure to add country fried steak to your meat buffet. I'd pay extra for that.
I don't like anything green to mess up my palate

So here are a few things I learned from this race. It's a lot. We did a lot of things wrong.

1. Don't toss your burner sweater early in the race. You might need it when your running partner becomes a gimp (after you held him back for nine miles) and you have to walk and then suddenly you're freezing. The weather started out at a chilly 42 degrees but warmed up to a balmy 57 by the end. Around mile 4, I was warm and threw my burner sweater to the curb. I'll admit, my favorite song "Sexy & I Know It" came on and I was feeling, you know, sexy and knowing it. But then around mile 11, once we had strolled for the last two miles, I was back to freezing.

2. Gloves are your friend! I bought cheap cotton gloves for me and Bobby and they were a lifesaver. I wore mine the whole time and they are also a substitute for a handkerchief! Lovely thought, I know, but practical. You're going to toss them, so who cares? Stock up now while they are all half priced. I got mine from Jo-Ann's for 75 cents a pair.

3. Stay at a Disney hotel, unless you like dealing with douchebags in the parking lot. Does this need any further explanation?

4. Do not check out on the day of the race. We obviously needed a hot Jacuzzi and a bed, in that order, instead of gimp-limping it back to the hotel and rushing home and sleeping in parking lots. It's not as glamorous as it sounds. We would have given anything- except actually paying more money- to have that room for another night and be able to shower, sleep, and eat, all without the shitty driving in between.

5. Check a bag and put a ham sandwich in it! I didn't check a bag since I thought it'd be a zoo but that part seemed to go super-smooth. So for the Princess race, I'm going to check a bag with a jacket and a ham sandwich for after the race in case the meat buffet idea isn't up and running yet.

6. Wear shorts under your skirt! I made my under-skirt out of red Under Armor fabric and tacked it down to the cheeks of my underwear so I wouldn't constantly flash people like Snookie from Jersey Shore but I think comfy bike shorts under a skirt would have been easier. And I probably wouldn't lose feeling in my butt cheeks from the freezing cold weather.

Here is a slideshow of the pics, from the making of the outfit to the race itself!

Okay, that's it for now. Sorry this was so long but this was a pretty monumental event. Can't wait for the Princess Half next month! I should probably start running again sometime soon. I'll let ya'll know how that goes!


crodetsky said...

Funny, very funny. I love your writing Anna. It's like I can hear the inflection in you voice.

Anna said...

Thanks for taking the time to read my posts, glad you like them! It's nice to know there are people out there reading this stuff!