The Dopey Challenge – Half Marathon Day!

Day 3 rolled around and I very reluctantly rolled out of bed. It’s not that I wasn’t excited to complete this race but the early wake ups left me more tired than I had ever been. I think because I couldn’t really fall totally asleep out of fear of missing my alarm left me restless and anxious. I was also extremely upset and disappointed with how injured I felt. My hip flexors had been giving me trouble, probably from over training a bit, and each step hurt. Like a sharp twinge each time my knee would come up in my stride so of course I was so fearful that this would either be very painful, or that my legs would just give out.

Today’s corrals were far away from the first two days and as we all walked like “The Walking Dead” all the way there , I started to pep up a bit. There’s nothing quite like hearing the announcers and music to lift your spirits. Hannah and I got there early enough to be in the front of the corral and take a little snooze on our mylar blankets before the race started. Whispers of the humidity had started and so when we checked our phones, it already said 90%. I really noticed it because the announcers kept stressing that we need to take it easy and drink tons of water.

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Corral G crossed the start line about 5:45 and we made our way past the few freeway miles heading to Magic Kingdom. I was SO excited to make it to the entrance of Magic Kingdom to see finally hear “Caution runners, speed bumps ahead.” That’s when it finally hit me, “Oh my gosh, we’re doing this!”
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They did provide some entertainment on the course which we skipped but did see this cool hot air balloon while waiting for the bathroom. As we stood there, being at mile 2, we saw the fist place runner go by! He was already at mile 11! The whole crowd lit up screaming “GO GO GO!!!!” It was so inspiring!
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Running through Main Street either in Florida or California is about as magical as it can get. It’s from this point on I don’t even bother with music and just soak it all in. The crowd couldn’t be more supportive or excited for each runner, and the smiles couldn’t be brighter! To make it even more amazing, the Christmas decorations were still up!


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We ran through Main Street to Tomorrowland and as we turned a corner in Fantasyland, we saw Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff waving to up from the balcony.
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This is usually where a bottleneck starts to happen so I was pretty prepared to slow down and just look at the beautiful lights.
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As you can see, the sky behind the castle looks like a green screen! The air was so thick and dense, I felt like I could chew it.
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Fortunately, we were careful with our electrolytes and water that so far, we felt pretty good. My hip was starting to scream a bit so I made sure to keep my stride small, use my intervals, and try to run slower than normal. We passed through Frontierland, by Splash Mountain to end up looking at a dead end with a dazzling float from the Festival of Fantasy parade.
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When you leave Magic Kingdom, you start to run past the golf course on your right and the Grand Floridan on the left, which is a pretty long stretch but we were happy to see a character stop shortly after.
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Donald had just walked away so we just got Goofy alone, maybe Donald needed a port o potty!

The second half of this course is a bit boring to be honest. I’ve heard a lot of chatter about how Disney World halves are “WAY” better than Disneyland. As someone who has done both, I would say California has them beat, and mostly because since Disneyland is so small, you start there for the first 4-5 miles. It takes a good 3-4 miles to get to Magic Kingdom alone so it’s a bit of a treck. They did have a few army men who spotted us walking while eating our gu and told us to “quit being sissies!”
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At least he didn’t make us do burpies!

The course winds you back to Epcot where we noticed you couldn’t even see the top of the Epcot ball because the air was so thick! We did meet a new friend670caf95-df2e-4c78-bf8f-90404f9fddad though!

We finished this very muggy day proud, tired, and a little nervous for the next day. After a stop at the medical tent for ice, we proudly displayed our medals and went back to the hotel for a full rest day.
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I highly recommend to take this day easy. A nice, slow, active rest is probably the best way to go. We ended up at the hotel, relaxing, walking around, and somehow back at the Kona Cafe for that amazing coffee! My cousin took an ice bath while I totally chickened out. I remember texting a good friend asking her if she does them after running and all I got back was “OH GIRL, NO!!!” Needless to say, I’m not as tough when it comes to that! In bed by 8, clothes laid out, trashy T.V. on, and we were ready for what was to come. 26.2 or bust!

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