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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH before marathon

Why hello there.

It’s been a little to long, I know. I disconnected my facebook a month ago because I’ve had so much on my mind and wanted to really put my focus on one thing, “First Marathon” between facing runner’s burnout for my first time ever, which is common with marathon training, and numerous kinds of training I knew that I needed to do, yoga, strength, running(speed, tempo, long run), and spinning sessions, it has been a LONG road! But, yet, totally worth it. So get ready for plenty of pictures and a good lengthy good recap on the race. πŸ™‚ Shall we….

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After saying farewell to my little town. I headed up to my friend’s house and rode to Wrightsville Beach with them. It was my first time going to this particular beach that is near Wilmington. May I say, it was VERY flat! Then again, I come from a state(Tennessee) full of hills and mountains.

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Before I headed out, I got my playlist set up, used my $15 giftcard and also used my older favorite running songs. After all that, I had over 5 hours worth of music for the playlist. I even picked up my Earthlete packet a few weeks ago from Earth Fare that I was accepted into a few months back and couldn’t believe it. πŸ™‚

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My friend Erin was running the marathon and was planning to try and qualify for the Boston marathon and her husband was running the half marathon. So, her and I carb loaded, like crazy. Two of out friends came later to cheer us on and hung out with us some during the weekend.

We had this ginormous bowl of YUM at a restaurant called, “Tower 7” right near the beach. It was delicious and great if you’re vegan! I don’t usually EVER eat fried food but honestly, I had eaten almost every bit of that.

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It was a little chilly but not to bad. The beach was great and I even hunted seashells for my coworkers back at home. I didn’t get in the ocean but Erin and Nena’s husband did for a bit and they said it was quite cold.

We stayed at one of the hotels(Holiday Inn Express) that the race website recommended and for only $80 a night, it was really nice. They even had breakfast started for the runners at like, 3 or 4 am ready.

To be continued…..

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Time to Get Truthfully Real (part 1)

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This, was my addiction…..

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Most of you know where I’m going with this by just looking at this picture.

Most of you have probably heard my story, but, not the details. The dig deep details of the real deal.

I used to be a meat eater, for 18 years actually. I was always more into white meat, but, I still enjoyed some red. I loved a bowl of ice cream almost every night. I loved Smart Ones and Lean Cuisine meals. I loved Taco Bell, KFC, pizza nights, buttered popcorn, Wendys, meatloaf, meatballs, meaty chili, Sonic, blizzards, smoothies from Pals and other places, I had to have dessert almost every time I went out to eat. I mean, I have even eaten, once, a half of one of those cakes that serves 4 people. I still had eaten fruits and vegetables, but usually, I was pretty unhealthy, and I didn’t care really. On my way to the barn to ride my horse, I’d go through the Wendy’s drive thru and get the Kids chicken sandwich with mandarin oranges. I even got McDonald’s BIG breakfast a couple of times. I even was a receptionist once and went out to eat quite often and snacked on mini chocolates and even had eaten on some donuts in the break room. I mean, you name it, I’d pretty much eat it.

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I kept gaining weight. Then, it started….

I got a waitressing job and was on the move constantly. The scale came into my life. I stepped on it when my jean sizes started going up.

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This was taken in 2010 when I was 134 pounds. Most I’ve ever weighed, so far, now, to some people, that’s not a big number, but, for my height and small frame, it was getting close to over what it should be.

The number on the scale was taking over. Controlling me. Taunting me. Being, well, a god to me.

I started trying to cut carbs out, getting more and more strict with my calories. If I ate a piece of pie I’d tell myself, “No dinner Kayla”.

I snack on veggies at work here and there. I’d eat a big breakfast and then usually not much for several hours until I got home, then, it would just be a salad, rice cakes, or something weird.

I’d step on the scale 3-4 times a day, didn’t like the number, no matter what day, I’d grip on tighter.

I then go to the store and buy chocolate laxatives. Look up stuff on how to make me puke. I’d eat tons of fruit which made me go to the bathroom, not in a good way either.

I’d eat a big meal, then go to the bathroom, stick my fingers in the back of my throat and make myself puke.

I’d starve myself, no matter how weak or tired or irritable I was I didn’t care, my mind was on one thing and one thing only, that NUMBER.

My weight was dropping and my pant sizes were too.

My coworkers and my parents were getting concerned.

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Even on Thanksgiving, I skipped on the hearty food and just made my usual salad.

I started to miss my periods, my pants were getting baggy, I was down to 109 lbs, and a size 2. I’d do yoga in the morning, work a waitress job, and then sometimes run when I got home or go to the barn. My fingers started turning white when I went out in the cold and I’d lose a lot more hair than usual when I brushed it.

WAKE UP CALL….

I then went to the doctor, he told me that I had Raynaud’s Disease and my BMI was under. My OBGYN doctor had to give me the pill to get my periods regulated.

I don’t know when I finally woke up nor how,Β but, I think it’s when I started to run longer distances, I just loved it, and needed food to give me the energy to do what I loved.

I finally started gaining weight. But, because of the eating disorder, what could’ve put me further into the hole, I am now stuck with Raynaud’s disease the rest of my life and probably the pill.

But, I believe God did that for a reason, so when my fingers turn white, it’ll be a reminder for me.

It was an addiction. I had an addiction. I can tell you this to, almost everyday, I’m reminded of it.

Almost everyday, I’m tempted to go back to my old ways.

But, it’s still fresh, I’m still learning to accept me for me, love my own body and not compare it to others.

But that’s another story…….

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1 race, 2 race, 3 race, more races, oh my…..

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I’m a little way behind on my past race recap. The only one I’ve done is the “Disney Wine & Dine” but I think it’s time to add all my races I’ve ran with a little info on each one. The ones with the *< are my favorites. I guess I could’ve just said, “star” but oh well. So, while I jam to my older racing/running playlists, lets begin….

I started racing in 2012. But really got into running in, I think, late 2010. πŸ™‚

1. The 4th of July 4 Miler in my town–40 mins

I love this race because it was my first ever one. It was hot and the course had a challenging hill at the end. But this is one that I plan to stick with. It’s early in the morning too. Which is perfect in the summertime compared to most 4th of July races.

2. Crazy 8’s(5 miles)–44 mins Location: Kingsport, TN

This is the official race that got me hooked into racing. It was at 10:00 pm but it was LIVELY. There are also Kenyans that race on this course. Awesome medals and a whole lot of runners at that. The music is blasting before the race and also some music throughout the course. You’ve got to watch your step though on parts of the course.

3. Unity Race 5k(3 miles)–28 mins 3rd place in age group; Location: Johnson City, TN

This is a fun course. It’s got a mile hill at the start though but overall, I’ve got fond memories on this course. Plus, the lady that leaders out is super nice and the medals are great. πŸ™‚

4. Haunted Half Marathon– 1hr 59mins; Location: Kingsport, TN

This was my first ever half and my goal was to get under 2 hours and I did. It’s a SUPER flat course with only one very small rolling hill. So it’s a perfect half for a PR or for your first half. πŸ™‚

5. Chase the Turkey 5k– 23:43; Location: Kingsport, TN

This is a fun course, because it’s mainly on a golf course. Slightly rolling. I also got a PR and I was trying to stay with an older friend of mine that was staying in the 7’s as her pace.Yeah, that definitely helped me. πŸ™‚

6. Veteran’s Day Classic Half Marathon– 2hrs 3mins; Location: Kingsport, TN

What can I say about this course? HILLS! HILLS! HILLS! I’ve got a serious addiction for hills. I dropped my ipod once and had to turn around and get it. It’s a nice course, no traffic. BUT, if you don’t like hills, or a challenge don’t run it. The medal was a dog tag though, which I thought was very cool. I got a little pendant to since I came in 1st place. πŸ™‚

7. XTERRA Trail Race Half Marathon— 2hrs 25mins; Location: Bays Mountain in Kingsport, TN

*laughs* This race was a living HELL but honestly, I loved it. When I first arrived, one of my running friends was like, “Kayla, you’re running the half?! Are you sure?!” I smiled and said, “Oh yes.” Some switchbacks, gorgeous bridges to cross, crazy hills, narrow trails, fell 5xs, lost dad’s watch(that I was using before I got my own, yes, it was found, thankfully!) and got scraped up pretty badly but you know what? I don’t care. I’d run it again! I LOVED IT! πŸ™‚

I even got a big ole beer mug! πŸ˜›

8. Casa Road Race 8k(5miles)— 42:37; Location: Rogersville, TN

This race I don’t think I’ll EVER forget! Why? It was my first race in 6-7 monthsΒ since my stress fracture and I freakin killed it with a PR. It had hills but the weather was gorgeous and I was feeling amazing physically/mentally. I even placed and got a cool cup. πŸ™‚ The race goes to a great cause!

9. Phipps Bend 5k– 25 mins; Location: Surgoinsville, TN

This race was super flat and hardly no shade and hot but, eh, okay. It’s one of those blah races that feel more like a typical speed work session than a real race. I came in 3rd place though. πŸ™‚

10. Bluegrass Half Marathon— 1hr 54mins; Location: Johnson City, TN

I LOVED this race. It’s in one of my favorite locations and had some hills. But, I also ran the course with a couple of friends a couple of weeks before the actual race. It does have some hills and some of it is located on the ETSU campus and just beautiful in some parts. One part has a hill that you can’t even notice it’s one mentally but you can tell physically. A LONG down hill near the end. I ran a PR on this half by 5 mins. Got a cute small medal to that could be more like a keychain but you know, it’s got a great meaning behind it. This was my first real half in months since injury and I killed it. πŸ™‚

11. Bays Mountain 15 miler– 2hrs 56mins; Location: Kingsport, TN

I LOVED this trail race as well. I got to make friends with an awesome ultra marathoner while I was racing this. I also placed in it as well but took my time on this course because of running another half the next weekend….

12. 4 Bridges Half Marathon– 1:53:35; Location: Chattanooga, TN

I LOVED this half and honestly, I’d probably run it again. Mom and I stayed in Chattanooga Choo Choo which was really cool.

The course was fabulous and really, the only hills were going up to the bridge. Plus, the weekend after another half, I got a PR on this half, which I was impressed after running two half marathons in the same week. Chattanooga is just beautiful and I can’t recommend this race enough! πŸ™‚

13. Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon– 2:09; Location: Orlando, FL

I already have a recap for this. But, lesson learned, a race that long at 10 pm, plan out the meals ahead of time and DON’T take your watch on this race! This should be a fun run. I got some pics with characters, but, the usual me, I was just focused more on time. That was a big no no. I didn’t even get to enjoy the after party because I was feeling so sick and we couldn’t find where it was. 😦 But, I would love to run another one. I just wish it wasn’t so dang expensive. But, eh, that’s Disney.

14. Santa Hustle Smokies Half Marathon– 2hrs 4mins; Location: Gatlinburg, TN

Ever since my last bad half marathon, it was like, all my races started going down hill. But, it was very cold during this race and it was just out and back. It was okay, but not one of my favorites. It did half a couple of big hills but not bad.

15. Covenant Health 5k( 3 miles); Location: Knoxville, TN

I ran this 5k the day after the Color Me Rad 5k. I was running on a stress fracture which was stupid on my part. But, I’d love to run the half marathon. I hear it’s hilly but pretty and well, you know I’m all about them hills. Plus, downtown Knoxville is just beautiful! πŸ™‚

16. Color Me Rad 5k( 3 miles)

My mom and I and a few others ran this one. I highly recommend it! Yes, it’s a bit on the pricier side for a 5k but worth it. Good race to make memories! A LOT of energy and A LOT of color! It’s just pure fun! πŸ™‚

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The races I had planned out but had to give my registration away because of energy…

The Flying Pig half Marathon in Cincinnati,OH. I got an AWESOME swag bag though with a HUGE lunch box that I use a lot! πŸ™‚

The Biltmore 15K in Asheville, NC. I did go and watch my mom run the 5k and my two friends and aunt and uncle run the 15k. I heard it was TOUGH. I hope to run it though sometime. πŸ™‚

Well, there you go, plain and straight to the point. Now, we’re up to date. πŸ™‚

P.S. I ran some of these races a 2nd time and plan to run a few of them again. πŸ™‚

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Eye opening for the truth. How I really feel…

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Have you ever just wondered? Have you ever noticed how certain subjects just keep coming back and back and back? Well, I’ve learned, that when those subjects keep repeating, you know it’s getting serious.

Year before last(late 2012) I started half marathon training.

Now lets go back a little bit more, but not much…

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I’d go to a track that I used to walk on with my parents and sometimes othersΒ when I was younger. It was just usually me, myself, and my music. Sometimes, deer would be near by. I’d just run, think, and enjoy myself. I’d work my way up to a mile, with a struggle of course, but did it. The miles grew longer and soon I was running outside of the track, again, by myself. I have always been the loner type. Not in a bad way, just who I’ve always been and have appreciated it. I’ve not always, until now. Because I’m okay with running by myself at times.

I ran my first ever race, on July 4, 2012, that was a 4 mile race,Β in my little hometown.

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I thought it was okay, I did it in 40 mins, which isn’t bad. (gotta love the K-swiss).

I then stepped it up to an 8k(Crazy 8’s) race(5 miles) and the energy all around me officially got me hooked into racing.

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I then decided to try a half marathon through Fleet Feet in August 2012. I got a little to hooked. I was becoming obsessed and it was causing me to get injured. I also did Insanity dvds during the training and the days I was scheduled to run. But I couldn’t stop. I was starting to get an injury here and there on my right leg. It would heal, another new one would come. Then, in Feb. 2013, I was training(or so I thought, for a full) and I decided to go meet a friend in her town and run 16 miles, granted, my right ankle was already causing me to limp. I limped that whole 16 miles and wasn’t going to finish till it was completed. You could say that I was done for and that I was following morning. I was in pain when I turned over in bed, walked on it felt like a broken bone. An X-Ray didn’t help nor did an MRI until later. Sure enough, it was a stress fracture on my fibula. I was out for 6 months almost and cross trained like crazy. I did weights in the morning, pool run during lunch, and biked in the evenings. It was killing me inside though and the doctors, parents, and friends/coworkers had to repeat to me over and over to take care of that ankle. I refused to use crutches after the first few days. I was stubborn as hell heck!

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After I was healed, I came back stronger than ever and PRed 2-3 races in ONE month! By the grace of God, support, and cross training like crazy.

Now, even though after that, I’m still having pains here and there and it really does hurt me physically/emotionally/mentally. Running is who I am, running is my escape, running is my love.

I don’t even want to see all my medical bills put together with all my injuries. I LOVE cross training too.

I was born from a family that is stubborn and I am VERY stubborn. I love to push myself to the point of breaking, yes, I know it’s stupid, but, it’sΒ just who I am. It’s what was put into me before I was born. Physical challenges is my specialty. I’m not the quickest runner, but I’ll go and go and go until my heart would give way probably. I love the rush, the endurance, the challenge, the excitement, etc. But, I’m breaking inside. My legs don’t feel like they used to when I was running out of enjoyment.

My medals that I see, each have a story of their own. My next BIG one is my first full marathon, God willing. But, after that, I’m probably going to retire from the training plans, set my goal races to the side, and take a step back. Half marathons will still probably be in my future and who knows, I’d LOVE to run an ultra someday, God willing and if my body will accept it.

Running is meant for everyone, under certain circumstances. We’re all different. Different pace. Different race to love. People love 5ks, some love 8ks, some love 10ks, some love half marathons, full marathons, ultras, etc. But me, I just want to go back to where I was before.

I will run races again perhaps, but after my first full marathon race, I’ll be on a different journey, a journey to find the freedom and love I once had in running. The feeling of new legs every time I step foot into my new running shoes, the “no planned mileage” run, no injuries, just the way it was before.

Then who knows, a race may call my name again….

Until then, for now, it can wait. I’m in my 20s anyway, no rush, races are all around.

To my running friends reading this though, RUN ON! πŸ™‚

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“Running is about finding yourself. When the clock takes over, you have found nothing. When you have found nothing, a runner is then lost, until the clock stops.”–Me

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Bands, compression socks, belts, oh my…..

Hello everyone!

I decided that today would be a good day to gossip review on some of my favorite things and a few new stuff that I’d love to look into that may interest you….

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I found out about these at Seven Bridges Marathon expo and decided to try them out. I’m growing my hair out and my bangs have not been wanting to grow as fast as I wish. So, I wanted something comfy, nonslip, and big enough to hold all of my bangs and BOOM! I found them. It was LOVE at first test try. They’re hard to find online so just go to website at www.banibands.com they have girly ones and not so girly ones, small, medium, and large sizes. OH, and they adjust too. One size does fit everyone’s head, big or small. πŸ™‚

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Pro compressions sock of the November month is argryle and if you use code “NOV” you get 40% off PLUS free shipping! I FREAKIN LOVE THIS BRAND! They have arm sleeves as well and socks for golfers. So take a swing at itΒ  a run towards the website. Did I mention that I love this brand! πŸ˜€

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Okay dudes, she’s not here for you all to stare and drool. This woman right here, Shannan Yorton Penna is the fabulous creator of Questbars. They’re for men and women too. I tried them once and LOVEd them instantly. I love Luna Bars to but these I enjoy more because they take longer to eat, hardly no sugar at all, very VERY little ingredients, did I mention little? Chalk full of protein, carbs, and fiber. You know, all the important stuff. You can find them at a GNC vitamin store and if not able just go online and order away. It’s worth it trust me. I maybe vegan and these do have whey protein in them, but these I will allow into my vegan diet because they’re practically all natural and I wish/hope more health food stores will start carrying them. πŸ™‚ I hear the chocolate chip one is delicious out of the microwave too. πŸ˜‰

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One of my runnings friends told me about this and I found it at a Chattanooga running store and decided to try it. I LOVE IT! I love my fuel belt for long practice run days, but for races, this is my handy dandy notebook friend. Less weight to carry = quicker pace. πŸ˜‰

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So I’m a sucker for Happy Herbivore. HECK, she’s the one, well, her and other people’s reviews, that has inspired me to become vegan. I LOVE all three of her cookbooks and can’t wait for her 4th one that’s coming out “Happy Herbivore’s Light & Lean” at the beginning of December. I am finally diving it, after reading reviews after reviews and using her cookbooks for a while now that I’m going to try her 7 day meal plans that’s only $5 a week. Cheap, filling, yummy, and vitamins and minerals everyday. πŸ™‚ www.happyherbivore.com Her blogs are so life inspiring too! Not just diet either. πŸ˜€

Now for the stuff that interests me…….

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I MUST get a sport medal hanger for my medals and this is the place that I will be going too. πŸ™‚

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So, has anyone heard of Etsy Stitch Fix before? I’m not a fashionholic AT ALL, let me repeat, AT ALL. But, I thought this website was really cool and figured you ladies and girly girls would love it. www.fashionfix.com

What it is, you put in what kind of styles, colors, patterns, and such that you like, they’ll send you a box with 3 outfits inside for you to try and if you like them, you can keep them for $20 and if not, you can send them all back! Now how cool is that? πŸ˜€

 

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Also, I’m sort of addicted to workout dvds and yes, I’ve completed more and would like more from www.beachbody.com so I can review more. πŸ˜›

Note: All these are not from beachbody. Just Les Mills Combat, Insanity, P90X, Asylum 1&2, and that’s it.

These will be reviewed another day I’m tired of boring you all. πŸ˜›

Peace to the out!

Yeah, I don’t understand why I just said that. But, what….ever!<<<90’s teen

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Disney Wine & Dine Half marathon recap

The entrance

So Saturday night I ran the Disney Wine & Dine half marathon. This was my first ever Disney half race and it was quite the experience. I haven’t been to Disney since I was little and since I live in Tennessee, our fun theme park is Dollywood and Dollywood Splash Country and it’s SMALL compared to Disney. I mean, WOWSERS! πŸ˜›

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When I signed up I got a mini giftcard, it was only $10 and I never did get to spend it. 😦

Disney is NOT cheap, this is my most expensive half so far and once registration opened it was already $164, give or take. But, that included the after party as well. My dad had to pay $86 just to be a part of it. Insane? YES! But, oh well.

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When I first arrived I wasn’t surprised by how many runners there were since it was a sold out race. What I’ve read though is that 60% girls run this race and a lot of runners make this their first half. Which is a perfect course for a first half! πŸ™‚

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I was feeling good physically/mentally but hadn’t ran in about 3 weeks, just cross trained. My last half did me in for a bit because my right ankle had a nagging ache so decided to not run and just cross train.

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I had to switch my corral to corral B because they assigned me for corral L. I was going to run another PR but once I started, I knew it was going to be more of a fun run and thank God that it was a fun run course. Before I started, my Garmin was freezing, but turns out, it was just being slow on coming on. Seems like the internet is dial up slow in Florida too. Ha!

The starting line was really cool! They had the Jeff Galloway speak and the other two guys and woman tried to make it as upbeat and energized as possible. Yeah, they even played, “What did the fox say?” for a few moments before changing to another song.

Once corral A went it was our turn to go 2 minutes later. When they gave us the okay fireworks shot off again right above the start banner and some feet down the road. It was AWESOME! πŸ™‚

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Right before we started Mickey and Minnie waved at us. πŸ™‚

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The course was pretty flat. Only a few inclines, mainly for the bridges and the yielding lanes onto the bypass. We ran through 3 parks. Started at the ESPN Disney Sport Complex and finished in Epcot. Animal Kingdom was my favorite probably. The other park, forgot the name of it, my bad, but it had AWESOME BRIGHT christmas lights in the park. The water station volunteers and other volunteers were great. Although, it seemed like they got a little annoyed when some of the waters wouldn’t put their cup in the trash can. Hey, we’re bad at basketball. πŸ˜› But, I decided to be nice and aim the right way. πŸ˜‰

I’m not used to running night races and this one started at 10 pm. Which messes up my meal plan for the day. I had 3 carb meals and plenty of sleep but I felt sick and heavy and stopped and walked a bit I don’t know how many times. Slowest half for me honestly! But, not every race is going to be great and my last two halfs were PRs so I wasn’t going to kick myself and decided to just go on and look at it as a fun run. So, stopped at a few photo opportunities to take in…

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They had professional photographers(Marathon Photos) and other helpes to take pictures of you with your own phone. Marathon Photos did a FABULOUS job and was really quick about being easy to spot and they posted their pictures up ASAP. WIthin like a day or two and I was quite impressed, especially with 15,000 runners. πŸ™‚

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Once I crossed the finish line I was still feeling sick. I only had one chomp during that whole race because I just didn’t feel like eating and stopped at every water stop, which is rare. Plus, it was hot and the humidity was up the announcer kept saying.

They gave me my awesome medal, water bottle and power aid, and a snack box. I don’t drink so I skipped the wine and since my dad was with me I didn’t have to do bag check.

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It was a slow pace for me and time but I didn’t care. I did it and that’s all that mattered. πŸ™‚

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Dad and I were trying to find the after party but never could. We noticed some runners were also having a hard time finding it. After all that money dad spent on himself and me on myself I was a little annoyed about not getting to try the foods from 30 different countries but, that’s okay. I couldn’t hardly swallow my banana without gagging so food was not on my mind but it still would’ve been nice to check it out. πŸ™‚

All in all, it was a pretty good race! Would I run it again? Maybe, train for a night race better though and learn to be able to eat that late as well. πŸ˜›

Pros: Well organized, upbeat and energetic, easy course, a lot of disney characters to get pics with, Marathon Photos quick job. Enough water stops and one gel stop.

Cons: They needed more bathrooms, with that many runners, yes. BUT, they did have some along the course here and there.

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I came in 77th place out of 704 runners, which is not to bad at all, especially under the circumstances I felt. πŸ™‚

I would recommend this race!

Well done Disney!

Score: 7