Cleared

 

WAHOOOO! I have officially been CLEARED to run again! I went to the doctor yesterday morning, and he said I could start back slowly as long as I didn’t have any pain. He said the pain I had after our last visit was probably a bruise from him pressing on it. I told him it was a different pain than the injury pain, and he said “was it dull and achy” and I said yyeesssss! That’s EXACTLY how I was going to describe it. Whew! glad to know I’m not crazy (well, not for that reason at least. )

A HUGE thanks to everyone for being so sweet and supportive. I know I whined and threw a pity party in the beginning, but I was being honest, which I find to be so valuable here on RWS (and everywhere!) So that’s for sticking with me, now hopefully we can get back to our regularly scheduled run-blogging.

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So, to start, I am going to start slow with just a mile or so, slow running, maybe walking a little, then move to 2, 3, etc. My fears are not over though…one of my biggest ones is that I will start running and it will start hurting again….praying it doesn’t!

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please don’t fail me now, foot!

So, to celebrate I did two things. First, I got a massage (thank you Christmas special at the massage place!) and second….I agreed to run the Rouge Orleans relay on an all girl’s team EEEPP! Remember the post I did on Hood to Coast where I talked about it? it’s actually going to be a reality and I could not be more thrilled! I figure it will be a good way to get back into things because no leg is longer than six miles, and it’s all flat (running on the levee) so I think I can handle six at a time by mid February.

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I will be running with friends and fellow bloggers Katie and Kristyn, as well as some ladies I have yet to meet (6 of us total) We are going to have FUN!

SO….who watched the Bachelor on Monday? WOW that girl Jenna…I can’t believe she got a rose! I was excited to see a blogger make the show….aaannddd then I was embarrassed for her…she is giving bloggers a bad name. Please already think we are nuts, we don’t NEED help here. Did you watch? What were your thoughts?

QOTD: -Thoughts on the Bachelor?

             -Have you ever run a relay like Rouge Orleans or Hood to Coast?

Taper Madness

 

Well folks, it is officially taper time! Now, one would think a runner would love this time, be happy about this time, excited to not have to log as many miles per week. Well, it is quite the opposite! I am going CrAzY! As it is, I already feel less confident since I did 18 miles, but not my 20 miler, and with Christmas and all the bad food..I am just getting a little nervous about the marathon!

I was supposed to run 8 miles Sunday, but it was in the 20’s with crazy wind, so I said no worries, I will run Monday (today) well…it is JUST as cold today! So instead I am going to do 3 miles then try for my 8 miler again tomorrow, then this weekend I will do 6, with a couple of short runs next week. I can’t believe we are this close! I have worked my butt off for this race, and it is finally here. I feel like everyday I am losing fitness. I feel like I need to go out right now and run 20 miles. I feel like I should only eat fruits and veggies for the next two weeks. Someone make me stop!

I try to remind myself that this is my first marathon. my goals are to FINISH and enjoy it (at least a little bit.) I have no desire to kill myself reaching a time goal, or more importantly stress myself out over one. I try to remember that I DID run 18 miles, and even if I had to WALK the last 8 miles, I could still FINISH! (Hopefully this won’t happen haha!)

Legs, please please carry me for 26.2 miles!!!

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Body, be proud of how far you have come in the past two years!

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I wrote this post back when I was still having IT band problems, and I was doing a “mini taper” for a half marathon. I stated in the post I was hoping by the marathon I would feel confident in my training to get me though. Well….I have really REALLY been trying to tell myself that, but I think there is only so far I can go thinking that having NEVER run the distance before. I used to get so nervous running half marathons but now I don’t because I KNOW I can complete the distance. With no past marathon experiences, it is a lot harder! I know I will get more and more nervous as it gets closer, but I am trying to stay positive and have faith in myself and my training.

QOTD: How do you deal with taper madness?

Just What I Needed

 

Have you ever gone for a good while without a great run? Where they just all seemed bad, or mediocre, and you gradually start to lose confidence without even realizing it? Well, that has been happening to me. Being injured sucks, but so does coming back from an injury. It’s hard to not expect to be able to go right back to the way things were before you got hurt. I started thinking back, and my last really GOOD run I can remember was when we were training for theRun for Life Half Marathon, and Bobby and I ran a ten mile training run where I just felt great, and smiled the whole time. This is all great and everything…except that run was at the end of September if I remember correctly!

Well, today, I FINALLY had a good run! It was just a three mile run, but I felt good (except for the last mile where I felt like I was going to throw up from pushing hard) and I ran fast. Faster than I have since my injury! I clocked in at 28:30, and I have never been happier to run at a 9:30 pace! For awhile there I was really wondering if I would ever be able to run distances again, let alone at a good pace. Granted, I was dying when I was done and couldn’t have held that pace much longer, but it is definitely a start! That run was just what I needed to boost my confidence and stoke that fire that keeps me running. I don’t think I realized how much I was really needing a good run until it happened. 

So, I am happy today, and ready to finish up my marathon training. Smile 

As we creep closer to Christmas, I thought I would share my excitement with you with a few snapshots.

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QOTD: How do you feel after a really good run? How often does it happen?

Road to Recovery

 

Evening friends! I hope everyone had a great day! I played catch up today…wrapping presents, addressing Christmas cards, cleaning up my room, etc. I feel like I have gone non stop all day! I also got to run, woo hoo! I ran 5 miles, no knee pain. I also ran the 5 in 51 minutes, which is decent speed for me coming off an injury.

While I was running and pondering my speed, or lack there of, I started thinking about something. I first started having IT problems after running the Run for Life Half Marathon on October 9th. Every run after that was painful. So, to get through my training, I ran all my miles, and did all my long runs….but…(yes, the dreaded but) I did them slowly, at a “comfortable” pace. I was just trying to get through the run and the pain, I could have cared less what my pace was most days. Then I ran the Jazz half marathon at the end of October, and my knee started hurting a lot during mile 2, so that was pretty painful and slower.

I then took some time off, and finally came back to running last week. I was so careful, I didn’t want to annoy my knee, and make it tight or hurt, so I ran all my runs at a slow, comfortable pace. Well, Today when running, I realized my knee was not hurting at this comfortable pace I have kept for 2 months, so I decided to try to push my pace a little today and run more uncomfortable. Not FAST, and not doing speedwork, just slight discomfort. I surprised myself, because after having to take so much time off I didn’t think I could run 5 miles in 51 minutes, but I did, and I didn’t hurt!

I feel like I am definitely on the way to healing, on my road to recovery, and will be able to continue to race, train, and get faster. 4 weeks ago I was crying saying I didn’t know if I could even run my marathon because my knee hurt when I ran even 3 miles. I swore I wouldn’t take running pain free for granted if I got better, and I am trying to keep good on that promise! I enjoyed my run today, woo hoo!

Just for fun…look at the cute McAlisters ornament I got for free for buying a $25 gift card! If you know me, you know this is the PERFECT ornament for me Smile

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Sassy sleeps in this big chair, and Bella was annoying us the other night so we put her in the chair, too. Sassy HATES Bella, and when she realized Bella was in her chair, she tried to get away, so she stood up against the back of the chair trying to get as far away from the puppy as she could, and she just stayed like this for several minutes. It. was. hilarious!

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QOTD: Do you ever feel like, in whatever you are doing, you could try a whole lot harder if you really wanted to?

If the Shoe Fits

 

If the shoe fits…stay with that kind and don’t ever switch to anything else! I am talking about running shoes of course! I used to run in Nike Vomeros, but I pronate and they didn’t really help, and they made my hip hurt.

Then I moved on to Asics GT’s, and they didn’t make my hip hurt BUT I think I ordered too small of a size because they made the toes on my right foot bleed, and the toes on my left foot go numb.

(See HERE and the end of HERE for bloody shoe and toe pictures.)

I got these shoes in August and felt bad buying another pair months ago when this started happening (I know, I’m cheap with things like that.) But, now, with the marathon a month away, toe issues still there, and having “gotten more use” out of the shoes, I decided to buy a new pair.

I went to www.runningwarehouse.com and found my old shoes. Of course, they didn’t have pink, and the other colors didn’t have the new bigger size I need. Of course. Then I saw they have just come out with the NEW model, and with the good prices on the website, I was able to get them for $75.00 plus free shipping! They only had one color sadly, so I will be sporting blue running shoes this time around. I love that they have free shipping and free returns in case they STILL cause problems or don’t fit right!

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Crossing my fingers (and bloody toes) that these work for me! I realize I should have bought new shoes as soon as their was a problem. But I did the bad thing and just kept hoping it would go away, or I would say things like “maybe I need to just tape them” or “maybe when it cools off it will get better because my foot won’t swell.” etc. etc.

Moral of the story, make sure you are wearing the proper shoes AND size for your foot! As runners our feet just happen to be very very important to us Smile I will be sure not to make this same mistake again, and if these don’t fit, I will be sending them back! If you have never gone to a running store and had a proper fitting, go, find one, now! Don’t just guess or wear a shoe because it’s popular or someone else has it, or told you they like it. It may not be right for YOUR foot!

Have a nice day everyone, I am off to run a ton of errands and then I have some work to do.

QOTD: What shoes do you wear? Have you ever had a problem with a running shoe?

18 Miles Done!

 

This morning, Bobby and I woke up and embarked upon a distance we had never run before…18 miles. Eeekk! With the marathon less than a month away, and with us missing SIX crucial weeks of training, I was really worried about this one. Not only making the distance, but how my knee would hold up.

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But, other than all of those scary concerns, I was ready to go!

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We got a late start, about 10:00 or a little after, and it was in the upper 50’s but SO windy! There was a cold front moving through later in the day, sow e wanted to be done before the rain and cold hit!

We decided to do a run/walk ratio of 5:1, and on top of that, we would walk all of the downhills since that is what really aggravates my IT band. We started slow and I was in a good mood. There are a lot of hills, so we were doing a good bit of downhill walking.

We were doing great until about mile 12, Bobby’s hamstrings started to cramp up pretty bad and wouldn’t stop. I was still feeling great, so I would run on ahead of him and then he would catch up after he stretched out a bit. I honestly felt fine until mile 15. The last three were hard! I started aching pretty bad in my hip flexors and in my butt muscles, and the last couple miles my IT band started tightening up. I stopped and stretched several times during the run and that seemed to help. Poor Bobby kept struggling with his hamstrings, but we managed to finish in under 4 hours. It hurt, and it sucked, but I think we can at least FINISH the marathon now. Smile We are foregoing the 20 mile run, because we would have to do it this weekend, and I think we will be recovering all week! Plus, I really don’t want to risk hurting my knee and I don’t see it hurting me too terribly by skipping that run and starting my taper early.

We will probably do 13 next weekend and then maybe another 13 then 10, maybe 8, we will see. Anyway, I am so proud that we did it, and that we survived!! Now we just have the race and then no more crazy distances for me for awhile!

I hope everyone had a great day today and got a good workout in, whatever distance it may have been! Stay warm!

….and just for fun, here is another picture from the other day when my dad was torturing poor Bella!

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QOTD: What’s for dinner? I am hungry after all that running!

Friday Favorites: Running Skirts

 

Yay for Friday! It is gloomy and cold here, but I am excited because I get to see my husband tonight! Also, secretly hoping he will take me out to eat Mexican food. Not so excited we are trying to run 18 miles tomorrow, but that’s besides the point.

I enjoyed writing my runner’s Christmas gift guide so much, I decided to make it a part of my blog every week. On Friday’s I will talk about a favorite thing, product, place, food, anything that I am currently really liking! (Now, let’s just hope I remember to actually do it!)

I thought I would kick things off with something that is near and dear to my heart, even thought I have talked about them several times before. running skirts.

 

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In the photo above I am wearing my newest running skirt from the new winter collection.

I really, really, love running skirts from runningskirts.com. Not just because they are cute either. There are no seams against your skin so there is no itching or rubbing.  The fabric feels nice and comfy and there are so many options to choose from. If you don’t like the length of the running skirt, you can shooce the longer athletic skirt with built in spandex shorts instead of the built in briefs.  They are a little pricey, but well worth it. I have several I have had for about 2 years now and they are still holding up great with no signs of falling apart.  If you go to their website and sign up for their mailing list, sometimes they will send you coupons for free shipping, tell you about discounts and specials, etc.

I will admit at first I felt weird running in a skirt, but now, I HATE running in shorts and the only thing I will run in besides my skirts are pants when it’s really cold. Some people are not big fans of the skirts, and if that’s you, that’s ok….I will still be your friend. Smile 

This is the perfect time to ask for one for Christmas. Smile I can’t wait until the Disney marathon expo so I can hang out at the running skirts booth again!

 

QOTD: Do you have running skirts? Do you like them? What kind are your favorites?

Marathon Inspiration

 

Tomorrow is the one month countdown to my first marathon. Since I missed 6 weeks of crucial training, I have been a little down/nervous about it. This morning, I watched last night’s episode of the Biggest Loser. I was excited about this episode because every year it is a great motivation. It was the episode where the final four contestants run a marathon.

     Every season I watch, I cry, I get inspired. BUT, this is the first season I have watched where I have been personally training for a marathon. I can say this really was the pick me up I needed today! My two favorite contestants, Patrick and Ada, are part of the final 4. Ada is awesome and so strong and competitive, and Patrick is a Mississippi boy from about an hour or so away from where I live. I have been rooting for those two the whole time!

A little background:

Patrick started the show at 400 pounds. He is 27 years old and married with two little boys.

before

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now, running the marathon with fellow contestant Frado.

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Also, we have awesome Ada before at 278 pounds:

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and now running the marathon:

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Patrick finished the marathon in 5 hours and 45 minutes (approx) and Ada finished in 4 hours 39 minutes, smashing the female record for the Biggest Loser marathon. Frado, the 3rd contestant finished just after Patrick, and Elizabeth, the 4th contestant, who had only run a long distance of 8 miles before the race (a stupid move) finished in 7 hours and something.

It was so inspiring hearing their stories and seeing their progress, I thought, if they can go from their previous weights to current weights, which is still not where they want to be, all in 3 months, then I can do it too.

Yes, I know I am undertrained, and coming back from an injury, but my goals do not revolve around time. I just want to FINISH and HAVE FUN. It is such a great accomplishment in itself to run a marathon, even if your time isn’t what you wanted it to be. I need to stop being so hard on myself and realize I have come so far in this past year of distance running, and I should be proud of myself.

As a blogger it’s easy to get caught up in PR’s and what other bloggers are running. Yes, I may be slow, but I have PR’ed in all of my half marathons (4 of them) and now I am a month out from my first marathon, all within a year. I think that is definitely something to be proud of! So, as Biggest Loser says…What have YOU done today to make you feel proud?

(by the way…that IS the questions of the day!)

 

Be sure to watch the finale next Tuesday!

-You can follow me on Twitter or join my FB fan pages on the right hand column of my blog.

Runner’s Christmas Gift Guide

 

Ho, Ho, Ho! Santa just called me and wants to know what I think would be good Christmas gifts for all the runners on the nice list this year! I told him I would ask my readers, which I did, and here are the responses you gave me!

 

Katie has a Garmin, ipod armband, sunblock, and other small essentials on her list.

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One Small Town Girl says reflection gear is the way to go.  Particularly Brooks Nightlife hat and LED flashers as well as sweaty bands.

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Katy has Garmin, Fuel (Chomps, Stingers, Gel, etc), socks, a good sports bra, running clothes (shirts, pants, etc), iTunes gift card (to download music for runs), and gift cards for running stores on her list

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Paige is all about CEP compressions socks and the new Timex GPS watch.

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Stacy says a race entry would be a great gift, along with running gloves, a hat, Chomps, itunes card, and crazy socks.

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Michelle agrees with the others that a Garmin is the way to go, as well as a

Running Skirts skirt, Nike capris, GU Performance Pack, CEP Compression socks, and a Spibelt

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Courtney is a new runner, and she thinks any clothing items (skirts, shirts, socks, shoes, etc) would benefit as well as a spibelt, garmin, gift certificates, and running food related items or water bottles.

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Ali swears by Lululemon (of which I sadly own none of but would love to!!)

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Kimberly has a great list formed:

* A new pair of running shoes

*  nice running socks or compression socks

* compression knee shorts

*Road I.D.

*I love receiving different kinds of gels/fuel to try

 

Crystal has one of my favorite wishes on her list, an Allied Steel hanger for all of your race bling. I have been drooling over these for a long time now!!

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Elizabeth has CEP compression sleeves at the top of her list

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Lily thinks a Garmin and Nike tempo shorts should be on your list.

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Bethany enjoys trail running and wants you to check out runningfunky.com to see what they have to put on your wish list.

 

Jen has some great stocking stuffer ideas including GU, Body Glide, and running socks.

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Everyone came up with some great ideas that I am sure any runner would love to have! My personal favorites I would love to unwrap would be

-Allied Metal Hanger

Lululemon Gift Card

-Compression socks

-GU

-iTunes Gift card

Runningskirts.com skirt

-Race Registration

 

Talk about make me a happy girl! I hope this gift guide help you formulate your own wish list as well as help with shopping for your fellow running friends and family! Happy Shopping!

QOTD: What is your favorite thing on this list?

 

*I was not paid to post about these products nor was I given any free products to write about for this particular post. (As much as I would love to have gotten some of these cool things!)

Mardi Gras RnR Race Recap!

I had a BLAST this weekend! The weather was beautiful for the race, I met my goal, and the whole weekend was fun. I feel like I can’t recap without telling some of the details of the weekend and showing pictures, so I hope yall don’t mind I add that in, too! Here we go!

Friday night we drove down and stayed at my parents house, Karen and her husband Jason stayed too. Then Saturday we drove downtown, checked into our hotel and headed to the expo!



we went back to the hotel to drop our stuff off then shopped in the french quarter
front of our hotel

race goodies

we shopped, ate at the riverwalk then walked back to the room and tried to get some sleep!
the next morning we got up at 5 and at about 5:15 I heard sirens, and a band and looked out the window and saw a 2nd line band leading a large group of people already haeding to the start. We were still in the room getting ready! oops.

ready to go!

we walked down to where everyone was hanging out until we could get into corrals at 6:30.

it was a beautiful sunny day but slightly chilly, but it was great for running once we got going.

we were in corral 13 of about 21 maybe. you can see the start curved to the left, see the balloon arch? that was the start!

love this one!

there was a wave start and they let a corral go every 3 minutes or so. we didn’t start till 29 minutes after the start!

when we got close I started getting pumped and singing and dancing and embarassing myself. Then it was pretty quiet, and the announcer made a joke about Drew Brees being there, and so i SCREAMED rally loud, WWWAAAHHH! DREW BREES, WHERE! I LOVE HIM!
some people laughed and some looked at me like I was crazy. It was funny.
yay here we go!

there were bands at every mile

We started out at a good pace, not super fast, but fast enough, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep it up. It takes me about a mile to warm up but after that I felt great and we kept a great pace for us.
Karen and I were talking and I was taking pics of the pretty houses to post for yall. I love these old houses.


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this poor girl. Her running skirt was about 3 sizes too small, and it was riding up her butt

we hit the 5k mark at 33 minutes, which I was happy with because I ran my first 5k 9 months ago and my time was 33 minutes so I was stoked this was my split on a half marathon!

there were a couple times the half and full courses split in different directions

this was about mile 4

run Karen!

there were beads all in the trees from the Mardi Gras parades

at mile 4.5 we stopped to take some GU and drink water so we stopped to walk a few seconds while we partook haha. That was when this guy stopped behind us and says “I have been following you ladies for over 4 miles, I am not a stalker yall are just keeping a good pace” Well, alright then! haha
we kept on grooving, and then Karen’s heart decided to speed up and go crazy so we stopped for a minute or two until it stopped. We hit the 10 mark around 1:08 and miles 7 and 8 flew by and we headed back downtown on magazine

St. Louis Cathedral is to the left (out of the pic)

cafe du monde is on the right with the green awning

about this time, I got an AWFUL cramp in my right side, like someone was stabbing me. We stopped and walked for a minute, then it went away. at mile 9 we got to the GU station, and walked for a sec while we ate that and got some water. Soon after, the cramp came back, and it was the most AWFUL pain! I could barely walk. I tried to stretch, change my breathing, it was awful. I kept apologizing to Karen! It went away after a minute or two and we were off again and I am happy to say it never cam back.

Mile ten is where it started to suck. I have no pics till the end bc I was hurting! My fet ached and I was wearing down. My longest training run was 10 miles so I was not surprised this happened at the ten mile mark! I looked at my garmin, did some math and realized if I wante to hit my 2:30 goal, we could NOT slow down!
I saw the museum of art ahead and knew we were withing a couple miles bc the Crescent city classic ended at the same place. we took a right and I saw we had to go around a lake, but it was a trick! when you ot to the lake you had to go RIGHT down a road, then back up THEN aroun the lake. What a tease! This is when Karen’s knee started hurting so we stopped for a minute, got some water, and then kept going.
We got to mile 12, and I realized we were only a mile away! I passed a girl groaning with every breathe and I wanted to turn and look at her and say “I feel your pain!” I was so close to my goal and was pushing myself so hard. We could hear the finish line music, so close! The last mile was TORTURE! We rounded a corner and had two tenths left and we started into a flat out sprint! We ran about a 9:20 pace and crossed the finish line at the same time. It seemed to go in slow motion. As soon as we crossed we yelled WE DID IT and hugged. I was SO HAPPY to be done I could cry! Not only did we reach the goal but we ran under it by 2 minutes. we ran a 2:28:07!!
sorry this is blurry but I was moving!
We got our medals and our food, took our pics with the backdrop and met Karen’s husband and then went and found my husaband. He ran a 2:14. I was so proud!
we sat down and it felt so good to sit!

the music stage. we left before sister hazel and cowboy mouth came on b/c it was 10:30 and they were not coming on till 2:30 and later!

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we walked back to the shuttle, then walked back to the hotel to shower and check out then we headed back to my parents for lunch, then drove back to MS and got home about 8:00. WHEW! It was great but so tiring. I am sore but not near as bad as after the Disney half! It was a great experience, and a very organized race, I highly reccommend it to anyone! I leave you with one last photo: