The Incredible Shrinking Krista

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The lonliest 2 miles of my life...

All I can say is WOW!  I went to Walt Disney World last weekend to throw my hat in the half marathon ring.  I knew I hadn't trained as much as I should have and with a massive bone spur, plantar fasciatis and IT band pain in my left hip, the likelihood of maintaining the required pace wasn't good.  The frustrating part was, if only I had known to fib a bit about my finish time when I registered, I would have been at least 2 or 3 corrals further up and had a 25 minute lead on the damned balloon ladies! 

Let me say this first, if anyone knows how to put on an amazing run, it is Disney!  Let me explain, but I'm getting ahead of myself, I need to go back and start at the beginning of my day.  It all started at the unGodly hour of 2:15 in the morning, as we had to get up and get ready, we were meeting in the lobby of Shades of Green to walk over to the Polynesian and catch the bus to the race start.  It is almost a mile walk from SOG to the Poly, but we met some amazingly awesome girls on the way.  I was given glow sticks and even a little wand by one of the other princesses.  Here's Kara and I on the bus...still half asleep, but ridiculously excited for what was ahead of us! 

We got to Epcot and climbed off the bus and began the hike to the baggage check. 

We were greeted by a DJ, spinning lights, and a club scene that was more fun than should have been had at that hour in a Disney Park.  We were surrounded by port-a-potties and more tutus than I could have ever have conceived.  According to 1 girl at the start line, "It's Disney, of course the port-a-potties don't stink, people can only poop flowers and rainbows on Disney Property".  She was truly one of the sweetest women I met during this experience.  Her name was Carol, from Houston, TX.  She was really funny and down to earth.  She congratulated me on having the courage to come out and attempt a half marathon with my injuries.  I noticed she was going to be starting from corral A, the first to start, which meant she had proven her ability to finish in under 2 hours by previously completing a race of the same length.  I ran into her afterwards, and she had completed the half in 1:40:59 or so.  She gave me a glow-in-the-dark necklace for my birthday, because she notice my "Birthday Girl" crown. 

Once we got to the Corrals, it rapidly became apparent that while my adrenaline was taking over, I didn't have a snowball's chance of finishing this.  There's pessimism, and there is reality, this was reality.  I had sabotaged myself yet again, I hadn't done what I needed to do to be successful.  Same old pattern, just a new endeavor. Well, that is the VERY LAST time that this will be my reality.  My plan was a good one, I would do my best, and if/when the dreaded balloon ladies met me, I would become their new best friend. 
Let me explain; there are 2 ladies that are the pace line.  They cross the start line with the last person in corral H and the maintain a 16minute/mile pace which is the minimum acceptable pace for the half marathon.  I knew they would catch me, I just didn't think it would happen so quickly.  Within a few minutes of starting the race, I realized that even though I had been in the front line of Corral H at the start line, I was getting passed like I was standing still.  I started to cry about half a mile in because I knew that I wasn't going to make it and it was the loneliest feeling.  How could a person feel lonely around 20,000+ other runners, and the answer is, it is definitely possible.  Between mile markers 1 and 2, the dreaded balloon ladies passed me.  They were amazingly supportive, cheered me on, and coached me to try to keep up with them, but my body just wouldn't go any faster.  It wasn't long before I had a guy on a bike pedal up next to me and say, "Excuse me, Princess Krista, are you aware of the pacing requirements?"  Understand, my bib said, "Princess Krista" on it, that's how he knew my name.  I explained that yes, I was aware of the requirements.  He told me I needed to catch up with the balloon ladies before the next mile marker.  Then a medic came along on a bike, asking if I was ok.  I had been crying for about a mile now, because my reality had set in, and I was definitely not going to finish.  I kept telling the guy on the bike and the medics that I was physically fine, just emotionally/mentally demoralized.  That was really the only explanation for the tears, and they just wouldn't stop falling!  I had lost sight of the balloon ladies, but I wasn't going to give up.  At this point I heard a lady behind me crying, and heard her friend say, "I love you, but I have to go, don't want to get swept" as she sprinted away.  I felt so bad for this lady.  I knew how lonely she must feel, because I had felt it since my sister went to start in Corral G and left me in Corral H.  Don't get me wrong, I knew my sister needed to go run her own race, and I respect her for doing so, I just felt very alone.  I turned around to talk to this woman, whose name escapes me at the moment.  She was participating as a part of "Team in Training" and even the coaches for Team in Training had left her.  I tried to encourage her, but as I turned back around, I saw the bus along the side of the road start to move and park across the road.  My heart sank.  I had hoped I would get caught up before mile 2 and get to at least complete 3 miles, but that just wasn't in the cards.  Well, my sister always says, "Dead freaking last is better than did not finish.  Did not finish is better than did not start.  Did not start is better than did not try."  I got on the bus, and I rationalized that "Even Cinderella had to catch a coach to the ball."  There were 5 of us in the back of the bus, all a bit heavier than most.  The lady who I had been talking to that had cried the majority of the last part of the race, told us that her father had said to her, "You'll never finish, why are you even going to try?"  Another girl had had double pneumonia and severe food poisoning leading to hospitalization less than a week before.  There was another girl on the bus, dressed as Belle, who said, "Well, I made it 2 miles this year, maybe next year I'll only make it 4, but I'll be here, and I'll be doing everything I can to finish or at least improve!"  Her name was Elizabeth, from Miami, and she was amazing!  She was so positive while being surrounded by the 3 of us who were bawling.  The Disney employee on the bus said, "Well, the good news is, we're going to take you to the finish line, you'll get off the bus and get your medal, and no one will be any the wiser." 
This is what our coach looked like:

When I stood up to get off the bus, I could barely walk.  My foot/ankle were in horrible pain, and I could barely move.  It was bad enough that the finish line medic sat me down and gave me 1000mg of tylenol to help with the pain before he handed me my medal. A few minutes later I ran into Elizabeth again, and she handed me a rose with Mickey hot glued to one of the petals.  She said she bought it in hopes that she would find me again.  She said that my encouragement of the other ladies was inspirational to her, and that she hoped I had an amazing birthday!
 Now comes the crazy part.  Neither my sister, nor I, brought our cell phones.  We decided that our cameras, ipods, gels, tiaras, were enough.  So we didn't take them.  Massive fail!  You see, I had no way of knowing where on the course she was.  I contemplated trying to jump on the bus back to the Polynesian and see if I can get to Shades of Green before Kara runs by...but I wasn't sure I would make it, and I didn't know that her husband was going to make it to the finish line.  If she actually got to finish, I didn't want her to have no one there waiting for her.  Then I didn't know whether to go to the finish line, or wait by the medical tent.  I chose middle ground.  I stood by the exit to the baggage check for the section where Kara's bag was checked, and rotated between watching the baggage check exit and the jumbo-tron of the finish line.  Then I realized I was so tired, that I didn't even know what my sister was wearing to run.  This is not good with over 15,000 people crossing the finish line.  I had finally stood there for so long, the cop started talking to me, and the volunteer working there was going to walk me to the medical tent.  I had told this volunteer that I was concerned because Kara had bad knees, and I was concerned that she was in the medical tent.  You see, I had seen numerous people come by saying, "I just got a call that my wife/mother/sister is in the medical tent."  I knew Kara didn't have her cell phone and I didn't have mine.  I also knew I hadn't seen my brother-in-law, the kids or my mom, so I was the only person there to be there for her if she needed someone or something.  As the volunteer took me toward the medical tent, I heard my name get yelled out.  I know, there were over 15,000 people there, but not many were krista's.  (Okay, I just checked, there were 30 Krista's that finished, and at least 1 that didn't.)  Also, I caught the bus back to the Polynesian while my sister got more ice for her knees and went looking for a "lost and found" since she had chucked her jacket on teh side of the road and forgotten to take off her Garmin before doing so, and was hoping someone had found it and turned it in.  I mentioned to the genglemen around me, there were 3, that I was impressed by their willingness to wear tutus and skirts, because I was 100% certain that even if I got my husband to run the race, we had a better chance of seeing Satan selling snow cones than seeing him in a tutu or a skirt.  Prince Lance, who was wearing a smashing white skirt with different colored heart on it, talked to me on the bus, and even on the walk all the way back to Shades of Green.  He was a nice, guy, from Northern California, an Engineer, much like my husband.  He told me that he didn't know that he would be back next year, but he was going to look at the results for a Krista from NC who finished the race next year, and he hoped he would see my name.  Well, Prince Lance, from northern CA, you will see my name, I WILL FINISH!

All this is to say, that I had fun, even if I didn't finish.  So, I have already started planning for next year.  I have made a training calendar for next year.  I customized it through shutterfly.com.
I will be doing a half marathon here in NC in November.  I will be doing the Battleship half marathon, the purpose of which is to do another half marathon and complete it before heading back to Disney.  I will be hoping to finish it in under 2 1/2 hours, so that I can get a really good corral for next year's Princess Half Marathon.  I believe that with a 2 1/2 hour finish time at the Battleship half marathon, I would be in Corral C or D, which, if the princess is as large as it was this year, I would have corrals E, F, G and H behind me.  That is 30 minutes between me and the balloon ladies at the very start...maybe more.  And the time limit is 3 1/2 hours, so I would beat those mean old heffers by a whole hour. 
This has been an amazing learning experience for me, one that I will never forget!  I will never again set myself up to fail in this way.  So While I originally started this blog to document my weightloss journey, I'm instead going to start to focus on working out and getting healthier, and weightloss will hopefully be a collateral response to my half marathon training.  I am going on record now and saying that my current weight is 257 pounds, but my weight won't be mentioned on the blog again until next year's Princess half marathon re-cap.  Rather than focusing on a number on the scale, I intend to focus on my training plan, and making it to all of my workouts.

21 comments:

  1. Krista I wish I could write like you. Karen

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  2. Krista I know you didn't get as far as you would have liked but you did a great job and I am sure you have taken so much from the experience.
    But please DO NOT LIE about your time to get into a corral that you do not belong in and that others have worked very hard to get into. Good luck!

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    1. I was told to do that, but have no intention of doing so. That is why I am running the half marathon in November, to have a documented finish time to provide at the expo to get me moved appropriately to where I belong. I will give the accurate time for finishing based on my training and average mile pace when I register.

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    2. You can also run some 10k's to try to get up towards the front. I submitted a 1:12 10K time and was in corral C this year, B last. This is another avenue for you to be up closer esp if you can find a flat one. Good luck. Your blog is so inspiring. I had PF last year it is VERY painful. You were so brave to attempt the race. Here's to a great year of training.

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  3. Congratulations Princess Krista! As badly as I wanted to try last year, I did not have much confidnence that I would finish. This past year, I have lost 40 pounds in my training and want to lose 40 more this year. Lets do it together! See you at the finish line Princess Half 2013!

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  4. Good Luck Krista! Have an amazing year and I wish you the best. I give you so much credit for getting out there and trying. Don't ever give up. You have what it takes to attain your goals. You can do it!!!

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  5. Krista, I am just so proud of you! I wouldn't even have the courage to try! And in my mind, you succeeded and I am so proud! You're gonna rock it next year, don't give up! Good job, chica!

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  6. If there is one thing I know about you, you CAN do anything you set your mind to. I am proud of you for trying and KNOW you WILL be successful next year.
    Please do not sabatoge yourself---ANd if you or anyone else tries to do that ---play like TINK---make a face at them and move on---for yourself, find a mirror to make that face..Words not needed---just actions---including faces!!
    :-P add a few motions to that face I just left you LOL
    I love you!!!
    MOM {{{hugs}}}

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  7. Krista- Thanks so much for posting this. I have been "following" you since I saw that we were both from the FV/HS area! Im sure the weekend was a mixed bag of feelings but I LOVE that you're excited for next year! If you ever need some one to walk with - please let me know, Id love to! I'll friend you on facebook if you dont mind! :)

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    1. That would be awesome, Emily. Thanks!

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  8. Krista
    I found your blog and i am proud of you for sticking to your goal. My advice to you is this: Spend 4 months or so focusing on your weight and trying to drop some. I am a former heavy girl and before I could focus on time for a race, I had to drop some weight. It may also help with some of the physical issues you are having. After you find a food lifestyle that works for you (I hate the word diet) find your local running store and see if they have a training group for half marathons. It is SO MUCH FUN to train in a group AND, it makes reaching your goals so much better. You can do this.

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    1. Thanks, Melissa, for your ideas. I am still working on finding a "Food Lifestyle" that fits me. (I love that term way more than diet btw). Not sure how you found me, but I'm glad you did!

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  9. I know this was a big blow to your confidence, but you got out there...Bravo! Just to let you know, you can submit a 10k or longer time to get a proof of time. It may be more helpful to start out working on a 5K then 10K and increase your distance so you can work on your time first and then increase your distance. Little steps help you take a giant leap.

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    1. I have actually already built a training calendar for next year on shutterfly. I started with the couch to 5k plan, then moved into the half marathon training plan of Jeff Galloway's for this year's Princess Half Marathon. The Galloway training plan was for folks who had run at least 3 miles in the last month, which I will be doing by the time I finish the C25k plan. Thanks for the advice! I really appreciae it

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  10. Krista, I don't know you but stumbled upon your blog. Your post moved me to tears. I also ran the princess half last weekend. I'm proud of you for having the courage to start and wish you the best of luck with your training for next year!

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    1. Thanks, Amy, for your feedback. Sorry I made you cry. I'll be back to finish next year. I appreciate your enouragement!

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  11. 16 minute mile is rough! What about joining someone in a relay next time to take some of the pressure off? Don't give up! Just set reasonable goals and be proud of yourself every time you check one off and move on to the next. Good luck!

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  12. Krista - It is great that you had the courage to start this race. And I think it is fantastic you are excited for next year. Hope to see you at the finish line 2013!!

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    1. Thanks, Emily. You will definitely see me at the finish! Well, at the least, You will see pictures of it when I post them here.

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  13. Reading this makes me want to do the half marathon so bad! I've become more committed to working out and getting healthy, and this makes me even more committed. You are inspirational, keep it up! :)

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    1. Thanks,Madi! I have a LONG way to go, but I'll get there.

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