I won’t lie, I didn’t have the highest of expectations for my debut back to running. If I was honest with myself, I knew that I haven’t felt quite “right” since my third c-section 5 months ago. I was scared going into it, my training had been mediocre and somehow there had been a weather factor added to things, with a high that day of 85 degrees, with a ton of humidity. I was scared. I was nervous. But I pushed forward.
It was a super quick trip, I was set to get into Orlando at 9am and leave Saturday night at 6pm. I headed straight over to the ESPN Wide World of Sports to get my race bib. The Star Wars Rival Run Weekend Expo was so big and amazing I’ll just need to do a separate post on that (so stay tuned!). Bib pick up was a total breeze, and just like that I was on my way to Disney Springs to eat because mama was hungry! I spent a few hours there then I decided to pack it in early (7pm! I went to bed before my kids did!) for my 3am wake up call. The race started at 5:30am officially.
I stayed off site for the first time in a long time. By the time I firmed up plans to go, the rooms in my favorite Disney resorts were all sold out. I ended up taking a Uber to Epcot where they had plenty of busses to take us to the start at Magic Kingdom. The entire process took maybe 30 minutes.
The Star Wars Rival Run Weekend 10k Start Line
At 4:30am there was plenty of entertainment, lots of folks in the crowd being interviewed by the RunDisney hosts and plenty of Star Wars trivia and video. If you are true hardcore Star Wars fan, this is the place for you! There were tons of inside jokes (that I didn’t get) and so many costumes! I got to take a pic with BB8!
Being in the last corral was something NEW for me, in all of my RunDisney races, I’ve always been placed in the middle. It was definitely a new experience but I still surrounded by a bunch of awesome folks.
— Nellie ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿🇯🇲🗽 (@BklynActiveMama) April 6, 2019
Finally it was time to run. We watched 13 corrals take off before us and we were the last to go. The humidity was high, the sun hadn’t risen yet, but it was time to RUN! I took off slowly and rather gingerly, my plan was to run for as much as I could each mile then power walk the rest.
The first mile were FULL of characters. The fun part about all of this was that they were unofficial Star Wars characters from a local fan club. I seriously couldn’t tell! All of the costumes were executed so perfectly! I was still aware that I was in the last corral and wouldn’t have time so I grabbed as many selfies as I could. There were SO many characters and I’m sad I didn’t get a photo with each of them.
Getting into the race
After mile two, this started heading downhill pretty quickly. All of a sudden I started feeling as if my feet were filled with pins and needles. The more I started to run, the more uncomfortable I felt because I quite literally could not feel the bottom of my feet. I asked the medical team if there was anything I could do and they had NO answers for me, but they did provide me with tylenol so I took it and went on my merry way.
The Balloon Ladies Were Upon Me
I had always heard of these balloon ladies but I had never seen them up close and personal. Well not only did I get to know them, I managed to keep pace with them until we reached past Mile 4 in Epcot. There were so many times that I turned around and saw 2 busses FULL of runners that didn’t get the opportunity to finish their race because of injury or that they couldn’t keep the minimum pace. It was a surreal and humbling experience to see those faces staring back out at me on the course, and me knowing that I’d end up there real soon because I had nothing left in the tank.
I reached Epcot with 30 seconds to spare. Literally. THIRTY SECONDS. The bus could not turn into Epcot, so once I got there I felt relatively safe.
Everything hurt, bones, legs, arms, chest–everything. I’ve had hard races before but nothing like this. Maybe I pushed too hard, too soon?
Finally, I pushed past the finish line. I wept. I wept out of sheer embarrassment and I wept because I really thought I wouldn’t make it to the end. I wept because nothing about my body felt the same at all.
Should I have run a race 5 months post my third c-section? Probably not. I have never come back to running post pregnancy…I started running AFTER I had my first two children, way after.
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I’ve run 2 marathons, 16 half marathons and this is one of the hardest races I’ve ever run. At mile 2️⃣ I got super comfortable with the fact that I wasn’t finishing because the pins and needles in my feet made running impossible 😩 at mile 4️⃣ I gave up trying to keep up with the ballon ladies. 🎈 At mile 6️⃣ I wept. THIS WAS REALLY HARD. . In my head I know that I’m 5 months out from my third c-section but in my heart I am the runner I was 2 years ago. Getting those two things to align is extremely difficult. In this moment, I am sad that it was so difficult but victorious because I did it. Thank you guys for your support, always. 🏅 #rundisney #starwarshalfmarathonweekend #starwars10k
I definitely think it’s time I get back to the basics. I’m considering starting a couch to 5k program, just to get my body aligned with running again on a basic level.
I am proud that I got there and I’m proud that I finished. I will *not* be running the Brooklyn Half this year but I have it on the agenda for next year for sure.