That's right, my friends, I finished! I was a little slower than I wanted -- finished in 6:30 -- but I finished and that's all I care about!
So, for the report:
Race day started this morning at 2:30 am when I got up and prepared to get ready to be at the start at the assigned 4 am -- it was damn early, but I actually beat my alarm out of bed because I was ready to go. At 6 am, we were all lined up in the appropriate places, the anthem was preformed, and then there were fireworks, and we were off! That first mile was awesome: The adrenline had me fired up and the crowd was wild with excitement. We started near Epcot, so our first miles were through Epcot and it was so cool because it was still dark, but everything was lit up and it was so much fun.
At mile 8, we entered the Magic Kingdom, and I have to say, hands down, that was my favorite part. There wasn't anything that compared to running down "Main Street USA" and through Sleeping Beauty's castle, and the crowd there was amazing. By mile 12, we were headed out of the Magic Kingdom and I was feeling really good, but at about mile 15, I started to wear out, and at 16, I felt exhausted. It was a long road into Animal Kingdom, and it was just past there, at mile 20, when I just wanted to fall into the grass alongside the road and die. Seriously, I know that 20 feels like I'm almost there and I should've been excited, but I had to face the fact that I really wanted to be done, so much so that I really wanted to just quit and have them cart me to the end.
At mile 21, I cried a little bit in pain, frustration, and fear.
My legs hurt so bad that I had to stop and stretch every half a mile; my feet ached, my guts were churning, I was unbelievably hot, and I just felt wiped out:physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Needless to say, the last 10K was mostly a walk effort (and I'm a slow walker). Once we entered MGM, I knew I had it in me to finish, but I was in a lot of pain as we passed through MGM and re-entered Epcot. By that time, I didn't even care about passing through Epcot; I just wanted to cross the finish line and collapse into my husband.
I crossed the finish, and immediately burst into (stiffled) sobs of relief and pride -- I actually did it, I could hardly believe it was true; it was one of the best feelings of my life, and I guess all the pain was made worthwhile by that moment.
I'm home now -- we drove back this afternoon -- and I am incredibly sore: My feet hurt, one toe nail is definitely going to fall off, I have a blister, my knees hurt to bend, and I'm hobbling around like I'm 80. But I did it, I really did do it -- it doesn't quite feel real yet.