I slept a little, but it was more that pseudo-sleep where your dreams and your waking reality are mushed together rather than a real, deep sleep. I dreamed mostly of Disney princess and running shoes- not surprisingly. I think I also might have been trying to save the world at some point, but that’s standard for dreams.
Normally, I would say that the alarm went off too soon, but I actually woke up on my own about 45 minutes early (in the middle of a dream about missing the bus to the start line). I stayed in bed for a good fifteen minutes, and read the book I had bought with me. The story took my mind off the race, and I finally felt my nerves relax.
I got up, took care of morning business, and then got into my running clothes. I’d experimented the night before the best way to pin on my homemade skirt, and now attached it again to my tights. I spent longer than usual on my ponytail, and tied some leftover yellow tulle around the holder and fashioned a headband out of the leftover fabric (hey- today, I was going to be princess).
Pulling on a pair of sweatpants and a jacket, I headed out to the bus.
Watching the runners exit the hotel and converge on the bus stop was a pretty inspiring sight. I know it sounds odd, but seeing so many women up at the crack of dawn, many meticulously dressed in cool-max and pink tutus, heading for the bus that will take them to the start of 13.1 mile experience- well, its hard not to smile, no matter how tired you are.
There were three buses lined up when I arrived, and as soon as one departed, another took its place. I boarded, and ended up sitting amongst a group of tutu-clad sisters (except for one, who, despite the protests of the others, claimed to be “not-related”). The atmosphere on the bus was one of drowsy anticipation. We were tired, but we were ready. Bring on the world- or at least the Magic Kingdom.
The bus unloaded in the EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, if you’ve ever wondered) parking lot, and with growing enthusiasm, we got off. I headed to the Information Tent, my pre-set rendezvous with my Mom and two co-workers who were doing the race. My Mom and co-worker (and training partner, until she couldn’t train with me anymore) V. were already there. I showed up, and immediately V. and I found ourselves put to work, looking up race numbers and directing runners and spectators where they needed to go.
V. headed off to the start-line before my Mom and I (she was running solo), and my other co-worker never showed (she ran, but couldn’t find the Info tent beforehand). My Mom and I stayed and worked till nearly all the other runners were gone, then made it to the start line with just minutes to spare (really- the National Anthem started before I could even stretch my hamstring).