Two Weeks!!

Two weeks from yesterday, I am leaving for sunny Florida. I can’t wait. I need to warm my bones. I’ve never lived in a year-round warm weather area, but even after nearly 30 years spent in area that have winter, I still hate the cold. I’m so over winter, and can’t wait for spring. Hopefully a trip to Florida will help.

I’m also very much looking forward to this vacation for me. Yes, I’ll miss my husband and kids. I feel guilty leaving them, and leaving the Mister alone with all 3 of them for 5 days. Yes, I do this all of the time, but he doesn’t. In the same respect, I’m giggling a little bit on the inside, because now he will know what I go through.

The big news for this week is that runDisney released bib numbers and corral information. Bib numbers(the number on that piece of paper you pin to you, for the unfamiliar) go from lowest(the fastest people) to highest(the slowest people), and where your number falls determines what corral you are in. I’ve mentioned this before, but for these races, they stagger groups of people for starting. Last year corrals ran A-H, and they do this year as well. This year each corral will start 7 minutes apart. The closer you are to A, the sooner you start, and the longer the amount of time between you and the dreaded sweepers. Sweepers and balloon ladies(ladies that start very last, and maintain a 16 minute mile, the maximum pace you can walk/run to be able to stay in the race, they wear balloons, hence the name, although they aren’t really all that dreadful from what I hear) cross the line as soon as the last person from the H corral crosses the starting line. So for each corral you are ahead of them, you technically have an additional 7 minutes between you and them, on top of maintaining at least a 16 minute mile. This can give time for extra pictures, potty stops, or other reason you might need to stop or slow down.

Now in the past these balloon ladies, and the idea of being swept, was a huge source of anxiety for me. I NEEDED to start in an earlier corral, to give me as much time as possible. But as I trained, I realized this is something I don’t really need to worry about. I’m not the fastest runner by any means. If it’s only a few miles, I can definitely push for faster times, but over the long haul, I maintain an 11-12 minute mile. However I can maintain that. Thus far I’ve done over 9 miles(with 10+ planned for this weekend), jogging the entire time, and maintaining that pace. It’s an amazing feeling, even if I’m being passed, even if I know that others can go much faster than that.

Back to corrals. The breakdown looks like this for individual runners:

Elite 1-30
A 31-2961
B 2962-5924
C 5925-8667
D 8668-11343
E 11344-14009
F 14010-16608
G 16609-19296
H 19297-22290

My bib number is 6802, putting me very safely in the C corral. Looking at time requirements for the C corral, it’s for those who estimate a time of finish of 2:31 to 2:45. Now when I registered, I put in the very lowest time I could without having to show proof of time(using a 10k race or higher), which was 2:46. Had I stayed there, I would have been in the D corral. But the 10k I did in October helped me out, and got me into C(and only 3 minutes over the cutoff for the B corral). I’m very excited, happy with this placement, and also proud. I didn’t get into the C corral by just throwing out the lowest number I could. I trained, I raced, and I worked for that corral assignment. This also means there are 5 corrals starting behind me, which means roughly a 35 minute buffer between myself and the sweepers, on top of me maintaining a 16 minute mile(I’m faster than that). So it means, if I choose to/need to, I can stop and use the restroom or stop for pictures. It’s a comforting feeling, and it leaves me with nothing but confidence that I will finish this race and will never even see the balloon ladies.

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