Now that I am 6 weeks post marathon maybe I should write a recap. It may be shorter then planned, but alas that is what happens when work + TJ’s birthday get in the way!
The night before the marathon I went to bed almost as soon as TJ did, by 8:30 I was blissfully curled up in bed. My alarm went off at 1:45 Marathon morning and I quickly got out of bed and headed downstairs for 2 things; coffee and pumping. The joys of being a breastfeeding runner. I was out the door about an hour later and headed to meet Kristen and her crew at Disney. I parked and attempted to pump the last bit in the parking lot only to discover I should have checked the batteries. I prayed for the best, finished getting dressed and headed for the red carpet. Marathonfoto caught this of me on the way in.
Once I met up with everyone we headed for our corrals! With a stop at the bathrooms first. The weird thing was how Disney had them the lines went out into the stream of people heading for their corrals. After waiting a bit and getting annoyed that people kept skipping someone came along and told us if we walked back down a bit there was no line. I love how helpful and friendly Disney runners are. After our pit stop Angie, Tara, Kristen and I headed into Corral D.
Finally after much anticipation and watching 3 corrals + the wheelchairs start we were off and running. We chose to stick with out 5/1 intervals for the marathon but to skip the first walk break.
After about 2 miles we hit our first photo op, Pirates of the Caribbean. We saw it ahead and Kristen asked me to sprint ahead and jump in line. The line was long so we just posed in front of the ship.
We continued on our way to the Magic Kingdom posing along the way.
Not long after passing the parking booth I kept pulling ahead of the girls. My legs were feeling good and I was excited. We played leap frog for a bit but finally split in the Magic Kingdom right before the castle. Tara wanted to stop in a very long line for the Beast and Belle and I had no interest. We said our goodbyes and I was on my way for 21 miles. I made sure to stop at all the short lines and kept plugging along.
(Just an idea how crowded it was almost the entire race)
After I was out of the Magic Kingdom I decided to stop doing my intervals. I was feeling good despite the heat and wanted to push myself. In hindsight I am not sure whether this was a good idea or not but I was frustrated with how much time I had already wasted. I plugged along listening to my marathon mix, walking the water stops and stopping for pictures.
Around mile 8.5 we entered the track where the Richard Petty Driving Experience is held. It was interesting and I loved all the classic cars and owners around the track. I never realized how big it was until then!
When I reached Animal Kingdom around mile 12 I was ready for a quick bathroom break a water refill and some shade. When I came upon Everest the staff were encouraging runners to come in and ride. At first I ran past but then when I saw others headed in I decided to go for it. I am so glad that I did! When else except at Disney can you say you rode a roller coaster in the middle of a marathon!! Two notes though. 1- turn your Garmin off and 2- not good for those who get motion sick.
I left Everest and headed on my way looking for Kristen’s mom. I was so glad to see her outside Animal Kingdom and happily took a boiled Gold Potato salted. From Animal Kingdom we headed off to ESPN Wide World of Sports. I started to hit the wall. I was hot, tired and over the marathon. At mile 16 we headed out where runners were headed back from mile 20. It was awful because the DJ on the corner was talking about being at mile 20, but alas we weren’t. Then I ran into Mary another Orlando Fit member from our training group. We spent some time together walking and running before once again I was on my own.
I finally overcame the wall around mile 21. I started paying attention to my intervals again, hit my power songs on my playlist and pushed through. I also texted Ed and he sent words of encouragement and a picture of my sweet baby boy with signs saying Go mom UR Incredible.
I chatted with other runners along the way, bobbed and weaved around everyone who had pretty much given into walking. I could complain here about how going down the boardwalk was awful because of all the walkers and how I was in the grass a lot. But it was hot, runners were getting in vans and med tents more then I had ever seen. I grabbed some chocolate as I entered Hollywood Studios and enjoyed running down the center since it was the only place during the whole race I didn’t feel crowded. When I reached the Boardwalk I walked and ran, taking in the sites because surprisingly I had never been there, passing Joe, Kristen’s Dad who was running back to run the last few miles with her and I looked for Sarah our Orlando Fit Coach. I found her and my Fairy Godmother!
Once I hit Epcot I was elated, I was almost done. Honestly I walked most of Epcot until I hit 24. I was exhausted and didn’t want to pass out. Other runners were telling me lets go you have this, but I knew if I pushed before I was ready it wouldn’t be good. And then I saw it, the 26 mile sign and the Gospel Choir. I was almost done, I was almost a marathoner. I took off running around the corner and running to the finish.
I high fived Mickey and crossed trying not to cry. 6 hours and 7 minutes after starting I was done. Disney handed out water and insisted that you open it and drink it.
I grabbed some ice, found some shade and waited for the girls. Honestly I started to worry after a bit because I hadn’t heard from Kristen and hadn’t thought to get anyone else’s numbers. But finally I got the runner text that she had finished. I felt a sigh of relief and waited by the shoot for the girls.
Kristen’s mom rocks she brought us Chocolate milk and wet cloths. Originally I planned to drive my car to the hotel Kristen, her dad and the girls were staying at and shower to go to lunch. And then I realized what time it was. I got to my car and sat down in the cool air conditioning and realized I wanted to go home to my boys, and thats what I did. I finished my marathon, drove home to my boys and ate leftover pizza sitting in a cold bathtub.
I am elated that my first marathon was the Walt Disney World 20th Anniversary Marathon. Despite the extreme heat I had a blast. Will I do it again, I am not sure, but if I do I am going Goofy!
**Just a note the volunteers were amazing! Pouring water over runners heads, filling hydration bottles and cheering!