Friday, January 23, 2009

My Marathon Experience, part 2

.....continued from previous post
At some point here, we headed into the Animal Kingdom – where there were lots of cast members there – cheering us in.

The thing that was so neat about the Animal Kingdom was….we had JUST run thru here on Friday! I loved that!
(why do people feel the need to change settings on a camera?? They messed up about 7 pictures)

So, I quickly realized that I still needed to go potty since about Mile 14! So, as soon as we made the turn into Asia, I ducked into the nearest RR.

How funny! The bathroom was FULL of marathoners-so-I potty’d – then gave my face and hands a good wash –and out – back at it!

Around past Everest, through DinoLand – and then out of Animal Kingdom. Just about then, they had a water stop, with ICE COLD sponges! AHH! That feels great. At this point, I am seriously into the sweat factor, and it is just getting hotter! Good stuff!

As I left out of AK, I had to walk. I had had another BioFreeze stop, but the pain in my left calf was almost unbearable, and it seemed like the BioFreeze was not lasting the complete mile between stops.

YEAH!!!!!!!!!!! There’s Susie AGAIN!!! Wearing her Mickey Ears, holding a sign that said GO B GO! Oh my! How exciting! What a refreshing feeling to see someone! Thanks, Susie!!! What a pick me up!

Then, the real test, the miles I have dreaded from the beginning…miles 18-21. So, 19 was not too bad – but as we approached 19 – I saw the incline – and – I walked (GASP!) – the left calf was REALLY REALLY screaming at me!

At this point, my right hip was ok –as long as I was keeping the Biofreeze on it – but the calf – oh wow! So, I walked. Almost the entire distance of 19 & 20 and through the turn and then back to running through 21 and out!

I looked for Gretchen from mile 19 thru mile 21 – actually hoping that I would NOT see her, because I knew that if I did NOT see her, it meant she was on pace and gonna make it in under 5. So, no, I did not see her! Go Gmac Go!

And, I was about at the 4 hour mark, so I knew that Scott was finished or VERY close to finished. Somewhere around this time, as I was running, and calculating, I started thinking about the pain that I was in, and I thought to myself – I cannot comprehend what Scott has done. 13.1 yesterday and 26.2 today. I cannot even imagine how he is even accomplishing that! Unbelievable.
(yes, he finished! 4:29, my hero!)

So, back to me (hahah!) I made the turn just past mile 21 – and headed towards Hollywood Studios.

This is it! The end! The last 10K of the race!

I can do it! I really am about to be a “marathon runner”. I can hardly believe it. I think from this point on, I ran the last 5-6 miles of the race with a smile on my face. Seriously.

When we entered Hollywood Studios, I stopped for a pic near the sign and then headed in. Down the streets – near the stunt show – I saw the Power Rangers – Monsters Inc – the Incredibles – too fun!

We went thru the tunnel of the Backlot Tour – and then out – down those back streets.

I stopped to pose with a Green Army Man. He was fun. After the pic he put his arm in mine and we took off running – after a few steps, I asked him if he had 3 miles in him – with those flat feet- he stopped – saluted me – and turned around. Funny!

So, off I go again. Just after leaving the Army man, I saw a guy throwing up on the side of the street. I prayed that the Lord would send some assistance – or help him through it. I am sure He did.

Keeping on – through the streets of Hollywood Studios – around the Sorcerer’s Hat! Oh my goodness, this is amazing!!!

Down Hollywood Blvd, then to the left – and out! Ooops! There’s Winnie the Pooh, gotta stop for a photo!

Then out! Oh my! Less than 3 miles to go! AHHHHHHH!

Calf on fire! Hip VERY painful! And the bottoms of my feet! Ultra tender – with every step!

So, as we exit Hollywood Studios – I began scanning the crowd – and ask them out loud “anyone have a cell phone?” A lady ahead offers hers out, I pause, dial my mom’s number, and then take off running again, as I politely thank her, and say back to her “Call my mom, tell her I am still in it!”

Happiness, extreme Happiness!

At this point, I am evaluating every possible thing.
No, my time is not great.
No, I have not kept my 10 minute pace, like I had hoped.
No, I’m not still with Gretchen.

BUT, I reassured myself with this – I am still in it! That was 8 miles ago when she left – and for 8 miles I have pressed on – pain – tears – cheering crowds – characters.

Praise the Lord, I am gonna make it!

Around the Boardwalk, then towards the Beach Club, people lining the streets, every step of the way.

I so wanted to see someone I knew at this point. I was longing for a familiar face. I need to shed my ipod. I need to shed my spybelt. It was hot. And everything on me was weighing me down, though it seemed.

But, I did not. So, keep on keeping on. To the end of the Beach Club.


In to the back side of the World Showcase and the entrance by the infamous Red Telephone Booth. I literally said it outloud,”Here we go!”

Lines of people clapping, cheering, cow bells, everything! Plenty of inspiration to keep moving my feet, one foot in front of the other!

And, then the trek around the World Showcase. It got eerily quiet for a few minutes. As we started this leg of the race, the big Ball was on my far far left, almost behind me – and as I ran, it moved – closer and closer to the center – and then – it was in front of me – and then to my right, and there it was, just over there!

And, as we got to Mexico, and the crowds were full on ---lining the streets again, I mean, hundreds of people, on both sides, as far as I could see, I almost cried.

I stopped. I had to. I asked a guy to take my picture, he looked at me funny, but Mexico to me is the landmark I had set when we ran the 15K, and now that I was here, I really had to take it all in.

Ok, back to running. And, running good! Smiling, feeling it! I know that my feet were probably barely moving at this point, but it felt like I was speeding through there! Happy. Total Happy.

I took that right turn and the World Showcase was now officially behind me and the Ball (ok, I know it is technically a GEOSPHERE, but, give me a break!) was glaring me in the face.

Down the stretch, both sides LINED with people. And, when I say lined, I mean, like the 3:00 parade LINED, and EVERYONE cheering, clapping, exciting, and for the next 3 or 4 minutes:
“Go Brittney, Almost there”
“Way to go Brittney”
“Brittney, you’ve got it!”
“You are amazing”
“You are about to be a Disney Marathon finisher”
“Looking good Brittney”
“Almost there”
I mean, with every rotation it got better, and it felt like I got faster and faster. The fans were AMAZING! Who knew how much that would mean to me!

When I reached the Ball, and it’s enormity, I was surrounded by people cheering, and many of them, obviously NOT there to be spectators, but as they saw it – they decided to stop and cheer. I was so emotionally charged at this point.

Then- on towards the front – and OUT – to the right of the entrance, that same entrance just 5 hours ago – we had shuffled through – in the dark at the beginning of this journey.

Just out – THE CHOIR – full choir in robes – swaying – and singing – and I stopped (well, I kind of just paused) – YES! I know. So close to the finish, but just a second, to take it in..

I waved my hand in the air, lifting it in victory – in praise – thanking God, and the choir clapped and shouted! I am telling you--------Glorious, just glorious!

Then, yes, to the finish!

Thousands, upon thousands of people watching. I heard them calling my name, saying “You did it, Brittney, Great job”.

And, I held my head up, and ran it in – with such joy – and such a proud sense of accomplishment – and endurance.

Thank you Jesus.

There it is! The Finish Line. The clock. Lilo & Stitch! Pinocchio! And I think I saw Chip & Dale (but I was so busy being happy, I am not sure!)

Across!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just ran a marathon! I just ran a marathon!
Holy Crazy! I just ran for over 5 hours!!!!

I saw my family – I saw them all in the stands, cheering, smiling, and I saw Scott , proudly standing at the fence, waving, smiling that sweet-I-am-so-proud-of-you smile. I saw Susie and the girls.

Oh my gosh. I can’t believe it. I did it. I am still standing! I made it! And, I loved it.

Good grief, my legs are hurting, and I don’t care.

As I headed towards the recovery area, a cast member stopped me, and she said “Brittney, I am in awe of you. You are amazing” And she meant it. And we high fived. And I went on.

My emotions – just sitting in my throat – the girl that clipped my chip off of my shoe congratulating me over and over.

The girl that gave me my medal just glowing and happy.

It was GREAT!

Then, to get more Biofreeze. And, I asked the lady, what happens when this wears off in a few hours……….she laughed and said Call 911! Hahahaha

So, I grabbed a Sprite (man, I needed some sugar in my system!) and then for a photo of me and my medal!

Then, out to meet up with the family. Oddly enough, I beat them to our meeting spot! I was just so excited, and so happy!

They came, we hugged, photos, etc! My mom and Dad! My sister, her hubby and kids. My brother, his wife and kids. My Scott, my boys!
Gretchen and Lee were there! Goodness, happy!

I was cold, a little light headed, and my body was quickly tightening up. But, after a little rest and recovery (and a fabulous week on the Disney Cruise!) I live to tell about it!

And, when it is all said and done, it was one of the best experiences of my life!


Brooke said...

Way to go Brittney!!! I am so excited, what a fabulous marathon! If there is ever one to run, that would be the one! Cruise, too? Wow! What a week!

Lisa said...

good grief - you made me cry again!!! i'm so proud of you - all of ya'll - but wow - i'm truly amazed b!!

Simply Scrappin Retreats said...

Congrats Brittney!!! I loved reading your posts. Of course it makes me feel really lazy! I think I'll go get on the Wii Fit :)

Katie Burnett said...

I am so impressed with your discipline and dedication. You are beautiful, B! Inside and out : )

Carol said...

Amazing! After reading that post, I feel like I just ran it with you!! Congrats!!

grandmaryb said...

yup....great job! The marathon weekend was awesome. a very humbling experience to watch so many people with dreams come true moments. I am so proud of you for finishing. just awesome! really. Scott was un-real. a superman for sure. 'course he's half way there with them long legs! And Kristin...she was awesome running the half. and could she be any cuter with the Main Street mayor??? Susie too. great great job. and your friend Gretchen. it was fun to know so many people in it! and here I'm thinking I'm pretty hot stuff running just the 5K!!! its a small thing compared to the real marathons. but it was really fun for the whole fam to do it. the g'kids were soooo cute. so good job Brittney. you have every right to be in the clouds. awesome!!

HoweverAlthough said...

WOW! I have chills! b, I am so very proud of you. I can't even express to you what an inspiration you are to me - not just because of this marathon, but because of who you are every single day. I love you!

Virginia said...

Ok, you are going to laugh at me, but I just sat here and read your whole marathon story and cried and cried. You are so inspiring, friend. Seriously! I love how you told the story- I felt like I was right there with you (although I know I will probably NEVER do that!). :)

Love you sister. So proud of you. Go B!

Michelle Whitlow said...

Wow, how exciting! Makes me want to start running :) So who was taking all the pics? Did you just whip out your camera for photo ops along the way and ask bystanders to take pics?

lucysinspired said...

All of the above posts say it all. You are very inspiring and I have to thank you for getting me out there! I had so much fun this morning. Even though, I was S-L-O-W! I was still so proud and I have you to thank for it! Seaside is going to be great! I've gotta get there......xoxo

raunda said...

I love your commentary and your pictures. Way to go!! I thought I was big stuff for completing a 10K.
Congratulations again to you and Gretchen.

bhamblonde said...

Just got pumped up for Goofy - I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.

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