Friday, January 23, 2009

My Marathon Experience

disclaimer: This is a very long entry. But, of course, it was 26.2 miles.

My Disney Marathon Experience

January 11,2009 (journaled Jan 12-15,2009)

The Beginning:
Up @ 2:30am – getting ready. The nerves were all ready in high gear. But everything went well – and we were headed to the marathon bus by 3:30am.

When we stepped off of the bus – it was cool outside – but not as cold as the day before – so that was good news!

We headed to the Cigna tent, our designating meeting spot with Gretchen and Lee. And we did all our our pre-race stretch and spybelt filling! Peanuts, jelly beans, e-gels, etc. And, as quick as we knew it, it was time to go!

We dropped off stuff @ baggage claim and went to start in the mile long line for the port-o-potty! I think I was in that line longer than I was in the race J

And, then – to the start line- Oh no! It’s official. I am about to do this for real. I have trained for this day, and looked forward to it, for 1 year now, and here it is. The day of!

So – a little pee break in the woods – yes, we JUST went, MOM, but – me and Gretchen had the nervous pee (well maybe me more than her) so we had to go again………..just to be sure.

Now- really – we are headed to the start.

The Start Line:
It seems like we were only there for a second, and we heard Mickey Mouse with the countdown. 10-9-8…..

And then we waited, and waited, and waited as thousands of people – trying to get moving. It was unreal.

Finally, we went through the start. Oh my! I am in a marathon. Seriously. This is so cool.

The Race
We shuffled and we shuffled along. Passing. Dodging. Darting. Trying to get through this crowd.

And, then, just like that, we see the Mile 1 sign. Wow! 1 down…..25.2 to go!

So, we talked – and we ran – the whole time – dipping – and moving.

At about mile 2.5 we head into Epcot! Under the sign, in through the turnstyles, all of them had been removed, and they had a pad over that area, and they tunneled us through the front, just past Spaceship Earth, and then down towards the World Showcase, turning left and headed out of the park. At this point, we saw Belle and her prince, and Mulan!

About mile 3 was our first water stop. We did not need it, but we did it just for kicks, to make sure we stay hydrated.

When we passed the Contemporary Hotel – I sure would have loved a Chef Mickey waffle! How fun! We just ate breakfast there Friday morning, and now……I am running right past it, under the monorail!

At about mile 7, we saw Lee…..perched atop a planter – just where Gretchen expected him to be! She was happy to see him – and he was smiling so proud – and snapping pictures! It was a great moment! And, a nice pick me up, just knowing that someone was on our team!

*I took this guy's pic for Lee*

Just after that, we stopped for water, and I grabbed a few advil, for good measure.

Still feeling GREAT!

As we got closer, and closer to the Magic Kingdom, you could hear the music - and the crowd – and it seemed like our pace picked up a bit. I think our adrenaline just made us move!

Here we go!

We entered just to the right of Tony’s Town Square Restaurant – and the streets were PACKED with people. Then, a sharp right at Goofy’s Candy Kitchen – and AHHHHH! Cinderella Castle! Main Street was light, and just beautiful, and just as fun and exhilarating as I expected it to be. The castle just ahead was so exciting and a HUGE part of my motivation for it all!

I told Gretchen, if they are gonna be here, let’s get to the left to see if we see them.

Quick to my right – I spotted Kristin’s fave guy – the Mayor of the Magic Kingdom.

I knew they must be there! And yes! On my left, I saw Kristin looking through her camera, Mason, Chapman, and my mom! Waving proudly! Cheering and happy to see us! Yes, here we are! We are still in it, and feeling great!

So, we slowed for a quick pic!

Woo –hoo! How fun! Thanks family for the moral support.

Ok, back to the pavement!

As we finished out Main Street, and began to take the curve to the right, I looked to my left, and the castle, and I told Gretchen, “I don’t care who you are, this is fabulous”. And it was!

In towards Tomorrowland. I am thinking to myself, this is the best day ever!

We saw Chip and Dale and Stitch there. So cute!

Then, passed the Tea Cups. They were going! The Mad Hatter was taking pics along the way.

Around by Pooh’s ride, we saw Pooh and Piglet, and the carousel was spinning, Dumbo was flying – I loved it all!

Ahh! The back of the castle. Here we go!

One of the most sought after Marathon photos!

Me------running through the castle!

Just above – they were sounding their trumpets, as if to announce our arrival. Man! It was the best!

Through the castle we went and I think we both smiled for a mile after that!

So, around through Frontierland, to see Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. But, the line was about 30 people deep, so we passed on by.

Then, we headed out of the Magic Kingdom – behind the scenes. We saw the Train conductor and his team. And, then Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew. Very fun.

We are approaching mile 13 @ this point – and still feeling great. We both commented on how great we felt, and that if we were only doing a half marathon, we would be finished. I, personally, was very encouraged that we were at the half way point and I still felt so good.

Down by the Grand Floridian lots of fans! All wearing Grooms & Brides Mickey Ears. Very fun.

Wait------------there’s Susie! Yippee! How cute is she! Taking our pic! She was wearing Mouse Ears! Yeah! Thanks SusieQ, you are the best!!!

Susie took this pic:

Ok, off we go – during a little more boring part of the race. Water stop – then mile marker – water stop – mile marker. Mostly roads at this point. Not a lot of hoopla.

The pain
About the beginning of mile 15, my right hip really started hurting. I told Gretchen and she was a great encourager – so we walked through the next water stop.

And, then picked it back up. But, it was very painful. VERY!

So, I began talking it through in my mind. If I keep it up at this pace, I might not make it to the end. If I slow down, Gretchen will not make her goal, and that is not fair to her. If I walk I will be disappointed. If I don’t slow down, I just might have an injury.

And, then, at mile 15.67 – I told her to go ahead. I had to slow down. She insisted NO. I insisted yes. And she could see that I was hurting. We had already agreed that we would stay together, and that was the goal, however, if need be, we would understand, and run on. No hard feelings.

And, so all of a sudden, she was ahead – and the gap between us got bigger and bigger and soon, I could not see her pink shirt any longer.

And, the tears fell – like a river – I thought to my self:

Oh no. She’s gone. I still have 10 miles to go.
I am hurting BAD.
What just happened?
I am defeated.
This is awful.

And, so, (still running, just slower) for the next few minutes – I stepped – and I cried –I hurt – and I cried.

Then an encourager beside me said – You’ve got it. You can do it.

And – I thought – You know what….I CAN!
And what an even stronger test of my endurance, and mental push----alone! Just me, and God……..and biofreeze!

I dried it up, and kept running.

And, I stopped just ahead @ the biofreeze tent, and I lathered up both knees, both calves. And off I went.

WAIT! I forgot to put it on my hip!!!!!!! DUH!

But, I kept going, knowing another medic tent would come again soon.

Mile 16 – powerade – then biofreeze

Mile 17 – again
I saw this couple and could not resist taking their pic!


to be continued.............


Lisa said...

you are making me cry!! i can't believe the excitement and that is so exciting, but talking about you and gretchen splitting up - oh man!! the tears were flowing!

Brooke said...

How dare you leave us in suspense like this! This is so exciting! Can't wait to read more. Check out my facebook status from last night when you get a chance. : )

Anonymous said...

I feel like I was there!

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