Tuesday, January 22, 2013

WDW Full Marathon

My marathon weekend started out amazing when I was upgraded to First class. What?!

Unfortunately, I did not get to take advantage of the free alcohol or the meal on glass plates. I slept the whole way and it was glorious! I did, however, totally geek out to the flight attendant about running my first official marathon. It had been awhile since I was that excited about a race and it felt nice. I missed that feeling of accomplishment and held onto it for a minute. You only get to be excited about your first marathon once (. . you know since technically 5 minutes after I got excited about NYCM they canceled it causing many months of emotional trauma. . .but I digress. This was a positive experience!)

Once I got to the hotel, I ate lunch with the 2 Goofys I was staying with and then went to the expo. From the tweets I saw the days before about how crowded it was, I was expecting it to be empty. And it was. . . 

Of Merch. 
Thank goodness I sent Fred in with a list! It was still crazy crowded. So, I didn't stay as long as I thought I would. I got my bib, my shirt and hightailed it out of there. 

Marathon morning, I woke up at 2am. Yes, I'm aware that's an insane time to be awake, but if you've skimmed my blog for more than a minute, you know that I'm a tad neurotic. And if you know anything about Disney races, sometimes transportation gets messed up. I couldn't chance it. This was my official marathon, and I needed to get to the start line. 

Besides that, I was oddly calm leading up to the race. The only person I could give credit to for that would be the fiancĂ©e. I honestly couldn't ask for a better non-running partner. Always supportive (even when I don't want to roll and stretch :) and extremely patient with me and my training. I don't know what I'd do without it and I'm extremely appreciative of it. Especially, my traditional race day text, which I got as I was getting off the bus to head to the staging area. 
My 2 Goofy roommates :)

I got there SUPER early (yet managed to miss all the group photos I was trying to get there for). I ran into Batgirl and that made me feel a tad better. I walked over and talked to some of the Team #RunDisney crew who were still there (so sorry about all the nervous chatter!) while I waited for Jaime and Tara to show up. I decided I was going to crash their marathon :) I wasn't really interested in doing this alone and because they were doing Goofy, they would be more my speed. It couldn't have worked out better! These 2 women rocked my socks and they made my experience that much more amazing! I can't thank them enough for sticking it out with me. 

Kudos to Disney for breaking up the highway running this year with adding the speedway and Wide World of Sports. It was so much easier to digest that you would only be running a 5k between "parks". Besides that INSANE downhill, the speedway was not that bad. There were tons of cars to keep you occupied and most of it was cool and in the shade. Wide World of Sports, on the other hand, could've used a character stop or two. Although, I will forgive that because 1. I wasn't stopping anyway and 2. THE SPONGES. That thing saved my life, I almost want to frame it (if I didn't leave it in the hotel room).

I clearly look the part.

Here's the thing, I am not a fan of running in hot weather and I absolutely lose. my. shit. when it's hot AND sunny. Unfortunately, that's what over 75% of this race was. As terrible as it could've been, it only got bad a few times (or maybe that's all I'm selectively remembering ;). I knew Osceola parkway was going to get me and I had a feeling so was Epcot. As much as I didn't want the memories of last year's relay to haunt me, they did.  Little did I know, I lost my mojo around the 20 mile and it was hard trying to get it back. Super underwhelmed by the "spectacular". . . anyone else expecting some sort of food?  Either way, at this point, I was ready to be done.

Jaime was a trooper and stuck by me, even though I knew she had more in her. I just couldn't get it back. As soon as we left The Studios, I had my meltdown. Frustrations about NYCM boiled up and overlapped with the heat and I just started bawling. This was also about the time that when anyone cheered I burst into tears. A spectator saw me and said "I was you a year ago, you totally got this!" and that made me cry even harder. I tried to tell him they were tears of joy. I already knew I was going to do it, I was just reflecting at that point. It was a really nice release. I knew I was holding onto a lot of stuff, but I didn't realize how much until that point. Again, I can't thank Jaime enough for being there. Nothing like cementing BFF status with marathon meltdowns! :)

Dear Internet: Thank you for my new friends!

Stolen from FruitFly (Thanks, MF!)
Things that made the day better: Running into friends! Being 5'9 with a Mad Hatter Hat on made it easy to spot. Fred and Karen spotted me on the walk to the corrals, which was so nice to see before the race! It was also such a great surprise to have FruitFly run passed us a few times on the course and it was even nicer to run into her in Epcot. Mrs. Jeanine was a great familiar face we picked up along the course. She was such a great help last year and this year we got to do it together! A TNT running friend was spectating close to the finish and that was a really great surprise, too; shout out to Pam! All these people (and my amazing virtual support crew- you know who you are!) made the experience more enjoyable and I am so thankful for them. 

Part of The 20 Mile "Spectacular"
Things I wish I would've known: You can't get swept once you make it into The Studios. I totally would've stopped to stretch. I kept moving because I thought if I didn't, I wouldn't have been able to start again. Once I crossed the finish line and stopped, I felt a million times better. I felt like I could go a few more miles. It would've been nice to have that feeling before it was over. Enjoying the last few miles of my marathon would've been better than trying not to focus on the pain that could've been avoided. Oh well! 

I can't thank the volunteers enough, especially the ones working the "B" Bag tent. That standing ovation as soon as I walked in really sent me over the edge. I should be clapping for you! That was a really special moment, I won't soon forget. 

I'm really glad this got to be my first official marathon. Granted, I'd never give up my first marathon experience, but there is nothing like crossing the finish line and having a volunteer put a medal around your neck to make you feel validated. I put in the work, I sacrificed, I deserve the title of marathoner. 

 I am a marathoner and I have no idea when that fact will sink in.


  1. WOOOHOOOO!!! You are a rockstar!! I am so happy for you. Loved your costume! That is so awesome you got to run it with friends. Such a great recap. You go marathoner!!

    1. Thanks, Em! Can't wait to hear about Tinkerbell!

  2. I love this recap so much! I got teary eyed reading it. I'm so glad we did this together. Too bad we lost Tara, but she was with us for the majority. It hasn't sunk in for me either, but we are marathoners now! I never thought I would see the day when a half seemed easy. Can't wait for the awesomeness that will be Dumbo and the many more Disney race reunions I know we'll have. :D

  3. So awesome! Great job. It brings back so many memories of last year! Love all the pics - again, great job ms. marathon!

    1. Thanks, Jim! I watched your video last year for inspiration. It really helped me! :)

  4. You rocked it out. Was so excited that I could be apart of your first marathon. I am looking forward to Disneyland!

    1. Thanks, Karen! I'm so glad you were there, too!! Can't wait for Disneyland. It'll be a cake walk compared to this!

  5. I'm so glad I wasn't the only one losing it at every sign!

    Spectacular .... maybe Disney doesn't know the definition of the word because really, WTF was that??? That was NOT Spectacular. Biggest let down ever. I mean mile 20 was helping me when I kept almost losing my sh!t over everything. . . and then I saw it. Um, fizzle.

    I'm so excited for you! This one sounds like a fabulous first!!

    1. Oh, yea. It was quite embarrassing how much I was crying. . then I said screw it! Poor Jaime!

      Yea, guessing what the spectacular was going to be was what was helping through WWoS. . . then I saw it. . . Boo.