Today, I…Ran the Disney Marathon!
I’ve never been one for running long distances. I run so I can eat what I want, not for medals. True, I’ve done a half marathon, but I never expected to run 26.2. But in May 2012, I took the plunge and signed up for the 2013 Disney marathon. It seemed like a cool thing to mark off my bucket list, and I figured I might as well get it out of the way while I was young and healthy.
The pulmonary embolism threw off the “and healthy” bit. But I still managed to train up to a 20-mile long run.
I had no idea how long it would take me to finish, but based on my training, I was hoping it would take around 5 hours and 15 minutes, since that’s a 12-mile pace and I was able to maintain that in my training thanks to 4/1 intervals (run for 4 minutes, then walk for 1 minute). Then I saw the high was going to be 77 or 80 (depending on what channel I was watching), with high humidity. I amended my plan to finish within 5 hours, 30 minutes. Maybe even 6…
So how’d it go?
According to my “magic watch,” I ran 26.2 miles in 5 hours, 20 minutes and 48 seconds (the official time has me at 5 hours, 29 minutes and 10 seconds; I think my distance was off by a bit because I kept having to weave throughout the course, whereas they measure it as a straight line). Hooray!
Notes on the course:
Even with corrals (I was in F, starting at 6:10 as opposed to corral A’s start time of 5:35), there was still a lot of people crammed into a small area. It didn’t thin out until mile 3 or so.
The Wide World of Sports area was pretty demoralizing. Since it was out and back, you had to run out seeing people who had just finished that section that much further ahead of you.
Wide World of Sports was also dangerous. As we ran by the baseball field (an actual team was practicing), someone knocked a ball over the fence, and though we all called out “ball!” “look out!” and “heads up!” a girl still got konked on the head. Everyone called for a medic but I never found out what happened to her (she was conscious when I last saw her).
Disney races are always great at keeping up your motivation. There were so many volunteers, spectators, and even cast members that wished us well (favorite signs: “Best Parade Ever” “Worse Parade Ever” “Don’t Poop (out)” “Run, Complete Stranger, Run!” and “If you can start, you can finish.”)
I ended up having to walk the last 2 miles. It was just too darn hot and my legs started to stiffen. I’m comforted by the idea that I would’ve finished in my planned time had I kept up the 11:30ish pace I kept until then.
Proof that I finished!
How am I feeling?
I’m not going to lie: the last 2 miles hurt. I saw my friend at the finish line (and my husband saw me, though I never spotted him), then walked around a bit delirious, picking up my medal, water, PowerAde, snacks, etc before I remembered to call my husband.
When I found him, I teared up a little and had a little trouble catching my breath (because I was emotionally overwhelmed, not for any physical reason) but after a few moments regained my composure and all was well.
I mean, I had trouble stretching/walking, and had to lean on Hubby to get back to the car, but managed to make it to the local Perkins for breakfast (thanks to the Tylenol I immediately took, I think). Mmmm.
When I got home, I took a warm Epsom salt bath, then iced my legs a bit.
I had a pre-race massage yesterday (many thanks to Jenna at Eternal Youth Wellness Boutique in College Park) and will have another tomorrow. I hope that helps the residual soreness.
Oh, and there’s this weird spot on my back that got badly chafed. I think it was from a seam that stuck out on my jersey. It hurt like the dickens; I literally screamed when Hubby inadvertently poured water on it earlier.
So there you have it. Oh, and for those that are curious if I will ever do it again?
Hell. No. (And I mean that sincerely.)