The day before the marathon I was lucky to have the distraction of Disney so I wasn’t very nervous. I made sure I drank water all day, made good food choices, only did a half day at the park, and set up all my gear for the next day. There are a couple things I will do differently in getting ready for my next long race (if there is one, haha). I will wear a high quality running skirt instead of shorts. These cute pink shorts are great for runs up to 13 miles. After that they start sticking and leading to the dreaded chaffage. Luckily Disney was amazing and had lots of medical tents with all kinds of remedies. Next, I will not wear my cute pink sports bra with light colors. Even though it had been washed tons of times it still bled all over my shirt and me, gross! I also need to figure out a new way to wear my bib number. It has to be on the front of your body, but I’m a petite girl and it is a challenge finding a location for that big square. I had it pinned right under my spi belt and it was too close to the bottom of my shirt and kept bugging the crap out of me. I guess in my dream running world the bibs would just be 2 inches shorter 🙂
I set 2 alarms just in case. One alarm went off at 3:00am and the other at 3:05am. I don’t think I’ve ever been up that early for ummm anything! Not to mention that this was Eastern time. Back home in Utah it was 1am! Good thing I had been in Florida for a few days and had a chance to adjust slightly. I did manage to get about 4.5 hours of sleep that night.
Getting ready that morning/night was the first time I was really feeling the butterflies. I got dressed as quickly as possible while trying to choke my breakfast down. 1 banana, 1 mini Cliff bar, 1/2 granola bar, and lots of water did not go down easily at that time of day. I totally felt like I was forgetting something, but I guess it was just nerves. So I crept out of the room and headed to the bus stop.
There were tons of people lining up for the buses! I tried to take a picture but they were too blurry to even make out what it was. Blurriness will be a trend with this post, sorry. I’m very bad a running and taking photos at the same time. Anyway, I was on a bus with about 15 minutes and was off to the starting line. They drop you off pretty much forever away from where you need to be. But, that was good. I was able to walk out my nervousness before the race started.
Here’s the bag check. I wore a sweat shirt that I could abandon at a water station in case the start was cold. It was so warm though that I just checked everything and started my trek to the starting line.
These are lines for port-o-potties! I had never seen so many portable toilets in my life. They went on for like 3 or 4 blocks! I decided to wait until all my water had fully run it’s course before getting in a line. I definitely did not want to wait in those lines more than once.
Also along the way to the starting line I saw this cute lady. Her line was longer than the potties so I just snapped a pic as I was walking by.
Getting really close to the start now! Um, are those people opting not to use the port-o-potties?! Yup they are. I would see much, much more of that during the race. Eww!
I made it to corral C, woo hoo! I think I should have stretched before entering my corral. I could only do stretches within my 1.5 foot area of space. I did manage to squeeze to the side eventually so I could really stretch my legs.
At 5:30am the wheel chair racers were off. Then every 7 minutes one of the corrals were sent off onto the course. With every wave of runners they shot off fireworks! So fun and signature Disney.
When my corral started moving I was so dang excited! This is as good of a shot as I could get of the big 20th anniversary banner we crossed under. Oh I forgot to mention that they also had Joey Fatone from good old NSYNC running the race. I never saw him, but I heard him talking over the giant speakers right before the race 🙂
The first few miles were very crowded! I couldn’t really get on my regular pace because of the people traffic. I suppose this was a good thing though, it made me save my energy for later in the race when I really needed it. I so wanted to stop for Captain Jack & Barbosa and this amazing pirate ship! But there were just so many people and it was so early in the race, I didn’t want to lose 20 minutes waiting.
I did stop for 3 seconds though to snap this pic. You can see how early in the race it is, I’m not in a flop sweat yet. Disney had tons of great photo ops like this all along the route.
The first several miles just flew by. The next thing you knew I was running towards the Magic Kingdom sign. You can tell from the pic that traffic slowed to a walk in a lot of areas right here because the road narrowed. Narrowing roads would be a trend for the day. Disney always announced it on a speaker before you got to a narrow area, sharp turn, down hill part, whatever. They were so on top of things.
Right before we got into the Magic Kingdom I passed this couple. Ugh I’ve never seen these guys and it was killing me! They’re line was loooong. Jack and Sally you need to come to the MNSSHP. This can’t be the one and only time I see you in my lifetime!
Cinderella’s Castle!! I don’t think I will ever be as happy running as I was at this moment. How amazing to run down Main Street with loads of people cheering you on and see the castle all lit up. I would run another marathon just to see this sight again…maybe.
Making a right at the castle and heading into my daughters favorite Tomorrow Land. So cool!
This is a castle shot after I made the MK loop. They had it roped off for runners to take pictures with the castle up close. So awesome to see the sun rising on the Magic Kingdom. I had a normal smile pic too, but it wasn’t nearly as fun 🙂
As we were leaving through a backstage area they had Cinderella and Prince Charming himself, and the parade float! Love it. I think sometime in my life I need to run this race again just so I can take pictures at every character stop.
The run from the MK to the race track went by pretty quickly. Disney had DJ’s, bands, choirs, and entertainment every mile! I even took a character pic finally. Genie only had 2 in line. That is about how long I was willing to wait, I guess I’m not very patient.
Made it to raceway! This was pretty cool getting to run the track. They also had all kinds of cars lined up all along the way.
Another shot of the raceway. Lots of cars and lots of runners.
Ok, out of the race way and onto the road to Animal Kingdom. On the way I get to see the villains! Oh I love me some villains. The villains are my favorite thing at the Disney Halloween party. They are so entertaining and completely different than the mainstream characters, love it.
AH, half way there! And I love that they pictured two of my favorite disney movies on this sign. I couldn’t get enough of Robin Hood when I was a kid.
Haha! So funny how right after the 13.1 water stop they have the grave diggers from Haunted Mansion. They were just ominously wandering around, dragging their shovels, and staring at people. I also have to give a shout out to all the wonderful volunteers! The water/food/medical stops were so organized and generous. It was like running royalty. Whatever you needed, they had, it was great.
I made it to Animal Kingdom and right outside the gate is my family! Such a pick me up at mile 14! It was so good to see them and know that I was on the downhill towards the finish line.
The next several miles were boring. After the Animal Kingdom and getting to see my family, they parade entertainers and fun boards were starting to lose their excitement. Not to mention I was having to gag down those gu thingys, yuck. I was so hungry at the first stop where they had bananas I devoured it in like 3 bite. Then at the gu stop I was starving again and I actually chewed it. Now that I think about that it grosses me out. But after the first gu stop I was trying different techniques to get it down. The best method was 1/3 or the pack at a time chased by water. The worst method was stuffing the whole thing in my mouth and trying to force it down. I’m such an idiot.
When we made it to Wide World of Sports I was so excited to see the scenery. I know lots of people think running the track is boring and the baseball field was anti climatic, but I thought it was cool. The Angel’s train there!
See those balloons? That is the 4:45 pace group. I ran with them until mile 22, then I killed over. I’m thinking I could have lasted a couple more miles with them, but I made a big mistake the first half of the race. I was so excited and fluttery that I didn’t take in any sugars until mile 11 or 12! So my fuel levels just ran dry.
Here is the stadium. Spectators could cheer from the stands and they had a big announcer and music.
So I leave Wide World of Sports and start seeing Pixar icons! That means Hollywood Studios is coming up. By now the sun is fully up and it’s starting to get hot. Oh man.
Who was waiting at mile 20? Mickey, Donald, and Goofy of course! Very fun getting to see these happy faces and know that in about 6 miles I’ll be done. Oh wait, did I just say 6 miles…that’s forever away!
Running, running, running, slowing, slowing, slowing, ugh. About mile 22 I see the Tower of Terror! I take a walking break before going into Hollywood Studios to gear up for all the people I know will be inside the park looking at me.
Right as I’m headed into the park I see Frozone with no line! And that means I get to rest a minute longer to take a pic 🙂
Oh I wish Ralph’s line was shorter. It wasn’t too bad, but I knew if I stopped again I might not get started back up.
Yeah, this is about mile 23, right before the big crowd of cheering people. I was so tired. My legs did not want to go anymore. I was running on fumes.
Oh thank goodness, I can see the exit to the park. So sad that I was too tired to really appreciate Hollywood Studios.
I took on more pic right at the corner because it is where I was last year when I was inspired to run this race! I thought I was going to cry. I’m not sure if it was sentimental or if I was just so tired I was going to cry, probably both 🙂
The route from Hollywood Studios to Epcot was lovely I wish I had taken some pictures. It went around the river and past the Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin area. The only picture I took was passing Japan. I was trying to keep a walk run pattern for the last of the race and it was hard. I just kept thinking of how far I had come already and that it wasn’t much further. But when you’ve already gone 25 miles, that last one felt like forever.
There’s the finish line!! This isn’t my point of view, it’s Cam’s. I crossed just a few second later. Woohoo! Final time 4 hours 53 minutes and 55 seconds. Actually 1 minute quicker than my first marathon and I felt a ton better running this one. Older and wiser was fantastic in this case.
Here’s the finish line from my point of view. So many people!
Here is one section of spectators. It was crazy. Cheering people for at least half a mile.
I got my medal and met my family! Not before grabbing some ice, water, and snacks :).
The medal was heavy! A little more than half a pound. I had to have Val wear it for me so I didn’t fall over.
When I finished I was literally dazed. I was so happy to have set this goal and accomplished it, but I was also a little sad that the journey was over. I suppose however, that there are always I new goals to set and achieve.
I can officially check this one off of my 30 before 30 list!
But that is not all folks! Stay tuned for my recap on the Marathon After Party!!