Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2014 Walt Disney World Marathon

A week ago, I did something I never thought I would do. I did my first marathon. Before I tell you all about that day, I must give you a little background. 

A couple of years ago, I hated running. I was a speed walker and I loved it! It was working for me......that is until I did my first 5K. The accomplishment felt so good that I wanted to keep going. Last February, I finished my first half marathon. You can read about it here , here, here, here. Before the half, I had every intention of ending my short career as a runner. Running several miles is hard work!

 I never thought I would love doing the Disney Princess Half Marathon as much as I did! I loved everything about it! The whole experience was awesome!!!! About a week later(once the high had worn off), I felt a little depressed. I didn't have any new athletic goals to accomplish. Yes, I had plans to do a few 5Ks but those felt easy compared to the half. Running without an event to look forward to seemed useless. I started to toy with the idea of doing a full marathon. I sat on the idea for a couple of months until I finally sent my sister an email. She will tell you it was the type of email she wishes  would have been sent straight to spam. I titled it............I was doing some thinking??????? and  attached the information for the Walt Disney World Marathon. After a whole lot of convincing.......begging........persuading........, she agreed to do it!

I signed up and the journey began. I will be honest with you. I DID NOT ENJOY THE TRAINING! Those longer runs towards the end are grueling, boring and dreadful. You learn a lot about your body after each one! I felt pain in places I didn't know existed!!!! My last 2 long runs, which were both 20 miles, had me saying, "I am never doing this again!" 

I think I will  share my experience and then let you know what I am saying now!

My sister, mom and I went to the expo @ Wide World of Sports on Saturday to pick up our packets. I think it is funny and smart how they send you through the vendors to pick up your shirt.

My sister found the perfect shirt for her.

After the expo, we went to check in at the hotel. I decided to stay on Disney at the Shades of Green. Since we didn't have Carmel dropping us off this time, I thought it would be a lot less stressful. I am so glad we did!

We grabbed a quick dinner at an Italian restaurant inside the hotel and turned in for the night. I say turned because all I did for most of the night was toss and turn. It could have been nerves.......worrying about my 4 alarms not going off......... the snoring next to me.........my sister backing out! All in all, I think I got 2 hours!

That morning we woke up at 3:30am to catch the bus around 4am. My mom did wake up long enough to snap a picture of us before we headed out the door. I snapped a quick glamor shot of her as well but will not post due to the fear of losing my title   "The Favorite Daughter!"

The traffic was crazy so I was glad we took the bus. Once in line, we did a little stretching along with a few pep talks! We were in Corral N so we had about a 45 min wait before it was our turn to go.

Disney really knows how to do a race. Right before each corral,  Mickey counts down and a blast of fireworks signals the runners to start. It is a great feeling to know your journey has started once you pass this guy.

I promised my sister I would not take as many pictures as I did when we ran the half. I did get a little crazy but I think that is what made it so enjoyable for me. Plus......I have the posts to look back on! I decided I would take one picture inside each park, one half way through and a character. Our first stop was in Magic Kingdom in front of the castle.

This is about 5 miles into the 26.2.

It was in Magic Kingdom that we decided to stop for a character picture. I am glad we did because it seemed like there were a lot less picture opportunities than the half.

Next, we ran through the Speedway. The sun was shining bright going into the speedway but it was such a beautiful day. We could not have asked for better weather! I think the high was in the low 70s.

Our next major park was the Animal Kingdom. I was a little disappointed running through there. I kept waiting to take a picture in front of the Tree of Life. We never saw it! I know we were not running really fast but it seemed like we past through this park rather quickly. I did ask my sister if she wanted to take a break and ride Mt Everest.........she turned me down really quickly! This was the only picture I got of the Animal Kingdom.

I figured my next milestone would be the half way mark......13.1. I completely missed it! I didn't see a sign....no special music....nothing. I didn't think I was that involved in my running to miss it. So I took a picture at 14 miles.

I think I am going to stop there for now. I thought I could fit it all in one post but I have too many pictures towards the end. Be sure to come back to see how it ends!

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