Friday, January 17, 2014

Disney Sunday

I know there will come a day when I can no longer run marathons. That day probably should have been Disney Sunday, but I had "Bible dipped" the night before, where you open the Bible and the first verse you read is what God wants to tell you. Silly, I know, but I found a verse I hadn't read before - Psalm 55:11: "Cast your burdens upon the Lord and he will sustain you." I didn't need anything else.

My left leg and hip were in a ton of pain Sunday morning. I had a big knot in my quad that I was able to roll smaller, but not eliminate altogether, my hip was tight, and I was limping pretty badly. Walking from bed to the bathroom was bad enough - how was I going to get to the start line, much less the finish line?

I had to try though.

The start was the same set-up it had been on Saturday. The archway was different though. The course started the same, Jack Sparrow was there again, etc.
I knew the maximum time was 16:00 per mile from the time the last person started. Starting in corral J meant I had over 7 hours to finish, so my goal was slow slow slow. My strategy was jog 0.4 miles then walk 0.1. It worked. Every time I passed a medical station, I stopped. Unlike many races, the Disney medical tents actually had supplies runners would want - ice, water, Powerade, sunblock, Clif bars, Gu, ibuprofen and my new favorite product - Biofreeze!!!!! I took a squirt every time I passed it and slathered it on my thighs and hips, later on my knees. Why have I never known about this product before??? It was so wonderfully effective I stopped taking ibuprofen after mile 4.
I stopped a lot more for photos in the full, even stopping with characters I don't particularly love, just because I could. The ones I really wanted to see were Ariel and Eeyore, but I never saw either :(

Richard Simmons!!! 
After leaving the Magic Kingdom, we headed to the speedway, where we took a lap around the track. I was definitely hugging the innermost lane - didn't want to add a single step by taking a wide circle! Something funny was how many people had brought out their classic cars and watched the race. Who needs a car show when the "parade" will come to you??? :)
There was a man I had seen on Saturday as well. He ran the entire course with a sousaphone. Not only was he carrying it, he often played it!! Wow! His wife was dressed up as well, although I'm not entirely sure who she was?

Most of the course was pretty boring. Here was the recycle transfer station. Wait? I thought this was the happiest place on Earth? Not a garbage facility???
We headed into the Animal Kingdom and there were several animals there to meet us. One of the handlers asked if I wanted a photo with this bird. "Goodness, no," I said, "I'm afraid of birds!"
I started an inner dialogue at this point. I had been banking 2 minutes per mile, which meant I could theoretically walk the entire rest of the race at a 17-minute pace and still not get swept. I had read a blog from a girl who was swept in 2013 and I cried and promised myself that wouldn't happen to me. The first 12 miles I kept asserting to myself "I'm not getting swept!"

I stopped for a photo with this guy because NO ONE was waiting to see him and I felt bad for him haha I'm not even sure of his name - someone from The Jungle Book. There was a ride open in the Animal Kingdom and an employee kept trying to entice us and said we'd go first in line. Had it been anything other than a roller coaster I would have stopped, but last time I rode a roller coaster, I got off feeling awful - sore knees, achy neck and back. I didn't want to add that to marathon pain!
Outside of the Animal Kingdom I saw a pace team that was walking. Huh? My kind of pace team! Erika said they were the 6-hour group and their pattern was run 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes. I could handle that, at least for a little bit, so I fell in with them and stayed with them for 12 miles. Erika was so wonderful at providing distraction! She knew the course and kept telling us what to expect, which side the medical tent would be on, etc.

It was hot and sunny, but I was NOT complaining!!! Not with the miserable weather we've had in Michigan. I made sure to hydrate and use more GUs than I might normally, but I stayed with Erika.

After the Wide World of Sports, I saw the sweeper buses and I talked to them. "You're not getting me today!" I told every bus! They were a solid five miles behind me at that point.
We headed into the Hollywood Studios and ran past the costume area. I wanted to take a few pictures so I stopped for that, then a restaurant worker was offering cups of cold water with straws, so I slowed for that and Erika and company went on without me. We were at mile 24 by that point and I had no doubt of my finishing. I slowed even more, I enjoyed the scenery.
Epcot was the final park and it was crowded with visitors. We saw Belle and she's my favorite princess because she's smart and reads and wants more than to be Gaston's trophy wife, so I stopped for a photo. What was really nice was that runners got to jump ahead of all the tourists waiting in line. At one point I realized We're in Epcot!!!!!! which is the last part of the course. Almost there!!!

At mile 26.0 the gospel choir was still singing and I took off. #15!!!!! My second slowest ever, but that's ok. I never intended to run for time. Finishing was what mattered! I have never cried more at a race!
I hobbled away from the finish line and a volunteer at the medical station opened her arms and gave me a huge hug. "I couldn't walk this morning," I said, yet I managed to get across the finish line!!! I picked up my Goofy medal and a box of food and got in line for the bus. I didn't sit down because I know it's so difficult to get up! 
At the airport
By the time I got home Sunday night, I had been awake for 22 hours, run a marathon and dealt with the airport and a flight home. Is it any wonder I got sick a few days later? I was RUN DOWN and a cold was pretty much guaranteed since all my white blood cells were in my thighs trying to repair the damage. I'm definitely glad I did this one, but I don't think I'll do it again because it was really expensive and the course wasn't that great. The parts in the parks were awesome, but that was maybe only 3 miles of the full. Good experience, nice vacation, but in cost-benefit analysis, there are other races that score much higher :)

The characters I saw on Sunday were:
Pirates of the Caribbean
Peter Pan and Wendy
farm animals
Sleeping Beauty and the prince
2 cartoon guys that I didn't recognize
Nightmare before Christmas guy and girl
3 Villains (Maleficent, evil queen from Snow White and some man)
Buzz Lightyear
Mickey and Minney
Native Americans
gospel choir
Donald Duck
2 dogs and Pluto
old train
Wreck it Ralph
the White Rabbit (he was running away as runners chased him)
Green Army guy
the orangutan from the Jungle Book
4 reindeer
the Alligator from Peter Pan

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations for finishing the marathon...that is AMAZING! I had a few friends who ran the Dopey and I thought they were CRAZY! I'm not sure I'm ready for all that running in one weekend....maybe one day. The Bio Freeze is a GODSEND, isn't it?! I love that stuff, I need stock in it since I ALWAYS have it on hand. I also love getting the travel packs of it at expos, etc. Keep your eye out for them at Chiropractor booths, massage booths, etc.