Thursday, January 13, 2011

Marathon 26.2 - Walt Disney World Take 2

Did you know that only one tenth of 1% of the population actually complete a marathon?  Well thats what Olympian Jeff Galloway told us before the start of the marathon.  

We did it!  I ran my second marathon and Andrew ran his first and joined the club!  Our marathon weekend started two days before the big day.  The first day we got to Disney, we went to pick up or packets and enjoy the huge expo that is put on every year.  There were over 50,000 runners competing the entire weekend, so you can only imagine the massive amounts of people there at one time.  It was crazy!

"I tell our runners to divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart." Mike Fanelli

My mom and brother ran the half marathon the next day.  They did awesome!  My mom got a PR and my brother placed 119 out of 27,000.  My mom placed 43/916 in her age group.  Pretty awesome if I do say so myself!  After their race, we decided to go enjoy the Animal Kingdom Park.  It was so much fun!  All of the parks have a central interest point.  Animal Kingdom's is the Tree of Life.  It was incredible and I was obsessed with it.  The pictures do not even do it justice.  I was in awe of all of it.  Pretty sure I drove Andrew nuts about it.  And seriously thinking about devoting an entire post to "the tree."  

We also went on a safari and saw amazing creatures!  And I learned that I desperately need to take my husband to the zoo.  He loved the animals like a kid loves a candy store!  It was like he had never been to a zoo before, ever!

I think this is one of my favorite pictures of all time.  And this is an upside down tree.

The beautiful African Safari landscape. 
We carb loaded that night at Rainforest Cafe and tried to go to bed early, ha, like we could actually sleep!  3:00 am came sooner rather than later and we were up and ready for a 5:30 am start time.  We had to catch the bus before 4:00 am to get to Epcot, where we then had to walk 20 minutes to get to our corral.  There were 8-9 corrals and we were in the second one, thank goodness for that, unlike the hour it took others, it only took us two minutes to cross the actual start line!  There were tons and tons of crazy people there!  Why crazy you ask?  Because we all signed up and paid for this torture we call 26.2 miles.

It felt so cold during the hour we were waiting before the race started.  We were freeeezing.  It was so cold!  Brrrr...  Then finally At 5:35 am we were off, with fireworks and Mickey Mouse to send us on our way!  It was, as they often say in Disney World, magical.  Andrew and I kept pace with each other for the first 5-6 miles.  Then I lost him in the crowd.  Boy was it crowded!  I stopped a few times to try to find him and ended up creating more problems due to the huge crowd around me.  I was unsuccessful so I just had to keep running.  Luckily I had set us both up for tracking on our phone, so every time we crossed a certain point a text message was sent to our phone.  I ran with my phone, set to the Black Eyed Peas station on Pandora, of course, and listened for text message notifications so I would know when Andrew would cross certain points.  Since he had been so sick the week leading up to the race, I felt so bad for him and I was so worried about him the entire rest of the way.  Poor guy!  Little did I know, Andrew had torn both of his hamstrings around mile 6 of the 26.2 mile run.  He was miserable!  I do not know how he finished!  I really don't!  Probably not a race for him to remember.  Maybe I can get him to blog about his story.

"If you feel bad at 10 miles, you're in trouble. If you feel bad at 20 miles, you're normal. If you don't feel bad at 26 miles, you're abnormal."  Rob de Castella
Needless to say, everything that could possibly go wrong with Andrew's marathon did.  I feel bad saying this, but everything that could go right for me went right for me that day.  I ran well, with little pain.  Thank you God!  My first five miles were at an 8:59 minute mile pace and then all the way to mile 22, my pace was around an 8:40 - 8:45 minute mile pace.  Except for my feet throbbing, I felt great!  Mile 22-26 were a little rough.  My calves were starting to ache a little and my feet throbbed harder, but I don't remember hitting the wall nearly as hard as I did my first marathon.  I can remember around mile 19, seeing a sign that said, "Pain is temporary, pride is forever."  Along with praying, I recited that to myself the rest of the way.  Then I can remember singing along to a song at mile 22 with some of the other runners around me, delirium setting in?  I think so.  The miles in between were filled with awesome cheerleaders, and running through the ever famous four Walt Disney World Parks, with the Magic Kingdom Castle being my favorite.  The course also had all of the famous Disney characters scattered the entire way.  It is magical, it really is.  I finally crossed the finish line at 3:58:25, that is 3 hours, 58 minutes and 25 seconds.  I beat my first marathon time by 2 minutes and got a sub 4 marathon time!  I got a little emotional too, who wouldn't?  Such an awesome feeling, runners high for sure!  And you better believe I fist pumped at the finish line, told you I would didn't I?!?  Oh, and our medal is so freaking awesome!  You better believe I run for a medal!  As do others, just ask all the silly people who wore their medal everywhere the next few days, probably even in the shower. 

We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.  -Emil Zatopek

The Walt Disney World Marathon is incredible!  Put it on your list of things to do!  Run Disney!  You will not be disappointed.

A special thank you to my awesome family and friends who have been so supportive to Andrew and I.  We love you guys and truly appreciate all of the encouragement you have given us.  More pictures to come soon!

"I've learned that finishing a marathon isn't just an athletic achievement. It's a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible."  John Hanc

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