January 7, 2018
Marathon day started off with an early wake up alarm. 2 am!! That's what time Lynnette and Bonnie wanted to get up, for our 3am departure, so I went along with it. I did linger in bed for about 10 minutes. :) I didn't have a good night of sleep. My right leg was hurting a lot. I had many doubts about running the race and wondered if I would even finish. But, I decided I would give it a try. We all had our coffee/tea, then got all our gear together and headed to my car. Jim, who was running the marathon also, decided to stay longer and have his wife drive him over.
|Me, Bonnie and Lynnette, before heading out into the cold.|
We made good time getting to Epcot, finding a parking spot close to where we entered the staging area. We hung out in the car until 4ish, then headed over. There was a line to get our bags looked through by security, but it moved quickly. We headed over to the porta potties, then got all our gear together that we did not want to check in. I took 3 advil, with the hopes that would get me through the race. I had extra with me, just in case. Then we checked in our bags and made the long walk to the corral area. Once there, it was another stop in the porta potty. Then, I headed off to the B Corral and Lynnette and Bonnie went to the D Corral. By the time I got in there, it was 5:05 am. I had about half an hour to hang out before the race started. I got pretty close to the front, then huddled up behind other runners, trying to keep the wind off of me. After the elite wave went off, I tossed my top layer, which was a long sleeved shirt Bonnie had given me. That left me with a zip up jacket on top of my tank and bolero. After wave A went off, my corral moved up to the front. I was just a few people behind the start line. With a blast of fireworks, we were off!
After the first burst of craziness at the start, I tried to settle into a good pace. I was feeling a bit stiff, but it was mostly from being cold. The first miles of this race can be very dark, so, I kept my eyes on the road in front of me. By mile 1.5, I was feeling hot under the jacket, so I took it off and tossed it to the side of the road, where there was already a few items of clothing piled up. Under my bolero, my arms were very hot, but, I kept it on, as well as my gloves. I didn't want to get chilled. Based on my splits, I probably took the first few miles a bit fast, but it didn't feel fast at the time. I loved seeing Kimmy and Leslie about a mile before heading into the Magic Kingdom. It was so great to know there would be friends out there on the course cheering us on. I love running through the Magic Kingdom. Lots of people cheering us runners on as we head down Main street, towards the castle. I stopped for a couple of photos and then another photo at the base of the castle. Just before exiting the park, I decided to take off the bolero. I had sweat dripping down my arms and hands! This wasn't easy. I had to take off my hydration backpack, then take off the bolero, then put the pack back on and stuff the bolero into the pocket on the back of my tank. Even with this, my mile time wasn't so bad! Miles 1 through 6 - 9:16, 9:10, 9:13, 9:25, 9:34, 10:15
|Quick pic with Kimmy!|
|Love the Castle all lit up!|
This next section of the course, before getting to Animal Kingdom, is really boring! When I felt myself lag, I would push the pace for a brief time, then slow down again. This helped with the boredom. There was a new out and back section that I really didn't care for. The only upside, was that I tried to spot Jim (who had been in the corral after me), Bonnie and Lynnette. I figured they could have caught up to me! This help to keep me distracted. My right leg was starting to hurt so, just before getting into Animal Kingdom, I walked a little, while I got out a couple of advil, then walked through the water station. Miles 7 through 12 - 10:19, 9:30, 9:44, 9:53, 9:57, 10:21
Once in Animal Kingdom, I kept a look out for the women's restroom. I sorta knew where it was, as Carolyn and I had stopped at it the last time I ran this race. Quick trip in a real bathroom (!) then out. It was a quick run through Animal Kingdom. Once again, we were on the boring roads of Disney. I was now starting to take more walking breaks, but still mostly running. I looked for my Lakeland Galloway friends at the water stop they are usually at, but didn't see them. Missed seeing you Sarah and Leah!! After passing that water stop, we turn right, heading to the Sports Complex. The last 2 times I've run this race, this is where I have fallen apart. This year was different, because I wasn't trying to PR. I already knew this was a tough race and had become one already. Miles 13 through 18 - 11:27, 11:44, 10:12, 11:27, 11:44, 10:12, 11:06, 12:32, 11:05
|Leslie hold up the sign Gina made for me!|
My run/walk became much more walk/run from this point. I had to stop many times to stretch my calves and hamstrings. I did stop for a photo with Mickey. Glad I did, as this was the only time I saw him out there! We spent just over 2 miles weaving around and in the sports complex. I was so happy to leave that section behind! With 6ish miles left, I knew I could do it. I continued to walk the uphills, even when a big green military dude was yelling at us to run! :) I was most happy to turn into Hollywood studios. Besides running through Magic Kingdom, this is the best part of the course. I got to see Melissa, which was a total surprise, cheering on runners. Lots of other people out there cheering, too. Once we ran out, we took the sidewalk along the waterway. I got to see Jennifer (a past fellow Skirt Sports ambassador) and Della, along this way. So great. And when I entered Epcot, I got to see Kimmy, Scott, Leslie and John. If I hadn't just popped a piece of minty gum in my mouth, I would have taken that drink of Mimosa that Scott had in his hand! Once we left epcot, we had a couple of quick turns, then the finish line was in sight. I was so happy to see that I was going to make my goal of a sub 5 hour finish. And with 26.7 miles showing on my watch! Miles 19 through 26.7 - 12:10, 12:08, 13:50, 13:10, 12:24, 13:52, 13:41, 13:26, 7:52(11:10 min mile)