I am part of One-half of One-tenth of One Percent! That is a mouthful! The emcee at the start line to the Disneyworld marathon said that only 1/2 of 1/10 of 1% of people will ever run a marathon. For the life of me, I do not know why he did not say 1/20th of 1%, but hey, to each his own!
The weeks leading up to the marathon made me a little nervous. Between being sick and too smart to run in the cold, I was forced to hit the treadmill and rest more than I would choose. All my other marathon friends (or should I say fellow 1/20th of 1% friends) told me I would be fine. I tried to settle my spirit - and my stomach- and just trust.
As luck would have it (my bad luck that is), a huge storm came in starting the night before I was supposed to leave for Disney. The storm was to last for 2 days, which would mean me missing my marathon. Sweet Mom came to the rescue. She came early, and we caught a flight at 7 am to get us out before it got bad. It was my first time to fly Jet Blue, and let me tell you, I will always try them first. While Rick snored away, I watched a movie on my own personal tv (thanks JB). The flight attendants were actually nice, too, which is a rarity these days.
Once we landed, Disney took care of us. We did not even have to pick up our luggage. We went straight for the bus that took us to our resort - Caribbean Beach. If you know me at all, you know I am a hotel snob. The room definitely did not meet my standards, but the amenities were kickin'! Rick and I were wiped out from only getting 3 hours sleep the night before, so we laid low that night. We actually had a code word "bubblegum" if the other person was getting on our nerves. If we said the code word, that told the other person he/she was getting on our nerves and to be quiet. We did not even have to use it. My girlfriend and running partner had arrived the day before and picked up all my stuff, so I went to visit with her while Rick chillaxed.
Friday was a lay low day. We went to Downtown Disney and just "goofed" off. Haha - see my picture below!
Someone had recommended "Black Swan" to us, so being naive and trusting (and not seeing the poster that indicated it was a psychosexual thriller, we sat down to "enjoy" our movie. Suffice it to say, it was offensive, boring, and one of the worst movies I have ever seen! That means it will probably win an Academy Award this year. (: We did have a fabulous lunch at Wolfgang Puck's restaurant. We went shopping t the Expo, where I bought a shirt that said Team 413 on the front and had Philippians 4:13 and the verse written on the back. I was excited about wearing it during the marathon. Gd has changed me so much through the training for the marathon that I wanted to give Him glory throughout it. After that, we just chilled.
I knew I had to be up at 2 am to get to the Start line in time, so of course, I could not fall asleep. We had no one next to us the entire time, but that night there was someone staying next to us. They had very loud kids that stayed up very late. Grrrr!
2 AM came very early! God awoke me with energy and good health. We caught the bus and headed over to the Runner tents. I had paid extra money to be able to use the Runner's Retreat, which meant heat, breakfast, potties, and changing tents. Afterwards, it meant lunch.
We had to be in our corrals before 5 AM, so we started the 30 minute walk to the starting line around 4:30 am. There were 20,000 people running the marathon, so excitement was in the air!!! Our corral was set to start at 6 am. I usually have horrible lower leg pain the first 30 minutes, so I was a bit worried. I FELT NO PAIN!!
Throughout the race, there was music, entertainment, and Disney characters along the way. Some people stopped running to wait in long lines for pictures. Everybody chatted with each other, laughed, told stories, etc. It was quite "magical." My dream of a husband caught shuttles and ran all over to be at as many stops as he could. The picture below was around mile 19 or 20 I think.
I felt pretty good, hitting no wall until around Mile 23. Even then, it was not horrible. My asthma was starting to act up, so I had to slow down. My running partner and I did the last 3 miles Jeff Galloway style and actually ran them at a pretty decent pace. She and I rounded the corner at the end to a huge choir singing Kirk Franklin. We held hands and ran across the Finish Line.
After walking back to the tent, we met up with our husbands. We were still kind of in awe that we actually ran 26.2 miles and finished with a smile!
To say I was sore the next day is putting it very very mildly. I could not walk very well, but I was not going to miss Marathon Monday at the Disney parks. It was too cool. We chose Hollywood Studios. Everywhere I went people would congratulate me. (We were all wearing our medals and victory t shirts).
Now that it is over, the soreness gone, what is left is a pulled foot muscle, 2 toenails about to fall off, and the excitement of doing ti again next year!
If you have ever considered running a marathon, DO IT! It has truly changed me - down to the core of who I am. I have learned to worry less, embrace the moment but recognize it for what it is - just the moment. It has taught me to push when I need to, rest when I need to, and to remember my Nourishment (the Lord). I have learned it is ok to need a break and be weak, but we must recognize when our break is over. It has taught me so much more, but suffice it to say, God has led me victoriously through it all!