Sorry for the delay, I got behind due to work and a bout of the flu but I think we were at marathon day.
So I kind of put the marathon part of the Goofy fun in a back corner of my mind but here it was, big and scary and standing between me and my medal. Luckily for us, a storm blew through Saturday night making ind cold (OK cool) when we headed out at 3:30am. We got to the meeting point at 4am and waited for Lori and Barbara to arrive. We waited and waited and my running mates did not arrive. Finally we got a text from Barbara explaining they were stuck in traffic and they finally arrived around 5am. We quickly headed for the start line, at least we did not have as long to wait.
|Ready to run|
We finally headed out and the first part of the course was a repeat of the half marathon course, it felt like groundhog day but it was nice to be running on familiar ground. We each picked a character we were stopping for photos with on the run, mine was Tigger, Barbara's was Toy Story and Lori's was Monster University, we found 2 out of the 3 in the Magic Kingdom. After the Magic Kingdom we headed to new parks, first up the Animal Kingdom. On our way there we ran past a sewer treatment plant, not the nicest place to breath deeply. Just after that we hit a water and banana stop. Barbara went right, Lori and I went left and that was the last we saw of Barbara.
We stuck around looking for her but we could not find her. Unsure what to do we decided to see if she ran ahead, all the while I was worrying. I had promised I would run this with her and I did not want to let her down. We ran through the Animal Kingdom and still no Barbara. We stopped for a few minutes to see if she would run by and still no Barbara. My muscles were starting to cramp so we headed off to run our own race, one Minnie short and my brain in turmoil. Big thanks to Lori for putting up with me at this point, it went above the call of duty. We started to run on a highway and saw runners running the other way and thought maybe we would see her this way. We did not but at least it kept my mind off the boring flat run. Just as we turned the corner to run into the ESPN Sports Zone we ran up to Barbara. She thought we were ahead of her and was running to catch up, she also took a few photo stops along the way. The Minnie's were reunited and it felt so good to quote Peaches and Herb.
I have to say, running through the ESPN zone was my least favorite part of the marathon course, it did nothing for me, it was crowded and it was starting to get hot. Eventually we headed back out onto the highway, there was a lot of highway running, way more then parks but at least it was flat. It was fun to watch the other runners and their costumes, we saw Santa Claus running a marathon, I swear he looked just like Santa....fine don't believe me then. We saw tons of Minnie's, lots of Mickey's and a few pirates and fairies. We came across a runner who was doing the Dopey and flying home to Ohio that night, right after the marathon. We already though she was awesome and when she told us she had finished Chemo in March and signed up for the Dopey in part to say FU to her skin cancer. Even though at this point we were tired and getting grumpy, she lifted our spirits and we kept on running.
A funny thing happens in the last few miles of the marathon, you lose all reason and intelligent though is just not possible, at this point we just kept running, there was very little talking. Finally we entered Hollywood Studios and from the Wine and Dine in 2012, I knew the end was nearish. We passed a chocolate and candy station, which I avoided, but we did make a quick pit stop so we would feel better for the final run. By this time the parks were open so there were lots of people to cheer us on, it makes such a difference. Epcot was the final destination and it was in sight. We did not see any of the Monster University characters for Lori but we found something better, we found Dopey. Of course a photo was necessary.
|Barbara and I promising Dopey we would be back to run his challenge too|
We crossed the bridge into Epcot and the end was a few KM's away. All I could think about was running, one foot in from of the other...don't stop because you wont be able to start again...suck it up buttercup...and all the other motivational quotes I know, anything to keep my mind busy and my feet moving. Finally we turned the last corner, the end was in sight and the finish line in front of me. Only one thing stood between me and the finish line... GOOFY!!! So of course I stopped for a photo. Coach, I promise not to do this at any other race, cross my heart.
We crossed the finish line, hand in hand again, tears of joy mixing with the sweat and huge smiles on our faces. We had done it, Lori had run 78.3km over 4 days and Barbara had run 68.3km over 3 days and I had run 63.3 over 2 days. We hit the medical area and then collected our medals, 2 for Barbara and I, 3 for Lori.
I wanted to see if Neale finished his run so we headed out to the meeting point to see. There he was, grinning wearing his 2 medals and with our friend Susan who had run her first marathon. I was so happy he finished, that they both finished together as planned. Barbara had to head off to meet her family for lunch and Lori and Darryl had to meet family as well so we quickly headed for the bus back to the hotel for a shower and food. I knew I need to walk around so we took the bus to Downtown Disney and met up with another Orleans runner Trevor.
We eventually ended up on the patio of an Irish pub, eating and drinking, sharing stories and enjoying the sun and heat, it was the perfect way to end the day. By 7:30, we were ready for bed and called it a day, what a great day it was. Monday we went to the Animal Kingdom with Barbara and her family.
I had a chance to try Expedition Everest, twice and Dinosaur once. We really enjoyed the African Safari and the wild animals there, it will have to do until I get to the real thing ( hello bucket list).
A few final thoughts on the marathon....for my second marathon it went well.
- I still got tired during the last 10k but I am not sure if that was a time issue or a training issue, something to work on I guess. If anyone had told me I would be running for over 9 hour over 2 days, I would have said they were nuts, but I did it and enjoyed it.
- Running in Disney is crowded, we knew we would stop for photos and we did, we knew it would be crowded and it was and we knew it would be fun and it was...all in all it was a great experience.
- I had a great time running both days with Lori and Barbara, running buddies don't get any better then this. I tried to say this to them during the run but Barbara told me to stop, I would make her cry and she needed the water and salt for the run. So Barbara and Lori, I am saying it now, I could not have done all the training or the race without both of you wonderful ladies, you make running such a blessing and your friendship is the greatest gift.
- Finally, this event capped off an amazing year for me. I did things in 2013 I never thought I could, I grew as an athlete and a person and I surprised myself by what I accomplished. I am so freaking proud of myself, I did it, I did things I never though possible and I survived. The sign I saw on the run spoke to me, and it sums up my year.