This race, despite me declaring it as “Harder than Birthing a Child,” was still an awesome race! You can’t beat Disney’s ability to pull off a massive event, move over 20,000 runners 26.2 miles, and make it all magical. I’ll give you the best play by play I can remember, but as with child birth, I’ve blocked a lot out
To start, we all woke up bright and early at 1:30 am to the sounds of EMTs helping my mom. We were supposed to get the party started at 2:30 am, so there wasn’t much point to trying to force an extra 30 minutes of sleep. I also took it as an opportunity to take my meds and make sure they were working before running. By 3:15 am we were on a bus heading to Epcot and the start of the marathon.
The pre-race set up consisted of some entertainment (mostly a DJ pumping you up with music,) bag check, and the world’s longest line of porta potties. We used this time to meet up with all of the Team Damian marathoners and realize that in the confusion of the morning, I had left my Garmin at the hotel. I also ended up giving my arm band for my iPhone to my dad so he could keep his phone on him just in case something happened with my mom. This is probably the closest I’ll ever get to zen running. I still had my tunes though thanks to shoving the iPhone in the sports bra. For you women out there thinking that might be a fun way to do it, it’s not but it beats having no beats (is that considered a pun?!)
Anyway… Starting around 4am they began calling for different corrals to begin their 20 minute trek to the start. Although we had originally planned to all try and stick together, we decided to go our separate ways since I was sick and legitimately worried about not finishing. Thankfully, Nate being the best husband in the world said he’d stick with me because “Damn it, one of you has to finish the goofy!” Gotta love his determination for me
We were in Corral E and started around 6 am. I loved the fireworks!!
Like I said, I didn’t have my Garmin so I have no clue what the pace was but I know we ran the first 3 miles. I was still feeling good at the 5k point but decided to go ahead and start walking before the sickness really got to me. We continued this every 3 miles take a walk break until about mile 9 when the heat started going and I started feeling worse. We then began a run until you see the mile marker then walk for 5 minutes.
At about mile 14 we met up with Emily, Damian and Katie Jane. It was a great little boost, especially because Emily had brought me my Garmin. We continued the run then walking for the rest of the way, with the walking breaks getting longer and longer. Nate said that when I did run we were going at a pretty good clip towards the end (I just wanted to finish) but I’m not sure if he’s just saying that to be nice.
I don’t think any of us ran the race we wanted because of the heat. By the end of the race it was in the 80s, and I think most of the race was run in the 70s. That’s a hot when you’ve been training in the 40s and 50s. By the second water station I was already drinking one cup of water and pouring another on my head. I hate running in the heat, so that alone was a killer. Add having an upper respiratory illness and I was in a lot of pain by the end. You can ask the rest of Team Damian who saw me afterwards, it wasn’t a pretty sight. Although honestly, I think a lot of the pain was emotional. I was so angry that I hadn’t been able to run it like I wanted to. I was in great shape to do a decent marathon. But that’s how these things go. You can’t predict race day. And while I’m sure running while sick was probably one of the dumber things I’ve done in my life, I’m still glad I did it. It wasn’t fast, but I did it. There will always be other races, and one day I will take on the marathon and do it well.
Just as with last year, I would definitely recommend the Disney marathon weekend! It’s a great place to do your first marathon, or to try something silly like the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge.