Monday, March 10, 2014

I Ran a Marathon!!!

It has been almost 2 months since I ran my first marathon. I chose to run the Walt Disney World Marathon as my first marathon, because RunDisney has a special place in my heart. My first 1/2 marathon was a RunDisney event so it was only fitting to have my first marathon be at my favorite place. 

I would like to start the recap with telling you that I did not train nearly as much as I should have. Although this was one of my worst races I have ran, I did learn that I truly can do anything I put my mind to. 

The Expo
We started our RunDisney weekend like any other at the fitness expo. The fitness expo is an expo that every runner must go to in order to get your bib. It didn't feel like I was about to run a marathon until I got to that expo. Then it all became very real. We got our bibs and realized that we were in the last corral, this was the first of many wake up calls. I figured that a marathon wouldn't be too bad, we had to maintain a 16min per mile pace (no problem, right?). But being in the last corral meant that we HAD to maintain a 16 min per mile pace. I started to freak out. We took our photo with our bibs and left the expo and went to the park. 

The Night Before
You really could tell it was race weekend and that people were serious about running. Everything was pretty empty but Joe and I decided that we would take advantage of the short lines and enjoy the park. We stayed out late and made poor food choices. Once we got to our hotel room, we picked out our outfits and headed to bed. We had to be out at the bus stop at 4:00am.

Race Day
4:00am came early, we headed out the door and made it to the race with plenty of time to do a whole lot of nothing. Being in the last corral meant that we had to do a lot of waiting around. Even being there with all of the runners I was still in a tiny bit of disbelief that I was about to run a marathon. We got some food, posed for pictures, and went to the bathroom. 

The time had come to get to our corral. We got in our corral and waited. The excitement began to build as each corral started. With every set of fireworks I felt my heart race. About 1 hour and 30 minutes had pasted and we were finally at the start of the race. My anticipation had built up and I was ready for this race to be done. 

We got to the start and the gun and fireworks went off. I started to run. Mile 1-13.1 were all a blur. I just kept running. It was my slowest 1/2 marathon time, but I didn't stop running. I had it in my  mind that I needed to keep going and that the bus that picked people up was right behind me (if you don't maintain that 16 min per mile pace you will get picked up by a bus). I never saw that bus behind me but I knew it was there. That motivated me to keep on running.

The first 13.1 miles took us from Epcot to the Magic Kingdom, through the Magic Kingdom and to Animal Kingdom. The one thing that I do remember was finally getting to Magic Kingdom, it felt like it  took forever, I was beyond excited to get to Main Street and see that castle. Joe and I did stop for a photo opt at the castle and a few other places.

Once I made it to Animal Kingdom and realized that I had ran a 1/2 marathon I was beyond proud of myself. It was a huge relief, but I really wanted to stop. Joe was there right by my side encouraging me to keep going. So, I kept going. At about mile 15 I experienced something that I have never experienced as a runner, chaffing. My inner thighs burned as I kept going. But the thought of not finishing kept me running. The chaffing allowed me to find the best thing that has ever been made for a runner. BioFreeze. At first I put the BioFreeze on my chaffing thinking that is what it was for, mistake. It burned worse. But then I realized that it was for your sore and achy body. I began to stop at every medical station to run BioFreeze all over my legs and shoulders. I did find a solution to my chaffing. 

At mile 16-17 there was a point where you can see the runners that were at mile 20-21. I wanted nothing more then to be where they were. I thought that one I got to mile 20 I would be home free. Miles 16-20 went through the Wide World of Sports, who knew that there were 4 miles to run. I stopped for a bathroom break and wasted a ton of time. But it was worth it not to have to go in a port-o-potty. Once I got to mile 20 I realized that I still had 6.2 more miles to run and the feeling of being home free was gone. at that point I also saw the bus driving on the other side of the road. That helped me pick up my pace a tiny bit. 

The toughest part of the race were the last few miles. I didn't think I was going to make it, but Joe was there to cheer me on and remind me that I could do it. I felt my pace go up and down and 6.2 grueling miles later I found myself at the end of the race. I made it.  I was finished.

I really didn't know what to think. I didn't cry and I wasn't overly joyed. We collected our medals and headed back to the hotel. It wasn't until I was on the bus headed back to our room that I was proud of what I had done. I ran a marathon. 

Have you ever ran a marathon?
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  1. At least you finished! I'm running my first half next month. Yikes.

  2. rundisney looks like it would be fun only b/c you're at disney and can take advantage of it. Right?

    Would love you for to join the hops.

    following you and would love a follow back.

  3. Chaffing is the worst! That sucks!! That's awesome that you finished it though! I don't know if I could ever do a marathon!

    How come you have to maintain a pace the whole time? I've never heard of anything like that.

  4. Congrats! I am sure it was great to have Joe there with you as a support!

  5. Chaffing sucks so bad! I love rundisney races. Congrats on your first marathon! Thats awesome!

  6. Congrats girl!! That is so awesome!!!!

  7. Congrats!! I am running my first marathon next month and am anxious, excited, and terrified all at the same time!

  8. That is so awesome! Huge Congrats!!!


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