I am going to keep this short I think because I am really tired after the 4 days of really early starts and running. Today was marathon day. It was mainly just bloody awful.
We got up at 2.30am and left by 3am. Today the queue for security etc was much better – possibly because we were earlier. We got the the retreat tent and had plenty of time to have a bagel and peanut butter, check our bags and then walk out to the coral with the rest of the runners world people. That meant a much shorter walk there so I didn’t hit my 10000 steps until just after mile 1!
We sat for a bit and I was a bit overwhelmed with it all. I did cry a little. The start was delayed slightly, not sure why so we eventually crossed the startline about 8 minutes past 6am. They say you hit a wall during a marathon. Well I guess I hit mine then! I was ok for a bout half a mile, that’s something, right? We stopped for loos at the first opportunity again and then kept plodding. Mile 1 was sort of ok, mile 2 seemed endless and I was convinced we should be at mile 3 by then. I got a little boost running through the magic kingdom arches and just kept plodding. By mile 5 my hips were sore, my back was sore, my knees creaky and I just wanted to curl up and cry.
Luckily we entered the Magic Kingdome park just after and running through that was great. Then we started the long stretch of just road. By mile 7 I needed extra walk breaks, by mile 8 I had switched the intervals to running a minu and walking two. Finishing seemed utterly impossible. Kath refused to leave me. And I became increasingly conscious that I might not make the required pace for Dopey.
I can’t remember at what mile the animal kingdom came but running through the park was a welcome distraction. Running through one of the backlots the staff had brought out animals to see us including a donkey which was awesome (I like donkeys) and a vulture who was perched next to a sign saying ‘run faster, vultures are circling’. Onwards, slowly and painfully onwards.
after the animal kingdom came another long stretch of road that seemed to go on for ever and eventually we hit ESPN wide world of sports which covers roughly miles 17-20 but seemed to take ages to loop round playing fields and through the stadium. I felt awful. At this point I was pretty much just walking and pretty much resigned to the fact that I wouldn’t manage Dopey pace.
more road. Every time something new started hurting it took my mind of what had been hurting before. I had a few stretches where I went dizzy and my vision blurred but it never lasted long. I stopped at every water stop on course and I think I fuelled ok but the last 3 days and the humidity at the start made it a really tough one.
After what seemed like an eternity we reached Hollywood Studios. That was just fantastic. I managed a couple of little jogs through the park and began to hope that maybe, just maybe I might make it. Mile 23 came and went as did 24. Then we entered Epcot and ran round the world showcase. mile 25. I kept repeating ‘just keep walking’ to myself. It didn’t seem possible but somehow I kept moving forward. Then came mile 26. I suddenly believed. I managed what felt like the fastest run ever (but was actually barely faster than a slow walk) along the finishing straight and Kath and I crossed the finish line hand in hand.
We got our marathon medal, had our picture taken and went to the a Challenge tent where we had to have our time checked. we made it. 6.55.04. We had 4 minutes and 56 seconds to spare! We got our medals for the entire Dopey a Challenge and also for the Goofy Challenge which is for completing the half and the full marathons back to back.
we did it. I couldn’t have completed it without Kath’s constant encouragement. she just kept talking to me, telling me how awesome we were and that we were going to finish.
We just got into the race retreat before they started clearing up, got some food, our bags and then left to get back to the hotel, get a cold bath and then head out for dinner.
It is now 8.15 pm and I am ready for bed and so looking forward to not having to get up in the middle of the night. I’m sore but I don’t think anything is injured. I have done a marathon! And yes it was awful for the most part but it has also given me some great memories and a huge massive sense of achievement!
Reflections on the whole thing in the next few days!