Where do I begin to describe the marathon...The nerves were in high alert on Sunday morning when I was awakened by my alarm at 2:50 am. My race clothes were already laid out, so I quickly got dressed and ate my banana and an english muffin with peanut butter. It was time to leave for the race so I said goodbye to Christine, grabbed my bag and Tom walked me over to the monorail. He also took a couple pre-race photos!
|Forced smile...can you tell I'm petrified?!|
|Christine designed my shirt!|
|Marcia Barton, Linzie Starr, and Dennis Marsico (of runDisney TV)|
Miles 1-6: These miles my pace was steady at about 11:25 with the aid of a Clif pace bracelet (for 5hr pace) from the expo. The course seemed very crowded in places, which is to be expected as the roads are narrow in spots. Christine and Tom were waiting for me with cheers and signs at TTC (mile 4-ish). Once the Magic Kingdom came into view, my spirits picked up and my excitement grew with thoughts of running through the castle.
Miles 6-12: My family was waiting at the Polynesian (mile 7.7) to cheer so I spent time looking for them and heard their loud cheers. Christine made special signs and waved pom poms as I ran by. The run around the speedway between mile 8.5-9 was super fun and a big highlight of the race! The speedway was lined with classic cars (much like the DL half) and some characters from Cars.
Miles 12-18: Running through Animal Kingdom was a great diversion after several miles of roadway. I loved seeing the CM's with animals as we entered through the back stage area of the park. After AK, it seemed that alot of runners were struggling with the heat. My split for the half was off my goal pace by a little over 1 1/2 minutes. Trying to stay calm and keep a steady pace was difficult. The wet sponge handed out around mile 17 was wonderful. I kept it for the duration of the race, pouring fresh water on it at the hydration stops. The cold kept me comfortable with the rising temperatures.
Miles 18-21: This is when I finally after 2 years and 5 months of running felt the "runners high". After running through the stadium at ESPN and passing the baseball field I knew I was going to be a marathoner and would perhaps make my goal time of under 5 hours. At mile twenty we were treated to a special surprise. This included multiple puppet characters including Tigger, my favorite. Mickey, Donald and Goofy were on a stage greeting us as we went through a gorgeous archway. Soon after, I looked at my watch and realized my time was under the goal pace by just over one minute. As we passed the loud speakers playing "Sweet Caroline" at mile 21, I started singing along with glee. The runners around me gave me very strange looks, but I felt like it was party time!
Miles 21-23: With Hollywood Studios up ahead it was hard to hold back my pace. At mile 22 I still felt strong and continued to increase my pace but still using the 4/1 Galloway run/walk.
Mile 23-26.2: It was hard to not start running all out, but I stayed calm. By mile 24, I knew I had it and kept running through the end of the race, finishing with both miles in the 10:00 minute mile pace. My family was waiting by the Norway pavilion in Epcot and had no idea I would be coming so soon. However, Tom caught a glimpse of me going by and Christine started running to take this photo.
|On the move to the finish line!|
|Source - Now THAT is pure joy at the end of 26.2 miles!|
5 miles: 56:42
10 miles: 1:53.57
13.1 miles: 2:30.09
20 miles: 3:57.48
26.2 miles: 4:54.12
|A big smile for beautiful bling!|