Thursday, January 12, 2012

Race Report - WDW Full Marathon 2012 (Goofy Day #2)

Saturday after the half marathon was spent at rolling and stretching out the legs, going to the expo to get my corral changed, then to eat lunch at the EPSN grill (I was STARVING!!), then to Hollywood Studios for the Backlot Tour (which I had never seen in all of my trips to Disney! @@), and then to a meet-up for Jan's team. Throughout all of these I was monitoring my legs/knees to try to determine if I was going to be able to start the marathon on Sunday morning. I had been praying for weeks that the decision-making would be easy and obvious for me. I only felt some fatigue and it wasn't bad, so I felt that my decision was made - I was going to start the marathon!
Corral B! Much better!

Despite being so tired and getting to bed early, I did not sleep well at all. I was up by 12:30 - my alarm had been set for 1:50 so I could repeat the morning process from the day before. But I just did not sleep. It was awful to know I had 26.2 miles ahead of me and I was already so tired! I prayed again before I got out of bed. It wasn't so much worry that kept me up, I don't think, but just the excitement and anticipation!

Jan was running the relay so we headed to the buses together. Didn't get quite as early of a start on Sunday but still didn't have trouble getting on a bus right away. In fact, there were buses EVERYwhere at Pop Century that morning! I'd never seen anything like that! The traffic was fine and we got to runner's village in no time. Jan headed to where her team was meeting and I headed to the ROTE tent. Again, I just wasn't able to talk much. I was so tired and getting really nervous.

My plan for the marathon was to start out walking. Jill was going to be walking because she is recovering from a stress fracture, and she agreed to walk with me. Then I would start my 1/4 intervals and do them for as long as I could. That was the plan anyway. I had no clue what to expect. My left shin had been a little sore that morning, but the long walk to the corrals took care of that. Unfortunately, there was a traffic jam getting to our corral and I was nervous about getting my stretching done. I completely forgot to take a picture of the corral sign or to get a picture of myself before the start. Really, before I was ready, it was time to start!

Jill and I started at the very back of our corral since we'd be only walking. She is a very fast walker, which is good because it kept me on my toes. I know I am a slower walker than she is, and I felt bad for holding her back, but she didn't complain! And I really appreciated the company!

This course is slightly different, so we started off going through EPCOT. I didn't take many pictures because my camera doesn't do too well in the dark.

From there it was off to Magic Kingdom.

Even though we were walking, Jill asked if I wanted to run up Main Street and I said YES! And then we walked again around Tomorrowland and Fantasyland before Running Through the Castle (because the name of my blog isn't WALKING through the castle ROFL)! Going through Frontierland, Jill asked if I wanted her to take anything when she finished the relay. It was getting warm so I asked her to take my long sleeve shirt. In my head, taking this shirt off under my short sleeve was simple. In real life, it took both me and Jill to do it, and I still think I flashed a few people! It's a good friend who will help you strip during a marathon, and then carry around your nasty sweaty shirt for you! Thanks, Jill!! :)

Mile 11 was the same point the day before that I started crying - and I cried again! I was so thankful to Jill for walking with me and she was going to be going soon and I was a little scared. Again, Jill was so encouraging - she suggested that I dedicate each mile to someone during the second half of the marathon. I thought that sounded like a great idea! Way too soon, it was time for her to turn off - she gave me a hug and then ran off for her transition point! (I also appreciate her relay partner, Ernie, for being so patient while waiting for her while she walked with me!)

I started right away with Jill's suggestion by dedicating mile 14 to her for all of her help and encouragement, not only during the race but in the weeks leading up to it. (When I got back to the room, I wrote down all of the miles and who they were dedicated to so I wouldn't forget!) I prayed for each person during their mile and thought about the reasons they were special to me! It was incredibly helpful!

I did another first during this race - I stopped to use the potty! My body usually shuts down during races but I guess I wasn't exerting enough energy this time or something. Regardless, using a porta-potty while wearing compression capri pants was interesting. I think I accidentally did some yoga trying to get the capris back up!

Shortly after my bathroom break was a banana stop. That was probably THE best banana I have had in my life! I seriously needed some real food by that point! 2 sport beans every 30 minutes was helping my energy but I needed a change.

I knew that the miles between Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom were going to be long and boring, so I brought my mp3 player and listened to my Goofy playlist. Between that and dedicating the miles, the time passed pretty well! My legs were feeling good and I still wasn't having ANY pain! It was fantastic and I was so thankful. I had been leap-frogging with a man in a Team 413 shirt (from Philippians 4:13). He and I spoke briefly and I told him how God was guiding me through the race and the whole weekend! It was great to share it with someone I knew would appreciate it!

Soon enough we were approaching Animal Kingdom - we didn't go in by the main entrance so I don't have a picture of the sign, but I have something much better:

I hadn't been stopping for pictures because I was worried about my time and when I had stopped during MCM that's when everything locked up. But I was feeling a bit more confident since I used the potty and nothing locked up. And Expedition Everest is my favorite ride so I HAD to get my picture taken with it in the background! :)

On the way out of Animal Kingdom, volunteers were giving out cold, wet sponges. I wasn't exactly sure what to do with it, so I took one and looked around me. I ended up wiping down the front and back of my neck and my arms with it. It felt great and I regretted not bringing my chilly pad towel with me. I had purchased it just for the marathon but I was so cold on Saturday that I didn't think I needed it - turns out it got quite warm! And if I was warm - and I'm SO cold-natured - I know others had to be completed wiped out by the heat! I also ended up stopping at a medical tent in the parking lot of Animal Kingdom to get some tissue to blow my nose and to get some vaseline. My chapstick had fallen out of my skirt pocket early in the race and my lips were so dry.

Mile 20 came quickly. I can't remember if the Hollywood Studios sign was before or after it, but you get the picture of it right now:
We still had the "out and back" to go, but this would be my best shot of the sign so I took it! I had dedicated mile 20 to my Dad. Mile 20 is when they say you hit "the wall" - my dad is tough, so I pictured him saying, "You hit a wall? Sounds like a personal problem to me - get moving!" It made me smile and kept me going!

Right at the mile 20 sign, my Team 413 friend told me that we could walk it in now - it would get us in under the time limit. I was a little confused because I thought we counted time from the last start corral. He said that to get the Goofy medal, you needed to come in under 7 hours. I looked at my Garmin and did a quick calculation and saw that I might be cutting it a little close so I said goodbye and continued with my intervals, pushing the run minutes a little harder. Yes, I still had enough energy to push a little at that point - even with the heat!

The out and back ended up being great for me because it was my first time to see some ROTE folks finally!! That was a big boost that they would call my name and we could say a quick hi!

Running through Hollywood Studios was a new one for me, just like Animal Kingdom. I had turned off my mp3 player before Animal Kingdom so I could enjoy it and I did the same again before the Studios! They handed out mini Hershey bars which was awesome and tasted SO good! I had to stop for a minute because I felt my right big toe starting to get hot. I had around 3ish miles to go, but that's a LOT of time for a blister to develop. I was carrying a mini size Body Glide with me, so I stopped and took off my shoe and sock and put some more Glide on my toes. I was really nervous that I wouldn't be able to get back up, or that I wouldn't be able to move again, but I had no trouble!

Once out of the Studios I felt a little more confident in my ability to come in under the required time. I checked my texts and answered a couple. I had taken a few more pictures in the Studios, and I also took some more on the way back to EPCOT. I was feeling so great, albeit quite warm. There is a professional picture that shows me walking through the World Showcase in EPCOT and I look exhausted but really I'm just getting tired and getting hot. I was also really contemplating what I was accomplishing and that was overwhelming!
Reece's favorite: The Eiffel Tower! I'm coming!!

I honestly do not remember much about running through the World Showcase! I remember hearing my name called in Mexico and looking up to find Jill and some of the other ROTE folks drinking margaritas (I think??)! I can't even remember if I said hello or anything - I think I may have waved and blew them a kiss or something! LOL The experience was becoming more surreal by the step!

Soon, the finish line was there and I was crossing it - amazingly enough! I was crossing it! Shortly after I crossed and got my Mickey medal, I saw Jan and she took my picture!

From there I went to pick up my Goofy medal - which they placed over my neck without checking my finish time for either race. I was a little annoyed! LOL I had worried over it for nothing! But I was so thrilled that I just cried when she put it on me! It was all so overwhelming!

I was still feeling no knee pain but I was very tired and my feet were sore. My fingers were really, really swollen which you can sort of see in the picture if you look at the hand holding the medal. The fingers got a little better but my face and the rest of me really swelled up and it's still not all the way gone 4 days later! Usually my wedding rings are falling off and this week they've been hard to get on!! It's really freaky, but I'm assured that it is normal and will get better in another couple of days. I am drinking plenty of water and I'm sure it will resolve itself. I'm sure it's also partly hormonal as I started my period literally right after the marathon was over! LOL Sorry any men who read my blog - I'm sure that was TMI! ;)

So I did it - GOD did it - He got me through the weekend and it was amazing! It was only through God's grace that I was able to complete the Goofy Challenge! He blessed me with all I wanted and prayed for and more because I never dreamed I could make it through without ANY pain at all! I am praising HIM and I also pray that I can remember this experience and keep it with me and remember it when times are harder and I'm struggling!

Physically and mentally, I am still so very tired but I am just taking it easy! I did some yoga tomorrow and I have my sports massage this afternoon. I may do some yoga on Saturday as well, but that's all. Then next week I hope to swim and maybe do the bike at the gym. Not planning to run again for another 10 days or so! I want to make sure everything is completely healed up! :)

I will never forget this weekend, and I think it's a great way to END my full marathon career! :D


  1. Loved reading all about your Goofy Challenge Weekend and I'm just so dang happy that you had a wonderful experience and only happy tears were shed. Hard work, determination, and faith kept those feet moving. YOU DID IT!!!!!
    Yes, it's just me your old aunt.

  2. Oh Jennifer, I am just so thrilled for you!! I am SO GLAD you were able to run without pain! And just everything sounds like it went wonderfully. I prayed for you Sunday morning off and on from the time I got up until I saw that you'd crossed the finish line. And our pastor read aloud that And our pastor read in church the verse that we talked about - remember? the one you don't like! LOL I was so amazed it turned up in his sermon.


  3. Congratulations!!! :) So glad things went well and you were able to finish! All that pixie dust (and stretching and rolling) seem to have worked!! :)