Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Walt Disney World Marathon Part 2: Getting There

Welcome to my race recap! Read Part 1 here.

My friend and I had signed up for the Walt Disney Marathon in April, when registration first opened. Our conversation went something like this...

Me: I mean, if I was ever going to run a marathon I would want it to be in Disney World.
Her: You don't have to convince me! I would totally do it.
Me: Wait, are you serious?
Her: Are you?

The marathon wasn't until January, so we had a long time to look forward to it. We spent our time completing a Color Run 5K, a Mud Run 5K, a Hot Chocolate 15K, and a Run & Ride Half Marathon. Yes I admit I had been bitten by the racing bug and I was loving it!

Hal Higdon's marathon training plan that we followed was an 18 week schedule and we plunged right in. I wrote how many miles I was to run each day in my calendar and completed them like it was my JOB. I wasn't going to be disgraced in front of Mickey Mouse, no way. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it right.

After months of anticipation, training, enormous amounts of food to satisfy our increasing appetites, and Disney-related reading/music/gifs/what-have-you, we found ourselves in Orlando on Saturday, January 7. Weather-related delays and turbulence on the flight had my stomach in knots, and the stress only increased when we realized we were going to be cutting it closer than we wanted to at the expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Nevertheless, we were extremely grateful that our race was still on after hearing that the half marathon had been cancelled due to lightning. I can only imagine how devastating that news was to the runners. On a positive note, Disney seemed to handle things extremely well and we heard of runners making the most of things, as runners are prone to do. I saw many people out getting their miles in anyway on Disney property. Typical!

Unable to fully enjoy the Magical Express as I kept watching the clock, I self-soothed by eating handfuls of peanut butter M&Ms. Now that I was finally hungry, of course we didn't have time to get any real food. At the resort we didn't have time to leave our carry-ons, instead we hopped on the bus to the expo.

When we finally held our official bibs in our hands I almost sobbed with relief. Okay, now this was actually happening! My proudest moment of the day was scoring a free banana and apple slices at the Chiquita booth by tossing a beanbag through a hole. Apple slices for my empty stomach and a banana for pre-race fuel!

We had intended to do some resort-hopping but our matching faces of exhaustion reassured each other we were on the same page. We headed back to our resort, All-Star Movies, and went straight to the food court. It was time to carbo-load, and we chose macaroni and cheese and pizza. We ordered way too much food, so enjoyed leftovers over the next couple days.

While eating, we talked about the weather again. It was going to be cold. The temperature had been dropping and Sunday morning it would be 30s at the race's start, 5:30AM. I had brought a throwaway jacket to wear over my tank top and arm sleeves but I was getting nervous since I knew we would be standing around for a bit before actually running. After reading a tip online, I asked a janitor emptying garbage in the food court for two trash bags to help us keep warm at the starting line, which she happily supplied.

Oh yes, now we're ready! Early to bed!

Keep going! Part 3 is here.


Becky Ginther said...

I was definitely thinking about you on Saturday! Especially when I heard how iffy the weather was at home, I was glad you had an early flight so you could beat the snow. And since they cancelled the half marathon I heard the expo was crazy crowded Saturday because all the half runners had to go there to get their refunds and stuff. But it all worked out!

Laura said...

Yes! It was a crazy day for sure. I'm so glad it worked out...for both of us...and we got to do our marathon!

Lizzie said...

So fun! Loved reading part two as well and can't wait for part three! I used the Hal Higdon training plan also, and it served me well. My first marathon was in 2015, and it was awful even though I followed the training plan to the letter. Such a let-down, even though I did technically finish. Did my second one last year, and it was amazing, everything it was supposed to be, and so I can relate to all of this. Thanks for sharing!

Mark Allman said...

I am enjoying reading your story. I laughed at your disgracing yourself in front of Mickey Mouse comment!! :)

Laura said...

I'm so glad you had the marathon you wanted! There are a lot of want it to be reflective of all the work!

Thanks Mark!