mickey mouse

mickey mouse

Monday, 21 January 2013

Now What?

WDW Half Marathon Weekend 2013

Half Marathon Saturday (21.1K, 13.1 miles)

Does 'magical' translate into "why the hell am I awake at Dark O'Clock two days in row? Not counting the 18 hour drive down in a car. We must have seen every resort while trying to assemble our motely crew for the sleepover. OH, and there was no coffee the morning of the Half. We also bought skirts out of the back of a truck, which was a highlight of the trip.

SparkleSkirts are the bestest things ever! They said they don't ride up, and I was like 'sure, that's not gonna work, it never does'. Well, they didn't ride up, at all not a bit. I was amazed. If you're in the market for something fun and functional to run it, they're totally worth it. Trust me, google it: SparkleSkirts.com

It was already warm out when we started running, and I was thankful that we had spent 2 weeks running indoors at Goodlife Fitness, which acclimated us to the heat and prevented us from being injured on snow/slush/ice in the days leading up to the race. We should have practiced running through crowded malls though, since the sheer number of freaking walkers made it nearly impossible to maintain pace.

Because we were worried about being swept we didn't really stop for many photos. However I could not resist meeting Jack and Sally, two of my very fave characters.

We also hung out with Phineas and Ferb and the Green Army Men. Good times were had, the lines were slow though, so we had to motor to get back up to pace. If it wasn't for Emily being my pace bunny I'd probably still be on course (or in the sweeper bus).

Half Marathon Finish Time (Chip) 3:27:08
Hot, tired and happy, we rolled across the line.
Annie ran her very first half marathon, and I was super proud to be able to share that moment with her.

Then we hit McDonalds to refuel. Salty goodness.

Marathon Sunday, my second (and last) Marathon (42.2k, 26.3 miles):

The next day dawned slightly cooler than Saturday, thank goodness. It warmed up a lot though, causing us to constantly stick our Canada bandanas into cups of water and stuff them into our hats, around our necks and everywhere else to drop body temperature. The amusing part was that I was wearing a Camelbak and I put my cell phone into the pocket. After dumping water over my head for hours and hours I managed to soak the crap out of my phone, rendering it useless. It spent a week in a bag of rice, to no avail. I guess that's it, kaput.

The funny bit was that I kept getting texts from people who thought I was mad or ignoring them....good times.

The 'surprise' at Mile 20 was kind of a letdown, a pretty arch and a podium with Donald, Mickey and Goofy on it. Wasn't what I was expecting, since they make such a big deal out of everything on the route. We ran on the race track and the baseball staduim, it was hot (have I mentioned that?). It was freaking crowded (have I mentioned that?). It was the first races where I passed tons of people. Normally I slow down on the back half and people run past me.

Emily and Angel and I made it across the finish line, despite the heat, the long lines at the porta potties, the crazy flocks of walkers that would not get out of our way. We discovered the importance of multiple aid stations, BioFreeze, Tylenol and water. I loved the volunteers who poured entire bottles of water over my head as I passed them.

We got to the finish line to meet Lori.....because she's speedy she always finishes ahead of us.
Then we discovered the horrible fact that she was pulled off the course for medical reasons. Halfway through the full marathon she moved aside for a runner and turned her ankle on a sidewalk edge. She kept going after medical treatment for another 5km, limping along in terrible pain. I've seen her run through a torn menisicus, so I knew if this stopped her that it had to be the worst pain ever. She was sitting shoeless on the ground, with a huge bag of ice on her foot. She'd been put on a bus and driven back with the folks that have been swept. I was in tears, we all were. Lori had it more together than we did. I'd have been a mess    , I'd have spent the rest of our vacation sulking, and I'd have ruined it for everyone else. She was (is) a class act, riding around the parks in a wheelchair, making the best of her first DNF. Luckily we ran with a nurse (Angel) who knew what signs to watch for as Lori regained feeling in her foot.

I spent the rest of our week in Florida running amuck in the parks. We did Epcot (for the first time since I was a kid), Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Universal and Legoland. My mission in the Disney parks was to find each character from my medals and pose for a photo with them. I found Goofy in Epcot, Mickey in Hollywood Studios, and Donald in Epcot too.

Full Marathon Finish Time (Chip)  6:52:04

I beat my previous Marathon time by just over four minutes (Scotiabank 6:56:33), despite the unreal heat and the fact that we must have run an extra 4k just dodging the freaking walkers who moved like herds of cattle.

It feels almost anticlimactic, being done something I've spent a year preparing for. For about 10 seconds I entertained the idea of doing another full marathon, since this one was such a great experience. Then I came to my senses and realized that I got through this uninjured, still happily married, and went out with a PB (something that doesn't happen for me). For the first time I'm going to quit while I'm ahead.
From here on in it's half marathons and under for me.

Thanks Disney, you truly made every mile magic.

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