Back in January I traveled to Florida to participate in a marathon at the most magical place on earth -> Disney! I couldn’t wait check Florida off my list.
It was nice to get away for a few days and spend some time in warmer weather. Even if it wasn’t that warm, it was a nice break from winter in Vermont. While down there, I was able to see one of my best friends from high school who now lives in Tampa. We went to Universal Studios & I finally got visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! SO. MUCH. FUN.
The race was on Sunday, so on Saturday we hit up the expo to pick up our bibs and check out the vendors. The expo was at ESPN Wide World of Sports which was a pretty cool place. I would like to go back there some day. This was the biggest race expo that I’ve ever been to, it was pretty impressive.. I wish I had a picture of it! I ended up getting a car magnet in the shape of Mickey’s ears with 26.2 on it 🙂
Race Day –> the race had a 5:30am start so we were up at an ungodly hour to get ready. Our lyft driver picked us up around 3:45 & was joking that he’s so used to seeing drunks at that time of morning that it was nice we didn’t smell like booze. There was a bunch of traffic getting into the park but it went pretty smoothly. Once we got there, we made our way to our corral where we waited for a LONG time before actually starting. It literally took our corral over 45 minutes to cross the starting line after the first gun went off. The nerves were definitely flowing at this point. I really liked the fact that each corral got their own gun start as well as lots of fireworks. The atmosphere truly was magical!
The first few miles were going okay. We made our way to Magic Kingdom where I was most excited to take a picture running through the castle! That picture came out horrible so I’m not even going to share it. We kept running but I started to get quite nauseous around mile 8 and it was all downhill from there… My friend would look over at me & my ‘I’m gonna barf face’ every couple minutes so I told her to leave me at that point because I wasn’t sure I was going to finish and was getting anxiety about holding her back. It was a long ride after that. Mentally, I was already finished and that’s where my biggest problem was. I believe if I had went into the race with a different attitude that things may have gone different. Maybe. But I pretty much counted myself out since the beginning.
Moving along, once I made my way into Animal Kingdom, I got to take a picture with a pig named Charlotte who sat on command. She was so cute! I wanted to ride Mt. Everest roller coaster but I was way too nauseous and I know it would have not ended well for me. Plus, at that point I was still moving along, slowly but surely, and was afraid of the balloon ladies catching me. The balloon ladies are pretty much the last people in the race. Once they catch up to you, if you don’t keep up with them, you’re done!I called it quits a bit after the halfway point. My feet were just throbbing and I couldn’t imagine walking for another 12+ miles. Which, btw, I think walking is harder than running (at that distance). The thought of walking a full marathon is just awful to me but props to you if that’s how you get it done! I stopped at the aid station to catch a shuttle back to the start/finish area. I felt really bad about myself in that shuttle on the way back but I was really trying to just not think about it. When I stepped off the shuttle, they gave me a finishers medal which I thought was pretty awesome because in reality that’s why I run marathons- for the medals and t-shirts 😉 I was surprised that I did get a medal though since I did not finish the race. I’m not complaining.So I didn’t cross the finish line. I’m over it now but I was definitely not happy with myself after the race even though I didn’t let it show and was making jokes. I definitely learned my lesson. Never again will I make the mistake of attempting to run a marathon with no training.
I ended up not dressing up as Buzz and I’m glad I didn’t. At some points in the race, it was pretty narrow and there were SO many people that it would get jammed up. Imagine if I had my wings on?! I’m laughing just thinking about it. People would have been so annoyed with me! I wore some Minnie ears and called it a day. Also, I would have hated to be a park goer that day because it was just crazy.. they had ‘crossing guards’ for when people needed to cross the marathon course!
All in all, it was a good mini vacation but I will be back for the Disney marathon as my Florida race!
Have you ever received your first DNF? How did you cope?