Sunday, January 5, 2014

A year ago this week I was...

Exactly a year ago, I was getting ready to head to Orlando to run my first marathon at Disney World.  With less than stellar training going into this race, and my longest run of only 13 miles, I was extremely nervous.  However, I knew that I could at least run/walk half of this race and if need be, shuffle through the rest.  I expected it to be warm, but not hot with the heat index well above 100 degrees.  My last run prior to Disney was the HUFF trail run which was in snow, ice, and bitter cold weather.  The humidity took its toll on my body because when I crossed the finished line I was pretty much delirious. I didn't even realize that I had actually finished.  When I rounded the corner at Epcot and saw a chorus of singers, I was exhausted.  A few minutes later I heard my name being called from the crowd and that's when I saw Brooke waiting for me.  She told me all along that we would finish together, but we became separated at about mile 17. So when I saw her waiting for me, I started to cry. She slipped out of the crowd, held my hand as we finished our first marathon holding hands together! 

Just a few pictures from the couple hundred that I took while running the marathon. Needless to say my camera, like myself, was caked in salt when I crossed the finish line.
The marathon course. 26.2 miles running through The Magic Kingdom, The Animal Kingdom, Wide World of Sports, Hollywood Studios, and ending in Epcot.
The Expo
Let the magic begin!
Our hotel
View from our hotel overlooking the Mermaid Pool
Larger than life Ariel and Flounder
Visiting the Magic Kingdom the day before the marathon.  Probably not a great idea.
Dinner with Cinderella and all the Disney Princesses at Cinderella's Royal Table to fill up before our race the next morning.

Minnie and Mickey
Cinderella's Castle at night
Colorful balloons
Time to leave and get some sleep before our 3 am 
wake-up call
Arriving at the start by 3:30am with garage bags to keep us warm until the start. I was suppose to be Ariel, Kym was Minnie, and Brooke was Cinderella. We were channeling our inner princesses.
The start of the marathon!
Mickey, Donald, and Goofy at the start

The first 5K finished! Only 23 miles to go!
Mile 6 on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom
Celebrating 20 years of Disney running
Lots of inspirational signs along the route
Half done!
 (Not sure who the guy is but I took pictures on the go without stopping at each mile marker)
Entering Disney Hollywood Studios
Running through the backlot: a replica of New York City
The costume department where movie costumes are made
Disney signage indicating our next destination
Wide World of Sports where we ran around the baseball field, home to winter training for the National Baseball League
Getting close to being done!
The end is near!
Approaching the finish. Seeing Epcot's Spaceship Earth is a wonderful thing!
The Choir! At this point I was pretty out of it. This is where I heard Brooke calling my name from the crowd.  She slipped out of the crowd to finish running the race with me. Truly a moment I will never forget!
And there it is! The FINISH! 
26.2 miles and still standing! We wore our medals
 with pride! 
My salt encrusted pants. I was covered with white salty residue from head to toe.  I was so dehydrated that it took a few minutes for me to realize that I had actually finished.

Shake out run/walk the next morning around our 
hotel grounds
Looking back across the lake toward our hotel
Signs along the walking path that depict important events in history.  This just so happens to be the year I was born.
A very important date in my history book. 
 Disney World opens!
The shirt, the bib, the medal

I can honestly say that this was more difficult than I imagined but also more rewarding.  Going into this marathon my motto was: one and done.  But weeks and months later, after I had some time to reflect on this race, I am toying with the notion of running/walking another marathon. I'm not sure when that will be, definitely not this year, but I will do another one.  As this weekend approaches, I will reminisce about running Disney and all the memories that I take away from the race. There is no other place on earth like Disney!


  1. Most painful experience to date!

  2. Thanks for commenting on my blog - I'm so happy to find you! And holy moly, I can't imagine doing a marathon in that kind of weather. Glad you survived!

    1. Thanks for reading my blog! Yes, the weather was much warmer than we expected especially coming from Indiana but we really had a lot of fun. I have a friend running all 4 races this weekend and the weather is suppose to be just as warm. I also saw that you knit. what beautiful pieces you made. I not coordinated with knitting needles but I can crochet. I am excited that I found your blog. I love your witty style of writing.

    2. You are so kind - thanks for the sweet words!