This weekend I am about to headbutt my third marathon in it’s face’s mouth. I’ve been training for months, and I feel that I will have my best ever showing at 26.2 miles. All three marathons have been the Disney World one. I figure that if I’m going to go through the pain of a full marathon, I may as well do it someplace somewhat somescenic. It doesn’t hurt that it’s pretty flat and they have pretty decent weather in Central Florida either. But my theory is that that miles go by faster if you have pretty stuff to look at – and since Hawaiian Tropic Calendar Girls Marathon doesn’t exist to my knowledge, then a magical place like Disney will have to do!
Feeling like a princess coming out of Cinderella’s Castle with my sis in 2012.
I’ve always been a runner – I was a 4-year letter winner and honorable mention All-Conferance track athlete in high school – and ever since then I’ve run around three times per week and countless 5k’s.
Smokin’ fools in the 400 in high school.
However, I never felt the urge to run longer distances. That was until I ran my first marathon. It got addicting, kind of like golf, as you keep learning and thinking that your next outing will be better than your last. And let me tell you, ANY race after my first marathon would have no choice but to be better. You see, I didn’t know what I was doing. I printed some training schedule off the internet and just went for it. I didn’t know how to stretch right, eat right, cross train right, or even what to wear. I ended up getting horrible IT Band Syndrome, which relegated my training to the elliptical machine. And since I wasn’t used to the pounding of concrete, my feet bled like a hemophiliac for most of the race. It wasn’t pretty. I had to walk most of the way cause it hurt so bad to run.
I think the looks on our faces capture the feels of our bodies in 2008.
My shoes and socks after the race. Try not to barf.
But then I got smarter. I took four months off to rest my IT Band. I added yoga to my multiple weekly workouts. I started building the miles back up slowly. I listened to my body. I got support from friends and family. I got better running equipment. I read tons of articles on running. I took the right supplements. I started going to a chiropractor. I wore out one foam roller and got a new torturous one. I kept and keep learning. So much of this lead me to give Disney another go – four years later. It went much better.
Disney 2012 – much better, but I should’ve photoshopped out the photobomber.
It was better, but I can do better. I didn’t time my training right and peaked a month too early. I also started getting the old IT Band issue back toward the end of my training. That said, I was able to run this race, which was goal #1. Though I hit the wall starting at mile 18 and had to take walk breaks the rest of the way. Plus the IT Band flared up some – not so much that I had to quit, but it was noticeable and affected my run. But like I said, I was able to get it done!
Despite my finger I didn’t actually finish in first place.
Here’s a quick video of me during the 2012 race – I felt like was going much faster than I look.
Which leads me to 2013. I’m taking on the Mouse once again. I couldn’t help myself. Besides wanting to run the whole way strong and reach my goal time, they also suckered me in with this year’s race plan. It’s the 20th anniversary of the Disney Marathon and they’re pulling out all the stops, and the go’s too for that matter. They redesigned the course, and I like the changes a lot. New this year we don’t have to run a lap around Epcot to start the race, we get to run on their auto racing track, we get to run through the sports complex (spring training baseball fields, etc.), and they have a special celebration planned all along mile 20.
If you watched that video, you saw a glimpse of the medal. That is always a draw for me, and this year’s looks to be baddbutt! Two spinning elements? Yes please!
The 20th anniversary medal is 20% more awesomer.
In addition, this race is cool because all along the course they have characters, props, entertainers, volunteer cheerers, etc. so that you never get bored. And if you’re not in it for a PR, then you can stop and have your picture taken with the characters by an official race photographer. There’s also some celebs set to run this race. Joey Fatone, Sean Astin, Drew Carey, etc. I also found out that I have some friends running it, so it will be fun to see them! Not to mention I’ll be running with my sister again!
One cool thing is that this will also be the first time that I actually get to watch a race – the day before the marathon they have a half marathon, which my moms and other peeps are running. I can’t wait to see what it’s like from the spectators perspective, and I especially can’t wait to make some funny signs!!!
Anykitandkaboodle, I probably won’t be posting any blogs the next week or so as I’ll be enjoying sunny Florida after the race. But as soon as I get back I’ll write up a full recap of the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend!