Tag Archives: race recap

Race Recap: 2014 OUC Orlando Half Marathon

31 Dec

I knew that I needed to sign up for a half marathon to keep me somewhat running on the regular. My half marathon race requirements for the fall were simple: race has to be local and inexpensive (less than $75). Lucky for me the OUC Orlando Half Marathon is both. I registered early back in September and used a discount code that was in one of my race packets so the race was only $65. And on race morning, I rolled out of bed and had less than five miles to travel to the start of the race, with a slight detour to pick up my friend, Beth.

We got there early and parked alongside one of the downtown streets. I wished my husband good luck and he took off for a warmup, as serious runners do. Beth and I are not quite so serious and instead walked to the start. Along that walk I realized that I had forgotten my water bottle in the car, but my husband took off with the car keys. Instantly I panicked… I train with a water bottle in my hand and am used to sipping as I run. It was an unusually hot day for December and I knew it would be harder than usual to wait for each water stop. But I didn’t have much choice at that point so we carried on to the start line.

As always, the start was crowded, but not so crowded that there’s a need for runner corrals. That’s one of the reasons I like this race, it’s big but not too big.

All of the people.

All of the people.

We settled in to wait for the start. I passed the time by trying to lock in and keep a GPS location on my Garmin. We joked that we could always borrow Beth’s husband’s gold watch instead (like we had to do after a Garmin malfunction left us sans watch during the Chicago Marathon). Thankfully such measures were not needed.

Beth and I ready to run 13.1

Beth and I ready to run 13.1

Our training leading up to the half was rocky: both Beth and I had traveled for work more than usual during the past couple of months and had missed quite a few training runs. Consequently our longest training run had been ten miles. I knew it was going to be tough, and with the heat and no water bottle I knew this race would have an extra level of “fun” attached to it.

Around mile nine, I was started to feel the effects of the heat from the sun in the cloudless skies. Temps were well on their way to the 81 degree high of the day and I was getting angry. Then I saw this:

Did you say cold?? Okay, fine.

Did you say cold?? Okay, fine.

I’ve learned a valuable lesson in life: If someone offers you a free, cold beer, take it. Even if you’re running a race. It might just be the coldest drink you get on the course. I learned this lesson running the Flying Pig Marathon and didn’t hesitate to grab a cup.

When someone offers you free beer, you take it.

When someone offers you free beer, you take it.

The cold beer was like sweet nectar from the heavens. I was temporarily distracted from the hell that was the half marathon. Unfortunately, that only lasted for a short while. Around mile 10 Beth and I celebrated only having a 5k left. We also cursed that we still had a 5k left. We ran in silence and forced ourselves to keep fueling up with peanut M&Ms and pretzels (it works!). Thankfully I had accepted a water bottle from a complete stranger somewhere along the course, so I had plenty of water to keep me hydrated. Also, this is probably a good place for me to remind you that taking food or drink from strangers isn’t the smartest thing to do. However, I don’t know about you, but when I run anything over 10 miles, my brain usually goes to mush. This totally explains all the free pretzels I took during the Chicago Marathon.

We ran on and I remember the heat getting worse. I was legitimately concerned that I would puke or pass out or both. When Beth mentioned that she was scared she was going to puke, I didn’t say a word even though I felt exactly the same way. I was scared that just trying to say it would have me blowing chunks. Instead, I told myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other. WE… WERE… ALMOST… DONE.

Finally, we rounded the corner from Rosalind Avenue to the final stretch on Robinson Street. Seeing the finish line always puts a pep in my step and I have to be careful not to push too hard too soon. It would be a shame to run out of steam right before actually crossing the finish line. 🙂

Alas, both Beth and I crossed the finish line. She captured this pic of me trying to breathe again with my medal.

13.1 done.

13.1 done.

I looked down and saw our time: 2:41:08. I can’t complain.

Not my best, but not my worst!

Not my best, but not my worst!

We walked like zombies to gather important rewards: chocolate milk and beer. Kudos to Track Shack for making sure both were available!

Chocolate milk never tasted so good.

Chocolate milk never tasted so good.

Don't let the cup fool you. This was Mich Ultra.

Don’t let the cup fool you. This was Mich Ultra.

Afterwards we found my husband, who had run into some friends. They captured this awesome picture of him on the final stretch.

My husband finishing strong

My husband finishing strong

Yep, his bionic foot held up just fine. But he agreed that the sun had been brutal. Hence, his topless running. 🙂

This was my third time running the OUC Orlando Half Marathon (you can read about the first two times here and here) and I always like running it. It’s a local, hometown race that won’t burn a hole in your wallet like some of our more famous Disney races do. Plus, it’s easy for friends and family to come out and cheer you on. If I’m not busy next year, I’ll definitely keep this race in mind.

Race Stats:

  • Time: 2:41:08
  • Distance: 13.1 mi.
  • Avg. Pace: 12:10/mi.

PROS:

  • Local Orlando race
  • Easy for your friends and family to come cheer you on
  • Easy, flat course
  • Nice, long-sleeved tech shirts
  • Track Shack always puts on a good race

CONS:

  • There are stretches of shared roads with vehicles (seemed like more than usual this year)
  • The middle of the course is not the most scenic of routes
  • Bumpy, brick roads for much of the course (watch your feet people!)

What’s your favorite hometown race? 

Race Recap: 2014 Seniors First Turkey Trot 5k

30 Dec

My “oh crap the year is almost over” goal is to finish my race recaps for 2014 before 2015 comes along. With only a day and a half left to go, I figured now was a good time to get started.

In 2007, my husband (who at the time was my boyfriend of just a couple of months) talked me into signing up for my first 5k ever. It was a tradition for him and his dad to run the Seniors First Turkey Trot and he wanted me to join them. He had (and still does have) a charming smile that gets me to say yes to things that I don’t necessarily want to do, so I of course hesitantly joined them. Seven years later, I set off to run my eighth consecutive Turkey Trot.

I’ve said this before, but running a race on Thanksgiving morning is an awesome way to start the day. The energy at the race is contagious and continues with you throughout the day. Also, it helps relieve some of that pumpkin pie guilt. 🙂

This year was especially exciting because my husband has been injured and unable to run the last couple of years. He finally came back with what we like to call a bionic foot (he had surgery and has been rehabbing it) and it was great to have him there.

Headed to the Turkey Trot.

Headed to the Turkey Trot with my husband and father-in-law

I haven’t exactly been working on my speed this year, but managed to maintain an average 10:20 pace. When I crossed that finish line, I was spent. That’s how I know I gave it my best shot.

By the way, I pushed myself by playing a little fun game during the race: Pick an indian or pilgrim or turkey (someone is bound to be dressed like them) and chase them down during the 5k. Once you catch them, pick a new “turkey” to catch. It totally kept me pushing myself.

My 5k time

My 5k time

On a side note, I saw a lot of runners trip on the brick roads and fall. Due to the beautiful (yet bumpy) brick roads downtown Orlando is known for, I see this happen often during any downtown Orlando races. If you’re not used to running on roads like this, it helps to watch the ground about 5 to 10 feet in front of you while running (if you look directly down you’ll likely still fall).

After the race, we headed over to one of my favorite Orlando coffee shops, Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar, for some hot coffee and breakfast sandwiches. My favorite (and quite indulgent) coffee drink is their Mojo Jojo. Let’s just say it includes coffee, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and cinnamon and makes a delicious post-race treat! The three of us enjoyed some relaxed time together before a fun day spent with the rest of my family.

Post-race breakfast at Drunken Monkey

Post-race breakfast at Drunken Monkey

I will, of course, run this race again next year.

Race Stats:

  • Distance: 5k
  • Time: 32:41
  • Avg. Pace: 10:20/mi.

PROS:

  • You can bring the whole family (Many people walk the 5k)
  • Great scenic course around downtown Orlando and Lake Eola
  • Great way to start your Thanksgiving Day holiday
  • Untimed race means you can enjoy yourself and not worry about getting a PR

CONS:

  • “Walkers” don’t always start at the back of the race like suggested so you can end up weaving around them a lot
  • Crowded – not the sort of race you try to PR at
  • Untimed race so there’s no proof if you do PR
  • Bumpy brick roads

Do you have a favorite race that you run every year?

Race Recap: 2012 Flying Pig Marathon – Part 2

8 May

(Continued from Part 1)

Our pig pen finally started to move towards the start line and soon after we were of running the 2012 Flying Pig Marathon.

I have to say, what a gorgeous start:

Running towards stadium

The crowds at the start were exciting, and I decided not to listen to my iPod Shuffle and instead enjoy their cheering. In fact, the ear buds for my iPod would never make their way out of my fuel belt.

I was just starting to get in a groove and wanted to enjoy whatever good time I had on my right leg before my IT band started to lock up when I heard someone behind me yell “Hey little piggy!” I turned around and saw that it was Molly. We took this blurry pic:

Early in the race with Molly

We ran together for maybe a quarter mile before she took off as we crossed the Taylor-Southgate Bridge into Kentucky. I walked up the incline (I was planning on walking all inclines during the course).

Molly had reassured me that Wendy and Emily were behind me, so I looked forward to them passing me.

Running through the Kentucky portion of the race was fun. The crowds were out and I enjoyed running through Covington, the neighborhood we were staying in.

By the way, I totally loved the iFitness iPhone belt add-on I picked up at the Expo the day before. For the Disney Marathon they had run out, and I’ve been looking to pick one up since. It made getting my phone in and out to take these photos while running super easy!

Just as I we were about to cross back the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge back into Cincinnati, I met a gentlemen who was running his very first half marathon and loving every minute of it. We were almost three miles into the race and chatted a bit before I wished him luck as we started to go over the bridge since I was walking up inclines. Chatting with fellow runners is definitely one of the pros of not listening to music. 🙂

And back to Ohio we went:

A train was on the bridge with us and honked at us runners:

I started to follow the pig:

The sun started rising and I was so thankful I bought some cheapy Ray-Ban wannabe sunglasses at Target the week before the race. I figured I could toss them if they started to bother me. We were running east and the sun was blinding:

I was feeling the heat already and was glad I remembered to apply sunscreen before we left the house.

Around mile six, I was handed this tasty treat:

These were being handed out just before a water stop, but I don’t think they were provided by the course. I didn’t care… It was the most delicious thing I had ever had. It was a hot, muggy morning, with highs expected in the mid 80’s.

Around this time I could feel my IT band already tightening up. By the time Wendy and Emily passed me without recognizing me around mile 8, I was having trouble bending my knee. I called out their names and they turned around surprised. We would run together for the next six miles or so.

Around this time you start to run an never-ending incline, which we conquered through various methods:

  • Run 5 minutes / walk 1 minute intervals
  • Run to the next lamp post / walk to the next lamp post
  • Run until one of us cried mercy and then walk (and by “one of us” I meant me)

This is when my right leg said “I’m not going to bend anymore.” Well, I showed my stubborn IT band who’s the boss: I figured out that if I swung my leg around when I ran (think pirate on a wooden leg) that it wouldn’t hurt. Sure, I looked like a special case but at least I was covering the distance.

Up, up we went with Emily looking for the nuns she had heard about, Wendy running through every sprinkler possible, and me just hobbling along. It was hilarious because Emily and Wendy were usually a few steps in front of me and the crowd would just do the usual clap and yell for them. But when they noticed me, they would yell words of encouragement and clap harder. I know what they were thinking: “Oh boy, this poor girl has to run quite a few more miles on that wooden leg of hers.”

Here are me and Wendy cheesin’ our way up to the top of that nasty mile 8 hill:

This was one of our views:

How gorgeous is that??

And we found a local to snap a photo:

Around mile nine is the half marathon turn-off. The girls asked what I was going to do. I finally told them I was going to do the full marathon, but only under the condition that they would leave me. I knew there would be a point I could no longer run, and didn’t want to hold them back.

As my pain increased, we stopped at an aid station to see if they had Biofreeze or aspirin. No such luck, all they had was Vaseline. What kind of aid station is that?

However, if you’re running a marathon and say the word “pain medicine” loud enough several times, you’re bound to have a kind runner overhear you and offer up some of their own. I was this fortunate when we met the loveliest lady. I declared my love for her as she gave me two Advil, but sadly I cannot remember her name, other than it started with the letter ‘R.’ But I will remember her fondly.

We made it to the half marathon mark and did mini-celebrations. I tried not to dwell on the fact that I could be finished for too long. Thankfully around mile 14 we came across what felt like a street party and were offered some beer. Since I’d already disobeyed common sense rules like “don’t take drugs from a stranger” I thought… “why not.”

That beer was hands down the coldest drink I had during the entire race course. I relished it. So did Emily and Wendy.

God is good and so is beer. (Not pictured: Emily… she thought if she wasn’t photographed then it didn’t happen. Until I blog about it, of course.)

That orange headband around my left arm is what I used to cool myself off. At every water stop I would dump water on it, then wipe myself down with the headband. It’s easier than carrying a rag and definitely helped to keep my temperature down.

Wendy and Emily kept asking me if this was still the best day ever and I kept answering with a “yup.” No one ever said the best day ever was going to be easy.

Shortly after that picture was taken I finally decided I could no longer hobble run, chasing after the ladies. After the next running interval started, I continued to walk. I think they knew it was time and off they went. I would be on my own for the next 12 miles… or so I thought.

I was about to put my earbuds in, but was distracted by this guy:

Apparently he had juggled his way through the 10k the previous day and was now on day two of run juggling. I was mesmerized. I even started to run again so I could stay near him longer.

Around the mile 16 turnaround point I did three things:

  • Allowed myself to entertain the thought that I might not finish this race
  • Scored some ice from a family (I may or may not have told the little boy that handed me the ice that I love him. Yeah… totally inappropriate… ha ha ha ha… )
  • Waited until I got out of said family’s view before I dropped that ice down my sports bra for instant cooling and much happiness

Once again I was about to put on my headphones when I heard someone asking me if I was okay. “Oh yeah, just can’t bend my leg. No bid deal, just running a marathon,” I responded. It’s the same response I had given at least ten people already. However, this runner had some items of much value: IcyHot (yes, he was carrying an entire tube in his pocket) and Advil.

He offered me the Advil and IcyHot and I didn’t even hesitate in answering with a big ol’ “YES!” Since I had already taken drugs and alcohol from other perfect strangers, I thought why stop there? When he handed me the Advil, he pointed out that it said ‘Advil’ on it, so I didn’t think he was trying to drug me. I reassured him that even if he was slipping me some Ecstasy, I think I’d be okay with it. Yup, that’s how much pain I was in… I was willing to finish out the rest of the marathon in a drug-induced trance-like state. Lucky for me, it really was just Advil.

The runner ended up being a local named Will and he was running to help raise money for LAM research. His friend suffers from LAM (short for “lymphangioleiomyomatosis“) and Will figured if his friend could survive with LAM, then he could endure the pain of running a marathon without training. This made him okay in my book. He even wore the cotton shirt she asked him to wear. Also, his bib read “SHOOT ME NOW.”

The final 10 miles of the marathon consist of highway hill running and running through not the nicest of neighborhoods. This reminded me of the long stretch during Disney where you run on the highway and I started to resent it.

By this point the sun was beating down on us and there was no shade. And at every water stop, the water and Gatorade got hotter and hotter, until it was undrinkable. Oh, and the water stops were running out of water. At one water stop I spit the water out because it tasted like garden hose water, probably because it was garden hose water. (I saw the volunteers refilling pitchers with a hose.)

Here’s a pic of me at mile 22. I was holding a styrofoam cup full of ice that we had scored. I may or may not have professed my love for the stranger that handed me said cup full of ice.

In the photo above, you’ll see that the road has some pretty fresh tar. I’m not sure if they patched up the road for the race, but it was so hot that the tar was sticking to my shoes. I had to make a concerted effort not to step on it.

Around mile 24 I saw a church with a sign that said “restrooms” outside and made a dash for it. Making it up the stairs to the entrance was a little tricky though, but the promise of an air-conditioned restroom helped guide me.

The final two miles of the marathon were horrible. It was all highway, and by this point the sun was torturing me. It was relentless. And the water and Gatorade got so hot at every stop that I couldn’t drink it. All I could think about was ice-cold water. And being able to sit down.

I started to wobble run when the finish line was in an attainable distance. I crossed the “finish swine” in 7:03:10, hobbling every step of the way. My average pace was 16:10/mile. My right leg was throbbing. My throat was parched. My feet were swollen. I had joined the ever-elusive 7-hour marathon club. But I didn’t give up.

Rox and Rachelle were just about some of the last few spectators remaining. Thank God for friends!

I thanked Will for the company and headed off in search of iced-cold water. I would not find ice-cold water, but I was , however, greeted with a beer by Erin. I declared my love for her too.

Me, putting the pig in a choke hold.

Making nice with the pig

Did I mention we had piggy tails? Because we totally did.

Balancing on my bad leg while holding my beloved beer, and the ice bag that Erin was able to get from a vendor. No beer was spilled in the taking of this photo.

Some final thoughts:

PROS

  • I’ve never been to Cincinnati and had a great time exploring a new city.
  • The crowds were amazing. The people were lovely.
  • It was a scenic course that took you through the city, over bridges, along the water and into the hills. Oh my!
  • The medal is great. The shirt was great. The duffle bag was great. (Yes, we got all 3!)
  • I love the pigs. Everywhere.
CONS
  • Ohio weather in May is tricky. Last year it rained. This year it was hot. I would suggest race organizers talk to race organizers from Florida for tips on how to keep runners cool: more ice, sponges, etc.
  • Hills. Train for them or they will eat you up alive.
  • Aid Stations didn’t have pain meds or Biofreeze. I thought this was a race staple! Bring your own.
  • Don’t take 7 hours to run your marathon. If you do, all of the volunteers at the end will have packed up, and you’ll get nice warm water.

Final verdict: I would like to run the Flying Pig Marathon again one day, but with two good legs. However, I would much rather just run the half marathon, and skip the awful highway portion that makes up the back half.

Thanks to everyone for your well wishes and support! A big shout out to the six wonderfully crazy ladies I travelled with and also the ones that couldn’t make the trip, but still sent their love.

Have you run the Flying Pig Marathon? Tell me about your experience or link to your own recap in the comments!

One last time… Weeweeweeeeeeee!

Race Recap: 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon (Part 2)

12 Jan

… Continued from Part 1

I crossed the start line at 6:01 AM. Beside me was Roxy, who was faster than me and I would soon say goodbye to. Behind me were my Marathonfest group leaders, Emily and Sue, and fellow group member and first time marathoner, Christina. Or at least I thought they were behind me. A few minutes later I turned around and they were gone in the masses. It would be 20 miles before I saw Christina again.

I found myself alone, yet surrounded by runners. I popped in my ear buds and settled in for the long haul… one foot in front of the other for the next five plus hours.

The start of the race had us running down Epcot Center Drive and looping back around to the front of Epcot. I knew Donnie and my mom would be right in front of the entrance on the left-hand side. As I approached the crowds I started trying to focus on the many faces. My night vision is horrible and I was scared that I would somehow miss them.

I found them just before the entrance and started waving. They later teased me for not stopping for a photo op, but I knew I would see them around mile 9 again and figured I would stop then. My original intent had been to stop and take off my arm sleeves before Epcot, but it was still cold out. I kept running.

When I entered the park, the infamous Epcot ball hovered before me, glowing in the night.  I instantly felt like a kid again, amazed by its presence.

We ran partially around the World Showcase Lagoon and I thought about all of the wonderful food I had tried there recently during the International Food & Wine Festival. My pre-race breakfast of an english muffin with peanut butter seemed like ages ago and I was already hungry.

We exited Epcot through a back exit. Next up was the Magic Kingdom, but it would be several miles on property highways before we reached it.

I kept myself entertained myself by taking inventory of all of the people running in costume around me. There were Tinkerbells and Peter Pans and Minnie Mouses and Snow Whites galore! My favorites were all the men running dressed up as Tinkerbell, even wearing tights. Sometimes I would just stare at a costumed runner in front of me and think to myself, “That just can’t be comfortable.” I’m glad they didn’t turn around to see me staring at them with a puzzled, yet amused look on my face.

Towards the end of the run to Magic Kingdom, the sun had come up and I rolled my arm sleeves down. As we approached crowds I started to look for Donnie and my mom. I was so happy to see them that I asked for not one, but two kisses from Donnie. I thought he was taking a picture of me, but it turns out he was video taping me:

I love how you can hear my mom yelling my name at the very beginning of the clip. And Donnie cracked me up. Ha!

As we entered the Magic Kingdom I got really excited. As a kid growing up in Orlando, we used to visit Disney at least once or twice a year. But it had been more than 10 years from my last visit, and I was looking forward to running (literally) down memory lane.

When you enter the Magic Kingdom, you run down Main Street towards the Cinderella Castle, but veer through Tomorrowland first.

I found a volunteer and asked them to snap this shot of me in front of the castle:

My next stop was a bathroom in Tomorrowland. I have to say that one of the pros of running Disney is that it’s possible to never have to use a port-o-potty. At each of the four parks you visit you have access to their clean restrooms.

Running through the Cinderella Castle I couldn’t help but think how small it looked. When I was a little girl the castle always seemed so BIG! Either it got smaller or I got bigger. Regardless, it was still pretty magical.

Next up would be Disney’s Animal Kingdom, approximately four miles away. But first, we got to run through their compost facilities. I can pretty much cover that with one word: Ew.

As we entered Disney’s Animal Kingdom through a back entrance, they had a bunch of animal handlers lined up with different animals. I saw a goat, the cutest owl I’ve ever seen, rabbits and some other animals. A lot of people were petting them, but the last thing I wanted wanted were dirty animal hands. I kept running. And I kept my eyes peeled on the ground ahead of me. I could smell the poop and didn’t want to step in it.

I’ve never been to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, so I was trying to take it all in. Funny how I never noticed the giant mountain behind me:

Here I am monkeying around:

Shortly after that picture, something horrible happened: my iPod Shuffle’s battery died. I panicked. What was I going to do without my most amazing playlist to get me through the final miles? Around this time I started to notice how hot it was getting. Were there really no clouds in the sky?

Lucky for me, they were handing out cold sponges at one of the next water stops (mile 17.5). Hooray for small miracles! That little fifty cent sponge could’ve been gold to me at that point. I had remembered Donnie telling me that he had kept his during the ING Miami Marathon and had wet it during every water stop so rather than toss mine like everyone else was doing, I kept it. I was so glad I did!

Here’s a pic of me and my golden sponge:

Around mile 18, my IT band in my left knee started to hurt. I pulled the wrap I had tighter and grabbed some extra-strength Tylenol at the next first aid station. It helped enough to keep me moving.

The run to Disney’s Hollywood Studios was more highway, which means we were out in the open with no protection from the sun. I really missed my music. And the sunglasses and hat that I always said I was going to buy but never actually did.

This is a good time to mention that I trained with run/walk intervals. I run five minutes, walk one minute, run five, walk one and so on and so forth. I did this on race day as well. Up until around mile 18 starting back up on the run after walking hadn’t been so bad. But slowly that was changing.

I think I had just taken one of the atomic energy bites that Emily had given me from her final stash when I heard my name. I looked back and saw Christina. I was so happy to see her. I think I screamed when I saw her. In my head at least. I may have been too tired at this point to actually make any noise.

She looked and sounded great. Her energy level was up and she was keeping a good pace. I, on the other hand, was having trouble bending my knee and the sun was killing me. I had hit the proverbial wall and she looked like she had just climbed it and kicked its ass.

We caught each other up on our race so far. She had lost Sue and Emily and had been running the last 10 miles by herself. She felt good and was stopping to get pictures and had caught up to me. I grunted something about my dead iPod.

Mile 20 and 21 are a bit of an out and back so I got to see some friends that were ahead of me. I was surprised that we weren’t far behind one particular group of friends. I later found out that they had stopped to ride a ride in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Ha!

At one point I felt bad flaunting my nice cool sponge in front of Christina so I tore mine in half and shared it with her. I think she loved it almost as much as I did.

I got excited when we hit mile 23 because I knew some fellow Marathonfesters would be manning the candy table. I spotted two of my group members immediately and they dumped lots of chocolate in my hands and pushed me on my way. It was a nice little boost for our final 5k.

Between Disney’s Hollywood Studios and back through Epcot we ran on the boardwalk that runs along Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort. I struggled here the most. Let’s just say that the walk breaks came more frequently at this point and every time I started back up to run I sounded like a sailor. I also started to get angry at people that were yelling “You’re almost there!” Sure, three miles might be a short run if you just started, but after running for 23 miles, it seems like forever away.

At the end of the boardwalk we came across the local Lululemon girls that had come out to cheer on the runners. Andrea from Run, Eat, Date, Sleep was there and blogged about their cheering here. Their energy was great and their signs made me smile. And I was amazed that the educator that had helped me pick out my race day clothes a week earlier remembered my name. Now that’s outstanding service!

As Christina and I entered back into Epcot, I almost cried when I saw that we had to run around most of World Showcase Lagoon again. Wasn’t there a monorail we could take to the end? And why were all of these people smiling? Didn’t they know how much pain I was in??

As we neared the Epcot ball for the second time that day, I willed myself to keep moving. I only had to run for a couple more minutes and this would all be done. We could hear the crowd up ahead and suddenly I was overwhelmed with emotion. I remember trying to thank Christina for sticking with me, but only managed to get out about half of it.

As we rounded the last corner and saw the finish line, my body suddenly got lighter. I heard my mom yelling and I saw Donnie jumping up and down and hollering my name. And seconds later I finished my first marathon.

I honestly still can’t believe I did it. Years ago I stood on the sidelines of the New York City Marathon and said that I could never run a marathon. Well… never say never.

PROS:

  • Disney is the happiest place on earth
  • You get to run through all of the theme parks
  • Local race for Central Florida residents
  • Access theme park restrooms during the race
  • Take photos with Disney characters along the way
  • A lot of people dressed up, which makes for fun atmosphere
  • Best start of a race
  • Spectators can take monorail to different cheer points

CONS:

  • Costly Race ($160)
  • A lot of long highway stretches with limited accessibility for spectators
  • Limited shade / coverage from the sun
  • Running by compost/trash facility (ew)

Here are some pictures from after the race:

Christina and I - Our first marathon!

Roxy, me and Christina

Donnie and I

My #1 Supporter

My Mami and Me

Ice, ice baby

Bling