We arrived in Orlando late on Thursday night. By the time Lori, Liz and I got the rental car and checked into to the hotel, it was after midnight. Just one thing about our rental car? It was a Kia and it was the size of a Hotwheels car, didn't have power locks BUT did have satellite radio. Friday morning we decided to go pick up our race numbers to avoid any anxiety. It was very exciting to be surrounded by all of those runners, and Liz and I were pumped to get our swag:
We spent the rest of the day at Sea World. You know, hangin' with Shamu, makin' friends with the seals and all that jazz. Saturday was spent at Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. I love roller coasters so we hit up the Hulk and the ride formerly known as Dueling Dragons. That night, Liz made us an amazing pre-race pasta dinner. My friend Dara and her boyfriend came up to join us and we had a great time. We had a hellishly early start so I had taken a Tylenol PM and was in bed by 9:00pm.
|Did you know that the seals are fed continuously all day? Very much like me!|
Do you know that I cried as I stood there in my corral? I was there by myself and I kept thinking about what I was about to do. And I fought back more tears as I crossed the starting line. I was about to run my first marathon, I could hardly believe it. There was once a time when I could not run for 5 minutes straight, let alone five hours. Six years ago I was in a knee brace and was told that I'd never run without pain. To all of you who think that you just aren't meant to be a runner, let this post serve to disprove that theory. If I can do it, I swear that you can too.
The first few miles were uneventful, except for having to stop to pee TWICE very soon after starting. While much of the race was on highways, we did get to run through the Disney parks, and that was magical. There's something really special about running through Epcot before sunrise.
I have to say that I'm really glad that I purchased a Garmin prior to running the marathon. It was really helpful to know my pace. I'm not going to lie, I felt as though I was moving a lot faster than I actually was. When I'd thought about my marathon plan, I definitely didn't take into account all of the water stations. I'm physically incapable of drinking and running at the same time, so that definitely impacted my time. A lot of the race course was on highways, which wasn't all that visually stimulating. However, the parts that took us through the Disney parks were great. I really enjoyed when the people of Finland (I think?) came and cheered us on as we ran through Epcot for the final time.
Generally after I finish a race I find a way to nitpick my performance. I'll say I could have sped up at this point or attacked that hill a little more. But this race? I have no regrets. Yes, of course it would have been great to be faster, but I ran it with heart. How could I ever begrudge myself for that? I can't. I won't. I am a marathoner.
Oh, and according to my Garmin, my time was actually 4:59:30 (not 42!). I was 12 seconds faster than I'd originally thought. GO ME!