Monday, January 10, 2011

1st Marathon Experience: Disney Style!!

2 entries into the Walt Disney World Marathon ... $240
4 months of pain and training ... $120 (gym membership...)
4 Southwest Plane Tickets .... lots of points
3 Night-stay at the Marriott Palms Resort .... lots of points
Jacket to throw away during the race .... $4
Running through Walt Disney World with my sister ... priceless

I can’t believe it, did I really just pull off my first marathon?  I did!  After 4 months of training, (which happened to be the worst part of the whole experience) I ran 26.2 miles through 4 theme parks with my big sister, Kory!! It was her second marathon, my first marathon... and I honestly LOVED IT.  I didn’t hate a minute of it, I loved it all.  During the training, when times got hard, I thought to myself, “I lived in Paraguay for 16 months, this is a piece of cake.”
My legs could tell the marathon was coming, a week ago, and I could feel the tremble and fear in them.  The night before, the muscles in my shoulder stiffed up... I could hardly sleep.  But come the next morning, I couldn’t believe how much energy I had!  
Here are some of the lessons learned, funny signs, and highlights of the Disney World Marathon, 2011:
-Maybe a light jacket on a Florida morning isn’t enough to keep your warm.  Next time, sweatshirt.  I loved having cheap disposable clothing to just toss on the side of the road once my body warmed up.
-WARNING: If you spray muscle relaxant ice spray in the car (preparing for the race) near food, your food with get a nice menthal-icy taste.
-Race kicking off with a FANTASTIC firework show.
-Singing a “bust a move” duet with Kory on mile 2
-Mile 6: I had this huge fear that I was going to be the very last one in the race and have to get carried to the finish line by golf cart, at mile 6 I realized we were ahead of a lot of people.  I mentioned that to Kory that I guess my fear wouldn’t be coming true... she said, “then again... you’re only on mile 6.”
-Disney Characters, EVERYWHERE.  Yes, you could stop to take photos (which was great because it made sure we were never the last ones in the race- the lines got kind of long).  
-Photographers, EVERYWHERE.  Work it, work it... I felt like a movie star.  Kory thought I was crazy that I had enough energy to jump for the photos past mile 18.
-People cheering for you EVERYWHERE.  Our names were on our bibs, and it was great to hear complete strangers calling my name and encouraging me to keep going.
-Mile 3: Realizing that Kory had lost her iphone
-Mile 4: Realizing that I had over-prepared by bringing two ipods, Kory still got some music during the run.
-The band that played “All I do is Win”
-Dressing up as a Disney character is encouraged.  And entertaining for those of us who don’t have the desire to dress up.
-Singing Aerosmiths’, “Walk This Way” with the man that looked like the wedding singer
-A t-shirt someone was wearing, “I’m running for all those people who taught me that being an evil queen was better than being a princess.”
-Seriously, Cliff’s “shot blocks” are DELICIOUS!!
-Another t-shirt, written on the back, “If you can read this, I’m not last.”
-Not one runner likes mocha gu. Dumb idea Cliff.
-The asian guy we met at the beginning of the race, taking pictures with every single Disney character, and still managing to pass and finish before us.
-Guys got it easy, they can just run off the side of the road and do their business.  Us girls had to wait in porta-potty lines.
-Disneys’ electrical parade on the sideline
-No matter how early I eat the day before, avoiding the porta-potty is virtually impossible while running long distances.
-Running through EPCOT
-Running in Florida is so much easier than running in Utah.
-People riding the old school bikes with the big wheel
-Running through the MAGIC KINGDOM, running towards the castle was just SO INCREDIBLY COOL!
*Getting a welcome from castle servants with their horns as we ran through the castle
-There’s a very stinky stretch after the Magic Kingdom, we ran past the recycling center... YUCK!!
-The sweet blood blister.
-The marathon is the only place you can go and throw trash on the ground, and someone is there just to pick up after you.
-Running through ANIMAL KINGDOM, never been there before.  Cool place.
*Mile 20: Wall? What wall?
-Mile 20 was where I realized that I should’ve worn 4 bras instead of 3.
-Running through HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS... and making all the people visiting have to wait until we ran by until they could cross the street.
-Singing “Sweet Caroline” with the old man next to us
-Getting as many Mr. Goodbars as I want at mile 22 without having to compromise with anyone.
-Hearing the cast members of Disney say, “Only two more to go!!” When there was really 3... “only a mile and a half!!” when there were 2... very deceiving.  Those miles became very long...
-Sign: “Bob, the park closes at 6... are you going to be done by then??”
*Sign: “Pain is temporary, pride is forever.” - read as we were hitting exhaustion.
*Sign: “Hello complete stranger, I don’t know who you are, but I’m proud of you.”
-Mile 20.1... realizing that I had really done it, that my first marathon was coming to an end and how much I enjoyed it.
-Mile 20.2 realizing that I no longer had to run
-Marathoners are so nice.  You can talk to anyone.  And they’re trustworthy because...
-Mile 20.5, getting the phone call from Dad saying that someone retrieved Korys’ brand new iphone that was lost during the race, had found him in her contact list and notified him... at 3am his time ;)
I would totally do that all over again.  For sure.  I loved it!  And I didn’t have to cross teh finish line in a golf cart!  The only downside was the training... but I was so entertained the whole way through the actual marathon.  That’s the ADD kid in me, I have to be entertained when doing the same thing for a long period of time.  
My muscles ache, it’s hard to bed down to pick something up and hard to walk in with a bum left foot.  But I would totally do it all over again.  It was definitely entertaining and an experience to remember.   


  1. Awesome! Such a great report! Thank you for sharing all the details! I am really proud of you.

  2. wonderful summary- I'm going to just print this out and tape it in my journal.

  3. I'm proud of you!!! Way to go!!!

  4. When I worked at disney I was in Awe at the runners and I can't believe you did that. I aspire to be able to run like you.