This morning I ran and completed my first marathon (and second runDisney event, with the Tower of Terror 10-Miler in 2012 being the first), finishing with a time of 5:14:31.
Prior to the event, I was apprehensive about whether I’d even finish it, as I hadn’t really trained for it. This wasn’t my intent when I signed up for the race months ago–the plan was that it would be the carrot that got me running regularly, but traveling, work, and just life, generally, got in the way. I ran once for ~4 miles on a treadmill a couple of weeks ago, and stopped after getting blisters on my feet and feeling pain in my knees.
After that, I wasn’t really sure if further training would do more harm than good, and I figured I was screwed either way, so I stopped, and went about life as normal. (I did buy new shoes the day before leaving for Walt Disney World, which I think made a huge difference–seriously.)
I found myself really unprepared and concerned that I wouldn’t finish. Not so much because I wouldn’t have the stamina (even though I hadn’t trained, I am in fairly good shape and the pace Disney requires is basically power-walking), but because I was concerned my body would give out.
I’ve heard of other people getting in the zone (or whatever you want to call it) and powering through a marathon. I suppose that’s sort of what happened with me. Being a crazy photographer, I wanted to get photos of the sunrise in the Magic Kingdom this morning, and the sky was starting to show some serious promise right as the race started. To get there in time for the good light, this meant running non-stop at a fairly brisk pace to the Magic Kingdom through about Mile 5 (I started in the last corral, which was probably a blessing in disguise), where I took the above photo.
The desire to get photos got me that far, and I think the cheering of random strangers got me the rest of the way. I didn’t know those people and they didn’t know me, but there was certainly something empowering about hearing people shout your name and words of encouragement. Plus, I’m a bit stubborn and competitive, and I didn’t want anyone to see me walking…so there was that. If you were out there this morning cheering, a very sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart. Seriously, it made all the difference.
All in all, a pretty fun morning, and I’m really proud of finishing (hence the hastily written post from my hotel room instead of heading out to the park!). RunDisney put on an amazing event, and I will definitely be back for another Walt Disney World Marathon. Hopefully next year, I can do the Dopey. This time, I will properly train!
I’ll have a full report/review up from the Marathon with a lot more photos sometime later in the week, but I just wanted to share this quickly now!