Months ago, my most amazing college roomie, Bethany directly asked me to run the 2016 Disney Marathon with her. I immediately said yes with no hesitation. Within minutes I was signed up for the Goofy Challenge (running 13.1 on Saturday and 26.2 on Sunday, yes — GOOFY!) And shortly after, any training run that we did donned #CollegeRoomiesDoGoofy.
Fast forward to this weekend… many of those past weekends did not include a training run or any running at all. I knew I was being Goofy for attempting the weekend, but d@mmit was gonna try.
If you follow me on social media, you know that Disney is my jam. And I know that I can speak for Bethi here — it is her’s a well! We were excited to meet up — she was hanging with her friend Sam on Friday, while I met up with Jessica, Andrea, & Denise for a blogger event hosted by Cigna in Epcot. #CignaRunTogether
The afternoon was full of fun and we tried to get to bed as early as we could, 2:30AM was going to come early.
Saturday morning — up and at ’em — ready to be Thor! I was pretty excited for my costume (I am for every.single.one!), Bethi was Scarlet Witch and Sam was Captain America — we made a great team! *side note: Bethi met Sam in Guam, both their hubbies are in the Navy. I have heard soooo many stories about this gorgeous girl and was so grateful to meet her this weekend!
Jessica was also staying with us this weekend and she was able to grab this shot for us! Fast forward three hours and 40 minutes… and I had put the hammer down on that half marathon.
By no means were we speedy — took our time — chatted — had fun — even danced a little. I even tormented myself with an ice bath afterwards in hopes of gaining an edge on recovery so that I could complete Sunday’s run with Bethany. I fueled up with some carbs & coconut water and all four of us ladies napped. We hit up Animal Kingdom for dinner and headed to bed early. *We got fortune cookies at the end of our meal, I might have used those numbers for my Power Ball ticket that I purchased for a chance at 1.5 Billion.
And…. Sunday morning.
I am 99% sure that I did not sleep well. My body and mind just weren’t there. I know it could be read in my face… Everything was tired but I made myself move. I KT tapped my knees & ankles, added my BB8 flare to my outfit and was out the door. I tried to find a happy place in my brain — all I could think of was how I did not want to run and how nervous I was about how it would feel to start running again.
I just wanted to be there for Bethi.
She asked me to be here, and I wanted to follow through. More than anything.
Waiting in our corral, my mind was racing; it was like I had 20 devils and only 5 angels screaming inside there… The fireworks exploded, my spirits lifted a tad, and we were off.
Mile 1: Immediately my chest started to hurt; it brought back thoughts of the 2013 Chicago Marathon. I ran that race just two weeks after running the Berlin Marathon (best.marathon.ever) and my body was screaming at me to stop; during Chicago, I was actually stopping at medical tents hoping to fall over so that I did not have to verbally have to say that I needed to DNF; I did finish the Chicago Marathon, but sadly that is/was my worst to date. Back to Disney…I took deep breaths and it helped, but the flash backs of Chicago scared the sh!t outta me.
Mile 2: At this point I already knew I was not going to make the full marathon. We all had chatted the night before, just outside Animal Kingdom was half way — that became my new goal. Stay with Bethi for half the race — I knew she had the mental power to push her to the finish. She is such a doll — any normal person would be upset, mad, or disappointed — I had just told her I couldn’t finish it with her — but she didn’t care. Bethi was just happy. Happy that I was making the best choice for me and that she has this time to chat with me. I say that she is the bestest all the time. She really is.
Mile 3: Sausage fingers; this was new — I even took everything off that was constricting my hands, but they remained to look like Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I continued to swallow even more of my ego and decided to pull off course just inside Magic Kingdom. At this point I was crying — I was so disappointed in myself for not doing more — not training more — not being able to run with Bethi. But I knew my body was
talking yelling at me to stop what I was doing…
Mile 4: Just before this marker — we hugged it out and I made her leave me. At this point, my average mile was 16:30/mile and that was cutting it too close to the balloon ladies. I was already failing at finishing and was not going to jeopardize her finish because of my slowness.
I do not think I could have hung my head lower.
I am sure I cried again at this point. I felt like such a loser & such a disappointment to Bethany. I am still beating myself over it — and that is fine — I’ll stop eventually.
Just before entering the side of Magic Kingdom, I stopped at the medical tent and said, “Sir, I am done for today.” He was astonished that I did not need anything and simply asked me to take a seat.
Hello to my first DNF.
I clapped for the passing runners and soon asked what happened next; I explained that although I have run multiple runDisney races, I did not know what happened on this side of the fence.
If you do decide to call it a day during the race, you are asked to wait at the closest medical tent until the last of the runners pass — just past them are the vans that sweep you up — greeted with a smile, a Cast Member welcomed me and four other ladies (all of us were pushing for the Goofy Challenge) on board that took us to the finish line, which is just outside Epcot. During our ride, he answered our questions and informed us that we still did receive our medals.
We were greeted with cheers & applause — my head sank lower, I did not deserve the attention. A sweet older man attempted to put the marathon medal around my neck, I politely declined and explained that I could not let him do that… runDisney had food boxes and beverages ready for us; from there we could grab our belongings in gear check and carry on our way. Upon entering my gear check area, I caught them all by surprise — the amazing volunteers immediately started clapping and greeted me with congratulations. The only thing I could do was hang my head and shake it to say ‘no’… I grabbed my bag and rushed out since I could not hide the tears.
At this point, I was sulking, there was no hiding it. Although I made the best decision for myself & my body, put my ego aside, I was indescribably crushed that I was not there for Bethany.
Made my way back to the hotel — cleaned up — texted all my marathon runners and headed to the Boardwalk to cheer; stayed there until I saw each of my ladies then hightailed it to the finish line for sweaty hugs.
Bethany did finish… with flying colors, a big smile on her face, and no crazy soreness! I am so, so, so incredibly proud of her for becoming a marathoner.
The universe knew. Totally knew and did not give me much of a heads up. *At the expo, I did not buy anything 39.3, I did not want to jinx myself. *Race morning, Bethany did not put her half marathon medal in my gear check bag for pictures afterwards. *I will be running the Star Wars Half Marathon with RunDisney in April, and still have my BB8 costume to wear — no pictures were captured that morning.
Final thoughts. *I am an idiot for thinking I could run a marathon with no training. I know better. Much better. But honestly, life got busy and I was not willing to sacrifice time away from blogging or growing my brand to run & train. I should have trained more for Bethany. Plain and simple. *runDisney does a phenomenal job at everything. Even though my day ended with a DNF, every aspect was still a class act, organized and ran smoothly. *That pretty marathon medal never even made it into my house. Jessica runs for Lauren, who has Rett Syndrome; Ca will sometimes send her own medals to Lauren and this is where the medal I received will be heading. My ego came back in full force when I would not even let them put it around my neck — I immediately knew where it belonged. *I do not think I will ever attempt a marathon again. I have run six. Just those six races alone is 157.2 miles. I’m good with that. But really, unless someone sponsors me to run a foreign race in an amazing city — it’s shorter races and half marathons for me.