Tuesday, January 13, 2009
New PR at Disney
So I finished Disney yesterday and got another PR. I will post Race Reports for Honolulu soon, but wanted to get this one out as it is fresh in my head.
Going into this race I had a few goals in mind as I didn't know how my body would react to only 4 weeks of recovery after Honolulu. Honolulu was a fun marathon with a big hill, but the recovery seemed fine, although I didn't run more than 12 miles in the 4 weeks leading up to Disney. My goals were A--Best Case Scenario on a Really Good Day--Sub 4. I knew this wasn't going to happen, but I wanted to start out to shoot for this, as I know I have it in me. B--Could happen if my legs recovered--Sub 4:19. C--If all else fails, please beat this time--4:30, which is faster than Twin Cities, but I know I didn't do my best there.
So the night before the marathon sucked VERY badly. We shared a hotel room with my mom, who had the tv on until late and the kids weren't falling asleep well and neither was I due to nerves. I fell and asleep and woke up for a few hours and then finally fell asleep about 12:30. My alarm was set for 2:45, so that gave me just over of 2 hours of good sleep.
We got to Epcot about 4:00 or so and met a few Disney Running people at the R tent. It was fun meeting new people and being apart of a supportive group. It was great seeing all the orange out there.
We were in the B coral which was really cool. I love seeing all the athletes as I still don't consider myself a good runner, but yet, I was starting with GOOD runners. The fireworks at the start were awesome, much better than last year, and we were off.
I started running at roughly a 9 minute pace. The 4 hour pace group FLEW by Eric and I, but I wasn't worried as my Garmin said I was right on pace so I kept where I was at as I didn't want to burn out. We made it for about 10 miles with an average of about 9:08, right on pace. Then came Magic Kingdom. Entering Magic Kingdom is AMAZING. Main Street was full of people and seeing the castle motivates you. Needless to say my splits dropped below 8:50 at this time without even trying. Passing through the castle was as awesome as my first time last year, as I am sure it will be every time. So after exiting Magic Kingdom, my average pace was down below 9:03, so I made up quite a bit of time. Soon after I hit the halfway point at 2:00:35. This was perfect for my 4 hour marathon, but I also knew I couldn't keep this up. I was tired. My legs were fine, but mentally I was exhausted. My lack of sleep from the past few days was hitting me really hard. I told Eric to go ahead without me as I didn't want to mess him up. About 3/4 of a mile later, I was spent and got off the course to go to the bathroom. While sitting in the porta potty I had a little conversation with myself. At this point I wanted to quit. I justified quitting. I was exhausted, I already had done this marathon, I just finished a marathon 4 weeks ago. I really was OK with quitting. I was going to leave the porta potty and find someone to take me to the finish line. I stood up to leave and find someone and then decided I wasn't finished. I sat back down. (Yup, I spent way too long in here....I wasn't really using the bathroom this long, this was my "Mental Place") This time I thought about how I could finish the next 12 miles of this race without dropping on the ground. The first thought that came to mind was I could call my sister and chat with her on the phone. I had almost 5 hours to finish in the time limit and we could always chat that long. (Yeah, I hate when people talk on the phone during the race, but I wasn't thinking straight at this point.) I also had my camera on my phone, so I could take pictures if I wanted to. Finally I thought that I could just try it one more time and stop when I needed to. I didn't know how long it would take for the sweep bus to get me to the finish line...I didn't want to have to sit for hours on a bus with other stinky DNF's as Deena Kastor had to do in Bejing. I was too tired and knew that would mentally kill me. So about 5 minutes later, I left my resting place and got back on the road. I was going to run and see what would happen. Well my little rest really helped me as all the faster people were gone so I didn't have to have a ton of people pass me as I started my new pace. So at this point, I slowed down to a 9:45-10 minute mile and started having fun. I yelled and blew kisses at characters. I encouraged other runners and really kicked into gear. Animal Kingdom was a blast as there were a ton of characters out and a few bands. My splits were around 9:30 in here. After Animal Kingdom, I knew I only had the same 15K left that I did in the Minnie Marathon in May. I blew a kiss to Mickey and headed out on my last 9 miles.
This should have been the point in the race where I hit the wall as many runners do and I did last year. It was all highway and quite boring, but my pace was consistent and I felt fine. There is an out and back 2 mile turn around where you can see the runners in front of you. During this turn around I saw my husband, who was about a mile in front of me. I blew a kiss to him and was so proud of him and kept on trucking along, about a 10 minute pace. My knee was hurting very badly and there is an incline and slanted highway going into Hollywood Studios, but I made it off the highways, I knew I was in the home stretch. I passed the chocolate stop and before I knew it, I saw Eric just in front of me. I caught up to him and said lets run this in. We ran for about a quarter of a mile when he told me he couldn't keep up so to go ahead and I did.
Next it was exiting the park and heading down the Boardwalk. Along the Boardwalk, I met up with a fellow Disney Running runner who was walking and I reminded him we were almost there and to keep running. He ran with me for a few minutes until we made it to the last water stop. Holy cow, we were in Epcot. I don't walk through water stops as I am afraid my legs wouldn't keep moving so I said my goodbye's and headed through the countries of Epcot. The countries went by quick and then I saw the "Big Ball"....The finish line was just around the corner. This is when I really started to get excited. I was yelling and jumping around. Don't ask me where this energy came from. Around the corner was the choir, which was amazing. Again I yelled and waved and turned the next corner. There was the much anticipated Finish Line. I took off in a sprint. I passed about 15 people in my final sprint. I high fived Chip and Dale and jumped across the finish line. 4:16:52. Yup, I accomplished Goal B. I was perfectly fine with this, as I was done. I waited for Eric to cross, who finished 3 minutes later.
We did it. 3 Marathons in 3 1/2 months. 2 marathons in 4 weeks. 2 days later and my legs feel fine. I have no idea what is next in terms of a marathon, but I am doing the Princess Half in March so I guess that is where my training is headed.
Sorry this was so long, but I wanted to document my mental struggle that actually turned out great. Also, for any volunteers or Disney Running people that are reading this, THANK YOU! It was so nice to have your support out there.