And to say I survived is the best way I can describe the race...I started...I crossed the finish line and I have the pictures and medal to prove it.
Was it pretty?? Nope, can't say it was. It was one of the most difficult things I have done but I can honestly say that I ran the 2008 Disney Marathon and completed the task.
I can sit here and type about the famous "wall" that marathon runners hit (mine was at mile 19) or I can tell you about the sweepers that pick people up when they are not running at 16:00 minute mile pace. Half way through the race, I was 25 minutes ahead of the sweepers. By mile 23, I was 1 minute 30 seconds ahead. I could tell you about the fact that I lost so much sodium during the race that my black running tights were partially white. I could tell you that I laughed at silly jokes told to me by my running partner Rick and that I cried when I heard one of my good friends was swept at mile 18. I could go on and on about how the "me" that started the race was not the same "me" that finished the race. I could fill this blog with all that stuff...but the bottom line here is this:
1. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society raise 6 million dollars from the fundraising done by over 1900 athletes that participated in this event.
2.That every one of my teammates from the Central Florida Chapter finished either the half or the full marathon (including one of my dearest friends-Debbie-who ran her first half marathon this weekend)
3. I got a BOATLOAD of work to do prior to Ironman Florida
I want to thank all the amazing people who helped me during the weekend including the Team in Training staff (Andrea, Kelly, Crissey, and Ruth), Coach Beth, Coach Bill and Coach Sean who made the last mile of the marathon the most enjoyable mile of my running career so far. To my new Ironman Coach-Hector Torres-for being on the course at Mile 24 after running his own marathon in 3:55 (holy moley thats fast). For my amazing friend Rahul who ran my pace for several miles before going on to complete the Goofy Challenge. For my incredible friend, Vi, who at age 50 something went out and completed her 2nd Goofy Challenge and ran with me in the middle of "no man's land (miles 14 to 18). For my friend, Mike Auld who appeared at mile 13 with those encouraging words. To Joy for giving her all at this marathon, and at every race she enters.
I can not express to you how much my husband did to help me during this race. He broke several traffic laws and pissed off several Disney security officers while riding his motorcycle, along with my friend Debbie, to mile 19...just where I needed them most. (Debbie..you are so brave to ride that course on the back of the motorcycle..thank you thank you). And last but not least,a big thank you goes to Rick for helping me make each step (and held my hand part of the way..ok...several miles of the way) towards conquering my fear of the marathon distance. You all were amazing and I could not have completed this race without all these people.
So, today was my rest day. Tomorrow, my training focuses on ONE goal. I have 10 months to prepare for the Ironman Challenge.