Tuesday, January 14, 2014

runDisney 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon recap - Dopey race 4

This Sunday, the 2014 Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge came to an end for me when I crossed the finish line. I will do a total recap of the whole challenge but before I do that, I wanted to talk about the Marathon. I kept laughing this weekend because those running the marathon portion of the weekend kept saying "I am only running the marathon".....only at Disney will you ever hear those words.
My outfit for the Full Marathon: Raw Threads Mardis Gras Live, Run 48.6 miles tank, (Mom bought it for me at the runDisney Expo). Sparkle Skirts Mermaid Green, Halo II Headband in Purple , CEP Neon Night Compression Sleeves , Polar FT60 Heart Rate Monitor , Champion The Marathon Bra

I woke up on Sunday at 3am without the help of an alarm clock and a surprising amount of energy. I guess this is what happens when your body gets used to waking up in the middle of the night to run. Gabe and I headed out to Epcot and boy was it cold. Luckily we stopped by Target the night before to pick up sweats which were on clearance which we tossed at the start of the race. I must state, I was in an intense form of pain before the start of the race on Sunday. I had major blister issues which actually became quite the ordeal - that's for another post.
photo from runDisney twitter: @rundisney 
The corrals seemed to move much faster Sunday than on Saturday. I quickly learned that Doctor Dribble was in our corral! We follow each other on Instagram and I saw him the first time during the 2013 ING NYC Marathon. Within the first mile, we ran into him but I couldn't grab my phone in time. If you don't know who Doctor Dribble is - you do now. Check out this video on Instagram.

Unlike the other 3 races this week, I did not take mile marker photos. I did however stop for MANY photo opportunities. Since I wasn't running for time, I wanted to make the best of these 26.2 miles. Especially considering the amount of pain I was in. I decided on doing the 1:30 on 1:00 off when Gabe and I split apart at the 3 mile mark. He was running for time and I was running to survive - I did not want to slow him down.
After this photo, I sent Gabe on his way. I then stopped for the first photo op I saw, Nightmare Before Christmas' Jack and Sally. I've wanted this photo every single time it's been available but the line is always so long. I got this photo right at dawn and the lighting was awesome! Around this time, I got notification that Gabe had hit mile 5....meaning he was 2 miles ahead of me already. Speedy!
Next thing I knew, we were already inside of the Magic Kingdom. It was funny how the day before, I felt tired at this point, knowing I was nearly halfway done. Since we weren't a 1/4 of the way through at this point Sunday, I still had energy to keep going. Running different distances really messes with you mentally. When I hit the area I saw my Mom at the day prior, I found myself looking for her again, although I knew she wouldn't be there. Then I heard my name and I saw my friend Meghann! Yay! I waved and kept on moving.

Of course I couldn't go any further until I took the obligatory castle photo. While going through my photos, I noticed that every single one, my right knee is bent, taking pressure off of my foot..... I had no idea I was even doing that.
I saw a few other photo opp's including Pooh but I didn't want to stop again. I rounded the corner and saw Prince Mickey and Princess Minnie - but the line was forever and a year long. Instead I snapped a photo of them and headed into the castle.
I cannot wait until Marathonfoto releases all the photos from Dopey weekend because I will be buying the Dopey photo package. Here's one I love :) I guess I was singing, I can fly I can fly I can fly I can fly.
There were a few other character opps in Magic Kingdom but I was ready to get out to our next destination. We passed the same reindeer's from the day before except this time, there were three. Then we went into Disney Motor Speedway. I was very excited for this portion of the race since I used to be so involved in NASCAR. I still have friends in the sport today but do not go to as many races as I used to.
It was really neat running the track although I did not like running through the tunnel. It was steep to get down and back up (and this is coming from someone who loves running downhill). I also expected to see some of the Cars vehicles there but I did not notice them. Where was Toemater! The entire backstretch was filled with spectators and their cars. That was pretty neat that they were out there cheering us on! If you know of the Turkey Rod Run in Daytona, that is what it reminded me of. When we entered the speedway, I had to take a seat and remove a piece of my KT Tape. My right foot was so swollen and the tape was cutting off my blood circulation. Very strange. Looking back, I should have examined my foot a little more before continuing. More on that later.
Once we were out of The Speedway, we headed over Animal Kingdom. In that route, we passed parts of Disney I never knew existed, like their Sanitation area. While I have been on property more times than I would ever want to count, this was my first time seeing behind the scenes.  I did get a redemption photo with Mr. Smee and Captain hook - if you saw my 10K post, you know that my Mom and I waited in line for nearly 20 minutes for this photo before they switched out characters. Exactly what are you looking at Mr. Smee?? Around this time, I got the notification that Gabe hit the halfway point. He was a good 5 minute per mile pace ahead of me. He was rocking it!
I have over 100 songs on my Marathon Playlist, 5 of which are Disney songs. The second we rounded the corner to enter the back gates of Animal Kingdom, the Circle of Life from Lion King came on. I was so excited! What excited me even more? Being able to pet a warthog!! One that had a marathon bib on. At least I think it was a Warthog?
I was starting to become very hungry at this point and I do not like eating bananas and they really don't like me - so the first food stop was not an option. So I took lots of photos to keep my mind off of it. When I saw Rafiki, I knew I needed a photo with him as the one from Wine and Dine turned out awful.
Then I saw Baloo from Jungle Book with zero line. One thing about the Walt Disney World Marathon vs. every other runDisney event, you get tons of photo ops with hardly any lines. The longest I waited all day was my first stop.
I was very tempted to ride Expedition Everest before heading out of the park but I decided it wouldn't be the best call for my equilibrium. Upon exiting Animal Kingdom, I found a supporter handing out bags of pretzels. Let me tell you, those were the BEST pretzels I have ever consumed. Thank you amazing stranger. At this point, my foot was killing me again.  So I popped some Tylenol 1000mg and kept on.
ESPN Wide World of Sports was my least favorite part of the 26.2 mile route. It seemed to go on for years and years. It was possibly mental as I knew when we left there, Hollywood Studios was next, meaning Epcot and the finish line were very close. Here is a photo to show my face when I know a photographer is there and one that shows how I really feel.
Finally we were leaving Wide World of Sports and headed to Hollywood Studios. At this point, it hurt worse to walk than run, so I really picked up my splits, running more thank walking and a few photos including this one with Sarge who instead of yelling at me, he gave me words of encouragement to keep on going.
Once inside of Hollywood Studios, I had one thing on my mind - find the closest bathroom. But I found Wreck it Ralph first and since his line is usually very long, I took the opportunity for a photo.
I finally found a bathroom, coincidentally the same one I got sick at during 2012's Tower of Terror 10 miler (when I realized bananas don't like me). Once outside of Hollywood Studios, I felt as if we were on the home stretch. Gabe had already finished and I was so proud of his PR. I knew if I picked up my pace, I could give him a giant hug sooner. We rounded Boardwalk Disney which is one of my favorite parts of that course. It was so beautiful. When we got to Epcot, I saw Dopey from far far away and I booked it to get in line. Thank god I did that as I was the last person to take a photo with him before his break.
Now I was in excruciating pain. I was certain it was mental since I was less than a mile from the finish. I hobbled and wobbled through the Epcot worlds and saw so many Dopey finishers with their medals and margaritas. They were all out there screaming encouragement. It's one of the things I love most about runDisney - the constant encouragement from others, no matter your level or speed of running. When I got to the Epcot Ball, I saw my family - Gabe's Mom, Sister and two kids. It gave me a boost to finish the rest of the race strong. I didn't know the photographer was there and this was a genuine smile at the end of mile 25.
Finally I saw it - Mile 26. And I was bawling. I kept having to shake my head to stop from crying hysterically. I was so choked up that I was having problems breathing. I couldn't believe it. Somehow, someway, Megan Wood completed the Dopey Challenge. I first went to the medic tent, to be escorted into the actual medical area, where they had to pop a blood blister, which was causing the pain in my foot. When my sock was removed, my foot was double in size and on fire. I was certain I broke something. Nicole came to find me and we got our photos together.
I hobbled to Gabe and got a photo with him and my six medals, then went straight home. I woke up at 4am the following morning thinking I missed my alarm clock for a race.
I can honestly say I am still in shock over this entire experience. It was exciting - excruciating - exhausting - exhilarating - but most of all, Magical. I am going to close this very long post off with a sign I saw around mile 21 and I couldn't have said it better myself.

Dopey Challenge recap links:

15 comments:

  1. Congrats! I want to do the Disney Marathon one day. Don't think I'll be doing Dopey ever, but definitely want to experience the WDW Marathon Weekend. Looks like so much fun.

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    1. Thanks Haley! You absolutely should do the marathon. It was my second full and I loved it. So much fun.

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  2. WOW. You are amazing and inspiring girl! (maybe a bit crazy too - lol) How;s the foot feeling now? All those medals are amazing!

    xoxo from Trinidad

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  3. Amazing photos! I think I may want to do my first race this year. Your pics are inspiring.

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    1. Thanks Nikki! You should do your first race! Signing up for one is the best encouragement you can get. Especially if you can do runDisney. All the races from the 5K to the full are amazingly organized and the best experience you will have. Best of luck and let me know if you sign up for a race!!

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  4. You crazy, crazy girl :) Cute pictures! Hope you're feeling better! I can't event imagine you crying at the end...makes me sad/happy for you at the same time...lol. You little trooper, you!

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    1. I think the correct terminology would be dopey dopey girl :) I'm so happy I did this. I swore off full marathons at the end of this but I'm considering signing up for dopey next year!!!

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  5. Congratulations! Dopey was my very first marathon, and it was an absolutely amazing experience. I'm SO sorry about your foot, though, that sounds awful! You're a rockstar for powering through and getting to that finish line, and you got some awesome photos along the way! WTG!

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    1. Congrats to you as well Jen!! What a great 4 days of memories. Are you doing dopey next year?

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    2. Thank you! Not gonna lie...I really, REALLY want to do it again, and I'm definitely thinking about it! :)

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    3. Sunday through Wednesday post Dopey I said never again. Then I am like, well....I want to do the 10K next year and I will be sad if I just do the 10K. BUT we are getting married in September and $500 for race entries (just for me, not including him), hotel, etc. will be a pretty penny. Which is exactly why I didn't sign up for Dumbo today.

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  6. Wow, what a great accomplishment. Goes to show you can do anything you put your mind to. I am sure it also helps to have all the distractions from just running that Disney has to offer..:)

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    1. Yes ma'am! It's mental and physical along with a ton of determination. You need to sign up for a marathon missy :) looking forward to princess weekend!

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