Monday, January 12, 2015

Disney Half Marathon..... A Lesson in Humility and Persistance

This past weekend was Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. Back in April (I think), I signed up for the half marathon which was Saturday (Jan 10th).

Once again, I didn't train properly. In fact, I barely trained at all.

I'm in a serious mental/physical funk. I'm trying to "flip the switch" but I am just not in the zone. Looking to this weekend, I was super nervous. I knew that I wasn't prepared, that I wouldn't do well, and that I may very well get picked up by the Sag Wag. I also thought really hard about whether or not I should even participate.

However, in case you didn't know, Disney races aren't cheap. I knew I at least needed to try. I went in knowing there would be pain and that my time would be horrendous. My main goal was to just get out there and do it. Just TRY to finish.

When 3:30am rolled around on Saturday, I rolled out of bed, got dressed, and headed for the bus. By the time we got there and I made it to my corral, the wheelchair group (very first group) was stepping off. While I was standing there (Corral K), I noticed two things....... it was COLD (42 degrees, according to my phone) and my toenails were bothering me. Oh, crap. I forgot to trim my toenails.

Rookie error, there. Had I been running even a little prior to this, I would have noticed that my toenails were getting too long and would have trimmed them.

So, I stood there waiting............

Finally, around 6:15am, my corral stepped off........

The first mile was fine. One of my toenails was digging into another toe and I really had to pee, but otherwise, I was ok. Breathing was good, stride was good, pace was good. I was good.

Then, I saw Porta Potties. Done.

By the time I stood in line and went, LAHP and her hubby B had caught up to me. They were a corral behind me. The fact that we even found each other was a miracle, but the fact that this is the third race that we've been able to randomly meet up without phones is a true miracle.

I stuck with them for the next five miles. It was a different experience for me. Usually, I run by myself, with music. So, it was different (but a good different) to have people to pace with and chat with.

And, take selfies with..........

We ran through Magic Kingdom, which was fun. Here's the view coming out of the castle......

Once we hit Mile 6, I hit a serious wall. My feet were KILLING me and my right quad was completely frozen up. They were jogging and I told them to go ahead without me.

From that point, I basically just walked the rest of the way. Every so often, I would try to jog, but would barely make it a minute before my feet would be screaming at me to stop. To be perfectly honest, I'm surprised it took 6 miles to get to that point.

I got into a state of just power walking as much as I could. For the next couple of miles, I sort of people watched. I didn't even put my headphones back in. It was a new way of going about it, that is for sure.

Around Mile 9.5, my legs were done. In fact, my whole body was just over it. I put my headphones back in and just zoned out. I honestly think I was in a trance.

Just move one foot in front of the other........ Do not stop moving until you either fall down, get swept, or cross the finish line.

Eventually, I did finish. My time was AWFUL. Just horrible. But, I finished. And, chip time-wise, there were people who finished behind me.

FINALLY, the Finish Line.


As poorly as I did, I was still proud of myself for completing the entire race.

As soon as I was done, we had to head over to Wide World of Sports for Lydia's races. Homegirl did great! She really did step it up! I was miserable. My muscles were in so much pain, I was freezing, and my feet were on fire.

Right after Lydia was done, I met up with my friend Holly and her husband for lunch at Downtown Disney. At this point, I was just walking so to keep moving. We had a nice visit and then I caught the bus back to the hotel.

When I got back (around 3pm), I was finally able to take off my shoes to survey the damage. Two of my toes were bleeding and three of them had blisters the size of the actual toe. My big toes are bruised under the nail from bumping up against my shoes. Gross and painful.

I basically bathed in BioFreeze and chilled the rest of the day/night. Mom and Lydia went to Magic Kingdom and had a blast. They were even able to score dinner in Be Our Guest WITHOUT reservations. I was so jealous. I would have loved to have gone, but I don't think my body would have stood for it. My mom was kind enough to pick up a candy apple for me and bring back her leftovers.

Yesterday, we packed up, ate breakfast, and headed home. Poor Lydia was super disappointed that we didn't go to one of the parks, but I could barely move. I did take her to a movie.

As we were leaving Disney property, we drove past the Marathon route. The people I saw had just passed Mile 20 (and it was 11:15am). I was so emotional for them. Just the journey they were currently undergoing. I do not know that I will ever do a full marathon, but I have such mad respect for those who do it.

Today, I'm slightly better. The worst of the blisters burst last night, so it is much better. My right calf muscle is still pretty locked up. I'm trying to gently stretch it and walk as much as I can. Random muscles are sore. I have a massage scheduled tomorrow, so hopefully that will fix me up.

A few takeaways from my 2nd Half Marathon..........

  • For the love of all that is holy, TRAIN. Stop your madness and get out there to train!!!!!! I have the Princess coming up in six weeks. Obviously, there will not be any major improvements in my running in six weeks, but I can at least improve a few things. My leg muscles tone up pretty quickly, so that would help. 
  • Your body is far more capable than you give credit. I really listened to my body. It was mainly cursing me. But, I pushed it further than I thought possible without jeopardizing my overall health/safety. In the back of my mind, I knew I needed to play it safe if I had any hope of doing the Princess. At the state I am in now, I think I will be able to do an easy round on the elliptical by tomorrow.
  • Don't diss the walkers.......... I heard a LOT of grumbling on the course about walkers. More than I have with any other race. Maybe it was because it is Marathon weekend, so people were a little more serious about their running? I don't know, but it was frustrating. We are all on our own journey here. Making someone feel bad because they are walking is just rude.
  • On the other side of the coin......... Be respectful and aware. There were a lot of walking AND running groups that were taking up the entire lane. When I was with L and B, I tried to make sure that I was either ahead or behind them, so were weren't walking/running three wide.
  • For the most part, everyone is awesome. There is so much encouragement from everyone.... participants, spectators, volunteers, and even random park visitors who wish they'd picked a different day to try to enter EPCOT.

Overall, I am proud of myself. I know where I failed and where I succeeded. I learned and, hopefully, I will be motivated to do better. The main thing is that I did it. I tried. There are a lot of people out there that wouldn't.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Open Letters......

Dear Neck and Shoulders,

I'm extremely tired of you and your inability to just be pleasant. I heat you, I stretch you, I buy special pillows for you, I self-massage you, I beg other people to massage you....... Nothing works.

So, be prepared. Due to your stubbornness, I'm now going to seek a medical professional to whip you back into shape.


My entire left side can hardly move


Dear Otter Box,

Thank you for finally making cases that are durable AND pretty. Now that you have that covered, could you light a fire under your screen protector department? Those suck.


Walmart makes better screen protectors


Dear Jess,

Stop being lazy and unmotivated. It's not a good look for you.


Your hips
Your thighs
Your waistline
Your stomach
Your pants
Your tops


Dear 'The Bachelor' franchise,

THANK YOU for making the most hysterical and cringe-worthy limo introductions episode ever. I was laughing and hiding my face under a blanket.

Props to whomever had the idea to get half the girls drunk and relaxed for a few hours before bringing on the other half. Their spying and running commentary was almost Michelle Money worthy.

AND.... The fact that it was daylight when the rejects were doing their exit interviews? Priceless.


Tara and Crazy Eyes are going to be entertaining

P.S. - PLEASE hire Michelle Money to actually do running commentary!! Like, she really should live with all these girls, but not compete for the man, and then just tell us her hilarious opinion.


 Dear Target,

I do not appreciate the fact that Valentine's Day cards AND bathing suits are already in full display. 


Single and Spring is a couple months away