Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Marathon Weekend 2013 - Sunday - Full Marathon

Well this cold has been kicking my butt but I really wanted to get around to finishing my blogging about the WDW marathon weekend.   Anyway, once again it started way too early.  The alarm went off at a bright and shining 2:45 am.   While the first two early mornings I manged to sneak out without waking up Joelle, this third morning luck was not on my side.  She manged to wake up enough to wish me good luck, roll over and head back to sleep.

Again, too fricking early.  Up at 2:45 am.

Once again I decided to drive to the start but I ended up leaving a bit later than the day before.  Still traffic wasn't really an issue and I got a parking spot right next to the entrance of the waiting area.  Once inside I gathered up with the rest of Team Allears.   Instead of waiting around we learned our lesson from the day before.  A few of us decided to head out quickly after the team picture.   Eddie and I headed to our corral and while we got there early, I preferred that to getting there right before the race started.  Of all the parts of marathon weekend, I really do enjoy hanging in the corral watching the fireworks and listening to the music.  In fact, one of my best memories from a RunDisney race was Tower of Terror weekend hanging in the corral dancing with my TAE buds.   I even got a great shot of my friend Jamison dancing.  Someone remind me to get that up on youtube....

Me and Eddie hanging out waiting for the start

Much like the day before, it was darn humid for the start of the race.  The good thing is it felt a bit cooler, maybe high 50s rather than 60s.   From the day before I had a few choices to make.  I could go for a flat race (same pace) the entire way through.  Or I could preload a bit of speed and get through as much of the course before the sun came up.  Not sure if it was the best choice but I decided to to do the latter.  Ended up basically going out at the same pace that I did the half marathon in.  Until the sun came up, I felt great.  The first six miles went by really fast, faster than the day before.  The magic kingdom was beautiful and in fact I liked it better than the previous year just because it was dark when I ran through it.  I love running through the parks when it's dark (probably the reason that the Wine and Dine 1/2 is my favorite race).

After pulling out of the Magic Kingdom you have a few miles to run down along the back of the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian Hotel.  I ended up hanging with a group of high school track runners.  They were really nice and we got to chatting for a bit.  Finally they decided enough with this slow pace and took off.  I could tell that this race wasn't much of a challenge for them.   

I think mile 9 or so we headed into the Richard Petty Speedway.   This was a new part of the course and a welcome addition.   The humidity was so bad that you couldn't even seen all the way across the speedway as there was a layer of fog in the center.  We probably ran close to a mile around it and they had a bunch of old cars lined up as well.   

After the speedway you run a few miles on the back road near the water treatment plant.   By now the sun was starting to come up and it was getting light out.  I still felt pretty good and ended up joining a group of Galloway pacers.   They were having a blast.  Probably 30 people or so and they were just joking having a good time.   I think I lost them when heading into the Animal Kingdom at mile 12.   

Of all the parks, this park was probably the most disappointing.  Not sure why, it just wasn't that much fun to run through.   We came in through the back, ran through Asia, then Dinoland and back out through the parking lot.  I'd say this is when I started to struggle the most.  The pace started to seem a bit difficult and I was really looking forward to seeing Joelle and the TAE cheer squad at mile 15.

Like last year, my wife was hanging with the Colorado Sisters (and Bryan) at mile 15.  I knew that by about now the sun would be up (came up over the horizon around mile 13).   I decided to give her , a towel, a shirt, pair of socks, my hat and my sunglasses.  To keep myself entertained, pretty much from mile 13 to 15 all I could do is rehearse in my mind the order that I wanted her to give me stuff when I saw her.  I came up and was like, "Towel, then shirt, then hat!".   Pretty much dried off, switched shirts.  Maybe I hung out for 2 minutes max.  

Feeling good at Mile 15 (only cause my wife gave me a new shirt)

After then the race sort of turned into a blur.  It started getting hot.  I was pretty much okay until mile 19 and the my body started acting up.   Let's just say my system was not working as it should.  I knew I would slow down for the rest of the race but I slowed down a bit more than I had hoped.   I made it through the Wide World of Sports (we were in there for like 4 miles).   Then headed up to Disney Hollywood Studios.   I ran by the chocolate stand but by now there was no way I could eat it.   Finally we got to Epcot, one of my favorite parts of the course.  Too quickly after that it was all over.

Compared to the year before, I felt 100 times better.   Got some food and water down.  After getting my checked bag and drying off a bit I took a visit to the massage tent.  Normally after this I go back into Epcot and have some lunch but I knew we still had a Magic Kingdom meet along with dinner and then a desert party.  Decided to jump in the car and grab some food back at the hotel.  At the last minute I took a detour and stopped by a McDonalds and wolfed down a 20 piece mcnugget.  Normally I try and eat like a vegetarian but I knew that my body wanted chicken.

Peter Pan proclaimed Daniel won the goofy.  It must be true.

After food, a brief nap we headed over to the MK for a quick meet before dining at Be Our Guest.  We ended up riding Pirates and then went and did a quick photo op with Peter Pan.  Peter proclaimed Dan the winner of the goofy, which he totally was. ;)

A bunch of us headed over to Be Our Guest where I got to dine with my Nerd Herd buds, Sara, Julie and Christine.   Totally fun.  Then Lee, Laura and myself headed over to get a picture with Goofy.  It's sort of become a tradition for us that whenever we finish a race, we get picture with the character that sponsored the race with our medals on.  We did it for Tink and also the DL 1/2 I believe.

Goofy was thanking Lee, Laura and myself for running in his race.  He decided to just fly...

The night finished up with a lovely evening watching Illuminations, again this time seated with the infamous Nerd Herd.  I had expected to feel a lot more tired at this point but really I felt pretty good.   Joelle and I took a nice stroll out the front of the park and headed back to the TTC with Jan Pepe to our car.  It was a great ending to a very very long day.

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