Sunday, January 17, 2016

Disney - My First Marathon (WW # 24)

 

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap! 


This linkup is hosted by yours truly and my good friend Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin.  The purpose is to connect with and support other active women.  We want to hear about your adventures. You can summarize your whole week or just a small portion of it.  It's up to you!  Race recaps are also encouraged!   {See complete rules}





MY FIRST MARATHON

The Alternate Post Titles:

Now Will I Call Myself A Runner?

Biofreeze:  My New Best Friend
At Least I'm Not Pool Running
Look Ma!  No Cramps! 
Foot, What Foot?
How Many Times Do I Gotta Go 'Round France?




The Expo:

After an extremely late arrival on Friday night with a few snafus, I headed to the expo Saturday morning.  The road in front of our hotel was still closed due to the half marathon.  I won't go into the tedious details, but I was sadly misdirected by hotel staff on where to catch the expo bus. When I finally got to the expo -- and standing in the bib pickup line no less -- I realized I stupidly forgot my driver's license.  After begging to three different race officials I made the time consuming journey back to the hotel, bib-less.  PoPo had been in the parks with the kids and met me for lunch.  After lunch, we enjoyed visiting with Tricia and her husband for a short while.  PoPo sweetly returned to the expo with me later in the afternoon.  I think he was worried about my sanity at this point.


My second trip to the expo.


The second visit to the expo was not crowded at all.  I leisurely browsed around and picked up a Disney car magnet.  I wanted a sticker so it couldn't be stolen.  They didn't have any.   I ate the biggest pretzel I'd ever seen, complete with that fake orange cheese, before we headed to Epcot to meet up with the kids.  It was a very long day with over 17,000 steps.  When we called it a night around 9 pm, I felt like nothing had gone right: hydration, rest, fueling, carbo-loading, foam rolling, stretching -- nothing.  A good sign!!





The Start:

After sleeping 4 hours and not needing that 3 a.m. alarm, I was raring to go.  I ate a small breakfast bar and yogurt and took my banana with me for later.  I took time to foam roll a few minutes but gave myself plenty of leeway to make the 4 a.m. transportation deadline.  I stuffed my skirt pockets with 5 peanut butter GU and 7 SaltStick capsules.  Although I usually do not run with my phone, I carried it in my RooSport pocket in case of a foot emergency.  I mixed a Gatorade Endurance drink and sipped it en route.  Neither monorail was extremely crowded and I thankfully had no transportation issues.

The weather, which is usually my biggest concern, was not ideal -- far, far from it.  Oddly, I could have cared less.  I was worried enough about my foot that an incredibly steamy 70 degrees with 100% humidity did not phase me.  I briefly had the thought "It's just a typical Dixie August morning".  I waited a few minutes on Tricia in the staging area and ate my banana.  I continued to sip on my Gatorade.  Yep, it was muggy.   

I got in big trouble with Green Army Man for saluting with my left hand!
If I had saluted correctly, I would have knocked Tricia to the ground!


When Tricia arrived, we began the long trek to the starting corrals.  It was so nice to have someone by my side before a big race for a change!  We walked nearly 5,000 steps before the race started.  That's all the warming up I needed.  After a porta-potty stop in the corral area, it was race time!  It felt surreal to be lining up 15 weeks after a stress fracture!  I was not nervous, just curious how long I could go before the wheels fell off.

The last pic before heading into our corrals.


The Early Miles:

And we're off!  I'm always impressed that every corral gets the same fireworks send off.  It took a few miles for the crowd to thin.  I immediately noticed a change from my prior Disney races.  Instead of the characters just standing out there for you to take pictures with, they now had scenes with props behind them.  I was so darned impressed by these scenes, I almost stopped at some.  But...no.  Because of the excessive moisture in the air, I quickly realized I forgot to lube the back of my upper arms (#oldladyproblems).  At the second medical tent, I stopped for a glob of Vaseline.  Yes, much better!

I kept my watch on the heart rate screen and ran easy.  La dee dah, la dee dah.  I walked through each water stop and this equated to over an 11:00 pace, but I couldn't be concerned with that.  It was very warm and sticky and I religiously took a salt capsule every 4 miles or so.  I promised myself I wouldn't speed up until I passed my hotel just after mile 7.  I continued to run easy and my foot felt GREAT.  I couldn't believe it. 


The First Tears:

The first tears made their appearance when we made the sharp turn onto Main Street.  Cinderella's Castle in all it's frosted sparkling glory was simply spectacular and I got that "I made it happen" goose-bumpy feeling.  The tears continued as we turned into Tomorrowland with its Astro Orbiter shining against the predawn sky.  I loved its new colors.  I heard the cars on the racetrack and thought "Who would stop and ride that?"  I ran under the snow falling from the balcony of Cinderella's Castle and thought that was very cool.

I was ecstatic to spot one of my kids at our hotel.
After passing by, I went back for a high five.

The Middle Miles:

After exiting Magic Kingdom and passing our hotel, I sped up just slightly.  I gave Tricia a mental shout-out at the mile 7 marker and hoped she was having a good race.  As a whole, miles 7-18 were a wee bit faster.  After sunrise, the breeze picked up and it felt easier to breathe.  My left hamstring began feeling tight and I slathered Biofreeze on it at the next medical tent.  {Wow!  Why haven't I ever used this stuff?}  I noticed a blind runner and was motivated and impressed by him and his guide.  I thought it took even more courage to wear Vibrams since he could not see where to step.  There was a little lull in entertainment until we got to Animal Kingdom and I just tried to settle into my new pace.  There were still several characters stops to enjoy.  You can always count on those.

Around mile 10, I felt my left IT band pulling.  I immediately shortened and widened my stride and it thankfully went away.  At the mile 12 water stop and medical tent, I stopped for Tylenol (just as a precaution -- still worried about my foot) and walked while I ate a banana.  My stomach was growling even though I was eating GU as scheduled.  A banana never tasted so good.





They had quite a few animals for you to visit with as we approached Animal Kingdom.  The donkey in his race attire was very cute.  The only time I felt crowded was inside this park.  The paths are somewhat narrow and there were construction barriers along one side.  I did not hear Expedition Everest running but I didn't stop to check it out either.  I've heard runners do stop and ride, but the park was not open yet.  At the halfway point, I excitedly realized I might run a sub 5:00 (spoiler--I didn't).   But I left Animal Kingdom happily singing Tennessee Whiskey, which helped me begin the second half with great excitement and motivation.

Somewhere around mile 15, it completely floored me that this race was not the struggle I thought it would be and once again I became teary.   It was hard!  Heck yes it was!  But typical me had assumed a worst case scenario...and it wasn't.  I was amazed I had not even had a cramp.  I took comfort in the fact that if something went wrong now, I was far enough in that I could definitely finish.

Thank you Karen!  You ran it with me in spirit!


There wasn't much distraction in this area so I began dedicating miles to people.  I ran for Ruth Mary -- the lady who walks her dog daily in the park even though she has a host of serious medical problems and can barely move.  She is always so happy to see me and very interested in my running.  I ran for my sister whose love of running is probably greater than mine, but has been plagued by knee problems for several years.  I ran miles for my incredibly tolerant family and for a brother who died suddenly with a horrific form of cancer.  I ran for all of you amazing Sole Sisters who supported me through this crazy journey.  And by golly, I even ran a mile in honor of good ol' pool running.  I could even smell the chlorine!



The Later Miles:

By the time we entered ESPN Wide World of Sports, I was tiring.  My left IT band had started pulling again around mile 19.  I stopped (not really--just long enough for one pump) at almost every medical tent to slather on more Biofreeze.  We spent a lot of time winding around the campus which I was not too happy about after being there twice the day before.  They allowed us to run on the track and out around the baseball field, home of the Braves Spring Training Camp.  They called out our names over the PA system which was a nice touch.  I walked to eat another banana.  Yep, still starving.  My iPod landed on Boogie Shoes and I got teary again!  We had sang and danced to our own version of Wookiee Shoes during Christmas and it brought back a great memory.  It gave me a needed boost for a few miles.



The Sobbing:

After finally leaving WWS, the IT band started it's full on agonizing screaming -- looking at my Garmin I'm guessing in mile 22.  I pushed on.  Slower.  I tried a few mantras.  "At Least I'm Not Pool Running" and "I'm Tough" seemed to help. We ran through Hollywood Studios where they were giving out Dove chocolate.  Even as a chocolate lover, I had the hardest time choking that down!  We didn't spend a lot of time here and quickly exited to the Boardwalk area.  And that's where it started.  I realized how close I was to finishing.  Holy cow!  My crazy alternate marathon training had worked!  I was upright, healthy (just a stupid, yet comfortingly normal, IT band issue) and the tears flowed freely.  I sobbed.  Loudly.  I didn't care what the crowd lined up on either side thought about it.  I knew my family was waiting at the finish and I cried even louder. 


The Finish:

The last couple of miles were the hardest thing I've ever done.  The thought of PoPo and the kids waiting at the finish propelled me forward.  I swore they were making us run around Epcot's World Showcase twice -- "How many times do I have to go by France?"  When the pain was unbearable, I allowed myself to walk only a bare minimum of steps and then I'd immediately run again.  The great thing about my IT pain is as soon as I stop running, it stops hurting!  I was able to get a little relief.

Hey there, PoPo and kids!  I DID IT!

I high-fived Donald -- the pantless duck -- and crossed the finish line with my arms high in the air and with a huge smile on my face.    My official time was 5:07 plus change.  Apparently I was having so much fun, I decided to tack on an extra .55 miles (per Garmin) which allowed the sub 5 to slip away.  Next time!   I was 157 out of 765 in my age group -- not too shabby being in the top 20% after suffering through 10 weeks of no running. 

My family had a mega Starbucks iced white chocolate mocha waiting for me.   Do they know me, or what?  My tears had all been spilled out on the course so I had none at the finish.  I enjoyed every single step, even the painful ones.  And yes, I will absolutely do another...but the conventional way next time.   Oh, and my foot?  15 weeks from the date of injury, I completely-utterly-totally forgot about my foot.  What stress fracture?  What neuroma?  What bliss!



Afterwards:

After inhaling a crab-cake sandwich and fries at our hotel, we hit Hollywood Studios where I rode my favorite ride Tower of Terror multiple times.  Later than evening we met Tricia and her husband for a down-home country buffet dinner.  We had great fun together!  I think they were shocked to see how much my kids (and me and PoPo) can pack away!  I'm so glad we were able to spend some time with them.  I'm extremely proud of Tricia for finishing when she had her own struggles.  Most importantly, she went on this crazy journey with me and I will be forever grateful!



We stayed a few more days at Disney.  My total four day Disney step count was 126,404.  We had loads of fun with our youngest two kids, who will soon fly from the nest.  Memories like these are priceless as was an incredible surprise private visit with Darth Vader!   So cool.  And he was scary!

Oh, and ROLL TIDE too!  What an awesome game and National Championship win for Alabama.

And that's a wrap!  (Thanks for staying with my through I know what was a very lengthy post!)


Any Disney fanatics out there?

Where would your dream race be? 





90 comments:

  1. Congratulations!

    I really enjoyed reading this race recap and you look so happy in all of your photos. I still can't get over how early races seem to start in the States, I can't imaging getting up at 3am for a race!

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    1. Thanks! I think our corral left around 5:55. But to use Disney transportation, you have to be on board by 4:00. They make you walk so far, you really don't have that much extra time either!

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  2. Congrats on a great finish and no foot pain! I was so glad that my IT band pain did not come back during the race but I must say that last 10K was such a struggle for me! I do want to learn more about shortening and widening your stride to help alleviate IT band pain for when/if it ever comes back.

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    1. I'm glad your ITB pain stayed away! It was such a warm day, I think it added difficulty for everyone. After reading that ITB was 1) caused by placing your foot out too far in front of your body and 2) it was common in women due to wider hips and inward knee caving -- I tried shorter and wider steps. It's gotten me through several half marathons. It bought be precious miles in this race.

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  3. Okay, I admit I teared up reading this! A huge congratulations!! I am so proud of you and happy for you! I loved every little detail :) I am glad I got to be there in spirit and that no major issues happened. I can not even tell you how much I was thinking about you that morning and wondering how far you were lol I was a bag of nerves for you, I never once doubted you would make it, but I just wanted to know what was happening. I guess recovery went pretty well considering how much walking you did! Congrats again :)

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    1. I couldn't proof read this post without getting misty eyed! I tried so hard to preserve the memory for myself...sorry everyone else had to ride along. LOL. My phone was sweat soaked and I waited a while on Tricia and became so cold my hands wouldn't work (Raynauds!). So, I was a little late sending and answering texts. Next time, you will be there in body right?

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    2. lol Me, in Florida, in the heat..but yes, I do think about going back one more time :)
      I am not feeling confident my bones are going to cooperate with my goals, but maybe after the I see the Doc tomorrow, I may feel more optimistic.

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  4. What a great race report! Congratulations on your strong finish and overcoming just everything to get it done!

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    1. Thanks Amy. If you asked me back in October, I would have said this could never happen. I was just happy to be there.

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  5. YAYYYYY!!! What a GREAT recap!!! And double yay that your foot felt fine!! WOOHOO! Congratulations on your first marathon! I hope you're still basking in the afterglow! :)

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    1. Thank you! I was amazed my foot was not an issue. Amazed. I'm stoked to do another, with healthy training this time, and of course beat my time handily.

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  6. Best race recap ever! I love how you focused on how you were feeling. Damn that ITB! And congrats on your first marathon. You didn't call it your only marathon, so I can only assume there will be more! Great job!

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    1. Thanks Wendy. I tried very hard to preserve the memory for myself. I was actually happy to have a normal ITB issue that did not start until late in the race. Been there. Done that. No big deal. It could have been so much worse!

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  7. Roll Tide!! And awesome race Holly! You did such an amazing job, and I'm glad that you enjoyed it. You'll get that sub 5 next time!

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    1. That game was awesome! Thanks -- I definitely want to do another one with proper injury-free training and see how much time I can take off.

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  8. Wow!! I am so inspired by your journey to the finish line! Your race report is awesome, and now I really want to run a Disney race! I'm so happy for you for finishing it and I really loved how you talked about the emotional side of it! There is so much more to running than just the physical side! Great job!!

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    1. Disney was my first half marathon and I think it was very appropriate for it to be my first marathon. You have to be able to accept the crowds and insanely early wakeup call, but if you can -- it is absolutely magical.

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  9. I am so happy for you! What an accomplishment! Excellent race report. Seriously, I think you've just inspired anyone who's ever battled a running injury and had to take a break from running for a while. Hope you are recovering well and basking in the glow of these 26.2 :)

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    1. I am proof that you can make it through a lengthy injury relatively unscathed...just a little slower. I was just so thrilled to be there I didn't care about that. But I worked harder on alternate training that I would have normal training. It still requires an enormous amount of work. I really would never have thought it possible back in October or November.

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  10. Yay!!! Congrats! I'm so happy that your first marathon was a good experience and so much better than you feared. All that pool running and bike riding really paid off! Also glad that you and your family got to enjoy WDW afterwards. Overall it sounds like such an amazing experience. Congrats again!

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    1. It did pay off. But, I seriously put so much work into all of that. This did not come easy, by any means. I think that is why I was so emotional. I worked so hard to stay marathon ready. It worked!

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  11. Oh my gosh! I am so HAPPY for you! What an amazing recovery and race. Woohoo!

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    1. Thanks. My crazy training was really such a gamble. This race could have been so much worse. I was very pleased.

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  12. I had so much fun "reliving" your marathon experience and reading this summary. GREAT WORK! You should be so proud of yourself, and I'm so glad you finished, despite all the challenges you've encountered in your training. Much congrats!

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    1. A couple of months ago, I would have never thought I'd be able to line up at this race. I was just so happy to be there.

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  13. I am so happy for you!! Congratulations, MARATHONER!!! Woo hoo!! It's funny, I had IT issues when I ran WDW too and made several stops for Biofreeze along the way. I wonder if it's all the running on highways? Anyway, congrats again on this great accomplishment!!

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    1. For me, I just think it was because I had not spent much time on my feet due to my injury. I sort of expected it and was thrilled it didn't happen until later in the race.

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  14. You had my tears flowing, too! What an adventure!!!! You had the absolute perfectly best attitude through it all. I especially LOVED how you said (around mile 15)that you took comfort in knowing you would be able to finish, even if something went wrong...now THAT'S powerful ;-)Congrats!!!!!

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    1. The past 3.5 months has been an adventure! I lined up with very little expectation. I was planning on how I'd handle all the problems I expected to crop up. How lucky it was just my stupid IT and it was fairly late in the race!

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  15. Wahoo!! Congratulations marathoner - so very happy for you!!

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    1. Thanks Michelle. I still can't believe I ran a marathon!

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  16. Congrats, Holly! I am so happy for you, and that your foot didn't rear its ugly head! I loved reading your recap, and felt like I was right along side you every step of the way! So what's next on your racing calendar?

    Thanks for the linkup!

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    1. Thank you Deb. I was really amazed not to have the problems I expected. I've registered for a local half in March but that's all I have on the calendar. I'm still thinking. I've still got a long road ahead of me to get at least some of my speed back. But, my ITB/knee is not ready for training just yet.

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  17. What a great experience ! I am so excited for you. And top 20% of your AG is amazing !

    That is a heck of a lot of walking when you just ran a marathon !
    You rock !

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    1. I'll admit, it was difficult to walk down steps on Monday. But I saw many people inside the parks suffering just like me. Some were walking backwards. It was pretty funny. Tuesday was much better.

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  18. What a great race recap! Congrats! What an experience! That was an even more impressive finish! I am sure the family was super proud of you :) Do you think all that walking helped afterwards? You must have earned some crazy Fitbit badges that trip! Congrats again, and hope to meet you next time!

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    1. Thanks! I do think the walking helped. I struggled with going down stairs on Monday but then felt pretty good. I got both the Ruby Red Slippers and Blue Suede Shoes badges. I could have walked 700 more steps to reach 70,000 but I just couldn't walk one more step on Sunday night.

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  19. Wow, what a great race! I got goosebumps just reading about your experience and knowing all you had been through to get there. I am so glad you had such an incredible day, and even better that your foot gave you no problems!! Congrats!!

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    1. I appreciate that. I think I got so emotional because of all I went through to get there. If you go back to my training for Chicago and the injury -- it was over 6 months of work.

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  20. Huge congrats on a tough marathon finish! So happy to read your foot didn't give you any issues :) Biofreeze is so amazing, I like to use it on my lower back (my problem area) right before I go to bed, it feels amazing! Sorry your IT was bugging you, but at least it quits hurting when you walk!

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    1. I have a drawer full of sample pack of Biofreeze from race bags. Now I know it works! I have a slight back issue when I lay down. Thanks for the tip.

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  21. Holly this recap is tremendous and took me back to so many places on the course. IT band pain is real and I never quite understood other runners until it happened to me. I would love to know what you mean about shortening/lengthening your stride and how that affects the IT band. Congrats on your marathon and I am still so sorry I never met/saw you on race day. It seems like I encountered so many runners on the course, and we might have been at the same medical stop together.

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    1. Years ago, I read IT was caused by over reaching your foot (hence shortening the stride) and in some women because of their wider hips and inward caving knees (hence widening the stride just slightly). This tactic has gotten me through several halves and bought me miles in this race. I haven't had this issue in years and know it's because of the lack of time on my feet. I read your recap and we mentioned some of the same things!

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  22. I am so glad you had a "normal" marathon with only the "normal" marathon issues & I'm teary eye'd reading this.

    Better than pool running, haha! Truer words never spoken. I'm so impressed by all that you went through to get to the starting line and how well it all worked out for you.

    And it's nice to know that I'm not the only one with old lady arm problems. ;)

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    1. I was very grateful to have a normal problem. The only place I get chafed is the one place I forgot. The rest of me was greased up like a pig! The medical tents certainly have all they can to help you get to the finish!

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  23. What a great recap to read!!! I can't believe you had 5,000 steps in before you even hit the start line!

    And I've also got to rethink my fan group strategy...no one has ever met me at the finish line with a giant Starbucks before.

    Congrats!

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    1. You have to walk from transportation (in my case Epcot monorail) to the staging area which is a long way. And then you seriously walk another mile or more to the corrals. I noticed they had put a Starbucks in Epcot where my family would be funning while tracking my progress. I dropped a BIG hint.

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  24. Whew! What a marvelous ending to a tough, arduous journey and triumph over injury. I had no doubt it would all come together for you. Pool running (I hate it) but it has its rewards. Huge congrats to you, my friend! Cannot wait to see what's next!

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    1. Thanks Marcia. I knew I had the stamina if I could only get my legs/hips/knees to hold out long enough. They did me proud by not breaking down until late in the race. I was thrilled. You know I want to do another one...the proper way.

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  25. So awesome!! Congrats on your first marathon!! Love the tower of terror!

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    1. Thank you! One of my teens and I think Tower of Terror is just the best ride ever created!

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  26. Congratulations! How awesome of an experience was that?! I feel like I was right there with you. Thanks for a great recap.

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    1. Simply incredible. I was truly amazed that I got through it. Thank you!

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  27. Congratulations! Looks like you had a wonderful time and you did great. I will be doing my first marathon this year, you are a great example of what good hard work and never giving up can accomplish. Thanks for setting your goals high and never giving up.

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    1. Thanks, Ruth. 15 weeks ago, nursing a stress fracture, I could not imagine how well this would turn out. I think I put in more work as an injured runner than I ordinarily would have. I was thrilled to see it paid off.

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  28. I love the alternative post titles I think my favorite by far is: Biofreeze My New Best Friend where has this stuff been? It did help early on but toward the end I don't think anything would help. I totally forgot about the Dove Chocolate, I had a piece of it too, oink oink. I'm so very glad we both did this! I had a wonderful time with you and your family! Until the next one! Which we are planning.... ;)

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    1. I have a drawer full of Biofreeze from race packets. I almost spit out the Dove. I couldn't chew or swallow it. It melted. I'm so glad you were there! Thank you, my friend.

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  29. Congratulations!!! So happy that you had such a memorable, good race! Marathons are hard, no matter what. Interesting about the IT band fix - I'm going to suggest this to a couple of my runner friends who deal with that mess.

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    1. I expected it to be hard but had also imagined just the worst case possible. I was so thankful (and therefore emotional) that it wasn't the worst case scenario.

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  30. Big congrats! I'm so happy our foot held up, and you could get to a really good place on the course before the ITB issues popped up. Great job!

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    1. Thanks Lesley. Me too. It could have gone downhill so much sooner.

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  31. Congrats! I love reading people's first marathon race recaps. I've run 3 and cried multiple times each time haha. Way to push through-it sounds like running a Disney one made it extra magical!

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    1. I had done two prior Disney races so I was counting on that wonderful magic to help me through. It worked!

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  32. Awesome! Congrats on your first marathon! So happy to hear it went well and your foot held up! Bonus that you had a wonderful time with your two youngest and made some great memories!

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    1. We love Disney! It's was the motivation to get me to run my very first race. It was very appropriate that it be my first marathon.

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  33. Congrats, you're a marathoner! I loved your recap! I felt like I was running alongside you. You've overcome so much in the past few months, but you kept your dream in front of you the entire time. I'm so glad that you were able to make it happen and enjoy your race. You are a true inspiration!

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    1. Thank you Debra. I worked harder at alternate training than I have on any thing else. I felt I needed even more training since I couldn't run, if that makes sense. It was such a huge reward to have it pay off. I definitely want to do another one the proper way.

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  34. Huge congrats to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I could feel the emotion in this post, and remember all to well each and every one of your feelings! Way to push through!! Congrats! xoxoxo

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    1. Thank you very much. It was such an emotional experience due in large part to the extraordinary, difficult circumstances leading up to it. It was such a relief and release!

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  35. Congrats! I'm so glad all of the hard work you put in training in the pool and on the bike paid off. You had a great race despite the humid weather. Way to go marathoner!!

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    1. I would have normally stressed so much over that weather, but had other larger pressing concerns. LOL. I really like that word! Marathoner! I hope to be a REPEAT Marathoner too!

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  36. Loved reading your recap. Despite the IT pain it sounds like a great run. Almost makes me want to run that far. Almost. ;) I like your mantras and I'm impressed with your time and age group place with the modified training plan. Disney races sound fun!

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    1. No one does it better than Disney. But you have to be willing to accept the crowds and transportation delays, etc. The on course entertainment is amazing!

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  37. Wow!! Awesome recap!! You seriously did amazing and pulled it off with flying colors. I would probably get teary eyed seeing Cinderella's castle as well. I haven't seen it in so many years. I've never done a Disney race. I would love to but those early morning wake ups don't sound that fun to me, lol. I know this training was hard with the setbacks, but you clearly did it right! Awesome job Holly!

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    1. Thanks! Well, I really don't sleep much anyway before a race so the wakeup is not a big deal. Some people are not fans of the Disney experience. It has never disappointed, but probably because we have been such huge fans of the parks for years. How can it not be enjoyable?

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  38. Congrats and great work! I am so happy for you! and that Bama game was so good!

    biofreeze is amazing! i finally bought some to use all of time and it is so amazing

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    1. Thank you. I was SO TIRED from the race and parks that I dozed for a few minutes of the Bama. But I did not miss the exciting 4th quarter!

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  39. You are a rockstar. I can't imagine a 5 hour finish without all those long runs in your training. You'll probably BQ at your next one.

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    1. I doubt that Darlene! I'm pretty sure if the humidity been low and if I had no ITB issues, I would have gotten a sub 5. The course was long too! It makes me excited to see what I can do the next time.

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  40. Really enjoyed reading about your race! So thrilled for you the foot didn't bother you, I know you were worried but you did so good with you healing process I just knew you wouldn't have problems with it.
    Those last 5 miles of the race pains come on in different area's, it happens to everyone. Sorry it was pain in your IT area, but glad it went away when you finished, that is an excellent sign that it was just normal marathon running pains that likely won't linger or bother you in weeks to come:)
    Sounds like you had such an incredible first time marathon experience, I am glad you had a great race and things mostly went the way you hoped they would!
    (Oh and I agree, who would stop to ride the cars, LOL Although, when I ran this one years ago and I would see runners stop to line up to get a picture with a character I even thought then, why would someone stop to do that, LOL But I guess some do and have different objectives than just running a race as those, LOL.
    So thrilled you had a great time and race, Congratulations!!!!!

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    1. I was thrilled to just have a typical late race issue, Kristy. I've never stopped to take a character picture in a Disney race. Maybe if I had never been to the Disney parks, I would have done things differently.

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  41. Congrats!!!! I was smiling reading this entire recap. I am so happy it went so well. I can't believe you didn't feel your foot at all, just the IT band! Hope it's feeling better now.

    I never thought about all the steps we get in just walking around race morning. Then add the day before at the park. Geesh!

    It's so cool your family was there for this. (And that they had SB at the finish, ha). What a great memory! Congrats again!

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    1. I was just so relieved that my foot was not the issue. It was a great confidence booster too, knowing it's OK even though it's still uncomfortable at times. But hey -- it'll hold up for a marathon. I'm good!

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  42. I love, love Disney. Never run a race there but I think I may have to after seeing everyone's posts!!! Serious FOMO.

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    1. You definitely need to combine your next Disney vacation with a Disney race. You won't regret it. It's magical.

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  43. You are amazing! Congrats on this incredible race- I'm so excited to hear you managed to do the alternate training and still pull it off! You even did it without freaking out (which I did- btw, without any injuries. ha!)

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    1. Oh, I did plenty of freaking out with the initial injury Patty. By the time I got to the race I had adopted an "It Is What It Is" attitude. I was so grateful to be there and then to just finish!

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  44. First of all, congratulations!! I am so happy that your foot did not end up bothering you the entire race. That's amazing! It's interesting how your foot kind of overshadowed everything else prerace. No nerves, and you just kind of rolled with any and all punches.

    I know that people often stop along the way at Disney for character pictures, but I had NO idea that people actually ride some of the rides during the marathon. That's wild!

    So I noticed you said next time.... do you know when that will be?? :)

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    1. Thanks, Meagan. I was amazed my foot didn't give me any problems and relieved to have other issues instead. LOL. I don't know when I'll schedule that next marathon. I still have a lot of recovery to do. Maybe late fall or I may just repeat this one next January.

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