Walt Disney World Mickey Marathon and Goofy Challenge
Shirts, bib and bling!
After post-half marathon shower we spent the afternoon at Epcot. Soon enough it was 7:30 pm and I was getting ready for bed. After a SUPER early morning, 13.1 miles and walking around a park I was exhausted so the 7:30 bedtime didn't given me much trouble. Before I knew it I was fast asleep.
I was nervous for the full, as I mentioned before I contemplated skipping the full all together. Thank goodness I didn't because I would have missed out on having a totally amazing experience, sure it was a PW but who cares it was totally fun! This is going to be a long recap so feel free to skip the words and look at the pictures.
Not too many hours after I'd fallen asleep the alarm went off at the ungodly hour of 2:45am and I peeled myself out of bed. I decided it was best to eat a little more since halfway through the half marathon I was hungry. I got my bread, peanut butter and coffee and set about putting on my second race outfit in two days. I wanted to be bright and spot-able so I opted for this:
I'm ready for the animal kingdom sporting my giraffe arm warmers and cheetah skirt.
Pretty soon we were in the car heading to the start line. This time there was less traffic which was nice. It was odd to see so many cars out THAT early in the morning. When we got out of the car, I found porto's without a line which was great. I was planning to meet up with Melanie again for the start and sneak into her corral to cut down on waiting time.
Since we had our brother in law with us we got a pre-race photo!
Looking decent for 4:00 am
I found Melanie and we all started the walk to the corrals. The Pi family members were in corral A so we bid them ado. Melanie and I tried to hide me in the masses and sneak up to her corral. We saw a guy stretching by an open section in the fencing and we popped in! I felt like such a rebel breaking the rules at a Disney race but there was NO way I was waiting another hour to start.
About 15ish minutes after corral A started we were off--15 minutes was much better than waiting an hour. My strategy was to run with Melanie as long as I could, keeping in mind that I had done all my training with the walk/run method. About mile 2 I knew I should start taking my planned walk breaks or I might bonk hard earlier than anticipated. At this point we parted ways.
I've run marathons on my own before, in fact, it's rare I'm running with someone. But for some reason it made me sad to see her go on without me. Luckily for me, not 2 minutes later I had some entertainment!
As I said in my previous post, Disney knows how to entertain. We may have been in a parking lot but Disney had something for us to watch--a mini light parade!
As we wound through the entrance area to Epcot in the dark I didn't take any photos, I figured I'd wait til it got light out and would see how I was doing pace-wise before stopping. Finally we got to our first park, well, technically we had already run through part of Epcot but I didn't count it since I knew we'd run more of that park later.
Park #1: Magic Kingdom
The marathon course wound around the same way as the half course through the Magic Kingdom around by the backside of Space Mountain, down main street and through tomorrow land to the CASTLE!
Mr. Pi and I thought it'd be really funny if the girl in front of me bought this picture since I'm so clearly trying to steal her thunder.
Most of the characters they had out were the same so I opted to keep on truckin' and not stop for any photos. Once through the magic kingdom we were a stones throw from halfway done. I was appreciative that they saved the other parks for the later miles. When I hit halfway I knew it was going to be a LONG day. My legs weren't hurting so much as just plain tired. I was keeping with my walk/run method but was down to run .75/walk .15. Slowly but surely I was making it through the course. I hit the half point at 2:45 which is actually on track for a marathon PR for me but clearly I wasn't thinking that way.
Along the back roads behind animal kingdom there were several characters out but again, I decided to save myself and keep truckin'. Melanie got some cute photos with the bears and peter pan's crew if you want to take a peak I bet she'll post them!
Park #2: Animal Kingdom
When we got to the animal kingdom I perked up a bit. I started getting tons of comments on my outfit and that spurred me along. For that day, I belonged in the animal kingdom. I also heard them playing songs from the Lion King which reminds me of so many good memories, right Kristen? When we were kids, Kristen and I must have played that soundtrack until we burned it out--we loved the Lion King.
Here's a pic of Mr. Pi running along through animal land.
Here is the Mt. Everest ride which is Disney World's equivalent to the Matterhorn. I heard later from RoadBunner that she saw people veering off the course to ride the ride. I kinda wish I had thought to do that myself. How cool would that have been??
The Everest Ride (aka their Matterhorn) also their 4th tallest mountain in all of Florida
Animal kingdom seemed like a short little jaunt but I knew things were about to start getting really tough. As I crept closer to mile 26 I started to think about my marathon journey. If you had told me when I was in Disney World at age 12 that I'd be running my 4th marathon through the parks I would have laughed at you. I hated running, running "the green" (aka the half mile) in junior high was like my worst nightmare. But there I was trotting along having the best time of my life!
I was certainly physically tired but mentally I was having the best race I've ever had. I was also running the smartest race nutritionally. I finished 4 Gu's in total, that's a record. I can normally only choke down 2 and I had water or powerade at ever stop.
As mile 21 approached I was on my way to my third park of the day.
Park #3: Disney Hollywood Studios
I had remembered this park from when I visited before but so far on my trip I had only been to Epcot and Animal Kingdom so this was like running through a totally new area. We were in the back lot area and got to run through a tunnel that was a costuming area.
I saw Sully from Monster's Inc just past the tunnel but again opted not to stop. I was enjoying just seeing the characters and getting the occasional high five. As we wound around through the streets of "new york" and "san francisco" we entered the main area of the park. They had some DJ's up on a stage and one of them was commenting on my cheetah skirt. I got really excited and I'm pretty sure I said "that's me." Apparently people talking about my outfit makes me want to fly since in the picture below it looks like I'm flapping my wings.
What the heck?
As I exited the park, I was a little rejuvenated and honestly just plain happy--I was going to finish my 4th marathon and finish the freakin' goofy challenge. Then, I heard "there's Alisa." Thinking surely I had lost my mind, I looked up and saw part of the Pi family. It was great to see them and get their hugs. Especially from my little 5 year old nephew who looks up at me and says " you're a good runner." Precious!
Here I am coming around the corner I haven't seen the family yet, I'd say I look pretty good for mile 20-something. My nephew is the little kid with his hand out.
I think I'd seen them at this point and I look happy!
Getting a big hug my my brother in law and my nephew.
Picture with my bro-in-law, sis-in-law, two nephews and a niece, what could be BETTER!
I was fueled by all the family love and ready to finish my 4th marathon. I knew I was getting close as I entered the world showcase in Epcot.
Park #4: Epcot
At this point, I'm pretty sure I was doing more walking than running but as I looked at my Garmin I was still close to breaking 6 hours which I thought would be totally awesome (given my straight marathon PR is only a 5:4X). But again, I wasn't thinking much about time I was mostly having the time of my life.
View from the world showcase of the Epcot ball and around the corner from there FINISH LINE!
Of course I had had a moment or two of grumpy/sad/upset in which I promptly called my best friend in the whole world and had her cheer me up---thanks Kristen! But for most of the 39.3 miles of the Goofy Challenge I was totally and utterly happy.
Winding through Epcot my walk was getting slower and I knew the possibility of breaking 6 hours was probably not going to happen so I let it go and took every character and kid high five that was offered and kept willing myself to run/shuffle my way forward.
Passing "mexico" along the world showcase made me think about a post-race margarita (which I didn't end up getting until the next day but that was okay as it was delicious).
I passed the big Epcot ball and I knew from the day before that the finish line was right around the corner!
I look a bit tired here--pretty sure I was scanning the crowd from my family.
Here is Mr. Pi at about the same point, look at his stride!
Here is me waving to the Pi's!
My stride is short and shuffle-ly!
I saw the finish line and honestly I couldn't have been more proud of myself. Sure it took me 6:05:45 but I finished the happiest race ever. I'll let the pictures do most of the rest of my commentary...
I love this picture! Yes, Donald I will take a high five!
Here is Mr. Pi finishing:
Mr. Pi finishing 39.3 miles in two days and no PW's--he's amazing.
Our brother in law who finished just behind Mr. Pi in his very first marathon.
Soaking up our day after glory at Hollywood Studios wearing our Goofy shirts and our medals--hobbling around for another 5+ miles, they don't call us goofy for nothing
I don't know what else to say about this race other than it was the best two races I've ever done. Sure my times were crappy and sure there was a lot of waiting around in the EARLY morning cold BUT for me those things were totally worth having such a great time.
The aftermath was even fun. I have never been so sore in my entire life BUT there is nothing like hitting up the parks for the next 3 days walking another XX miles to loosen up the muscles and thoroughly exhaust a person.
As I said before I didn't think I was going to finish this crazy challenge but I did and even better, I had a great time! Here's to an awesome 39.3 miles of Disney fun!