January 17, 2013

WDW Marathon Recap

Where do I begin to describe the marathon...The nerves were in high alert on Sunday morning when I was awakened by my alarm at 2:50 am.  My race clothes were already laid out, so I quickly got dressed and ate my banana and an english muffin with peanut butter.  It was time to leave for the race so I said goodbye to Christine, grabbed my bag and Tom walked me over to the monorail. He also took a couple pre-race photos!

Forced smile...can you tell I'm petrified?!

Christine designed my shirt!
The trip to Epcot was quick and I stayed busy chatting with 3 other runners in the monorail car.  Soon enough we were walking to the race area and I quickly checked my bag and looked for some of my running pals.  With twitter, I managed to find the corral G gladiators just as they were being interviewed by Dennis Marsico.  It was fun meeting some of this group for the first time and others from the Marathon Weekend Meetup the day before.
Marcia Barton, Linzie Starr, and Dennis Marsico (of runDisney TV)
It was now time to head to our starting corrals and my plan was to meet Megan Biller and Scott Albrecht in the corral.  After quite a few tweets we connected and chatted until start time.  And before we knew it, the fireworks went off and I was on my way!

Miles 1-6: These miles my pace was steady at about 11:25 with the aid of a Clif pace bracelet (for 5hr pace) from the expo. The course seemed very crowded in places, which is to be expected as the roads are narrow in spots.  Christine and Tom were waiting for me with cheers and signs at TTC (mile 4-ish).  Once the Magic Kingdom came into view, my spirits picked up and my excitement grew with thoughts of running through the castle.
Source

Miles 6-12: My family was waiting at the Polynesian (mile 7.7) to cheer so I spent time looking for them and heard their loud cheers. Christine made special signs and waved pom poms as I ran by. The run around the speedway between mile 8.5-9 was super fun and a big highlight of the race!  The speedway was lined with classic cars (much like the DL half) and some characters from Cars.

Miles 12-18: Running through Animal Kingdom was a great diversion after several miles of roadway. I loved seeing the CM's with animals as we entered through the back stage area of the park.  After AK, it seemed that alot of runners were struggling with the heat. My split for the half was off my goal pace by a little over 1 1/2 minutes.  Trying to stay calm and keep a steady pace was difficult.  The wet sponge handed out around mile 17 was wonderful. I kept it for the duration of the race, pouring fresh water on it at the hydration stops. The cold kept me comfortable with the rising temperatures.
Source

Miles 18-21: This is when I finally after 2 years and 5 months of running felt the "runners high".  After running through the stadium at ESPN and passing the baseball field I knew I was going to be a marathoner and would perhaps make my goal time of under 5 hours. At mile twenty we were treated to a special surprise.  This included multiple puppet characters including Tigger, my favorite.  Mickey, Donald and Goofy were on a stage greeting us as we went through a gorgeous archway. Soon after, I looked at my watch and realized my time was under my goal pace by just over one minute. As we passed the loud speakers playing "Sweet Caroline" at mile 21, I started singing along with glee. The runners around me gave me very strange looks, but I felt like it was party time!

Miles 21-23: With Hollywood Studios up ahead it was hard to hold back my pace.  At mile 22 I still felt strong and continued to increase my pace but still using the 4/1 Galloway run/walk.

Mile 23-26.2: It was hard to not start running all out, but I stayed calm.  By mile 24, I knew I had it and kept running through the end of the race, finishing with both miles in the 10:00 minute mile pace.  My family was waiting by the Norway pavilion in Epcot and had no idea I would be coming so soon.  However, Tom caught a glimpse of me going by and Christine started running to take this photo.
On the move to the finish line!
Soon I was passing the gospel choir and the finish line was in sight.  I saw Mickey and a hug was in order after my first marathon!

Source - Now THAT is pure joy at the end of 26.2 miles!
Splits:
5  miles: 56:42
10 miles: 1:53.57
13.1 miles: 2:30.09
20 miles: 3:57.48
26.2 miles: 4:54.12
A big smile for beautiful bling!
(Pam)

32 comments:

  1. Congratulations! Looks like so much fun!

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    1. Thanks Karien, It was wonderful! Can't wait for Princess Half next month!

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  2. Congratulations! And I LOVE that you hugged Mickey right at the finish line, what a great photo! That's fantastic that you made your goal time! I abandoned trying to go for mine with the heat and humidity, but it was such an amazing experience either way! I actually felt the same way you did in both marathon's I've run, I started to feel energized around mile 18-20 and my last few miles were my fastest...not complaining, and knock on wood, but I've never met "the wall!".

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    1. Danielle, Glad you enjoyed the race too...I may even try Goofy again in 2015 when it will be the 10th anniversary...surely Disney will wow us with a gorgeous medal!

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  3. How awesome! You did fantastic! Congratulations! I loved reading your recap!

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    1. It was fun writing the recap...I could relive that marathon over and over!

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  4. I didn't know that was your first marathon and a day after the half! You are my hero, way to go Pam!!

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    1. Thanks Kat. I trained really hard to accomplish my goal. Now I will have fun at the Princess Half!

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  5. Great...Great re-cap. Pam...you did so Great! Inspiring...that is all I can say.... What a great memory for you...and Christine and your Hubby supporting you too! Hugs to all....

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    1. Thank you so much. It was really great to have my family there for support.

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  6. Im seriously contemplating a marathon in the next few years and this post made me want to run it at Disney! Only the happiest place on earth could help push me through 26.2 miles! Thank you so much and congratulations on a fantastic race!!!

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    1. The on course support and entertainment make the Disney races so great. It is a wonderful place for a first race of any distance!

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  7. Congratulations! Awesome photos!! You looked like you were having a blast!!

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    1. Pamela, I was having a blast....it was truly a magical race for me and a culmination of months of really hard training.

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  8. Way to go, Pam!! Congrats on not only finishing your first marathon, but also Goofy's challenge!! How exciting!!

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    1. Right back at you Karen. Wasn't it a fantastic race weekend?

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  9. Congratulations on a great race!!

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  10. Way to go, Pam! Congrats on running your first Marathon too! I can totally identify with the nerves of everything!! I can't believe you did Goofy!! That is fantastic..!! Congrats lady! You rocked it!

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    1. Hi Sarah, Thanks so much. I look forward to reading your marathon recap too! Hope your race was fun.

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  11. Huge Congratulations to you on your weekend! That's incredibly impressive that you negative split this race. The conditions were crazy to me! And wow, awesome job on your time and being so far under your goal after your half the previous day. Awesome!

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  12. Meghan, Thanks so much. The stars aligned for me this weekend and my training and hard work kept me focused and confident. Being able to negative split the marathon was awesome and thrilling at the same time. :) Disney races are so much fun and I love running all of them, especially with my running daughter Christine.

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  13. Hi from Canada! I met you the morning of the expo, my friends and I were in line together. Im glad you had a great race, love the pics! This was my first marathon and it was awesome. Disney really does hold an incredible event. Thanks for sharing on your blog, i will be sure to check in once in a while. Take care and keep on running! Rachel

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    1. Thanks so much Rachel. It was fun meeting lots of new people! Hopefully you will be back at Disney running again soon!

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  14. WOOHOO! Congrats on becoming a Marathoner Pam! Loved the recap and it was so great to meet you this weekend!

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    1. Thanks Lisa, Congrats to you on Goofy Challenge! Don't you just love the medals? We will be back at Disney next month for the Princess Half and hope you will be there too!

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  15. Congrats on a great race! LOVE the pic of you hugging Mickey. Wish I'd done that :)

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    1. Thanks Karla, He looked like he needed a hug!

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