Pain is Temporary, Quitting is Forever

Yesterday, I ran the Walt Disney World marathon with my best friend. 

 

It was my very first marathon, and one of the most memorable experiences of my entire life!

 

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Back up to Saturday night… We headed over to Caitlin’s for our pre-race dinner.

 

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She made veggie lasagna and other people brought some dishes for sharing.

 

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I had one of the brownies that I brought for dessert.

 

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Once we got to the hotel, Debbie and I laid our things out, so that we wouldn’t have to worry to much in the morning.

 

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check out our matching PJ pants…

 

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We actually got hungry again, so we ordered a pizza! I had one slice and then crashed.

 

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My alarm was set for 2:30 am, since we had to be on board the bus by 3:30 am. I woke up at 1:45 thinking I slept through the alarm, and couldn’t get back to sleep. I was SO excited about the race!

 

I packed Bagels and Almond butter from home, along with bananas to eat right before the start of the race.

 

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Once we bundled up (it was 26 degrees) we headed to the bus stop.

 

Debbie and I were worried that we wouldn’t be able to find Kelly, but somehow we found her. We had plans to stick together for most (or the whole) race.

 

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After 18 weeks of training, and running 440 miles, I finally made it to the starting line of my first marathon.

 

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The race started just outside of EPCOT. We were only REALLY cold for the first two miles, so we quickly shed our top layer of clothing.

 

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We ran through each Disney park, and spent a lot of time on the stinky back roads.

 

The first seven miles FLEW by! We were all so excited and generally really happy and things were going great! We had no trouble maintaining our goal of 10:00 min/mile pace.

 

 

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My favorite part of the course was running through the Magic Kingdom. It was great to see all of the fans along the course cheering us on, and getting to run straight through the castle. I also felt my best at this point in the race, which I think has a lot to do with it.

 

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It actually worked out great having Kelly and Debbie to run with. We all pushed each other for the first half of the race. At the halfway point, we were predicted to have a 4:22 finishing time based on our current average pace.

 

Little did I know things were about to go downhill.

 

My stomach started hurting a bit at this point, and I was getting a bit worried. Then, Kelly tripped on a road reflector, and took a little tumble. It shook us all up a bit, but she was tough and popped right back up and kept going!

 

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Around mile 15, I knew that I had to use the bathroom ASAP or I would not be finishing the race. I started to speed up in hopes that I would be able to get in and out without making too much of a dent on my (or Kelly and Debbie’s) time.

 

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Somewhere in the mid-teen miles (15-19) I grabbed a banana at one of the water stations. I figured some potassium couldn’t hurt, but it might have hurt my stomach more. 😦

 

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Not much later,  we all started to feel the marathon taking a toll. We switched from talking to each other to zoning out with our head phones on.

 

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This was probably the last time that I felt good during the race, around mile 18. At this point, my stomach was in excruciating pain. I thought that I was going to explode and I knew that I had to stop again.

 

I felt really bad for asking Debbie and Kelly to stop and wait, so I told them to go on ahead without me. They were feeling good and I knew that I was only going to feel worse.

 

Shortly after they left me, around mile 21, I started crying. I thought that finishing seemed impossible. I had already stopped four times to use the bathroom and I was not feeling any better.

 

I passed a few medical tents and SERIOUSLY considered stopping. Every time I tried to run, my stomach would hurt worse. I would take a quick walk break, but when I tried to run again, my joints just locked up. It was mentally and physically challenging because I knew that I was trained well enough to finish, but that my body just couldn’t take it that day.

 

I made a video around mile 22, where I was basically just pouring my heart out and crying about how I had to finish this for myself. As soon as I thought this was the worst I have ever felt in my life, I realized that I had to make a choice to stay positive. I trained hard and did NOT want to give up!

 

My favorite Disney Character EVEEEERRRRR, Mr. Incredible, was right around the corner. I decided to stop and take a picture with him! It instantly brightened my mood! 😀

 

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I realized that I could make this race fun, even if I was alone.

 

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The last three miles were the toughest. I had never run past 22 miles in my life, and I was now alone. I felt like my legs would not move forward anymore, and my stomach was still feeling bad. I ended up stopping at every single restroom from mile 23 to the finish. (Total of 7 times!) 😦

 

I could think about nothing else but finishing the race. When I came around the corner and saw a huge crowd of people cheering and the finish line, I burst into tears. I ran strong through the finish line (ok… really slowly) and felt a huge wave of joy come over me.

 

I FINISHED A MARATHON!!!

 

Never in my life, have I felt so many things at one time. It was mentally and physically the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life.

 

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My parents met me at the finish line, and I pretty much collapsed on the pavement. I knew I would be in pain, but I never expected my body to hurt THIS much.

 

I feel like I really fought for this medal.

 

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Mile Splits:

Mile 1: 10:33

Mile 2:  9:47

Mile 3: 9:45

Mile 4: 9:40

Mile 5: 9:54

Mile 6: 9:50

Mile 7: 10:08

Mile 8: 9:53

Mile 9: 9:58

Mile 10: 10:03

Mile 11: 10:02

Mile 12: 10:24

Mile 13: 9:49

Mile 14: 10:08

Mile 15: 10:26

Mile 16: 10:33

Mile 17: 10:44

Mile 18: 11:10

Mile 19: 11:09

Mile 20: 11:14

Mile 21: 11:11

Mile 22: 14:12

Mile 23: 13:52

Mile 24: 15:35

Mile 25: 13:50

Mile 26: 13:47

End 0.51 mile nubbin: 5:52

 

Total paused time: 14 + change minutes.

 

 

Official finish time: 5:08:09

I didn’t do nearly as well as I wanted to, but there was no way that I could have planned for, or trained for my stomach issues. All things considered, I am very proud to have just finished. I considered quitting so many times, but never gave up.

 

Michael (my little brother) asked me if he could have a medal like mine. I told him that in 10 years he can run it with me and get one of his own. 😀

 

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Congratulations to all my friends and blog friends who ran this weekend!

 

Big thanks to everyone who came out to support me at the race, my family, and to Ryan for the amazing photos!

 

❤ MegaNerd

 

PS- Marathon recap video is coming soon!!