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!!

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87 Responses

  1. I’m so proud of you for finishing strong, even though you weren’t feeling well. CONGRATULATIONS!

  2. You did it! You didn’t quit and you finished with pride! A marathon is something so few people will complete and you will forever be one of them.

    I was worried about guys all race. I felt like I was running in the dark the whole time not knowing where anyone else was. I heard about your bathroom story after Kelly finish and my heart instantly went out to you. You still did amazing though and I am so proud!

    No on told me how much your legs instantly hurt after you finish a marathon either. I was in tears after I crossed the finish line because of the pain and the cold.

  3. I’m sorry you were sick during the marathon; I admire your perspective and your perseverance. I’m in awe that you toughed it out; I know I would have wanted to quit.
    Congratulations for finishing a marathon, and with a good attitude, to boot, when the odds were definitely not in your favor.

  4. Sorry it got rough at the end, but your attitude was amazing considering the pain you were in! Glad we could be there to cheer you on a bit, wish we were there around miles 20-25 but you did it!!! 🙂

  5. Wow! You are a trooper for running through all that! At least you’ll have some interesting memories of your first marathon, and your next one probably won’t feel nearly as bad! Keep up the great work!

  6. Aw Megan! I am SO proud of you. What an amazing accomplishment. What do you think caused the belly issues? nerves? the pizza? nothing specific? I am so sorry that you had to deal with that during your run.

    you are such an inspiration! I hope you hang that medal up with pride!

  7. what an amazing story you have! You really fought for this…I’m so impressed. I never comment, but I often read your blog (clicked over from Caitlin’s one day). I just had to comment today – congratulations. I know how bad those stomach issues can be, and I can’t believe you ran through it for so long! Way to go!!

  8. oh my lord. i think it that had happened to me during a race i would have been in tears and quit right there. what an AMAZING accomplishment. even if you didn’t finish on time you finished despite massive obstacles and that is definitely something to be proud of! congrats!

  9. Congrats on finishing the hardest race of your life. Despite your stomach issues you DID IT!!! You stayed strong and finished despite feeling horrible. Thank you for sharing your race recap. I love reading everyone’s marathon stories.

  10. I think you’re amazing!! You’re now a marathoner and you finished eventhough you weren’t feeling well. You’re seriously awesome, congratulations!!!

  11. What an awesome story. You did great! Sometimes the races that aren’t the “best” mean the most just because you had to fight so hard for them. GREAT JOB!

    (When’s the next one?)

  12. Not only did you have the courage to start, but you had the courage to finish. You definitely fought hard for that medal- congratulations. Hopefully your next marathon is much less uneventful.

  13. I’ve been following your blog since October, but this is the first time I’ve posted a comment. It has been fun and inspirational to read about your marathon training and your progress. After reading your race recap, I had to comment to say CONGRATULATIONS! Although the marathon didn’t go as planned, you finished it! You should be so proud of your huge accomplishment.

  14. What a great recap!! Congratulations Megan 🙂
    you should be so proud of yourself!!
    Jenna

  15. You are awesome! That was so inspiring to read, you must be SO proud of yourself! What an incredible achievement 🙂 I hope you’ve had a good day today and your stomach is feeling better – you sure deserve to chill and rest. Have a great one!

  16. Megan,
    I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now, but haven’t commented before. I’ve enjoyed reading about all of your training, and am so impressed that you achieved your goal. My husband must think I’m crazy, since all weekend I kept saying “all those girls down in Florida are running their marathon today!” I’m up in Alberta, Canada… I hope it pleases you to know your story has been inspiring for a girl so far away.
    Cheers,
    Kayla

  17. Awwww! You’re such an inspiration for your little brother & sister! 🙂
    Sorry to hear about your tummy troubles. I know it messed up your time, but you should be SO PROUD of finishing! Plus, maybe it will make it a little easier to PR on your next marathon! LOL! CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING A MARATHONER!!!!

  18. Megan – I’ve been following you’re blog for months and I’ve never commented. You’re story is incredible and so inspiring. You finished a marathon and have such an amazing attitude about the experience. Honestly, if that happened to me during a race, I don’t know what I’d do. My stomach has been hurting all day and I’m thinking of leaving WORK early! haha jk (kinda…). Seriously though, you’re completely amazing and I’m looking forward to reading about whatever you have in store for the future. CONGRATS!

  19. WOW, I totally credit you to keeping the strength to continue no matter what!!! You should be “super proud” of yourself…….I only hope to do the same soon! =)

  20. I am so proud of you for finishing. Like many of your readers I have been following your story for months and I woke up on Sunday and said a little goodluck prayer for you. Being a marathoner myself, I know the pain (mental and physical) that goes with it but I also know the sheer joy that it can reward you with. You didn’t quit and that shows who you are as a person. A marathon is almost all mental in my opinion. You did it…and no one can ever take the title: MARATHON FINISHER away from you. Congratulations!

  21. I’ve been a lurker for a while – but after that recap I had to comment and say… YOU ROCK HARD. The end.

  22. Congratulations! I was worried yesterday after your brief post, but I’m super duper impressed that you finished – especially not feeling well. The good news is that the next one (if you’re interested in a next one) will feel easier.
    I was thinking of you guys every time I checked the weather…
    Great job!!!

  23. That is a stunning achievement. Don’t be so down on yourself! As you say, there is no way to predict how the body will react to such intense punishment and I think your psychological fortitude in finishing against all the odds is totally amazing.

    So many people would have given up in your position, and I’ll bet many of the starters did. You deserve that medal, and all of the glory and honour that accompanies it 🙂

    Congratulations!

    ~Jess~

  24. Way to go Megan!!! I was thinking about you Sunday Morning. I am so glad that you pushed yourself through the pain near the end of the marathon. You have so much to be proud of. It takes a lot mentally to be able to accomplish a task like that. You have so many more great marathons & other races ahead of you. I, too, had a horrible 2nd marathon experience similar to yours…real bad stomach issues…I was in the bathroom for the entire day following the marathon. I know how tough it was for you to fight through your stomach & cramping legs, etc. You have so much to be proud of. Congratulations, again! It’s funny how much running a marathon can tell you about yourself.

  25. Great recap – you brought tears to my eyes. I’ve had stomach issues on races too and they stink! There’s just no way to predict or control them. Good for you for fighting through. I love the picture of you at the beginning when it’s finally light outside. You look so incredibly happy! Well done, Amy

  26. Congratulation on finishing your marathon! I have been reading your blog for a while now, and had tears in my eyes as I read your race recap on the bus into work. What a huge physical and mental achievement, you’re such an inspiration as I try and improve my running to be able to do merely 5k haha 🙂

  27. Way to hang in there, Megan! You’re an inspiration to all.

  28. That really sucks about your stomach issues during the race, but you really should be so proud that you stuck it through and finished!!! I don’t know if there are many people that would actually push through that pain. You are still freaking amazing, in my opinion!

  29. Congratulations Megan. You fought hard for that medal and your strength made it happen. Amazing.

  30. way to stay tough there girl! you totally pulled through and are one strong chica 🙂

  31. You should be so proud of yourself. You ran a marathon! And finishing it when you were sick just means your all the more hardcore! Congrats.

  32. Honestly, this entire thing gave me chills. It was my favorite recap so far. I know I would have never been able to pull thru. You are awesome Megan!!!!!

  33. That was an amazing accomplishment, Megan! You should be so proud of yourself! I can imagine how badly you wanted to quit dealing with your stomach issues. But, you didn’t! You battled through! A TRUE ATHLETE!!!
    Congrats!

  34. You are just amazing – how many people would have quit? Congratulations, and I can’t wait to read about your next race!

  35. Congrats, Megan! I’m glad that you gave it your all and pushed through the pain! I am in awe of how awesome you are! =)

  36. You are AWESOME Megan! What an amazing accomplishment! You should be so proud of yourself. Thank you for sharing!

  37. this totally made me tear up! You are amazing! The fact that you finished in such pain is amazing! You should be so proud of yourself!

  38. Girl, you rocked it! I know it wasn’t what you expected to do but you’re a freakin’ marathoner! That’s so exciting!

    The pictures of you and all the characters totally made my day.

  39. Oh my gosh, I can’t even imagine how tough that must have been but you did it and you are an inspiration. Congrats. 🙂

  40. I totally teared up reading your post. I have Crohn’s and Celiac so I definitely know how painful and uncomfortable running with stomach pains can be and the need to find a pot. Mega huge congratulations for pushing through the pain and unseasonably cold weather and completing your goal. And with a positive attitude while you were alone! Amazing! Looking forward to reading your second marathon recap.

  41. sniff, sniff…CONGRATS!!! You did it! It’s a dream of mine, and you are such an inspiration. Great story. Thanks so much for sharing.

  42. Congrats on a great race, not too many people can run a marathon and complete it. You pushed through and all that hard work of many months has paid off!

  43. Aww, sweetie I’m so sorry that you had such a rough time during the marathon. You were totally prepared for the distance, but you really can’t ever tell how your body is going to react on race day.

    I’m SO PROUD OF YOU for finishing! I PROMISE I know how you felt and how much easier it would have been to quit when it got hard but YOU DIDN’T! YOU FINISHED! Woo hoo!

    CONGRATS!

  44. Congratulations!!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I’m so glad you did because my biggest fear in running the Disney Princess Half is having stomach issues. I’m so afraid I’ll crap my pants, but it sounds like they have a lot of bathroom stops set up.

    Can’t wait to see the video!

  45. I am wiping away tears right now. Why do race recaps make me SO.FREAKING.EMOTIONAL? You did awesome Megan. You kicked butt and took names is what you did! 😉

    Don’t you feel like you can take on the world right now?

  46. Congratulations- you seriously ROCK!

  47. I think it makes your accomplishment even greater knowing how frickin’ hard you had to work, just to decide to stay positive and finish! You really really ROCK!!!

  48. You should be so proud of how hard you worked to train and how you never gave up. I really feel for you, a stomach issue during a run makes it miserable, nevermind a marathon! YOU ROCK, GIRL, for sticking with it and not giving up!!!!

  49. I can’t imagine running 26.2 feeling like you did 😦 Way to be a trooper and pull through. What an inspiration!!

  50. Wow, Megan. Congratulations on finishing the race! That’s pretty amazing. Most people would’ve given up after the first bathroom break! I hope you were able to relax today.

  51. I’m from Europe (Austria) and I’ve been following your blog since August. It has been so inspirational to read about your marathon training especially your long runs with Caitlin 🙂 Congratulations on finishing! I hope I will be a finisher one day too!!! Great job!!!

  52. Megan, I am so sorry you had to suffer like that during the race! You did an amazing job regardless and still finished in a very impressive time. One thing I learned from reading these recaps is you simply can’t plan for 26.2. Crazy! So proud of you for pulling through — I don’t know if I would have been as strong as you. Congrats!

  53. There are 6.2 billion other people who weren’t running.

    Love yourself. You did it. You could have not done it, not trained, and not finished.

    But you did.

    ~m

  54. I can’t even imagine how hard that race was for you. It is so inspiring though how you were driven enough to keep going even with everything that was going on. Yeah, that was the hardest thing you’ve ever been through, but I’m sure it was also the most incredible thing you’ve ever done as well. A lot of people would have given up. Reading about your struggle and determination made me start crying and I haven’t exactly stopped yet! You really are an amazing person!

    Congratulations for finishing! Your time may not have been what you were expecting/wanting; however, that is STILL an incredible time! Hopefully, if you ever run another marathon, you won’t have the same stomach issues as this race!

  55. Well done! I read your tweet about pain is temporary but quitting is forever, and clicked through. The photos are so cute I would not have any idea about how horrible you felt were it not for this race report!

    And the medal is awesome – what a great way to inspire your brother too!

  56. You are a real champion, Megan! Be proud of yourself–not only did you finish, you pushed past the pain and discomfort to do it. I get stomach problems too when I run sometimes, and they are no joke, but to get them during a marathon and still finish strong? Awesome.

  57. My stomach was killing me too. 😦 I think it was the Powerade I tried around mile 4. I drank only water after that.

    You did outstanding and should be so proud of what you accomplished. You didn’t quit and you FINISHED!

  58. Congrats Megan

  59. Congrats on finishing despite everything else. Having stomach troubles during a race is majorly scary for me. It sounds like you did the best you could possibly do given the situation. Like you said … you couldn’t have planned for that. You are a trooper for finishing it out!

  60. Great job girl! Way to tough it out and push through all the tummy pain! Any your finished a stinkin marathon! That is such a HUGE accomplishment!!

  61. I am so proud of you for finishing that marathon even with what happened! I’ve just been reading your tweets and you have nothing to be sad/mad about! you ran a marathon, which is more than most people can say, i know i can’t and i want to so badly! i’m sure you’ll be able to run another and i know in your heart you will! you did great, don’t think anything bad of it! you’re a rockstar!

  62. You are an inspiration, Megan! You truly deserved that medal. Congratulations! You did it!!!

  63. Congratulations on finishing! Just starting is more than most people — finishing takes it to a whole new level.

  64. Oh my gosh…CONGRATS Megan! I almost cried reading your recap. You did fantastic. I have run through stomach issues before, and it’s the worst thing ever.

    You are so inspiring! Great job, and I look forward to reading more of your race recaps to come. 🙂

  65. Oh my gosh girl, you are a trooper! Stomach issues are the worst, I’m glad you managed to get through it all. You are amazing!

  66. […] had this awesome plan of running 3 miles and just getting out there. After reading this, that, and this marathon re-cap I was ready to conquer the […]

  67. I am sorry that you were so sick during the race, but you DID IT!! You ran a marathon!

    I am running my first marathon in May, so I will be looking back on your marathon for inspiration!

  68. Congratulations for finishing, that is SO huge! And the fact that you pushed through all of that.. I can’t imagine. I’d like to think i’d be as strong but i’m not so sure. You should be so proud of yourself!!!

  69. You did great! You should be so proud!

  70. Congratulations on finishing!! there was no way you could have forseen any of this, you did amazing. I love all of the characters posing for pictures along the way, how cute.

  71. The same thing happened to me during my first 10K, and I was so frustrated that having to stop was ruining “my time.” But in the end it was finishing that mattered. Congrats on your HUGE feat, you are inspiring and awesome!

  72. Just think- if you ever run a marathon again, it is going to seem EASY! haha. Good for you for finishing even though things were so terrible. Stomaches are so unpredictable!

  73. So proud of you! This race recap is amazing! And you’re right- you could have never planned or trained for stomach problems. Darn marathon nerves!

  74. Hi! Congratulations on the marathon!!!! You did amazing! Not sure if you want some unsolicited advice… but I also get a lot of “intestinal issues” when I run and I finally realized that dairy and sugar make it happen. I cut out dairy and sugar two days before a long run and all my issues went away. Maybe something to test out?

    Congrats though, I loved your race recap. 🙂

  75. Oh sweetie – you are strong and incredible. It only makes it so much more worth it that you pushed yourself so much through it. Congrats lady 🙂 Amazing accomplishment.

  76. Your recap made me smile! Good work pushing through! Looks like you’ve been bitten by the marathon bug 🙂 Congrats on your accomplishment. Finishing a marathon is serious business.

  77. […] Thank you all SO MUCH for your words of encouragement, good lucks, and congratulations about my first marathon.  I am really blessed to have such a great group of friends (even some I have never met in […]

  78. YAY! Such a great post — it’s so funny how you train, train, and train. And then the race really surprises you toward the end. Oh, the agony! Oh, the mental toughness! But you’re right — pain is only temporary! I also did a little write-up on my first race experience, if you’re interested 🙂

    http://neverhomemaker.blogspot.com/2009/12/at-long-last-marathon.html

  79. […] It was crazy windy outside, but the breeze felt nice. We walked about 2.5- 3.0 miles total. It’s nice take walks while my legs are healing from my first marathon. […]

  80. […] I woke up yesterday feeling like I could run a marathon. My right knee started hurting me some time after I ran the Disney marathon. […]

  81. […] any run beyond 6.0 miles. Even then, I can count the number of times I have run 5.0+ miles since the Disney Marathon on my ten […]

  82. […] I did two things this week that I haven’t done since the Disney Marathon: […]

  83. […] haven’t attempted to run double digits since January, when I ran the Disney marathon! I’ve been slowly building up for several […]

  84. […] This weekend, I got to visit the most magical place on earth: Disney World! (Unless you are running the Disney marathon. That, in fact, is not […]

  85. […] way, I conquered the longest distance since the Disney Marathon. Go, […]

  86. […] I Did Something Crazy… Posted on November 9, 2010 by MegaNerd I just entered the 2011 NYC Marathon Lottery. I need a redemption from the Disney marathon. […]

  87. […] the race. This year has felt like a bit of a failure on the racing front. I’ve only raced twice (the Disney marathon in January and the Miracles Miles 15k in September) and I wasn’t very happy after either race. […]

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