Just Kidding! It was a VERY big deal! After months of training, fundraising, stress, and injuries.. I RAN A MARATHON!!!!
I know you all want to hear the story… But first a little background;
Mike and I landed in Orlando mid morning on Thursday. We tagged our bags for Disney’s Magical Express.. So we didn’t have to pick them up at bag check. We made it to the hotel, checked in to our room, then headed out to Epcot to meet my sister and the kids. While we were waiting for them to get there.. We treated ourselves to our favorite Epcot treat.. An Avacodo margarita from the tequila bar in Mexico. (These babies are 14 bucks a pop! But SO worth it!)
The weather was wonderful.. A warm, sunny 80 degrees, a little humid, but there was a light breeze. We met up with my sister and did some of Trenton’s favorite things!
I even got to babysit a little as Mommy went to go meet Daddy with his pass at the gate.
Then we did a nice walk around the World Showcase.. Rode the Norway ride.. Watched Trenton and Daddy have a sword fight.. You know.. The usual 😉
After we got back to the hotel, I realized my I left my phone charger at home and my phone was about to die. I desperately texted my teammate to see if she could loan me her charger.. And she happened to have an extra. What a lifesaver! She came over and we talked a while. After I had plugged my phone in and it came back to life.. I realized I got an email from my dad. My grandmother had passed away that evening 😦
This was the very same Grandmother who I was running in honor of… My last living grandparent. She has been on hospice care for a little over a month.. Maybe two.. And although I knew she was sick and getting worse, I still didn’t realize the end would come so quick. I was flooded with emotion… Good, and bad. I know that I shouldn’t be sad about it.. I should be happy that she is finally free from that horrible illness that has been holding her captive all these years.. And happy that we got to have here here with us for so long, even thought the doctors only gave her 2- 3 years when she was first diagnosed. But I can’t help but feel sad… Sad I’ve lost my grandmother.. Sad the world lost an amazing, generous and kind person, sad her cancer couldn’t be cured, sad that she can’t be at my wedding. I’m good most of the time.. But sometimes on my own, my thoughts of her bring me to that sad place. I know it’s human to grieve, and I know she would want us to be happy for her, and celebrate her life and all that she has given to the world. That is what’s holding me together.
I feel strong knowing that the work I’m doing with Team in Training is not in vain. I know that her illness and now death has motivated me and given me the conviction to keep going. I may never have participated in TNT if it were not for her illness.. And out of it, I’m helping to find a cure. What a wonderful gift to leave the world.
All that aside.. I bring you back to my last post where I discussed my knee distress. I had been pretty nervous about running the marathon on a bum knee. So much so that I was not sleeping very well. I tried to get a small pool workout in, running laps around the pool, but even with that, I was feeling it a bit. I was wearing my knee brace around, but then I discovered that the heat and humidity was making my knee under the brace swell! I bought some KT tape at the expo (among some other cool race gear) and tried taping it for support. It felt good enough, so I just went with that.
Friday night was the TNT Inspiration dinner. This is a big event where all the chapters of TNT across the country (and Puerto Rico) gather for a pasta carb load dinner and listen to inspiring stories and speakers. We also got to recognize the top Fundraisers for the season as well as celebrate all the work the participants, mentors, coaches, and staff have done, all in the name of a cure. For the Disney event, 1,080 participants raised over 3.4 MILLION dollars for cancer research. Talk about amazing.
Saturday was Half Marathon day. I got to sleep in a little, as we did not race until Sunday. Mike and I got breakfast and headed out to Hollywood Studios. Mike had never been to this park before.. And I hadn’t been in a few years, so it was on the list of parks to hit. We did the Great Movie Ride, Star Tours, Extreme Stunt Show, Indiana Jones, the Backlot Tour, and a few other things. We headed back fairly early so that I could get ready for the big race! I got to bed around 8:30.. Watched a little tv.. And surprisingly got some pretty good sleep.
Sunday morning, at the un-Godly hour of 2 am, I woke up to get ready for the marathon. I ate my bagel with peanut butter and banana.. I put on my race gear, fixed my hair, laced up my shoes and headed out the door to meet my team. By 3 am, we were on a bus to the Wonder lot at Epcot.. The staging area for the race. We got a few pre-race photos.. Talked a bit to calm our nerves.. And watched as the 25,000 runners from all over filtered in. Soon it was time to say our goodbyes to our spectators (Mike, Dawn’s BF Dave, her mom and her brother) and filtered through bag check to the runners only area.
After a bathroom break and a brief wait, the herd started to move. We walked a good ways to our corral- we were both in C corral this year, so I didn’t have to move back. We sat and chatted with a fellow MD TNT alumni who spotted us and came over to chat. We talked about my knee, and how I had plenty of time to finish because I was in one of the earlier starting corrals.. And to just take it slow and have fun. My plan all along- but it’s always good to hear the encouragement from others. The corral was filling up.. And some were even jumping the fences.. Which was irritating considering a lot of the jumpers had been assigned to other corrals.. Really!? The nerve of some people! Before I knew it, Mickey was on the speakers announcing the start of the race! A National Anthem and a few fireworks later.. And the elite corral was off!!
The Corrals were started 5 mins apart. First the Elites and Wheel Chairs.. Then A.. B… C and beyond. As C moved up to the start line, I set my interval timer on my phone (4 mins run, 1 min walk) and set up my Garmin. Then Mickey announced.. 3… 2… 1… GO!!!