Dear Friends and Family,
I just wanted to follow with everyone. Last week I sent out an email to thank you for your support and inform you that due to injury and bronchitis I wouldn’t enter into the Disney Marathon this year.
Well on Saturday I got up at 5 am to watch my wife run in 30 degree weather with sleet and snow. I was on the side line with my family miserable in the cold weather, yet she was the one running 13 miles that day. My wife Jennifer is still getting over the same bronchitis that I have yet she pulled though and made the best of it.
After watching her I was inspired and decided nothing would stop me, so we went back to the hotel and tried to get prepared mentally for 26.2 miles. My day started at 2:30am to catch the bus at 3:00am in the lobby to get to MGM to line up for the race. It was 25 degrees out, the water at the water stops were frozen, roads were all iced over and with over 24,000 people lining up to start the race only 16,000 finished. I’m able to say I was one of the 16,000 that finished.
With that said it was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. Being sick and having an injured knee made each a lot harder than I ever trained for. I ran the first mile feeling great, striping off layers of clothing as I warmed up. Mile 2 my knee started aching and I knew I would have to slow down. Around mile 4 I was limping really bad and was reduced to slow walk. At this point my first few layers were wet from sweat, my top few layers were thrown on the ground a few miles back and I started to get really cold. By now I completed 4 of the slowest miles I have ever ran and it occurred to me that there was no way I could finish.
I spotted my family around that time and they gave me some encouragement telling me to try and just take it slow and that they would see me around mile 9. So off I went determined to make it to mile 9. I ran into a friend out on the course soon after and she told me that my hat had ice all over it from the frozen sweat. At that point I was shivering from the cold, so I picked up the next jacket I saw on the ground that another runner tossed aside earlier. I put it on and it was a perfect fit.
From here I just wanted to make it to mile 12 so I could hop onto the monorail and go back to the hotel. I was very angry with how things played out up to this point because I didn’t sign up to hobble though a marathon. I kept thinking back to just one month ago I ran a half marathon in 2:12 (which for 4 months of training was a respectable time) but this time because of uncontrollable circumstances it was 3 hours before I made it to mile 12.
Finally I made it to 12 and spotted my wife and family again. This was it I finally had an out. I quit! My wife hoped over the gate and told me she would walk the rest with me. That was the highlight of my year. I knew she was sick and hurting as well( ran 13 miles in the cold just the day before) but she didn’t hesitate. She knew I didn’t really want to see me give up so away we went. For the next 9 miles we walked talked and on occasion tried to run. After walking for a few minutes I’d forget how bad it hurt to run so I’d say lets try and jog. This was cut short in just a few short steps so back to a fast walk it was.
Around mile 18 I could see Jennifer was in a pain as she has had problems with her knee as well so I told her I could make it the rest of the way on my own. So here I am 18 miles in, 8 miles to go trying every trick I know to fool my brain into thinking 8 miles isn’t still a long way. The next few miles were hard because we were in the middle of nowhere on Disney’s Highways going up and down the same over passes, bridges and toll booth that we just drove in on a few days before. Those roads seem long even in a car let alone with slow foot after another.
From there I finally found some positive thoughts and made light of the situation and decided to give it my best. It was getting closer and closer and when I got to mile 24 and saw 1,000s of people lined up inside of MGM it really hit me that I was going to finish. The people along the way gave lots of encouragement and reminded me to smile I was about to finish a marathon.
All the previous negative thoughts and anger from not being able to finish in the time I trained for went away. I was overcome with joy to see the finish line up ahead. Did I break a world record for the fastest marathon? No, but I’m happy to say I followed through on the promise I made to myself 5 months ago that no matter what happened I would finish the 2010 Disney Marathon.
As I previously stated this was by far the hardest thing I’ve done in my life and with that said I will do another marathon as soon as I as get my body ready. It wasn’t pretty and truthfully wasn’t much fun at all but I proved to myself and others that I could do it.