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Disney Marathon 1/9/2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

So my dream to run a marathon started 20+ years ago. Before I had kids I used to run and loved it… But honestly I really wasn’t a good runner back then. I always seemed to get injured after running a few months so I really didn’t think I had what it took to run 26.2 miles. As the years went on the dream didn’t die but became more and more distant. Had to face the fact that I was packing around an extra 50 pounds that had to go before I could hope to check the box on my marathon dream.

When I crossed that finish line on January 9th at Walt Disney World, I realized my dream. I had accomplished what seemed unattainable for so many years. I’m not one to push myself…I like my comfort zone… but I discovered with the right training and a solid running base 26.2 miles was not that difficult to run. I conquered the fear of failure and fear of injury and accomplished what few attempt to do. I am a Marathoner!

The details:
5,943 overall out of 13,529
320/951 in division (40-44)
2037/6269 women

I started with the 4:30 pace group at the very front of wave 4. The start was neat because each wave got to walk to the start line and got their own send off with fireworks. I wore my Hood to coast singlet, capris and pink compression socks.
The pace leader chattered constantly the whole time I ran with her. I liked it. It kept me focused and the early miles in the dark clicked off rather quickly. We dedicated each mile to someone and thought of them for that mile we ran. I lost the group around mile 9 as we were running through the Magic Kingdom; there was a lot of congestion in the narrow lanes but I still kept up that steady pace however, until about mile 16. I slowed down after that but still felt really good. The entertainment along the course when running outside the parks is constant and is good distraction. There were lots of opportunities to stop and take pictures with the Disney characters…I did a few, but mostly didn’t want to get out of the running groove. I started getting a little shaky at mile 24 but it didn’t last long. The crowd support the last 2 miles running through Epcot was great - strangers calling your name, encouraging you to keep going, friendly touches.

At the 25 mile mark I caught up to a woman (Kelly) who had started the pace group with me. We had been passing each other the whole race. She asked if I wanted to run the last mile with her…it was a good focus at the end and I appreciated her friendship at that time. I couldn’t quite keep up with her but it helped me push through that final mile.

Mentally I felt great…Physically I was amazed I had no calf cramps, no blisters, no pains anywhere except my left lower leg right above my ankle. By the time I got back to the hotel it was swollen and red and it is still a little sore a week after the race.

I am certain I could have run a faster race than I did. But I met my own expectations and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. This was Disney and I had traveled 3,000 miles…I wanted to enjoy every bit of it…and I did!
I also enjoyed getting to know fellow Sparker Suezette and her husband Phil. My DH and I weren’t in Orlando very long and unfortunately didn’t have the chance to meet up with any other Sparkers except Molly who ran both the half and full marathons (truly Goofy!)

Will I run another marathon? I don’t know – it’s going to be hard to beat the Disney experience. My family supported me 100% in my efforts and I hope that my children learned they can do anything they set out to do, no matter how impossible it seems.

Here are a few pictures. The link to view the official ones is:

Suezette and I before the race

Me with 2 of my kiddos - they were so proud of the shirts!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You are soooooooooooooooo awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    You did it!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon
    3606 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/11/2011 10:39:13 PM
    AWESOME Polly! I still wanna hear about it in person - but thanks for sharing your story! So powerful, and inspiring!!! We must do lunch soon!

    Love ya!
    3647 days ago
  • CMERUN29
    Congratulations, Polly! How awesome to now be called a Marathoner! Great job!
    3656 days ago
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    3656 days ago
    3656 days ago
    3656 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/20/2011 12:50:28 AM
    Polly, thanks for sharing your experience with us! What an awesome job you did! I am sure your kids will never forget that there mom ran a marathon and it was a Disney World. I am very proud of you and I appreciate the time we got to spend at HTC - thanks so much for the support! Rest up and bask in the glow that you are a MARATHONER......

    Could be I will be joining your exclusive club this year baring any injuries!!


    3656 days ago

    Congratulations on completing a life goal! What an accomplishment....thank you for sharing your experience and pictures....what an example you just set for your kids...I bet your family was so proud.

    Again, congrats!!
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    3656 days ago
    That's awesome Polly! Congrats on being a marathoner. Love the pic of you and Suzette together.
    3657 days ago
  • VICKI1215
    Great job! Congratulations!
    3657 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2946534
    Yay Polly! Congrats!
    3657 days ago
  • no profile photo CD557571
    Congratulations Polly! I think you had a fantastic pace going through that. Great job on your marathon.
    3657 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8922346
    emoticon emoticon What a fantastic experience!! I'm glad you were able to achieve a long time dream of yours, and it sounds like you did emoticon
    3657 days ago
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