Disney Marathon Race Report (Part 2)

So we left off our pre-race story with sickness, and a sleepless night.
Did you miss the pre-race recap? read it HERE.

Race Day
The phone rang at 3am. Instead of listening to what Disney character had called to wake me up, I picked up the phone and slammed it in place. I was exhausted. I was mad. I started sobbing.
How am I going to do this?
I'm exhausted.
I can't breathe.
My nose is filled with snot.

If I felt like this at home...
I would call out sick from work.
I would totally skip my run.
I would take Nyquil and sleep all day.

My mom and Kevin tried to comfort me. "You don't have to do it. If you don't feel up to it don't worry."

"But this is the WHOLE reason we're here!"

I cried, got up from bed, and started putting on my race gear. My brother came over and told me he'd stay with me the whole race. He'd repay the favor I gave him 2 years ago in the Disney half by not leaving his side. I knew I needed him on this marathon morning.

I made up a piece of bread with banana and peanut butter (my usual pre-race fuel), packed my honey stinger chews and waffle into my skirt and, grabbed a protein bar, and stuffed as many kleenex as I could in my skirt, pack and hands as I could. Soon, jason, S and I were boarding the bus to get to Epcot.

I tried eating my breakfast, but I really couldn't stomach it. I knew it was bad to head into a marathon with such little fuel in my body, but I just couldn't eat. I finally threw it away in the trash so I could concentrate more on blowing my nose.

We finally got to the staging area, we didn't have bags to check, but headed to the information tent to see if they would let my brother change corrals to be with me in corral D. Thank god they did based on his word of half marathon time the day before. While we were waiting, I txtd Sara from Words to Run By & found her!

Sara & I pre-race

She was on day 2 of her adventure of the Goofy Challenge, She was battling a toe blister, and was worried about finishing. I wished her good luck, but unfortunately Sara got pulled from the course not far from the end. Visit her recap HERE, it is an absolutely amazing story of perseverance, determination, and that stubbornness we all display as badass runners. If you need inspiration, you need to check it out.

We took a couple more pre-race photos. In pictures I didn't look too horrible...

S & I pre-race

Jason & I pre-race!

We headed to the corrals, stopping twice at porta potties on the way. I felt like I went through a million kleenex. We headed to corral D, and on the way I saw Team Hoyt on the big screen. They are such a huge inspiration to me as well. I love hearing about them racing, and was so excited to be racing the same race as them!

Soon with fireworks and cheering Corral D (for Determination!), was off! I was excited to get going, but felt sick, tired, and sluggish. I had my Garmin on, but my brother told me not to look at it (it was pitch black and I couldn't anyways). He told me to let him know if we needed to slow down, or stop to walk. Disney Highway to Epcot....
mile 1: 13:07 (quick bathroom stop)
mile 2: 11:44
at 2.5 we hit Ecpot, it was dark and all lit up. We ran through the countries and out by the Epcot ball.
mile 3: 11:46
Back to Disney highway. I was still feeling awful, constantly blowing my nose. We walked through the water stations, and I tried to drink some powerade figuring it may give me some calories since I barely took in any that morning. Big mistake realized later in the race. Overall I was feeling ok, my knee was behaving, and we kept plugging along, chatting with other runners along the way.

mile 4: 11:41
mile 5: 12:22
mile 6: 12:10
mile 7: 12:16
mile 8: 12:23
mile 9: 12:09
mile 10: 12:30

Our pace was slowing, I was getting tired and light headed. I had to walk a little when the dizziness got bad. I was looking forward to hitting the Magic Kingdom. Mentally, I tried to break the race up into parks, with a goal to make it to the next one. Once we passed the Contemporary hotel, I got excited to get to Magic Kingdom. Running in and seeing the people cheering, and the castle was just as great as the last 2 times I've passed through, although this time we were about double the distance in. We stopped to take a couple pictures.

I didn't want to stop and wait in character lines, so instead I took pictures from the side if there was someone good. As we ran through tomorrow land we saw Buzz LightYear, and since my brother always loved him growing up, I had to get a picture for him.

By one of his favorite rides... Splash Mountain

And me by mile 11, because I honestly couldn't believe I had made it that far.
mile 11: 12:50

Leaving the castle!

After exiting the park, we knew we had only a little over a mile until we saw Jason's girlfriend & Kevin at the Polynesean. We ran by the resort looking for them, but couldn't find them. I was afraid we missed them, and started txting Kevin. Finally there they were! Jason changed from his long sleeve into his tank top, and we headed on after a hug and kiss from our biggest cheerleaders.

I ran away from them feeling happy, but tired. Sick, but ready to go on.
mile 12: 13:26
mile 13: 14:16

Next goal was to get to Animal Kingdom. I was going downhill. I felt sick to my stomach, I was barely able to eat any chews. I tried to eat part of a waffle, but couldn't get it down. I was able to drink water successfully. The lightheadedness came and went. I shed my arm sleeves and had run out of kleenex. I decided to keep my gloves and use them as a disgusting handkerchief.

mile 14: 12:51
mile 15: 14:04
mile 16: 15:23

Slightly after mile 15, was when I really felt sick to my stomach. I had that feeling that if only I could throw up, I'd feel better. So my brother told me to pull over and try. So I did. Power Aid. Nothing solid, I barely had anything in my stomach. After getting up the power aid I started feeling a little better nausea wise. I was able to eat more chews and drink water. My Nuun had gotten warm, so I stopped drinking. It was getting hotter and hotter out. I tried focusing on getting to Animal Kingdom.

Finally we were there!
There were animals by the gate to greet us.

I wish I had taken more pictures throughout Animal Kingdom. The Tree of Life, Expedition Everest. I was so focused on getting out of there so I could head to Hollywood Studios. In my mind, I knew if I could make it to Hollywood Studios I'd make it to the end.

mile 17: 17:20
mile 18: 15:10

Then came 19, which I had heard was the worst stretch of the race. All Disney Highway to Hollywood Studios. I'm pretty sure it was around this point where I started feeling overheated. I remember saying things to my brother who told me to quit spending extra energy, I wasn't even making sense. I made a comment that I've never run this far before. I knew I needed to take care of myself to avoid a repeat of what happened to A at Disney Princess last year. I stopped at a med tent and asked for ice. They asked me to sit down and they would tape it to me. I told them I wanted it just to cool down. 

I was thirsty and hot. We started walking more. My brother was encouraging and motivating, I teared up a little telling him how much I appreciated him. 

mile 19: 16:55
mile 20: 17:34

Then I saw it!
The sign for Hollywood Studios!
I started crying,
"We're gonna make it! We're really gonna make it. We're gonna finish!"
My brother calmly said, "Steph, of course we're gonna make it. We did well the first half, and you're doing fine, just keep going."

Then through a cruel twist, we realized that before entering the park, we had do an out and back loop, which totaled a mile. Such a cruel tease. I stopped at another med tent, I decided to try tying the back of ice to the back of my sports bra so I could try running with it, since prior I was only walking when I had ice. It worked, and I was able to pick it up, and alternate more running with the walking.

mile 21: 15:47
mile 22: 15:53

We hit Hollywood Studios! I honestly barely remember what we ran by, We were running through the Backlot tour and looped through NYC.

mile 23: 17:56

Past Mickey's Fantasia Hat...

Bye bye Tower of Terror!
My dizziness was still there, I was guzzling water. I was so thirsty and hot. My legs were getting tired, not pain, but just exhausted. My feet were aching, I just wanted to be finished. We headed down the walking path to Disney's Boardwalk. I remembered making this walk last year from my hotel and felt like we were getting so close to the finish. We alternated running and walking along the riverside path.

mile 24: 15:29

 We headed onto the boardwalk where there were people everywhere cheering for us. Most people had been walking the last 4 miles or so, I got excited passing people when I was able to run. My ice was sliding all over my back, but felt so good. We were almost there!! Only the back gate of Epcot and through the countries to go! I teared up again, but tried to calm myself down to prevent my heart rate from creeping up even higher.

mile 25: 15:48

There were people all over Epcot. I remember taking off my ice pack to give to a cast member to throw away. When I had to stop to walk, my brother would ask if I needed to stop stop. I told him no, we needed to make forward progress, I just wanted to be done. Then we saw Snow White! I HAD to stop, I was dressed up like her!

I'm pretty sure I teared up again here too.
Then we were running by the Epcot christmas tree & toward Spaceship Earth.

mile 26: 16:13

Just before this, Jason was asking me how bad did I want it? I told him I just wanted to be finished. Lets go. I think I may have needed one walk break backstage before running out in front of the crowd. I saw Kevin again cheering us on with my mom and everyone else.

We gave a wave, and headed toward the finish, I was sooooo ready to be done!

That last bit I picked it up to a 12:51 pace.

I crossed the finish.
I started sobbing.
I hugged my brother.
I thanked him and told him I owed it all to him. I would have never made it without him. I've dreamed about this moment for 6 years and he made it possible on a day where the conditions made it seem unlikely to happen.
We did it.
Him 39.3 miles
Me 26.2 miles

I was ready to collapse. 
I got more ice, grabbed some water and food I knew I wouldn't be able to eat.
We went to our meeting spot, and sat down. My feet felt swollen and I couldn't wait to get my sneakers off. 

I'm a Marathoner!
Despite the horrible conditions thrown my way, I'm incredibly proud to say I did it.
And you know how I said I would never run another one unless a 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike were before it?
Now I need to do another solo 26.2 to see what I can do when I actually feel well.
So be assured, there will be another marathon in my future!
Look at that sweet bling!
Overall Stats
overall place - 11313/13478
gender place - 4979/6315
division place - 897/1114
Half Marathon split -  2:45:52
Marathon time - 6:17:06

Post-race recap will be part 3!


Kayla said...

CONGRATS!!!Love the recap, but that sucks that you felt so crappy on marathon day! But I honestly know how that goes, and I have said the same thing I need to do another one when I feel better! You pushed through and you got/earned that Mickey medal!! I'm so happy for you!! Way to go, marathoner!!!

Wells L said...

Wow - I cried just reading this! You're awesome. You're a marathoner! You.did.that!!!! Your brother is awesome, but you did that! One step, painful and hot step after another! GREAT JOB!

I'm hoping you say that you felt better in time to enjoy your cruise. . . can't wait for part 3!

Elle said...

What a moving story! I am so happy for you that you were able to finish, and that you and Sara met.

It is wonderful that your brother stayed with you all the way and how great that he completed his Goofy!

Congratulations, Marathon Woman!

Sarah said...

Congratulations! I really enjoyed your recap. I'm so sorry you had to do that while sick!

On the Right Track said...

wow!!! I don't think anybody reading this can't be so proud of your accomplishments!!! what a brother you have as well! congratualtions to a job well done and a moment well deserved!
Looking forward to reading more about you!

Angela said...

Congrats!!! I am so glad you were able to dig deep and finish!!!

I love Disney and I want to run a Disney race.

I am hoping to run my first marathon in Oct and I am totally freaked out!

I am bookmarking this and reading it every time I start to doubt I can do it!

My Daily Journey to Share said...

Oh my goodness, I have tears from reading this. I am so proud of you for pushing thru it and doing it! Your brother is a hero!! Great story! Erica

Christina said...

WOW! GREAT job for pushing through and getting it DONE! You are definitely one determined young lady and I Love It!!
Sorry you had to run under such yucky condition. But you persevere and DID IT. That is truly amazing.
Your brother is really awesome for staying by your side and supporting you along the way. Way to go!

Tri Chic ~ Jury said...

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!! I loved your re-cap, I truly felt I was there cheering you on. CONGRATS!!! :)

Lisa said...

Way to go! I'm so impressed that you finished the marathon feeling sick and with so little fuel. But you were determined and pushed through and you did it! It's great that your brother was there to support you. And I love all the fun photos that you shared. Congratulations!

kimert said...

Congrats on your amazing finish! Great recap. I am so proud of your for pushing through the horrible feeling from the start to finish! You are amazing!!!!!

amber said...

Congrats!!! You are such an inspiration. Despite all that you had giong against you, you finished and did amazing! :)

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

you did so amazing! I can't even imagine going through everything sick. Great story and you will have more marathons!

Nicole said...

Amazing job!! I can't say much else, I am awed that you made it through being so sick! You and your brother both rock!

Sara said...

STEPHANIE?!?!?!?! You talk about me being inspiring, but what you did is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! I was tearing up reading your post. Look at everything you OVERCAME AND YOU DID IT AND YOU FINISHED!!

I am so incredibly proud of you and happy for you! I loved every second of this recap - it was amazing!! I loved the pictures and reading about all those miles YOU RAN! I felt like I was right there with you! You are such an inspiration to me and such a great runner. Just think of what you can do when you are feeling 100%

Stephanie, so many people would have quit (or not even started) because of how they felt, but not YOU. Simply. Amazing. And, you looked awesome in your running outfit - loved it!

NOW, I must say, SNOW WHITE is my favorite and I am super super bummed that I missed her. I did not see her at all around Disney!? That is SO COOL that you got a picture with her!

Congrats, Marathoner!!

Aimee said...

What an inspiring story Stephanie! You should be so incredibly proud of yourself. I hope you had the most restful, relaxing cruise post marathon. You certainly deserved it.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! Awesome, awesome, awesome!

Zac said...

Awesome job! Love the matching snow white outfit! Congratulations on bing a marathoner, and despite being sick and no sleep. Wow, huge accomplishment.

Nicole said...

Congrats and way to overcome such a challenge! You did great and should be super proud!

Suz and Allan said...

Congratulations! I love your recap. You both ran a great race! Hooray for being a MARATHONER!!!!

~* Jenn *~ said...

I am so inspired reading your story. I am not sure I would have been strong enough to even start if I was feeling sick. Congratulations on becoming a marathoner!

I saw you posted your mom's race recap, wow... congrats to her! I would love to hear your brother's perspective on the Goofy challenge - I am considering attempting it in 2014!


Lesley @ racingitoff.com said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! So super proud of you. I know how long and how hard you've been training for this. Amazing job. Go Marathoner!