Monday, January 20, 2014

Disney Marathon Review

Overall I was VERY pleased with how Marathon Weekend went, yes it was crowded but not insane crazy like Princess last year!

We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside and due to a "technical difficulty" (you really can't teleport cars yet) we had a car since dh hadn't driven his car back to ORD from being based in FLL.  Let me say this now, I LOVED having a car for race weekend, it really was a sanity saver. We drove every morning and rather than have to get up even earlier and wait for the bus (which for 1/2 and full day the last bus was at 4am!).  We slept in a little and still left in enough time to get there.  The other plus side of this was that after the race you could just get in the car and leave, you didn't have to wait with a bunch of other tired smelly people for the bus.

So the 5K and 10K traffic wasn't bad, and the course wasn't crowded at all.  Both were nice courses the 10K was basically just an expanded 5K with the addition of runing aroud Boardwalk.

The half course, let me say this now, it's the same 1/2 course as Princess, and I don't like it.  I think it's boring and long.  Basically you run out and back from Epcot to the Magic Kingdom. I dislike that you don't run through the parks much (esp compared to Wine and Dine where you run through 3!) and I despise the "hell stretch" after the Magic Kingdom where you all are (trying) to run on one lane of a two lane road.  In short the 1/2 course blows, with that said it seemed a little less crowded than Princess last year, thank god for small things I guess.

The full marathon course for the first 7-8 miles is the same as the 1/2...whooo hooo....After that we got to run around the speedway and then onto the full marathons version of "hell stretch" from the half.  Of course we had already run my "hell stretch" from the half since it was the same course for the first 7-8miles.  And it made me think that "hell stretch" behind Polynesian wasn't so bad compared to what was coming.  After you left the speedway they ran you down a little service road that connects to Animal Kingdom....which had basically nothing on that I mean no bathrooms!

Once we ran through Animal Kingdom then it was down the road to ESPN.  Now I'm not sure that I hated this as much as the little connector road from MK to AK because at least at ESPN there were bathrooms.  But running around  ESPN is like a rat in a maze.  We ran 3-4 miles there zig-zagging everywhere, around the track, around the baseball field, back and forth!  Once we were free of ESPN it was the home stretch, just about 5 mile left!  It was a quick run over to MGM (Hollywood Studios) then around Boardwalk and back to Epcot!

I have to admit I loved the way they did crowd control at the end of the races so much better than Princess, no hour wait to try and get out of the runner holding corral and I found dh within about 5 mins of leaving the runner area!

All in all I would do this again....maybe....someday....if I was drunk when I signed up!  A marathon was on my bucket list, but I'm not sure it would make my bucket list twice :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Disney Marathon

                                               Mickey and I rocking it after the Marathon.

                                 Four races, six medals, the marathon one is my favorite!

As I sit here driving back from running my first marathon ( I actually did the Dopey Challenge which was a 5k, 10k, 1/2 and full 4 days in a row) I realize I should write a book, "How Not To Run A Marathon."  I'm sure everyone in my Dopey facebook page and my buddy Jeff (Galloway) would be horrified if they heard I'd only done one long run before the marathon.Ever.  Probably just as horrified to know I really only ran once a week after Wine and Dine in November.  After that 1/2 in November I had NO motivation to I forced myself to go once a week....some times it was 3 miles, sometimes it was 6, and once it was 22. 

Also my pre-run, pre-race, breakfast is Diet Coke and a few cookies or chocolate Hostess donuts, the breakfast of champions no doubt.  I'm quite certain most "real" runners would be horrified to learn I ate at Buffalo Wild Wings the night before the marathon too.

So why would I mention all this?  Mostly to say running is an individual sport, what works for some may not work for others.  You have to find what works for you, and no one else can tell you what works for you, you have to find out for yourself.  Sure it's probably NOT a good idea to eat a breakfast like mine but it works for me, and hey I wasn't the last one across the finish, and judging from people walking around Disney the last few days I certainly fared better than they did!

So the big question....Will I ever run another marathon?  Not sure, I go back and forth but probably not.  It is a lot of time to commit (especially if you are actually going to train) and judging from my lack of motivation going into this one I can't see me prepping differently than I did if I were to sign up for another one.  Am I glad I did it? You bet.  Hands down its one of the things I'm most proud of.  I think part me wanting to do a marathon was to prove that I could.  I had a hysterectomy at 27 due to severe endometriosis, kidney surgery, gallbladder surgery, and I have had 2 types of cancer (appendix and melanoma) I think I took more vicodin in October than most people take in 5 years.  If I had to crawl over that finish line I would have, just to prove to myself that I could. 

You can definitely count on me to run more 1/2 marathons (running a marathon makes them look short!) and you never know.....I may end up crazy enough to do another Marathon!