‘Twas the night before the marathon, and Flat Andrea was ready to go!
The alarm was set for another 2:30am wake up, and I was super stoked!
I got to the starting area with plenty of time to hang out with some friends beforehand and head to my corral, where I was all by myself.
I made it a goal to stick to :30/:30 intervals (run 30 seconds, walk 30 seconds) for the race, which honestly makes the time go by pretty quickly.
The first five miles take you up to the Magic Kingdom toll plaza, through the Transportation & Ticket Center, and up to the Contemporary Resort.
I was surprised how consistent I was. I was wearing a pace bracelet with a goal time of 6:51, which would have been a 1 minute PR. I was already chipping off time, but I was trying to not be too optimistic because I still had 21 miles to go.
Once we passed the 5 mile marker, we were running through Magic Kingdom!
Once out of Magic Kingdom, the next few miles take you through some backstage areas, out along the road to the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian, and around the Speedway. I’ve always found the Speedway to be the worst addition to the marathon course. There’s absolutely no shade, and I’m not a big fan of cars (they line the track with classic cars). Plus, the hill going down into the track is pretty steep and can be pretty dangerous if slippery.
I was still sticking to my intervals, so I was staying pretty consistent, despite the boredom of the Speedway. It was getting to be the time when my friends back home were waking up, so I started getting some really encouraging texts. And one of my friends was on his way to come spectate the race, so I was pretty pumped to keep going.
Right after the 9 mile marker, I lathered up my quads with Bio-Freeze. That stuff is seriously a party in your pants! It always gives me a little boost to keep going.
The road from the Speedway to Animal Kingdom is a couple of miles long. Run Disney really tries to entertain us along the way with characters and funny signs, but it truly is pretty boring along there. I just kept telling myself to stick with the :30/:30 intervals. I was still chipping off time, and the thought of PRing this race was really spurring me on!
The 13th mile marker is right inside Animal Kingdom, and I was obviously still having a lot of fun.
The 14th mile marker is right outside of Animal Kingdom, and the next few miles are spent on Osceola Parkway until we hit the Wide World of Sports.
The 17th mile marker is right outside of the Wide World of Sports Complex, and we run the next few miles in there. It’s honestly the longest couple of miles. There are a bunch of turns. The sidewalks are crowded. It just seems like a lifetime in there. But I did run in to my friends Amber and Danielle while in the complex. We didn’t stay together too long, but it’s always a little pick-me-up to see your friends.
The 20th mile marker is right outside of the WWOS complex, and it wasn’t long until I ran in to my friend Jill and her friend. We stuck together for a little while and did some “pole dancing”. That’s what I call it when we pick something up ahead to run to and then stop to take a break. They were taking longer run intervals, so it really pushed me further when I didn’t think I could.
I ran with them from about the 21st mile marker until the 23rd, which is inside Hollywood Studios. I was really pumped that I was definitely going to PR so I told them I was going to go ahead and run ahead to see just how much I could take off my time.
After Hollywood Studios, we run along the boardwalk passed the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts and then in to the backside of Epcot for the last few miles.
Right inside Epcot, my friends were waiting to cheer me on and offer me a beverage from the England pavilion.
I think I walked a lot around Epcot but I was still on a mission to PR.. big time!
And PR I did!
That’s a 10 MINUTE PR!
Overall, I felt pretty awesome. I kept to my intervals for almost all of the race. I never felt like I hit a wall. I think I was properly hydrated and fueled the whole time. I had a few Gu Chomps every 4 miles religiously. I was taking Fig Newtons and cups of Coke from spectators.
When I got done, I grabbed my checked bag, which I had packed with a bottle of Coke and two PB&J sandwiches and enjoyed a nice little picnic on the group at the reunion area while I waited for my friends to finish.
Honestly, this race was so much fun, and I’m so proud of myself for setting a new personal record. It definitely spurred me on to sign up for more races. You’ll see my race schedule soon in a future post.
‘Til next time!