Two weeks ago, I received my inserts/orthotics from the podiatrist to assist with my realignment. I believe I mentioned earlier that my feet didn’t form properly and my family and I now refer to them as my “Neanderthal feet”, but ok. The break in period is tough – you wear them for one hour the first day, two the second day, three the third day, four the fourth, and then all day on the fifth day with an hour or two break midday. By day four, my ankles were in pain. I was wrapped in ice and could not stand up without pain. So upon speaking with Harry, we agreed I’d wait until AFTER the race to start the break in period so I could run pain free.
Also new in my repertoire of gadgets is my new TENS machine. After realizing how much it helped me after workouts at Harry’s studio, and at the urging of several running Facebook friends, I bought one for home use. Harry taught me the correct settings and how to use it. So far have only used once, but it worked really well.
This week, I rounded out week 10 of training for the Walt Disney World Marathon – the full marathon! Over the past month, since I last posted, I was busy getting everything together for this past weekend’s “training” run at Disneyland – the 10th Anniversary of the Disneyland Half Marathon and part of the Disneyland 60th Anniversary Celebration. The title for this entry is the Walt Disney quote that is on our finishers’ medal. I love this quote for running, because, for me, running seemed impossible. And a full marathon – well, it still seems impossible at times. But I’m having fun doing this.
Training last week wasn’t just a 13 mile run. It was a week of planning a cute race outfit with bling – one to feel good in while you’re running in the same way you’d put on a great outfit to go out to dinner or to a club. You look good, you feel good. All girly girls know this.
After the planning, came the weekend. It was a great time. First was the expo where I picked up my bib and shirt and did some shopping. Everything was done with the full marathon in mind – I couldn’t let my girly girl shopaholic get out of control this round. My purchases were limited to Jeff Galloway’s “Nutrition for Runners” book (which he autographed, as well as autographing my bib), a second pair of Oofos recovery flip flops which are great support for walking after races, and some bottles to add to my running belt so I could train and stay properly hydrated.
That night, I met up with two former Facebook friends who are also the admins of the first timers running group we started. I say former Facebook friends because now that I’ve met them and know them, they are real life friends. One of them was running the 10K, as were many of my other running friends who chose to do the Dumbo Double Dare challenge – as this was a last minute entry for me, I chose to do only the half marathon as it fit the full training schedule perfectly. The other friend wasn’t running at all. She couldn’t make up her mind, but then came across the country anyway to meet us. To her I say, “#itoldyouso”.
The morning of the 10K, my friend and I stood outside at mile 6 handing out mini beignets to some of the runners in our Facebook group as well as those who are donut obsessed from another group I’m in. The “Firsties”, as we call them, knew where we were standing, so many popped out of the race to say hi and give us hugs and get their surprise treats. We cheered for everyone – let them know they were in the home stretch in case they didn’t see the mile 6 marker that was partially blocked around the corner.
We saw the first place finisher. We saw the last finishers – two veterans who were amputees. Inspiration at all parts of the course. We were in awe at some of the costumes. I don’t always get to appreciate them when I’m running with them as opposed to just viewing, and if you have never seen a runDisney race, this is something to watch. It is the atmosphere that makes it fun.
Saturday afternoon, we met up with all the Firsties who were at Disneyland for the weekend and spent some time wandering the parks, riding rides, and shopping. It was great seeing so many of them and spending time – I think we are so lucky to have this group for support for January, and can’t wait to see them again. One thing I had issues with was hydration. It was very hot, and I kept drinking water, but couldn’t get comfortable or feel ok. I couldn’t understand why my body wouldn’t absorb it when I had no coffee, no caffeine, and no alcohol.
Sunday was race day for me. I started out with some major adrenaline, but soon was able to slow down and find my comfortable pace. It was an extra warm day, so this was extra hard for me. First, in reality, the scheduled run was to be 11 miles and I was doing 13.1. So I knew that would be hard, and told myself if I had to, I would not feel bad about walking the final 2 miles. Second, it was hot. And third, this course was not my favorite Disneyland course that I’ve done. Previously, I’ve done Tinker Bell three times and Star Wars once. For those races, out of 13.1 miles, 6 of them are in parks and Downtown Disney, so there is a lot to look at and a lot of spectators around. For this course, there were only 4 miles in the parks and then we ran out to Angel Stadium. On some of the roads there were people displaying their antique cars – a private car show for us. There was a dirt path to run which was narrow and didn’t have a fence on one side and all I could see was myself tripping and falling off the cliff. Then we ran through Angel Stadium where there were crowds of spectators watching with the Girl Scouts in the front row of the stands high fiving all of the runners. That was a fun surprise. Then it was the long haul back to the parks. Around mile 10, I “fell” into a pothole. Thank you, Anaheim for the giant hole on the corner. I rolled my ankle a little, and compensated with my other leg a little where I thought I might have issues but after stretching and starting up again, I was fine. The heat started to get to me around mile 11. It was then that I thought, “What am I doing? This isn’t fun?” My brain wasn’t trained. Once that thought creeps in, it’s really hard to get back to business. I finally was able to tell myself that A. I had been fighting a cold all week, B. it’s hot, and C. you’re not as well prepared as you will be in January.
And I finished. With my bling. I stopped at medical for some ice for the ankle and knees as a precaution. And my friends met me at the finish with hugs, a beignet, and hands to help me carry my snacks.
Lessons learned this weekend:
- Proper diet and hydration start days before the event – and always being ready means knowing when you might need to adjust.
- Never forget electrolytes – that was my Saturday issue that I never realized. I am always taking electrolytes as half my water intake daily and didn’t on Saturday as I didn’t have travel packets with me.
- Ice ice ice. That stop at medical left my knees with ZERO soreness after the race which is highly unusual. So even when I don’t have an incident, I will be icing.