Sunday, January 12, 2014

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Day 5 - WDW Marathon

It's really funny. I really didn't know how I was going to do today. I woke up extra early feeling pretty rested and fueled after my trip to the Pasta in the Park party (which I will recap later). I think I was just anxious. The marathon distance always intimidates me. 26.2 miles is absolutely nothing to laugh at, especially in Central Florida where the weather is unpredictable. Thankfully, I had the most amazing marathon today! Yes, it was the #CorralG anniversary today, and I love those kids very much! It will always have a place in my heart and can't be replaced! Before I get ahead of myself, let me back up just a bit.

I'll make this quick. This is the marathon distance which will round out the Dopey Challenge races. We have run 22.4 miles up to this point, so I can only imagine that most runners were beginning to if not already experiencing muscle and mental fatigue. Myself included. I hung out with Jen and Jessica in the start corral this morning. We were absolutely excited to take on the distance, but like I said nervous. We have all trained and have become better athletes since last year, so for most of us this was a test! The fireworks went off and Mickey Mouse sent us on our way!

I was in pretty good spirits. The weather was spectacular! A much appreciated change from 2013's 85 degree weather with 97% humidity! Today was cool in the mid 60s with little humidity! Conditions were amazing. The first 8 miles were the same from the day before so it wasn't like I didn't know what was coming. And then this! Faith Dority came up and tapped my shoulder and said hello! Some of you may know Faith as the newest Disney Parks Mom's Panel as our runDisney specialist! This was pretty awesome! She had a smile on her face and a dream in her heart, which was to crush the Dopey Challenge! We began chatting and said 'Hey, you're alone, I'm alone, let's run together!' And that is exactly what we did! We met at the Magic Kingdom toll plaza and the rest was history! Faith and I clicked immediately. We decided we wanted to run 4/1 run walk intervals, and we would do that until we needed to modify! We felt strong and encouraged. We were even joined by Mary Jo (@MoJoDisney) for a while! She is equally as fun and matched our energy!

Fast forward to the Magic Kingdom! We basically blew threw the place! We were on a mission. We didn't stop for too many photo stops. Mary Jo was awesome enough to take our first milestone photo! We decided to take and share photos from our major milestones such as mile markers and park icons! Selfies at that LOL. We were in front of the castle here.

Of course we have our phones in our hands LOL
I ran into my Corral G sister Jill spectating in front of the castle! I gave her a huge hug she gave me some encouraging words, and Faith and I sped out of the Magic Kingdom. We kept our steady pace as we made our way to the Walt Disney World Speedway! I was really happy they did not remove this portion of the race (it was added during the 2013 marathon). We ran around and enjoyed looking at all the classic cars and of course laughing. I don't think there was one point where we weren't smiling now that I think about it.

We flew around the speedway and made our way onto the back roads of the resort. I find this portion of the course a little boring, but Faith kept me entertained. We exchanged stories, chatted, and just enjoyed each other's company! Next stop, Animal Kingdom! Before we even entered the park, we were met by small farm animals...and the cutest thing happened. THEY HAD MARATHON RACE BIBS! I thought this was the cutest thing ever! The animals were sweet and just so precious...and they had race bibs with their names! CUTE! CUTE! CUUUUTE!

His name was Fleming LOL
Milestone photo was taken in front of Expedition Everest of course! We didn't ride because we were just in the groove of our running and wanted to keep the momentum! But of course, there's always time for a selfie. Although, I am not sure the Yeti was all that interested.

Ain't nobody got time for no Yeti
After Animal Kingdom was a highlight for sure. The halfway point, mile 13.1! Faith and I had been doing a good job of monitoring our Twitter feeds for our official split times so we could stay on point for our finish. So once we crossed the timing mat, we did this again! We were very pleased with the consistency of this race! So we continued with the 4/1 intervals onto Osceola Parkway and made our way to ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. Once we reached mile 16 we were beginning to feel the fatigued so we adjusted our intervals to 2/1. This worked out worlds better for the both of us. We were both able to run strong and recover during the walk break without compromising our pace or time. We ran through ESPN Wide World of Sports and enjoyed a run and even enjoyed a banana. Then before we knew it... BAM MILE 20! Where are these miles going????

At this point, I started getting excite because mile 20 only means one thing...10K to go! So we turned off of Victory and back onto Osceola and we see, stop, and have a moment with the official training consultant for runDisney...Jeff Galloway! He was running the race and also had quite the smile on his face. This means that a photo was absolutely necessary. He even complimented me on my camoflaged style gymboss timer!

Hey Jeff!
We continued our intervals and modified based on highway inclines. We made our way to Hollywood Studios! We are feeling great, especially since we got chocolate :)! We made it happen! Let me just say, Faith is really great at motivating and helping folks finish! I wanted to slow down, and Faith encouraged me and helped me get through the discomfort! I felt WORLDS better this year, but encouragement is always great! First, Kat helped keep me focused during the 10K and half marathon, and Faith was amazing!

Hollywood Studios
We flew down the boulevard at Hollywood Studios and this is where we turned all the way up! We made our way to The Boardwalk and this made me so happy! I mean, that means I am just moments away from the front door of Epcot!

A wonderful view from Disney's Boardwalk
Faith saw her family right in front of the Beach Club Villas! This was so sweet! She gave her children and her husband hugs and kisses and they were so encouraging! I loved it! So at this point we were ready to finish this thing up! We kept our intervals strong! Jill again met me in the UK in Epcot! There is nothing like seeing a friendly face in the crowd that is there to see YOU! Warmed my heart. We continued to run around the world and made our way into Future World! We were so happy and felt the emotions growing! We did it! We made it to Spaceship Earth!

And then...

We ran passed the choir and made our way to the finish line! We crossed the finish line around 5:02 which was amazing! We gave each other a huge hug and were over the moon! It was an incredible experience!

Faith, thank you so much for being so amazing! I had an amazing time today! The race wouldn't have been the same without you! It was an amazing experience! Our faces when we got our Dopey and Goofy medals! Just incredible!

Tomorrow, I will recap my thoughts on the Dopey Challenge as a whole! Thank you for following me and my adventures!


  1. That looks like you had an awesome time! And the animals having bibs is so so adorable!

  2. this sounds like the most perfect way to end the dopey challenge possible. good for you for spending the weekend smart AND smiling. congratulations!!!

  3. It looks like you had an amazing weekend! I love how the animals had bibs. Definitely cute. How were the lines for the characters this year? I felt like they were crazy long in both the half and full marathon last year.

  4. LOVE THAT SHIRT!!! 5:02 is great for any marathon, but ESPECIALLY for a Disney one!! I think I ran last year in closer to 7 lol!!