the day of the marathon arrives and its even colder! wow. in the 20s in florida. no orange juice this year as all of the oranges are now asploded.
again we got up at 4:00 (about an hour after the football coaches went to bed) and headed out at 4:30, at least this time the sky was clear. today we tried extra hard to all stay together. i was feeling pretty good. my prep was pretty good too. the body glide everywhere and all the bandages. had them on knees too. and the usual toe. and both knee braces on. went with the same setup in clothes as the previous day - lucky i brought about 4 pairs of everything... added hand warmers this time for the chillier day.
again we get to the parking lot in plenty of time. passing all the cars in the wrong lane. we must have pased a good several thousand runners on the way in. today the race went from 15k to 25k people running. much more crowded in the parking lot and we park about 34 miles from the start. the temp says only a few degrees colder but it feels a lot colder for some reason. and its not even sleeting today. i was glad i had the hand warmers in my gloves. also doubled up the hat and wore the trash bag over all my stuff.
we stuck together and made our way past the first ( and over crowded ) port-a-pots to the second or third wave of them. still plenty of people around waiting. we took the corner line in the box of potties as that line always moves the fastest in joe louis arena bathrooms. it worked again, our line went many times faster than those around us and we were in and out in about 5 minutes versus 30 the day before.
on the walk to the start sheila thinks maybe the shorts were a bit aggressive as far as clothing goes and happens along some sweats someone had dumped off. perfect fit, and she wears these till about mile 11ish.
again we miss our assigned pen, just cant get there fast enough. its not that we are so late, or that there are so many people. its that you park so far from the start that gets you. so if you do this race, you just have to be on-site about an hour min before the start to get in the pen you want to be in. for the half this was kinda important as our plan was to set half personal bests and then go whatever speed the day allowed on the full. so we got close but not to our pen. we waited about 10 minutes and then off in the distance the fireworks go off for our section and about 10 minutes later we are running. i hear NY doesnt do this - its all one ginormous start and you can wait a long time at the back to get to the starting line. the race we did in cape town on our bikes a few years ago was more extreme. there are about 100k bikers and they send you out in groups of 500 at a time. to spread it out a bit. you have to qualify for that one and we worked at it for about a year. and got a pretty decent start position. about half way through the pack. we still got to see the winners come home before we started though. and the race was 100 miles.
this time i managed to start my watch at the beginning of the race. :-) the day before it went into other modes on me when i didnt want it too. and a few weeks ago it made beeping noises every time i moved my arm. so i did some playing around with it to see what was up. turns out you can set the sensitivity of the touch bezel. and i think now that the running beeping and the change of modes happened both times because i had the sensitivity set to 'most'. i changed it to that to most to make it easier to change settings. but. it was now way too easy and my stiff jacket sleeve bumped into the bezel and sent it commands. so i changed the setting from 'most' to 'I cant focking hear you'. and that did it. no surprises all day long on that - it just gave me the info i wanted. the battery lasts as long as the thing is gathering gps data. the day before after 2:30 of gps collection the battery was at 55%. so i figured i had about 5:30 of battery life today. i was thinking this would just be enough. i guessed we would get in about 5:30ish.
the plan was for the three of us to run the first 11 miles together at a doable pace. sheila wanted to run to the enchanted castle and then walk most of the rest of the way in. resa and i both thought that sounded good. but we were probably going to run on after that and see how well we could do on the day after a half marathon.
it was dark and we started off. the first section of the run ran us around epcot a bit. about a third of the way around the park and then out onto the main highway like the day before. going backwards from the direction we took the other day. had some small drama around us as it was even more crowded than the day before. but people were a lot slower too. the 20% or so of the people running the goofy were pretty tired and the good marathoners were way way up in front of us at the start. again we trotted along with everyone pretty much just comfy like. read a shirt that said "if found lying on road, please drag across finish line." another shirt i read the day before which i really liked was "My sport is your sport's punishment." harhar. :-)
about mile 4 and there is epcot again! wtf? we just left the giant silver ball thing and it shoes up again, i looked at the map for a while the night before and for sure you dont re-enter epcot until about mile 24. hmm... well... everyone else was going this way. we ran towards the ball for about 10 minutes before we realized it was a giant hot air balloon that looked just like epcot's big ball. pretty weird. so we stopped for our first picture. was the coldest moment of the day for me. the hand warmers totally kept me from being miserable and i was very glad to have them, but my hands were still too cold to move and i had to have resa pull the camera out of my pocket. sheila took a picture of the two of us in front of the balloon. and we trotted on.
our pace was about where i would have set it and all three of us seemed pretty happy to be trotting. the next event was the sunrise. i sang a few lines of "here comes the sun." and got a small group singing it as we ran around the corner and headed into the magic kingdom about mile 9. also today there were about 4-5 times as many spectators and things going on at the side of the road. the half was there and back and pretty business like. today was a pretty huge celebration of being there. all around us people were pretty happy. also being in the back of this pretty famous race we were in with a lot of first timers, goofy runners and walkers. was a pretty slow pace and not much you can do about it. it was fine with me. i was feeling a bit sore but pretty strong. an easy first 10, 16 to go.
i pointed out the spot i wiped out the day before. and the curb *was* a good 3 inches higher, right in the middle of the sidewalk. again we ran around the park a bit, down mainstreat usa. i slapped hands with the mayor and a few feet later his wife. but she was only blowing kisses. was pretty funny. then the castle was ahead of us and we stopped for a picture. actually a few of them. very fun. then we ran through the castle looking all around. out the other side and up through the old west town and out the back as we did the day before. i joked we needed an E ticket for the rides. but i think that is SO old school that nobody got it around me. ran past about 6 guys playing accordions. we got a long water stop and i checked the watch. we were doing ok. a bit slow. mile 11 and i was ready to run on. sheila had run her planned run so she was pretty happy too. at this point i would give me a 9 on the 10 scale for how i felt. much better than i had hoped. better than yesterday.
her stomach had blown up bad. really bad. about as bad as her first 13 puke marathon. she was saying it felt as bad as she has ever felt. she didnt look all that good either.
or two biggest problems, by FAR are me getting bonked after mile 15ish. just too tired to even stagger forward. dizzy and unable to move. this has happened 4 times now. i wrote them up each time. and 3 of the 4 were due to lack of drinks on the run. just ran out of water. the last time, about a month ago was, i think, due to the 35 miles in 2 days plus tile work. i was thinking i had about a 40% chance of that happening to me during the marathon this time. but i felt much much better than i did at mile 11 the day before. the other big problem is what resa can eat. she doesnt seem to bonk ever, but she has bad stomach and good stomach days. and its like a light switch, no medium days, either all good or all bad. i think i just need a bit more running and better planning on the drinks and i will get past my trouble, but resa's was a mystery.
so we walk a half mile and i am ancy. i felt like running and was worried i would get really cold walking as i sweat about as much as the other two combined and i am not joking. i was totally wet from top to bottom. i dug out the extra hat i had taken off a few miles earlier and put that back on. my hands are now useless. i cant get food or anything else out of pockets. i know the hand warmers are keeping me from be in total pain but they are still too cold to use. and, i know the reason for this. i have thick running gloves i really like. but i ran them the day before and switched to thin ones today. so that could have been reversed...
sheila says she is going to pretty much walk it in from there. maybe do some small amount of running. i did the math on my watch and it looked like that would work. you have to get the thing done in 7 hours chip time or you dont get your goofy medal. resa said she needed to walk. she would puke if she ran. she drank waters and poweraids at every stop and kept that up the whole way. mostly water. so it wasnt that she was full of goos and bars and sugar.
i walked with them, they walk faster than i do. a lot faster than i like to actually. walk walk walk. i was thinking maybe resa would feel better after a few miles.
well. as they say about golf "a good walk spoiled". i didnt want to feel that way about it and after a mile i put all thoughts of running away. i was a bit bummed for the mile. but what can you do? so after a mile of moping we came upon goofy himself at 12. we stood in line for a picture for about 5-10 minutes and got our pic with him and mini mouse. just then mickey showed up and we got another with him and donald duck. cries of protest from all the people in the line. we were the only ones to get both sets of characters. this for some reason cheered me up considerably. heh. also the sun was now up and out. felt tons better. i warmed up finally. so my one dark mood mile came and went and the day was now not to run run run. but to fun fun fun.
we walked to mile 13 where a guy was taking picture on the skylift. we all walked right next to each other so the picture would come out with the three of us. resa told me to do something stupid. which i try to do at EVERY picture place. but if she hadnt told me i probably would have come up with something, but since she said too, i was stumped about what to do. i thought maybe the superflex muscleman thing or the standing backwards or doing some pointing thing. but in the end i walked with a confused look on my face past the camera guy. i think i did do the rocky balboa arms in the air at the last moment.
14,15,16,17 and resa is feeling slightly better. walking seems to help her stomach. but she was pretty close to total crash about mile 13-14ish. i am keeping track of our pace and for the first time in the day i am out in the front setting the pace at something that will get us done in time. i am getting more worried about our time. also thinking about what would happen if resa had to stop for a half hour or so.
about mile 16 and my foot is itchy. i thought the toe bandage and come lose and slid under my foot. it stung. i took off my sock and checked it but it was ok. i did it again about mile 17. right by the nasty sewage treatment plant. THAT would be fun in 80 degree weather. it was nasty even at about 34degrees. nothing going on with the sock so i put it back on and walk on. but it hurts.
we walk on at an ok pace. we walk through the animal kingdom. spent about 2 miles in there but we didnt slow down, just walked through. i was kinda pressing the walking pace a bit as the math was starting to look scary to me.
we exited the kingdom and did about 4 miles on the expressway again. guys doing the stilt walking and some more guys doing the extreme trampoline jumps. right on the edge of the over pass in the wind too. kids.
resa did some math too and asked me about my math and i said i was very confident that we were going to make it in time. i was very confident that the pace we were doing would be in time but if we had to slow down much i thought we would be in big trouble.
18,19,20,21 and my foot has gone through the roof in pain. i can hardly walk. and the other foot did it too. both feet are just screaming. i was afraid to take off my shoes now. i was thinking they would both be full of blood or something and i wouldnt get them back on. like hockey skates when you take a puck off your foot. leave the skate on! there were a few first aid stations but i dreaded sitting there and then being worse off.
so why the foot problems? walking. if i had known i would have run on from mile 11 and just waited each mile for them to catch up. running is bouncing off your foot. walking is pulling your foot across the shoe and i am obviously not in any way in walking shape. they walk fast and i was trying to walk fast too to keep us on a finishing pace. after the race i looked at my feet. both have blisters as large as a golfball or bigger. just not a walker i guess. not sure i am going to work on that either. last time this happened was the 15 hour walk on the way down kilimajaro.
mile 22 and some chick is handing out oranges and pretzels. resa takes a bunch. 5 minutes later she is ready to sprint home. totally better. so i think we have her stomach figured. which would make the entire trip worth it. i really think we have an answer to her problem now and thats really huge as we have both worried about it for the last 6 months.
sheila was fairly indifferent about running and i was barely moving. doing the one legged shuffle thing. ouch, ouch, ouch. each step, both feet hurt a ton.
about mile 22 my watch dies. no more battery... and i am worried about time now. it was getting close. and i was going a lot slower. sometimes resa and sheila are just happily chattering away looking at one thing and another like walking in the mall and i am about 30 feet back and thinking i wont be able to finish. pain dont hurt.
23,24 and we are going through the studios. the movie place. which i liked a lot. tons of crowds and everyone is walking around us. there is one runner every several hundred walkers. so at least we are not clogging things up. we take several pictures.
oddly my legs are great. everything else is great. my banged knees are good, i am warm and my hands are working again. everything is perfect. except 10 square inches on the bottom of my feet.
25 and we are back in epcot. lots of people milling and we get some more pictures. for the first time i start asking sheila every few hundred feet what our time was. it was getting close. we go through germany and i wonder where my hunger went. actually it was with me. it was after lunch. resa saw a great garden railroad, and i was very tempted to check it out, but i was just too worried about our time. at about 25 people start saying half mile to go!!! they say that for the next mile. i hate that. its hard to hear that and not believe it. someone told us we were looking goofy. harhar. a 14 year old girl looked at all the people walking and said 'all you have to do is walk 26 miles?' made me laugh. i couldnt walk 15 miles.
mile 26 under the big epcot ball and we get our first mile marker picture. i look at the timer. we had almost 6 minutes to finish and i finally let out a sigh of relief. i was doing the math in my head after my watch died, and wasnt sure one way or the other on the last few miles. we handed the camera to an employee and used our hands to cover up the clock and got a picture at mile 26. i can tell everyone it was reading 3:17 or something. not 7:17.
what the heck, cant walk over the finish line. we run the last 100 yards. resa looking jumpy and ready to start a long run. sheila looking pretty darn happy and me trying not to fall.
over the line. less than 4 minutes before cutoff. lol. what a weird day.
we walked to the tent. actually resa and sheila walked to the goofy tent. i stopped and stood there a bit. then decided i was done walking for the day. so i shuffled a foot out and dragged the other one up. did this for about 3 - 4 minutes and got to the goofy tent. resa and sheila were already going to the food line. as you would imagine with 4 minutes left there were probably about 3 people on the course not yet in for goofy. some chick was behind the rope holding my medal. she was doing a staged bored look. staring at the ceiling, whistling. she held the medal about face high and was swinging it back and forth. doop-dee-doo. i laughed... was perfect. so i went over and asked "can i please has one?" and she broke into a huge smile and put it over my head. awesome.
for about 2 seconds. it weighed a FOCKING TON. it was like having a small dog around your neck. lol.
i shuffled through food and then started to the car. resa and sheila were nice enough to go very very slow with me. i finally got to the car and then to the hotel where i checked my feet. nasty.
pretty medals. we will keep them a few weeks and then out they go to medalsformetal and then on to the kids in the hospital.
wednesday morning back in canton and i cant walk yet. but its better each day. i would guess a week before my next run...
end of phase 3. phase 4, the hardest one starts in a week or 10 days...
ironman training. fock fock fock. finally the base building is done.
the second half of the marathon was a disaster, but the training was certainly not. right now, today i feel very good about things.
i give us a 7 on the 10 scale for getting ready for ironman. time to get ugly.