In March 2011, I started out as just a Medifast blogger – I was overweight, unhappy, and wasn’t able to really do a lot of physical exercise. After hitting my goal weight, I ran the Wine and Dine half marathon in October 2011, and was hooked as a runner. I’ve never been the FASTEST runner on Earth, but I enjoy the running and the bling you get at the end.
In March 2012, I signed up for the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge for January 2013. Before I ran the Wine and Dine in 2011, never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would run a half marathon – let alone a FULL marathon the day after a half marathon.
This past weekend crept up on me much too quickly, and before I knew it, I had my bib in my hands for a weekend of running.
I was very confident about the half marathon – that was something I’d done numerous times before. It was the full marathon that was scaring me to death. I cried quite a few times in the days leading up to the weekend, and had to be talked down several times because I was ready to quit before I even started it. The furthest I had ever run was 20 miles total, and never did a long run the very next day – I really wasn’t sure I’d be able to get through both days in the time limit to get the Goofy medal.
I did feel a little better having these nice shirts in hand. Disney gives you a shirt for each race, and I ended up getting a nice sweatshirt with an uplifting message on it (sadly, it was much too hot for a sweatshirt this weekend).
The night before, as I do before each race, I had everything set out and ready to go. Shout out to my buddy Jules – YES! That would be my sports bra, not underwear, included in the photo.
Saturday morning came much too early (hello, 2:30 a.m. wake up call) and soon I was in my corral waiting for the fireworks to signal the beginning of the race.
The half was a lot of fun and I took a lot of pictures along the way – including a shot I had taken from two previous half marathons through the Magic Kingdom. Call it tradition, I guess.
Of course, camera people abound through the park. And yes, I have horked the proofs until my CD comes in.
I took my time knowing that I’d need my energy to get me through the next day. I finished before it got too warm out, and soon I had my new lovely Donald medal for keeps.
I also enjoyed a nice ice bath right after I finished the race. And you’re darn right I wore my medal into the tub with me.
Saturday morning and afternoon flew by, and before I knew it, it was time to lay out my outfit again and crawl into bed for my 2:30 a.m. wake up call. Yuck.
Getting up on Sunday morning was obviously MUCH harder. I was a little stiff and sore from the previous day’s race, so I sprayed the heck out of my legs and feet with Biofreeze. I trudged along to Epcot and did a repeat of Saturday morning – bag check, ate a snack, and this time I hung out with two coworkers who were also running the marathon (they were smart and didn’t go Goofy).
Once again, I meandered over to my corral and waited for the starting fireworks.
Not too long after that – it was time to roll.
The first mile, I honestly felt okay. My Biofreeze made my legs sort of numb, but soon after that, everything started to hurt. Each step I took was like a shot of lightning going up my legs. I was extremely worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep the minimum time requirement to finish the marathon and receive the Goofy medal (you have to maintain at LEAST 16 minutes a mile for each race, otherwise you will get swept). Add in that I had to stop at nearly every single porta potty along the way and my time was quickly running out.
At mile 10, I started swelling up. And I was hurting badly. I put out a call on Facebook for friends to text me with anything they could think of to keep me going. It definitely helped out, because before I knew it, I was passing mile 13 – I couldn’t believe I had just run two half marathons in two days.
My hands got MUCH worse as the race went on.
Around mile 18, I needed to use the bathroom SO badly, and I just couldn’t handle another disgusting porta potty in 86 degree weather with 88% humidity.
Here’s an example of how humid it was – look at the mile 1 sign from the day before (photo credit to Running Down a Dream) – the humidity was just causing everything to sweat.
While trotting through Wide World of Sports, I spotted REAL bathrooms and wanted to do a backflip. Unfortunately, there were 25 women waiting to get into the women’s side. I looked to my right and saw the men’s bathroom and no line. I stood there for maybe 5 seconds and whipped the door open, yelling at the men at the urinals, “I’M NOT A GUY BUT I HAVE TO PEE, I’M SORRY, PLEASE DEAL WITH IT!” They just laughed and didn’t seem to care.
That bathroom sink was the most amazing thing I had ever felt in my life at that point. You really don’t know how awesome a clean sink feels (those porta potties had nothing!) when you’ve been dealing with gross porta potties for hours.
Just before mile 19, I had a mental breakdown. Literally. And a camera captured right where it first started.
I had a great group of friends come out and cheer me on at miles 8, 15, 19.5, and near the finish. At 19.5 I spotted them again. When I ran up, I nearly collapsed into one of them and sobbed into their neck about how I just couldn’t go on. I didn’t WANT to go on. I wanted the bus to pick me up and take me to the finish because it was just too much work. I kept sobbing and simultaneously apologizing because I was so sweaty and smelly, so it was a mixture of humor and downright me being pathetic. They stood there and hugged me back and told me it would be okay, and I WOULD be able to keep going. They went along side of me in the spectator line as I continued to cry and try to run – other spectators there saw me crying and started yelling that I was doing a great job, keep it up, not too much further.
Honestly, if I didn’t have them there at that point, I would have quit. I was that mentally out of it.
Around mile 22 I just couldn’t run anymore. Each step I took felt like my feet weighed 500 pounds a piece. I started to become aware that I felt “off”, but it wasn’t until much later that I learned that I was seriously dehydrated at that point. I had been guzzling water and Powerade like crazy, but it just wasn’t enough. My hands were killing me – they were so swollen and tingly, I couldn’t bend them anymore. I couldn’t text anyone back that was cheering my on because my thumbs would hit 5 keys at once. I didn’t have anything to drink from 22 on because stations had run out of water.
I kept moving, walking as fast as I could, and when I saw the mile 25 sign inside of Epcot I tried to run again. I made it all of five steps when I had to stop running. I saw so many grey fuzzies that I felt like I would pass out. I had a few crazy thoughts all at the same time that included me asking the spectators for their bottles of water; I didn’t, but man, I certainly wanted to.
As I rounded the corner and could finally see the finish line, I made myself run as fast as I could. It was a very pathetic little trot, but I didn’t stop until I was well over it. I was pushed towards the direction for the Goofy tent and I had made it – I received both my full marathon and my Goofy medal.
Probably one of the most unattractive times in my life, but happiest – I was once again crying in this photo from exhaustion, delirium, and joy.
You can see how swollen I was at the end. The bottle of water in my hand there was empty at this photo. A medical person followed me over the line and apparently saw how puffy my face and hands were, and she made me guzzle the water in front of her. She asked me a set of basic questions to see if I was okay (I nearly bombed because she asked me what year is was, and I replied it was 2012 – oops!) and then told me to drink, drink, drink. I put together this comparison shot so you can see the difference from start to finish:
I received some great gifts from friends that included flowers, a Goofy statue, pain relievers, champagne – aw yeah, man!
I had to go back for my car later (there was no way I could drive), but I made it back to my hotel for the weekend and sat in another ice bath. It felt SOOOOO amazing at that point, but it was kind of funny how fast it got warm in there.
I sat there for a bit, completely in awe and shock that I had just done 39.3 miles in that short of a period of time. My legs were on fire and the blisters were popping up, but I was on such a runner’s high that I just didn’t care. How many people can say that they participated in a FULL marathon, let alone a FULL marathon 24 hours after a HALF marathon?
How many people can say that they achieved one of the biggest goals of their lives?
In March 2011, I started out as just a Medifast blogger.
In January 2013, I became myself.
Goofy 2014, anyone?
If you’d like to join me on this weight loss journey, use my shopping code GOOBER56 for 56 free meals with your order of $250 when you enroll in Medifast Advantage. Not ready to enroll? Use the code GOOBER28 to receive 28 free meals with your purchase of over $250.
Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences on the Medifast Program. Medifast products and the Medifast Program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or illness. Any medical improvements noted while on the program are related to weight loss in general, and not to Medifast products or programs.
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