Eight days ago I ran my first marathon.
I signed up for the Walt Disney World Marathon on a whim. When I noticed the half marathon and the marathon were the same price, my only thought was “I can get an additional 13 miles for the same cost!”
I feel like most people usually aren’t excited by this thought, but I was ecstatic. So I signed up.
This was about 3 months out, plenty of time to train, right? Yeah, well I didn’t. Whoops. I’m extremely excellent at being unprepared for physical events.
The night before the marathon, I had told Scott, who was running with me, that I had no intention on finishing. I had maybe run a solid 2 miles consecutively in the past three months, and was no where in the shape to run 26.2 miles. I told Scott I’d be happy to make it to the half marathon point, and then wouldn’t really mind being falling behind pace and being swept off the course. I had accepted my fate.
The morning of the Marathon it was cold. 37 Degrees. To us in Florida, that’s like how we imagine the arctic must feel. It took an hour before our corral was over the start line, and my body did not want to warm up.
My goal from the start was to stay ahead of the 6:30 pace group that was behind me. If I could keep them behind me until the half marathon point, I’d be great — maybe I could actually make it to mile 15 before getting swept from the course.
Well I hit that half way point in Animal Kingdom, and I was feeling pretty good. I could see the pace group behind me, but I figured I’d keep it up as long as possible.
They eventually passed me at mile 17, but I was still moving forward. The amount of people on this course made it very beginner friendly, and very easy to stay motivated and moving forward. I met all kinds of new people, and would try to pace myself with others just to keep my spirits high.
It was at mile 20 when I looked up at the clock and realized I had two hours to make it six more miles. I started crying. It was in this moment that I knew I was going to finish.I completely walked those last 6.2 miles, and I finished the dang race. I probably looked like death — I sure felt like it — but I finished it.
I’m incredibly humbled by the experience, and it’s such an amazing thing to push your body to do something you were sure it wouldn’t accomplish.
I definitely want to do another, but I’m thinking I’ll probably train for the next one.