It's been a while yet again but obviously that means things have been busy! I've been training all of you, training myself, running races, planning races, and having fun. Here's my photo story of my experience running marathon #9!
I have never been to Disneyworld and neither has my brother, which is a huge reason why I decided to cross this race off my bucketlist! I arrived Thursday night at about 11pm and we stayed at the Dolphin Hotel- all I wanted was to be close to the start line and that there was a bathtub for a pre- race bath bomb from Lush (I'm obsessed with these) and a post race ice bath.
Friday morning we went to the Expo to pick up my number, shirt, and check out the vendors. I will say that the amount of vendors is slowly decreasing at Expos, so we were in and out in about an hour and a half. Oh, and of course I made one of those purchases where you think you saved money but realize you didn't later on. I invested in a Garmin 920xt watch with heart rate monitors for running and swimming. This watch has been on my wishlist for a while because I need something that will work for my entire Ironman training. In the end I don't think I saved much money on it, but thank goodness I went for it! We went straight to Epcot and to see Norway, even though most of it was under construction. We walked around all of Epcot and went on as many rides as we could, lines werent too bad! We ended for dinner back in Norway at the Akershus restaurant which conveniently had lots of princesses to take photos with! I enjoyed traditional norwegian meatballs, lingonberry sauce, and mashed potatoes. YUM. But holy moly pricey.
Saturday morning we woke up early and went to Magic Kingdom and did a million rides there. By 4pm I was on a bus heading back to the hotel alone to get my race prep on. After getting my outfit, bib number, snacks, hydration plan, and packing the spectator bag, I got in bed to plan my playlist and charge up my NIKE + GPS Watch. I know many people are unsuccessful with my watch, but we've been through almost 5 years, 7 marathons, and who knows how many runs. I've loved the watch but for a while I've been noticing it isn't functioning well and when I went to charge it, wasn't able to get any connection. So LUCKILY I was able to pull out my new Garmin and get that squared away. Finally after getting everything squared away, I turned my lights out at 10:30pm (yes I know not smart). Oh and I forgot to mention that between these two days of parks we walked over 60,000 steps!
Race day called for a 3am wake up, PB&J breakfast, and I ran out the door to catch a bus to the start line. Coolest part of the start line was that every wave was sent off with fireworks. And then there was the whole running 26.2 miles. I will say I started out with a pace I felt reasonable but didn't expect it to be so warm and humid at 4am so I decided to take things slow. I'm not a fan of running in the heat and I know many struggled with hydration. The highlight of the course was running through Magic Kingdom and the castle, which unfortunately was in the first hour. There was a lot of running between parks and few people in the parks were prepared to spectate. I saw my brother and his girlfriend at miles 5ish and 18ish and otherwise didn't really see many people. There were a lot of fun things going on every mile including countless characters and photo opportunities, and one mile even had live animals!
I knew going into the race that it wouldn't be my best, and given that my training wasn't the best and the weather wasn't ideal I was SO HAPPY to finish. I remember the first time I ran a marathon I was so excited and was talking to everybody at the start how it was my first and I was so excited. I look back on that and smile now because if only I knew I'd do 8 more. I am proud to have done so many races, but am also ready and excited to move onto the next event. As much as marathon running has been a huge part of my life for many years, I'm excited to say that I don't have #10 planned, and I'm not sure when I will! ALTHOUGH, I'll run a marathon to complete my first Ironman in August in Copenhagen, Denmark, so I'm sure some of you will count that one for me!
Enjoy my photos of the long weekend and my fun, unique, and great #9!
After the race and my meal I took a few hour nap and then went back out to the parks until they closed! We finished our trip on Monday going through the last few parks and rides, and did some shopping for some family members! I got home completely exhausted!