After the half marathon on Saturday, my roommate and I wandered over to the Magic Kingdom to get some lunch.  I was really hoping to try the new Be Our Guest restaurant but the line was ridiculously long and we decided to bail.  We headed over to Liberty Tree Tavern and were seated within minutes.  We both ordered the pasta which was good but huge.  About mid-way through lunch I started to feel sick.  Run down. Exhausted.  Just done.  My roommate had tried to convince me, repeatedly, that taking a nap on Saturday was a terrible idea because I wouldn’t be able to sleep on Saturday night.  I suspected she was right but also knew that I needed to lay down.  So back to the hotel we went.

I quickly fell asleep.  For 2 hours.  Waking up just in time for an early dinner.  We had no particular dinner plans so we headed to the quick-serve place at the Polynesian and ordered the marathon pasta special.  Although the meal most closely resembled Chef Boyardee, it was definitely comfort food.  We were joined by some friends and I enjoyed the company more than the food.  I did feel adequately nourished and hydrated to conquer another day.

After our early dinner we headed back to our room and finished getting our gear ready for race day.  It’s amazing how much stuff you need for 26.2 miles in predicted 82F heat! I was in bed by 6:30pm and probably asleep only a few minutes later.  Amazingly I didn’t wake up at all until just before by 2:30am alarm clock.  My roommate had gotten up at 2:15am and was fully dressed by the time I awoke.  I’m really surprised that I slept through.  I actually felt much better that morning which seemed a good start to the marathon!

By 3am we were headed over to the monorail to Epcot and the starting line.  We reached the runner’s retreat early and grabbed some food.  After my previous day’s experience, we were determined to head to the corrals early.  My roommate seems to know everyone so we had plenty of company at the retreat! We did notice that the race announcers called for Corrals A and B to head to the start earlier than everyone else.  I guess Disney does learn some lessons! The walk to the starting corrals was much less crowded today.  Whether due to the slightly smaller size of the full or due to our timing or due to Disney calling the first corrals early, we’ll never know.

I said goodbye to Susan as she headed to her start and I entered corral C.  I knew I wanted to start in the back of the corral even before I got there.  And then I saw that the 4:45 pace group was starting at the front of corral D and realized that I definitely belonged at the back of the corral.  I luckily ran into someone I had met before at runDisney events and spent the time hanging out with some other people from the Disboards.  The women I knew wanted to hang with the 4:30 pace group so she headed forward while the rest of us stayed way in the back of the corral.  It was a nice group of people and it was comforting to spend the time talking to others!

I was wearing an OR gown over my running outfit to stay warm while waiting.  It was an ideal “throw away” for this race.

To give a sense of the crowds at this race:

The pink “canopy” up ahead is the starting line.

The 20th anniversary!

And, as always with Disney, there were fireworks for each corral!

After a discussion with Jeff Galloway in the week before the race, I chose a very conservative run/walk ratio.  He warned me to start slow because if I overheated I would never be able to cool off.  So I chose a run 15 sec/walk 45 sec ratio.  I was one of the last Corral C starters across the line and it wasn’t long before the front runners from Corral D were overtaking me.  It was a little disconcerting for about a mile and then I found myself in a more proper pacing group.  In retrospect I probably should have started somewhere in Corral D but I think it was ok in the end.

I was having some major Garmin issues in the first few miles.  I had my pace and my distance showing up but not my elapsed time.  I’m really not very savvy with my Garmin and need to learn more about the bells and whistles but this was making me crazy.  And I was trying to fix it during my walk breaks at the same time that I was being overtaken by the Corral D runners.  It was getting frustrated and stressed which is not a good way to start a long race but I finally figured it out without losing any data.  Similarly to the half, the first water station came up quicker than I expected and then the first mile marker.

This part of the race was almost identical to the half except my pace was a little faster and I started in my assigned corral!

I didn’t take many pictures of the kites and marching bands because I had seen them the day before.

But I couldn’t resist the toll plaza for Magic Kingdom!

I was a little disturbed that there was no 5k timing mat until I passed the 5 mile marker and realized that the splits for the full were different from the half!

I was on the wrong side of the Ticket and Transportation Center for mile 4!

My friend Katie took this picture of me:

I’m not much for stopping, especially during a full marathon, but Katie’s a great photographer and I didn’t have any family to take my picture during the race!

And the first 5 mile split! 1:08:06 or 13:37min/mile pace.  On target for a sub-6 hour finish.  A bit slow for my 5:30 finish but running at a comfortable training pace appropriate for the temperatures…

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