Thursday, January 13, 2022

#tbt 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Hi friends!  Today I wanted to share a Throwback Thursday post.  The past few days I've been having a bunch of photos pop up from our first Run Disney race experience back in 2014 and I thought it might be fun to take a stroll down memory lane.

Back in 2014, I wrote a pretty detailed review of our 2014 trip including our visit to the Race Expo, our 2nd trip to the Expo, and participating in the 2014 Walt Disney World Half Marathon.  Today, I just thought I'd take a look back at the overall experience.

Eliot and I first started talking about doing Run Disney races right around the same time as our wedding.  We wanted something else to look forward to after all of the planning and preparing for our Disney wedding was over.  We didn't sign up for the 2013 races since we were still in pretty deep with wedding planning in 2012.  Instead, we signed up for the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend as our first event.

Jeremy and my Dad also decided to race the half marathon with us.  In hindsight, we probably should have signed up for something a little less ambitious than the half marathon the first time, but it is what it is.  None of us were as prepared as we should have been, but everyone did their best come race day.

I am so proud of Eliot, Jeremy and especially my Dad for all finishing it!  Eliot had a little bit of training that he'd done, so he was able to jog and walk a lot of it.  Jeremy used to run cross country and track in high school, so he was also able to do some spurts to keep ahead of the pace.  My Dad didn't have any training at all, just sheer ambition and motivation.  I'm incredibly proud of all three of them for accomplishing their first half marathons!  It was so special watching them each cross the finish line.

Me, well I made it farther than I should have.  That particular morning was a special type of humid... I think it was 95% or more.  It was miserable even at 4 am when we first gathered into the pre-race area.  The women in my family (Mom, Nana and I) usually mind the heat, so I already had that against me.  

In the end, I made it to just outside of the Magic Kingdom... about 5 miles into the 13.1 miles... before I got pulled.  I hadn't realized that I got behind the pacers, and by the time I knew, there was no way I was hoofing it down the hill by the Contemporary Resort (where the boats drive over the road) and up the other side of it.  If I had stayed on pace, and not stopped at the bathrooms twice, I'm confident that I would have at least made it through the Magic Kingdom.

I'm a little disappointed, not that I didn't finish the entire race- especially considering all of the circumstances.  There were people who finished the marathon but couldn't finish the half because the weather was so miserable for racing.  No, I'm disappointed that I didn't get to run through the castle.  But now, seven years later, it doesn't really bother me as much.  Do I wish that I'd made it, yes.  Is it the end of the world, no.

Since then, I've tried a few more half marathons and I've never finished one.  A few years ago, I finally came to the conclusion that my flat feet and my right knee (the one I had surgery on) aren't really built for long distance.  I always wanted to finish one to say that I did it, but at this point, I don't really care.

However, I do enjoy the races and I'm definitely planning to do more of the 5K and 10K events.  I was so happy when I finished my first 10K at the 2017 Princess Weekend.  I felt so proud of myself and I knew I could do it.  It really reminded me that there's nothing wrong with me that I can't do the longer distances.  And finishing a 10K is still more than many people will do in their lifetimes.

Plus, the entire Run Disney race experience is fun.  I would never want to sign up for a race somewhere else.  (Other than a 5K.)  Disney makes running, something I pretty much hate, actually fun.  I love the atmosphere and excitement before a race.  I really enjoy going to the expo center and exploring all of the booths.  I love the feeling of camaraderie with the other runners whether it's at the race events or in the theme parks after the races.  And I love the sense of accomplishment after finishing an event. 

Now that Run Disney events are starting to take place in person again (after being turned virtual due to the pandemic), Eliot and I are contemplating our return to these events.  The Dopey Challenge's 10 year anniversary is next year and Eliot always said he wanted to do that one.  However, that was years ago and now that it's almost upon us, I'm not sure if he has that same goal.  But, I'm sure that we'll be making our way back to in person Run Disney events at some point in the next few years!  °o°

No comments:

Post a Comment