Immediately after the half marathon on Saturday I started focusing on recovery so I would be ready for Sunday’s marathon.
I drank my chocolate milk right away and ate my peanut butter sandwich on the drive back to the hotel. Despite feeling chilly from the cold weather I still had an ice bath. Afterwards I wore my compression socks all afternoon and made sure to put my legs up the wall and have a good stretch. Overall my body felt pretty good and like I was ready to go for the marathon.
For the full I decided to dress as Goofy! I wore my black Oiselle Distance shorts, my orange flyte tank (similar), a blue Sparkle Athletic skirt and a green sparkle visor. I also added on Goofy’s hat to my visor. Again, I wanted to make sure what I was wearing would be comfortable for 26.2 miles. We left at 3:45 again and I did exactly the same thing as the day before. I went through bag check right away, hit the porta potties on the other side, then went straight to my corral. Because it was a bit warmer this morning I didn’t plan for any throw away clothes. Instead I brought a trash bag to sit on, one to wear and another to drape over my legs while sitting on the ground. I just hung out listening to music and checking twitter and Instagram until it was time to go.
I only shared my goal for the marathon with a very small handful of people because quite frankly, it scared me! I set my marathon PR of 4:44:51 at Disney World in 2009 when I ran the marathon as a standalone race. I wanted to see if I could PR today, or at least get close to it. I knew this was a bold goal because I didn’t know how my legs would feel the day after the half marathon. I also knew that if it was hot that weather would be a factor. Regardless I wanted to give it a shot.
I always measure the Disney courses long so I assumed I’d run 27 miles instead of 26.2. This meant I’d need to hold a 10:30/mi pace to hit my target.
Mickey counted us down, the fireworks went off and the race was underway!
Walt Disney World Marathon Race Report
Right away my pace was on target so I attempted to just settle into it. The miles ticked off and I hit 5 miles on my Garmin at 52:03 (10:24/mi). Before I knew it I was running in to the Magic Kingdom. I spotted Neil and gave him a big smile and a thumbs up to let him know that I was on target.
As I ran through the castle I debated pulling off to the side for another photo in front but the lines were a couple of people deep. I decided to keep the momentum going and just keep running.
We were now on the backroads from Magic Kingdom and making our way to the Walt Disney World Speedway. I have to be honest, I don’t love this part of the course. On one hand it is really neat to run around someplace very few of us see, but on the other hand you have to run down a very steep ramp and back up a steep ramp to get on to the track.
My legs were not a fan of that steep up and down! I was also fighting with my pace a little bit more. Some splits were bang on with where I needed to be, some were a tad slow. I was also now way off from the mile markers on course.
I hit 10 miles at 1:44:40, a 10:28/mi pace. After that it was a real struggle to keep my legs moving at the speed that they needed to be at. I was diligently taking my gels and grabbing yellow Powerade at every aid station but I was still struggling. Finally I made it to Animal Kingdom and I was excited for the mental diversion of running through a park.
I hit the halfway timing mat at 2:20:42…right where I hoped to be, I just knew that I wouldn’t be able to keep running like I had before.
Neil was waiting for me at the exit from Animal Kingdom. I was able to pull off to the side to give him a quick kiss and let him know that I was struggling. It was now time to start the journey towards the Wide World of Sports.
This part in the race can get really tough as you run along straight highway from Animal Kingdom. Generally the sun comes out and starts beating down on you making this challenging and boring section even tougher. Thankfully today the clouds remained socked in, keeping the temperatures much cooler than they have been in the past for me. I was so grateful for this! I hit 15 miles on my watch at 2:38:48, a 10:35/mi pace.
Once I hit Wide World of Sports I started to think I may need to pause for a bathroom break. As soon as I started thinking about going I suddenly felt like I had to go really badly! Thankfully there were bathrooms with flush toilets just ahead! It was hard to get my legs moving after the break but I tried to keep shuffling along. Thanks to all of the twists and turns of running on pathways and through the stadium you manage to run for three miles through Wide World of Sports.
All I could think about was making it out of there and hitting the 20 mile mark. By now I was over half a mile off from the mile markers on course. It was something I had expected and planned for, but it was still a little tough mentally! I hit 20 miles on my Garmin at 3:40:28, an 11:01/mi pace.
It was now time to finish this race off! My legs were tired but I didn’t want to give in and walk for long periods because I knew that even if I was running slowly I was getting to the finish line faster than by walking. I also made sure that I was still keeping on top of my nutrition! As I made my way towards Hollywood Studios it began to rain. Thankfully it wasn’t raining hard and it still felt reasonably cool out there.
There isn’t much else to say other than the last few miles of the race were really, really hard. I just tried to keep moving but I definitely wasn’t my usual smiley self.
Thankfully all of the photographers stationed around World Showcase in EPCOT were a huge boost. I didn’t want to get caught walking for the photos so I just kept running!
I hit 26.2 miles on my watch just as I passed Mexico and was exiting World Showcase at 4:56:46…just under the 5 hour mark.
Time to bring it home to the finish!
Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off was playing as I ran to the finish line. Minnie Mouse was dancing along and giving high fours. I love this photo!!
All done in 5:03:48 with 26.89 miles on my Garmin. My second fastest marathon ever.
Even though it made for a tough day out there I do not regret starting fast and attempting to PR. I knew there was a risk and that the pace might be too fast for me, but I really wanted to try. Sometimes you have to go fast and take chances, right?
Want to catch up on the rest of my 2015 Walt Disney Marathon posts?
- Net Time: 5:03:48
- Overall Place: 6,845 of 19,970
- Gender Place: 2,547 of 10,285
- Age Division Place: 486 of 1,817