When registration for the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon opened in June 2012, I couldn’t help but register. I had only run my first half marathon 4 months prior, but I knew I wouldn’t want to miss out on this opportunity. Immediately after registering, I felt a sense of dread…what did I get myself into?!
Fast forward to the week of the race. I was finally getting excited for the big day. My nerves were starting to calm and I was just looking forward to running those 26.2 miles through my favorite place in the world. I knew I wasn’t properly trained (I didn’t get those really long runs in), but I had faith that my CrossFit training would carry me through and I knew I was strong enough to make it across the finish line even if it was going to take longer than I wanted. One thing I couldn’t predict was illness. I had feared this would happen so I had been taking extra vitamins and Emergen-C for a few days, but I guess my body had other plans.
Wednesday morning I woke up not feeling so hot and it progressively got worse throughout the day. By the time I got home from work, I was completely stuffed up and was feeling really out of it. B brought home dinner and we got packed for our early morning flight. I decided to take my temperature because this foggy feeling felt more than just a cold. 100.2, seriously?!?! My normal body temperature is in the 97 degree range (which must be why I’m always cold!), so this was a doozy of a fever. And this is when the terror set in…
Do I have this crazy flu that’s going around? How could I, I got the flu shot? Would I be able to fly in the morning? Should call the doctor to get emergency antibiotics? The race…how am I going to run the marathon?! I have to do it after all this hard work! People are counting on me to finish this race. My Mom is coming down. NOOOOOO!
I downed another Emergen-C, took some Tylenol and NyQuil, and squirted a healthy dose of nasal spray (which was to become my best friend in the next few days), then hit the hay at 9:00 pm so I could get a good 8 hours of sleep.
Thursday, January 10th
My 5:00 am alarm went off way too soon and I still wasn’t feeling great. My temperature was down to 99.5, which wasn’t great but I was happy that it at least broke 100. I loaded up with more vitamins and we headed to the airport. My apologies to anyone that was sitting near me on the flight who I annoyed with my snoring or was grossed out by my sneezing. I really hope I didn’t get anyone sick!!
When we arrived in Orlando, we headed straight to Whole Foods so I could get some pre-race snacks and lunch. I went with a cup of soup and some OJ that really hit the spot. After lunch, we headed down to the World and checked into our room at the Yacht Club. I was so thankful that the room was ready because all I wanted to do was lay down. So in lieu of going to the Expo, I took a nap. Because I was so congested, the nap only lasted about 10 minutes but the relaxation time helped. So did that next dose of nasal spray
That night we headed to the Boardwalk for dinner at Flying Fish Cafe. I had my favorite Potato-wrapped Red Snapper, which didn’t disappoint, and an Earl Grey Tea to finish the meal. That was some of the best tea I’ve ever had! Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy the meal as much as usual and just wanted to get back to bed.
We headed back to the hotel where we said a quick hello to my Mom and her hubs R since they had just gotten in. I was so happy she was there for this weekend. I was just hoping I would be able to spend time with her. Off to bed for my early wake up call…again.
Friday, January 11th
I was up super early for the runDisney meetup at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (read the full recap here). Thankfully my fever had broke when I woke up and I was back down to 97.9…woohoo! While I didn’t participate in the run portion of the meetup to preserve what little health I had, I still had a great time. I mean how can you not when you get to meet Joey Fatone
After the meet up, it was time for another nap before heading to lunch at Olivia’s Cafe at Old Key West with some friends. I had never been there and had heard mixed reviews, so I was interested to try it. Not my favorite place on property, but the tomato basil soup of the day was pretty good. I ordered the seafood cobb salad for my main meal and it was just ok, nothing like the Hollywood Brown Derby’s cobb salad. The rest of the table was pretty disappointed with their meals, so I don’t think we’ll be returning anytime soon.
After lunch we headed over to the Health & Fitness Expo so I could pick up my race bib. Whoa…it was CROWDED! Waiting until Friday afternoon was probably not the best idea and looking back I should have sucked it up the day before and gone. Packet pickup went fairly quickly, but unfortunately almost all of the Marathon merchandise in the Field House was gone by the time we got there. I bought a few things, but kept my fingers crossed that the merch booth on the Expo floor would have more items.
Here’s where the craziness started…look at the line to get into the expo!!
I usually like to spend some time visiting the vendors, but I just couldn’t deal with the crowds. I headed straight to the back to pick up my shirt and into the runDisney merch booth. I was so happy to find the pint glass and pin I was looking for! I bought them and made a beeline out of the building. I still wasn’t feeling myself and the crowds were not helping. I hardly took any pictures at the expo…so not like me!!
We headed back to the hotel and met my Mom and R for an early dinner at Yachtsman Steakhouse. Full review coming soon, but let’s just say that these short ribs were seriously good!
Now I’m going to confess here that I decided to have a martini with dinner. Yes, probably not the best thing to do 2 days before a marathon when you are sick, but I figured that it can’t get any worse and hell, the vodka would probably kill whatever was in my system, right? If anything, it calmed me down a bit since I had been stressing more and more as the race approached.
We jumped in the car to end the night at the Top of the World Lounge so my Mom could see Wishes from there. She hadn’t been to WDW in over 10 years and I wanted to make her trip as special as I could. Totally worth the trip to the Contemporary
I had planned on getting up the next morning to go watch the start of the half marathon and cheer on my fellow runners, but I decided that my health needed to come first. So when we got back to the hotel, I took 2 NyQuil and went into a coma for the night. Now I don’t recommend mixing alcohol and NyQuil, but I needed a good night’s rest…and that’s what I got!
Saturday, January 12th
After 10 hours of sleep, I woke up feeling better than I had in days! I still wasn’t at 100%, but I was getting back to my usual self. I guess my combo of vitamins, hydration and medication were working! We were up in time to catch the tail end of the half marathon, so B and I walked over to Epcot to see some of the runners in their last mile to the finish. It was so exciting to watch them!
We headed over to the Boardwalk to meet up with my Mom, R, and our friends Marc, Kris, Amanda and her family for breakfast at Kouzzina (read my full review of this awesome breakfast here). Amanda and Marc had just finished the half marathon as part of the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge, so they needed a serious refuel. Much of the talk was about the heat and we were all getting nervous for what was in store for the marathon the next day.
After breakfast, we jumped on the boat and headed over to Epcot with Mom and R for an afternoon of park touring. It was a gorgeous afternoon and we got most of the Future World attractions in. It was also a great way to warm up my legs for the race.
Around 3:30 pm we were getting a little hungry, so we decided on lunch at San Angel Inn which is becoming my new favorite lunch spot. Those enchiladas really hit the spot! It’s hard to find things in WDW that are gluten free that you can use to carb load before a race…corn tortillas are a good option! After lunch we headed over to Test Track (we had FastPasses) to check out the new refurbishment. Let’s just say, I was underwhelmed…
My legs were starting to get tired and I knew I had to get my things ready for the race the next day. B and I headed back to the room so I could get situated and rest a bit. I went through my race checklist and laid everything out for the next morning. I feel so much better when I’m organized!
We relaxed for a bit before I fell asleep around 9:00 pm. That 2:30 am alarm was going to come way too soon…
And that’s where I’ll leave you today…stay tuned for my full race recap!!
Have you ever run while sick? What do you typically do before a big race?