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The Days Leading Up to the 20th Walt Disney World Marathon

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.

thermometer-cartoonWednesday 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 🙂

HOME!

HOME!

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.

One of my favorite views...the Boardwalk at night.

One of my favorite views…the Boardwalk at night.

Potato-wrapped Red Snapper

Potato-wrapped Red Snapper…YUM!

I love having my own tea pot!

I love having my own tea pot!

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 🙂

Photo Courtesy of runDisney

Photo Courtesy of runDisney

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.

Olivia's Cafe Cobb Salad

Olivia’s Cafe Cobb Salad

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.

Welcome to the Expo!

Welcome to the Expo!

Marathon Bib Pick Up...OMG!

Marathon Bib Pick Up…OMG!

New runDisney Vinylmation with 20th Anniversary Marathon Medal!

New runDisney Vinylmation with 20th Anniversary Marathon Medal!

Here’s where the craziness started…look at the line to get into the expo!!

Yes, this is wrapping around the entire field!

Yes, this is wrapping around the entire field!

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!

Yachtsman Short Ribs

Yachtsman Short Ribs

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 🙂

Wishes...it never gets old

Wishes…it never gets old

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!

half marathon_2 half marathon_1

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.

Mom & R waiting for the boat to Epcot :)

Mom & R waiting for the boat to Epcot 🙂

We're on a boat!

We’re on a boat!

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…

Mom & I getting our Mexican on :)

Mom & I getting our Mexican on 🙂

Test Track...look at Mom's hair!

Test Track…look at Mom’s hair!

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!

All set and ready to run a marathon!

All set and ready to run a marathon!

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?

9 Responses to The Days Leading Up to the 20th Walt Disney World Marathon

  1. I ran the Shelter Island 10K last June with a chest cold. Worst decision ever. It knocked me out for a week after the race. I remember getting to the finish line and I couldn’t breathe because I was coughing so much. Before the WDW marathon last week, I drank so much water because I heard it keeps your mucous membranes moistened to the point where you won’t catch anything. It worked!

    • Running at Disney

      Wow…that sounds horrible! I read a lot of articles about running while sick and they say above the neck ok, below the neck don’t run. Luckily mine was all above the neck!
      I’m glad hydration really worked for you…that’s a great tip!

  2. I felt so bad for you, you looked so pathetic and sick! All your meals look yummy though!

    • Running at Disney

      I did look pathetic! I was really bummed because I wasn’t enjoying everything that was going on with Marathon Weekend as much as I would’ve liked to. But I made the best of it… 🙂

  3. I ran the 2012 Goofy sick. The full marathon was murder. It was too warm and I couldn’t breathe. I finished, but it was pure mental strength that got me through. I feel for you as it’s so tough being sick on race day.

    I take extra vitamins and wash my hands a lot before races. It helps, but flying does make it more difficult because you don’t know what germs you’re breathing in.

    • Wow…I can’t even imagine running the Goofy sick! I agree that a HUGE part of the marathon is mental and I’m glad you had the willpower to pull through.
      Vitamins and hand washing are key before races…great tip!

  4. Can’t wait to read your race recap – you and Jenn have me totally convinced that I need to try Cross Fit, you both manage to finish marathons (and she PR’d the DL Half) without doing as much running as you “should”! There is a box right in my town, I just need to get over being totally intimidated by it and go!
    Danielle recently posted..26 Things I Learned During Marathon TrainingMy Profile

    • Danielle you have to try it…I think you’d really like it! And if there is one right in your town, you have no excuse! Go to the free intro class…you will see that it’s not as intimidating as you think. I was terrified when I first went, but was hooked after the first day 🙂

  5. […] I left of in the days leading up to the marathon recovering from a cold and nervous as hell about this race.  Oh…did I fail to mention that? […]

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