If you have been following my blog, you already know that Ironman Mont Tremblant was a colorful experience leading up to the race & the event itself did not disappoint. “If something can go wrong, it will go wrong” became my motto. Despite finishing, I was left feeling pretty gloomy about how the day unfolded. It did not resemble anything I had worked for or envisioned. I now call it my Post Ironman Depression (PIMD). I know many people go through this after a big event, even when things have gone their way. I’m a Nurse, so decided to treat my own wounds and I felt the best cure for my PIMD was to sign up for another race STAT!
I was surprised that the Disney Marathon was still open, but it was, and it took very little convincing to get my family on board for the January event. I chose an aggressive training plan and set some loose goals for the event. My running paces had slowed down considerably during Ironman training and then had become even slower due to the knee injuries I sustained from the bike accident. I was not sure what I could do, but just wanted to try and get back into a good routine.
The first 6 weeks of training went great! I was able to log a lot of miles without injury and got my long run pace back down to 9:30-9:40’s. I was starting to feel cautiously optimistic about a marathon PR by early November.
However, right before Thanksgiving, I came down with a nasty respiratory infection that ended up putting me out of running commission for 2 weeks & the bug lingered for almost a month. I was able to get in my long runs, 19 & 20 milers, but it was a struggle & my pace slowed right back down to 10:30’s for the long runs. I put my goals aside and decided to just go & have fun running around Disney World.
Post Magic Mile!
The Magic Mile was at the track and both my kids were super excited! They had race bibs with their name & also got Disney Race shirts. I promised them that I would run with them & my husband supervised & took pictures from the sidelines.
There were a lot of kids there & they started off in 3 waves. We ended up in the last wave & my son took off fast, so I stayed behind with my 6 year old daughter to do the mile. It was such a joy running with her! She really enjoys running and I loved being along side her for her very first 1 mile race. My son & her did great! All of the kids got medals as they crossed the finish line & they were also given bananas, water, & Z-bars, which was a nice treat.
They had a blast, but were eager to hit the theme parks. So, off to Magic Kingdom we went! Needless to say, it was not the ideal pre-race day for me, as we ran around trying to strategically get on as many rides as we could. I wore my Mio Global monitor to track distance (for fun) & we logged close to 8 miles with the Magic Mile & walking around that day!
1/2 Mile to Go!
I shuffled through the Wide World of Sports Complex, but was feeling miserable. However, I perked up when we ran around the ball field, as the bleachers were filled with people cheering us on! Finally, I hit mile 23 and I just wanted to be D-O-N-E. No more walking, I was going to pound out the last 3.2 miles despite my aching feet. By this time, I was in Hollywood Studios and I was trying to distract myself from the pain with all of the action going on around me. It definitely helped, but I was struggling. I made it out of the theme park and knew I was in the final stretch to Epcot.
There were people lined up along the Boardwalk as I ran by cheering everyone on and I was thrilled when I made it to the World Showcase, as I knew I was almost done. I was still running and as I approached the Giant Ball (Spaceship Earth), I heard “Goooo Mom!!!” and looked over to see my family standing there cheering me on. This was such a boost for the last 1/2 mile of the race! I turned a corner and could see the Finish Line and ran as fast as my aching feet & tired legs could carry me until I crossed it!
I was done & so happy. I had completed my 5th Marathon & although it was my slowest by over 30 minutes, I was not disappointed. I have learned so many lessons over the past year through swimming, biking, & running. Training for this marathon was very therapeutic for me post- Ironman. I will take all the lessons from the training & the day of this event & move forward in the New Year looking forward to much more swimming, biking, & running!