In part 2, I forgot to mention the helpful dude at the water station. My water bottle holds enough for bout 13-15 miles, depending on how thirsty I get. I mix my own Gatorade, and knew that what they passed out at the aid stations would be too strong for me. Instead I packed a zip lock baggy full of just the right amount of powered, and would refill the bottle when the time came.
I stopped just to the side of the water station, and crouched down. A volunteer offered me a cup of PowerAde that I declined. I explained I was refilling my bottle and would need water to mix with the powdered. I just wanted to stop before getting to the water so I didn't hold anyone up. Before I could get my baggy out and the end bit off (to make a funnel w/the corner), he had grabbed a bottle of water and came to where I was crouched. He even held the bottle for me while I pushed in the rest of the powder.
I can't say enough how helpful and kind the Disney staff as well as the volunteers were. They went above and beyond to make the race experience as good as possible.
Okay where were we? Mile 22 ish? After talking to my sister one last time, I told her to let my brother-in-law know I'd seen Caballo Blanco (Born to Run anyone?) and told her I should be good to the end. The race had previously been through the
I can't recall which came first, the chocolate or Hollywood studios, but remembering my energy when I passed the "American Idol" camera I can only guess that the chocolate came first. I was going to pass up the chocolate, but then I saw they had Mr. Goodbar. I can't pass a Mr. Goodbar up.
They had a camera set up in their American Idol section asking us to wave/yell for the camera. Apparently my "woot" was a little too enthusiastic, because as I passed the guy said "that girl needs to run another marathon."
I had a hard time getting in my zone throughout the race. I was surrounded by people yet I was still alone. I didn't see Jay at any of the spectator spots, and I couldn't jam to my music because their speakers were turned up so loud. I was thankful that the final miles were filled with cheering people, even if they weren't there specifically for me.
In the last 2 miles, I noticed Sleeping Beauty - my nieces favorite princess. Even though I was ready to have the race done, I knew I had to stop for a few moments for a photo. Thankfully she didn't have a line and I didn't lose any momentum.
I almost cried when I saw the legless spectator along the side of the course. I wondered what he was thinking. I remembered what Mel had told me about how fortunate these legs of mine would allow me to run. I tried to decide if he consider his own misfortune, if he wondered why we were destroying our legs, if he was glad we appreciated our legs.
Probably none of the above, but hey it was near the end of the race and I was emotional. I tend to over think things any way.
I saw the 25 mile marker, and picked up my pace a bit. I saw the 26 mile marker and picked it up a bit more. I saw the finish line and tried to pick it up but there was nothing left. As I crossed the finish line I raised my hands in victory.
I was a marathoner.
I am a marathoner.
I am now in the 1/10 of 1% of the population that can claim that title.