January 10, 2016
After having lunch at Be Our Guest with some of my friends, we all headed our own ways around Magic Kingdom. We were planning to meet later in the afternoon for Dole Whips. Until then, we all had fast passes and other plans.
It was a fun day in the park. I took it easy and didn’t just keep going all night. We had Dole Whips and then rode the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. After that, we headed over to Main Street for some shopping. Once we left Magic Kingdom, a group of us headed over to the Contemporary for dinner and drinks. We ended up just sitting in the lounge having a drink because we were all too tired to do much else.
Unfortunately, my indecision kept me out a bit later than I wanted to be out. So, I got in bed later than I wanted to.
The final early alarm sounds and I get begrudgingly crawl out of bed. I feel a little sick to my stomach and hope it’s just because I’m tired. I get dressed and try to eat but I keep feeling like I am going to be sick. Everything I drink and eat feels like it could come right back up. This is NOT good.
The roads are really crowded and it takes forever to get from my resort to Epcot. I actually dozed back off to sleep while riding. I am tired and I feel so nauseous.
We finally arrive and I head to our group meeting location. Most everyone has headed to their corrals already. I make my way to my corral and find my friends. Shellie and I are planning to run together again. I told her how I was feeling and that I didn’t want to hold her up. She insists that we’ll stay together.
The corrals are off again and in a blink or two, Shellie and I are running. I am hoping that this sick feeling will go away as my body gets warmed up. But, I haven’t eaten much and I have this empty but heavy feeling in my stomach. I almost feel like if I could just get something up, I might feel better.
The miles kind of tick by for the first few. I am very familiar with this course so I know when water stops are coming and where bathrooms are. My nausea seems to be coming in waves. I have some water with me today and I’m sipping it as I can. I’m also taking Gatorade from every stop.
We make it to Magic Kingdom and head to the bathroom again. My nausea is at its worst and I am ready to just barf. Shellie sends me into the first stall that opens and someone has left a clogged toilet with crap on the seat (literal, not figurative; not kidding either). If I didn’t want to throw up before, I really do now.
We get back to the course and experience the first of the course changes. The course takes us through more of Fantasy Land than it has in years past. Since the Richard Petty Driving Experience race track has been torn down, the course has been modified. The extra mileage in Magic Kingdom is nice!
We keep chugging along. I feel terribly that Shellie is sticking with me. I feel like I’m holding her back. I told her repeatedly that she could run ahead and I promised her that I would finish the race. But, she stayed with me. She is a gem and a true friend. She kept encouraging me and giving me small goals. We chipped away at the miles together and it made it much more tolerable.
Our goal after leaving Magic Kingdom was to make it to Animal Kingdom. Just outside Animal Kingdom, our friends were set up with Cokes, doughnuts, Goldfish, and various other snacks. I was really looking forward to a Coke and hoping it might help with the nausea. If nothing else, it would be some sugar and I could use any calories at this point. Since the race started, I tried to eat some of my peanut butter pretzels and that didn’t work. I also tried to eat a Honey Stinger vanilla waffle. That didn’t work either. So, I ate one of the two Halo oranges that I had with me.
We made it to Lisa and Jenny. I got a Coke and Lisa stuffed some Goldfish crackers in my pocket. That was the BEST Coke ever. It tasted so good. And, it did give me a bit of relief from the nausea. I still didn’t feel great but it wasn’t as bad as it had been in Magic Kingdom.
We continued on and headed to Wide World of Sports. This is a tough stretch because there isn’t a lot of scenery. But, there is some change in terrain and that is a nice break on your feet and legs. We stopped a couple of times to stretch and this helped me a great deal. Even Shellie felt some relief after we stopped to stretch for a minute. Also, we both enjoyed the wet towels they hand out as you enter the Wide World of Sports area. They were cold and just felt so good.
Our goal after making it through Wide World of Sports was to make it to the Boardwalk. Another group of friends had a cheer station with Coke, beer, candy, and other goodies. And, we knew if we made it to the Boardwalk, we were almost finished.
Shellie taught me how to power walk. I got to the point where I just couldn’t run. The impact of running was making my stomach turn. I tried to eat the Goldfish and I couldn’t get them down. I ate the other orange I had with me but nothing else. So, since I couldn’t run and we wanted to move a bit faster, Shellie taught me to power walk. I have long legs and Shellie commented that she shouldn’t have taught me proper power walking because she was having to run to keep up with me!
As we entered Hollywood Studios, I did take a piece of chocolate. It was good and I was happy to get some calories albeit only a few. We power walked our way through Hollywood Studios and then headed to the Boardwalk. I felt some tears in my eyes at this point because I knew I could finish. I still felt terrible, but I knew I was almost done.
We found our friends on the Boardwalk and I got another Coke. Seriously, there is something about a regular Coke that just tastes good after running. I’m sure it’s the sodium and the sugar and I know it’s not “good” for you, but man, it tasted amazing. And, it gave me the last little boost I needed to get me through this race.
We exited the Boardwalk and made our way into Epcot. Shellie and I tried to run because we had a goal to finish in under seven hours. This has been a miserable day for me and I am so relieved to be nearing the end. Our final milestone before the finish line was the Mexico pavilion. Our last group of friends was waiting there. After a quick stop for a picture and a hug, we trekked the final leg to the finish line. And, we finished in just under seven hours. My official time was 6:59:10. My slowest, and most miserable, marathon ever.
Shellie sent me to medical after we collected our medals. She was very concerned with my nausea. She gave me a hug as she had to be on her way quickly for a flight. And I was wheeled into the medical tent.
I’ve run a lot of races and this is my first time ever using medical (aside from stopping in for a bag of ice once). I was wheeled to a cot where I was examined. They asked me some medical questions, took my temperature, blood pressure, and pulse, and tried to assess what was causing my nausea. They gave me some blankets to keep me warm and a bag in case I decided I needed to barf. When the nurse walked away, I started bawling. Complete ugly crying. All the stress of feeling so sick, the elation of actually finishing, my gratitude towards Shellie and all of my friends, and just being by myself right at that moment completely flooded me with emotion and I couldn’t stop crying. I probably cried for ten solid minutes.
I had finally composed myself when the nurse came back over. She asked me how I was feeling and if I wanted a Powerade. I agreed to drink some Powerade even though I wasn’t fond of either flavor they had. I knew I needed to try to drink it. The nurse told me my blood pressure was slightly elevated and that my temperature was a little high; nothing of concern and likely due to the fact that I had just completed 26.2 miles. She said my nausea could be due to exhaustion. I didn’t sleep well last night so that’s a definite possibility.
The doctor signed my release so I could leave. I stopped for a finisher’s picture and then collected my Goofy and Dopey Challenge medals. I grabbed a food box and headed back to the bus. I was able to get late checkout but I am beyond that already. I’ll just change clothes quickly so I can head home. I hate driving all sweaty and stinky but I need to get out of my room and I need to go get my pups.
The drive home seemed longer than usual. I still felt sick though I was able to finish a small bottle of chocolate milk. I was happy to pick up my pups and even happier to get home. I unloaded the car and tried to unpack most of my stuff before showering. I knew once I showered, I would want to curl up in bed and rest. And, that is exactly what I did.
Most of my 26 miles today, I felt miserable. I know I was not as trained as I have been in the past nor was I as trained as I should have been. Injuries have kept me from putting in the necessary miles. I’ve said, since signing up for the first Dopey, that I would stick with Dopey for five years just to do it and then reassess my feelings. I said multiple times during the race today that I would likely not be back for year four. My last two marathons have been tough and it’s gotten in my head that maybe I shouldn’t run them anymore. I know I feel this way now because I’ve had a rough day. And, I know that you never make a decision right after a race or when you’re emotional. I have until April to think about it. So, we’ll see.
For now, I’m going to take a few days off. I need to rest and I need to figure out why I’ve felt so sick today. I can’t take a long break because I have Gasparilla next month. I’ll take this week to rest and then assess how I feel.
Until Gasparilla…gotta run.