Not even 24 hours after finishing the “Donald”, the next race started. It was my first full marathon since a not so good performance at the Ironman Canada in august 2003 (but I would never say that I ran that marathon, it was more a long hike with lots of hobbling).
The time between both races I spent with sleeping and doing serious carbo-loading with chicken wings, fried shrimp and fries – every runners dream 🙂
I also spent some time preparing my body for the race by putting lots of Kinesis tape onto my knee, my back and more. Not sure if it worked or had any impact, but making the mind feel good is always a very important part of it.
Contrary to the night before the half-marathon, I was able to sleep quite well and left around the same time as the day before. Since I decided to run in short clothes, I took a warming foil or however you call it with me, so that I wouldn’t have to freeze too badly while standing in the starting corridor. I should have taken a lot more with me, since I always had to chose if I want a warm upper body or warm legs, so I was more than happy when the race finally started.
My bladder was messing with me like the day before, but that didn’t come by surprise 😛 I had actually planned to run a bit slower than the day before since I knew how bad my training has been and that I didn’t want to suffer for too long. But due to the cold weather I tried everything to get my body warm, especially after looking down onto my knees, which always had a very scary color. That as well as the way more interesting route – starting next to the EPCOT and then running a short loop before going through the EPCOT before passing the starting area again and then heading towards the Magic Kingdom – were probably the reason why I was running faster than expected. The route through the Magic Kingdom was more or less the same as the day before, only it was not so dark anymore because you had to cover more distance to get there.
The best thing about leaving the Magic Kingdom around Mile 11 was that I had the last restroom break there. The bad part was that you know had to cover 5 miles before arriving at Animal Kingdom. When I reached the halfway point I was several minutes ahead of my time the day before and since my knee and my legs were still feeling fine, I was quite happy. Finally I was able to prove the doctor wrong who told me in summer 2002 that I wouldn’t be able to run farther than 21km anymore. Oh boy, I was so wrong 🙂
Only 2 miles later I was feeling a little twitch in my knee and I tried to ignore it as good as possible. But when entering Animal Kingdom I just couldn’t take the pain anymore, so I had to take my first walking break. I decided to do around 100 yards of walking before starting to run again – NEVER stop moving!
I started to run again and the pain was more or less ignorable for the next half mile, before the problems returned. So I kept my run-walk-run method, but had to extend the walking parts a bit more from time to time. Until now my legs were still fine, but they got more and more tired over the time.
After entering the Hollywood Studios at mile 22,5, I just couldn’t wait for the finish line to appear. My strength in the legs was gone and I had to extend the walks more and more and having to pass all the hotels between the Hollywood Studios and reentering Epcot at mile 25 was just so brutal.
I was just so happy when I finally arrived at the finish line again and knew that the suffering was offer. After getting my Mickey and my Goofy medal, I was almost immediately on my way back to the hotel to get the Kinesis tape off my body and to use lots of ice to cool my knee. I had some problems standing up the day, but after a good sleep, I woke up almost pain-free; only climbing stairs was a rather painful experience 🙂
The flight back to El Paso was rather uneventful, but thankfully I didn’t have run between any terminals to catch my flights 🙂