||[Jan. 13th, 2010|10:13 am]
So, I ran another Goofy Challenge this past weekend. For those of you not in the loop, Disney holds a marathon weekend, with a half-marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday. If you are stupid (or, as they say, Goofy) enough to run both, you qualify for a special medal.
I'm not much of a good runner. I will get on kicks to run and then quickly get off of those kicks. For instance, John and I ran pretty religiously for most of August, September, and October, culminating in 2 races at Disney in the month of October, the Race for the Taste 10K and the Tower of Terror 13K. Then November happened. We were recovering from 2 races in Oct, and then Thanksgiving and life and then December and our trip (another post, i promise!) and then the terribleness that befell my family that happened on December 21. The Goofy is never far from my thoughts because it is insane. After Kyle's death, I kept thinking, there is NO way I am going to be able to do that now. I didn't want to go away. I didn't want to have to drive to Orlando and back. I had not eaten in days (the grief diet is amazing), and what I was eating was oreos (i know, i know). I had been actively trying to lose some weight since starting training in August, and by the end of December, was practically to my goal weight of 140. Super.
But, as soon as I went back to work, I knew I needed to do the Goofy. There is something to be said about doing something that makes you feel good. Work made me feel good. I have a real sense of purpose and hope at work. (I am a physical therapist who treats people with spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury or stroke) And I knew that I needed to be with my friends from the NF team and finish that race. So John and I made all the arrangements and invited my mom to come along and see what makes me happy. I was to fly from Ft. Lauderdale to Orlando (after a car ride to Pompano Beach and a Tri-Rail ride from there to the Airport). John and mom would drive up after they both finished working, and meet me at the hotel.
My Aunt Jo (not a real aunt, but might as well be) took me to the train station and we talked a lot about Kyle and grieving and the like (Aunt Jo lost her daughter Christen sixteen years ago at the age of 19). I got to FLL and my flight was delayed (quick side note: the day I got the news my brother had died, I was sitting in Charlotte-Douglas International Airport waiting for a flight delay. When I called my mom to tell her not to pick us up at the pre-determined time because of the delay, I found out she was at the medical examiners office identifying Kyle) I was all panicked, waiting for bad news again. None came. I got on the plane and 35 short minutes later, touched down in Orlando. phew.
A friend, Bill, picked me up and we went to the expo at Disney's Wide World of Sports. We met some people from the team and then headed over to Shades of Green (the Military MWR resort on Disney property) for a delicious pasta dinner. Bill drove me back to the expo so I could spend time with Shawna, Ryan, Shaye, and Carter (the little boy I run for). They dropped me back at the hotel and I got my stuff all ready and set-up for the next morning. John and mom arrived around 10 and we goofed off until we were down to 3 hours of sleep or less.
The weather forecasts had been calling for record cold temperatures in Orlando for the weekend and some reports even had predictions of snow. For Florida. yikes. I had spent about $500 on stuff to keep warm (under armor, jackets, fleece, gloves, hat, warmers, etc). I used EVERYTHING! :) Saturday morning, we were at the EPCOT parking lot at 4:30am. Within 5 minutes, snow was falling from the sky. Little flurries, which then turned into sleet and rain, and made the entire half-marathon completely miserable ;) It was cold and biting and unrelenting. Bill offered to stay with me this weekend and ensure I finished the race, for Carter, for me, and for Kyle. I will forever be grateful :). We did some sort of run/walk in order to save our muscles for the next day and I finished the half in 3:08. (for perspective, my half times are 3:18, 3:03, and 3:09, but I have never run a half without the full the next day...). We hurried to Perkins for breakfast and hot chocolate and then back to the hotel for a quick nap because Jesse and Caleb were on their way, and you can't nap with Caleb around ;)
Saturday night, we met the NF team at Planet Hollywood for the usual pasta dinner. Delicious! Carter was adorable and kept asking for John and 'Katie's mom'. I love looking at the pictures from previous Disney weekends and seeing all of us in our neon jerseys running for a reason! We were able to get back to the room at a good hour and get everything together for the next morning. I am one of those 'set-everything-up-the-night-before-a-race' kind of girls.
Sunday was another brutal wake-up at 3:15am. Instead of rain/sleet/snow, we got record cold temperatures in the 20s with the wind chill in the teens. AWESOME! I threw on my under armor, the fleece, my singlet, a hat, the gloves, a warming patch on my back, special anti-blister socks, my ear warmer headband, a garbage bag, and another pair of pants ;) We took the team pictures and headed to the staging area. Whereas I didn't really hurt the way I had in previous years, I just didn't feel up to it. I didn't want to even start the marathon. Bill and I got the starting area and I just sat on the ground in a little ball under my garbage bag and was sad and cold and miserable. I kept thinking to myself, 'I don't want to do this,' and 'I'll run the first mile and then just drop out.' Bill got me set on the run 1, walk 4 thing and after the first 12 minutes, I thought that it wasn't so terrible. Mile 1 became mile 3; mile 3 flowed into mile 10; mile 10 passed and suddenly mile 16 was there, and I knew once I hit mile 16 that I would be ok :) (Miles 13-16 are, to me, such a bad streak of the race because no one is there and it is boring back roads, and if you can get through that, the worst is over.) At the water stations, the cups were freezing over as they sat on the tables, and as the runners threw the cups with left-over water/powerade on the ground, it was freezing and leaving patches of ice on the road. Mom, John, Jesse and Caleb were at mile 2 at EPCOT, Mile 9 at Main Street/the castle at MK, Mile 17 at Animal Kingdom and at the finish. Jesse and Caleb held up a sign that said 'Go Kyle 2!' (Kyle and I are the two who look most alike in my family. When he was born, my mom looked at him and said, "he's so Katie." When I went away to school, dad made a friend who met Kyle first. When I came home on a break, he said, 'oh my. Hi Kyle2!' I was surprised and kept asking why he wasn't katie2? seeing as how I was born first. But Greg said he met Kyle first and so I was going to be Kyle2.) At mile 18, I saw Shawna, Ryan, Shaye, and Carter. Carter wanted me to stop and talk to him ;) Shawna said, "you look GREAT! How do you feel?" and I replied, "I think my left foot is broken." She wanted to know if I was kidding, because I had the biggest smile on my face and didn't look like I was limping or hobbling yet. I said I was pretty sure, but kept on going down the road! We made it through the terrible Osceola Parkway stretch of Miles 20-22 and headed into Hollywood Studios (MGM to me). Next came the boardwalk, where the nice man playing music on the boat told us that the winner had already landed back in Brazil ;). Steve, the NF team director, met us at the end of the Boardwalk/entrance to the countries at EPCOT, and also told me that I looked great for it being mile 25. (maybe I should run more often, because I apparently look good!). What surprised me most was that with the run/walk program, I felt fresh and good every time we had to run, even at mile 25-26. We got to the 26th mile marker and ran it in to the finish. I crossed the line at 6:32:02, which beat my previous best of 6:54, and last year's close 6:59:50. (there is a 7hr time limit. also, I have never run a marathon without having run the half the day before, so it puts me at a disadvantage on the timing thing). I kissed my hands and sent it to heaven as I crossed the finish line and thanked Kyle, as I knew that he helped carry me. As terrible as I felt at the start, I felt 100 times freer and lighter and better by the end, and I know that he ran those whole 39.3 miles with me. I felt a little sore, but nowhere near the mess I have been after Goofys before. The feeling when they put the Mickey medal around your neck is amazing, beat only by the feeling of accomplishment, pride, and heart-swell of getting that Goofy medal.
Again, we got Perkins, cleaned up, packed. Jesse and Caleb headed back to the west coast of the great state of FL and we headed south. I felt really good the rest of the evening, but woke up with the most awful of foot/ankle pains throughout the night and into the next morning. As soon as the clock said 8am, I made an appointment for the Orthopedist and had x-rays taken. Looks like I broke my left 1st metatarsal and tibia (like the bump on the inside of your ankle). I'll be in a boot for a couple of weeks. I just kept repeating, but I felt soooooo good afterwards! MRIs were taken yesterday and I am cleared to go back to work tomorrow.
I just wanted to have a race report written about my first race with my newest guardian angel! :) He certainly made sure it was a race to remember. I know little brothers are supposed to give their big sisters a hard time, but really Kyle? Ice, snow, sleet, and 2 broken bones?! ;) At least you evened it out with an easy run/walk and my best time yet! And you helped me run/walk the last 9 miles on those broken bones you sent...