zaterdag 20 april 2019

Day 4 of Dopey: the full marathon

I finally got myself to finishing my Dopey Challenge Trip Report. I am so behind, I still need to write the one for Wine & Dine 2018. So I decided to just focus on finishing the race parts. It took me over 2 hours to finish the marathon part, I got so many photos!

After the half marathon I felt good. Left groin felt good, right knee was good, I just felt a painful feeling in my right ankle. What's happening? I have never had an injury there!
After the half yesterday we went to HS to do some FP+ rides. I went to the hotel early to relax. My ritual the night before a race is: be in the hotelroom at 7PM and lay everything out (outfit, shoes, fuel and charge phone and Garmin). I layed down in bed at 8PM, at 8.30 I put away my phone and I fell asleep at 9. So when the alarm went of at 2.30AM, I got about a good 6,5hours of sleep.

When the alarm went off, I was ready! I have dreamed about this for over 4 years, I trained 28 weeks, I watched so many Youtube videos about the marathon, and now it's finally my time to run it! I was excited! Just to be sure, I took some Advil with me for my painful ankle.

At 3AM I was in the bus, and ar 3.30 I was at the Race Retreat tent. I had a nice quite breakfast and took some pictures with the characters there. (Apparenlty Meg was there as well, but I never saw her.)

What a suprise, Jeff Galloway held a motivational talk in the RT tent! I met him at the Expo, but wanted to chat with him now as well. Oh, and look at his perfect marathonner bib, amazing! I told him that I felt good before my first marathon, because of the runwalkrun method. I was a bit nervous for the warmer weather today. He told me to take it easy, hydrate at every waterstop and adjust my intervals if that would be neccesairy. He is such a kind and positieve man!

I didn't go to the pre race characters today. I wanted to save my legs as long as possible. At 4.30 I walked to the starting area, because that's about a 20-25min walk. I sat on the ground in my corral D for a little time.

My plan for the marathon was: runwalkrun straight from the beginning. Run 60sec, walk 30sec. Be at Magic Kingdom before the sun rises, take candy from strangers, ride Everest, finish with a cocktail in my hand and finish within the limit of 7 hours.
The race started at 5.30 (14 degrees Celsius then/57F), and I crossed the starting line at 5.45AM.

I skipped Darkwing Duck & Launchpad... I would love to have a photo with Darkwing, but the line was long and I had a nice 50+min buffer between myself and the balloon ladies, I didn't want to lose so much time in the beginning of the full marathon.

I knew the course by heard, and split it into pieces. 'Eat the Elephant one bite at a time', so for me that was: 8K till Magic Kingdom,  then 11KM till Animal Kingdom (which was the longest part between parks), 6KM till ESPN, 5KM inside ESPN, 5KM till Hollywood Studios and finally 3KM till Epcot.

 First 5K point, it was misty!

Mile 5 is right before you head into MK, and it was still dark. Goal 1 accomplished!

 Donald #1! My first character stop, I will alway stop for Donald! <3

The Mime 'Ulf' from Rapunzel

I got mine 'running through the castle picture'! We failed to get one during the half. We didn't know that we had to run past the yellow traffic cones before we would make a left to get a picture in front of the castle. During the half we ran to the left before we saw the photographers.

 And that was park number 1.

I noticed that I lost my Advil... My ankle was hurting, so I wanted to take 1. I did take one during breakfast at RT. Oh wel... Then we just run through the pain. Do or do not, there is no try.

 Bowl Hat Guy.

After mile 12 we got into Animal Kingdom territory! And what was in front of the gates? Animals! I absolutly loved that! I heard later that they would rolate the animals, there were big birds too and alpacas.

 Madame Upanova, ostrich from Fantasia. I am doubting if that really was a madame... ;-)
Everest... I was there at 8.45AM, it would open at 9... I didn't want to wait 15min, so I moved on. Right after this decision I got text messages that my family was outside of AK. So now they didn't had to wait so long before they saw me. Next time, I will ride Everest!
 Finding Nemo musical dancers!

And there was my family! It was very nice to see them! I felt good at that point. I did ask if they happen to have any Advil with them, but they didn't They were very happy to see that I was doing well. A short talk, a selfie with John and I kept on running.

 Taking candy from strangers, check! But it was disgusting... xD


 ESPN Wide World of Sports, a lot of people said this was a tough part. I alreadt did 17M/27KM and the part inside is around 5K. But it was all new to me, I didn't know this part. And to be honest, I didn't have one dull moment in there! There were 3 character stops, 2 food stops and lots of clean bathrooms ;) The DJ repeated that: "You are entering ESPN at mile 17,5 and leaving at mile 20,8".

Sad to be leaving ESPN
Mijl 20/32km... A important milestone! Because of injury I never trained further than 30K/18,6M. And at this point I knew, I would finish! Bring it on!
I was passed milemarker 21 when I saw them: The Balloon Ladies! There were around mile 17, so there was at least 6km between us. I didn't worry one minute about that. I still had about a 10K to go and they wouldn't catch up on me. It did break my heard to see the people who got passed by them and had to go on a 'Parade Bus'. The ladies were really encouriging the runners to move on. "Look ahead, don't look at us, you got this, keep us behind you, don't look back!"

The 35K point. Ok, this is were it got tough for me. And, I'll be dammed, what's ahead of me. One giant uphill overpass! The green army man was there to encourage runners. Well, I am not running this hill, I will walk it! The sun was beating down on us, I think it was already above 25C/77F at this point. And I finally thought of putting on sunscreen! Way too late... First medical stop was already out....

 Galaxy's Edge

 Hollywood Studios, where we got chocolat!

Hollywood Studios is really short part of the marathon. I walked a lot here. I knew I would finish within 7 hours, so I changed my goal to finish within 6,5 houts. I changed my interval to run 30sec and walk 60sec.
At the Boardwalk, there were so many spectators! And there was the next medical post. Suddenly I remembered that they had Advil there as well. So after 24,5miles, I had my second Advil. They asked when the last one was (6,5hours ago), how many I needed (just 1) and I got a big X on my hand. I put on sunscreen (which are in spraybottels, SPF 70) and continued.

The final park: Epcot! I ran over 40K at this point. I have dreamed of this moment so often, seen so many videos about this last kilometers. As soon as I ran on World Showcase, the emotions can loose. I got a lump in my throat and had to try my hardest not to start crying. Thurday a 5K, Friday a 10K and yesterday a half marathon. We walked a lot in the parks after those as well. And here I was, on my own, already did 40K, a sun burning down on me and temperatures over 28C/82F, I am completing my dream I have been having for over 4 years. Oh man, I really don't want to cry, I need distraction! There, a character! I don't care who it is!

Mile 25, 1 more to go! Again, I was walking more than I did run. I had a hard time. Ok, what helped me through tough trainingdays? Imagine the finish line! I did. And there were the tears coming again. Oh damn, I need distraction. Characters, where are you?

Above a phot which tells the truth. Yes, I had a hard time the last kilometers. Most of the times I did notice the photographers and I could put on a smile. But this shows the truth, Dopey is tough!
It's true what they say, the characters in Epcot don't have lines. The park has opened, so there is a line with regular visitors, but once a runners shows up, the runner gets priority! 
I wanted to finish with a cocktail in my hand, but I forgot to check out the days before which drink I wanted, and the lines where long. Before I got to Future World, I saw a tea/coffee stand. Do you have Ice Tea Chai Latte? Awesome, I'll take it!

Almost there!
Approaching the finish line I heard John roar on the podium: "ZET HEM OP LAUWIE!!!" And then I saw them, my family! With a big smile on my face I ran towards the finish line.  3, 2, 1....

Yes, I did it! I am a Dopey Challenge Finisher and a Marathoner!

My Garmin said I ran 43,52km! Finish time was 6:16:23 with 15 characterstops!  After the finish I got my challenge medals, food box and beverages. I met my family in front of the RT tent, and once I saw them, the tears I have hold back for so long came through. I did it! I was worth all of it! They were proud of me and gave me a big hug. I had to laugh when they said they had a free banana too and they thought it was hot in the sunshine. Yeah, imagine running in it!
John brought my other medals, so I could take photos with all 6 in the RT tent with the characters. My parents went back to the hotel, and John stayed with when I took all the post race characters photos. I didn't eat anything at the RT after, I wanted to move on.

Big shoutout to John! He always believed in me and got me through the tough times. He always knew to motivate me when I didn't feel like running. Good support is so important! Dopey training brings a lot of furstration, tiredness and I am not the most fun person to be around when that happens. But he always supported my dream. Honey, you're the best!

How I felt the days after? Emotionally on top of the world! Physically, so stiff! Sitting down and stair where a challenge. I didn't run for 2 weeks after, and to have my pace back, it took me over 2 months.

I said 'One and Done', because Dopey is just very expensive. Right after the marathon I said I wanted to do this again! And John said that he regretted not doing the marathon. So, if it's up to me, this wasn't my only Dopey Challenge!