Also the texts are still coming throughout. At one point around mile 13 I get a text telling me the Buffalo Bills got a new coach. Because this is very important info and I appreciate my friends knowing i would want to know right away. While you may not know me, I'm a huge Buffalo Bills fan. I also got a phone call from my friend Pam wishing me luck! I found this humorous, fun and added to my experience. Go ahead hardcore runners and hate ;)
And just as I'm running with Danny and Karyn, I run back into Sage and Jennifer and Bill. This is freakin fantastic. Like a reunion at mile 14.
So now I have three obstacles down. Here's the thing, I thought it was Wide World of Sports THEN highway to hell. But highway to hell came first. So the whole time I'm on it I didn't realize I was. I kept wondering where Wide World of Sports was. I really should've known. This by far was hardest stretch of race. I was running with Sage and Jennifer and such a good friend that Sage is, she was trying to keep my mind in a good place but for the first time I was hurting. I felt a little uncomfortable and was worried crabby Jackey may erupt. I knew I needed to just get through and focus like Daniel San (Karate Kid Style) I told them I was gonna go ahead.
It began to rain at this point and I was getting worried it would lead to more blisters but just kept going. For the first time in my life my shins REALLY hurt. I started wondering "Do I have a stress fracture?" Because why not jump to a conclusion my bones are breaking.
It actually felt better attempting to run vs walk, though I know under the sound of music that I could hear with my headphones, there were moments I was groaning in pain. Oooohhhh. Oowwww. Sorry if I scared any runners nearby. Then came the medical tent. And the wonderful product BioFreeze! I applied this to my shins and took a Tylenol. And shuffled on probably looking like a little granny. Curse you highway to hell I didn't even know I was on. I will still say despite this painful half hour or so, mentally I was still happy. Having the time of my life. This was probably the lowest point but I felt happy.
I think i did the math at this point and somewhat realized I completed obstacle #4. And was excited to be on to #5 When you are running into Wide World of Sports you are passing the runners, running out on the other side of the road. Two girls pulled me aside and asked to take a pic with me because they worked at Victoria's Secret and wanted to their boss a pic with me in my VS shirt. Sure why not?
I remember my brother texting me at mile 17 asking if I'm still running. Yeah im still plugging away.
This was a milestone mile for me. 17 miles was the most I have ever run before. Using the Jeff Galloway run/walk. Anything more would be a new record for me. We entered Wide World of Sports and ran through the soccer fields, and track.
After this around mile 18 was another banana station. I ate half of one. At this point in case you're curious what I've consumed, I've had about 4 sports beans, a cliff bar and a banana and a half. I have to be very careful to make sure I'm hydrated due to the fact I have kidney stones so I always take powerade at every stop. I started with small sips but had lower back pain so drink more as race went on.
I carried on through the baseball diamond and was so excited to see all the people cheering from the stands there. It was an amazing moment. Then even better I see two of my friends cheering from the stands. My friends Leslie and Nicole.
So now we're leaving Wide World of sports and I'm elated to realize all my obstacles have been completed. I have 6 miles left. Seems like a bit. A 10k but I know it's the fun part.
Im also realizing not too much stands out in the next few miles. I think I was just trying to get to Hollywood Studios!
Can't believe I missed Mile 20!!!
At this point I'm just so estatic. This is the part of the race I was so excited for. I had friends texting asking where I was and I knew I was gonna make. Nothing could stop me. I actually had friends that saw me at this point and yelled my name but I never heard them. I was moving like Forrest! (Maybe a bit slower)
I was about to head out of Hollywood studios toward the Epcot Resorts (Boardwalk, Beachclub and Yacht Club)
I love this area of Disney and knew my mom would be cheering me on soon. As I ran past my resort I snapped this quick pic of one of my favorite places in Disney World. (The American Dance Hall) If you like dancing you should check it out if you're doing an adult Disney trip.
As I made my way over a hill outside the Beach Club resort I could see my mom in the distance cheering. I started waving and jumping (yes jumping at mile 24) but she didn't spot me yet. Finally she saw me and she was so excited taking pics and jumping and telling all her new friends "that's her!!!" As if they couldn't tell. I didn't cry or get emotional, I just felt so darn happy as I had been the entire race. My very proud mom and I:
So now I make my way to Epcot. The final and home stretch. It was crowded and full of tons of people hanging around world showcase and other runners that have finished. I making my way with all these people on sidelines cheering.
When in the distance I spot another friend from our group. My friend Chad. This story makes me laugh. I see him in this really nice Nike track suit, all clean and spiffy and he spots me and I start thinking, oh no I'm all sweaty. If he hugs me I'm gonna get his clothes yucky. I tell him "you don't have to hug me." He gives me this big bear hug and says "I'm so proud of you." It really was a heartwarming moment and another reminder how lucky I am to find this group of amazing Disney fans that enjoy these races. Here's Chad and I:
So I'm at mile 25 and making my way to the end. I take a quick pic in front of spaceship earth.
Now this is it. The moment I pushed myself for and I actually somewhat took my time from here to the finish. I had energy but wanted to take it all in. So many people were cheering from everywhere. I finally see mile marker 26. My favorite race photo
I was just about there. I see the finish in my view. But stopped for a quick pic with Minnie before crossing.
So I'll now share my finish line story. I think pretty neat. While the race is going on people can watch a live feed. I knew my friend Tim and my cousin Shannon were watching. Both knew I had been getting close to the finish.
So as I'm standing near Minnie the announcer notices my shirt. He says over the speaker "my favorite shirt of the whole race the "I hate running shirt" Shannon and Tim knew he was talking about me. Shannon told me she started crying in that moment. I then yell "Buffalo" and the announcer begins to tell me about Rex Ryan being the new coach. Here is a clip from that. This is what they heard and saw on the live feed. I apologize it's sideways (can't figure how to switch) but if you turn of volume you can hear it
I did it. I finished. I can honestly say I believe I could've done on my own however without the support of friends and family at the race, texting me throughout, on facebook, updating me and running with me it would never have been such a fun rewarding experience.
I also want to recognize my husband who completely supports all my Disney dreams, for understanding my need to venture out of our home and meet new people and have these amazing experiences. He never complains when I take off to run, and always helps with the kids. I never have to worry about how things are at home. I think he's a great role model for my boys and hopefully will make them better husbands one day. Thank you!
And here is a pic of that reward I wanted and worked for. If it hadn't been so shiny and gorgeous I would've never done