I just flew back from sunny, 80 degree Florida to grey, 39 degree Chicago today. The trip was not intended as a winter get away, but just happened to be the destination for me to run my 3rd marathon. I ran the Walt Disney Marathon yesterday, a race that is 26.2 miles through the Disney resort, including Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. And while I’m not the Disney type, nor do I really consider myself a “runner” (I know, sounds ridiculous…) last March I had promised one of my oldest and closest friends that I’d run it with her to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand , in honor of her niece Charlotte who is a brain cancer survivor.
I hadn’t really thought through the logistics of training in the winter in Chicago (hello there snow, cold, shortened daylight, shut off public water fountains, shut down public restrooms, etc), which made the past 4 months a pretty brutal time for me both physically and mentally. There were so many times that I wanted to throw in the towel, but the thought of Charlotte in chemo and radiation gave me the motivation to push through. After training 1/3 of 2011, I managed to finish despite 2 hours of sleep the night before (stupid nerves), a 5am race start time, Margaret blowing out her knee at mile 16 (limiting her to a fast walk, slow jog the last 10 miles), losing a tank top to a porta potty (don’t ask), and me almost electrocuting myself on an electric fence in Animal Kingdom. True story.
I’m so proud of Margaret (her 2nd marathon), Charlotte’s mom Sherry (her 1st marathon) and Kevin (You make the rest of us look like slackers finishing your 6TH FREAKING MARATHON!) and everyone who took the time off work, and spent the money to get down to Disney World to cheer us on. Margaret- I love you, girl, but please don’t talk me into another one any time soon 🙂