Well, the weekend is finally here. On Sunday, my mom is running her first marathon. She may not be prepared in the traditional sense of getting in the mileage she needs. (Her longest run has only been 13.1 miles.) But she’s prepared in the mentally. While she had to take a good 7 weeks off her marathon training to recover from her accident, the minute she got the OK to run, run she did. She’s kept up steady mileage since October. She’s ready.
We’re leaving today at lunchtime for Orlando where we’ll check into our hotel and then head over to the race expo. It’s going to be crazy over there this weekend. There are over 20,000 people signed up for the marathon. That’s nuts! Every hotel is booked and I know it’s going to be annoying to find somewhere to eat on Saturday night. (Especially Italian restaurants!) I’ve never been to a race expo so it’ll be neat to experience it all!
Saturday will be a fun day of sleeping in and hanging out around the hotel. We’ll keep it low-key since Sunday’s going to be insane. My brother, sister-in-law, and nephew are coming up on Saturday night to support my mom during her race. I am so, so, so excited they’re coming and I know it’ll give her the extra something-something she needs to finish her race.
Sunday is going to be crazy. We have to leave the hotel by 3am and head over to the park. (She starts at Epcot.) My brother and I will get to see her four different times during the race: at the beginning, at Mile 4, at Mile 12.5, and at the end. Luckily, the Walt Disney World Marathon has an excellent spectator guide so I was able to print off where I could spot her and how to get there. It’s a little bit different from a regular marathon since she’s running through all the different Disney parks, so it’s very helpful to have this information. My SIL and nephew will join us at the end.
I am so incredibly nervous for my mom. She’s scared of being pulled out of the race because her pace isn’t fast enough, although I think she’ll be OK. She has to maintain a 16-minute mile pace and she’s been averaging 13-minute miles lately. She’s hoping to finish in 6 hours.
Our other big concern was the weather. Last year, it was 26 degrees. For wimpy Florida folk like us, that is cold. We were anxiously awaiting 10 days until the race so we could finally check the weather. It started pretty scary with a low of 43 degrees and a 20% chance of rain. But it’s gradually worked it’s way up to a low of 53 degrees, although the rain chance remains the same. As a spectator, I am thrilled. I don’t function well with cold weather but I can definitely handle 50-60 degree weather.
It’s an amazing accomplishment and I cannot wait to see her cross that finish line and prove to herself how much she is capable of.
I’ll finish with the quote that was featured in Runner’s World daily e-mails, “You can never be sure. That’s what makes the marathon both fearsome and fascinating. The deeper you go into the unknown, the more uncertain you become. But then you finish. And you wonder later, ‘How did I do that?’ This question compels you to keep making the journey from the usual to the magical.” (Joe Henderson)