View Full Version : The heartbreak of a new running partner

01-12-2006, 12:22 PM
If I may impose I would like to post a re-cap of my adventures in the full marathon. As you may know I got into this because we (my son's best friend's family and our family) lost a very sweet and inspiring little girl in April of 2005 to leukemia. I raised money for research and trained to run the best marathon I could. My goals for fund raising were far exceeded and I had a goal of running a 3:30 time in the marathon and qualifying to run the Boston Marathon. Well, the best plans... Read on if you are interested in the days events.
The day started out with a cold frost on the grass and an even colder mist hanging in the air. It takes a special kind of kook to get up at 2:15 AM, catch a bus at 3:15 AM and then sit around in 35 degree temperatures for 2 hours before being marched a mile to a starting coral to wait again for another 45 minutes before race start. There we stood, all 14,000 of us, waiting for Mickey to start us off with his usual flair through fireworks. The race started right on time and the first 2 or 3 miles were the usual jockeying for position but I hit my stride and was very close to my goal pace by mile two. By mile 4 we were running into what looked like THE fog. It was dark, cold and you could not see 200 yards ahead but onward we ran. The support along the course was truly uplifting and those volunteers (Disney had over 5,000 for the marathon) are simply too good for words.

I and my new-found friend Bob from our TnT group were looking to attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon with a 3 hour and 30 minute finish time. Hey, we trained at sub 8 minute per mile so why not go for it? On past mile 5, then 6, then 7, then 8, and OH NO, something is just not right. “Hey Bob, I am having a hard time here. I simply cannot get loose.” I push on with some very encouraging words from Bob and right around the corner there it is, Cinderella’s Castle. I made it to the Magic Kingdom and the sun has only started to appear. We are still only about a minute off our goal pace and now what a boost running up Main Street. My God, all these people got up early to cheer us on. What an experience! Here is the kicker, Disney actually puts your name on your bib (race number) so all these people are actually yelling things like “great job Michael,” or go team, your doing great Michael.” We turn into Tomorrow land and then it hits me, the cramps are like a knife sliding into the middle of my stomach. I push on. Past the Tea Cups and “hey there is the Dumbo ride” and OH, OH, I have to find the bathroom. NOW! Sorry Bob, good luck. See you at the finish. I now have a new running partner Mr. Montezuma.

Rather than make your stomachs turn I will only say that to spend 40+ minutes in six separate Port-O-Lets is about 39 minutes too long. I would not achieve my goal of a Boston qualifying time but I will finish. The next 10 to 12 miles were pure torture for me as I watched the time rapidly pass by. At mile 20 my TnT coach helped a lot by running about ¾ of a mile with me and encouraged me. Soon after that I would really be tested and almost have to leave the race. Right after mile 21 I spent around 20 minutes in one of those stinky green closets and was actually questioned by one of the race volunteers (an EMT) if I would be OK to continue. He gave me some H2O and Poweraid I shuffled on. Now I was reduced to 5-minutes running followed by a 1-minute walk break because of the total body cramping from the electrolyte loss.

Past mile 22 we enter Disney’s MGM studios and I can actually run through the entire park. Mile 24 and 25 were back to the 5 to 1 shuffle but at mile 25 we enter EPCOT and I can see my efforts are going to pay off. I break into a more run-like shuffle. I try and think of all the support I received from you all and it actually helps. With my arms in visible spasm, my legs trembling and my back doing the tango I push on. The run through Morocco, Japan, The United States, Italy, Germany, Norway, and Mexico are a blur. Future World to the right and I can actually picture Lizzie and feel the joy she would have felt had I actually been able to show her this magical place for real. My stride picks up again and from where the strength comes I know not. I keep passing people as we go past the geosphere that is the ride Spaceship Earth and then we make the right turn out past the utility building and there it is. What a sight this is (anyone who has run a marathon knows what I am talking about) a couple of thousand people cheering you on and that one wonderful word beckoning - FINISH. I pump my arm in glory and say out loud; “WELCOME TO DISNEY WORLD LIZZIE! This one is for you!”

I thank you all for your support and encouragement and hope that someday you all can experience what I have over these past 5 months and especially on Sunday, January 8, 2006. I will be back!

Lisa loves Pooh
01-12-2006, 12:53 PM
You poor thing. I'm sure you finished better than I did last year. But I can honestly without a shadow of a doubt say that I know how you feel. My worst memory was how awful World Showcase smelled. No it doesn't ordinarily smell bad, but when you are sick--even the best foods in the world are enough to make you ill. Plugging my nose saved it.

I did it all for a little boy who was on his Make A Wish trip to Disney and had it cut short b/c he came ill. However--I knew that I would live--so I pressed on (visited medical tents and even conversed with a paramedic at Mile 20 to make sure). Heard that Gospel Choir and that announcer and sprinted the fastest I ever had in my life. Still late--but it did look like one doozy of a finish!

So I know how you feel and say "JOB WELL DONE!!!".

This year was a much happier ending for me and for LLS :).

01-12-2006, 07:13 PM
Thanks Lisa, Actually if it wasn't for the, and pardon the pun here, runs and a bit of cramping I was actually not sick. However, if I had to crawl I would have finished for Lizzie. Lizzie actually had a Make-a-Wish trip set up but the day before she was to go there was a bone marrow transplant donor located and she never made it through all the post-transplant treatments. This was and remains my inspiration.

Lisa loves Pooh
01-12-2006, 08:01 PM
Believe it or not--the sick part didn't do me in until Wide world of sports (~mile 20). It was the side affects of what you mention (not dis appropriate, sorry!) that was the cause of all the med tent stops.

Poor Lizzie! :(

Jon Jon made it to the Haunted Mansion ride. So long ago, I don't recall how far he was into the trip. I don't think it was more than half way :(. Anyway, he had to be flown home to the hospital and never left :(. Very sweet boy.

01-13-2006, 10:28 AM
Stories like John's and Lizzies are why I did the Team in Training thing. Hey if the $5,300 I raised helps just one patient all of Mr. Montezuma's revenge was more than worth it!!!!!!!!!!!

01-13-2006, 09:01 PM
Goofyguy1958, I's so glad you made it to the finish! Only sorry that Mr Montezuma decided to accompany you on your run. Your efforts to raise all that money and complete the race in Lizzie's memory is really inspiring. Glad you will be back, and aiming for Goofy.

01-14-2006, 08:49 AM
Thanks perfectmatch,
I just now realized that, in my zeel to write about my new running partner, I never posted my finish time: gun time was 4:22:35 and chip time was 4:21:16. So I guess if I had not found a new running partner I would have finished in around 3:40. Can't wait to see how I do next year.

Lisa loves Pooh
01-14-2006, 08:53 AM
You never know. But one things for certain--you've left plenty of room for a new PR and I'm sure Lizzie would want to see you at Disney again :).

01-14-2006, 11:25 AM
Someone mentioned using Imodium before races and long runs. Has anyone ever tried that? I wouldn't necessarily use it for viral or food poisoning kinda stuff, but I think it could personally be helpful. Just don't want to bind things up for later :flower:

Lisa loves Pooh
01-14-2006, 11:39 AM
You must practice it--some meds have the opposite affect on people and race day is not the day to try it out. However for future reference--if anyone has any visits requiring it...not only can it be helpful, it can be a Godsend. So stop at those med tents!