Monday, May 5, 2014

I feel like I'm in NASCAR

Leaving the castle, I headed out of Magic Kingdom Park, but not before I got to another great picture in near Liberty Square with Louis from The Princess and the Frog, which remains one of my favorite all time Disney movies.  (I know that is probably blasphemy to all of you Frozen lovers out there)

Frontierland sees Mile 6. . .
 And just out of the park near Splash Mountain, the engineers and the WDW Train.  I love this ride, mostly because Walt loved it so much.

And then heading out and about towards Cone Alley. . .
 And in Cone Alley.

Cone Alley is the Grand Floridian Way, called that during the races, because there are cones that divide the runners from one lane of traffic.  It can be highly dangerous to travel on the other side of the cones, but it is also an area where there is a lot of congestion.  You have 26,000 runners in one lane.  Cah-Razy!
Something that was added to the marathon last year was a trip around the Walt Disney World Speedway.  I remember thinking, "huh, that might be cool."  What I didn't expect was the hill down and into the speedway.  Thank goodness for people telling me beforehand.  I was able to decelerate before I got there. 
 Oops. . .I guess they forgot about us pedestrians!

And the hill down and up!
 By the time you get here, you are so happy to be on flat land.
 Mile 9, I believe just as we are leaving the race track.

You'll note I'm getting tired by now. . .fewer pictures of scenery.
 Coming behind Animal Kingdom. . .
 Dottie, the amazing warthog!  She was so sweet!  There were plenty of animals here, but I got a picture with Dottie because my youngest child loves pigs.

 Mile 12, coming into Animal Kingdom. 
 And Rafiki!  He's been my Facebook profile many times!
 A little-known tidbit of information:  runners who time things right can ride Expedition Everest.  During the race.  Did I time things right?

 I entered the area at around 9:34.  Great timing. 
 And there I am, in the back, with all other people wearing race bibs, too!

Excited about being at the halfway point, I was already feeling a few pains.  One of which was in my left ankle.  It was just a little sore, but nothing to truly be worried about, until here.

I was so glad I had made it to this point, I stepped off a curb checking to make sure I got this picture.  I was also having trouble with my iPhone here and was turning it back on. 

My ankle?  Devastation.  It hurt to keep going, but go I did.  I had trained so long.  I ran 20-mile training runs in the rain with my husband coming to check on me throughout.  I had run 9 milers on the treadmill.  I had paid $200 in race registration and $125 for race retreat.  I was not giving up.

In hindsight, I probably should never have finished that race.  In a training run, I never would have kept going.  Throughout the last 13.2 miles, I took 2 Advil, 2 Tylenol, and put Biofreeze on my ankle three times.  I had sprained my left ankle and I'm lucky it was not broken.

People have asked me why I kept going, and the reason is similar to why I kept going after my knee started hurting in my first half marathon.  One may find it silly, but I certainly don't. 

The pain from that race is NOWHERE near the pain that Jesus felt on the cross.  Nowhere near the despair He must have felt when He said, "'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.'" (Matthew 26:39)

You see, I knew I could finish the race.  I could fight the fight.  The pain I was feeling was temporary.  My suffering was no where near the pain Jesus felt on that fateful day.  I would heal.  And I was strong enough.

I won't lie.  The next 13.2 miles involved a lot of prayer.  I've found, however, that when I'm stripped down, that is when I'm closer to God.  When I'm running and I'm thinking there is nothing else in me, that's when I rely on the Creator's creation.  Isn't it wonderful that we have an All-powerful God who can giv eus the strength to finish when we don't think we can?

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