WDW Marathon Recap: Making it through my first 26.2

As much as I initially wanted to recap every mile, and every picture, the more I tried to write it, the less I could make it happen.

Overall, the weekend was better than I imagined. I got to meet an awesome group of Twitter friends, got to see some wonderful friends from work who I hadn’t seen in a year, spent time with family that I don’t see often, got to see a family friend who ran Dopey, and enjoyed the fact that the Dolphin had a candy shop in the lobby 😊

The marathon was amazing. I loved almost every minute of it. Karen and I did a great job of running it how we had trained, and rather than try to do more than our bodies were ready to, we had fun. We took pictures with characters, we stopped to stretch if we needed to, and made sure my injury didn’t swell to the point of breaking the skin.

What injury? Oh that would be the black eye I got when a fellow runner was being overly aggressive near a character stop. We’d slowed and turned to talk to the Cast members who were working the line, and she ran into me, knocking her head into my eye. Here’s the fantastic progression from a few minutes post-hit to yesterday (a full week later).


I would not let that keep me from finishing the race, so we continued on. I stopped for ice at one point, and got some anti-bacterial ointment to make sure the small cut near my eye didn’t get infected from the sweat dripping into it. Thankfully, the sun was out at this point, so my sunglasses kept all pics looking normal.

Minnie & Daisy

The main mouse, himself

T-I-Double G- Grrrrr

I was surprised throughout the race that I had very few aches and pains. My toes went numb fairly early in the race, and by the later miles they began to cramp, a lot. By mile 24, my hips had tightened up, which was rough, but in the last mile, Karen and I both were able to put our pain behind us, and just go!


I’m still in a weird state of disbelief that it happened. And definitely have marathon depression. The whole weekend was an overload of emotion, and no matter how much rest and recovery I gave myself, it’s been extremely hard to get back to a normal life.

I’ve forced myself to take a week off from running, or even hard cross-training. Yesterday I went back to Unite Fitness and realized how dead my legs are, which made it all worse. I realize how much I’ve put my body through but I’m ready to take it back. I’m going to force myself to stay with my clean eating, and get a ton of sleep, because let’s be honest, sleep was not as plentiful as it should have been for the last several months.

So, I’m sorry this isn’t the big cheerful race recap you were probably expecting. It was an amazing day, that in all reality, I remember a few pieces of really well, but most of it is a blur. All I know, is that it felt amazing, and I can’t wait to do another one.

Anyone else have toe numbness/cramping during marathons?
What about marathon depression? How did you deal with it?
Does anyone remember their races well enough to write a full recap unless they do it that day?

31 thoughts on “WDW Marathon Recap: Making it through my first 26.2

  1. Congratulations! I just ran Dopey as my first half marathon, and know exactly what you mean…I’m really struggling to adapt to my “normal” life, and I have to fight with myself just to lace up my sneakers at all…I’ve been out running twice since we got back, and that burning desire to GO is just not there. I thought I was the only one, or maybe imagining it, so thank you so much for mentioning this! I am training for another marathon later this spring, so time to get back to business! Of course, the marathon was absolutely amazing and I loved every minute of it…sounds like, overall, you had a great time — other than the black eye! Sorry about that!

  2. Wow what a great job you did and it’s so good you were able to enjoy it without stressing over it being the first marathon of what I’m sure will be many. I can understand it being an emotional experience to get over right away, but I’m sure that’ll just spur you on to experience it again. Well done!

  3. kristenk

    I love this recap! I think you’re amazing for finishing the marathon with a black eye! I’m sure you’re getting this question from everyone, but since you mentioned marathon depression I have to ask: what’s next on your race calendar? πŸ˜›

    1. Thanks, Kristen!

      And since my post this morning was on exactly that, Cherry Blossom 10 miler on April 6th, then Pittsburgh Half Marathon on May 4th. They felt really far away until I looked at the calendar. I’m good now! Marathon depression over now that I feel like I’m back to training again ☺️

  4. ari @ whatarisaid

    Thanks for the recap, it was still great to read… And congrats on your first marathon! I get toe numbness on my short runs these days, I wonder what that’s about…

  5. I think its impossible to try and remember everything about a race. One of the reasons why I haven’t published my recaps from last weekend’s 10k and half yet is because I’m trying to remember as much as I can, and each time another memory strikes I make sure to make note of it in my draft.

    Kudos to you and Karen on finishing your first marathon, and an extra kudos to you on continuing on despite the unfortunate run in with the other runner. Hope you eye starts getting better soon!

    1. You’re taking a great approach to the recap! I should have started it, and gone back often, I just couldn’t get it started πŸ˜•

      Congratulations to you, too!!!

  6. I can’t believe you got a black eye! I hope the other runner at least apologized to you!
    I’m running my first marathon in the Fall. This was helpful. I think it’s good to have something to focus on (like your eating) to start filling the gap that training once took up.
    Congratulations on finishing!!

    1. Good luck training for your first full! Training was far more overwhelming to me than the race itself, although I feel like for my next full, it will be the opposite.

  7. Congratulations! And yes, I ALWAYS get major marathon depression! It’s terrible. It’s like you’ve been looking forward to and workings towards this HUGE event for so long and then all of a sudden it’s just over! Ugh, it’s the only thing I really hate about running marathons.

    And I can not believe you got a black eye running a marathon! I hope it’s feeling better, I guess on the bright side you have a unique story to tell…

    1. I’m relieved to hearing not the only one to have marathon depression. Next time I will definitely plan on either taking more time off from work so that I can do fun things to take me through that first week, or I would sign up for several yoga classes that following week. That way it gives me something to focus on, without pushing my body too hard.

  8. jenereesa

    Still can’t believe that you got a black eye during a marathon! In DISNEY WORLD, OF ALL PLACES. That seems so wrong on so many levels. I’m glad that you were able to continue and smile throughout.

    26.2 miles is a long distance so it doesn’t surprise me that it’s hard to wrap your head around a blog post. The most awesome thing to me is that you set a goal, you attacked the training, and you had a great time with Karen. The journey of getting to the marathon is almost as important as the race itself and you did it right. Congrats to you!!!

    1. I’m still amazed that it happened too. I’m also amazed with how long it’s taking to go away. I’m still all purple, and still have a big painful egg on my brow bone. Probably should think about seeing a doctor πŸ˜•

      So, you in for Philly yet😏

      1. jenereesa

        Going to the foot doc on Thursday – need to get this taken care of before I can commit but I have written it on a list of things I plan for in 2014… SOOOOOO…

  9. I get super sad after a race is over. It is kind of a let down because you have been working so hard on something for so many months, and in just a few hours it is over. All I can do to get out of post marathon funk is to set a new goal. Not necessarily run related, but something else to focus on.
    And so sorry about the eye, how crummy! I feel horrible for you.

  10. Yikes! It looks like you’re healing but that must have been one heck of an injury! I don’t think I’ve had toe cramping but I have had cramping during races. It’s the worst! As for the post-marathon blues – absolutely. I usually got right back into the swing of things and planned another race pretty quickly although I’m not sure if that’s the smartest thing to do.

    I usually just touch upon the main themes for a race recap. I don’t really like reading posts that document a race mile for mile.

  11. So someone once told me that during your first marathon you should try to focus on key moments (don’t they tell people to do that one their wedding day too?!). It’s nearly impossible to do for your first I think – you’re focusing on pace, not dying, fuel, etc.
    There were a few for me that were key – Rock Creek Parkway, seeing one of my dearest friends on the mall (I have tears in my eyes just thinking about that hug I got…3 months later!), separating with Danielle on the bridge and jamming through Crystal City on my own. But there are moments that I wish I remembered better…I don’t really remember seeing the mile 26 marker. I wish I had seen my other friends out there spectating. As cliche as it sounds, a marathon is totally a journey and there will be highs and lows throughout the race. Above all else, I can say that I felt incredibly fortunate to run my first with a friend – that companionship was invaluable, even if we didn’t cross the finish line together. You and Karen have something so very special together! πŸ™‚

    1. I love this concept, and will definitely employ it for my next one. It also helps you break the race up mentally while running. Disney was easy because you have the different parks, but having clear things or people you’re looking for would be helpful.

  12. We did an amazing job at the marathon! Putting all into words was not easy and I don’t think I was able to express all of the emotions that we went through. I’m so happy that you and I got to share that experience together! xo

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