Momma left us in May of 2001 and I had surgery in September after beginning my training for the Austin marathon (I think I have all this straight). The month off training after surgery put me out of reach of this next marathon. (The Doctor wisely told me I could begin running anytime after a week KNOWING I would not feel like running-WE HATE HEARING-YOU CAN'T!)
Someone in the group discovered Disney World had a marathon in January every year. That would make the training almost bearable knowing that we would be enjoying Disney World. The decision was made to go AND that our training would now last 18 weeks and we would run all the way up to 22 miles. I took a couple of training plans and modified them to suit our group and we commenced with the training.
All of this training was done in the Fall and Winter months-SO not too painful. I do remember running one run with Stephanie (The Flash) in the pelting sleet and freezing temperatures. Once again I completed ALL of the training. I felt ready and looked forward to the run.
The day of the marathon, we all were on buses to the staging area somewhere around 4 AM. It is not an easy task to get 17,000 (if my memory serves me right) runners to the starting line. Babs, Mona, and I started out together and I was enjoying the run and the sites. You run through each and every park as well as on the roads connecting them.
At mile 13, I started having a cramp in my upper-inner thigh that I had NEVER experienced before. It was EXCRUCIATING! I stopped at aid stations for massages and pain relievers. I walked-I hobbled-I struggled for the next 13.2 miles. It was one of the most difficult physical things that I have ever done. I was DETERMINED TO FINISH! Somehow-someway- I got across that Finish Line. I immediately headed for the First Aid tent. Not only had I suffered from cramping, but because I had to do SO MUCH walking, I had blisters on the bottom of both feet that covered the entire sole. IT WAS AN UGLY SIGHT! I left the tent with both feet completely wrapped in gauze.
We spent the entire afternoon after finishing running touring one of the Parks. My gait was not pretty! The trip home the next day was a symphony of moans and groans as we stiffened up each and every time we sat for any length of time. BUT IT WAS A MARVELOUS ADVENTURE!
I am most proud of that Finishing Medal and it always reminds me when I look at it that the human body is a marvelous machine-BUT the human will is a God Given Wonder!