This will be a quick one…I promise to be a bit more creative during my next installment…
After I finished the 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon I waddled very slowly back through Epcot, around the Boardwalk to my room at the Beach Club. I was one gigantic ache. Nothing – and I mean nothing – about me felt good physically. There was one thing that offset the pain, and that was the mental victory I earned. It wasn’t pretty, but I finished 26.2 miles with hardly any sleep, very little fuel in my tank and a complete lack of preparation. I knew that my lack of careful planning was evidence of the clear fact that I have a ton to learn.
So here are some quick takeaways for those of you that are planning to run the Walt Disney World Marathon in the future:
- Time your sleep properly. I know that sounds simple….but with this marathon, it’s not. And here’s why: buses begin to run from the Disney resorts at 3am to bring runners to the starting line. This means that alarm clocks are ringing all over on-property resorts beginning at around 2am. Nope- that’s not a typo. 2…a….m. That means, in order to get a decent account of sleep, you need to hit the hay by 7pm. At the latest. AT WALT DISNEY WORLD. How hard it THAT??? I mean COME ON!! Extra magic hours, Illuminations, fireworks, Fantasmic – tons of reasons to stay up late and stay on your feet. Somehow, you have to resist the temptation to ride Space Mountain at 10pm.
- Time your meals properly. I know – another easy thing to do…or so it seems. Trying to get to bed by 7pm on a Saturday evening at Walt Disney World is difficult enough. But try eating dinner at 4-5pm the evening (or late afternoon?) before race day. Oy. But 4-5pm for dinner is about the right timing to follow in order to be able to get a good night’s sleep and ready to go at 3am. Oy. I called Dominos at 8pm…and the rest is history.
- Have an actual game plan for race day. Let me clarify: have an actual game plan that is more than just “make sure my Iphone is fully charged so that I can take pictures all morning”. Tried that game plan, and it – for a lack of a better term – stunk. Review the course map before race day and picture yourself running it. Establish goals or targets in your head that you will run to. Prepare yourself mentally for the 26.2 mile stress test.
Have a game plan. Get to sleep on time. Time your meals properly. Three tiny recommendations to help you succeed during your attempt at the most magical 26.2 you’ll ever run. Until next time! Make sure you double-knot your shoe laces, get out there and get moving!