WDW Half Marathon Part III: The Aftermath

THE AFTERMATH. Sounds ominous, right?  That’s because if you asked me in the window of time between 5 minutes after and 3 hours later, I probably would have told you that I was dying and that I’d never walk without a limp again. In my head, at least 2 ligaments in my right knee were torn and I had a new stress fracture in a different spot of my left tibia.

I limped pathetically behind Christina as we headed to the tables offering full bottles of Dasani AND Gatorade. A volunteer told everyone as they passed that she’d better see each and every one of us drinking a bottle of something. She even offered to open the bottles for those who couldn’t. We were herded past a row of RunDisney backdrops to take finisher pictures. We swung by a table to pick up bananas and a little cardboard lunchbox filled with protein bars, popcorn chips, Skittles, and other snacks.

Our original plan had, foolishly, been to walk our rear ends back to our hotel, which was only a 5 minute walk from Epcot. That was no longer going to happen. We hopped the shuttle back to the Beach Club, freezing our sweaty asses off in the air conditioning. Tiffany and Hannah were long done with the race and were soothing their muscles in the hot tub. While waiting for the shower, I lay on the floor with my legs up in the air trying to get the blood back to my heart and head.

I know I should have been hungry and refueling with the box-o-snacks at this point, but my body works in strange ways after a long run. I can’t even contemplate food when I’m done. Sometimes, I have a hard time even drinking. I need to have a nice hot shower before my stomach will step off the picket line and start working again. So I waited my turn for the shower and got the hottest water possible to start soaking the back of my legs. All the soreness felt considerably better after that, but I still felt like my legs would never work the same again. I borrowed some of Tiffany’s BioFreeze (because that was one of the things I forgot to pack) and my knee stopped feeling like someone was stabbing a crochet hook under my kneecap.

Once all 4 of us were back together, dramatically less sweaty then we had been an hour or so earlier, and coated in menthol analgesic, we hit Epcot to find food, coffee, and alcohol in no particular order. This was probably the best thing we could have done. Not the food, coffee, and alcohol, but the walking around the park. All that movement worked all that built-up lactic acid right on out. Standing up after sitting down at lunch or on rides still hurt I moved like an arthritic three-toed sloth for a few paces, but all in all it wasn’t that bad. The next day, I was even able to wander the Magic Kingdom with little to no pain. Sweet.

We had RUN down that street just 24 hours before. It was kinda surreal.

Sadly, we had to leave for the frigid North shortly after that picture was taken. Our flight was delayed, then delayed more, then bumped back up, then delayed again. Thank JetBlue. That was fun. Christina and I got on board just in time to catch the Golden Globes. It was at that precise point we both realized that both our headphones were still with our running gear under the plane. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are not nearly as funny when you can’t hear them.

Jennifer Lawrence’s dress still looks like Ariel’s dress no matter the volume, though.

Just about 7 hours after leaving “The Most Magical Place On Earth,” I was back home. In the cold. In the real world. It’s not all that bad, though. My loving husband baked me a cake to congratulate and welcome me home. I was so hungry that I took a bite right out of it when he presented it.

He’s a chef, not a pastry chef.

And now, here I am, 6 days later, feeling like a million bucks. I did 4.5 miles on an elliptical on Tuesday to get my muscles moving again. Yesterday, I managed 3 miles on the road and could have totally done more if it wasn’t that it was on my lunch hour and there was lab drama that I had to get back to and deal with. Tomorrow, I plan to do the first 7 miles of the 14 Mile Firefly Run for Galgos virtual run.

I’m already signed up for another half marathon in March, and I may even do another one (Philadelphia!) the week right after (depending on my run tomorrow goes.)