The 2022 Walt Disney World marathon….where do I begin. Should I start with the day before where the migraine attack kept progressing? Or the morning of where I had left my house and forgot my phone? I should’ve known this one was going to be rough at that moment. When I got to the start line area, I had even walked to the wrong starting group. I was all kinds of messed up. I couldn’t even talk or put my thoughts together. This was my overall 10th marathon, 9th runDisney but it felt like my first.
I forgot how to run?!?! Who does that!!! I was standing there in my quietness as usual and I was thinking..”Do I stretch? Do I do breathing techniques? Do I repeat mantras? Or do I just run?” It’s like I was about to take my Psychology final and my mind went blank. Well too late to think because we were off!
Almost immediately everything went wrong. My body had already exhausted itself fighting this intense migraine attack that I was already done. But the kind of exhausted that felt like I had already ran 26 miles but I was JUST hitting mile 2!!!! I knew this was going to be the hardest marathon to date.
I was keeping a decent pace. I had two virtual pacers keeping an eye on me. I had several chEAR squad members along the course with anything I needed. First one was around mile 10. I need my coveted Coca Cola. It is my secret weapon against dizziness and nausea, and more when I have migraines. And my squad was ready with everything in hand!! THEN, my back started to act up and I developed a massive knot in my trap! It was limiting my rang of motion.
There aren’t enough words to describe how much I was struggling but I was running a marathon. I was glad I had the Migraine Buddy app on my phone because I was able to log in all the medications I took without worry of what and when I took everything. I could barely keep thoughts together let alone remember when I took my medicine. I was talking to my husband and they were trying to help as much as possible. I told them, “I am doing this for every single person who was told they can’t.” I was fighting for you, for all of you who were ever told you aren’t enough, capable enough to go after what ever you dreamed of. That is what honestly got me through my toughest parts of the marathon.
I did sneak in a few episodes of Amy Bruni’s Haunted Road which is a phenomenal podcast about all things haunted and historics. if you know me, you know I love the paranorms so this made me very happy.Give it a listen, it’s a good one. Anyhow, I haven’t memorized the course because they changed it from last time(we went through blizzard Beach) this time we just hit the parking lot. I knew once I left the water park, my park was next and I could breathe a sign or relief because I got to see some cast member friends and my squad again at mile 23!! I danced my way towards them as I exited MGM and made my way to Epcot to see more friends cheEARing for me! I was so happy to see so many people waiting for me. You all have NO idea how much that helps.
I sluggishly fought my way to the finish line and I was officially done “running” 26.2. I say “running” because when I finished I wasn’t even sure if I was done. My mind couldn’t comprehend it. The migraine attack was still there and I still couldn’t process things properly. It felt like time stood still, I felt like I walked more than I ran and it was hot with the sun blazing on us. This was killer and while I have done other marathons with a migraine attack, this one felt different. I don’t even know how to express it….
But here I sit….another 26.2 miles accomplished. A shiny new medal to hang on the wall and another one to say yes I can yes I can yes I CAN!