The Paul Ryan Curse: The Marathon Morning

Previously on the Paul Ryan Curse

The Beginning

Day 2


Alternatively titled: well, there’s nothing else I could really call it.

My alarm went off at 2:30 AM and I jumped up to turn it off.  I had laid out my outfit and all my gear the night before so I ate my Nature Valley Almond Bar, took my medicines, and picked up my phone to take a few pictures.  Then this happened:


Hilary, ever the trooper wanted to meet me and see how moving around felt.

I want to be perfectly clear up front– Hilary is my hero.  She was such a trooper, she was so realistic about the situation, she stayed calm and behaved in a way that, given the circumstances, I would NOT have acted.


up at 2 AM face


really ready to go face

Back to the Curse.

When Hilary rolled up to the lobby of the Grand Floridian, I knew that the marathon wasn’t going to happen for us that day.  I just felt it.  But I didn’t say anything because not running a marathon that you trained for 20 weeks for and traveled to Florida for and got up at 2 AM for is NOT the choice you make for other people.

We got our bagels and caffeine and headed to the monorail.  On the ride over, Hilary was looking a stitch green.  She was also radiating heat, like she has a fever.  In other news I dumped my diet Coke on the seat.  Whoops.

We agreed that we would head right for the medical tent.  As we made the long walk from the monorail to the medical tent, I tried to stave off the the good lucks, have a good races, and you’ve got this from the very kind, very helpful race staff and volunteers on the way to the medical tent.  That was really the last thing that I wanted Hilary to have to hear.

As we got closer, I think it hit Hilary that this wasn’t happening today.  Her tears started to well up and my heart literally broke.  Like into a million pieces.  Because I have been there.  WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE.  So much time, and to be so close, but feel so shitty.  I would not wish that crushing disappointment, mixed with frustration, anger on anyone.  I was crushed but I had one thing to do — get her to that medical tent.

We made it to information tent and I asked the nice lady if we could have medical attention.  All of the sudden a swarm of people were upon Hilary who was now sitting in a chair at the end of the info tent.  We had two medical personnel and three runDisney staff.  They asked Hilary about how she was feeling {terrible} what had happened that morning {a little puke, other things}.  And then they got quiet.  They wanted her to make the call.  And she said it, I don’t think I can run the marathon today.  The woman who was with Hilary was so so supportive.  She told her how awesome it was to make the call, to listen to her body.  She asked her questions about the training and if she could run another race.  She told my Hilary that she was proud of her making a difficult call.  She was wonderful.

Then they asked Hilary if she could get back to the monorail.  I said that we could probably use a lift.  Hilary looked down and said “But you can’t miss this race.”  Hilary, I responded, there is no race without you.  And it was true.  When I signed up to run the marathon, the only goal was to finish with Hilary.

Then Dave from runDisney appeared with Mylar blankets and a a little cart to take us back to the monorail.  Dave was so kind.  He kept telling us how brave we were for making the call and how sorry he was that Hilary was so sick on her big day.  As we got off the cart, Dave gave me his phone number and asked if he could drop off our medals later at our hotel.  My heart was literally in pieces.  It was the sweetest thing ever.  Dave and I swapped numbers and we got on the monorail.

It was a pretty rough ride back.  Hilary was really not feeling well.  And being on the monorail was not making it any better.  We got off at the Grand and found a bathroom.  We got back to her room and I ran out to get out her some ginger ale and crackers.  When I got back to her she was curled up on the floor back in her jammies.  I helped her up and into bed and then headed back to our room.

When I crashed through our door MB shot up and was like WTF is going on?  And I started to sob. I sobbed because I felt horrible for Hilary.  I sobbed because I know the pain of letting go of a goal.  I know all of it so well.  And frankly, I was looking forward SO MUCH to watch her experience the marathon, to finish, to feel that joy.  That’s selfish but it’s true.

MB hugged me for a while and then told me to buck up buttercup.  We watched 2 hours of TV and I got ready to get out to cheer the marathoners.  And I cursed Paul Ryan and his terrible curse and his lying marathon ways.  It really got us.  YOU DID THIS PAUL RYAN.  YOU AND GERMS!

I have to, before I go, say again how AMAZING the runDisney staff was and has been since then.  They were so amazing, helpful, kind, generous.  They turned out in full force and tried to make my dear Hilary feel better — both from her fever and from her marathon.  Thank you runDisney.  Thank you thank you thank you.

Have you ever taken a DNS or DNF?  Tell me about all your feels!

7 thoughts on “The Paul Ryan Curse: The Marathon Morning

  1. ishouldrun says:

    That’s the craziest story. You’re the second person who wrote about someone getting a stomach illness after coming in for the Disney Marathon. That’s the worst! You’re a great friend to go back with her. Hopefully you both can come back to Florida for the marathon next year.

  2. Jennifer Lefforge says:

    i cannot believe I am just now reading this. After you, me and Amelia trying to meet up and then getting the message I had NO IDEA it was this bad and now I feel like I should have been more supportive! You are an amazing friend. Seriously. There are lots of marathons, but there is only one friend that will stick close like a sister. (I think that’s in the bible somewhere;).

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