I had lofty aspirations for the day after the race. I was going to sleep in, go to Animal Kingdom Lodge for lunch, and spend the rest of the day at the Magic Kingdom. Oh, such high hopes. But here is the thing with those hopes and aspirations...they required me to be able to sleep. And walk.
I could not sleep. I could not move.
I woke up around 9am, only a mere 5 hours after I had fallen asleep. Like race day, I laid around some, hoping that maybe I would be able to fall back asleep. The Magic Kingdom would be open until 1am, so there was no reason for me to rush anywhere. Not that I could...my legs were in so much pain that even the slightest movement felt like someone was whacking me with a sledgehammer. At one point, I broke down in sobs from the pain. Was finishing the race really worth this?
It took what felt like forever to finally get ready (and proudly wearing my race medal and the race accomplishment necklace I bought myself), and I slowly made my way to the resort gift shop to look for some Advil. Of all the things I could forget to pack, it just had to be some kind of pain reliever. The cashier noticed my medal and saw that I was looking at the Advil, and joked about how she couldn't understand why so many people were over in that section that day. I am glad I wasn't the only one who forgot such an item. After my purchase, I quickly took the Advil and headed towards my lunch destination.
The Mara. This place is one of my favorite quick service dining locations. I wanted something hearty for my meal and I knew exactly what I was going to get.
African stew and zebra domes. I love this meal in a way I cannot explain. The stew is absolutely amazing, with tender hunks of chicken, raisins, peas, peppers, and potatoes all in a magnificent stew sauce that has a slight coconut flavor. The zebra domes...I can't even properly explain the deliciousness of those other than to say they are little bites of heaven. That is how I always describe them.
After lunch, I hobbled my way over to the bus stop to go to the Magic Kingdom. The park was already decorated for Christmas, as the first Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party had taken place just a couple nights earlier.
It was beautiful.
I only really made it onto a few rides. Not that I didn't want to do more. But my legs were not happy with me in the slightest. New Fantasyland was doing passholder previews, and I walked by in the hopes that maybe a cast member would see my medal and notice my hobble. Then, by taking pity on me while congratulating my accomplishment, the cast member would let me in. Hey, I did say I had lofty aspirations. No such luck. In all honesty, I didn't actually expect anything like that to happen. But I did want to get a glimpse, however far away it may have been. I did snap a couple pictures of what I will eventually see much closer.
By this point, my legs weren't wanting to take much more. But I mentally yelled at them because I wanted to do a bit more at the park before calling it a night. I may have been in pain, but I still wanted to have fun.
That's right, legs, don't argue with pirate Mary!
My biggest goal for the night was to see the castle decked out in its holiday lights, as I hadn't seen it that way in person since 2008. It is gorgeous.
Like the Osborne lights, the pictures of the castle decorated this way just don't do it justice. Not at all. It is magnificent!
There was only one thing left I wanted to do here...watch Wishes. I have seen that fireworks show so many times now, yet every time I am blown away at how well done it is. I was especially excited when the end of the show incorporated the holiday lights.
The fireworks were over at about 8:20pm. Those hopes and aspirations of staying in the park until 1am were long gone. I was heading back to my room. I took a final look at the castle, and made my way out.
After what seemed like forever standing on the bus for the ride back, I was finally settled in my room for the night. I watched some tv and laid around (again). My legs were in an unbelievable amount of pain. I had only stayed at the Magic Kingdom for a few hours. But I loved my day. It had been the last full day of my trip to Disney and it felt like a whirlwind. I would be leaving the next morning. Cast members and guests had been congratulating me throughout my time at the park after noticing my medal, and that was a good feeling.
The pain has been gone for a few days now. My legs, however, are still not completely ready for going back out for another run. They still kinda feel like heavy lead. Although I don't particularly care what they feel like as long as they don't hurt.
And, in spite of the pain, finishing the race was definitely worth it.