After David drifted off, it was just me and the 2nd half. The next ten 1-mile segments pretty much went like this:
2. Don't walk, don't walk, don't walk
3. Where's the #*&^!(! water stop already?
4. Do the marathon shuffle
5. Stumble into water stop
6. Drink 2 of whatever they're offering
7. Walk to end of water stop
8. Bite down and go back to #1
This method took me through the Animal Kingdom and several miles of primo Disney highway. Despite not having any cramps, and not walking except through the water stops, I steadily lost pace all the way up to mile 23.
At mile 23, in the middle of Disney Hollywood Studios, the crowd really started coming on, and I decided it was time. Just suck it up and keep running. I picked up the pace, ever so barely, from this point on.
The crowd, the pavement, the boardwalk, the traffic cones, it was all beginning to be just a blur. Finally we turned the corner into EPCOT, and I knew we were close. A mile and change to go! But.so.brutal. We started running around the main circular lagoon, which looked as big as the Pacific Ocean from what my mind registered. You could see tiny people the size of ants running clear across the other side of the lagoon, and every time I looked across, it seemed like I wasn't getting any closer. I thought the damn thing would NEVER end.
Finally we get off the lagoon and we're almost under the EPCOT silver globe thing, and the end has to be around here somewhere. I'm way beyond running on fumes by now. Note to self: next time pay attention - you saw the Finish area at 5:30 am this morning - it's not INSIDE Epcot, but OUTSIDE Epcot. So, a bazillion turns later through myriad "Cast Member Access" only pathways, we eventually get to the finish line.
After collecting my medal and blanket, I stumbled to the curb and sat down for a few minutes, ok, maybe several. I was a bit nauseous, ok, maybe a lot nauseous, and I wasn't about to risk standing up! Some officials half heartedly asked us to move on "as soon as we were ready". Eventually I did, and went through the drill - pick up more Powerade, a couple of tangerines, and got my picture taken.
I went outside to the meetup area, and David, patience of Job, found me after a few minutes. We chatted for awhile, during which I swore off marathons for a long long time. It was late in the morning and we were now baking in the middle of a large converted parking lot. We said our goodbyes, David headed to the monorail to pick up his car, and I headed out to my parking lot, where I promptly spent 20 minutes and another mile looking for my sister's silver SUV which I parked 100 yards from the finish. Go figure.