Monday, January 10, 2011
Goofy Challenge Recap...
In a word, it was AMAZING! If you missed previous posts about the weekend, here is the 5k, half marathon and marathon.
My first marathon was Disney in 2009 so I knew I would not be disappointed when it came to entertainment throughout the race. I also knew that the races started insanely early and would require 2 AM wake up calls each day. The price you pay for fun I suppose...
After the half on Saturday, I pretty much relaxed the rest of the day. The thing I noticed about races that start at 5:30 AM is that they really get you off schedule in terms of meals. I found that I only ate two meals a day Friday and Saturday because by the time you get home from the race, shower, upload pictures to facebook/blog (ha) and nap it is 12 or 1:00. You really need to be thinking about bed around 6:00 so you don't want to be eating both lunch and dinner in that span of time. Oh and let's not even talk about how weird it is to try and sleep at 6 PM. Try as I might, the excitement factor made it hard to actually doze off until 9:00 both nights.
Sunday morning, I rolled out of bed at 2, still feeling pretty tired. My legs felt pretty good as I had not really pushed it to hard the day before. Mostly I was just in dire need of more sleep. I rolled into the Disney parking lot a little after 3:00 which seems way too early for a 5:30 race but actually worked out just about right. I had purchased the race retreat package since it is my birthday weekend and all. It really makes the waiting so much nicer. Basically, it is a heated tent with food, drink, chairs and other amenities to make the waiting a little easier. I hung out for about 45 minutes in the kiddie corner on a bean bag chair watching Toy Story 3.
At around 4:00, they began urging people to make their way to the start. The start line is a half mile walk from the staging area so by the time I dropped my bag off with bag check, made the walk and waited in line at the port-o-lets, I only had a 30 minute wait in the corral. It was about 45 degrees or so at the start so it was a little chilly standing there waiting but once we got going, it was perfect. I never felt hot at any time during the race. It truly was the perfect running temperature. As I was waiting, I started to lose the "I really just need to lay down and sleep" feeling and started to feel the excitement of the day. Amazing how listening to the Macarena and Country Joe and other assorted dance tunes a few too many times will do that to you.
We crossed the start line a little after 5:30. Although I brought my camera, the idea was to stick to my race plan and not make a zillion picture stops. That idea did not last very long :) I felt amazingly good throughout most of the race. There are so many water stops, bands, photo ops, and other things to look at along the way that you are constantly distracted from the task at hand. I believe there is literally something every half mile.
At mile 19, I got a little nervous because that is where I remembered bonking out my first time at Disney. I flew by it no problem. At mile 21, I passed Jeff Galloway, his wife and another person they were running with that day. It was Jeff's 18th Disney marathon. He was off on the side of the road doing his run/walk in the grass. I was kind of amused because his wife seemed to be running the program (so to speak). From what I could tell, they were running 30 seconds, walking 30 seconds. His wife was slightly behind them yelling, "run" or "walk" when the time came. The guy they were with (maybe it was someone he was coaching?) seemed to be struggling a bit as I heard Jeff giving him a little encouragement. I sort of expected Jeff to be leading a group but I guess he just kind of does his own thing and enjoys the race. I don't think anyone around me even recognized him.
My legs started to feel tight around mile 22 but even then it was not bad. I was kind of surprised at how good I felt. Somewhere after mile 24 I forgot what mile I was on. I couldn't remember if I had seen the mile 24 marker or not but was hoping I had just missed it. As we rounded the last corner in Epcot leading up to the finish, the feeling of accomplishment really hit me. At 26.1, I started to hyperventilate with excitement and had to walk for a second to get a breath. It was loud like an ashmatic gasping for breath. I was halfway expecting that to happen since I had experienced it at the finish of my first triathlon and my first half marathon. I guess I just get so excited. Who knows... anyhow, quick stop to breathe and I am on my way past the gospel choir singing rock tunes and past the bleachers full of cheering spectators to the finish. Such a fun race, such an amazing accomplishment. Who knew I had that in me? ha ha...
As soon as I got done, I took a quick shower and loaded up the car to come home. My original plan was to enjoy the Magic Kingdom today since we got a free ticket for Monday but decided to try and beat the weather home. I got home an hour before the snow started. I think I made a good call. It would have been rough going getting home later today. Most everything is closed today and might be tomorrow as well. I guess I got my birthday snow I wanted :)
In closing, more pics of the day. Are you sick of looking at my vacation photos yet? Remember how I said I wasn't going to take pics yesterday? Well... I did pass up more than a few photo ops but couldn't resist others.