Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Goofy Challenge Race Recap

The weekend I had been thinking worrying and training about for months finally arrived and it was all worth it!

Half Marathon
Although the Disney World Marathon weekend is scheduled for the coldest weekend in January (historically) this year was an exception. Not what I wanted for running long distances, but it could have been worse.  Morning temps were in the upper 50s and warmed up to mid 70s.   Because we start so damn early, we run a good portion of the race in the dark which helps on warm days like this.

I don't know if it's the starting time, 5:30am, the number of runners 24,000 for the half and more for the marathon, or the distance you have to walk to the starting line, 20 min walk, but you have to get up so early for these races!  We had a 2:30am wake up time with the goal of leaving the house by 3:05am in an effort to get to the parks by 3:30am and beat the traffic.  The pre-race traffic jam stresses me out and I would rather have a calmer start to the day so it's worth it to get up 30 minutes earlier.

There are many opportunities to run half marathons and marathons, but only one place where you can stop along the way and get photos with all the characters you grew up with. Our goal for this race was to take it easy and take lots of pictures and that's just what we did.
The Mary Poppins pic is my favorite! 

We finished the race in 2:23:46 with one-third of the challenge completed. Then we headed back home to refuel, relax and get ready for tomorrow's race.

Waking up at 2:30am for the second night in a row wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it did make me think of the movie Groundhog Day.  Using the same routine, we got to Epcot without too much trouble, but the crowd arrived earlier today.  The big change we made was to head out to the starting line as soon as they opened the chutes.  It was so much better than the giant crowd were  wedged into the day before during the walk out.

Our plan today was to run-walk in 4:1 intervals, take more photos and enjoy the race. The first walk break always feels awkward, because you don't need it then and everyone is hustling past you. We pretty much stuck to that schedule except for photo and bathroom breaks until later in the race when we walked more than ran. 

We didn't want to kill ourselves to finish with a great time.  It was a relief to not worry about the time, something I am not used to, but very freeing. Unlike yesterday, I brought some extra food with me to eat later on in the race. Consuming only Powerade and water for that many miles is not enough for me and I am not a GU person.  I packed Honey Stingers, a Cliff Crunch and some pretzels. 
The villains photo is my favorite from this day! Gaston cracked me up.

Belle looks sweet, but I think she woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, because she was a little abrupt.  Not very Belle like.

Because this was the 20th anniversary of the marathon there were some special happenings at mile 20. My photos don't do it justice.  It was refreshing to have a little excitement at the point in the race you really wish you were closer to the finish line than you are.  

I was very hot and tired by the time we crossed the finish line in 5:31:29.  
We met our goal and completed the Goofy Challenge!  I can't believe I ran 39.3 miles in two days. It was not easy and it took many hours of training, but I'm glad I did it and I'm glad its over. It is definitely a crazy thing to do, but it is such a big deal during this weekend that you feel like a celebrity when people see your Goofy bib and share words of encouragement.

It was an experience I will never forget!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Gearing Up for Goofy

Only 8 days until the Goofy Challenge begins!  I am both nervous and excited.

This will be my second time running a marathon, but that does not make me feel any more prepared because the first one was exhausting and I didn't run a half marathon the day before.  In fact, I remember saying to myself that day that I couldn't imagine running those distances in back to back days.  Yet, here I am about to do that exact thing. Why did I think this was a good idea?  I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could.

 Next Saturday I will run the half marathon and on Sunday I will run the marathon at Disney World. Although this will be my longest distance race, my training plan is not more demanding than my marathon training 2 years ago.  The biggest difference has been the addition of two long runs on back to back days.  Other than that, I have only been running two days a week for 30-45 minutes.  It doesn't seem like enough, but I am trusting the plan. After all it is from Jeff Galloway who knows a thing or two about running.  My goal is not to PR both races but to finish them in an upright position.

I plan to take it easy on the half and enjoy the run and then run a 3:1 run/walk ratio for the full. I just want to finish!

My husband (dessert man) and I will be running this race together.  It will be nice to share the experience and encourage each other along when the going gets tough.  

Right now, the weather forecast is not ideal, but that can change.

I will run 7 miles tomorrow and then a couple 30 min runs next week and that is it!
Other than that, I need to decide what to wear and what to eat on those days and prepare ahead of time anything I can.  I don't think we're going to feel like doing a lot of cooking that weekend.  

We have been planning this race since April and I don't wan't anything to get in our way of finishing it when we are this close.