It is official... I'm GOOFY! A Goofy Challenge finisher, that it... To recap, Goofy's Challenge at Walt Disney World, Florida, consists of a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday. This was the 5th year of the challenge with the largest field ever, so it is good to know that I'm not the only 'crazy' -- other people's words, not mine -- one! It was 39.3 miles of pure adventure, weaving through 4 theme parks.... Florida: state # 8, marathon #16, and continent #3 (hit #4 with Australia in July).
The fam and I flew to Orlando on Thursday and began the adventure immediately with Cirque Du Soleil at Downtown Disney. Friday and Saturday -- after the half marathon -- were all rides, all the time; the bigger, the badder, the faster, the BETTER! Space Mountain, Expedition Everest, Tower of Terror... Okay, so here we go:
- Meeting Bart Yasso -- Chief Running Officer at Runner's World -- and his great wife Laura, an accomplished Ultra Marathon runner. I heard Bart speak at the Expo -- very well run (no pun intended!) -- about his book My Life on the Run. His talk was a funny recap about his running adventures around the world, his life, and how his life was changed -- in a good way :) -- by running. It was great to hear his insights... And yup, I asked him to autograph my dog-eared version and yup, I asked if he would be in a photo with moi... A tad embarrassing but hey, I figured that he gets asked this all the time. You'll see the photo of us from the expo above, as well as the photo of our dinner group. We ate Jiko Restaurant (Animal Kingdom Lodge) Saturday. Great food and great people; lots of fun. Hello Group!
- 3 medals in one weekend... 3 medals in one weekend... 3 medals in one weekend... need I say more? One for the 1/2 marathon (Donald Duck), one for the full marathon (Mickey Mouse), and one for finishing both on the same weekend (Goofy -- but maybe you guessed that!) I set off the alarms going through security, yup it was the medals in the carry on... Am now very tight with alert security guard, Amanda, at the Orlando Airport. Hello Amanda!
- Seeing and running with friends from Albany, NY and Washington DC. Hello John and crew from the Albany Running Exchange www.albanyrunningexchange.org, George and Kelly P. and Mandie S! Mandie and I, between marathon miles 5 and 17, decided to run Comrade's Ultra Marathon (South Africa) in '11 or '12. Ok, so it was really her idea... She wants to do it and I need the continent Africa; and how cool would that be?! Anyone want to join us?! If nothing else, it will be an adventure! www.comrades.com
- Randomly sitting across the aisle from (on the bus to the expo) and talking to (on the bus back from the expo) a guy who is running in the same inaugural Outback marathon in Australia this July. Hello Bob from LA; see you this summer!
- Somehow placing 14th in my age group for the marathon. From yesterday's Orlando Sentinel:
- The sleet during the 1/2 marathon (Saturday), the ice crystal layer on top of the drinks at the aid stations (Sunday). But really, there was nothing any of us could do about it... The volunteers were great during the whole thing and applied salt -- and warned runners -- to the slick road (from water spills). At least we runners were moving and warm, well relatively warm... Thanks to all good race volunteers :) I can only imagine how cold ya'll must have been.
- Waking up at 3:30 a.m., to make it to the monorail by 4, in order to make it to the race start on time. 2 days in a row! I was running on 4 hours of sleep a night. Not pretty.
- Being passed in the last mile (marathon) by a man dressed up as Mario. I mean, really...
- The Goofy was overall harder for me than the JFK 50 miler (November '09) was. It was harder being 'race ready' mentally, two days in a row. It was harder to take it easy (relatively) for the half on Saturday, when you feel so good, and then go out and run a full marathon on Sunday, when you feel so bad. I 'lost it' at mile 17 and never recovered. I have never felt this way during a race before, or encountered so many runner's problems. Sure, I've had one issue or other during races or training runs, but never ALL issues, ALL at once: queazy/upset stomach but feeling oddly hungry or in need of substantial food -- thanks for the pretzels, Mandi. Asthma -- again (!) -- about mid way through the race. I began to wheeze and the inhaler didn't help much. Crazy tiredness -- I was just drained. Dehydration? I realized that it wasn't going to be my day so I just focused on running it in, and finishing... There is no doubt as to why. I was burning the candle at both ends -- having tons of fun while I was doing it :) -- but, it caught up with me by Sunday, and I couldn't hold it together. Four hours of sleep, three nights in a row. Never resting, or taking it easy -- Sharon, your text words are ringing in my ears! Walking, walking and more walking, standing, socializing, riding rides, staying up late, not eating enough and not eating in regular intervals... So, as a result, I fell apart, but REALLY, being passed by Mario added insult to injury! The GOOD NEWS to all of this is that my body now feels fine. My legs never gave out on me. Go legs! It takes *^&**&** runs like these, to appreciate all of the good ones. That is why it seems strange that I sort of 'placed' in my age group for the marathon... Thanks Keno, good friend of Leong from Easter Island, for noting this and saving the Orlando Sentinel for me!
So that wraps up Orlando! A few RunningBrooke housekeeping notes:
- Lululemom ambassador photo shoot along the Old Town waterfront tomorrow. Coming to the Lululemon website soon... www.lululemon.com
- Thank you party for all 2009 donators. We raised $22,000.00! I'm talking with a few worthy charities, hearing their needs, and preparing the grants. More on that later.
- Ask me about Ten in '10. Exciting things planned in 2010. Let's raise $50,000.00 and make a difference together!
- Next marathon: Sedona, Arizona on February 6th. I think it'll be warm there :)
Cheers my friends! It is a beautiful day for a run...