2018 Goofy Challenge Part 2 – Walt Disney World Marathon Race Recap

On Saturday January 6th, I ran my first marathon of 2018 and my 3rd marathon overall! This was the second part of the Goofy Challenge (13.1 + 26.2) and I was so excited to see what I could do over 26.2 miles after having a pretty strong training cycle. I was slightly nervous because my legs definitely weren’t feeling “fresh,” and I had been sick just the week before.

Saturday, Post 13.1: After the half marathon on Saturday, I took a short nap before my mom and I headed over to Disney Springs. We had a delicious lunch at the Rainforest Cafe, which is a regular spot for us during our visits. I had great parmesean chicken + pasta to keep my levels up for the next day. After a couple of hours of shopping around, I was starting to feel tired and very nervous for the day ahead. At this point I had put over 20 miles on my legs that day. We headed back to the hotel for a similar routine as the night before. Dinner in the food court (chicken, rice, and brussels sprouts), a warm bath, feet on the wall, and putting out my gear had me ready for bed!

Sunday, pre-race: Because I spent so much time just standing around on Saturday, I didn’t get up quite as early. Thankfully I slept much better and I slept until around 2:45. Unlike my first two marathons, I felt very calm as I got myself ready and out the door. After grabbing some cereal at the food court (it was perfect the morning before) I was onto the bus and on my way to Epcot once more. This morning was warmer than the previous but because I was dressed in less clothing for the race it felt much colder. I sat in the starter’s village for probably a good 45 minutes before making “the trek.” I stayed pretty warm in my sweatpants, fleece blanket and mylar blanket but I was wishing I had my bathrobe from Saturday!

Getting to the corrals felt much longer this day. I happily chatted up some other  marathon runners to help feel less alone in the sea of people! I started to share my 5:00 goal out loud, and that started to scare me. I ended up sitting in front of the porta-johns for a while so I didn’t have to get in and out of my corral. TMI but I couldn’t just do the deed, ugh! Thankfully I packed an immodium (#runnersprobs). I entered my corral (D) just before 5:00 and was still towards the front. Unlike Saturday, I didn’t stand to see the pre-race show. I sat to save my legs and try to stretch a bit. At 5:30 the race started, I began to de-layer and of course, had to go to the bathroom. Yesterday there were no lines at the porta johns at .8 miles. I was sure I could make it that far!

They released more “mini-waves” in the corrals during the marathon, 25 starts for 25 years. I actually loved that they played music from each year. For the 3rd corral they played Mmmbop! Around 5:20, my corral was off!

Miles 1-5: Let’s just say it now – every single porta john area had lines bigger than the corrals. WTF People?! But honestly, that sucked. I was still working for that 5:00 time, so I told myself to hold it until I could get to one without lines). Nevertheless, these miles were the exact same as they were the day before. I was calmed when my mom said that she made it to the Magic Kingdom and set into a good rhythm. I was running 60:30 intervals at a very even, easy pace. My watch was almost right on with the mile markers. (12:01, 11:43, :47, :48, :42)

Miles 6-10: Once again, the Mile 5 marker was right at the Magic Kingdom entrance! I slowed to call my mom to make sure that I saw her, and I was so happy when I did! I also turned off my interval timer to enjoy the Magic Kingdom. After stopping to see my mom, my #1 goal was to find a bathroom! The first two in the park had bad lines, but thank heavens, I finally found some with no line. Sweet relief! I felt so much better after. I made my way through the castle again and found my mom once more! I was on cloud 9. After mile 6 we were out of the park and back onto the roads to head toward Animal Kingdom. It seemed much more crowded than the day before and I had a hard time finding a spot to run/walk. Eventually, the 5:00 pace group (which started about 3-4 minutes behind me) caught me and I made it my goal to stay with/ahead of them as we headed to Animal Kingdom. (12:29 (stop for my mom and bathroom!), 12:28, 11:30, 10:55, 11:08)

Mom was much more successful than during the half!
Attempted the jump shot…

Miles 10-15: The first half of this segment had us heading past the water treatment plant (so smelly!), through boring “cone alley” and towards Animal Kingdom. These few miles were pretty boring – there were a few things on the side of the road, but not really any characters. Around mile 12 I was starting to get some chaffing under my arm, so I stopped to get some vaseline from an aid stop – what a godsend! I was stoked to see the animals when going into the park. I really wanted there to be a warthog! I was disappointed when I only saw two mules. Maybe the good stuff was on the other side of the road?

Anyways, around mile 13 we finally entered the Animal Kingdom park – my favorite! I regret not stopping for a picture with Timon and Rafikki, but was making good time and wanted to keep trucking. At this point I had my watch taped, so I didn’t know how far ahead of the mile markers I was. When I arrived at the 13.1 marker I took off the tape to see I was already .5 miles ahead of the mile marker, crap. I can make up some time, but that’s a lot of time to make up! At that point I decided to keep running 60:30 intervals at the same comfortably-hard pace, but understood that even with that, a sub-5:00 wasn’t happening. Since I was running so fast (for me) I decided not to up my intervals to 90:30. Anyways, after about a mile that brought us through backstage AK and the parking lot, we were back on the highway for the trek to ESPN Wide World of Sports (WWOS). I was thankful to stop at another aid station for them to have sunscreen. Not only sunscreen, but the kind I normally use! (I’m allergic to many. As a redhead, this sucks). (11:08, 10:50, :41, 11:03, :11)

Miles 16-20: I was dreading this part of the race, due to race recaps I’d read. It was 2.5 boring miles on the highway, then another 2.5ish weaving through the (WWOS). I was doing really well until about mile 18. I had just stopped for a quick picture with Pluto (my first of the day), but when we hit mile 18, I started to feel a little off and depleted. Since my 5:00 goal was out the window, I decided to just have fun. Between miles 18-20 I stopped for pictures with Minnie, Goofy and Mickey/Donald. I also had a banana – I’ve never done this in a race but it was seriously a lifesaver and I felt so great after! I will definitely take advantage of them in future races. I was thrilled running through the baseball stadium and through the mile 20 marker. “Just” a 10K (or 7 miles) to go! Physically and mentally I was feeling great! (10:59, 11:00, :19, 13:52 (Minnie), 15:14 (Goofy))

Miles 21-26.2 (or 27): Coming out of ESPN WWOS felt so good! The course widened and we could see runners behind us and cheer them on. I was completely giddy when I saw Jeff Galloway ahead of me just before the 21 mile marker. I knew he started with the A corral and must of fallen back (his wife and I went back and forth during my WWOS stops). **Back story: I obviously run using Galloway intervals. I passed him at mile 8 of MCM 2016, and then he passed me at 24 when I was struggling hard. It felt like redemption to pass him.**  I shared my gratitude for his training methods, and sped by. Anyways, then I just felt super strong heading up “the hill” and towards Hollywood Studios. I started chitchatting with some other runners which was great and helped pass the time.

Around mile 23 (I think?) we headed passed a candy stop (skittles, YESSS), I stopped for a picture with Oswald as we were heading in for our short jaunt in Hollywood Studios. Honestly it was so short that I hardly remember it aside from the fact that I took more candy (nerds) from strangers and it was incredible.  After Hollywood Studios, we headed towards the Boardwalk. The course got so narrow here and it was really hard to keep going at a decent clip. When we got onto the Boardwalk proper, it did open up and on my god it was beautiful!! I was completely taken away by the beauty, as well as the crowd support. When my watch dinged for 25 miles (well, like 24.4) I knew we were almost to EPCOT! It took so much not to cry. I was almost there and feeling FANTASTIC!

EPCOTTTT!!!!

And then we crossed “international gateway” and were in Epcot, running around the world!! We made it! There were so many people everywhere and seriously I’m surprised I didn’t ugly cry. I totally cried a little but thankfully I was wearing my sunglasses :P. I turned off my interval timer to just enjoy the experience. The mile 25 marker was special for the anniversary, and it really hit me then that I had met this goal that I set when I was in high school. One bummer was that I really wanted to get a wine slushie (France), beer (Germany), and/or a margarita (Mexico), and I had reached the World Showcase before it officially opened at 11:00, so most of the stations were closed! I also was bummed that many of the princesses weren’t out yet. I did get pictures with Snow White and Mulan just as they were coming out though! Then it was the rest of the jaunt through future world, under the ball, past the gospel choir, and to the finish!!! (15:15 (Mickey/Donald), 11:26, :40, 12:58 (Oswald), :17, :14, 10:53)

I DID IT! My official time was 5:21:36. Even with all of my stops and running .8 miles over, it was still 12 minutes faster than my first marathon! I was so proud. I ran this the day after a half marathon, with tired legs and having been sick the week before. I felt freaking fantastic. Sure, I was a little stiff, but nothing on me hurt or felt injured. Unlike my first two marathons, I didn’t feel like I was going to puke after. It was a success.

Just for kicks and grins, I looked at Strava to see what my time was without stops. With stop time taken out, I ran 5:04 for 27 miles. This equates to a 11:18 pace, which if I ran only 26.2 would have been around a 4:58. While my 5:21 was my time, I was really happy to see that my average running pace was a sub-5:00 pace while running 60:30 intervals the entire time. I can run a marathon. I can do it. And now I have the confidence to know that I have a sub-5:00 in me.

Post-race celebration: My mom and I got on the bus quickly, showered, and were off to the Magic Kingdom ASAP! I had been dreaming of post-race nachos from Pecos Bill’s Tell Tale Inn Cafe since I registered, and boy, was I ready! I seriously went savage on them. My mom and I really enjoyed our half-day at Magic Kingdom. By 8:00 I had walked/ran a total of 38 miles for the day and I was DEAD. When we got back to the hotel I finally had one last Mickey ice cream sandwich, my post-race beer (there’s no alcohol at MK), packed, and collapsed in bed.

My last celebration was breakfast at Chef Mickey’s the morning after the Marathon. This was a complete surprise for my mom to end our trip and it was definitely one of the highlights!

This was a long post, so if you made it this far – thank you! I plan to share one more post on my big takeaways from the trip, highlights, and what’s next. I can’t believe the experience is over but I’m so thankful that I took the risk and signed up for the Goofy Challenge!

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It’s Time to Go The Distance – Goofy Challenge Pre-Cap

“I’ll be there someday, I can go the distance
I will find my way if I can be strong
I know every mile would be worth my while
When I go the distance, I’ll be right where I belong” – Michael Bolton, from Hercules

It’s time, it’s time, it’s time! Well, almost. I don’t leave until Thursday but my bags are packed and ready to go! Having registered for the races and booking my hotel 10 months ago, I honestly felt like this week may never come. I’m having some mixed feelings going into the races, but it would take a lot to wipe the smile off my face until I get on the “not-so-Magical-Express” back to the airport on Monday.

Of course, I’ve been training pretty hard for these races. It wasn’t quite the buildup I hoped, but I feel prepared to run a marathon. While I’ve been running great long run paces, I still don’t feel as “in shape” as I did for my first two marathons. While I did run 17, 18, 19, 20 miles on double weekends, I didn’t run those numbers as often as I normally would. And even though mileage wise it’s not that much less, I do like running two 10’s and two 20’s before race day from the confidence standpoint.

Mostly to keep myself accountable with race plans, here’s how I plan to run out the big kahuna double race weekend.

Saturday – half marathon: SLOW SLOW SLOW. I’m going to be disappointed if I don’t set a new PR WORST in the half marathon. I mean, like, 12:30-13:00  miles. I haven’t yet decided if I’ll do 30:30 or 60:30 intervals. I have never run at 30:30, but I feel that’s my best bet to conserve energy. It may depend on how cold it is – if I’m too cold doing 30:30 I’ll definitely do 60:30. I also plan to stop for all the character stops that I so desire and just have fun.

Sunday – marathon: This is where things get wonky. Seriously, it’s stupid to think that I can run a PR the day after running a half marathon. But how my training went, I feel that I am so capable of potentially succeeding if I have a perfect day and maybe a little pixie dust as well. So while a PR isn’t my utmost goal, it is on my mind. The first thing I’m going to do is tape my watch. Because the #1 goal is to have fun, I really don’t want to be stressing. There are mile markers where I can generally see where my time is, and my tracking splits will get sent to my phone.

Just a little throwback to ’97. I was always a Goofy fan.

My run plan is to run 60:30 through the half and then up to 90:30, which is similar to how I ran the NJ Marathon (I think I did 10/16.2). I’ve run consistent long runs at 11:30 and below paces easily while running 60:30, so I don’t think it will affect my speed negatively.  I do not plan to stop for character photos in the first half of the race. When I get to mile 13, I’ll re-evaluate. Am I on pace to potentially PR? How am I feeling? If I’m on pace and feeling good, I’m giving myself permission to go for it, and I’ll re-evaluate at mile 20 and keep going. Maybe I’ll stop for desirable photos with short lines, maybe I won’t. If not, I’ll just to to finish and have fun and stop at whatever photo stops I want. First and foremost, my #1 goal is to have fun. I’ll probably cry going down Main Street USA and I’m totally okay with that. If I were to set time goals, my heart is set on that 4:59:59 mark.

Another thing I’m really excited for is to make videos! While I was burnt out in November, watching videos that runners filmed during the WDW Half and Full really helped to keep me looking forward to this weekend. I first watched these videos while (unhappily) on the treadmill, and I cried three times in the gym. Seriously. I’m excited to pay it forward a little and make my own! Filming video, let alone talking on camera and editing is completely unknown territory for me. I’m excited to see how the videos will turn out. Hopefully they will help someone out like the videos kept me going. I still have been watching at least one of these videos a night before bed. I’m also excited to make a video of memories for my Mom, family movie style. To do this I considered borrowing a friend’s GoPro but ended up buying a small point+shoot camera with good image stabilization. AND IT’S PURPLE!

For those who’ve come across my small little blog while I’ve been training for this race, let me know if you’ll be there! I hope you all have a wonderful race (races?) in the most magical place on earth. While my blog isn’t much, it keeps me motivated and helps me reflect. I truly believe reflecting is a huge component in success. And to my few regular readers, you can (almost) finally stop hearing about Disney for a while! I’m so ready for this daunting task to be over, but I know when I cross that finish line on Sunday, I’ll also be a little sad (*crying as I write this at work*). I’ve been dreaming running the WDW Marathon for 10 years, and it’s finally happening. I hope it’s everything that I have dreamt of!

Goofy Challenge Training – Taper Time

IT’S RACE WEEK!!!!! EEEEK! I have been waiting for this since last year when the WDW Half was cancelled. AGAIN: RACE WEEK IS HERE!

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Sorry I missed last week’s recap – I didn’t bring my laptop home to NH for Christmas. When I returned, I was sick and my laptop charger was at work along with my iPad. Not much was missed though – my taper weeks were lower in miles than even I like to run in taper, but it is what it is. So instead of bringing you through each day of each week, here is what I did do:

Week 16:

Tuesday: 5 miles easy

Friday: Napped through my run time – oops!

Saturday: 3 miles moderate effort on the treadmill

Sunday: 5 miles + 7 miles on the treadmill. There was seriously so much snow when I went home!

Weekly total: 20 miles

Week 17:

Tuesday: 4 miles easy

Wednesday-Thursday: Sick. Ultimate taper!

Friday: 4 miles on the treadmill with some mini speed-work thrown in to keep my legs moving. It felt great and quad felt the best it has in ages.

Saturday: 4.5 miles. Plan was for 9 outside to make it to 1,250 for the year. With just getting over being sick, I chose the warm (more like sauna-esque) gym at my complex. I was dripping by the end of the first mile! I did 3 easy then tried to bring it up to marathon effort and my body was just not.having.it. Then I slowed and it was still not.having.it. So I took it as a bad run and just went home.

Weekly miles: 12.5.

Now the training is almost 100% complete! I was bummed about Saturday’s run, but it is what it is. The hay is in the barn anyways, as they say. My body is feeling good going into the marathon. While I’m still a little stuffy after being sick, the extra rest of being at home and literally being in bed all day was great (although inconvenient). I’m packed and ready for my trip, and I am seriously so excited! I’ll posting more about that sometime this week though.

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and has a wonderful, prosperous new year!

 

Goofy Challenge Training Week 15: 12/11-12/17/2017

I’m coming to you all straight from taper town today. With the completion of my 20 miler this weekend, I officially made it through the bulk of training for the Goofy Challenge! I’m ready to enjoy the next few weeks of less running, more sleep, and eating well. That won’t be hard with the holidays! I indulged in cookies yesterday. I don’t deny myself sweets, I’m just not a huge fan of them (give me doritos or cheese and crackers any day). However, I ate 8 cookies last night and I’m totally okay with it.

Let’s look back at how week 15 was.

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Monday: Rest. I was planning to run, but my quad was bothering me so I played it cool.

Tuesday: 5 miles during my afternoon break. I used 90:30 intervals for the first time since my period of “burn out” and ran pretty fast for me (10:47 average pace) and felt good!

Wednesday: Rest – I was planning to go to NP, but it was a windchill of 9 degrees when I woke up. NoThankYou.

Thursday: 5 miles during my break again. I made a conscious effort to run easy. I didn’t fuel well in the morning, and I felt really bad when I finished.

Friday: 8.13 miles. My plan was for 10, but it started snowing as soon as I got to the trail. By the time I was done, I was running on two inches of snow. I didn’t have my trail shoes, so I was slipping everywhere and kept having to de-clog my treads. Man, I forgot how much harder it was to run on snow. I was beat.

Saturday: 20.01 miles at 11:17 avg pace! GUYS, I RAN  20 MILES AT FASTER THAN GOAL MARATHON PACE!! That wasn’t even a goal or on my mind. I just wanted to finish. This long run was weird, though. I ran 6.2 miles to a race, ran a 4.9 mile race, then ran just over 8.8 to finish it out. Running to the race was almost all uphill, and the conditions were pretty icy. The race was full of hills. I ran some miles fast (like a 9:40ish first mile) and some slower (11:30). I kinda did my intervals, but ran the downhills straight. I didn’t want to screw myself up for the rest of run, but wanted to push a little. Then I ran 8.8 miles back down towards Jake’s house and finished around the harbor. I was tired when I finished, but could have kept going. My body felt great, aside from my tight quad.

When I got to Jake’s I saw his roommate outside, and he said “I’d invite you skiing, but you look thrashed.” Yes, Andrew. I felt pretty thrashed, but also pretty stoked that I was officially in taper town.

Sunday: REST. My legs were a little sore in the morning, but felt better as the day goes on. As I write this (about 7 pm) I feel fine. I’ve been ravenous all day, but I normally am after that long of a run!

Weekly total: 38.x miles. Not the 40 I had planned, but with plenty of miles atop snow and ice, I’m cool with it!

How was your week of running? Have you had any snowy runs yet?

Goofy Challenge Training: Week 8

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is now just 10 weeks away!! I’m excited to really get into the longer runs now and run some serious mileage!

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Monday: 4 miles at the gym. I was feeling a little down from the weekend, so I did some random speed work. 1 mi easy, 1 mi without intervals at moderate-hard effort (8:54!), 1 mi easy, then 1 mi w/ 4 x .2 mi at moderate pace with .05 walking recovery. It felt so good and I miss doing speed work! Did arm and ab weights after.

Tuesday: 3.16 miles easy in the morning, 4 miles progression run on the treadmill in the afternoon. I had a long commute this day, so felt nervous time-wise about getting 7 done in the morning but I got the miles done!

Wednesday: 4.75 miles at November Project. I worked hard during the 5:30 workout and set a small PR for PR day, then ran part of 6:30 with a friend. My legs hated me when I went up stairs at work after!

Thursday: 20 minutes on the bike, leg weights. I moved up the weights on all the machines, which made me super happy!

Friday: 5 miles easy. This one wasn’t on my training plan, but I really wanted to get in another run. It was cold enough to wear leggings! I was a happy, happy runner.

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Saturday: 6.7 miles solo then 3 miles during a 5K with friends. I should have ran the extra .3 to make it 10 even, but oh well. And in new shoes, my legs felt so great!

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Sunday: Rest dayayayay!

Weekly miles: 30.61 miles

My glutes/hips are starting to feel better, but I definitely need to do better with foam rolling this week to really kill it for good and to keep the discomfort from coming back! I’m also really struggling mentally with a desire to do another half marathon this year, but I can’t find one that fits my schedule and seems worth it. Meanwhile, I’ve picked out some potential marathons for later in spring 2018!

This week I’m linking up with Tricia at misssippipiddlin  and Holly from HoHoRuns for the weekly  Wrap Up. Check out their page to see other bloggers’ weekly wrap ups!

Goofy Challenge Training Week 4 + September 2017 Recap

Happy October, everyone! I’m writing from the comfort of my blue couch at home (in NH) tonight. I should be at bed, because I’ll be up at 2:30 AM on Monday morning to head back to Maryland. It’s been a crazy, amazing couple of weeks, but I’m ready for a week with lots of sleep.

As I shared earlier in the week, things to finish off September got a little nuts, but I was able to stay mostly on track.

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Week of 9/25 to 10/1/2017

Monday: Rest day — I only had time during my afternoon break to run. The treadmills at the gym were being replaced, and it was over 90 outside. So, no run.

Tuesday: Unplanned rest day, again. I woke up ready to run, but my left knee was feeling very odd and I didn’t want to risk injury.

Wednesday: FINALLY, a run. 3.4 miles at NP. During the 5:30 workout I tied my PR, then I stayed for a little bit of 6:30.

Thursday: My run ended up being split into two for various reasons. 3.2 miles in the morning, and 4 miles at the gym in the afternoon. The AM miles were nice and easy, and I ran faster during the PM miles. I was happy to have low heart rate averages for both!

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Friday: Rest and travel day!

Saturday: 10 miles in New Hampshire! I planned for 14, but exhausted me slept through all 6 alarms. The miles started out slow (and uphill) but I ended the run feeling strong and with a fast mile average for a long run. It was the best long run I’ve had at home since moving!

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Sunday: 3.92 miles at a local race (was supposed to be 4 miles). Finished in 39:50, which I will take for pushing my nephew in his stroller! I had so much fun pushing him and felt like a bad ass aunt. My last two miles were sub-10, and if it weren’t for mile 2 (all uphill) I would have been close to a 4 mile PR if the course was to length.

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Weekly total: 24.5 miles


With Sunday came along October, one of my favorite months! I’m not particularly a Halloween person, but I love fall and October comes with many fun events (and races)! Now I am in the double digit countdown for heading to Disney for 39.3 miles.

September consisted of 2 races, the Charles St 12 Miler (PR/Course Record) and Ragnar DC. I’m proud of my performances at both, and they are reminders that training slow and staying healthy is working. I’ve had a share of tough runs lately, but they are worth it when I show up to a race and am proud of myself.

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At the end of the month, I had logged 106.8 miles and averaged 26.7 miles a week. It’s not my highest, or my lowest. Considering how my new training plan is set up, I’m pretty content with how it went!

I started October with a no-pressure, fun race. On the schedule for this month is the Balti-Moron-a-Thon on the 21st, and the Towson Homecoming 5K on the 28th. I likely won’t “race” any of them, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t running for a course record for the Baltimore Half Marathon. I’ve ran this twice (2015, 2016) and improved by only seconds. I plan to run the course this weekend (+2 miles) to prep mentally because, man, those hills are rough!

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Around mile 9 last year!

Personally, October will also be a big month. Jake and I start up our weekly skee-ball league again, we will share our first halloween together (last year I had MCM), Jake is moving into a new condo, and we have a number of social engagements. Most everything is we right now, and I love it.

My goals for this month are to follow my plan a little more closely (Ragnar especially threw me off) and to run at least 115 miles. I am slightly behind on my 1,200 miles goal (by about 14 miles) and would like to build up some wiggle room!

This week I’m linking up with Tricia at misssippipiddlin  and Holly from HoHoRuns for the weekly  Wrap Up. Check out their page to see other bloggers’ weekly wrap ups!

Do you have anything fun coming up in October? How did your September turn out?

The Disney Not-Half Marathon

Right after the Marine Corps Marathon, my friend told me my birthday trip to Florida wasn’ t happening. Long story short, I was heartbroken. Then, a month later, when I should have been flying to Florida, Disney opened extra spots for the Disney World Half Marathon. My best friend had an extra spot in her room. Done. Deal sealed. I’m there. And that’s how the adventure started….

Starting on Monday I started weather stalking, and it didn’t look good in terms of rain. Come Wednesday, there were forecasts of lightning. But nothing was getting me down. I’d been dreaming of this race since high school. I’m going to Disney, darn it!

We made it!!
We made it!!

Friday morning I started the day off with a 3 mile sunrise shake out run in the All-Star resort area. I wore a skirt and it was glorious! I did burpees at the different resorts and was in heaven. Lurking in my mind was the impending doom that was to be the next morning, but at least I got in a few good Florida miles.

Where I stayed on my first Disney visit, 19 years ago!
Where I stayed on my first Disney visit, 19 years ago!

After breakfast (MICKEY WAFFLESSSS) and waiting for the bus, we were off to the expo! There was quite a line for our bibs, but it went pretty quickly. I loved the variety of vendors but I surprisingly didn’t get that much. I picked up a couple of Sweaty Bands, some new Nuun flavors, and a tank top to *hopefully* wear the next day. We were also given a luggage tag that was a replica of our medal with our bib. There were constant announcements being made regarding Disney monitoring the weather – as if we weren’t. There was lightning forecased for the morning, with it clearing after the race was to be over. I knew what was going to happen, but I hoped it wasn’t going to be true.

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Beth and I made our way over to Disney Springs for the rest of the afternoon. We did some shopping, I got pooped on by a bird, we drank lots of water. The four of us had a good dinner, complete with irish dancers and a local beer. We received more notices from Disney, that they were watching the weather. After waiting an eternity to get a bus back to the hotel, I started looking at comments on the RunDisney posts. I sadly saw signs that people were posting pictures of. Signs in lobbies that were saying that the race was “delayed”. Then a sign that said it was “cancelled”. Maybe the sign was fake? Right? Wrong. Around 7:15, we got the notice.

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YOU APOLOGIZE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE????

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I was heartbroken, everyone was. A trip to Disney is not an easy, or cheap affair. We spent #somuchmoney on just the race. However, you can’t stop weather and lightning is no joke. Disney was a class act and offered refunds. Yes, refunds. Four options. A ($180) Disney gift card, 2 one-day park hopper tickets ($340 value), deferral to a race in the next 2 years, or spots in the marathon on Sunday.  I so seriously considered running the marathon, but it seemed risky with the upcoming NJ Marathon. I knew then that I was coming back the next year, so I took the gift card, knowing I can use it on a hotel. I was wary about a deferral, wondering how Disney was going to handle the mass amounts of people trying to get into races that always sell out.

Despite being ready for bed, we went out for a drink at the Boardwalk, but ended up at the Swan. It was awesome seeing the people were already out, getting their 13.1 miles in. But our “lemonade” was already happening. When we got back, the storm rolled in, and boy was it bad. I stayed up for a while, pondering what to do the next day. Do I wait in line for my refund? Run with people running outside in the rain/lightning? Or spend a full day at the parks. Knowing I lost my trip in December, I decided to get my refund over email and my medal in the mail and hit the parks!

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It was seriously a great day. I was there early enough that the castle was open for the race that was supposed to happen, and I got to stroll through it. While the girls I was with went to the expo, I did my favorite rides at Magic Kingdom, met some characters, and did plenty of walking. I met up with them at Epcot, and while they went to dinner (I wasn’t hungry) I walked around the world and had a few drinks, because why not? We ended up back at Magic Kingdom for more rides and Wishes. All in all, I got in my half marathon – 13.6 miles of walking and tons of fun.

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The sun finally came out but it was cold and I did not bring appropriate clothes! Had to buy a sweatshirt!

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Sunday consisted of more Mickey waffles, more Disney Springs, and some (chilly) drinks by the pool. Actually, sitting by the pool was the most fun we had all weekend!!! Despite the cancelled race, we still had fun, and I’m thankful I was able to join Beth and her friends on this girls getaway weekend.

Not pictured: hoodie and jacket.
Not pictured: hoodie and jacket.
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Back to the airport we go.

I have no regrets about not running on Saturday. I think it’s great how the running community got together to run, but I was at DISNEY. I got a full day of walking at the parks and ran my 13.1 miles as a training run this past weekend. I was seriously so sore on Sunday from the walking! I’m already looking forward to next year. Registration for next year opens on Valentine’s Day and I’m planning to sign up for the Goofy Challenge! (13.1 +26.2). If a race gets cancelled next year, I’m done, but I have to try again.

 

Were you affected by the Disney Half Marathon cancellation? Did you go out and run anyways?

Do you run races in adverse weather? Heat, cold, rain, yes. But lightning, heck no.