Sunday, January 27, 2013

Goin' Goofy: Part One (End of Training through 5K)

I am not sure how to try to sum up this Goofy experience. It will be more than one blog, I assure you. You’ve been warned! LOL. In February when I decided to do this crazy thing called the Goofy Challenge, I hadn’t even run my first Marathon. (As it turns out, a lot of people do the same thing, and the Goofy is their first marathon! WHAT?!?!?)  Now that its over (more reflections will come once I am done with the wrap ups), I realize, or am starting to realize, how much faith in myself that act of registering really took. I blindly took a step, believing that, not only would I finish AFM, but that I would want to do another one!

After the debacle that was AFM, I began to question myself. I hadn’t cut the weight I wanted to before Goofy. I had an awful first marathon (and no amount of reasoning would convince me that it had more to do with the stomach flu/heat combination [My logical brain knows this is the case] than with my own abilities), and I had that “failure” (yes, that is how I viewed it) looming over me throughout the training for Goofy. What was I thinking? I can’t do this. This is crazy. What makes me think that I can do not one, not two, but THREE races in three days?
Blind faith that my determined stubbornness would see me through to each Finish Line is all I had to go on, and it turns out a little misplaced faith in yourself can see you through to the end.

I am proud to say that in preparation for this endeavor, I did not skip even one back to back training run! Frankly, I was too scared to! The last B2B run was supped to be the weekend before Christmas, but there was NO WAY that was going to happen. I just didn’t a spare 9 hours to dedicate to B2B training runs.  I decided to do it the next weekend, and because of the proximity to our departure date and the packed snow, ice and the freshly fallen snow, I decided to do it in the treadmill. I don’t like doing my runs on the TM, not because of the monotony, I watch movies, but because TMs are way different than actually running, so I am not really training properly. I didn’t need any more reasons to freak about this, but a TM is exponentially better than no run at all, so TM it was. By the end of this training period, B2Bs were making me hate running. I knew that I needed to do the training, but I think I swore off running after Goofy. Of course, I took that back and revised it to no more B2Bs after Goofy. I’m not going to quit running. The very idea is ridiculous, but that’s how much I ‘enjoyed’ training.

After we did AFM in September, we slipped right into Goofy training, so it felt that by preparing for AFM, we were also doing Goofy training so it feels like I have been working up to this trip forever. I think that’s why it is so hard to believe that it is over, but as time has a tendency to do, it went by faster than I wanted and the day to depart for Florida was upon us. We were leaving on Wednesday early morning, (like 4:30 am arrival at the airport early), but Tuesday night I had a YoungLife planning meeting, I had to attend that before I headed up to Coal Valley for a night at Hotel Rose. As many times as I had explained what we are doing, it still didn’t really seem like a real thing. I think my disbelief helped keep my nerves in check. I really hate flying. I am not AFRAID to fly, I just hate doing it. The whole process, the security, the travel, the layovers, the whole experience, just annoys me. I know some people, like my husband, love to fly, I am NOT one of those people. Anyway, Wednesday morning, we left for the airport at 4:30am. Upon arrival, we found out that they were diverting the Orlando flight away from Atlanta to Detroit do to a massive storm (or something. In all honesty, I was still kind of asleep). We were now flying from Illinois to Florida by way of Michigan. It actually turned out to be a good thing because we were upgraded to an Exit Row. Hello, glorious leg room!! And we got into Orlando a little earlier do it was really no big inconvenience except for the severely reduced layover time in Detroit (thus the earlier arrival time). They we boarding our connection when we arrived at the gate so we had just enough time to hit the restroom before hopping on our connecting flight. Another reason I despise flying is the possibility of short layovers. I would rather have a 3 hour layover than an hour.

When we arrived in Orlando, we took Magical Express to our resort. When you do this you have to go down to the third level and wait in line for the bus to your specific resort. Usually, this is an awesome time cuz you are just so excited to be there and you are almost to WDW. So we are standing in line all Giddy because our trip ha begun, and the line is moving, we get to the front and they pull the rope. Dang it, we have to wait for the next bus. No big deal, however Cruella DeVille’s evil sister is standing in line behind us. This woman was AWFUL. Her poor husband, Ed. Nothing he did was right, and when I say nothing, I mean NOTHING. Even when he did what she told him, it was wrong. He was there to run the marathon. Laurie and I are pretty sure he used his long runs as an excuse to get away from that woman. She was so bad, that Laurie and I stood off to the side and let them board the bus first so that we could be sure to sit far away from her. As it turns out the people who had the pleasure of standing behind them did the EXACT SAME THING! She really brought down the excitement of my arrival. Poor Ed came up a few times during our trip, just wondering how he was holding up.
We didn’t have any big plans for Wednesday except to unpack and grab some food. Then we headed to Downtown Disney for some drinks at our favorite place, Raglan Road.  We have a couple beers (Guinness, please), and they were having Irish Dancing outside so we hung around and watced for a bit. 
Thursday we went over to the Expo. It was pretty unreal to stand in line to get my Goofy race packet. I was just reeling. I had that Goofy bib in my hand, and suddenly tthings became VERY real.  My first falling down incident (yes, I said FIRST indiacating subsequent falling down incedents) happened at the Expo. We were standing in line to get our RunDisney merchandise and I was still disappointed that I chose not to get the Marathon Weekend pins when I registered, I saw a booth across the velvet rope that had pin sets and I wanted to see them. I thought (against my better judgement) that I would just step over the rope and take a peak. Yeah, I totally lost my balance and almost took out the entire booth of pins I wanted to look at. The only thing that stopped me was a very sturdy man who was also looking at the same pin sets. I got a nice rug burn on my face from the back of the man's shorts. It was embarassing. I am used to losing my balance. I don't usually fall thoough. It shook me up. Honestly, it made me worry. I was fine, but my pride was bruised and my mental state shrouded with fear of my MS. Had I pushed myself too hard during training? I had to push that out of my mind. No doubts had a place in my head. So I laughed it off, and moved on.  I had enough clouding my brain with the record highs that Florida was having. (Near record? I am not really sure.) It was so humid. So warm. I went from 15 degrees, snow and ice to 80+ degrees, sunshine and humidity. Heat was one of the tings that contibuted to the perfect storm of suffering that was my miserable AFM experience. All I wanted was an empowering marathon finish. Things were beginning to look like that wasn'g going to be the case....again.
After the expo, we went to Studios.  It was time for some rides, namely Tower of Terror! Its my favorite ride!!  After some shopping and rides, we headed back to the resort. Since we were going to have the first of several early mornings on Friday, we decided to call it a day. Laurie wanted to go back to the Expo, so I decided to cross the bridge over to the new Art of Animation Resort. It was pretty cool. I liked the Nemo part because, in true Disney fashion, walking around, you actually feel like you are underwater. It was cool.  And, of course, the Cars part because it reminded me so much of Hayden. He would have loved playing in the Big Blue pool and the Cozy Cone Motel Pool. 
Friday morning we did the Family 5K. We had absolutely NO intention of running this 5K. It was more of a tool to shake out the cobwebs of traveling, get an idea of the crowd, and be a little Dopey along the way.  This was by FAR the largest 5K I have EVER been a part of. I can say with all honesty, that I have never been a part of a wave start for a 5K!! That was new. We by chance, ran into Sid whom we met originally through the Air Force Marathon and his FB campaign "Sid for President." That was a very special surprise. He is such a sweet funny man. We basically just walked our way around the World Showcase in Epcot. Having just done this exact 5K for Princess in February, I didnt bother too much with the idea that we should be running. We were having a good time just walking and taking in the environment. It was a warm up for what was to come! We collected our rubber 5K medals and went back to clean up and grap some food. We went over the the Magic Kingdom and spent the afternoon over there doing some shopping and ride a few rides. We checked out the new Fantasyland (it was cool but SOOO crowded). Splash Mountian & Pirates were closed but we hit most of the other "must dos" like Haunted Mansion.  After MK, we went back to the resort for supper and sleep. Another early morning on Saturday for the Half Marathon and the official start of the Goofy Challenge. And that is where I will pick up next time...
Until Next Time, Run On & Be Happy!
 4:30 am off to the airport
 pre humidity hair
post humidity hair

my Tower of Terror picture. (Front Far left)

Home Sweet Home

Heading over to Art of Animation to explore




All Finished!! One done, Two to Go

Lovely afternoon in the Magic Kingdom

New Storybook Circus

Enterance to Bell's Enchanted Forest

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