2017 Training Stats

Miles Completed = 29.01
(Run/Walked = 29.01, Biked = 0.0, Elliptical = 0.0)


Monday, January 31, 2011

January 2011 Wrap Up

Weight Watch: -1 pound
This number is not as high as I would have liked it to be, but at least I did not gain and that does include 9 days at WDW. Need to continue pushing for better results here, but I am actually feeling like the workouts are helping and my clothes are feeling more comfortable so that's a plus.

Mileage Watch:
Run/Walk: 116.85 miles
Bike: 30 miles
Elliptical: 1 mile
Total Miles: 147.85 miles
I am very happy with these numbers for the month! Of course the run/walk numbers include the Dopey Challenge, but even with that I've kept up some good numbers after the race. I also had one full week that I didn't get any miles in due to recovery, illness and travel. I want to continue this trend through the year.

Goal Review
I have completed one of my 2011 goals - Completing the Dopey Challenge!

February 2011
I have an 8K Trail Run on February 20, 2011. This will end up being a walking event as I have a friend joining me and she does not run...her back is hurting pretty bad right now so there's a chance she will no show and if that's the case I'll consider run/walking the event instead :)!

I hope to maintain the mileage, continue the Pilates and incline training, and increase the amount of running I'm doing even more.

How was your January? What are your goals for February?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekly Review: Jan 24 - 30

Goals for workouts this year:
1. 80-100 miles run/walk per month
2. One day of Pilates per week
3. One day of Strength Training per week
4. One day of Bike or Elliptical per week
5. One Treadmill Workout on the Treadmill per week

Here's this week's recap

PM Workout: Treadmill Walk - 4.96mi, .32mi warm up walk, 4mi @ 12:52 per mi, .64mi cool down walk

Notes: So today felt really good. I ran 1mi, walked 1 mi, ran 1mi, walked .5mi, ran .5mi - yes, I ran again. I am relearning that I don't need to be afraid of it. I really felt this was a step in the right direction tonight!

PM Workout:
20 Minute Pilates Circle Workout

Treadmill Walk - 4.44mi @ 15:00 per mi
Notes: Got a nice Pilates workout in and then a nice brisk walk on the treadmill. I'm a bit bugged that the scale is not moving in the right direction, but I'll keep working as hard as I can.

Notes: Supposed to get 5 miles in today, but that didn't happen. I worked until midnight and was up every half hour not feeling good. Then I was up by 4am. It was an odd thing. I was very cold all day and no matter what I did I couldn't warm up so I didn't think getting a workout in was the smartest thing to do.

PM Workout: Treadmill walk - .28mi warm up walk, 5mi @ 15:16 per mi, .15mi cool down walk
Treadmill incline workout - .96mi in 20 minutes, incline up to 7%
Notes: I was feeling a bit better today so I figured I'd get some miles in. I got a nice walk in and then I did an incline workout and somehow the workout was in Spanish - nope, I didn't understand a word the guy was speaking to me. Odd for sure.

PM Workout: Treadmill walk 3.22mi @ 15:31 per mi

Elliptical - 1mi, 26mins, resistance 1, ramp 10%
Notes: Felt much better tonight. Got in a nice treadmill walk and then the first elliptical workout I've done in a long time. I was pretty tired by the time I was all done though :)!

Notes: This was not a good day. I just couldn't do the long run today. I was pretty knocked out all day - I'd sit down and fall asleep. I know what the problem was and I knew that if I tried to put the miles in I'd just be going through the motions and I wouldn't be getting anything out of it. I don't want the miles to mean nothing and I listened to my head and body and took the time off.

AM Workout: Walk - 3.74mi @ 17:00min per mi

Bike - 10mi, 42mins, 14mph avg, resistance level 2
Treadmill run/walk - 6.06mi, 5.33mi @ 14:58 per mi, .74mi cool down walk
Notes: Took the dogs out for a nice slow walk to start the day's activities. Came back home, had breakfast and jumped on the bike for a ten mile spin, then I went straight to the treadmill and did 1min run/1min walk for 5.33mi and a nice long cool down walk. Later on I headed out to clean up the backyard and I am done for the day - wow am I tired. It felt pretty good overall - I have some issues I'm dealing with and my sinuses are still driving me nuts, but I'm dealing with things and will keep pushing as hard as I can.

Weekly Numbers:
Weight Watch: +1 pounds (not very happy about this, still trying to figure out what's wrong with the food and how to make this number go the right way)

Run/Walk Miles: 28.81
Bike Miles: 10

Elliptical Miles: 1

Pilates: 1 20 minute circle workout
Strength: MISSED
Incline: 1 20 minute incline workout

Monthly Numbers:
Run/Walk Miles: 112.11
Bike Miles: 30
Elliptical Miles: 1

Goofy's Weekly Training Challenge Results:
Barely made the bronze medal this week - I had to throw some extra bike miles in just to ease the number over that 39.3 mile mark for the week!

Let me know if you think I'm making excuses. I know I've missed the strength training - I just haven't figured out how to put this back in to the schedule and I will continue to try.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2011 Walt Disney World Full Marathon Pictures

Here we are again, look at all the lucky people getting started. Yep, I'm pretty much all the way back again!
Epcot in the dark. That was actually pretty cool!
Yes, I was with Mr. Incredible and Super Woman for about 18 miles during the race!
Still smiling - could I have less than 10 miles to go?
Yes, that's a grimace not a smile.
Hollywood Studios - the final push!
I can do it, I can do it!
Left, right, left - repeat!
Did I really do it, am I going to get two medals now?
The last timing mat.
Goofy finisher's photo!
Oh my gosh - I'm a marathoner and I'm truly Dopey now!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2011 Walt Disney World Half Marathon Pictures

Look at all those people. Can't find me - nope, I'm about an hour behind these people!

Look how happy we all are before we start the race! Elaine, Jonathan, me, Jeff, and Deb.

Where's Amanda? Does this remind anyone else of find Waldo? I'm almost half way up on the left hand side...

Finding my inner zen!

Merry Christmas - not quite, but we are getting close to the finish!

Gimme a high five Mickey!

Thanks Minnie - you're right I'm done.

Whew - did I really just finish that? Do I really have to do double that tomorrow?

You'd think I'd be happier with medal number 2 of 4 around my neck :)!

Monday, January 24, 2011

runDisney My Disney Marathon Web Site

For those of you that participated in the 2011 Walt Disney World Half, Full or Goofy Challenge you can now visit the runDisney My Disney Marathon web site to download you finisher's certificates, see one of your pictures (link to the others), see results, find out the dates for upcoming races, and more.

If you haven't yet visited the site, take a few minutes when you get a chance. There are actually some fun things out there like desktop wallpapers, twitter and facebook badges and more.

Click here to visit the site and find your information.

Buzz and Woody's Best Friends 5K Pictures

Nothing better than running through the parks - look, Spaceship Earth is right behind me.
Can't hlep but smile when you're traipsing through Epcot on a nice cool morning!
I had a little shadow in all of my pictures - that little boy must have been right with me the whole time.
Just a nice casual stroll around World Showcase.
Look finisher's medal 1 of 4 for this trip :)!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thinking About Tackling the Goofy or Dopey at Walt Disney World?

Now that I've been confirmed Dopey what can I tell others that want to take on this challenge? I'm going to list the top 10 things that I will do or start doing to get ready for the 2012 Dopey!

1. Don't put off your training
It's imperative that you start training as soon as you make the decision to take on the challenge. This is not an easy task. Even if you've run other full marathons, you have to think back to those marathons and think about whether you've run a half marathon the day before. While it's certainly possible to be ready for a race in three to four months - you have to adjust to be ready for two or three races back to back and the more time you take to prepare the better prepared you're going to be.

2. I don't think you need to run an organized full marathon before this challenge
That's right - I did this without ever having run a full marathon race. Now, let me be clear - you don't have to run a full marathon race, but you should be able to get in one or more full marathon distance training runs. I am very glad I did the WDW Full Marathon as my first full marathon race - I really wanted that honor of having it as my first. On the other hand, doing an organized full marathon race is a great way to have an organized full marathon training run - think about it - support, hydration and a medal at the end. There's nothing wrong with that approach.

3. Do a dress rehearsal or two
Absolutely a must do in my opinion. Do the distances you're planning on doing in the two or three days of races. I ended up doing a 5K Wednesday, Half Marathon Thursday and Full Marathon Friday about four weeks out from the races. Now, I had to do this on the treadmill - if you can do it on a treadmill you can definitely do it on the courses :). I would suggest wearing the clothes that you are planning on wearing, using the hydration you're planning on using, and wearing the shoes you plan on using.

4. Having two pairs of running shoes is helpful
I used one pair of shoes for the 5K and half and a second pair of shoes for the full. I also think that this would have been great if there would have been rain and one pair ended up getting soaked. It's possible that a shoe lace could break or that something else could happen to one pair of shoes and you don't want to have to run in a brand new pair of shoes you picked up at the Expo.

5. The power of the ice bath
While I don't find an ice bath necessary after a 5K or even after a half marathon (if the next day will be a recovery day), an ice bath will help you a lot between the half and full and after the full. You want to make sure that you give your body every helping thing you can and an ice bath helps to relieve swelling and promote recovery. It's not the funnest thing in the world to do, but try it you may find it a very helpful tool in your arsenal.

6. Vitamin C is better for more than colds
Vitamin C helps repair those little tears that occur in your muscles after a hard workout. I have actually found this to be pretty useful - I use 500mg of chewable Vitamin C each day. I will double up on this if the workout was really intense or if I'm worried about getting sick.

7. Compression socks are like hugs for your legs
Another great trick to help the blood flow and recovery of your legs. Throw some compression socks on after your long runs and ice baths. While they can be a little tough to pull on (make sure your legs are nice and dry before you try) once they squeeze the muscles in your legs you'll be saying "AHHHH!"

8. If you have a time goal and don't train for that pace, don't expect to get it
I was able to maintain a much faster pace than I trained for during the races, but I didn't hit the goals that I really wanted. I realize that not training faster made it harder for me to pick up the pace as much as I wanted. I used the Galloway theory that your long training runs should be two minutes per mile slower than the fastest you think you could race that day...This was a definite switch from things I've done in the past, although it held pretty true I know that training to go faster made it so I couldn't go faster.

9. Got extra weight, lose it
This is one that I did not do for this challenge. I let myself gain weight most of the year and then tried to get it off the last couple of months. Not a smart plan. I carried a lot of extra weight during these races and it did not help me at all. That's something I'll be trying to correct this year - the less weight you have to carry around for 42.4 or 39.3 miles the better!

10. Believe you can do it
While you have to train and put in the miles, you have to have a lot of mental strength as well. I really think that 80% of the battle for me was mental. Starting out on the full marathon was really rough - third day getting up early, third day of putting in miles, third day of pushing further than you thought possible. The first few miles I just kept thinking that I wasn't going to make it, but a lot of positive self talk helped pulled me out of that funk and got me back in the I can do this place I needed to be in. Pick a motto and use it, think strong and be strong :)!

Dopey Trip Report - January 14, 2011 (The Trip Home)

I wasn't going to bore you with details from the trip home, but there were a couple of cool things about this day.

The alarm went off at 7am and I listened to the radio until 7:45am. There were a lot of discussions about the thirteenth zodiac and the change in the horoscopes - odd. I finally got up and took a shower and got ready to head out.

I had to put the last things in the suitcases and then I had to balance the weigh between the suitcases as good as I could. I was just hoping that they weren't too heavy, but I took my new race shirts out and put them in my carry on just in case - my medals were already in my carry on.

I still had time to kill so I flipped on the TV and watched some of the Today show and Live with Regis and Kelly (Randy Jackson was filling in for Regis). Finally at 9:30am I headed down to see about checking my bags. I had never done this before, but my Magical Express papers had my boarding pass and bag check information for one of the bags in it. I figured I'd give it a go since I liked the idea that I wouldn't have to do anything but go straight to the gate this way.

After taking my bags down, they gave me a second bag claim tag for my other suitcase, checked my id and that was all there was to it - super quick and easy. I had about an hour to wait until the Magical Express was supposed to pick me up so I headed out to the boat launch area to sit and read for a bit. Then I headed out front to wait.

I had noticed that my pick up time was 10:35am which wasn't bad if there weren't any other stops, but could get dicey if there were a lot of stops. Oh well, too late now :)! The bus showed up at 10:45am and then we stopped at the Wilderness Lodge, Polynesian and Grand Floridian before heading to the airport. I made it through security, a quick bio break and to the gate just before noon.

The flight home was uneventful and I was ready to see my dogs and bird and get a good night's sleep. It was a good trip - I accomplished something I wasn't sure I could, met up with old friends and new and enjoyed even the most painful of moments :)!

Dopey Trip Report - January 13, 2011 (Last Day)

I did not have a good night at all. The sore throat was in full force and very achy and my darn right big toe kept waking me up. It kept hurting and I really can't explain what the heck that was all about. All of this equalled very little sleep for me.

I got up at 8:45am and had breakfast, did more cleaning and packing and watched TV for a little while. I wasn't feeling great so I crawled back in bed at 10:30am and took a nap until noon. Then I got up, took a shower and got ready to head out.

It was almost 1pm when I finally made it out the door. I walked over to the Magic Kingdom. It was chilly out, but not too bad and it actually felt pretty good to me. I was hit up for a quick survey as I entered the park - no big deal. Looks like I'll be getting an email survey when I get home.

I headed straight for the Haunted Mansion. It was listed as a 20 minute wait, but it was really more like a 5 minute wait. I swear I have the worst luck - I am surrounded by gum smackers, loud talkers and pushy people - UGH! I guess this is when I realized I must be getting sick as people are already starting to annoy me. Regardless, I enjoyed my ride on the Haunted Mansion and maybe, just maybe one of those ghosts will actually follow me home - how cool would that be?

Next up - Pirates. There was virtually no wait for this one. Four older gentlemen were in the row in front of me and one of the men had such a difficult time getting in the boat and it just broke me heart. It very much reminded me of the last time my Dad got to ride Pirates - very rough! I still had a great time pillaging and plundering and digging for gold :)! As we were getting out of the boat, the older man was having trouble and I offered him and extra hand and helped him out. This made me smile - I love doing things like that.

Donald - what did you do now? I headed over to Mickey's Philharmagic and it was a full theater. I haven't been in a full theater in quite a while. I love this 3D, for me this is the best 3D I've seen. I love watching all the kids trying to grab things in here.

I headed over to see a great big beautiful tomorrow at the Carousel of Progress. Rover wagged his tail in greeting and we all sang along (in our heads of course). On my way in to the theater I did check to make sure I was checked in for my flight home in the morning - yep, all checked in.

Next up the Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover - that's a mouth full. It was a little brisk in terms of the weather but I bundled up and enjoyed a nice little ride around Tomorrowland!

As I walked along, Stitch was just letting people in so I jumped in. Darn it, the little monster escaped to Earth! Yes, I like the previous version of this attraction way more, but I don't mind this one. The audio-animatronic Stitch is pretty darn amazing if you watch it - very fluid movement.

Those darn ghosts were preparing for a party and I just had to go back. I hung back in the stretching room so I could listen to the gargoyles laugh and whisper. The haunts still seemed awfully happy here and I have my doubts that any of them would actually like to leave and come back to AZ to live with me, but I keep trying.

Then, the scalawags were tormenting me again, so I had to go back and see what havoc they were causing now. Did anyone else notice some changes in the fire scene? It seems like there were some different things in terms of the background scenes - a chair and table in the burning second floor, some new items being held by the pirate trying to get in the boat, things like that...I was stuck in a row with other people this time, but no big deal. I thoroughly enjoyed my ride with the Pirates.

As I was walking by, I noticed that Jungle Cruise was only a ten minute wait so I hopped in this line. Wow, this was a quiet boat - I think it was because 90% of the passengers were from Brazil and they really didn't understand what was being said.

It was 4:40pm and I was tired. I decided to shop around the Emporium for a bit and then headed toward the exit. I was stopped by another survey person and answered quite a few questions this time - it was mostly about what I did, what I saw, did I like it, would I recommend it to someone else, etc...

I walked back to the Contemporary, headed to the Contempo Cafe to grab a sandwich for dinner. I was back in my room by 5:30pm. I ate some dinner, did some work, packed a few more things and relaxed for a bit.

At 8pm I stood out on the balcony and shot a video of Wishes. I enjoyed the fireworks, they are gorgeous and it was really a great way to end my last day!

Weekly Review: Jan 17 - 23

I'm changing things up a bit this year. Last year you all had to put up with my ramblings for a weekly preview and a weekly review. This year I'm just going to give you a weekly review instead. Since we're operating under the NO EXCUSES motto this year I will do my best to not make excuses - I will tell you straight up if I missed a target each week.

I am going to try very hard this year to not miss miles. If I have to give up a workout due to time constraints or my own laziness and it was a run/walk day I will make up the miles if I can. This will be challenging for me I think, but also necessary to reach my goals.

If you recall I have some goals for workouts this year:
1. 80-100 miles run/walk per month
2. One day of Pilates per week
3. One day of Strength Training per week
4. One day of Bike or Elliptical per week
5. One Treadmill Workout on the Treadmill per week

I will also be participating in the Team Voice King of the Hill challenge...we have some crazy mileage folks on the team so I don't anticipate actually ever winning this one :)!

In addition, Justin over at Just Keep Goofin' has put together the Goofy Weekly Training Challenge. Everyone has a chance to participate and he has the rules up on his blog (
here). I'll be posting my level and medal on my weekly review!

Without further adieu...Here's this week's recap

PM Workout: Treadmill Walk - 3.51mi, .28mi warm up walk, 3mi @ 15:43 per mi, .24mi cool down walk

Notes: Still fighting a pretty nasty cold. Wanted to try to run, but the lungs weren't quite there yet so I had to keep it at a walk.

PM Workout:
Treadmill Walk - 3.18mi, 3mi @ 15:38 per mi, .18mi cool down walk
Treadmill - .78mi, Incline Workout
Notes: Still not feeling great, but I'm glad I got some miles in and I did the first incline workout on the treadmill tonight.

PM Workout: Treadmill Run/Walk- 4.45mi, 4.03mi @ 16:05 per mi, .43mi cool down walk
Notes: Starting to feel better. Screwed up and forgot to hit my lap button when I started run/walk intervals. The treadmill said I did more miles faster - might need to calibrate the Garmin, but I think the foot pod just isn't sensitive because I can get the pace right if I stomp on the treadmill, which I am not a heavy footed runner/walker so that's very awkward. I did manage to do 4 miles with 1 minute run/1 minute walk intervals and it felt pretty good, but I was tired at the end.

PM Workout: Pilates 20 Minute Circle Workout
Bike - 20mi, 1hr 24mins, 14.2mph avg, resistance level 2
Notes: Still having trouble breathing. Both the Pilates and the bike kicked my rear tonight. I'm going to be sore tomorrow.

Notes: I slacked off today. I'm sore and tired and I didn't get home from work until after 6pm. I'll make up the 4 miles I missed this weekend though.

PM Workout: Treadmill Walk -13.23mi @ 15:00min per mi
Notes: Threw the NYC Half Marathon course on the treadmill today and set the pace at 4mph. I did a couple of short jog segments after 9.5 miles. Felt pretty good through the whole thing. Didn't wear my Garmin so it was tough to know the exact pace and time, but it felt good just to do the miles and not worry about things.

AM Workout: Walk - 3.3mi @ 17:07 per mi
Notes: Took the dogs out for a nice slow recovery walk today. Feel really good except for my right big toe - still having some odd issues with pain in there. My head is also still really stuffy, but at least I'm coughing less :).

Weekly Numbers:
Weight Watch: +2.8 pounds

Run/Walk Miles: 28.45
Bike Miles: 20

Pilates: 1 20 minute circle workout
Strength: MISSED
Incline: 1 20 minute incline workout

Monthly Numbers:
Run/Walk Miles: 83.3
Bike Miles: 20
Elliptical Miles: 0

Goofy's Weekly Training Challenge Results:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dopey Trip Report - January 12, 2011

I didn't set any alarms for today and for some reason I'm noticing that I'm really tired. I got up at 9am, had some breakfast and got ready to head out.

Left the room at 10:10am and headed to Epcot. Let me tell you that it was cold - very cold when I stepped outside. All the flags are being kept at half mast for the AZ shooting victims - such a sad situation. The monorail was pretty uneventful this morning and for the most part I'm noticing that my legs are feeling great. I am still having some odd pain in the big toe joint on my right big toe, but that's the only pain that's left so I feel pretty good about that.

I arrived at Epcot just before 11am and I got in line - yes, there was a line - for Spaceship Earth. It's one of my favorite rides and while I don't love the changes they made a couple of years ago, I still like the ride and must do it a couple times at least.

Ellen was waiting for me so I headed over to Universe of Energy. It was great, I walked in right as the preshow was starting. Good timing! I sat in the back row all by myself and I decided to sit on the far left of the row because I didn't want the dinosaur snot on me today. So much for not getting wet - we were almost through the dinosaurs when something sprayed water on me. I have no idea what it was because there's nothing there that should have any water - very strange.

Nemo was lost again so I decided to go find him. I hopped in my clammobile and started looking. Thank goodness we found him. Then I decided to look around the Living Seas for a bit and I was downstairs and headed towards the manatee viewing and both manatees were sleeping at the very bottom of the pool - so cute!

I was watching the tip board and the Soarin' line showed 60 minutes so I headed over to get in line. I know, I could use fastpass, but for some reason I just don't like to bother. I had my phone and I love the Kindle app so I read while in line. The turned out to be only about 30 minutes so it wasn't so bad. As I'm waiting I'm noticing that I have a bit of scratchiness in my throat - nothing bad, but it is there.

After Soarin' and catching the sites in California I headed over to Living with the Land. I love this ride. It's cool to see all the plants and fish. I like seeing what's there that wasn't there last time or what's grown big. I did noticed there were hardly any alligators today - must have been a run on alligators somewhere :).

Figment was lonely - really lonely so I thought it would be nice to stop by and say hi. Wow, I was wrong, he had a lot of company. I had to wait at least 5 seconds as I chose a row. There were only four of us total on the ride and the cast was having fun as they waited for people. Figment, the little stinker had fun with us!

Why, I can't be sure, but I decided to head over to Captain EO. I don't love the movie or the effects and I'm really not a big Michael Jackson fan, but I guess it brings back memories of seeing it with the family in Disneyland. Still, while it is as cheesy as ever I did enjoy it somewhat :)!

I wondered around Mouse Gear for a while but didn't find anything I needed to buy. Then I headed over to World Showcase. I haven't mentioned this yet, but Epcot was really crowded - so crowded that there was a 30 minute wait for Maelstrom (which I skipped). I enjoyed just looking around the countries and through some of the shops.

Finally at 3:45pm I decided to head back over to Spaceship Earth for one more ride. I was feeling really tired by this point and after a nice relaxing ride through the history of communication I decided to head out.

I caught the monorail back to the Ticket and Transportation Center and then the Contemporary. I stopped at the Contempo Cafe for a burger and was back in my room by 4:50pm. I enjoyed my burger and did not enjoy doing some work.

Later on I headed back to the Tower to do some shopping. I have always liked the shops at the Contemporary and today was no exception. I picked up a couple of pins and then went to the market to grab some water and headed back to my room.

Back in the room I did some blogging, some more work, some journaling and then watched some TV while relaxing.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dopey Trip Report - January 11, 2011

Took it nice and slow this morning since there were no alarms. I got up and moving around 9:40am, had breakfast, cleaned the room, took a shower and got ready to head out for the day. I noticed pretty quickly that I was not near as sore today as I was yesterday - yeah recovery! I can finally get up and down without any real pain and my back is totally pain free.

I finally headed out at 11:13am and caught the bus to Hollywood Studios and I was in the park by 11:48am. First up was the Tower of Terror - there was a 20 minute wait posted, but it was a walk on! Love the ride, had a great drop sequence that seemed like it was never going to end.

Toy Story Mania was calling my name and I noticed that it was actually getting pretty warm outside as I headed that way. I jumped in the standby line as it was a half hour wait and I like the queue here. I did find it entertaining when a cast member came out and put Mr. Potato Head's ear back on. The posted wait was about right as from entry to exit was about 43 minutes total. Wow am I out of practice and this was the first time that I've seen the scenes that they changed to the Toy Story 3 (which I still haven't watched) characters. I ended up with a cat and 155,700 points.

I headed over to Muppet Vision 3D, again this was the first time I'd seen it since they spruced up the film and it was so much cleared and nicer. Don't you find it odd at the end when Sweetums is on screen and he's live in the theater? Odd.

Everyone is always raving about the carrot cake cookie from Writer's Stop, so I figured I'd have to try one. I headed over and bought one then found a nice quiet bench to sit down and enjoy it. Honestly, I love carrot cake but I was wanting more of a cookie texture than cake. It wasn't that it was bad, but it was just two slices of carrot cake cooked in the shape of a cookie with cream cheese frosting in between them to make a cookie sandwich. It was good, but I wouldn't rush back to get it again anytime soon.

I headed over to the Great Movie Ride. The gangster scene this time and the gangster was a real unbelievable woman. That's okay, I still like the ride. Still would like to see some updates done though :)!

It was about 3pm and I did some shopping and then headed out of the park. I caught the bus to the Contemporary and then ended up on a standing room only bus to Downtown Disney. On the way to Downtown Disney, the armadillos were everywhere, I counted seven of the little critters, each one all alone chowing on whatever they like to eat :)! It's tough to miss conversations while standing side by side with people and this very young couple was having a deep conversation - let's just say I wanted to tell the guy to run and not look back, give her up as a bad job - YIKES!

I did some shopping in World of Disney and I got out of there really cheap - maybe I shouldn't complain about the homogenization of the merchandise as it does save me a lot of money. Of course I had to stop at a few other stores to purchase some things and finally it was time to think about dinner.

Earl of Sandwich was calling to me. I love a good sandwich, so I stopped in to get a sandwich to take back to the resort for dinner. It was 6pm when I hit the bus stop and I had the bus all to myself all the way back to the resort! I got back, dropped my stuff in my room and headed to the market to grab some chips and water. I was back in my room just before 7pm.

I enjoyed my sandwich and then logged in to do some work - okay, a lot of work. Then I caught up with my journaling and then it was time for a little TV and relaxation before bed.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dopey Trip Report - January 10, 2011 (The Aftermath)

No alarms today. I did sent a text to Justin to let him know I wasn't going to make breakfast at Kona Cafe - I wanted to, but I was tired and not moving very quickly this morning. I snoozed off and on until 8:42am and it felt good after the long race days. I sat and lounged around until after 11am. I was taking time to journal my thoughts on the full marathon while I nursed my stiff and sore muscles. I really only had pain in my heels, which was strange as they've never hurt before.

I'm sitting in my room watching TV and catching up on work and stuff at 1:20pm when all of a sudden a fire alarm starts going off in Bay Lake Tower. Great, crap! I'm on the fifth floor, I'm in my lounging clothes and not really wanting to go outside and it's raining. I debate for a couple of minutes and finally throw on my shoes and head out - no better way to test how the legs are doing after the races than to walk down five flights of stairs. Thankfully, the knees feel good, hips feel fine, back is still a bit sore and heels/Achilles are still sore. Overall - the stairs were not to painful and that makes me happy!

I get downstairs just to find out that the alarm is just a test - hello, you couldn't have warned people that it was a test? I headed back to my room and yes I took the elevator :)! It was quite rainy out and I decided that I just didn't want to go out to a park and deal with cold and wet, so I didn't. As I was headed back to my room Jeff texted to see how I am doing - that was so nice, I really appreciate that kind of support!

It was 2:13pm when they announced that the fire alarm testing was completed. That was a lengthy test. I just continued catching up on things I had been neglecting and resting - sometimes for me that means more than being in a park. Blasphemy I know.

For the next few hours I caught up with work - not my favorite past time but a necessary evil. I headed over to Contempo Cafe to get some dinner and brought it back to my room. I played around on the computer some more and that was the extent of my day. I know, nothing to exciting.

I do have to add that I was pretty sore when I got up, but as I moved around throughout the day, the stiffness eased up. It was great to feel okay after all the miles - I mean it could have been a lot worse than it was :)!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Great Medal Debate - LONG POST

During Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend there was a lot of controversy to be found around the topic of finisher's medals. Should people that get injured or swept be given a finisher's medal or not?

For those not familiar with sweeping - it's pretty simple. Many races have a maximum per mile pace that must be maintained, if a participant cannot maintain that pace they may be picked up and transported to the finish line. Most races will not give participants that have been picked up a finisher's medal - why? Pretty obvious - they didn't finish the distance of the race.

Here is an excerpt from the runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon site FAQ section which can be found
here (once on the site - click on Event Details, then FAQ and scroll down to find this section)


Is there a pacing requirement for the race?
Yes. Participants in the Family Fun Run 5K, Half Marathon and Full Marathon must maintain a 16-minute per mile pace throughout the race.

Is this race walker friendly?
Both runners and walkers who can maintain a 16-minute per mile pace are welcome to participate in the WALT DISNEY WORLD® Marathon Weekend.

What happens if I can't keep up with the pacing requirement?
Anyone not able to maintain the pace will be picked up and transported to the finish. You may be picked up at any point along the course for not maintaining pace. If you are transported to the finish line for any reason you will not receive a finisher medal.

Now, I think that is pretty clear. If I don't maintain my pace, I don't get to finish and I don't get the medal. I know this going in to the race and it makes me train to stay below that 16 minute per mile pace. It's fear - I don't want to be swept, I don't want the embarrassment, I don't want the sadness, I don't want to miss out on that medal. For me, these rules in my mind are set in stone and enforced. They make me work harder.

Thankfully, I have not been swept during a race. Don't get me wrong, I've worried about it - sometimes a lot. I saw the sweepers on the full marathon course - they were less than a mile behind me at one point. That put fear in me sure, but it sparked my determination even more. No way was I going to give up on my goal, my dream, my pride, my reward for finishing!

It just so happens that we had a member of our group get swept during the Walt Disney World Half Marathon at mile 10. It was sad, I was sad for him. I know he tried, I know he wanted to finish, but he didn't. When we saw him later he had a finisher's medal and was wearing it.

Now, if this was the first time I'd have seen that I may not have reacted so strongly. This was not the first time we had seen this though. It also happened at the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. I could almost forgive the Wine and Dine since it was the inaugural event and maybe they were feeling generous since there were some issues with the course, the after party, etc... Don't get me wrong - I wasn't happy about it since I was sick from 5.5 miles through the end of the race and I still pushed through and finished.

While on the full marathon course I was eavesdropping on a group of run/walkers that came up behind me. They were talking about a runner they knew that was planning to start the full and not finish it. This person was aware that they would get their full marathon medal, but not the Goofy medal. The runner believed this to be true because they had a friend that did that with the half marathon - they started, were swept and didn't finish but still got their medal. This group of run/walkers was upset by this - so was I. We discussed it for a few minutes until they finally passed me :)!

While waiting for the monorail after the full there were two other runners behind me. The cast member came up and asked us about our medals and asked if we knew if everyone was getting medals even if they didn't finish because he heard that was the case. I relayed the story about the half marathon and the other runners echoed with similar stories about people that hadn't finished and still got medals. We were all very disturbed by this as we finished the full, were tired, still sweaty and yet knew we earned our medals.

We know from past Disney events that other people that haven't finished have not been given medals. Another team member did not get a half marathon medal in 2009 after not finishing. Another team member's family member had to stop at mile 11 and didn't get a medal.

So, is this a new policy that Disney has decided to implement and not publicize? Can anyone register for an event, toe the starting line and give up in 3 miles and still get a medal? I don't know the answer to this, but I'd really like to know.

I think it's wrong for non-finishers to get a finisher's medal - period. Disney advertises them as finisher's medals, they say you have to maintain a specific pace per mile and it is there for everyone to see. This is not a secret - you can find it in all the documentation they provide.

I saw a comment that someone wasn't even as proud of her medal because she walked a lot of the course. I say that's just silly - you did the miles and you did it in the time allotted - no shame in that. If there is then I'm red faced with shame because I finished the Dopey and I walked the whole half and full - trust me though, I am not ashamed. I did my best and did the miles in the time Disney said I had to do it in. I will be back next year to better my times and no matter what happens next, I cherish my medals and have showed them off at work and to anyone willing to look :)!

I am not singling any specific people out in this - I truly believe that Disney needs to take responsibility for this. I have to say that if they continue giving non-finishers a finisher's medal it makes me feel like my medals aren't as special. I also think that if word of this gets out, it will inflate the number of participants that register because people will know they'll get the medal without having to do all the work required to finish.

I also saw a comment that everyone should get a medal because we paid for them. I totally disagree with the statement that I paid for the medal. No, I did not pay for the medal. I paid for the shirt, my bib, course hydration, race programs, post race refreshments, and medical support. The medal is something special given to participants that rise to the challenge and finish - it's a bonus and something to be earned not given for free! Should someone that registers but doesn't even come to the race be mailed a medal too? No, I think not!

If I ever run in to a situation where I cannot finish a race - no matter whether I gave it my all, quit, got injured or whatever the circumstances - I will not accept a medal. I will politely decline the medal and let the person know that I will be back and I will earn that medal - this medal was not meant to be mine. I thought about this a lot during the last year while training for the Dopey Challenge - I had to come to terms that I could fail. In coming to terms with that fact, I knew that a medal that I did not earn would never be a medal I possessed. If I had a medal I didn't earn I lose that little extra push, that little extra something that I would need to make me want that medal - I mean honestly why would I need to work for it if I already have it...Of course, that's not my style - I am proud of every medal I own, they have all come with challenges and resulted in triumph and the medal is the culmination of the struggles I faced to get it.

I could probably go on even more here, but I'll leave it at this. Please chime in, let me know what you think. Would you take, keep,wear, display the medal if you didn't finish? Should Disney give medals to non-finishers? Any other thoughts on this? What if other elite races started just handing out medals, how would you feel?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dopey Trip Report - January 9, 2011 (WDW Full Marathon Day)

The alarms went off at 2:30am again this morning. It was difficult, but I did manage to get right up. As I got up realized that I was kind of sore from the Half Marathon yesterday. This did not make me confident in the day ahead. I took my shower and then a quick check outside to see how cold it was. It didn't seem super cold so I decided to leave my gloves in the room and got ready to head out.

I closed my room door and started walking down the hall and deja vu - I forgot my Garmin again. I turned around and headed back to get it - at least I didn't get far before I realized it today. I headed to the monorail at about 3:15am. Unlike yesterday there wasn't much of a line to get on the monorail - it was just me and one other person. I was on the way to Epcot by 3:19am and after transferring monorails I made it to Epcot at 3:50am.

Chris and Justin were at the T-V family reunion area so I headed over to wait with them. As we stood there and chatted all three of us had these doubts and bad feelings about the day ahead. Each of us was dealing with pain from the half and weren't sure what to expect during this race.

Finally at 4:30am we headed through bag check to head to the corrals. We were held up again and stood and waiting until they finally let us move toward the corrals.

The three of us parted ways at the port-a-potties right at the entrance to the corrals. I, of course, had to take a quick bio break and after that I headed to Corral H. I walked as far forward as I could in the corral and was standing and waiting at 5:11am. While I was waiting I decided that I would not take any pictures or videos during this race - I was just too worried about keeping my pace and I really wanted to focus on my pace and just finishing.

Finally it was time to get going. There was one set of fireworks at the front and on the bridge by Corral H for the first wave, but the rest of the waves (including H) got fireworks at the start line today! That made me pretty happy.

Honestly, I was hurting before I started. We took off and the self doubt, pain and negative thoughts were creeping in and I wasn't sure how I was going to do this. I just knew that my knees hurt, my feet were tired and I wasn't sure if I was going to be mentally strong enough to make it. Shortly after the first mile there was a woman on the side of the road curled up in a ball and obviously in pain - thankfully medical was only a minute or so behind us. This was sobering - we weren't even two miles in to the race. I really hate to see people hurt on the course.

I was really having to work to figure out a stride that was easy on the knees. It was dark and very cold. Very, very cold. Bad move leaving the gloves in the room. My hands were freezing. The first mile and a half or so was pretty uneventful without a lot going on. The course was pretty quiet and dark and this allowed for those negative self doubt, but it allowed allowed me time to stop the negativity and remember what I was out there doing.

Before long we were heading in to the Epcot parking lot and then in to Epcot. We went through Future World and then a short way around World Showcase before heading out. My Garmin 3 mile time was 45:27 or 15:09 per mile. I was actually on track with where I wanted to be and I was finally starting to get in a rhythm.

Miles 4 and 5 were again uneventful, not necessarily boring, but not exciting either. My official 5 mile time was 1hr 16mins or 15:14 per mile. I was still moving, not as quickly as I would have liked, but not terrible. Miles 3 - 6 on the Garmin I had picked up my pace quite a bit and averaged 14:44 per mile. During this time I was running with Santa - I had seen him at the 5K and the Half and now the Full. Santa was using the run/walk method and I was with him for quite a while before Santa pretty much left me in the dust - the guy can run :)! Just so you know - Santa was an older gentleman with long white hair and beard wearing a white shirt and red shorts and yes, he answered to Santa and waved at people.

I passed mile 6 and took a gel and was headed on to mile 7. There was an overpass and on that overpass I saw the sweepers. There was a couple of people on foot - one with the dreaded balloon, people on bikes and then a whole line of vans. This sight freaked me out big time. They were less than a mile behind me - this was way to close for comfort and I knew I had to pick it up big time. I didn't want to see them again!

My next two mile time on the Garmin was 14:53 per mile. Miles 7 and 8 had some entertainment and characters and up to mile 9 was the stretch heading towards the Contemporary - and the dreaded hill which isn't really that bad if you tell yourself that it's just another piece of pavement to travel over :)!

Some how I totally missed the mile 10 marker all together - so strange that I missed it. My Garmin times for miles 9 and 10 was 14:37 per mile. My official time for 10 miles was 15:07 per mile. Good, I've sped up a bit. Now we're headed through the Ticket and Transportation Center and that means we're headed in to the Magic Kingdom and Main Street!

As I head down Main Street I see Jeff waiting at the end - I cannot tell you how much of a boost I got from seeing him there. It was just awesome! I keep trudging along through the Magic Kingdom - okay, you really can't trudge through the Magic Kingdom - it's energy, excitement, characters and spectators and awesome! As I came through the castle I saw Jeff again and it really kept me moving forward. I see another person that is down right through the castle and I'm sure it's not great since they have a stretcher there and quite a few medics - so sad, what a terrible place to get hurt.

On to mile 11 and we are heading backstage. I take another gel and almost got run over by a bike medic - yikes! I know the next part of the course is going to be less than fun, but I know I can do it. My Garmin time for mile 11 and 12 was 14:10 per mile - wow! I'm past the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian and then I hit the halfway point! My official time for the half was 3hrs 18mins or a pace of 15:08 per mile. That's only 5 minutes slower than my Half time yesterday - I can deal with that! My Garmin mile 13 time was 15:14 per mile.

We were on some back roads now and as I hit mile 14 there are bananas. I eat one just to see if it will help and thankfully it didn't make me sick. My Garmin time for mile 14 was 15:23 per mile. I keep moving and coming up to mile 15 and we're almost to the water treatment plant. There is a water stop at the water treatment plant - what did these poor volunteers do to deserve this punishment of being stuck there all day - I really felt sorry for them. My Garmin time for mile 15 was 15:21 and I took another gel.

Now we're headed in to the Animal kingdom and it's mile 16. I'm hurting and sore but I keep telling myself I can do this. Garmin time for mile 16 was 15:16 per mile. It's getting more difficult to keep this pace. I have to say that I love going through the Animal Kingdom - as we head in backstage there are goats and bunnies from the petting zoo. Backstage there's an elephant in the elephant barn - so cool!

Mile 17 - yes I'm under 10 to go! Heading out of the Animal Kingdom now and my Garmin time is 15:15 for this mile. I grab a wet sponge and use it to wipe my face and neck and I have to say that this just felt great and was a nice little refresher.

Rae, Eric and Jeff are all waiting outside of the Animal Kingdom and I get another huge boost seeing them. They had all kinds of things if I needed anything, but I was good at least for now! I head on to mile 18 and my Garmin time is 15:14 per mile. I was a little slower here as I was chatting with a very talkative guy about the Garmin and his wacky ideas about mile markers. I see Rae, Eric and Jeff drive by - yeah! The SUV behind them however was not so friendly - a lady was holding her Mickey medal out of the window and saying go get yours in a very snarky kind of way....I would have liked to stuff her medal up her nose at that point ;)!

Mile 19 and I take another gel and I've been continually sipping Accelerade and water. The weather has warmed up quite a bit but at least there's a nice cool breeze and I really couldn't have asked for better weather for these races. My Garmin time for mile 19 was 15:20 per mile. I'm feeling tired and it's really tough going at this point! My Garmin battery dies completely at 19.22 - YIKES! I hate technology failures during a race, but I pull out the iPhone and start up RunKeeper so I can at least check once in a while. I am a bit obsessive about my pace and I hate not knowing instantly where I'm at. I start having thoughts of missing the Goofy medal by a couple of seconds per mile and I freak out.

Okay, here comes mile 20. This is where in training I usually hit the wall. I am prepared to fight this today - I will not hit the wall this day. I'm not going to let it happen. My official time at mile 20 is 5hrs 6mins or 15:19 per mile. Wow, I've slowed down quite a bit and this makes me nervous. I try to pick up my pace but I'm finding that very difficult even though I know I only have a 10K left to go.

At mile 20.6 there is a huge screen with cameras and an ESPN announcer. It was really a cool thing and racers seemed to really like it. I did the double thumbs up as I went past. This is at an out and back portion of the course and the only reason I liked it was that I finally got to see how many people were behind me. I was totally amazed at how many there were and I didn't see the sweepers. This gave me a little boost of hope. I was slowing down, I could feel it and I had to consciously keep my stride normal as I wanted to shuffle and it was just awkward and slower.

On to mile 21. I'm still going but man is the going tough right now. I'm up to mile 22 and we're heading in to Hollywood Studios and I take another gel. It was good to have another park at this point because I was spent, so tired and sore. I kept trudging along to mile 23 and there are Jeff, Rae and Eric again - I know I complained about the bones in my feet being broken, man did they hurt. I got an update that Chris and Justin were both done and wearing Goofy medals!

Headed out of Hollywood Studios and on to the Boardwalk. I am under a 5K to go and I always say that I can do a 5K no matter what. Around the Boardwalk we go and we're heading towards Epcot and then it's just the finish line waiting! We head backstage at Epcot and finally on to World Showcase where we pass mile 25. I only have 1.2 miles left and it's tough to keep going. It is fun congratulating all the finishers who are wearing their medals and enjoying the rest of their day. The cast members along here are encouraging and friendly.

I'm past World Showcase and on to Future World and finally I'm headed out of Epcot and there's only .2 miles left. There's the choir singing gospel songs today. Then I see Eric, Rae and Jeff again - I'm getting that finisher's rush now. I am so close to the finish line. I am headed down the finish line chute. I'm so happy - I can't believe it - I've done it! I've really done it. I high five Mickey and Minnie as I cross the finish line. I really did it - I did the Dopey Challenge - all three races!!!!

I continue on to get my generic mylar blanket and then I get my Mickey medal - oh wow. I just finished my first full marathon - I'm a marathon finisher. Next I head to get my Goofy medal - I find this really odd because no one verifies my times or who I am or if I deserve this medal. I'm just given my Goofy medal - it was sort of unceremonial and I kind of wish they would have checked my times to make sure I officially did it :)!

I finally turned off RunKeeper and saw that my average pace for the last 7.52 miles was 15:23. My official time was 6:42:52 with a pace of 15:21 per mile. Slower than I wanted but within the time limit so I'm happy. I stopped to get my Goofy finisher's photo and made the mistake of setting my stuff on the ground. When I bent to pick it back up - OUCH - now that's some all over pain right there! I went ahead and got a marathon finisher's photo too - this time I let them hold my stuff for me :)! Next stop refreshments - they were trying to get me to take three or four of everything, obviously they were trying to get rid of things since it was close to the end. I took a muffin (I threw away), a banana (I threw away, it was bruised), an orange, a water and two PowerAdes. It was hard to carry everything.

It was getting hard to move. Man was I in some pain. I met up with Jeff, Rae and Eric and got hugs all around. I still can't thank them enough for following me around - it meant a lot to me and it was such a boost to see familiar faces in the crowds! I needed to keep walking, I was moving very slowly, but moving was better than standing still. Chris was on the way over to meet up with us so we slowly walked toward the monorail station to meet him. It was so awesome to see him with a Goofy medal around his neck - YEAH Chris!!! I was so glad to hear he had such a good race and that his calf didn't bother him during the race. We all stood and talked for a bit and Chris and I were welcomed in to the Goofy and Dopey club by a guy that had finished said races previously - that was very cool to me.

Finally it was time for me to head back to the resort, which meant I head to head up the monorail ramp. It was about 12:46pm when I finished and I got back to my room at 2:12. It was straight in to an ice bath for me. Love my ice baths. I decided against compression socks today because I wanted to let my legs swell freely until bedtime. After the ice bath I washed the stink off (most of it I hope) with a nice shower and then I got ready to head out.

I was still pretty darn sore and standing still was the worst. At 3:30pm I left my room and headed to the monorail when I ran in to Jonathan, Amber, Mom and Elizabeth. They congratulated me and we headed our separate ways. It was funny as I was headed in to the tower a man was holding the door open and he was wearing his marathon medal. He'd let quite a few people go through and I was like you can come on in you've stood there long enough and congratulations. He said oh no, you come through I am totally not worthy and congrats on the Goofy. That was fun!

After an uneventful monorail ride (I did see two armadillos, a turkey and a deer on the way) I was in Epcot right after 4pm. I sent a text to Chris and Rae to see where they were. I was almost to World Showcase when Rae said they were on the monorail and headed to the Magic Kingdom. I was like okay, have fun, I didn't expect them to change their plans, but they got off the monorail and came back in Epcot and we met up by the Leave a Legacy area. Then Chris came and met us too.

I was still feeling best while moving so we kept chatting and walking. It was great catching up with each other and just spending some time discussing things. We headed to Canada and it was just fun to be with people and enjoy wearing those medals :)! We got a hold of Justin and dinner at Le Cellier was on. We all walked a bit longer and a little after 5pm Rae and Eric headed off to find some food. It was so great to see them and I was so grateful for the support during the races - it made such a huge difference. It always sucks to say goodbye, but hopefully it won't be for too long this time :)!

Chris and I headed to Mexico and Chris grabbed a margarita and we chatted with some ladies about doing the Goofy Challenge. We headed over to Norway to meet up with Justin, Jordan and Stan. Okay, we see them and there's Justin wearing all four of his medals. Why are you wearing all four - to be obnoxious - mission accomplished Justin, mission accomplished. We couldn't lose him if we tried since he clanged with every movement :). We had to head to Morocco because Justin was searching for a fez - which he ended up not getting. Lots of congratulations and race talk with people - I do love that part of the after race days.

We all made our way over to Canada to check in for dinner. It was only a few minutes before we were seated. I really enjoyed this meal - I only had a PowerBar after the race and I was starving. We all had a good time talking and laughing. I will say that Justin and I almost flipped the table over as we got up - oops!

Next we headed over to France to wait for Illuminations. We ended up walking closer to the Port of Entry store so we could make our escape more quickly afterwards. The show was almost over and Chris and I decided to head out to get back to our resorts without having to wait forever for transportation...and honestly - I was tired. At the front of Epcot Chris and I headed our separate ways. Since Chris was leaving the next morning I thanked him for helping me get through these races!!!

I was on my way "home" by 9:21pm and I stopped to get some drinks when I got back. It was 10:02pm when I made it back to my room. It had been a long, grueling and very rewarding day. I took a little while to relax and put the compression socks on. By 11:30pm I was done - lights out, time to sleep!

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED - 3 OUT OF 3 RACES COMPLETED AND 4 NEW MEDALS EARNED! Oh yeah, did I mention I finished my very first full marathon too?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Consistent Pacing - 2011 WDW Half Marathon

Something that I've been working on is being more consistent mile to mile during long walks/runs. I think the treadmill helps me out a lot here because I can sort of set it and forget it. Here's an example of how it's helped.

Check out my mile splits for the 2011 WDW Half Marathon:
Mile 1-14:47
Mile 2-14:41
Mile 3-14:44
Mile 4-14:22
Mile 5-13:57
Mile 6-14:34
Mile 7-14:12
Mile 8-14:34
Mile 9-14:35
Mile 10-14:45
Mile 11-14:54
Mile 12-14:33
Mile 13-14:38

Now don't get me wrong, these are not times that are where I want them to be, but for me these are some of the most consistent times mile to mile for a half marathon that I've had to date. Keeping this consistency is something that I want to continue working on as I feel if I can maintain the pace throughout each mile it shows that I'm keeping my strength all the way through a race :)!

Dopey Trip Report - January 8, 2011 (WDW Half Marathon Day)

The blaring of alarms woke me up at 2:30am. It was early and I was tired, but I got up and hopped in the shower. Then it was time to gear up and get ready to head out. I ate my PowerBar and headed out to the monorail at 3:20am.

Jeff and Deb showed up and I realized that I left my Garmin in the room. Crud! I ran back to fetch it and met up with Jeff, Deb, Jonathan and Elaine a few minutes later. We all headed up the escalator and joined the short line to get on the monorail.

Lucky for us the monorail was just pulling in and we all hopped on and we were on our way to the Ticket and Transportation Center where we transferred to the Epcot monorail. It was about 3:49am when we arrived and there were a lot of people streaming in from the buses.

We met up with Chris and Justin in the family reunion area and at 4:35am we split up and headed towards the corrals. The odd thing was - we didn't get very far. They were holding the participants just past the bag check area. It was kind of odd and it felt like we were waiting for a very long time, but finally we were allowed to move on towards the corrals.

We all stopped at a line of port-a-potties for a quick bio break and then we continued on to the corrals. It was about 4:50am at this point. Jonathan and Elaine headed to Corral G and Jeff, Deb and I headed in to Corral H and it was about 5:03am when we made our way to the front of the corral.

This made for a very long wait. We were wave 8 - the last wave. They had a lot of activities to pass the time. The Today show crew (minus Matt) were running the race, they were kicking off a simultaneous half marathon in Iraq at the same time and had some emotional speakers and the usual music and fanfare. When the first four waves were sent on their way they all got a lot of fireworks and it was very exciting.

I've seen and heard a lot of things at these races...It comes with the territory. This is one that was new to me. A girl in front of us turned and asked me if I would tighten her bra straps because she couldn't reach them. Umm.....what the heck do you say to that? Well, I said okay....She proceeded to hike her shirt up and I tightened her straps for her. Let's just say I hope that never happens again - very awkward!

As wave 5 was sent on their way - guess what....No fireworks - bummer for those of us that are slower. Finally it was time for us to move forward and get ready to go. Our wave finally started around 6:25am - yes, we had to wait around that long!

The race is on - the fire was shooting up over the start line (no fireworks of course) and the heat felt pretty good, but it was time to get moving. I lost Deb and Jeff within the first .25 mile. I kept looking for them, but I knew I had to conserve energy as I had a full marathon to deal with the next day.

I felt like I was keeping a pretty solid and consistent pace through miles 1, 2 and 3 and I was feeling pretty good. There were a lot of people, characters and fun stuff to wonder at as I went along. My official 5K time was 45:42, which was a 14:42 pace. I felt like I had a pretty nice rhythm going and it felt pretty good.

I met up with Jonathan somewhere around 3.3 miles. He looked like he was having some trouble with side stitches again and was in some pain. I didn't think he was moving as quickly as he needed to be. We chatted for a couple of minutes and I told him to keep going because he could do it. We parted ways and I was back on my pace and moving forward.

Up ahead was the Contemporary hill and finally the Ticket and Transportation Center. Then it was time to head in to the Magic Kingdom. My favorite part of the race hands down! As I made it to the end of Main Street I saw Rae and Eric. I said hi as I continued on - it was so great to see some friendly faces there! There is just nothing better than going through the Magic Kingdom, the energy is amazing, there are a ton of characters and spectators and it really gives you a boost.

I hit the 10K mark and my official time was 1:31:33 which was a pace of 14:43. I was staying pretty consistent with my pace which was pretty good. Finally we headed out of the Magic Kingdom and were on to the Grand Floridian stretch, which is not the most exciting part of the course, but it wasn't so terrible today.

As I passed mile 9 all the racers had to clear to the sides of the road. Two cop cars, one firetruck, two more cop cars, an ambulance, a cop suv and several bicycle medics came right through the runners on the road. That's never a good sign on a race course. I continued on and as I neared mile 10 all the racers had to slow to almost a stop as all the emergency vehicles were pulling out. Apparently a racer collapsed there at mile 10 - I hope he/she is okay.

My 15K official time was 2:17:28 which was a pace of 14:44. Once I knew I only had a 5K left to go I kept pushing and doing the best I could. Just after mile 12 I saw Rae and Eric again and I was almost done.

I was headed in to Epcot now. Again, I love going through the parks. There's just so much support and as we headed out of the park there was a woman holding a sign that I absolutely loved. It said, "Hello complete stranger, I am proud of you too!" I think that's the best sign I've ever seen and so cool.

I'm out of the park now and there's the choir singing. Odd, they are singing We Will Rock You - not the typical gospel songs. Still very cool! I see Rae and Eric again and I'm jogging since I'm almost done and I just got caught up.

As I crossed the finish line I high fived Mickey and Minnie. I love that! I headed through and got a mylar blanket (which I noticed has been genericized), then I got my medal. Apparently, my medal volunteer wasn't very in to his job as he didn't put it over my head, he just sort of stuffed it in my hand - so weird. I continued on and one of the medical volunteers said - you're doing the Goofy right? Go get ice and Tylenol now....Ummm, thanks for the advice, but I'm good I'll ice bath at the resort and I don't need Tylenol...It was a nice thought, but I didn't totally kill myself in the half. I was worried that I left too much of myself out there, but I didn't push that hard.

My official finish time was 3:13:16 which was a pace of 14:44. I was very consistent in terms of pacing during this race and while I didn't meet my goal of 3hrs, I can't really complain with 3:13 as I knew that 3hrs would have been pushing harder than I should have. I do know I gave a bit more of myself than I wanted to and that worried me for the full the next day.

I went and got my finisher's photo and then I met up with Rae, Eric, Jeff, Deb, Stacy and Emily. We chatted for a few minutes and then we parted ways again. Rae and Eric headed off and the rest of us headed to the monorail. It was about 10:08am and it took me until 10:52 to get back to my room.

Once I got back I did an ice bath, which I know will help me for tomorrow. Then I took a shower to get rid of the stink and got ready to head out. At 12:20pm I headed out and walked over to the Magic Kingdom. I was in the park by 12:36pm and I met up with Rae and Eric and then we found Chris. I really just felt like walking and we headed towards the Haunted Mansion but the line was ridiculous so we ended up going on Pirates instead.

After Pirates it was time to head to Aloha Isle for the Team Voice Dole Whip Meet! I wasn't sure what to think when Jonathan showed up wearing a medal - we knew he had been swept at mile 10 which was a real shame. I guess I just don't understand how a non-finisher is given a finisher's medal...It's a bit of a problem to me. We all had Dole Whips or Dole Whip Floats and Justin, Stan and Jordan showed up as well. It was nice chatting with everyone!

Finally Chris and I decided to head back to the expo to see if there was anything we missed the first time around. We headed towards the front of the park with Rae and Eric, chatted for a little while longer and then parted ways. Chris and I walked to the Contemporary to catch a bus to the expo. While on the bus there were 8 turkeys that stopped traffic as they walked across the road in front of us.

When we got to the expo it was amazing - there was pretty much nothing left. The contrast between Thursday and today was unreal - the cast members were saying that it was unbelievable how much stuff they sold over the several days. I guess I know now why I like to go on the first day :)!

Chris was having an issue with his calf so we signed him up for a free KT taping and we headed to the cafe to grab some dinner while we waited. I had penne pasta with chicken and alfredo sauce - it wasn't great by any stretch of the imagination, but it did fill me up and had carbs and protein so I was satisfied.

We headed back in to the expo. Chris found some compression socks and instead of waiting he ended up buying some KT tape to try. After that it was time to head out and we parted ways at the buses.

I was on the bus at 5:45pm and back in my room by 6:15pm. I spent some time getting my gear laid out for the full marathon, got my water and Accelerade ready and made sure everything was set. I was getting pretty nervous about the full marathon and I knew it was going to be a huge challenge. I just hope that I can meet that challenge. My legs are tired and I'm a bit worried about my pacing. I just have to believe and do my best!

Tomorrow the Full Marathon!

Blog Archive