2017 Training Stats

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

Countdowns!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Dopey Challenge Day 4 - 2014 WDW Full Marathon

Yesterday was so rough - the one race I felt confident about and ready to tackle totally kicked my butt.  The humidity was tough for me, but let's be honest, it was more about my mental state of mind.  I caused my own issues yesterday.  I was so worried about how the full marathon would go that I forgot to live in the moment and just do the race I was in at the time.  The whole time I couldn't stop myself from thinking that I am not ready for the full marathon.  On my way home from the half, I had an epiphany - I realized that I was being stupid today.  Physically, I felt fine, other than the blisters, and I've done what I could to get ready and I knew I had to trust that and remember that I can do this.  So, the whole night I pumped myself up and got myself to believe that tomorrow was going to rock and I was going to have the most fun I've ever had and I would finish because failure was not an option.

I woke up at 2:00am, but I didn't get up until 2:15am - the early mornings were definitely wearing me down at this point, but I was also super excited for today.  I got ready to go, ate my normal Powerbar and drank some water.  I left the house at 2:50am and was parked at Epcot by 3:10am.  It's amazing that driving hasn't been as bad as I used to think it would be and honestly I haven't had any trouble.  As I walked toward the staging area, Deb Wills was standing by her car and told me to have a great race and have fun.  I thanked her and kept on my way.  Through security bag check and off to the family reunion area.  Quick bio break and then to the meeting spot.

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Waiting for everyone to arrive

We all met up and chatted for a while before heading to the runner's only area.
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Chris, Chris' friend Kimberly and me

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Headed to the runner's only area

I decided to use the facilities here instead of by the corrals because there were no lines.  A guy dressed as Figment complimented my costume and we chatted for a few minutes.  We were supposed to meet Chris, but it seems he already headed to the corrals so Rae and I started the cattle drive to the corrals.  It's a slow easy walk and we split and go to our separate corrals.

There's something distinctly different about this morning's corral.  As I head to the front of the corral again, I notice that it's very easy to weave around people.  There's lot of space and I can easily see the front of the corral.  Why?  Well, this morning I would say that 90% of the participants are sitting down on the ground instead of standing.  It's hilarious to me for some reason.  Everyone knows how many miles we have to do today and those of us doing Dopey have already done this three days in a row.  I love it.  I don't sit - I'm ready to go and sitting sometimes makes me stiffer than standing.

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Right up at the front of the corral today

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Looking to the back of the corral - the guy yawning is exactly how I feel!

I am ready for today.  Mentally, I know I will finish, I know I will have fun and that's all I need to know for today.  It's fun to watch the runDisney folks figure out what to do to get our corral across the median.  There was a great storm that went through and dumped a bunch of rain last night so it's like a swamp.  I am impressed because they are thinking of us and making sure they find the driest area for us to walk across.  I really appreciate that attention to detail and consideration.  Finally they find the right area and they fence it off so we know where to go.

It seems like forever, but finally the other corrals are going and we get to move forward.  We all go across the wet grass, but they did a good job, there are no puddles to deal with.  Not much longer and we start this long journey to the finish line and three brand new shiny medals!

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Another corral heading off - love the guy's shirt in front of me

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We're moving

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Getting closer and another corral leaves

I am right up there at the front of the corral as we move forward and there's the start line.

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Hello start line

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Today's the big one!

Here we go!  Wait, why am I running already?  Okay, slow down and do your intervals, keep it easy and light today.

I am at the first water stop and as I get to the end of it - WHACK.  What the heck?  Something just hit me in the ear...It totally shocked me.  It wasn't that it hurt, it just hit me out of the blue.  Someone threw their cup and hit me in the head.  Who knew running was a contact sport?  She apologized and asked if I was okay.  I said I was, but next time try dropping the cup instead of throwing it.  That was just one of the weirdest things that I've had happen in a race - ever.  Good thing I'm in a super good mood today.

Miles one through three really don't have anything else exciting going on.  I am still doing my run/walk intervals and feel pretty good.  We're through the Magic Kingdom toll plaza, the Ticket and Transportation Center parking lot and on our way to the Contemporary hill.  I'm just smiling and going with it.  I am trying to have fun during every mile and so far so good.

The DJ at the tunnel is a little more mellow today, but still fun.  No trolls in the tunnel - thank goodness.  A bit crowded so I conserve energy and just walk it.  Mile 5 and we're heading to the Magic Kingdom.  As usual, Main Street is amazing with cheering spectators, volunteers and Cast Members.  A great boost.

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Smiling while walking right down Main Street USA

Tomorrowland, on to Fantasyland and there's Dr. Dribble again.  Here comes the castle and today there's no stopping and I get to do my thing as I go through.  Love it!

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This is the first race that I've ever gotten a picture taken in the castle - so cool!

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Doesn't matter how many races I do, I love the castle

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Such a beautiful day - the weather is absolutely perfect for a full marathon.  There's just a little chill in the air, low humidity and practically perfect in every way!

Frontierland, backstage and out of the Magic Kingdom.  Can we just stop now?  I love the Magic Kingdom and I had a great time going through there.

Still doing my run/walk intervals and we're on the way to the Speedway.  Jordan catches me right after the Magic Kingdom and he's not having a good day - he's sick and having some issues.  I wish there was more I could do for him.  We aren't together too long, but I know he'll get through this.  This part of the course is new for me - the Speedway.  Who the heck thought this was a good idea?  What is this steep downhill and then uphill.  No one can decide if they should run or walk - I know I need to walk, but it is a bit painful on the knees.

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I think I'm smiling at the absurdity of the hill that I just finished - that was nuts

Then we enter the Speedway and it is pretty incredible.  There are lots of classic cars (and one Mercedes Benz - odd) along the course and it is fun to go by them.  This part is over to quickly for me.

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Once in the Speedway it was pretty cool

Miles nine, 10 and 11 are certainly not that exciting...just a lot of road.  It's quiet and it gives me time to take stock.  I'm feeling good - mentally and physically.  There comes a food stop - I grab a banana.  I've been doing water and Powerade at every other water stop and it's feeling good.  I've also been doing a Lifesaver at each mile and a sip of water.  Not feeling too bad, but man that banana gave me a huge energy boost and really picked me up.

Here comes Animal Kingdom.  I love Animal Kingdom - the terrain is different, there's some shade, the park is open and there are people to watch.

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Love going through Animal Kingdom

This park goes by way to fast for me.  I could wind through there for a lot longer and be perfectly happy.  Eric is there and tells me my half split is 3hrs and 30mins.  I am perfectly fine with that.  Especially if you think that I did 13.1 in 3:38 the day before.  That's kind of incredible.  Better still, I feel good.

Jordan catches up with me right outside Animal Kingdom and he's still having a rough time, but we stay together for a while.  Back on to the street and I know this next part will not be super exciting.  In fact, I know there are some lines in the pavement up ahead that always make me sort of dizzy as I go over them.  I try not to look down.  As we pass the Grave Diggers one of them tells Jordan his brother had the same socks, he buried him in them...I could tell Jordan wasn't feeling great, because he just says nice.  I would have said, I know, I dug him up and took them :).  I am still doing run/walk intervals and Jordan falls back as his stomach is still bothering him.  I feel bad leaving him, but I have to keep going.

After mile 15 there's another banana stop and I grab another one.  It does the same thing again and gives me a boost.  I can't believe I'm still doing run/walk - I don't know how long it will last so I enjoy each time I can do it.  Mile 16 is not so exciting and a bit depressing as I get to see all the people coming out of Wide World of Sports and I'm just headed in.  As we enter Wide World of Sports mile 17 is there.  I stop at the water stop and get a refill on my bottle - I was about half full, but I figure now is the time to get it in case I need more.  This is also the place where we are supposed to get a wet sponge.  Hmmm...we get wet washcloths today instead of sponges.  Doesn't really matter, that cold wet wash cloth feels so good as I wipe down my arms and face.  I end up tossing the washcloth and I sort of wish I would have held on to it longer.

We're in Wide World of Sports now, it seems like I'm in there forever.  I just keep doing my run walk thing and wondering where the heck the end of this place is.  Really it is only two and a half miles or so, but I swear it feels like five.  I talked to a lady that got swept last year and she was wondering if she should be worried and I personally didn't think so - she agreed and felt better.  Finally, I get to the stadium and head through.

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I'm pretty sure I was thinking, are we done with this place yet? This is not even close to being as fun as Angel's Stadium during the Disneyland Half!

Finally we're headed back out to the parking lot area and I see Eric there.  I am still doing my run/walk intervals and head out.  It's sort of sad because at this point there is no one headed in to Wide World of Sports - yep, I'm that far back.  I still feel fine and don't feel like I'm in danger.

There's mile 20 and I know I have another rough patch of road ahead.  Mile 20, 21 and 22 without too much excitement.  Just continued doing my run/walk intervals - still can't believe that I am still able to do the run segments.  That is pretty incredible and I've now gone further than I have gone in a long time.

Hollywood Studios is coming up.  I stopped taking my Lifesavers at mile 21 - my mouth is just too dry and they are hard to swallow as dry dust.  We head in to Hollywood Studios.  I grab a chocolate bar and try to choke it down, but it was like chewing mud.  Bad idea.  I grabbed gummies, but my hands are swollen and I'm not sure if I can open the package.  I hold it for a while until I decide I just can't do it and I stuff it in my pack.

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Almost through Hollywood Studios

I pass mile 23 and a little beyond that I realize that I only have a 5K to go.  Oh my goodness, I am going to do this.  It just makes me smile more.  Now I'm out of Hollywood Studios and headed to the Boardwalk area.

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I keep plugging along

Somewhere along the way I totally miss the 24 mile marker.  The Boardwalk area is always crowded and today is no exception, it is at this point that I make the decision to walk the rest of the course.  I believe I could have continued to do my intervals, but I was just having fun and since I knew there was no sweeping danger I just really wanted to enjoy the rest of the race.

Now I'm back in Epcot, heading around World Showcase and it's mile 25.  I love this part of the race.  There are so many finishers walking around and I love to congratulate each and every one of them and they return the favor by telling me to go get my medals.  Right at China someone says to me that they just fell in love.  Okay - I have to ask, fell in love with what?  This area, China, she replies.  Yes, it is beautiful, but then I have pain - sharp and nasty.  One of the blisters on my left foot has just burst and holy ouch!  Thankfully the pain is quick and gone, but I can feel the liquid soaking my sock - GROSS!

I trudge along and know that I'm doing it.

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So close now, I can't believe it

Finally we head backstage and there is the Gospel Choir.  Now, I love them, but I've never really interacted with them other than to cheer and thank them.  Today, I'm not really close, I'm on the other side of the path, but there's one boy that has his hand out in the front row and I can't help myself.  I go out of my way to cross over and high five him and that started an entire chain reaction.  Every single one of the front row choir members high fives me as I go by.  How awesome is that?  So much fun!

Out of Epcot and there's mile 26.

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Here I come finish line, are you ready for me?

It's just the finish line waiting for me now.  I am almost done.  Rudy Novotny is out right before the finish line and he grabs my shoulder and asks if this is my first marathon.  I smile and say - nope, this is my third.  He says - oh wow, you're a veteran, go get those medals.

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Finish line chute

That was super cool and I cross the finish line.  I am done!

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I am truly Dopey!

I hear someone call my name, but I don't know from where.  I hear it again and turn toward the stands and there is Justin.  How cool is that?  He congratulates me and asks where Rae is and I honestly don't know, I didn't see her the entire race.

I move ahead to get my medal - oh wow, I did it.  Two waters and a Powerade and a quick picture.

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Am I really done?

Up ahead I get to get my Goofy and Dopey medals.  A volunteer marks my half marathon finisher's wristband and then I get my Goofy medal and finally my Dopey medal.

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The wristbands have all been marked

Do I get one finisher photo?  Of course not, I have to get the Full, Goofy, and Dopey photos.  Then I grab a snack box and a banana.

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Full finisher photo
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Goofy finisher photo
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Dopey finisher photo

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Another photo - sure check out the bling!

I head out and go to find Eric.  He tells me that Rae was right behind me.  She came out a minute or so later.  We walked over to talk to Justin and Krystal, then it's time to head out.  I'm sore and tired, but I did so much better than I could have anticipated.  The best part for me was that I enjoyed the entire race.  I had fun and just watched the miles count down.  I am proud of how long I was able to do my intervals (24 miles) and I thank Jeff Galloway for making it okay to do intervals.

Dinner that night was at Monsieur Paul's and I have to say that it was outstanding.  Although, I will warn you that stairs are not all that fun after 48.6 miles. It was fun to see other diners come in wearing three piece suits and all their medals though! It really was a great way to end a fantastic weekend.  After dinner I headed out as I had to go to work the next day.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dopey Challenge Day 3 - 2014 WDW Half Marathon

Oh goody, another super early morning.  I get up at 2:20am this morning and get ready to head out.  I head out at 3:00am and the drive is super easy and parking was easy too so I'm there by 3:20am.

I head to the staging area and through security bag check and there's no problems getting through again.  I head over to our normal meeting spot and wait for everyone to arrive. While I am waiting one of the photographers asks if I want a photo so I say sure - then he asked if I wanted the row of porta-potties in the picture because some people do. This makes me laugh as I decline.

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Pre-race picture with Chris

At 4:20am we head to the corrals.  It's the normal cattle drive or zombie march to the corral area.  I stop for a bio break before heading to find my corral.

Since there are more corrals than ever before, it seems confusing and the poor volunteers are having to basically tell every person which direction to head.  I headed the wrong way first and then quickly realized I was going the wrong way.  Corral M was up a ways and seemed like it took forever to find the entrance, but I finally found the right place and headed in.  It was after 5am when I get in the corral and I was able to get all the way up to the front of the corral which is exactly where I feel I need to be.

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I'm right by the video screen so at least I have something to watch

You might have noticed in the picture above that we are just a grassy stretch away from Corral H. Why would I mention this? Well, there were quite a few people in Corral M that decided they'd like to start sooner and went over the barricade and blended in to the middle of Corral H. While I would have loved to have some extra buffer, I would never have done something like this. I'm in the corral I'm in because that's where my time put me - like it or not.

As I stand there I am feeling that it is  a little warm, but mostly I'm noticing just how humid it is.  This worries me.  When I am drenched before I start a race it usually means I'm going to have a rough time, but I hope for the best.

I watch many corrals go before ours with fireworks send offs.  Finally we get to start moving.  We cross the grass median and walk toward the start line.

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The walk to the start line
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The stage at the start line

It's awesome being at the front of the corral and so close to everything.

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Bad shot because the lights really were that bright

I take a deep breathe as we get ready to go...I shouldn't be worried about this one, but I am.

The fireworks go off and we are on our way.  I'm going to stick to my run/walk intervals as long as I can today.  As I go along the first mile I am already feeling the humidity and I am already worried about this race.  I can tell within the first mile how the race is going to go and I don't feel good about this one.  I'm thinking that it's going to be a long 13.1!

Miles two and three are uneventful, but I am already sort of tired.  Jordan catches up to me and we run/walk together for a while.  As we near the Ticket and Transportation Center parking lot - a sound like a gun shot goes off and I automatically grab my chest and say, they got me.  Jordan thanked me for taking a bullet for him :).  It's sad, no old time bike riders out today.  One of the spectators has a sign that says strippers ahead and that makes a lot of runners laugh as we head past.

Jordan and I continue along and now we're headed to the Contemporary hill.  As we go along a guy behind us says that he wonders if it would be easier to walk along the top of the line of cones keeping us to the left because they're so close together and it's so crowded at this section.  Jordan and I both look back and tell him we'd love to see that and we'll help him up...he just laughs.  The DJ on the bridge above us is awesome - he is full of jokes about running under water, boats passing over our heads and just a bunch of other things.  He was a lot of fun.  As we pass under the water through the tunnel I wonder if we need to worry about trolls - yes, I have strange thoughts while on the race course.

I dubbed a new term during this race and that is "Dopey Delirium" - my definition, the craziness that comes with the tiredness of getting up and running four races in a row on day three.

There's an odd thump, thump coming up behind us and as it passes, we see a shirtless man dribbling a basketball in each hand.  Apparently, this is Dr. Dribble, or so the tattoo on his back says.  Some how all the weirdness gets us down and up the hill.

On the side of the road, a lady says let me hear it from all the Dopey's on the course and all of us sort of say whooo in a depressed and tired sort of way.  A guy starts laughing and asks us if that's all we've got.  We all say, yep, we have to conserve our energy, oh and we're tired.  Mile five goes by and now we're headed in to the Magic Kingdom.  Jordan takes off and I continue to slog along.

There's really nothing better than going down Main Street.  Such amazing support and energy.  It energizes me as I continue along.

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No idea what I'm looking at
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See, I really am happy on Main Street!

I should mention that Eric has been following us as a spectator and I see him at the end of Main Street which is always fun!  Through Tomorrowland.

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Tomorrowland

On to Fantasy Land and here comes the castle.  Donald and Daisy are out for photos,but no trumpeters.  I get to the castle and we come to a dead stop.  There are so many people and they are all just jumbled in the castle and it is crazy.  I've done a lot of these races and I have never seen a bottleneck like this here.  It was sort of frustrating, but I continue through as well as I can.

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Lots of Castle pictures for this race - I attribute this to the costume

Now we're going through Frontierland and we're headed backstage and out of the Magic Kingdom.  I've passed mile six and I'm feeling not so great.  The humidity has just really drained me and I'm developing hot spots on both feet - not good.

Jordan catches up with me a couple more times and at some point I am told I said he was creepy because he kept popping up out of nowhere.  I think I said something like that's creepy, but it really was.  He would just sort of be there.  Very strange.

I head past the DJ at the half way point and then I am at mile seven.  I'm just walking at this point.  As I hit the Polynesian, Eric is there and says that Rae just passed me.  I just don't have enough in me to run after her.  I'm struggling by this point.  This is another bottleneck area and as the road widens back up, there is Rae waiting for me.  She's with me for a minute or two, but I tell her to just go because I'm not going to be going any faster at this point.  She's rocking this race - so proud of her.

There's mile nine and I continue on.  I'm not concerned about being swept, but it is just not a good race for me today.  Very tough time.  Finally mile 10 - if you've followed me, you probably know that I always say - anyone can do a 5K.  It's been my mantra for a long time and I use it today.

I slog along and mile 11 seemed to take forever to get to, but there it is.  Now it's time to do the overpass and silly hills and there it is, the Epcot parking lot and mile 12.  More cheering spectators is exactly what I need right now.  It energizes me and I know that I'm almost done with this race.  Thank goodness.

Now it's all about Epcot.  Again, there's so many cheering Cast Members and spectators and I'm feeling great.

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Lots of Spaceship Earth pictures too!

Backstage again and there's the Gospel Choir - they are awesome as usual.  Time to head out of Epcot and there's mile 13.

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The finish line chute

Almost done.  I make it through the finish line and Daisy and Donald are there.

My favorite part of runDisney races are the finish lines where I get to high five a character.  I get upset if I can't high five one of them.  This is my favorite runDisney memory ever for any race.  Daisy sees me and throws her hands up and gives me a huge high five.  So cool.  Then Donald sees me and I go to give him a high five and instead he grabs me and gives me the biggest hug.  I'm taken completely by surprise and it is the most awesome moment ever.  I didn't have a good race, but that moment changed my entire thought process.  Sounds stupid, but it was exactly what I needed at that moment in time.  Now I'm grinning from ear to ear.

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Right after Donald gave me a huge hug - told you I was smiling ear to ear!

The only thing that I'm bummed about is that Marathofoto did not catch this moment on photo or video - of all the races and finishes it had to be this one that they missed :(.

I head through, get my medal and head off to get my water and powerade and then a circle on my 10K finisher wristband and my half marathon finisher's wristband.

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Rae finished ahead of me and was waiting so, it was time for finisher photos and then snack box and banana.

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Pre-Wristband Acquisition
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Race three is done. My official finish time was 3:38 - not proud of that time, but I did finish and I was nowhere near the sweepers the entire time. This was by far the hardest race so far and it really has me concerned about the full marathon tomorrow, but I have to take this as it was and move forward.

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