Ok, here’s Volume….er….Part 2 of the Goofy Report. This part includes Sunday and Monday which is the full marathon part of the Goofy Challenge as well as what I did on Monday, the day after the race. Advice...read part 1 first or some of this won't make sense. It's long and detailed again, just how you like it. Here goes…..
That can’t be my alarm! It came so much faster the 2nd night than the first night. I actually slept pretty good after General Tsao surprised me at 11PM. I was so not ready to get up. I actually laid there for about 3 minutes thinking, ‘It is too early! Why am I doing this? This is Goofy’. Ahhh, the irony of that word. I finally got up and slowly shuffled to the shower. Got ready. Exact same routine. Went down to grab a snack for breakfast. On this particular morning though, I met Gina instead of Gordon. I had arranged at dinner the night before to meet Gina and ride with her. She’s another fellow runner I met through the running social network. We met at the bus stop at again 3:20 and it was once again nice to have someone to talk to on the way over. She had purchased Disney’s ‘race retreat’ which is a big heated tent where they have food, comfy chairs, bathrooms that aren’t gross, and lots of other goodies. I had not purchased that. Lucky Gina. So she headed straight there to enjoy some heat. I headed to my spot on the pavement that was cold. I entered the baggage check earlier than the day before and headed toward the start corrals as soon as they let us in. By the way, to make up for the lack of liquid in my body from the previous night’s surprise, I tried to drink double what I usually do on my way to the marathon. This was fine but of course I had to visit those lovely port-a-johns multiple times. Those are always fun. They finally opened the gate to walk to the corrals around 4:30 and we began the 20 minute trek again. There wasn’t much difference after that from the day before. Same corral. Same stage. Same guy trying to get us to dance. This morning it was “Ice, Ice, Baby” and “The Macarena”. There were actually a few doing it this morning. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I know Disney’s all about the fun but come on. There have to be some boundaries at 5AM. By the way, it was a lot colder on this morning than it was the day before. I realized that I might not be shedding clothing before I started the race as I did for the half. I did shed my pants right before the start just because when I bought them at goodwill, I didn’t notice that they had no drawstring so I’d been sagging all morning. So I went ahead and went for shorts but kept my long-sleeved shirt and sweatshirt on. The race started the exact same. Disney characters on stage. Countdown from 3. Fireworks. It was still neat to see again and I was even a little closer to the stage this time. I crossed that line once again and started my watch this time. Well, my dad’s watch. 1/3 down, 2/3 to go.
This race course was obviously going to be a little different than the day before. Yeah…13.1 miles different. But it started out by doing a loop and going into Epcot. We didn’t do that on Saturday. We entered Epcot around mile 2 or so and went through part of the World Showcase. We passed a couple of countries before exiting again. Then, we went back by the start so we had made a 4 mile loop. I saw a guy puking around mile 3. Wonder if had Chinese the night before? We then headed toward Magic Kingdom. I saw my parents at about mile 4 ½. They had texted they would be there but it was a miracle I spotted them. There were a lot of people at that point because they could see the start and then the runners again when they came back by. We ran toward MK and into it. We went the same route around the park, but this time it was light. I decided that today I would stop and get more pictures with characters since it was light and I was going to enjoy this race. I would end up stopping about 5-6 times for pictures. When I went through the castle, I even stopped to let them take my picture in front of the castle. I’ll be interested to see these pics even though I won’t buy them because I know they’ll cost an arm and 2 legs. I shed my sweatshirt before I got to the MK and I shed the long sleeve shirt right after I left the park. I shed b/c I was getting warm, but what’s funny is that after we left MK and went by the Grand Floridian and Polynesian resorts, it felt colder again. I was wishing I had my sweatshirt back. It would get better though. The weather overall was perfect running weather and I never got hot which was great. I’d much rather be a little cold than too hot. Anyways, once we left the Magic Kingdom area, we headed for the dreaded 3 mile stretch to Animal Kingdom. I had heard that this was a rough area. Not only is there not much to see, but you pass Disney’s treatment plant which smells…well…like a treatment plant. It did smell pretty bad and what’s worse is they had a water stop right next to it. I honestly felt bad for those folks. Imagine getting excited about volunteering at the Disney Marathon only to hear “you’ll be working at mile 14.” “Where’s That?” “Why that’s by our finest treatment plant. Enjoy!” I only had to smell it for about 5 minutes. They had to smell it all stinkin’ day. Poor folks. Anyways, it was a long stretch from MK to AK, but I still felt good. I reached the halfway point in 1:52. I had another mini-goal today to beat 4 hours. I knew I wouldn’t PR because I just hadn’t put the training in. My big goal was just to finish, but everyone secretly always has a time they want to beat. I announced 4:30 to a few people to play it safe but secretly I wanted to beat 4. So at this point I thought if I could repeat my first half performance, I’d be fine. I even had a 16 minute cushion. I made it to Animal Kingdom and entered the park. It was fun running through there. We haven’t been there in a couple of years and I do like that park even though it still needs some more attractions. It’s not quite there yet, but it’s getting there. Around this point, I started walking every other or every third water stop and I would do this until the end of the race. It was mainly just to be able to drink without spilling everything but I’ll admit it is nice to take a 30 second walk break. But that’s the only times I walked, probably 4 water stops. We then headed toward Hollywood Studios. I had heard that when you reach the Studios, you are home free, but it took a little while to get there.
We first headed toward Wide World of Sports and went up a pretty big hill. I was still feeling pretty good. I had some pain in my legs at this point but nothing I couldn’t push through. We then went down this narrow road about half a mile or so, made a sharp u-turn and came back. I’m guessing they did this to make the entire race 26.2 in length because it was a little random. But once we got back from that, we headed down the main road toward HS. I was starting to get excited at this point. We went into Hollywood Studios and I could see the back of Tower of Terror. Does it always have scaffolding on it or are they working on it? I couldn’t remember. I think they are working on it. We went in the back of the park and somehow ended up running through the backlot tour. We actually went through the dark tunnel where they make the clothing and costumes. We went by the stunt show, up the street and toward the big hat. We then exited the park down the main entrance road. There were already park guests there cheering us on because it was right at park opening (9AM) at this point. Oh, by the way, as we entered HS, they were handing out little candy bars. You know those 4 variety kind (Hershey, special dark, krackel, and Mr. Goodbar). Love those. Those were a God-send. I actually said “bless you” to the people handing them out. I tried to get as many as I could and I think I made a few workers drop them. I ended up with 2 special darks and one Mr. Goodbar. But I didn’t care. They tasted so good. Yum. Ok, back to the race. We headed out of HS and toward the boardwalk where several hotels are between HS and Epcot. I had never seen this area but man, it’s beautiful. I would love to stay there one day. You know, if I win the lottery that I don’t play. I knew this was the last thing before Epcot and I could actually see the park in the distance. We finally entered Epcot and I looked at my watch. I knew I was going to break 4. Not by much, but unless Mickey himself actually tackled me and threw me in World Showcase Lagoon, I was going to break it. That gave me a little push to go for the finish. We started heading around world showcase which is 1.2 miles in circumference by the way so it takes a little while. Right when we reached mile 25 and I knew I had a little more than one mile to go, what song should start playing on my Ipod? You guessed it….Chariots of Fire. Yes, it’s cheesy, yes I’m a loser, and yes I should remove it from my marathon playlist, but come on. It’s the original running song. And how appropriate that it started playing at that point. I decided it would be my last song. When it was over, I would turn off my ipod and listen to the sounds of the finish. It was perfect. I passed the Chinese pavilion and texted mom “passing China….blech!” They were waiting at the finish line. We headed past Spaceship Earth and out the park the same way as before. We passed the gospel choir again. Just awesome. What a great way to finish a race. I actually saw mom and dad about the same time I saw the finish line. I passed it and stopped my watch. 3:54. I beat it. Without adequate training. God is good. I got my medal. Then I got my medal. 2 medals. One for the marathon and one for being Goofy. They were loud banging against each other but I didn’t care. I could hear a lot of jangling behind me too. Got my picture. Some amazing food and drinks. A Sprite. Amazing. I tried to sit down to eat a little and it hurt pretty bad to sit down. I didn’t think I’d get back up. It was funny watching others try to sit. We looked like a bunch of senior citizens. Sorry, elder folks. I finally got back up and found mom and dad. We took pictures. Lots. Of course. We loaded the bus and headed back to the hotel for a warm shower/bath. I couldn’t wait. I was getting pretty cold just standing there. As I got off the bus back at the hotel, it was slow going. But I made it to my room and crashed for the next 6 hours. I tried to sleep and did a little but couldn’t get a good nap. But I enjoyed just relaxing and doing nothing. We went to church and out to eat that night. I wore my marathon shirt which sparked a lot of conversations. People loved to ask about the race. I treated myself to some nice unhealthy foods for dinner. Wings, fries, coke. So good. When we got back to the hotel, I crashed pretty hard, pretty quick and slept great. It had been a long day. A great day. A Goofy Day.
I woke up on Monday at 6:15AM. Why, body, why? I can sleep later you know. Oh yeah, I guess because my body had gotten used to getting up at 2:30AM. So 6:15 WAS late. It was ok. I had to pack anyways. I checked my bags and cleaned out my room and my parents and I headed to Hollywood Studios. I got in FREE! Disney’s new program this year called Marathon Monday. A free ticket to any park with your marathon medal. It worked great and was a very nice reward. We chose the Studios which turned out to be a good choice. Again, I won’t go into much detail but we got to ride everything and see several shows. I had to leave around 2PM to catch my bus back to the hotel to catch a bus to the airport, but that was still plenty of time to get most of H.S. done. I was still pretty sore this morning and today walking around the park. My leg injury is back from December. Other than that, my calves are sore but that’s it. My feet are fine. I’ll take it real easy this week even though I was glad to be back in it after a slow December and will be anxious to start again. I need a next big goal but not sure what that will be. But I’ll have to figure out something to get my motivation going again. I am sitting here right now in the airport waiting for my flight home as I am typing this. There’s 4-6 inches of snow on the ground back home. My flight is 15 min. delayed. Not bad. Hope it stays that way. I gotta get home and watch the big game. War Eagle!
In Conclusion (finally!), it was an amazing weekend. It was the best races I’ve ever been involved in and I won’t forget them. I’d love to do it again one day down the road. Probably way down. It ain’t cheap. But Disney did it right. I do love that place. And I loved being Goofy.