Thursday, January 8, 2009

It's Time for the Goofy Challenge!!

Packing? Done
Print Boarding Pass? Done
Hi Protein/Carb Diet? In Process
No Running Today and Tomorrow? Begrudgingly, yes.

It’s time for the Goofy Challenge!

Although the races don’t officially begin until Saturday morning at 6am, I have already started buzzing around with final preparations. Tonight’s red eye flight from LA to Florida leaves around 10 and gets me in just before 6am. I hope to sleep on the plane, but I’m not banking on it. From the airport, I take a shuttle to our Disney Resort where I will check in, eat breakfast and nap before my mom shows up in the later part of the morning.

We will head to the Marathon Weekend Expo to pick up our packets, bags and some final food stuff. We’ll spend the rest of tomorrow relaxing, maybe visiting the pool or a park until a 5pm dinner at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian.

Saturday morning, 3am, we will wake up and board the monorail to the start line of the Half Marathon. Weather outlook is 56-76 degrees and sunny all day. Decent running weather. Mom will be nervous, I will be sleepy. We purchased “Race Retreat” passes so that we will get breakfast and a matted area to stretch and relax upon before the gun goes off at 6:00am. We will be in corral B for the race.

After touring the parks on foot and getting a medal for it (great deal, huh?), we’ll chill by the pool, get our nails done and hang out the rest of the day. An early dinner at 4:45pm will cap off the night. Then it’s back to bed so I can wake up at 3am and do it all over again, doubled.

I’ll hop the monorail at 3:30am, back to the same start line, for the same gun time, 6:00am. I will be in corral 2 for the marathon. Hopefully somewhere in the range of 4-5 hours later, I’ll cross the finish line, get my Goofy medal, and be ready for the rest of the vacation!

And the rest of our vacation? It’s planned around parks and food. Here’s a summary of how hard my life will be over the next week:

Reservations for Lunch or Dinner:
1900 Park Fare (Grand Floridian)
Tutto Italia (EPCOT)
Todd English’s BlueZoo (Swan Resort)
Artists Point (Wilderness Lodge)
Le Chefs France (EPCOT)
Narcossee’s (Grand Floridian)
Fulton's Crab House (Downtown Disney)
California Grill (Contemporary)

2 days at Magic Kingdom
2 Half Days at MGM/Hollywood Studios
2 Half Days at EPCOT
1 Day at Animal Kingdom

Final Pre-Race Reflection: I signed up for the Goofy Challenge at the very end of January in 2008. I have spent the year training for these 39.3 miles. In that time, a lot has changed both in the world of exercise, the world economy, and the world that is my career. For all of the tumultuousness of 2008, what has remained constant is my commitment to myself to train for the race, do my best, and push myself a bit farther than I thought I could go. I did not become a runner, per se, until a couple years ago (and after I graduated college). Here I am, now, taking on a challenge some would think crazy. And it is, I concede that. At the risk of sounding trite, I believe that what I have learned from this experience (the training) is to think in longer terms. 12 months of training for a sport that requires you simply to put one foot in front of the other…it takes a bit of concentration. I identified my limits, and then tried to exceed them. This final weekend isn’t the final test though. The test was getting through the training. These rests are the celebration that I have completed it!

Track our progress for Saturday and Sunday!
Half Marathon
Full Marathon

Will eventually be posted here: Disney Weekend Results

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