“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Gone Goofy: The Mickey

First things first....I love this medal enough that I am posting the YouTube video of it in all it's spinner glory.  (Tip, you can skip to 1:15 if you don't want to see anything other than the spinner, like I didn't.)
Race: 20th Anniversary Disney Marathon
Distance:  26.2 Miles
Date:  January 13, 2013, 5:30 am start time
Finish time:  4:58:54, 11:24 min/mile
What sets this race apart:  Running through the Disney parks, character pictures, crowds.

The second day in a row of waking up at 2am to run a race is infinitely harder.  On Saturday, when my alarm went off, I was up alert and excited.  On Sunday, I was tired and slow, and thought "crap, I'm going to run a marathon today?"

I did all the proper chafing prevention stuff because of the expected high temperatures, dressed and went down for breakfast.  Half way through my normal pre-run cereal, I just couldn't stomach one more bite.  

We left the house at 3am again, and stopped at the Galloway tent again.  I didn't use those bathrooms, planning to stop just before the start line as I did the day before.  I tried to eat my second breakfast because I knew I would need it.  The PB&J felt like it was sticking in my throat.  The orange went down a bit easier.  Ultimately though, I couldn't eat the whole sandwich.  My stomach just wouldn't take it.  I told my friend Melissa, "I really hope this is just nerves."  Spoiler alert: It was.
4am is not complete without a flasher photo.
Moving towards the corrals while crowded, was not quite the wall of unmovable masses that it was the day before.  The downside though?  The port-o-potties that had no lines at the half marathon - LONG lines.  It turned out to be really good that I left for  my corral a lot sooner this time around.  I also moved towards the front of my corral this time.  Once again though, I ran into Leana, which was pretty awesome!  We went our separate ways before crossing the start line though.

While crowded, I didn't feel nearly as hemmed at the start of the race as I did for the start of the half marathon.  That was the good part.  The bad part?  Before the race even started, I was sweating.  And the humidity in the air was making my lungs hurt.  I had forgotten my asthma inhaler at the house, but didn't panic because I haven't needed it in a long time.  I would just have to take it easy until I warmed up.

The first few miles were slow.  And felt a little on the hard side.  I knew right away that the heat was going to take a toll and make hitting that goal time during a Goofy weekend a completely ludicrous idea.  I also really had to pee all of the sudden.  By the time we entered the magic kingdom, I decided to throw out any time goals, stop for pictures if I wanted to, and that I would stop at the first potty without a line.
Miles 1-5: 11:34, 11:13, 11:27, 11:06, 11:28

The trumpeters started playing just as I hit the castle entrance, which made me smile.  There were lines in front of the castle again, and this time, I stopped and waited in line to take a picture.  I even took a self-photo with my cell phone.  Then, I dropped a GU as I took off, and had to double-back.  This was not the last time I did that after pictures either.  LOL.  Around the corner, there were some potties with a volunteers staffing and directing the line.  It wasn't that long, so I stopped and peed.
Miles 6-7: 12:07, 12:18
The professional one is even better...maybe I'll buy it to share later.
After the pee stop, I felt like a new runner had slipped into my shoes, and my pace reflected it. This despite the major slow down (to the point of stopping) on the way into the motor speedway.  The motor speedway was one of the coolest parts of the course.  Lots and lots of really awesome cars lined the track.  I even stopped for a self-picture with Lightening McQueen for a friend's kid.
Miles 8-11: 10:45, 10:30, 10:40, 10:29
Me and McQueen go way back.
We entered the Animal Kingdom around mile 12.  They had animals to pose with, but since they had no Llamas for Sarah, not worth waiting.  Ha!  When I saw signs for Dinoland and Everest though, I started looking for good photo opportunities given my upcoming climb and my friend's husband's obsession with dinosaurs.  Alas, no good dinosaur picture ops, but I did get a volunteer to snap a photo of me and Everest.  Of course, it took her a few tries to figure out my phone.  Then, I dropped a GU, again.  I also starting dumping water over my head at every water stop from this point on in an effort to combat the heat.
Mile 12-14: 11:12, 11:58, 10:24
Next stop - the summit!  Oh wait, that's in August.
Somewhere in the 15th mile, there were signs warning of a deadzone.  I came around the corner to see a graveyard.  It was too funny not too wait in line for an official picture.  I also got a volunteer to take one with my phone.  I even stopped long enough to upload it to Facebook before running on.
Mile 15: 12:33
Uh oh....this could be a problem...
Then we ran along the highway to the ESPN Sports complex.  The one cool sight here was the runners on the other side coming back from the Sports complex.  They had cold sponges at mile 17.  In a word, AWESOME.  I took some time to thoroughly utilize that fantastic little piece of white goodness.  We also ran through the field here and there were photographers everywhere.  The field ground cover was a little strange on my legs at this point in the race.  

After a few more twists and turns, we hit the 20th mile spectacular.  The had these cool giant puppet thingees.  I'll be honest though, when I saw them - my thought was "this was the special celebration they advertised for mile 20?"  Apparently, my brain after 33 miles is not easily impressed.  :D  The next couple of miles were on the highway, where I actually caught a glimpse of Melissa on the other side.  We waved and yelled.  It was a nice pick-me-up.  I also got to see our friends that were out there spectating, and THEY had a cold washcloth for me.  I love them.  

Then, when we hit the overpass, it felt like I was the only person around me that actually RAN up it.  Lots of walkers at this point. 
Miles 16-22: 10:44, 10:51, 11:23, 10:59, 10:48, 11:21, 10:40

Then we entered Disney's Hollywood studios.  That was pretty stinking cool.  New York, New York was playing against a scene straight from the city.  I thought about taking a picture, but for some reason didn't.  There was more stoppage here when we hit the park and the river as walkers completely blocked the entire sidewalk.  (The course was an a sidewalk briefly through here).  I actually at one point said out loud, "please don't block the entire pathway," and was largely ignored except for dirty looks.
Mile 23-24: 12:15, 11:57

Somewhere around the 23-24 mile point, I switched my watch to display total time.  I started doing the math, and realized if I didn't wait in any really long photo lines and maybe even push a bit, I could still finish in under 5 hours.  There is nothing that I like more than a goal to aim for.  I was trying to calculate pace and miles remaining for much of the remaining miles...and have to say that it felt like the longest 4 mile run of my life.  LOL.  I kept saying to myself "this is like a midweek run distance, easy peasy, imagine Lynne with you."  It was different running through Epcot this time than it was during the Half, because the park was open and people were having to wait on runners to get to parts of the park.  Still, I enjoyed this part of the course.
Mile 25-26.61: 11:04, 10:56, 10:04

I knew early on that I was going to go long by almost half a mile.  I honestly think it is impossible to run the tangents on a Disney course unless you are an elite athlete.  At the same time, people that run these races typically aren't the ones that necessarily care about running the tangents.

So, as it turns out, with all my extra through both races, I ran nearly 40 miles instead of the official 39.3.  I admit to doing some fist pumps as I crossed the marathon finish line and almost getting emotional for finishing the Goofy.  

I then went through the series of post-race stops.  Disney has this stuff down to a science.  I got my AWESOME marathon medal, then stopped at the Goofy tent for my Goofy medal.  Got a couple of pictures and then went through the post-race food stuff.  I neglected to mention the post-race food in the Half, but it was the same stuff after the marathon.  Bottled water, bottled powerade, a box of goodies (including crackers and cheese, chocolate and protein bar).   For the marathon, they also gave us a bag to put it all in.  

Because of the heat, they had volunteers stationed at the exit of the chute.  They were yelling, "if you haven't started drinking something by the time you get to me, stop right now and open a bottle and drink."  I listened.

For the record, it was my experience that Disney is the master when it comes to race organization.  Getting in and out of parking took mere minutes.  Water stops were all well stocked.  There were two banana stations on the course, a chocolate station and a cold sponge station.  The finish chute was perfectly organized.

I made my way to my meeting spot for my friends and checked my official time on Facebook.  Under 5 hours, despite my photo ops.  Sweet!  Then, I started making phone calls.  My husband first, then my parents.  Both calls were awesome.  They were all so excited for me.  Although by the end of the conversation my dad said, "At one point I thought I might do this Goofy thing, after talking to you, I think I'll skip it."  Gotta love it.  I managed to run into Leana again at the end, and all of us bloggers posed for a photo.
Me, Laurie, Amanda and Leana
Someone asked me if I would do it again at some point, and I immediately said no.  I said that I would rather run a 39.3 mile race in one go.  That, and it was just too darn crowded for me personally.

After dinner out with my housemates though, I was willing to say I could be convinced to come back with one of them who hadn't been able to do it this year due to injury.  Craziness.

My husband asked me if I was disappointed in my marathon time, and I said no.  With the heat being what it was, I made the right call, and I'm not second-guessing it now.  I met my primary goal:  I ran the entire thing, with minor exceptions.  I walked through every water stop as a nod to the heat.  I also had to walk whenever the crowd blocked my way.   Regardless, I'm happy with the whole experience, and proud to display my 39.3 magnet on my car.
Me and the Goofy portion of my housemates!
Note:  I don't think all the official photos from the event are sorted yet, but once I see what I have to choose from, I may post some of them in a later post.


  1. I love that you looked for llamas and dinos just for us! Great job!

  2. So, so amazing... That is all :)

  3. I can just imagine how hard that second day's early wake-up call must be... You did an awesome job - well done!

  4. oh dear goodness. Girl, you are now officially my inspiration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I have no words. that is all. Absolutely aamzing.

    Aaaaaaaand, i'm following your lovely blog now!

  5. WOw I think sub 5 is spectacular in that heat and given you ran a half the day before. COngrats! SO proud of you. Yes, that medal is fabulous!

  6. I agree with Marcia, that is an incredible time for having a half the day before, and in the heat! I'm so in awe of your weekend- congrats again, Mandy!
    And that's good to know about Disney's organization- I love an organized race!

  7. Sub 5 in the heat and the day after a Half Marathon?! (and all the stops!) You are a ROCKSTAR!!! Congrats, Mandy on an amazing accomplishment! So proud of you ladies


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