2018 Goofy Challenge Part 1 – Walt Disney World Half Marathon Race Recap

On Saturday January 6th, I ran my first half marathon of 2018 and my 18th half marathon overall! This was the first part of the Goofy Challenge (13.1 + 26.2) and I was so excited to finally run at Walt Disney World.

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Just a little shakeout at my hotel. Yes – I wore my new hoodie because it was only 30 degrees!

Friday, pre-race: I woke up early and got in a shake-out run around Hourglass Lake (Art of Animation/Pop Century property) before heading to Animal Kingdom for the day. Unlike at Epcot on Thursday, I ate enough (not necessarily healthily, though) and didn’t have too much to drink (although I did have quite the cocktail in Pandora). My mom and I headed back to the hotel to have a pasta dinner around 5:00 and settled in for the night. I had done almost 11.5 miles of walking and running during the day and the back of my right knee was realllly stiff. I took a warm bath,  put my legs up on the wall, and foam rolled as I got ready for bed. I was finally in bed to sleep around 9:00.

I ended up leaving the water bottle and trading out the pants for capris.

Saturday, pre-race: Disney World races are known for their early mornings, and mine arrived earlier than planned. Jeez, I forgot how badly my mom SNORES! I was woken up around 1:15 and wasn’t able to fall back asleep. Also, I was starving! I gave up falling back to sleep around 2:15 and got dressed in my running clothes and throwaways. I hit up the resort cafe for some cereal and was on the bus just after 3:00.

I arrived at the pre-race village around 3:30, which was obviously plenty early for the 5:30 am start time (we were told to be in our corrals by 5, I think). I was super happy to get my picture with Goofy before heading to the corrals. I checked my bag then started “the walk.” Seriously, it was a walk. Before I started the race I had already logged 2 miles of walking! It was really cold waiting in the corrals (low 30’s), but I was warm enough with a pair of sweatpants, a bathrobe and blanket. Around 5:00 the pre-race entertainment started and before I knew it Donald was starting the race! I was in Corral D and started about 15 minutes after the first gun went off.

Miles 1-5 started on a highway and brought runners to the Magic Kingdom, first passing through the Ticketing and Transportation center and past the Contemporary Resort. After stopping for a porta-john during the first mile, I settled into a very easy pace while running :45/:30 intervals. There were times where the course was wide and spread out and others where it was pretty cramped and hard to keep up with intervals. I ended up being on the grass alongside the road a lot in order to stay out of others’ ways. I ran pretty steady 12:30ish miles from miles 2-5.

Mile 5 happened right at the main entrance to the Magic Kingdom and brought us down main street past the castle!  At this point I dropped the intervals for a while to just enjoy running through the Magic Kingdom. I also stopped 3 times to try to find my mom (finds out she was back at the Ticketing and Transportation Center – ugh). After Main Street USA, I started stopping for characters: first the White Rabbit and Queen of Hearts, then Sebastian the crab. Then it was time to run through the castle!! You couldn’t have paid me $1,000,000 to stop smiling. We hit Mile 6 running towards Splash Mountain and left the park shortly after.

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Miles 6-10 had us exiting the Magic Kingdom, past the Grand Floridian and Polynesian resorts and around the back side of the Ticket and Transportation Center. I stopped for a pit stop and a couple of character stops, penguins from Mary Poppins and the Genie from Aladin, but otherwise these miles weren’t all that special. They were pretty cramped as we were down to 1-2 lanes on the highway. There was also entertainment about every .5 miles, whether it be a DJ, marching band, or a mile marker with music. These really helped the miles fly by. Despite the landscape not being all that exciting, I was still having lots of fun. Around 15K we passed this awesome Mickey hot air balloon (we also saw him at 5K) and we headed back towards the Epcot area. My pace during these miles varied due to stopping for pictures but I started to run a little faster when I was running (mile 6: 23:30 LOL (2 character stops and the castle), mile 9: 12:01).

Miles 10-13 brought us back towards Epcot, into and out of Epcot’s Future World and of course, to the finish line! Around mile 11 (I think) there was a short hill with entertainment by a green army man from Toy Story, which was super fun. At this point I realized that I wasn’t sweating, but instead of that being due to dehydration/hyperhydration it was because I really wasn’t working that hard! My paces dipped into the low 11’s (like 11:40ish), which would have been nervous about if my heart rate wasn’t so low (yay!). I found myself feeling a little “let this be over!” around mile 12 as we were coming into Epcot and sped up a bit. I was happy to run mile 12 in 11:00 and run the final .48 mile nubbin at a 9:40 pace. Not only did I finally break a little sweat but I also FINALLY saw my mom and crossed a RunDisney finish line!!

I was so happy at the end of this race. I met my goal of running a 3:00 half marathon (official time was 3:03 and my actual moving time was about 2:40), I ran super easy (147 average heart rate), and had so much fun! I ended up relying on water stops (which I never do in a race) and was plenty hydrated. The back of my right knee was still pretty tight, but it did not bother me while running as I kept good form. Before getting back on the bus I ate my potato chips and beef jerky that I’d put in my gEAR check bag. When I got back to the hotel I get a Mickey ice cream sandwich for breakfast 😛

My mom also got me a rose – how sweet!

After a shower and a short nap, I was up and ready for an afternoon at Disney Springs! I had an amazing time with my mom but the more we walked, the more it hit me that I had a marathon to run the next day.  Was I really in good enough shape to do this? Would I succeed? More to come with my marathon post…

Lunch at Rainforest Cafe – we seem to always go there when we visit Disney! (“No I’m not tired at all, but I AM f***ing starving)

 

Goofy Challenge Training: Week 1 (9/4 – 9/10/17)

Happy Tuesday everyone! It’s like my Wednesday, and I’m definitely struggling to get over the hump. I didn’t put in many early mornings during the summer and the late nights and early mornings aren’t boding well for me yet. Most nights I’m sleeping earlier, but Monday is TV night in this house! Thankfully, I’ll be able to fit in my run during my break later on today (gotta use my gym membership sometime!)

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Week 1 was….week one. Going straight into marathon training the week after a hard race was not my greatest idea when trying to set myself up for success.

Monday: 3.1 miles at 90:30 intervals. My legs were still a bit off from the race, which was my fault for not taking proper care of myself and rolling over the weekend.

Tuesday: 3 miles at 120:30 intervals. This was supposed to be 5 miles…it started with a near panic attack after almost getting swarmed by giant wasps as I walked out my door and never got better. I felt rushed by the time I got out the door and calmed down and took a route that was much longer than I thought it would be, so I turned around. Not my run. I even just walked home after I hit 3. I was just not having it.

Wednesday: 5 miles at 90:30 intervals. Made up for Tuesday’s missing miles, and felt so much better. With a new commute I skipped November Project, but I plan to be back tomorrow!

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 13 miles. This was a rough one, probably my worst long run since my 18 turned into a 6 last spring. My legs were definitely not ready to start at 90:30, and 120:30 was not happening. It was hard getting myself to finish and had to play tricks with myself, but I’m glad I got it done.

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Saturday: (unplanned) Rest. I stayed over at a friends’ house and was leaving at 7 for a tailgate/football game. I planned to run 3 miles beforehand, but when I got there I realized that their neighborhood is so new that there are next to no lights and I had no lights/reflection with me. I was actually sore from Friday, so it’s not the end of the world.

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Our team got demolished. But hey, our tailgate food and mimosas were wonderful!

Sunday: Rest. I was still sore from Friday! Which has not happened after a long run since I started using intervals, so it was definitely too much to start with 90:30. Womp. I took a bath and rolled to try to work it out!

Weekly miles: 24.1

This was by far not the week I hoped for – with two “not great” runs and one missed one. You know it was a bad week when I hardly even took photos for the insta. Life happens, and last week was a big adjustment, work-wise. I was hoping this week would be better…but seeing as I should be almost done my 5 mile run by now, we’ll see how that turns out. I am excited that I joined a gym, because I have a 2 hour break in the middle of the day. But (aside from today) that’s more meant for cross training and strength training!