This weekend, I ran the Goofy Marathon and a Half Challenge for the third time, a weekend that consists of a half marathon on Saturday followed by a marathon on Sunday.
The original plans was for me to run the HM with hubby (he registered) and race the marathon solo. However, up to Friday, those plans were kaput as hubby had been injured with some sort of thigh/knee tendonitis. I was still debating whether to race the HM and jog the marathon, due to the weather being great on Saturday and hot on Sunday, but on Friday, after trying out a knee brace, my husband had zero pain and we decided to move forward with the race.
My training since the Space Coast Marathon has been nonexistent. A week after Space Coast, my recovery was going well and was ready to increase my miles. And I got sick. Super sick, with fever for days, bedridden, and unable to run. It was a miracle that my asthma didn't pick up on the chest congestion to make it worse. I gave it to hubby so then he was sick for one more week, leaving us with barely any miles for 2.5 weeks. On our first run back, hubby got injured, so he did not run through the race. My highest miles for the week were 38 instead of the 50s which is where I pictured myself by then. My longest run in a month was 12 miles. Lovely.
Saturday (Walt Disney World Half Marathon)
We woke up at 3am and got on the 3:45am bus. The feels like was 38F and it dipped down to 36F by the start. I decided to wear a LS since I was run/walking with DH and it was the right call, since it was very windy and I felt chilly all the way through.
Hubby did pretty well, but his endurance was down for not running in the last 3 weeks so he got slower as the race went on. We finished with personal worsts at 3:20, but we had tons of fun.
Selfie at the Castle:
I even managed to FE with Deb from the Penguins (we saw each other by the potties by accident, ha):
Overall, it was a good day. We went to breakfast with dad and drove around half asleep the rest of the day. It's a miracle I didn't fall asleep at the movies. We used the hotel hot tub to treat my legs and fell asleep by 9:30pm. I barely had any water and my dinner consisted of 4 pieces of chicken strips and some fries. I do marathon prep really well, I see.
Sunday (Walt Disney World Marathon)
I woke up at 3am and got on the 3:30am bus to meet my fellow FB friends from several Disney groups. Got to the athlete's village close to 4am. Met with my friends and headed to the potties and the corrals by 5am. By the time I got into my corral, it was almost full. Again, I started at around 6am. I was ready to race.
Temps were colder than expected (yay), but it was still going to get up to 70-75F by 10am, so I took a bolero to cover myself until I was warm and then I would wrap it around my waist and forget about it. It worked pretty well (plus I got a lot of compliments because it was cute).
I have tons of great pictures, so I am buying them as soon as they are complete.
I had my usual breakfast of two Krispy Kreme donuts and a Mountain Dew. It worked for Space Coast and I think I have found my perfect marathon breakfast. I shall take these with me to Paris.
I started my usual warmup of 1-3 easy miles before achieving my target marathon HR of 155-160. Mile 1 was pretty easy and, although I was freezing at the start, I warmed up pretty quickly (it was 52F, feels like 50F) and took off the gloves and the bolero. It was windy but most of the runners around me covered me, so I felt pretty good with what I was wearing. By Mile 2 I had reached my target HR and felt pretty good.
Miles 1-5. Since it was cold, I was running great paces at my target HR and felt fine. The first couple of miles were narrow so it gave me a chance not to overdo it. I was surprised by the paces I saw, though, and I still believe that had I not run a HM the day before, I could've run those paces much longer (if not the whole way). 11:15, 10:14, 9:48, 9:47, 10:17. I remember stepping over the Mile 5 mat, but it never registered. My FB status from RunDisney were also wrong, putting me at gun time (30 minutes before I started) and my pace very slow so I am not sure what my friends were thinking, but my husband thought I had issues. Ha.
I ran through the water stations, taking PowerAde every other mile and water at every mile. The first GU was at 4.50 miles. My only stop was at around Mile 5 when I saw the famous Maniac Dave Mari and I stopped to take a picture with him (his camera). I continued on as he cheered me on (he was in Corral C but he walked the race to take pictures of people and stuff).
Miles 6-10. We finally entered to the Magic Kingdom (it took us from Mile 3 to 6 to finally get in from the entrance to the actual park) and the Cinderella Castle was gorgeous with its Winter lights (it was still dark). Too bad I was not carrying my iPhone or I would've taken a picture of it. I continued through the park and exited to head to our next adventure, the Speedway. My second gel was at Mile 9. 10:19 (little cluster by the castle), 10:12, 10:14, 10:21 (a little cluster at the entrance and exit of the speedway), 10:27.
It is here that my feet start to hurt and I am sore ALL OVER. I mean, I have done Goofy before and I have raced the marathon after running the HM but I was SORE. I am sure it's my lack of long runs in the last month. You can see me slowing down as the miles passed. But I kept telling myself you can slow down, but you are not going to quit and walk, missy.
Miles 11-17. Miles 15-20 are my nemesis. If I quit and walk or quit mentally during these miles, I am done for the race. If I pushed through here, Miles 21-26 are a piece of cake. Not sure why but it's always been like that for me. Sometimes I win, sometimes my mind wins. We head from the Speedway out to Animal Kingdom, running through the wonderful water treatment plant. The road is boring but my music, the course entertainment, is keeping me in the groove. Soon enough, I think it's time to eat my third gel. So, I ate it at 12.5, only to realize I ate it one mile too soon. I keep slowing down feeling tired but running at the same 155HR (or as close as I can) but the pace keeps slowing bit by bit because I'm tired. No biggie, but I better not quit. I crossed the HM mat at 2:17 something. Now comes the hard part, keeping myself from slowing too much through the end.
We exit Animal Kingdom and head to the Wide World of Sports. At this point, the sun is out and I feel too warm, but by Mile 17, I noticed that there are clouds and it might rain, so the temps cool down to where they were before we entered Animal Kingdom. That is good news! I feel that Miles 14 through 17 are at a slight inclined but nothing bad. I decide to put my best music at Mile 14 to survive the 15-20 mile nemesis. 10:25, 10:36, 10:51, 10:37, 10:47, 11:07, 10:47.
Miles 18-21. We entered WWOS at Mile 17. At this point, I feel great. I am still slowing down but feeling a bit pumped. I take my next gel and think, OK, you picked an extra gel at Mile 11, eat it at 20 and eat your last GU at 23. I also pick a banana there. That way you won't run out of fuel and feel hungry. Then, I think next: OK, the stadium with it's dirt path will not hurt me because I have Prednisone. Wait, I forgot the Prednisone in Miami, bah! How can I be so stupid. Still, my breathing was fine. I covered my mouth with the for a bit but feel good enough to wrap it around my hips again and smile at the many cameras at the stadium. I made it out in one piece, but I had a horrible pebble in my shoe since Mile 10, so at Mile 20, in front of the mile marker and mat, I stopped for a minute to take it out, fix my sock that was bothering me, and head back out. Something happened here with that 1 minute stop. I felt wonderful. So wonderful, I forgot to take my 20 mile GU. We headed out of WWOS and hit the slight incline back to the "big hill" at Mile 21-22 with the army guy that last year posed with me:
Not sure how long is the hill, but it feels like it is around 1.5-2 miles. 10:53, 11:05, 11:11, 11:39 (shoe fixing).
Miles 22-26.55. I head up the incline and decide to eat my GU here and be done with fueling. I felt great at this point but couldn't increase the pace for the life of me. HR is now at my normal end of the marathon HR of 160-170. I knew I would not stop now. It was only a question of how much I would slow down. We head to Hollywood Studios and the best thing happened, it started drizzling! Awesome! The weather remained cool for the rest of my race.
We head out of Hollywood Studios into the path that goes through the Swan (or is it the Dolphin) resorts on our way to Epcot. I just concentrated on my music (again, my best songs are for the last two miles) and putting one foot in front of the other and not to let my HR slip down (I was tired so it was easy to slow down if I wasn't careful). We entered Epcot and you know you're almost there! Except the Epcot ball is on the other side and although you have a mile to go it looks like it's far. But I kept pushing. This face says it all:
I head to the finish line and know I kicked Chicago's time in the butt. That's the only thing that kept me going the last two miles. I fought with myself between, you can get a 4:45 if you only walk a bit. With myself saying, a 4:44 is better. Finished in 4:43:44. And I almost had an asthma attack. I had to stop several times before even getting my medal and I couldn't talk. Wouldn't it be nice if I had taken my prednisone the night before? Sigh.
Overall, I loved how I ran this race. It was one of my most strategic races and seriously, I couldn't have run any faster that day even if I wanted to. But one thing is for sure, a 9 minute difference between this and my PR on tired legs? I cannot wait for the Paris Marathon to see what I can do.