2013 Goofy Challenge RR With Pics
Some races are your best even though the number does not reflect it. Having said that, sometimes the number also says it all, even when the number is not a PR.
Today, I finished the Goofy Challenge for the second time. The Goofy consists of running the Disney Half Marathon on Saturday, followed by the Disney Marathon on Sunday. You're reward? Three awesome medals and the right to brag.
I've been doing multiple marathons since September, finishing Berlin (September), MCM (October), and LV (December), halfway through my second Maniac star. I knew it would be a challenge (I failed to gain my second star last year) but this season, everything has changed. My allergies are better, my asthma is better, and overall, I'm more in control of my running and my asthma as compared to the 2011-2012 racing season.
Last month, I finished the LV Marathon with a horrible time and a severe allergy/asthma attack at Mile 9 that left me scared of attempting something like that again (I could've died had I not used the albuterol as quick as I did). However, after my throat swelling went down (a week) and I could actually breathe, my training went way better. I ran a 5 miler PR, got trampled at a 5K and hurt my knee, and also ran a 5K with an asthma attack. My last two long runs were faster than my pace in Berlin (which is my marathon PR). So, I knew my next marathon would be good. The question was, how good.
I did my first Goofy in 2012 and I got a PR in the HM followed by a lackluster performance in the marathon (2:04 and 5:38). This year, I wanted to reverse that. I know I have a big PR in the HM in me; however, it's not my favorite distance so I wanted to concentrate on the one that is. So, my plan was to take it very easy on the HM followed by a good strong effort on the marathon. Especially, since my doctor graduated me from albuterol before every run to no albuterol unless I get an attack, this was to be my first marathon without albuterol in two years. Telling you that I was scared is an understatement.
Although I shared my "goal" of 4:40-4:45 publicly, my real goal for Disney was 4:35-4:39, close enough to a PR or even a PR if the stars aligned. So, I talked to fellow forumites doing the Goofy and we were all planning on taking Saturday easy, so we planned to run it together.
Racing for fun is FUN! Trust me. So, here it goes!
Saturday (Disney Half Marathon)
I woke up at 3am to get to the athlete's village. Met with the Half Fanatics and Pacebook Group and we got a picture (I cannot believe Lurch was there behind me in the picture and he didn't say hi)
Met marymary611 by the picture area and headed to gear check, potta potties, and the corrals. We were supposed to meet with jodirunningforautism but my phone died the night before and I turned it off that morning and totally forgot to send her another message to get a place to meet. Sorry, Jodi!
And we're off at 5:40am, woot! We ran the whole way, but we stopped on every character we wanted to take pics with and had a blast doing it. So, this RR is better shown with pics.
Us after we finished!
We had such a great time, but I'm afraid I chewed her ear off with so much I chatted. She is as nice as she is here and she's an amazing lady! Hope to get to run with her again.
After we were done, we parted ways and I went back to the hotel to spend the day with my husband. I twisted my ankle sometime during the race and spending the afternoon shopping was not conducive to improvement. My foot hurt at the end of the day.
We spent the late afternoon at the hotel hot tub and it was ironic that the rest of the people there were all Marathon Maniacs. I am one but only have one star (as I mentioned I'm looking for the second one). They talked about double marathons, double marathon/ultra, etc. I turned to my husband and said: See? I'm not that crazy! He responded: Well, as compared to them.
Sunday: Disney Marathon
For Sunday, I was at a conundrum. On Thursday, I started coughing and never stopped. By Saturday night, the cough was bad. This is a mixture of asthma and reflux and I knew I would wake up with nausea and would not tolerate any gels or food. So, I decided not to bring any gels (well, I brought two instead of 5) and just try to take the provided Powerade at each water station and attempt a gel at mile 10 and 20. This was a risk, since I've never tried this strategy before, but the option was to take nothing and I didn't think I could run strong without any fuel whatsoever. And funny that I woke nauseous, bah!
The weather on both days was not hot (64F is not hot ) but it was humid (100%), which made the 64F closer to 75F than anything else. Sunday's weather was as horrible. 62F and 100% humidity at the start, 73F and 97% humidity by the time I estimated I would be done. So, I knew a PR would not happen (my PR was made in 55F) and that I had to be careful not to get an asthma attack from the humidity. So, my plan was to run 3-5 miles @ easy HR and then decide after that.
I met Mary and her husband at the start and headed to the corrals. Attempted to meet with Jennifer and Jodi and others from the forums but their corral was super hectic and never found them. Headed back to Corral B with Mary and her husband and then knew I had to pee. The potta potty lines were super long and we had 20 minutes til the start. So what's a girl to do? Head to the bushes for the first time and take care of business there. I'm no longer a bush virgin, I'm afraid.
And we're off! Mary, her husband, and I parted ways at the start and I started my strategy. Here is how the race went in a heartbeat:
Miles 1-3: I took these miles easy and even then, I was so soaked in sweat I felt like I was swimming. Breathing felt fine and HR was at the easy level though, and I did them strong. Drank Powerade at every station and my stomach tolerated. Paces: 11:11, 10:35, 10:45.
Miles 4-13.1: By Mile 5 I decided to keep it at easy pace through the first half mainly because it was so humid, you could taste the air. I seriously didn't want an asthma attack during my first non-albuterol marathon (especially since I left the albuterol at the hotel), so I maintained an easy HR. Having said that, I was surprised these miles were so easy and effortless. More Powerade at every water station through Mile 10 and a gel at Mile 10. Water after that until Mile 15. Paces: 10:19, 10:22, 10:53 (inside Magic Kingdom - think cluster fuck), 10:24, 10:29, 11:00 (had to tie the shoe more because the foot was dancing inside the shoe), 10:27, 10:35, 10:28, 10:38.
At this point, the sun was out and we were entering Animal Kingdom. The first thing I thought was: "wouldn't it be nice if I had a sports bra, don't you think?" It was so humid and I was so soaked and miserable. I started pouring water over my head at this point and never stopped.
This is when I witnessed the first WTF. This girl passed me wearing a bra and sweatpants. That was not the WTF. It was the thong coming out of her pants that made me do a double take. That's gotta hurt after 26.2.
Miles 14-20: I crossed the 13.1 mile mark at 2:20:57 for an expected finish time of 4:41:53. A little faster than the first 5 miles but holding steady. That's when I decided to take the HR to the next level. 150-160. And that's what I did. We headed out of Animal Kingdom towards ESPN Wide World of Sports for the supposed surprise at Mile 20. If there was one I never saw it. But I did see my friend Rodrigo coming out of Mile 20 and my LRS owner, Lidio. We chatted and I continued on into the ESPN section. Paces: 10:11, 10:05, 10:20, 10:32 (retied the shoe), 10:08, 10:25, 10:26. After crossing the Mile 20 marker, I realized I was tired before I even started the marathon but now I was TIRED. But, I just kept pushing on.
Miles 21-26.2: My HR was steadily increasing, especially since it was already in the 70s, sunny (Florida sun), still humid, and hot. But I kept pushing on and gaining ground on my pace. I crossed the Mile 20 mark at 3:33:12, for an expected time of 4:39:29. And then I turned the turbo. Seriously, this marathon felt easy until Mile 25. Easy as in I'm out for a long run. I didn't realize I was close to a PR until we entered Epcot to finish. I was having fun, high-fiving spectators, taking Powerade, and just running. I never even stopped or walked the water stations. It was pick a Powerade, pick a water, run run drink, dump water over head. Keep running until a repeat is needed. Paces: 10:29, 10:12, 10:15, 9:59, 10:11, 10:09, 8:36 (0.55, damn those tangents). You can tell I had more energy in me by the paces I ran at the end. I was passing people left and right and speeding up as we went along. Crossed the finish line in 4:37:27. My splits were 2:20:57, 2:16:30. A negative split of more than 4 minutes!!!!!
My PR from Berlin is 4:37:18. I was not expecting a PR. I just wanted to see whether I could run this marathon strong and if a PR happened better. I ran it easy and at the end a bit easy/uncomfortable. I didn't even walk a step. And I almost PRd in 20F hotter. I suspected my Berlin PR was soft but now I've proven it.
After I crossed the chute, I headed to the medals and water, got my Goofy medal, got my picture taken, and attempted to find DH (who was coming from the hotel but since I negative PRd this fucker, he missed me finish by 5 minutes.
As I waited for DH, I texted another forumite from the MCM Dailies and got to meet her. DH was kind enough to take out picture. I'm the dwarf on the right:
Overall, I am super happy with my performance. I just did a HM on Saturday and almost PRd on Sunday. I did not taper for this race and didn't expect to survive it as well as I did. Can you imagine how big my PR would've been had I only sign up for the Marathon? Sheesh!
I do have another marathon in two weeks....
Thanks for reading!