On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I need advice.

As you might remember, I'm currently registered for the Goofy Challenge in January. Plane tickets are booked, hotel is reserved, and I've even conned a Disney-loving friend into coming with me.

But as you might have guessed, my training for this race is lagging.

Call me a slacker (I know you're thinking it anyway), but I'm okay with this. You can look at this one of two ways: either I'm a lazy-ass whose running ego is stronger than her legs can maintain, or (insert some bullshit healthy living blogger line about striking a balance between exercising and drinking). I could also complain about races that require you to sign up months in advance, well before training even begins, but I've beaten that horse to death.

Thing is, I've been running as much as I've wanted to this fall and I've felt really good about that. Last fall when I ran three marathons in 22 days, I didn't have a life. I was unhappy; I was quite literally running away from a bad situation in my personal life. I needed running to give me some structure in my life and some respite from how unhappy I was. Now, while running is still a crucial part of my life, I'm also enjoying not training for anything. I'm enjoying running when I want to and how far I want to and not feeling like I need to get a certain mileage in. Before last week's two turkey trots, I hadn't pinned a race bib on myself in months - and that was an amazing feeling.

Sometimes I like the rigidity that training gives me. Other times I like being more flexible. The past few months at work have been harder than usual, and I've gotten more satisfaction out of socializing than running. I've recently discovered that my demographic tends to socialize in ways that aren't conducive to 6am training runs (in other words, I'm staying out too late too often). And it's fun. This staying out late thing is a phase for me. Running's not.

Troof: I ran the Disney Marathon once before, in 2004.
This is me at the start. It was cold.

Get to the point, Tracy. When I signed up for Goofy, I thought I would be over my non-training phase  and I'm not. Currently, I'm solid with long runs to about 14m meaning I'd still have enough time to half-ass training for the full. If I try to do both the half and the full, I maybe maybe could physically do it but it would be ugly.

So what do I do? Here are my choices, as I see it:
  1. Do Goofy (the half on Saturday and the full on Sunday); understand that it will be fugly and my marathon time will likely be 6+ hours. (I have a good sense of my pain/injury threshold and I'm not really at risk for injuring myself.)
  2. Do only the full on Sunday; accept that I'm half-assing another marathon and be okay with a slow time. Get to spend Saturday in the parks (further compromising my marathon time).
  3. Do only the half; potentially have an okay half time, but know that I'm disappointing the friend I'm traveling with and that I just invested a crapload of money in running a Disney Half Marathon. Get to spend Saturday afternoon/evening in the parks.
  4. Other?
I'm legit torn between the options. I would love any suggestions or insight. One note: Disney is what it is. I'm not a Disney fangirl but I do appreciate the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Don't judge.

23 comments:

  1. You know, the Disney races seem like you can really make them in to a party, if you want (stopping to pose for pics, whatever) and taking 6+ hours to do a run/walk marathon might not be that bad if you are doing it for fun that way with all the other people. If it were me, I would do both if I knew I would go slow and not get injured. Because running slow and for fun does seem to be the Disney vibe. What do you think?

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    1. I wonder how often the characters appear? Like, would there be huge stretches I would be expected to run, or would it be broken up often? Hm, I guess I could look that up...

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  2. I'd do the half and maybe full...it doesn't sound like you are that excited for it, so don't push it. I can relate, I have no plans to do another marathon, and even training for a half seems like a lot of work these days, but I just got a Garmin so I have enjoying doing some shorter runs.

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    1. You hit the nail on the head - I'm really not excited for it.

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  3. I have no good advice. I do know someone (much slower than you who didn't really train at all) who attempted Goofy last year and got pulled off the course during the full because she was too slow. I think you'd be able to stay in the time limit, but do you really want to put yourself through that?

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    1. That's my wonder exactly. And I don't think I do want to put myself through that.

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  4. The Goofy Challenge is an event and not a race, so don't stress about time. Start in the last corral and you'll have a great time.

    He's my experience in 2011

    http://radicalrunning.blogspot.ca/2011/01/goofy-challenge-part-one.html
    http://radicalrunning.blogspot.ca/2011/01/goofy-challenge-part-deux.html

    And don't forget a victory lap of World Showcase at Epcot

    http://radicalrunning.blogspot.ca/2011/01/goofy-challenge-epilogue.html

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    1. This is awesome! Thanks! It seems like most people are pushing toward just taking it easy and having fun, so I might try that. If you come back and see this, what was your training like?

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    2. I was concerned about my "lack" of training before Goofy. I did a fall marathon in mid-October and needed time to recover and then nobody else was training for anything so I was on my own.

      Since I had a good base, I didn't stress to much about following a plan. I thing the longest run I may have put in was 20km (12 miles).

      The best advice I received was break the two days into three sections. The first two are going to be very similar. The half marathon on Saturday will start out cold and dark. So will Sunday morning for the first half of the marathon. Then the sun is going to get higher in the sky and it will warm up in the "third section" Be ready to be tired and warm and possibly shed some clothing to prevent over heating.

      So, don't stress about training if you have a good base. Go out slow on in the half and stay slow. Treat it like an LSD run. take lots of pictures and get your "Donald". Stay off your feet the rest of Saturday, chill, hydrate, carb load. Don't walk the parks, laze around the pool. Wear your compression tights if you are so inclined.

      Sunday, stay warm at the start. Run the first half just like the day before - nice and slow. Wait for the day to warm up (hopefully) and get to the 32km (20 mile) mark and see how you feel. Your IT bands will be tight, lots of highway running. The road has a crown, stay towards the middle or run on the gravel median where it's flatter (and fewer people). If there's gas in the tank, burn it off. If the tank is empty, you can use the energy of the people in the parks to get you going again.

      Smile lots, enjoy the scenery. The goal is to cross the finish line, and get your Mickey and Goofy around your neck. It will feel amazing and you'll have an epic running story to share with your friends.


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    3. Again, amazing advice. Completely amazing advice. Thank you so much!

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  5. I need advice. You need advice. Let's advise.

    You've already put up for a flight/hotel. I would say DO IT. Both of them. Worst, worst case, if you DNF the marathon, no one is going to look down on you because you couldn't finish--you can blame it on the race the day before. It sounds like a fun thing to do, much like doing a 200 mile relay race.

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  6. I agree with Samantha. Give it a try. If you feel AWFUL after the half, reevaluate at that point. Either way, if you don't try, you'll wonder what if, right?

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    1. You guys are killing me. Can you please all push me to run every day, too?

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  7. Do both. Seriously, you will have fun doing both.

    When I ran the Disney Princess Half last year, I was shocked by how much the race has changed since 2004. It is a serious party, not something you could ever run in pursuit of a time goal. I think I was in the second or third start corral and it took me 20-30 minutes just to get to the start line. (You know a race is slow when I'm seeded to the second corral...seriously, there were 10+ corrals of people behind me because the organizers knew that they would never come close to my speed.)

    Bring your camera. Line up at each character stop and get pictures, especially during the marathon. The lines will be longer during the half, I would imagine.

    Some people do Tough Mudder. You do the Goofy Challenge. I applaud you all.

    PS: I'm totally chuffed to appear alongside you in that Disney start line photo. I think I was too cold to look up at the camera. That I regret.

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    1. Your Flying Pig has is very recognizable! We need to do that race again, don't we...

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    2. Yes to the Pig! Yes yes yes!

      And I must also point out my "Smoke the Turkey" throw-away shirt. My dad runs that race every Thanksgiving and proudly gives the shirt to Tom. #meninmyfamilyhavenostyle

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  8. PPS: I want a photo of you eating a turkey leg. It's tradition, after all.

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  9. I did Goofy this year and other than a few empty highway stretches, there really are characters every mile or two. Definitely plenty of opportunities to stop for photos and get a little break. Also, I rode Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom during the marathon. There was no wait, so why not?

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    1. I *love* the fact that you stopped to do a ride. LOVE IT. You are my new hero and inspiration.

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  11. Running is a relationship with yourself. It's ok to step away running will always be there 4u. Social trends tend to go away. & 3 marathons in 22 days. your a monster dude. Its ok to slack off your a runner and u don't have to proof anything to anyone. And what ever u decide, do it 4u. And yes you can put a link on my site...:) www.run-u-nut.com a real pleasure to meet you. My name is Joey & @jasbkny is my twitter

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    1. I'm a monster!! Thanks for the vote of confidence :)

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