My apologies if the following post isn’t very exiting – super tired right now after a very early start today – it may not come across below but I am extremely excited and happy to be here at Disney World and completely wired to have the races begin!
So with that said on with the day’s recap:
Early start this morning – quite possibly earlier than many doing the 5k family race this morning at Epcot. We were at the airport in Winnipeg going through security at about 4am Central time. I think in the end due to worrying about possible flight delays and cancellations I only got 2 hours of sleep. This meant I spent most of the day with a headache which was lovely but I survived.
Our plane left Winnipeg about 20 minutes late due to it requiring de-icing. We ended up with good seats though – exit row with 3 seats for the 2 of us which was pretty awesome.
Because we didn’t check any bags we were able to get through US security in Toronto much more easily than we have in the past. In the end our plane in Toronto was about 30-40 minutes late taking off and we managed to get exit row again. We had to juggle seats as the air crew sorted out where some kids were on the plane but that worked for us as well. We still got the exit row seats but in the one single row where there are 2 seats instead of 3 – meaning my wife and I got to sit nicely together without us imposing on anyone else’s space or them on ours. Was very nice.
Got off the plane about an hour late – disappointing but much better than what others went through in the past couple days and definitely better than I was expecting.
About 15 minute wait at Magical Express before heading to the Pop Century resort – check in was easy and they had our Magic Bands for us. We then had a real quick bite to eat and then headed to the Expo to grab all of our stuff for the weekend. I noticed some folks from the Pacebook Running Club in the cafeteria area which was cool.
From the crowds at the expo I am convinced that getting to the expo around 5 pm on the Thursday is the way to go if you want to avoid crowds! Not very busy at all and grabbing our stuff was quick and easy. I did have to go back and get a second clear bag for bag check as my first one started to rip along a seam. I do have to say though that the runDisney merchandise available was a bit disappointing – just not to my personal tastes for colours and shirt styles, etc.
Lots of other shopping was done though – my wife got one of the Dooney & Burke purses and I ended up with a couple shirts from InkNBurn that look awesome.
Then had a quick snack and beer back at the Pop Century before heading back to our room to get some much needed rest!
So when my wife (Heather) signed me up for the Goofy Challenge for January 2014 as a bit of an early anniversary surprise she also signed herself up! Now when she signed up there were no spots left for just the Donald Half Marathon that she wanted to do but there were a few more Goofy Challenge spots open. So in a moment of shear optimism (or insanity depending on your outlook on these things) she signed herself up for the Goofy Challenge as well! Now she has only done one half marathon before (Donald Half back in 2008) and no marathons so it will be a different experience for her.
My wife does run-walk-run cycles for her training and has been doing really well – she appears to be a natural toe runner and has a long strong stride when walking both of which are really helping her. She is going in with the mindset that she wants to be well under the 3 hour mark (goal of 2.5 hours) for the Donald Half Marathon on Saturday – if she can do that and still feel strong and has confidence that she can repeat that the next day she will get on the course for the Mickey Full Marathon on Sunday. The idea would be to try to repeat Saturday’s half performance in the first half of the full and then take what comes for the second half of the full (but hopefully still continue run-walk-run cycles). This would a similar strategy to what I did for my first Goofy Challenge back in 2010 (in the frickin ice and snow – never letting that memory go) – I really wasn’t in the shape I needed to be do justice to a full marathon at the time as I was up around 255 pounds. But I did the half on Saturday in approx 2:46 finished the first half of the full on Sunday in approx 2:50 and then walked it out from there for a final time of 6:36:35. I really wasn’t ready that year but my wife is going into this in way better shape that I was even when I did the race and she still has just over 9 weeks to continue to improve. I suspect from what I am seeing so far she will have no issues doing the Goofy Challenge.
So our plan so far is that we will do the half together – I will move back in the corrals to start with her and kind of work with her on her pacing and motivation, etc – not that I think she needs it but it will be our first chance to actually run together and the Donald Half will be a fun race to do that on.
The plan for the Sunday would be for me to line up in my assigned corral for my attempt at a new full marathon PR and Heather to line up in her corral. Assuming things go according to plan I will most likely finish first and I will either hop a bus to the Boardwalk Inn or walk back through Epcot to meet her when she heads out of Hollywood Studios onto the path to the Boardwalk and Yacht and Beach Club areas. I may jog along with her until the race route heads back into Epcot – at which point I will have to diverge from the route and go through the World Showcase entrance to Epcot and hit a few spectator points to cheer her on before she heads into the finish line. I will then head around through the Epcot exits and meet her after she has her medals and stuff.
So that is the plan anyway.
We will be doing this trip as a “couples only” thing so we won’t be bringing the kids – definitely looking forward to the after party at Downtown Disney after the races on Sunday night! Strangely I am also looking forward to staying at the Pop Century resort. We have stayed at moderates to deluxes with the kids the past several years and I am looking forward to a hotel that is unabashedly Disnified.