Goofy Challenge 2013 Race 2

By January 13, 2013 culture 3 Comments

The marathon distance holds some sort of spell over our society. Many runners want to conquer it by breaking the 4-hour mark or qualifying for Boston. Even people who aren’t serious runners list “Run a Marathon” on their bucket lists.

Except me. I have had zero desire to run 26.2 miles.

OK, perhaps I had 1% desire, because I thought it would be great to run the Goofy Challenge one day, which includes the marathon in its two-race lineup. Therefore, a marathon would be unavoidable if I were to tackle the challenge. Which I thought sounded like the perfect way to commemorate my 40th year. One day was here! Dear friend Rosa was willing to go on the adventure with me, so we registered and trained and dreamed of eating cupcakes for race fuel.


some heavy medal

Today, we finished the Goofy Challenge and got some serious medals for our effort. Yesterday was Race 1, which we ran together for fun. Today we conquered Race 2—I was going for time, while Rosa was seeing how many miles she could tackle post-injury.

Rosa rocked it out, running her first 13.1 faster than we ran ours yesterday and finishing 26.2 miles in 5:21:53. I finished in 4:15:42—a great time for a first marathon. (Here are my results via my Garmin.) But it’s slower than I ran my unofficial Garmin-tracked practice marathon back in December and felt WAY worse. {Big Frowny Face.}

Now that I’ve satisfied the 1% of my heart that wanted to run a marathon, I’m rather conflicted. I’m so happy I finished the Goofy Challenge! It took lots of training, which I am proud of. But I am also sad that the effort to finish today felt so very intense and my pace was so slow compared to my training days.

Which leads me to lament: Oh, Race 2, how do I love/hate thee? Let me count the ways . . .

So here’s a roundup of thoughts on the race—the good, the bad, and the ugly—in factoid form.

The Good
yodabackpackThe Hubster, who ran his 17-mile long run at 3 AM so he wouldn’t miss my race that started at 5:49 AM. An earlier start to Race 2 saved us 30-plus minutes of walking to the start corrals as compared to Race 1 and gave Rosa and me time to relax (and get really nervous for our marathon debuts!). Starting in the correct corral. The willingness of the Hubster and Paco (Rosa’s Hubster) to spend many hours racing about Disney World to try to catch glimpses of their running sweethearts. Feeling great for the first 16 miles. The joy of seeing a fellow runner wearing a Yoda backpack (see photo) for the whole race. The tasty candy that distracted me a bit from mile 20 to 21. The song “Stronger” by Kelly Clarson that was blaring at mile 23. The thoughtful EPCOT cast member who assured me that mile 25 was just around the bend, in France. Seeing the finish line. The choir singing praises to Jesus at mile 26. Crossing the finish line. The Hubster, who let me cry out my joy and weariness and disappointment after the race. Finishing, without injury or long-term damage. The Hubster, who kept telling me how proud he was of me. All the messages from dear friends and family—so sweet! And once again, finishing, which meant I could stop running.

The Bad / The Ugly
The sun that made its appearance while I was in mile 16, totally sapping my energy. {Big Frowny Face.} The walking I succumbed to from mile 19 to the finish. {Big Frowny Face.} All manner of nasty odors in the final mile when the sun was burning bright. {Big Frowny Face.} Angry quad muscles that seemed to be on the verge of cramping from mile 18 to the finish. {Big Frowny Face.} Chaffing. {Big Frowny Face.} Not seeing Hobbit Samwise Gamgee during the race. {Big Frowny Face.}


post-race with Rosa, Eddie Mason, me, Mike, Paco

As you can see, there is way more good in this story than bad/ugly. I am very grateful that I am physically able to run, have Mike’s loving support, and have the blessing of participating in the Goofy Challenge with a dear friend.

Has the marathon put me under its spell? Maybe. I now have a 1% desire to run a cool-weather marathon without running a half marathon the day before. Time will tell if that 1% grows strong enough to lure me in.


Fun Facts from the Marathon
Total runners: 20,679. My place: 2,622.
Total women: 10,618. My place: 765.
Total women in the 40–45 age group: 1,749. My place: 121.
I was the 8th Erin to cross the line.
There were 17 runners listed from Bloomington/Normal, Illinois. I finished first. (WHOA.)

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