Today was the day! My first full marathon. My first Goofy. My first time running anything longer than 17 miles. Surprisingly I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would and should be. Here are some highlights from that day.
*Started the morning at the Race Retreat. A birthday present from Mojo. Ran into a few friends there. That always calms the nerves.
*Met up with Brian again. I needed him to get me through the next 26.2 miles. He had been coaching me for months and today was the today I wanted to make him proud. Can you tell how proud he is?
*Once again it was a warm morning and we wanted to get in as miles as possible before the sun came up.
*Right when our corral started Brian was video taping and said to me "Lori you just finished the Goofy what are you going to do next?" and I screamed back "I'm getting drunk!!!"
*The first few miles were uneventful. We stuck to our intervals and were pacing pretty good.
*Cassidy sent me a text quoting my favorite Bible verse, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." And then the tears came.
*The Magic Kingdom is always a highlight when you know you're going to see friends there cheering for you.
*This year we got to run around the WDW Speedway.
*I didn't like this steep down and up ramp.
*We were still feeling pretty good considering the sun was starting to come up. After the speedway came the road to Animal Kingdom. Not much going on back there but we did find some villains.
*Are my muscles bigger than Gaston's?
*We weren't in the Animal Kingdom long but I can say that you don't realize how uneven the ground is there until after you've done 12 miles. For me, I couldn't run on it.
*I was glad I wasn't dead when we came across the Grave Diggers!
*The stretch from Animal Kingdom to Wide World of Sports was tough. It was hot! The sun was beating down. Brian had gotten a bad blister on the bottom of his foot. But I did turn around and see Bonnie running towards me. It's always a good thing to see friends out on the course. That way you know they are okay.
*We went from interval running to picking out landmarks and running to them. None of us wanted to become overheated. A few times you saw people on the side that you could tell were pushing too hard and were getting too hot.
*On the way into the WWOS we saw Steve and Deanna running the other way. It was hard not to just cross over the grass and join them.
*This was also the first time the marathon ran through WWOS. I didn't really enjoy it. All you did was go back and forth it seemed. The banana stop here was much needed.
*Disney said there was going to be something big at Mile 20 and we avoided looking at Twitter to see what it was until we got there. While it was cool, I think it could have been better. Hand out Mickey bars, chocolate or even pretzels! Although Tigger was pretty cool though!
*We did a little off and on running for the next mile but by mile 21 I was done running. I was done with the sun. I was just spent! I just wanted to finish! We decided from then on we would just walk. I rather walk and finish than push myself and not finish because I passed out. At least I can walk fast.
*I was disappointed that all the chocolate was gone when we got to The Studios.
*Most of the characters hardy had lines but I was in "just finish" mood. Out the door went photos.
*The best part about leaving The Studios was knowing that once we hit the UK in Epcot I'd see friends and family again and that is a great pick me up. And it's also about a mile to the finish line.
*While heading to Epcot I received another great text from Cassidy, "Go faster, I have rum for you." That's some great inspiration there!!
*Once we hit the Beach Club I sent a text to a friend so she knew we were close. And it was also the clue to get the drinks ready.
*Coming into the UK was amazing. I saw Alice and Elizabeth first at the corner.
*Then I saw Cassidy and lost it! I was crying. My mom was crying. And suddenly Brian and I had drinks to enjoy the last mile.
*The last mile was the best mile (BIG surprise!) A few people stopped and took our picture since we were carrying drinks. Many spectators held their drinks up as we passed by. I got to say that rum sure tasted good!
*For months leading up to that day any time I pictured getting my medals I would start to cry. I warned Brian that I was probably going to turn into a blubbering idiot. Surprisingly I didn't. I teared up like I always do when I cross and get my medal. When the waterworks didn't really flow like I thought, I figured once I got my Goofy medal I'd be done for.
*The tears didn't really flow after I got my Goofy medal either. Although the guy that gave it to me was trying to trade it for the rum. I told him I earned both of them. Brian made sure I got my Goofy medal picture taken.
*After we received our medals and got photos we headed back to race retreat to pick up our stuff. I had checked a bag with flip flops. Man did they feel good to put on. I was hungry but didn't take the time to eat since I needed to get back to the Boardwalk and get in the pool to cool down my muscles. I was about an hour behind what I wanted to be.
*As if my day couldn't have gotten any better, I found out later that two very important people in my life had gotten engaged after the race. Bonnie and Andy had both completed Goofy also.
The experience was amazing and while I've said it was a once and done I can't say that for sure now. The thought of the 10th anniversary Goofy in 2015 is enticing. May depend on what the medal looks like. While I've done Disney races in the past I have to say this was the one I trained the most for. The only regret I have is that I didn't take as many photos as I would've liked. I only carried my phone and getting it out to take photos was a pain plus with the heat I just didn't want to deal with it.
After doing all those miles in the hot sun the thought of running the Princess half 6 weeks later wasn't sounding to good. I needed rest. I need to get out of the sun. I needed some more rum!
Since this was my 6th half marathon and I've talked about my half marathon experiences in the past I'm just going to post some photos and highlights from that day.
*IT WAS HOTish!!! It was in the 60's when we started.
*Taking Matt's picture "peeing" in the bushes with his WDW Radio Running Team shirt on. (Picture was later tagged on Facebook as Lou Mongello).
*Starting the race with 3 great supporters.
*Matt stopping to direct the band.
*Losing Matt because he wanted to stop for a picture of Jack and Sally
*Seeing my family and friends cheering for me in the Magic Kingdom.
*As always, running through Cinderella Castle
*It really got hot once the sun came up and you were running towards it.
*Brian literally running circles around me.
*Matt catching back up with us.
*Thong girl. Somethings you should never see on the course.
*The guys doing push-ups for Sarge and Sarge never seeing them do it.
*Matt flying the bird. (Hard to describe)
*Phineas and Ferb with no line!! Love them!!
*The guys yelling/cheering for me in the restroom at Epcot. Me yelling back to shut-up!! When I came out, Matt high-fived me and asked if I washed my hand. I told him no because he was yelling at me. (You almost had to be there to really appreciate how funny this was)
*Finishing the race with friends. And somehow losing Matt again!
I know I'm behind on updating the blog from marathon weekend but I needed a few weeks to recover from the cruise and all those races. Most important part is I survived and I have medals to prove it!!
Friday morning was Disney's 5k Family Fun Run. The fun run is just that, fun. It's not a timed race but they do like you to finish within a hours time or so since it does go through a park. We all met up before the race started so we could walk it together. I decided months ago I was going to walk since I still had 39.3 miles to do between Saturday and Sunday. This was Cassidy's second 5k race in Disney but Jeanette and Nick's first Disney race and I wanted them to enjoy it and take it all in.
The 5k started in the parking lot of Epcot. This year because they increased the amount of participants they placed people in corrals instead of asking people to line up by the pace they thought they were going to do it in. This was fine but it also drug out the time until you really started, especially since we were in "D" and the only ones behind us were the strollers. As always they sing the National Anthem and set off fireworks when the first corral starts.
When it was our turn to start we started out at a nice, relaxing pace. About half way through the first mile was the first character greeting. I told Cassidy the rule was she had to stop for one character photo since her first 5k she refused to stop at all. Lucky me, the first characters were her favorites, Chip and Dale.
The first mile basically is through the parking lot and backstage area. The mile 1 marker is right at the back side of Test Track. When you enter the park you are in World Showcase by Mexico. Norwegian Daisy was out greeting everyone and posing for pictures. As we walked around the showcase we also saw Colonial Goofy, French Pluto and Canadian Donald. I've seen Goofy dressed like that before but never Pluto or Donald.
Around the last mile, Cassidy decided that she was going to take off without us. While I knew she would be okay I was kinda concerned because there was a huge number of people this year and at one point we couldn't see her anymore. That is until we came into the finish line chute. There she was cheering for us with her medal. I just shook my finger at her because I knew Jeanette was going to give her heck for taking off. Jeanette is like an aunt to her and was her babysitter years ago. I just stood back and laughed at her.
So now I had 3.1 miles in the books out of the 42.4 I needed to do. I love doing the fun runs because you can just laugh with friends and get a "medal" for doing it.
We are 10 days away from marathon weekend and friends are starting to tweak their running playlist and some ask what I listen to while running. Here is my playlist:
You Shook Me All Night Long ....AC/DC
What The Hell...Avril Lavigne
I Gotta Feeling...Black Eyed Peas
Pump It...Black Eyed Peas
Locked Out Of Heaven...Bruno Mars
Jai Ho!...Cardio Workout
Call Me Maybe...Carly Rae Jepsen
Want U Back...Cher Lloyd
Show Me How You Burlesque...Burlesque soundtrack
You Make Me Feel...Cobra Starship
Saturday Night's Alright...Elton John
Dirty Dancer...Enrique Iglesias
I Like It...Enrique Iglesias
Club Can't Handle Me...Flo Rida
Wild Ones...Flo Rida
On The Floor... Jennifer Lopez
Touch The Sky...Brave soundtrack
Tommie Sunshine's Megasix Katy Perry Mix
Blah Blah Blah...Ke$ha
I've Got A Dream...Tangled soundtrack
Everybody Talks...Neon Trees
God's Not Dead...Newsboys
Here We Stand...Newsboys
I Am Free...Newsboys
What Makes You Beautiful...One Direction
When Can I See You Again...Wreak It Ralph soundtrack
Good Time...Owl City
Are We All We Are...Pink
Here Comes The Weekend...Pink
Back In Time...Men In Black III soundtrack
Don't Stop The Party...Pitbull
Don't Cha...The Pussycat Dolls
Life Is A Highway...Rascal Flatts
Let's Have A Kiki...Scissor Sisters
Awake and Alive...Skillet
Sometimes I Get A Good Feeling...?? found on top 40 hip-hop hits
I try to stick to songs that have a good beat to them. Some just having meaning behind them and some are inspirational. I'm always looking for good songs to run to so if you have any suggestions let me know. Race weekend is coming fast!!!
When I decided to participate in the Walt Disney World 2009 half marathon I also committed to raising money for children with serious diseases. I went out and raised around $800 for Make-A-Wish through the Dream Team Project. Not only was I doing something good for myself, I was doing something even better for someone that I would never meet.
A few years later I was lucky enough to meet a child with the money the Dream Team raised. She was an amazing little girl. Every so often I think about her and wonder how she is. Not only did I touch her life with helping with her wish, but she unknowingly touched mine.
Now as one of the Captains of the WDW Radio Running Team, I'm looking for donations to touch another child's life with your help. As you know in about 90 days I will be participating in the Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge. While this has been a dream of mine for a few years, achieving it knowing that I helped another child achieve their dream will make it even more special. I'm not asking for much. Give whatever you can...$5, $10 or a dollar a mile which would be $39 (39.3 miles to be exact) or give $40 in honor of my 40th birthday. Any little bit helps. When donating please make a comment in the "special notes" section saying something like "Supporting Lori's Goofy Dream" or "Lori's 40th birthday wish", just something for me to be able to know the donation was in my honor and I can track it.
Since today is the four year anniversary of this blog I thought I'd celebrate it by celebrating my friends! Over the past 4 years (and then some) I've met and become great friends with more people than I can count. Most I've met at Disney events such as Magic Meets and Mousefest; some from being on the WDW Radio podcast and running team and even a few from this blog.
All of them have touched my life in a different way. I am grateful and very thankful for each and every one of them. Without them I don't know how I would've gotten through some tough times. We've cried. We've laughed...a lot! We've mourned. We've celebrated!
I love you guys and I can't wait until I see you all again!
I put together a slide show of some of the friends I've made along the way. I know there are some I have forgotten or realized I don't have pictures of but don't think that you are forgotten, you are there in spirit. Most importantly, you're in my heart and always in my thoughts.