Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Goofy Challenge...that wasn't read that right. This race report is about the Goofy Challenge that didn't happen.  Mark this down as a big ol' DNF for this lady.

I arrived in Orlando much later than expected on Thursday evening due to some mechanical issue with the plane (which they said they were fixing with tape...YES TAPE!) and as soon as I was checked into my hotel MaddyHubba arrived to whisk me to the expo.  I'll be honest - I thought the expo was...meh. I was expecting to see some pretty cool stuff since it was Disney and all, but we left without spending a dime.  The highlight of the expo was definitely spending time with Maddy and meeting a new friend, Chris!

After the expo, I got settled into my hotel room and slept a bit until Lee & Isis arrived much later than expected due to delayed flights.  We got up the next morning and went to the expo again. I think we each bought a new SPIbelt (yeah for waterproof!) and I got a cool (cheap) new watch.
The Running Couple & me chilling at the expo

That evening I attended the TNT Inspiration dinner which was amazing.  It's a very cool thing to see so many people ban together for a cause.  If I'm remembering correctly there were just over 1,200 Team in Training runners and millions of dollars were raised.  GO TEAM!!!

Bedtime was early Friday night because my alarm was set for 2am Saturday morning. When that alarm went off I wanted to throw my phone across the room - seriously. I was waking up when all of my friends were still out from the night before. Insanity! After a quick breakfast of oatmeal I was ready and off to meet up with my team for some photo ops.  This would be repeated Sunday morning.

Gateway Team in Training's Half Marathon crew - apparently I didn't take a photo of the Marathon crew
  We hopped on one of the first buses and I want to say we were at bag check by 4:15.  I was able to meet up with a bunch of twitter friends before both races, which was great. Shortly after 5 we began the long shuffle to the starting corrals.

Twitter Crew Pre-Marathon
 I had a great half marathon back in November, 2010 so I was fortunate to be placed in corrals B & C, respectively, for both races even though I had no business being there.

I started the half feeling pretty good, but quickly realized that my stomach was not happy with me. I'll just say this - thank God Disney had porta potties and real bathrooms available every mile.  Going into the race my only goals were to finish and have a good time. Once I started having stomach issues I said "Screw it" and set off to have a blast for the rest of the race. I stopped and took pictures with every single character I saw, regardless of the length of the line. I chatted with other runners and just enjoyed myself. 

Chris and I after the half - Florida humidity is not kind to girls with curly hair!
After the race I felt great and did my best to eat bland meals the rest of the day not wanting to visit 26 bathrooms on Sunday. I pretty much stayed off of my feet and felt like I got as much rest as I reasonably could.  I woke up Sunday feeling ok, but I certainly had no desire to run 26.2 more miles. Turns out I should have just stayed in bed.  About 1 1/2 miles into the marathon I started getting a weird pain in my right foot.  It hurt when I ran and it hurt when I walked. I thought maybe I had tied my laces too tightly so I stopped and loosened them a bit, but that didn't help. This went on a few more miles but I knew there was no way I was going to endure that much pain for the next several hours. I was done. I refused to be as miserable as I was in Chicago and I was really afraid of seriously hurting myself. 

Maddy and I relaxing after her HUGE marathon PR

I got back to the hotel room and had a pity party for a few minutes, but I knew I had ultimately made the right decision for myself.  Isis convinced me to get dressed and go with her to the finish line to cheer for our friends.  We ended up getting a great spot about 500 meters from the finish line and were able to catch a couple of my teammates, Lisa, Dre, Maddy and Lee finishing! It was bittersweet for me to be at the finish line, but I was so happy for them and was very glad I was there. After all, when you boil it all down, seeing friends is really the reason behind why I do this stuff anyway.

My Donald Duck half-marathon medal

Now that I'm a week and a half post-marathon, I'm totally fine with what happened. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I'm not disappointed, because I am, but I realize that things happen. My foot is still hurting pretty badly and I haven't run at all since the 9th, stopping was the right call. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning so hopefully I'll get some answers then. 

The weekend may not have gone the way I had planned, but I had a blast and got to spend time with some truly amazing people.  It also helped me realize that I may need to reevaluate my 2011 goals...but this post is long enough so I'll save all that for another day :)


  1. Sorry to hear about your foot! :( Congrats though on finishing the half with all the tummy troubles. I had a friend that was supposed to run Goofy and pulled out of the half due to the flu and didn't even attempt the full. But there's always next year for Goofy, and resting that foot is what's most important!

  2. Bummer on your foot. Hopefully it starts to get better soon. What an opportunity though either way! You got to go and meet up with all of those people and be there, just seems really neat to me. I could never run that far but it would be fun to watch :)

  3. sorry the race turned out so disappointing, but it sounds like you still had a good time with friends, and needless to say, you made the right decision for you. hope you feel better soon!

  4. Sorry about your foot, but it sounds like you did the smart thing! Hopefully, you'll be able to get some answers from your doc... I have delt with foot pain before and I find that icing and rolling your arch helps a lot.

  5. Too bad about you foot and GI issues, but it sounds like you made the most of it! I had some GI issues and knee issue my last ultra, but it's the experience that matters and what we take away and learn from it, right :) What's your next race?

  6. I'm glad that you made the right decision on calling it quits to protect your foot and your spirit. 'Tis better to have a good time at a place like that.


  7. I had GI issues at Disney last year too! I think there was something with the food at Coronado Springs - i ended up puking all day Friday and some of Saturday. SOOO glad i wasn't doing the half or it would have been REALLY bad!

    Sorry you weren't able to do both, but it sounds like a good decision.

    Good luck with your upcoming races :)