On January 8, 2011, I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon, the Walt Disney World Half. It was the first time I had ever run that far (illness had sidelined my training, resulting in my longest run prior to the race being 8 miles) and to be completely honest, I couldn’t believe what had just happened. Filled with excitement, endorphins and exhaustion, I had to laugh at the first question that hubs asked me once we were together on the bus headed back to our resort:
“So, you think you’re ever gonna run a marathon?”
Hah! I laughed so hard that my already-aching abs throbbed. Double that distance? In my right mind? Hah! A fool’s errand! What kind of idiot would do that? 😉
Of course, I’d eat those words…many times over, as three months later, I registered for my first full marathon: The Richmond Marathon (follow this tag if you want to check out that whole thing). I had no idea what I was doing. I followed a plan from Runners World, and somehow dragged myself through a summer of training and managed to squeak under my sub-4 goal with a 3:59 for my debut 26.2 and became ABSOLUTELY hooked – as of today, I’ve run nine marathons (with 5 sub-4 performances), 15 half marathons, a 50K and countless other shorter distance races. If I haven’t made it clear yet, I am pretty much IN LOVE with running and racing. It’s my happy place.
Now, more than three years later, I’ve decided that the next step for me in my running and runDisney journey is to kick it up a notch. You see, after next month’s Expedition Everest Challenge, I will have participated in every race weekend (besides Avengers Half, which I’ll do…eventually) so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to return to my favorite event, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, just in time for the 10th Anniversary of the Goofy Challenge!
“What’s the Goofy Challenge?”
The Goofy Challenge combines the two longer distance races of the weekend (the 13.1 and 26.2) and creates a 39.3 mile challenge. When I first heard about it in my Cast Member days, I never would have imagined I’d be one of those goofy people attempting it, but now, with lots of running and runDisney experience under my belt, I feel I am totally prepared for it.
Even more exciting, the 2015 WDW Marathon Weekend will signify another important benchmark: the culmination of my first group of runners to go through my online training program! I am so excited to help a group of 12 amazing runners complete their WDW Marathon Weekend goals, and be there in person to celebrate with each of them!
“…but isn’t Dopey* more hardcore? Why aren’t you doing that?!”
Well, you can pop over here for my long-winded answer, but in a nutshell, here it is: Goofy is the big challenge that’s drawn me in since that first half marathon, and though adding two more races does, in fact, sound wild and crazy, I think conquering “just” two races will allow me to really take in the fun and energy, as well as keep myself coherent enough to help and be accessible to my runners – maybe even have time to rock a meetup or two!
* The Dopey Challenge is the Goofy…plus a 5K on Thursday and a 10K on Friday. I have a few runners on my team doing this and I am so stoked for them!
...and on that note:
I know it’s more than 8 months away, but my excitement level for this race weekend is just outta control! I can’t wait to rock those miles, cheer on fellow runners, and of course, wear my medala proudly to the parks on Marathon Monday!
So, will I see YOU there in January 2015?