Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Goofy Challenge Recap Part Two: It's the Big One...

AKA Marathon Day.

Picking right up where I left off from the half, I spent all day Saturday either napping or watching bad reality TV on Bravo.  Because you know, it wasn't like I was a t Disney or anything right?  As much as I was itching to go out and play, it turned out to probably be the best thing I did.  I had some time to just chill out and not be in my head.  I had some time by myself and it did wonders. 

After an amazing dinner at Trattoria al Forna and a quick trip to a local Walmart to hunt down a cheap sweatshirt to ditch along the way, we went back to the room and crashed. 

As luck would have it I slept and got right up.  Something I did not do going into the half. 
Alarm was off at two and I got up and got ready to go meet Kristen and Bonnie for Race Retreat.  I know it's crazy  but I really love having the race retreat option.  It's a bit spendy but I think I'm getting to the point where if friends are going to do it, it's worth the additional amount for me.  It also came in handy since it was still cool'ish for me.  It also proves to be a distraction for me.  

After a bit we went outside to find Amy and Wendy. Shannon had already left to get to her corral.   We headed to our corral to wait for our start.  My nerves were high, I went in with the goal to just finish but the secondary goal of getting in under seven hours.   Totally not what my original goal was but I had sufficiently freaked myself out that I just wanted to make sure I finished and thought I had let go of my original goal. 

The first part of the marathon was a familiar route going towards Magic Kingdom and back out, so similar to the start of the Half.  But rather than heading back to Epcot we went towards Animal Kingdom via the Speedway.  Seeing the cars on the speedway was cool and I got to geek out for my boys (hockey nerd and L) over a few BumbleBee's that were on the track.  The sloping was not my favorite but it was nice to be able to go through it,even though it seemed like an endless loop at the time. 

We got to Animal Kingdom and made a stop for Wendy and Amy to go through and ride Expedition Everest.  Admittedly I was antsy at this point because we were close to the half and well, I knew my friend Lisa was on the other side of Animal Kingdom with tons of goodies and I just wanted to see her face. Once they were off we charged through the rest of Animal Kingdom until we saw Lisa.  We stopped and fueled up.  Heaven was a little bit of soda and a salted caramel Gu and a hug from my friend.  This girl had everything, seriously.  She had made signs for all of her friends and one for the Broads as well.  I was frazzled enough that I didn't get a picture with her and I'm sad that I didn't get one at this point but Amy got this picture of her.  So thankful for her being there as a cheerleader at that point in time :)

Once we had hit the half, I was trying to process in my head that I still had another half to go and I kind of just went quiet for a bit to just not think about anything.  From about 13.1 until we got to ESPN Wide World of Sports it was kind of a blur.  We were doing 2:1 intervals and stopped at a few med tents for bio-freeze. At some point we knew Bonnie was close so we were trying to keep an open for her.  Which helped provide another distraction.

ESPN Wide World of Sports seemed to go on forever though I remember seeing some little people playing soccer on one of the fields and I was missing my own little people.  They were so so cute. 

I had in my head that mile 21 would be our safe point, so at this point that was all I was focused on getting through Hollywood Studios and getting onto the Boardwalk.  Hollywood Studios was a bit bittersweet for me because my family loves the hat. So while I was happy that it was still mostly intact the walls around it were a reminder that most likely by the time our big summer blowout trip happens this summer it will be gone. 

As much as I love Hollywood Studios, I have never been so happy to leave the park.  Because this time it signaled the end was near.  I finally was allowing myself to think, that I might actually finish the marathon. 

We hit the boardwalk, and I started getting excited.  Or as much excitement as I could muster.  I lost track of mileage because my Garmin died. Suzanne Fail.  So at one point I was off by a mile thinking we were further ahead than we were so it caused a bit of frustrations to me.  I remember a sign on the boardwalk that made me cry.  At this point almost anything made me cry.  "Some day you will fail, today is not that day".  I lost it a little in my own small way.  I know that one sign had the same impact on some of my friends as well.  Just what I needed at that point in time. 

Then we hit Epcot and we were so so close.  I just wanted to be done.  At this point it was just Kristen and I.  Wendy was having issues with her ankle so she and Amy told us to go on ahead.  Suddenly, we somehow managed to cross paths with Mer and Brooke from Scoot-a-doot.  They were there in the parks to cheer for a bit.  Seeing them gave me the last boost I needed to just get it done. 

Picture Courtesy of Scoot a-Doot

And get it done we did.  I got choked up as the finish line was in sight.  I was going to be a marathoner.  Kristen and I sprinted that last little bit and crossed the finish line.  Somehow I was smiling, well kind of. 

After we got our medals we found Lisa, Or rather Lisa found us. She was right by the finish line like she said.  I got a little teary again when I saw her.  She was with me during my first half and it was perfect to have her be there for my first marathon.

After visiting with Lisa a bit we went back to the race retreat.    Where I once again ate all the turkey sausage and some yummy pasta and sat and took pictures and let it all sink in. 


I have a lot of follow up on my post marathon thoughts. But for now I will leave at this I can now say that I am a marathoner.  I can also say that I have successfully completed the Goofy Challenge as well.  I completed what I set out to do, even though I second guessed myself almost all the way through.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Goofy Challenge Recap Part One...and A half...

Almost two weeks later my Goofy Challenge and my first Marathon are in the books.  I have to admit, I was a bit of a head case going into it.  The Monday prior I started freaking out about the judgement call I made to tackle Goofy in addition to my first marathon.  It got down to the point where I just had to trust that I trained sufficiently enough and have faith in that and in myself.

I set out run Goofy with one of my BRF's Kristen and bless her, she had to hear about me obsessing a lot. A lot, a lot.  We were the only two Broads that were um, Goofy enough to tackle this challenge this time around.

We had agreed on Friday night that since we had purchased race retreat that we would get there early to take full advantage of it.  What that means, is that my alarm went off on Saturday morning at 2a.  I got up and got moving and still somehow managed to miss the first bus.

The bus driver of the bus I did catch was actually a good thing.  He was funny and managed to get my mind off of the task at hand.  Oddly enough, I was totally freaked going into the half. I think because it was so linked to the challenge I felt a little bit more pressure to get it done within a certain amount of time.

I got to the race retreat tent and waited for Kristen. Once she got there we went and got in line for Woody, Buzz and Bullseye.

 We got pictures out of the way and just hung out. Usually, I just have coffee and water but I made a conscious effort to make sure that I fueled right to and had a banana to get me started.   We waited until the last possible minute to head out to the corrals since it was so chilly. Let me tell you I was so thankful for race retreat that morning.  

Going into the Half our strategy was to have fun, and do character stops if we felt like it.  Just take the half easy so we would not be on tired legs for the marathon the next day.

We took off and got into a comfortable stride and before I knew it we were crossing into Magic Kingdom.  I was really surprised because it seemed to come up so fast.  As we were navigating through I saw what I thought was smoke and it was in the general area where the villains are for Princess, so I assumed it was the villains again.  Until I realized that it wasn't smoke it was Zero flying through the trees. I think I lost it a little at this point.  Jack has become one of L's favorites.  So I had to stop.  Fortunately the line wasn't incredibly crazy and I got a greeting to relay onto to L as well as a wish for a dreadful race.  He was perfect.

From there we found our way through the Castle to see Anna, Kristoff and Elsa.  It was here that I got so sidetracked by looking up that I tripped on Kristen's foot and almost fell flat on my face. That would have been memorable.

Before I knew it we were out of the park and heading back towards Epcot.  The half point song was Shake it Off which promptly made me think of Miss E and the two of us singing at the top of our lungs in he car.  So it was only fitting that in the middle of a gazillion people I start singing along rather loudly, mostly off key I'm sure.

Kristen had mentioned that Meredith and Brooke from Scoot a-Doot were wearing Newsie's costumes and I kept that in my brain.  Imagine my surprise as we were on that long stretch back to the Epcot area that I saw them.  I recognized the costume and Mer's hair.  The color was what made me sure that it was her.  Yes, I realize that makes me sound like a bit of a stalker.  I pointed them out to Kristen and it was glorious. I had never met them in person, so it was nice to finally connect and they are the sweetest.

After we parted ways it finally started to get warm enough for me to start thinking about taking my sweatshirt off.  It only took me 10'ish miles to get to that point. We also realized that we were coming up on seeing the Broads who were somewhere near Epcot.

Finally, we were there....

We got some quick hugs in ditched our sweatshirts and took off.  We were almost done.  Seeing the Broads was the last minute pick me up that I needed.

Before I knew it we were done.  It's funny how quickly that went in my head.  I loved running with Kristen and then running into Meridith and Brooke and seeing our friends cheering for us (and everyone else along the way) were just the icing on the cake.

After we finished, we went and hit the race retreat where I attempted to eat all the turkey sausage and maybe enjoyed a little post race celebration.

It was at this point where I started to feel like maybe Goofy was going to be doable for me after all. We finished under what I had in my head was the required time and had fun doing it.

 I was still not 100% sure about what Sunday would hold but I felt a little bit more confident that I would get it done.

What were your thoughts on the half?  Did you have a strategy going in?

Sunday, January 18, 2015


I have recaps to write but first I have gotten sidetracked by a motivational post shared by the awesome Fellow Flowers.

It goes a little something like this.

It resonated with me.  I realized that this whole running experience has truly been my un-becoming.  The more I run, the more I challenge myself, the more I un-become.  The limits I've placed on myself are falling away, any preconceived notions I had of myself are proving to be not necessarily true.  

At this point in my life I am probably the most comfortable in my skin than I have ever been.  The journey is about me becoming me and not so much what I think everyone wants me to be. 

I've shed expectations, shed mistakes and failures and I'm learning to accept myself as I am.

It's very liberating to see what I've let go of to become the unfiltered Suzanne.  So while last year was the year of me being happy, this year may just be my year of un-becoming.

Are you un-becoming too?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Staring down Goofy

Anyone still here?  Remember me wishing for fall activities to stop so I could blog on a regular basis...Yeah, not so much hmm?

Lots of stuff going on with the addition of a new favorite race that I still have to blog about.  Hello, Avengers Half, I love you.

But for now I will updated on the big giant looming in front of me. By this time next week I will have completed the first half of the Goofy Challenge.  13.1 miles done with one of my BRF's Kristen and at this point we either may or may not being wearing wings, but will be rocking our Sparkle Athletic tiered skirts.

That pretty much is it costume wise for me this time around.  No fancy costumes, no obsessively elaborately planed costumes. It's just me and the road.  I am slightly Suzanne the fan themed, meaning I'm wearing a comic inspired skirt for the full, there is a cheesy answer as to why bu for now I will leave it at that.

Race fashion aside I am in mini-OCD Suzanne panic mode.  Do I have the right gear, do I know how to fuel right?  How close am I going to be to my goal times?  Should I have pushed myself to get to a faster pace?

At this point I realize it's all sound and fury.  I have hit all of my mileage goals and it's just a matter of trusting my training and having faith in myself that I can get it done.

 Once again, I am staring down a first major hurdle for me.  The first marathon (and I can most assuredly promise you - it will be my only).  Challenges like this are for me to prove my strength, my bravery, and my tendency to make crazy decisions.  So here is my mantra as I approach the week ahead...

As with everything that I have faced running related this too is just another page and what I have learned about myself along the way is truly the journey.  Right now, it's too early for me to wrap my head around everything and because I'm incredibly superstitious I don't want to really analyze anything until I have actually completed my challenge.

So where does this leave me today?  Nervous, scared, excited and ready to stare down Goofy.  In the meantime I will be focusing on this Goofy(and my biggest cheerleaders to boot).

 Who am I going to see there? Either running or cheering?