“A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.” - Walt Disney

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2011 DisneyWorld Half Marathon Race Report - Part 3: Post-Race Recovery, Spectating Goofy & Marathon Monday

***If you missed Part 1: Pre-Race, or Part 2: My Race, now's your chance to go back and catch up!***

I met up with Mom and Dad in front of the Race Retreat tent and headed inside for a warm breakfast and a quick pic with the Toy Story characters.  [Side note:  Since Dad finished over an hour before I did, he'd already had breakfast and taken advantage of the 10-minute massages for his legs.]  We took the opportunity to grab a couple more character pics and browse the race merchandise station, then headed for the buses back to the hotel.

There wasn't much to recover from for me this time around - I was feeling really great and was on an incredible runner's high.  I kept telling everyone how pleased I was and how that proved how much better conditioned I was this year than in previous years!  However, when we got back to the hotel, the one thing I did have to deal with was the blister on my left foot.  I drained it, put a blister patch on, and was good to go!

After showering and getting cleaned up, we headed over to Downtown Disney as a way to keep moving and keep our legs loose.  Once there, we shared a light lunch at Wolfgang Puck Cafe Express on the West Side.  Taking
advantage of the lighter crowds, we relaxed at the table and discussed the plan for the next day.  Then we walked and shopped the afternoon away, although we ended up just window shopping and not actually buying anything.  While we were eating lunch, we had discussed the possibility of Dad walking to the start line the next morning, so we made a quick return trip back to POFQ to do a test walk to check the feasibility of the idea.  It seemed like it was going to work, and we knew lots of others planned to do the same thing.  After another short boat ride back to Downtown Disney, we had dinner at the
House of Blues, where Dad partook of their special Marathon Weekend pasta menu to carb-load for the Marathon the next morning.  We headed back to the hotel for another early night, because it was going to be another early morning!

Spectating Goofy:
Imagine me, bundled up against the elements, wearing my Half Marathon medal and my sparkly-pink-mouse-head-antennae headband, yelling my lungs out on the side of the road.  You'd think I was nuts, right?  Wrong.  I was being the best spectator I know how to be for the Marathon on Sunday morning.  As a runner, spectator encouragement means alot to me, and helps me push through the tough spots - so I wanted to do my part for Dad and the other marathoners.

We started Sunday a little later than the day before, this time the alarm sounded at 3:30.  Dad was out the door, on his way to walk over to the start line, by 4:15.  Mom and I grabbed a cab over to the TTC a little while later to avoid the congestion of normal marathon transportation.  The plan was that
Mom would stake out a great spot in front of the castle at Magic Kingdom, and I would grab a spot on the road just outside the Polynesian just before Mile Marker 13.  Plan worked like a charm!   After I spotted Dad in front of the Polynesian, I walked over to the TTC and hopped on a bus to Hollywood Studios.
After getting to see Dad again just past the exit of HS, I knew I couldn't beat him to the finish line, so I stayed where I was to cheer on other runners as they passed.  I was cheering so loud that several Disney employees remarked how impressed they were by my enthusiasm.  I yelled so much I was hoarse!  About an hour later, I got a text from Mom telling me she'd caught up with Dad, and they were headed back to the hotel, so I did the same.

While Dad took an ice bath, Mom and I went over to the food court to grab lunch for all of us and took it back to the room.  After lunch, Dad and I walked along the river over to PO-Riverside to keep his legs from tightening up.  After a quiet afternoon spent napping and lounging by the pool, we had yet another early night.

Dad's Goofy Challenge Stats:
  • Saturday Half Marathon: 13.1 mi; 1:59:56;  9:09 min/mi avg. pace
  • Sunday Full Marathon:    26.2 mi; 4:26:01; 10:09 min/mi avg. pace

    Marathon Monday:
    Other than Dad being interviewed by a runDisney marketing crew just inside the turnstyles, it was a pretty standard Day at the Magic Kingdom for us.  But we did manage to do a lot of things we don't normally do: Hall of Presidents, Country Bear Jamboree, Liberty Square Riverboat, and the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.  In addition, we had a very late lunch at The Crystal Palace, which was so huge it also counted as our dinner!  All in all, it was a great way to celebrate a weekend full of achievements!

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