16 April, 2012

2012 Marathon Weekend runDisney Meetup and Run

The final installment to 2012's Marathon Weekend! Whew! After all the excitement of registration opening for 2013 weekend, it's finally quieted down enough for me to finish this one.  And after I get this out, I'll finally start putting together the guest recaps of Tinkerbell and Princess Weekends.

After our mad dash through the Family Fiesta 5k, jumping in Stephanie's car and rushing to Hollywood Studios, we ran up to the turnstiles just in time.  The majority of the group had already checked in to the meetup but they were still gathered at the entrance to the park and just starting.  Talk about barely making it!

After introductions to all of the guests of the meetup (I think we missed a few introductions and instructions), we jumped right into the run/walk with Jeff Galloway.  I had run through Hollywood Studios during Wine & Dine, and also for the two marathons, but it was definitely awesome running through the park while it was completely empty and just starting to wake up. 

Photo from Daniel
Photo from runDisney
Photo from runDisney
We dipped and weaved through the entire park.  I honestly can't remember if it was different streets compared to the races though.  Since we had shown up late, a lot of our run was catching up with some friends that were also in attendance, as well as meeting new people along the way.  We definitely surprised a few cast members that were in the costume area when we ran through the tunnel.  They were looking at us like we were crazy! 

Photo from runDisney

Heading towards Tower of Terror, we slowed down and finished our run/walk at the Theater of the Stars, where the Beauty and the Beast show is held. I think overall, the entire run was about 1.5 miles or so and we ran an overall 11 minute mile.

There were a few directors chairs set up in the front of the theater so we all filed down and took seats in the first few rows.  After getting some water and cooling down a bit, Bob Hitchcock introduced the first guest speaker, runDisney's official training consultant, Jeff Galloway. 

I always enjoy hearing Jeff speak and his passion for getting people up and moving is contagious.  I tried taking notes as fast as possible using my phone so I apologize if I missed any major details.  You can see me front and center in the official runDisney photo below laughing at something said.  My poor thumbs couldn't type fast enough!

Photo from runDisney
Jeff went through a basic history of how he got into running, making sure to point out that he used to be heavy as a child and gradually started losing the weight.  Speaking about the benefits of his run/walk method, he reiterated that you can enjoy running this way and it helps all of your joints and reduces running pain.

Meetup participants then asked a few questions and one of the first was about how you can constantly run and not get burnt out.  Jeff pointed out that it's all about making it fun.  First, make sure you are always running aerobically.  Aerobic running occurs when your body has sufficient oxygen and allows your muscles to have enough oxygen to produce all of the energy they need.  The opposite of this is anaerobic running, when your body doesn't have enough oxygen.  So pretty much don't push yourself to extremes on a regular basis, which will burn you out much quicker.

Jeff mentioned that running should be fun.  Go out and enjoy runs with friends so there isn't much pressure to compete.  He also saluted women for helping bring children into the world of running.  If parents find joy in running, it's more than likely that it will be passed along to their children. 

Another question that had people chuckling is when someone asked about trying to get rest before a big race.  Jeff even laughed and admitted that it's pretty impossible to get a great nights sleep the day before a big race.  Most people run quite well regardless.  He said the biggest downfall is that people worry too much about the lack of sleep they have before a race.  Then he made sure to point out that we were in Walt Disney World and we had to go out and enjoy the parks!

A few tips for any race weekend from Jeff:  Go through a rehearsal and start getting up earlier prior to race days to get your body used to the wakeup calls.  Don't over drink!  No more than 20oz in an hour.  Only have 2 to 4oz of water every 2 miles. 

 Next up was the always entertaining Tony Horton, of P90X fame.  Tony came out right away and said he wasn't a normal and regular runner.  But he did say that cross training programs can greatly improve your running ability.  Adding plyometrics and yoga creates a more durable running.  Tony commended the amazing community that comes out of running and agreed that running is more than an individual sport.  Even he wouldn't work out as much if his friends weren't around to motivate him.

One of the big questions to Tony was about nutrition and any suggestions he had.  Like I've read many times, Tony pointed out that fat, sugar, and salt are to blame.  The health crisis isn't because of lack of exercise.  Companies add flavorings and additives to food so that we keep going back for more.  He got a nice chuckle out of the group when he asked how many of us actually can only have just one chip!  So true!

Tony then went on to say that he knows that when life is stressful, we all have a tendency to cheat on our eating habits.  He suggested the 90/10 plan.  Chose the right foods 90% of the time.  Keep healthy food in the house and get rid of the junk so that you aren't tempted to snack.  It does take time to make a full transition and to let your body enjoy what real food tastes like.  What you put in your mouth will either extend your life or kill you.

Jeff jumped in agreeing with Tony and suggested writing down everything you eat.  Even if you don't analyze the list at the end of the day, you'll still be more aware of what goes into your body. 

Another question to Tony was whether bulking up hinders a person's running speed.  Tony agreed that it could and that each person needs to decide what is most important to them.  It's hard to have both bulk and speed. 

After a few more laughs, it was time for Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca from Survivor & Amazing Race fame to say a few words.

Ethan started first and  joked that the best way to lose weight was to just go on Survivor.  :)  He explained a little of his background and how the money he won on Survivor went towards his Grassroots Soccer program, which uses soccer to raise money and awareness to fight HIV/AIDS.  He also talked about his fight with Hodgkins disease and how dreaming about and running the NYC Marathon helped him get back out there again.  He eventually changed his entire lifestyle by eating better, exercising more, spiritually, and getting involved in the community.  He was amazed by the raw generosity from perfect strangers.

Jenna took the mic next and she was all laughs from the get go.  She never ran before meeting Ethan and wouldn't be running if it didn't include a trip to Disney World.  With her love of Disney, she convinced Ethan to run Princess.  She admitted that it wasn't easy for her to constantly eat perfectly and that it's all about balance.  Don't beat yourself up for eating incorrectly, just get back to healthy eating ASAP.  

Up next was John Phelan, Show Director for Disney Sports.  I'm sure the die hard Disney fans in the group were most exciting about hearing what John had to say.  Mr. Phelan is in charge of all of the entertainment on the course and making sure that all of the parts of entertainment work seamlessly together.

John explained that his wife started running originally and he joined her for 5k's to keep her company.  He now is constantly trying to find ways to keep runners motivated on the course but also maintaining that Disney touch.  He joked that he knew the sanitation area of the marathon course is the most thrilling and that area is always fun to perk up. You could tell that he honestly loved his job and he even mentioned that working with the Disney family is such a huge part of all of these cast members lives that they want to make it the best that they can so they can share the fun with the guests. 

He went over some of the current races and dropped some hints about the new Tower of Terror 10 Miler.  Granted this little recap is being posted WAY late so everyone has pretty much heard everything.  Expect to see lots of villains!

Oh, and did I mention he brought out his boss to say hi to everyone? :) 

After a few more laughs, it was time to head out of the theater for some photos with the guests and to get a group shot in front of Tower of Terror. 

Photo from runDisney
After all the photos were taken, we had another surprise waiting for us. We were all taken for a ride on Tower of Terror! A cast member came by and took us over to the side entrance. It was a great way to end the meetup!  Plus, of course, some of us had to buy the group photo.  :)

Photo from runDisney

Jeff is always a great person to listen to and has great running advice.  I feel like he plays it safe most of the time and doesn't say anything too controversial.  Not that there is anything wrong with that!  But hearing Tony, Jenna, and Ethan, it was a nice change of pace.  They were completely more candid, open, and didn't have the 'Disney filter' that people always joke about.  I thought all 3 were great additions to the meetup and hope that runDisney continues to change up the guest speakers each time. I was able to speak to Ethan for a brief minute while waiting for Tower of Terror and he and Jenna were friendly as can be.  You could tell they were definitely enjoying themselves!  Wishing Ethan a successful treatment and recovery and hope to see the two of them at more Disney races. 

The addition of John Phelan was great as well.  I would love to sit down with him for a bit and pick his brain.  Disney puts on some great events and the entertainment is what keeps us coming back for more.

The meetups seem to be getting better and better and it's always interesting to see what guests they're going to have next! 

14 April, 2012

Anyone out there CrossFit?

So the more and more I hear and read about CrossFit, the more I really NEED to try it out.  I love short, intense workouts that get me in and out of the door fairly quickly. Not saying CrossFit is definitely for me but I won't know until I try it, right?  Also veering away from my normal gym and gym family will be hard but I've been lazy and unmotivated the past few months. 

I have been skeptical of combining running and CrossFit but then I found CrossFit Endurance and that seems like a perfect combination.  Now to just find a box that buys into the Endurance idea as well.  Soon I want to go check out the couple of boxes that are in my area.  It does scare me though that even the Endurance programs don't believe in the long slow distance runs.  Yikes! 

I need a swift kick in the ass and I'm fairly certain CF will seriously kick it for me. 

So give it to me...who does CrossFit?  What do you think?  Anyone out there try it and hate it?  Any long distance runners out there that CF?  Tell me EVERYTHING!

Quick video of what CrossFit is...

13 April, 2012

Tower of Terror 10-Miler Medal Revealed!

Ok, can we say that I'm seriously jealous that I won't be running the Tower of Terror 10-Miler??  Or, does anyone want to lend me a few hundred bucks so I can make it work?  :)

runDisney just released a photo of the medal for the new race and it's pretty awesome.

Photo from runDisney

"Brave dark and ghostly streets haunted by Disney villains during The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler to earn this runDisney Bling!"

They go on to mention that it was inspired by the original Tower of Terror 13k medal. It has a working elevator also glows-in-the-dark. Perty nifty if you ask me.

Seriously...someone please pay for my trip down there. So sad I can't make it!

11 April, 2012

runDisney Announces Extras for Marathon Weekend

Who jumped on the bandwagon and registered immediately for marathon weekend?

It's looks like it's turning out to be another fun filled weekend already!  I received a press release about the activities and, while there isn't a whole lot of detail announced yet, we did get a small sneak peak of what to expect.

Since 2013 is the 20th anniversary of the marathon, runDisney is adding a few unique events and extras along the way.  We have already heard about the special 20th anniversary medal, which has everyone excited.  runDisney is known for their fabulous medals and their anniversary ones are usually even better.  Also, Donald and Goofy runners MIGHT also have a new medal for the half to look forward to.  After an anniversary year (2012 was the 15th anniversary) a new medal is usually released. 

There has also been talk that there will be a special surprise at Mile 20 of the marathon (get it? 20th anniversary, surprise at Mile 20...yea yea yea lol).  All news has been fuzzy as to what exactly the surprise will be but we were told we'll have "enhanced entertainment."  And for anyone else that has ran the full, that little stretch around Mile 20 (the out and back before Hollywood Studios) could use a little more pep! 

Also new for this race weekend is a post race party!  Again, not much info has surfaced yet about the party but it will be the Sunday of the marathon from 4pm - 8pm at Downtown Disney.  There has never been a party at DtD before, from what I remember, but correct me if I'm wrong please!  Usually it's at a theme park after hours.  There is no information about whether it will be free with race registration, or only open to marathon runners (like Marathon Monday was a few years back), etc, etc.  I'll be sure to keep you guys updated if I hear anything new!

I have a feeling the marathon is going to sell out fairly quickly.  With an expected cap of more than 20,000...that's a lot of runners!  If I remember correctly, the half marathon usually has a cap of around 25k or 27k and the full was usually slightly under 20k.  Again though, I could be wrong.

Here's an easy breakdown of the weekend's events:

Disney's Health and Fitness Expo
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM

9:00 AM - 7:00 PM

10:00 AM -5:00 PM
runDisney Kids' Races
3:00 PM

11:00 AM

11:00 AM
Mickey Mile
4:30 PM

12:30 PM

12:30 PM
Disney Family Fun Run 5K
6:30 AM
Walt Disney World Half Marathon
5:30 AM
Walt Disney World Marathon
5:30 AM
Downtown Disney After Party
4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

As well as an easier breakdown of the race prices and price increases:

April 10 – June 19
June 20 – Sept. 25
Sept 26 – Jan. 13
Full Marathon
Half Marathon
Goofy Challenge
Family Fun 5K

** All information provided by runDisney PR.

10 April, 2012

Registration Opens Today for Marathon Weekend!

Lucky for us, prices didn't go up much.  Goofy I'm pretty sure is the same price as last year too.
And if you have a Disney Visa, be sure to check your email and spam folder for an email that came out last week with a discount link!  You could get $15 off a regular race and $30 off of Goofy.
I'm interested to see what the 'surprise' is at Mile 20 of the marathon this year.  Since it's the 20th Anniversary, I think runDisney is going all out.  Also can't wait to see the medal! 
 The @DisneySports twitter account has been hinting at some other sort of announcement today so I'll try to keep you guys updated!  

Registration for the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will open Tuesday, April 10 at 12:00 pm EDT.
  • Walt Disney World® Marathon
  • Walt Disney World® Half Marathon
  • Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge
  • Disney Family Fun Run 5K
  • runDisney Kids' Races

Entry Fees and Deadlines

Walt Disney World® Marathon
  • $150 by June 19, 2012
  • $170 between June 20, 2012 and September 25, 2012
  • $190 on or after September 26, 2012
Walt Disney World® Half Marathon
  • $150 by June 19, 2012
  • $170 between June 20, 2012 and September 25, 2012
  • $190 on or after September 26, 2012
Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge
  • $320 by June 19, 2012
  • $350 between June 20, 2012 and September 25, 2012
  • $380 on or after September 26, 2012
Disney Family Fun Run 5K
  • $55 per participant
  • $60 per Stroller walk division participant
runDisney Kids Races
  • $10 per child
Mickey Mile
  • $25 per child

So who's joining me in January?  I already registered for Goofy using the Disney Visa discount!  

04 April, 2012

Check Out the Disney World Running Trail Maps!

A ton of people ask me all the time about running while on vacation while at Walt Disney World.  And seriously, what better place to get in an extra few miles than at Disney?  I know the DisneyRunning site used to have a ton of trail maps but unfortunately that site isn't being updated any more.

I decided to create my own Disney Running Trail Maps section of this site to post the new and updated maps.  Many of these maps can be found by asking the front desk of any of the hotels.  If anyone on here has new maps they'd like me to use, please send them my way!

Just a word to the wise...you are NOT allowed to run on the highways and streets throughout the rest of property.  If security sees you they will stop you.  So you need to stay on a resort property and not veer off into the rest of the property.

To find the maps, go to the Disney Running Trail Maps page here:

Disney World Running Trail Maps

You can also get to the page from the Disney Running 101 Page linked above!

03 April, 2012

The Dopey/Goofy Recap - The Full Marathon

And finally! The conclusion of the Goofy/Dopey weekend!  I know everyone was on the edge of their seats waiting for this so again, I apologize.   :)  And again, a ton of these photos come from Dan, so go stalk him on Twitter @DanielWanderman!  After about Mile 10 I was done taking my own photos. :)

By the third morning of waking up before the crack of dawn, I felt like I was in an episode of Groundhog's Day.  That stupid alarm!  After the bus fiasco the day before for the half, I wanted to be sure we were at the buses extra early.  We all quickly got up, dressed, ate some breakfast, and headed out.

Of course when we got to the bus line, they were completely prepared this time.  There were 3 or 4 buses lined up waiting and runners were just piling on.   Jumped on a bus and were at the runners area in no time.

For the half, Daniel and I ran together and didn't have any other company.  This time around for Goofy, we were running with Eric, who ran Marine Corps with me, and Linda, who ran the marathon with me last year.  We all planned on meeting at the Running of the Ears gathering area but I was also running this race with the WDW Radio Running Team, which was meeting a few tents down the way.  I spent the time before the race going from one group to the other, trying to keep an eye out for our running partners.  Received a message from Linda that she'll meet us in the corral so it was a hunt for just Eric.

While at the WDW Radio Running Team meeting area, it was nice to say hi to people that I've only been in contact with online.  Plus, it was great to get to talk to Lou Mongello a little bit again!  For those that don't know Lou, he's the owner/producer of the WDW Radio podcast, blog, and a huge huge presence in the Disney community.  You want to know something about Disney history?  Lou knows the answer or can link you to someone who does!  Plus he's originally from Jersey so I like to tease him that I can still find fabulous pizza, bagels, and taylor ham back home while he's stuck trying to replicate everything in Florida.

Lou and I
The WDW Radio Running Team!

Race time was slowly getting closer so we broke away from the group and were finally able to meet up with Eric.  After a quick porta-pottie stop we made our way with the rest of the cattle herd towards the corrals.  It was SO nice to not have to be rushing and sprinting to the corrals!  And I could finally breathe easy when we made it to Corral B! 

Made it to Corral B!

Pic thanks to Daniel!
Glad we remembered to bring our mylar sheets from the day before.  They came in handy and were easily discardable.  The rest of the time was the typical pre-race stuff.  Stretching, relaxing, warming up, singing the national anthem, getting pumped, etc.  And before we knew it, the race started!  The final part of Dopey/Goofy has begun! 

The beginning of the race was like all the others... started out on the highway in the dark.  The route the first few miles are slightly different than the half marathon.  Instead of heading directly to the Magic Kingdom, we first headed towards Epcot and made our way through Future World and towards the World Showcase. 

Pic thanks to Dan
We ran into Mexico and for some reason I felt the need to take a pic with one of these guys, even though I took one two days prior at the 5k!   The good part about our little stop though was that we ran into our friend Jeff.  Chatted it up a bit but then lost each other somewhere backstage.  We did end up running into him multiple times throughout the race though!  More on that later....

Leaving Epcot was around Mile 3...miles 4, 5, and 6 were fairly boring (since the only photos Dan or I have are of the mile marker signs!) however I did get a fabulous chuckle out of this shirt...

For those that don't know,  Pheidippides is the Ancient Greek that the race is based after.  After running from Marathon to Athens to pass on the message that Greece won, he dropped dead on the spot from exhaustion.  Fun, right?  

And small tidbit of info... the distance from Marathon to Athens is only 25 miles, not 26.2.  However for the London Olympics in 1908, they wanted the race to run finish in front of King Edward VII's royal box,  so they added the additional 1.2 miles.  Bastards.

Around Miles 7 and 8 the action started picking up on the race course.  There were more things on the road to keep us occupied, and we were getting closer and closer to the Magic Kingdom.  The sunrise is always so beautiful and peaceful, even while running!  

Mile 7ish - Pic thanks to Dan
We ran past the Walt Disney World Speedway (not to be confused with the Tomorrowland Speedway inside the Magic Kingdom) and they had a bunch of old classic cars and their owners cheering us on.  I remember them from last year and it was cool to see all the old cars!  The Speedway also had a few fancy cars out for us to see from the Driving Experience, like a Lamborghini and Ferrari (I think?).  

My dad and stepmom, as well as Christina, were at the same cheering spot at the TTC like the day before so I started to keep an eye out for them.  Luckily it was much lighter out so Dan didn't confuse another poor dad as my own. 

Pic thanks to Dan

Running over to pops!  Pic thanks to Dan
After a quick hello and some photos, we continued on towards the Magic Kingdom.  I was happy I could actually run through the park during the daylight! 

As we entered Main Street, we immediately saw the WDW Radio Running Team cheering squad screaming their heads off!  The cheering support from the team was amazing throughout the whole entire race.  Definitely helped give that extra little boost whenever you needed it! 

High Five to Lou!  Pic thanks to Dan
OK, now for quite possibly the best story of the entire race.  Dan and I quickly made our way down Main Street and wanted to stop for photos in front of the castle.  Dan saw a 'Run Daniel Run' sign and joked saying 'Oh look!  It's for me!'  He ran up to the girls, snapped a pic, and then kept on running.

Funny part about that was?  Dan had NO clue who the girls were.  But even funnier... he SHOULD have known who they were!  I didn't realize that Dan didn't recognize them but I immediately knew it was our friends Amanda, Suzannah, and Katherine.  I saw them holding the sign and KNEW the sign was for Dan!  He was just so excited to see his name, he didn't bother looking at who was holding the sign!  When we were in Tomorrowland he said something to the effect like 'That was so funny that it was my name!'  I then had to inform him that it was our friends!  Doh! 

After making our way through Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, back through the castle, and out by Frontierland, we headed backstage and ran into Mary Poppins and gang.  The line was relatively short so we quickly jumped in line for a pic. 

We left Magic Kingdom and headed past the Grand Floridian and Polynesian again. Saw my dad, stepmom, Courtney, and Christina again (which was around Miles 12-13), and kept on chugging along. Now seriously... Dan and I have barely any pics from this stretch of the course so it must have gotten a little dull.

Right around Mile 14 we ran into the Villains area and it was awesome!  Again though, huge line so we snapped a pic and kept on going.  

Pic thanks to Dan
Right around Mile 15 they had Jack Sparrow and a few more pirates taking pics too.  We also ran past the infamous smelly sanitation plant on property.  I honestly do NOT remember this part of the course AT ALL from the year prior.  I must have been delirious by then.  It was completely new to me.  But sadly...yes.  It did smell.  

Pic thanks to Dan
Almost at 15 - Pic thanks to Dan
After getting past the pirates and smelly sanitation plant, we finally made it into Animal Kingdom.  We entered the park slightly before the park officially opened.  Last year we hit it exactly at 9am, which was cool.  Made our way around the turns and started making our way towards Expedition Everest....

Pic thanks to Dan
The whole time leading up to the race, and even during the race that morning. We kept going back and forth on weather to ride Expedition Everest or not. We agreed that if it was open, we were definitely going to ride! But then we realized that we started (or at least I did) 2 corrals earlier than last year, which put us about 10 minutes ahead of schedule. And of course, we got to Expedition Everest at 8:50. Exactly 10 minutes before the ride opened.

In the pic below you can see all of us looking over trying to see if it was open or not. Also, if you look in the distance by the entrance, you can see our friend Jeff in black hanging out. He rides every year, regardless of how early he gets there! So we ran up to Jeff and stopped and then the game of 'What do we do????!!!' started. Linda was on pace for a PR, so was I actually. I don't remember what Dan or Eric said when they weighed in but in the end, we decided to skip jumping on the ride and moved on. Looking back, I should have waited. I didn't PR this race and after we left AK, I got into a mental funk and decided to screw thinking about my time and just enjoyed (or tried to enjoy) the rest of the course.

Pic thanks to Dan
At Mile 18, Dan, Eric, and I were all hurting. Little pains here and there but I was slowing down and taking the other two with me. When I saw the grave diggers on the side of the road, that's when I realized I wasn't going to PR and said screw it. I jumped in line even though it was more than a few people long and waited for my photo. Seriously...laying on that dirt was the BEST feeling EVER!! Getting up was NOT though.  We lost Linda around here since she still wanted to try to PR.

Mile 18 - Pic thanks to Dan
We continued on our way and made it to the out and back on the way to Hollywood Studios.  Surprisingly, we ran into our friend Danielle who was kicking some serious butt in her first marathon!  We wished her luck and she blew past us.

Mile 20 - Pic thanks to Dan
Last year at this point, I got re-energized when I heard 'Sweet Caroline' playing.  The whole crowd around us last year started singing at the top of their lungs.  This time?  Not so much.  People were not cheery at all this time around.  It was hotter and I think the heat was getting to me.  I was already through all of my water bottles and had started using my nuun tablets and dumping water from the water stops in to dissolve them.  Didn't think I would need them at all.

We gladly entered Hollywood Studios and I was seriously ready to be done.  My body wasn't screaming in pain, but I wanted to get this race over with.  I was just shuffling along trying to get to the next walk break.  And I think our walk breaks started getting longer...and longer.  At the candy/chocolate stop I grabbed the gummy candy (like gummybears) and couldn't get them down.  I ate one or two but had to toss the rest.  It was like Marine Corps Marathon all over again.  Instead I just started downing more nuun.

22 - Pic thanks to Dan

Pic thanks to Dan

Between 23 & 24 - Pic thanks to Dan
After making our way through to the front of the park, the only thing keeping me smiling at the time was knowing that two of my gym friends were outside the entrance of the park by the Christmas tree. I was so excited to see them.  They were two of the biggest and happiest cheerleaders and it definitely helped getting a high five and hug from them!

On the path to Epcot I did start feeling a little better.  I knew I was almost done.   Although looking at the pics, I realized that when I'm pretending to be happy, I give a thumbs up to the camera...

Pic thanks to Dan
We made our way down the path towards Epcot and I didn't trip on the pavement like last year...score!  I think there was actually a few spectators pointing out the raised sidewalk this time.  The crowd by the Beach Club/Boardwalk area was awesome for the motivation.  It was exactly what I needed at that time!

We rounded the corner and entered Epcot and started making our way through World Showcase.  We knew that the WDW Radio Running Team was cheering by the UK so we kept an eye out.  They were loud and crazy and again, just what we needed! 

Pic thanks to Dan
My family and friends were waiting for us at Mile 25.5, just like last year and Dan ran ahead to get a pic of me spotting my dad.  Yup, that's my dad on the left.  :)  I didn't get as emotional as last year when I saw Christina but OMG I knew I was almost done!  I got hugs and cheers and told them to meet us at the family reunion area.  Let's get this race over with! 

Pic thanks to Dan
We made our way through the rest of Future World and past the singing gospel choir. And there it was... the finish line!!
Pic thanks to Dan

I attempted to 'sprint' the last leg but I doubt it really looked like a sprint! We crossed the line and congratulated each other with hugs and cheers. We all had completed our first Goofy!!

Pic thanks to Dan

Same spiel as the day before pretty much! We were handed our marathon medals and then made our way to get our mylar blankets. After walking a little bit we found the Goofy medal tent and were quickly handed our 2nd medal of the day. Woot! The only thing that slightly bothered me was that they didn't check to see if I had completed both races. They quickly saw the orange Goofy bibs and handed me the medal. We then lined up for our finishers photos and then through the food lines for the same meh food as the day before. And yet again we made our way through to medical/ice tent to get our knees all nice and chilly. I swear it works wonders and will be doing this for every race from now on! After getting iced up we hobbled our way (even slower than the day before!) through the bag pickup area to where our friends and family were waiting for us. It was SOOOOO nice to finally be completely done with the running for the week and finally start to celebrate and enjoy! We hung around for what felt like a LONG time just hanging out and relaxing. Friends kept coming and going with their medals and it was fun to see everyone having fun.

My icy knees!  Pic thanks to Dan
The best part of the entire day??  Taking my sneakers off and rubbing my feet!  Haha!  Yes, that's my dad in the background looking down at me like I'm crazy.  Flip flops have never felt so good. 

Pic thanks to Dan

While walking back towards Epcot, it was awesome to run into a few people that recognized me from the blog!  I know we ran into Marc, but also ran into two other 'fans' and I want to say Thank You!  I apologize completely but I am HORRIBLE with names.  Not to mention I was seriously delirious after all the running.  But if you came up to me to say hello, please leave a comment below.  I love meeting people that read the blog and wish I had written down or tweeted you right then when you told me your twitter name!  Emily?  Erin?  Ugh, I feel horrible.  :(

We had some business to take care of before heading back to the hotel and showering.  There were beers waiting for us at Rose & Crown!! We hobbled over to the UK and the non-running gang quickly grabbed a table outside.  My dad headed to get some french fries (Obviously I know where I get my gluttonous appetite from) and the rest of us went to grab some Strongbow.  I wanted to go inside the pub and get a Black Velvet but it was packed so we just went to the kiosk outside.

While waiting for the fries, Dan and I sprinted (hobbled?) across the course to go hang out and say hello to Lou and the rest of the WDW Radio Running Team!  Mike and Katie were there too so we snapped a quick photo with everyone.  

Pic thanks to Dan
After cheering for a few minutes for the runners coming by, Dan and I decided it was finally time for our celebratory drink.  We made our way back over to the tables and plopped down.  That beer seriously never tasted so good!  Hung around for a bit drinking and eating our fries.   It was SO nice to be done! 

pic thanks to Dan
Needing a shower badly, we headed back to the room to get ready for the rest of the day.  I had been icing my knees but knew a nice cold bath would help so I filled the tub and plopped in.  With my phone of course so I could start writing back to some tweets and texts! 

pic thanks to Daniel

We bummed in the room for a bit until all of us were neat and pretty.  Of course we needed the obligatory bling shot of all of us!  We then proceeded out into the world for a fabulous dinner at Artist Point and closed out Magic Kingdom until 11pm.  I'm quite impressed none of us fell asleep in our food or on a ride! 

pic thanks to Daniel

So yeah... Goofy was HARD, but it's still amazing doing it.  Are we crazy?  Oh hell yes.  But it makes it that much more awesome when you get to run with friends and just enjoy it.  One of these days I want to PR during a full but Goofy isn't the race to do it in.  Which means I need to find another full to run.  Hoping for NYC this year but I doubt the lotto will be kind to me.

And yes, I'll be running Goofy in 2013!  Not sure about Dopey since I wasn't a huge fan of waking up 3 days in a row, Disney doesn't make it 'officialy' Dopey, and I don't want to spend $55 on a 5k when I'm already spending $320 on the next two days.  

I know before the races I ranted a little bit that we had to use the same bib for both races.  Honestly?  It wasn't bad at all.  I admit Disney did the right thing when making us wear the same bib.  It was easier for tracking and I'm sure cleared up some logistic headaches for them. 

As for running with the WDW Radio Running Team?  I'll definitely be supporting them at all the Disney races I run, and probably ones outside of the parks too.  Great organization, great people, lots of fun!

And a huge thanks to my running buddies Daniel, Eric, and Linda!  Definitely helped push me faster than my body wanted to go towards the end.  You guys helped keep my mind off the task at hand and made the entire race fun!

Next up?  The runDisney MeetUp and then I'll start posting your guest posts of the past few races this year!