So I ran a little race called the Minnie…

I am back from a whirlwind of activity at the WDW Marathon Weekend.

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I have no words, except it was more than I expected and more fun than I thought possible and bizarre in ways I cannot explain – but all great holidays are like that!

It started off with Toronto. My flight was cancelled because of cold. Whatever, the rest of Canada can function in -40 or colder and with WAY MORE SNOW – but somehow, Toronto needs to shut the airport down and cancel all flights, stack everyone’s luggage like cord wood and close its doors. Suffice it to say, I obviously have no idea how things are run – but I DO know taking 24 hours to Orlando sucked. It meant that I had to miss the 5k, that meant ChatterBox had to miss her ONLY RACE.

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That was very disappointing but my pal Mitch was volunteering and was able to score us our 5k medallions, he also went to expo for me and picked up our bibs and shirts because he is awesome like that.

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We arrived Wednesday and goofed around most of the evening when I should have been sleeping – why? Hello? I WAS IN WALT DISNEY WORLD! We met up with Joe from DAWS and hit the parks. This was where the laughter began and it lasted for 6 days.

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By 11:00PM Florida time I was tucked into bed with a 2:00 AM wake up call. Did I sleep?

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Not really, but I was on the first bus to the 10k! That was where I met up with more team mates. We hugged, laughed and chatted about stuff. I met Canadians from Calgary and Toronto  and a Canadian who was born in Calgary and lives in Toronto so pretty much made friends with all my nemesis’. But Canadians are all friends once we cross the border.   I hugged every maple leaf I saw and they hugged backed like they were family. (Hi random Canucks from Nova Scotia!!! You were great huggers!)

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Several waves later and it was my turn and some of the first wave runners were back.

Off I ran into the dark with a temperature of 21C and 92% humidity. Hot was a weird feeling in the dark.

The first 5km of the 10k race was out on the Hwy. Boooooorinnnnng. But I saw Peter Pan and Wendy and that was fun. But the best part for me was running through Epcot. The sun was just coming up. It had been raining earlier in the night and the surfaces were slick. As I ran past SpaceShip Earth, I slipped and twisted my knee. I walked if off for a bit but then began running later…little did I know this would be my downfall.

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As I ran towards the finish line, I looked for teammates who said they would be there…liars. But Rudy Novotny saw me and looked me in the eye and welcomed me to the finish line…THAT was AWESOME!.

The long walk to the medals and longer walk through the photo area and back to the buses was a surprise, but this was my very first large race. Bigger than Calgary which was 15,000. Little did I know this was only a precursor for the half.

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Again I headed out to play in the parks, but had an early night with dinner on my balcony watching fireworks to end my day because my wake up call was for 2:00 AM again. Only this time it would be for the half marathon, running with 29, 000 other runners.

But more about that story tomorrow…

So you think I am Dopey?

Yesterday my team-mate Mitch discovered why his foot has been giving him issues. Apparently it has a stress fracture and his doctor told him not to run.

Been there, ran on it and STILL finished a half marathon. I think Mitch is being a wuss, however, he IS being smart and listening to his doctor. It is smart for lots of reasons:

  1. he won’t have a permanent injury
  2. he can rest and mend, then come back stronger than ever
  3. he can get out of chores around the house

All those reasons are good ones.

He asked me yesterday what was the craziest thing I have ever done in the last 30 days. Obviously it was running in a blizzard. That was stupid.

Then he asked me, “What is the craziest thing you will do in the next 30 days?”

Obviously run the Grumpy with very little distance training under my belt.

I was wrong.

He informed me that I was going to run the Dopey. He was giving me his marathon bib and I can run a marathon for fun! WOOT! Now WHO wouldn’t want that for Christmas???

I sat in my chair and looked out my window at this:

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A foot of new snow with more coming and temperatures hovering around -17F. I had asked my other team-mate Joe how many miles did I need to be at this week if I was to consider running the Dopey. He said 15k Saturday and 32k Sunday.

Right.

The furthest I have run to date was in August, I ran 22km. Since then, I struggle in with the snow and cold to make my distances. Today was an hour out there freezing my tushy off and I made it to 6k.

The Dopey is a 4 day back to back race. The first day starts with 5k, next is the 10k, followed by the 21.1k and then finally on the last day you go big with a full marathon. I have never run a marathon in my life. I am not even sure I have walked that far even with all my Disneyland commando type days. 42.2km is FAR. It is the equivalent of walking from Sherwood Park to Spruce Grove (this is for the benefit of my Edmonton peeps). Respect the distance.

As I looked out my window I thought about the possibility. I could toe the line and start. If I get swept, then I get swept. There is no shame in trying. The up side is I am mentally strong enough to finish in 7-8 hours. I know I could do that. This article from Forbes explains me very well.

But do I want to?

Running the Dopey means earning a collection of 6 beautiful medals.

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Running the unofficial Dopey – which is what I would be doing is a collection of 4. I would miss out on the Goofy medal and the Dopey medal. I would have to try to score them on ebay.

My daughter is coming with me that weekend. She is running the 5k with me. She was worried that I would not be able to visit parks after I ran the half because I would be so tired. If I ran the marathon too, I know I would be too tired to be in the parks on Sunday. She is my reason for breathing. Missing out on a full day of park time with her would be devastating for me.

The other thing I thought about was some goals I set for myself.

Recovery is a big part of that. To recover quickly after a race, proper training is part of it. I have NEVER run a marathon and to do so without training is not respecting the distance and doing mean things to my body, then I need to sit on an airplane for 8 hours. I will not be able to move, never mind getting up for work the next day.

I have a dream.

My dream is to prepare to run a marathon. Train to the best of my ability and that includes sleep and nutrition. When I run my first marathon, I want to be in the moment. I want to be prepared and see what my best effort can bring. The days of taking risks because I am mentally strong enough are over.

Go Big or Go home is a motto I will save for different adventures that include training and supporting my physical needs properly. I really do think I could run the Dopey this year. I am in the best physical condition of my life. However, I am not prepared for the physical consequences or the emotional ones where my daughter becomes disappointed. Just thinking about what she means to me brings tears to my eyes. And really, no physical goal is more important than her.

So Thanks for believing in me Mitch and Joe, but I will pass on the unOfficial Dopey and will do the real thing in 2015 when I am ready.