Thursday, January 13, 2011

Time to hit the pavement!

There are times when hitting the road is a good thing. There are times when hitting the road isn't such a good thing.
This is about both.
My 6th Goofy Challenge at Disney World was this past weekend and having finished all six makes me "Perfectly Goofy"! I hadn't really had the intention of going but the ever lovely ML thought it would be fun to go and get her 5th half marathon there.
Last May 12th I was on the couch medicated with really good drugs staring at a post surgery ankle propped up on a chair. My doctor said my ankle should be solid within the year but that running might be a problem, he just wasn't sure. After 40 years of running well, if that was it...that was it. As it turns out and much to my doc's glee, it's just fine and running isn't a problem. Well, I have had a few gait change issues that I'm working through, but they'll pass.

What can you say about running at Disney? It's fun and cool and expensive and worth it.
The hardest part of the weekend is getting up at two in the morning to get to the race venue. Do Goofy and you have to do it two days in a row. Fine.

We were up at the right time and on the bus and off to the race sight getting there at 3:15. Now previous years and increasing years have led us to get slots at the runners retreat. While expensive it is worth it to ML and to my creaking bones. We meet some nice folks at our table and nosh on bagels and hot tea and enjoy the private porta- johns. Nice.

At about 4:45 we head over to the race start which is now the same for both races. Kisses, hugs and I leave ML in her corral and walk up to mine. We wear only the best in lawn and leaf bags which block the wind and provide a great place to pee in plan view of twenty thousand people.

At 5:35 the wheelies go off and six minutes later the first wave goes off. Six minutes later I 'm off. It's 5:47. It's a cool morning.
Running in the dark is good. I like it. It's fun with fire works! Away from Epcot and off toward the Magic Kingdom the miles tick by and hitting the road out here is cool...lots of fun and happy folks and it's neat to be running up Main Street with all the lights, including Christmas lights. I never get tired of it.
With so many folks it does get tight in a few places, and I'm in an early wave! It must be really tight for folks at the back.
I spin along and the ankle feels good and I've taped my knee to help with a tracking issue. It feels good too. (KT tape rocks!)
Before long you can see Spaceship Earth and are back in Epcot and at the finish. 2:08 for the 13.1 miles at an easy pace. Now in my neighborhood, 2:08 is slow. My PR is 1:38. and I usually run a 1:45, but I'm running a marathon the next day so a lollygag is good. almost 22,000 finishers for the race and I'm 4,800th-ish.
ML, my hero, rolls in at 2:45, quite happy. Not bad for someone pushing 58 in her 5th year of running.

Back to the hotel for a stand in the cool pool water, a shower and off to the parks! Can't pass up fun.

ML sleeps in the next morning and I repeat the previous days awakening and repeat the process to get to the start line. While waiting in the corral the announcers are interviewing some woman who is all fired up about doing Goofy and se boasts how she resisted going to the parks after the half so she'd be ready for the mary. Myself and the other Goofies around me laugh..."Who does that?" someone said You're supposed to run the half, go walk around the rest of the day and then run the marathon. It's part of Goofy.

The fire works and cannon go off and off we all go into the dark but only 17 thousand folks this time. (13,522 finishers)
The miles go by kind of quick...I'm listening to music and it really helps things go faster. I never do other races or train with tunes so pulling them out on this day, a really bumpin' play list, makes it even more fun.
I'm just humming along, ankle and knee solid, leaving The Animal Kingdom park and passing mile 18 then 19 and thinking about a 4:30 finish. Two wide open lanes on the road and the pack has really thinned out. It's all good when....SLAM!!!! I'm face down on the pavement. I'm a little dazed and have the wind knocked out of me and have no idea what the hell happened...
Some great runners around me helped me up and stayed with me till I could breathe. One of them, a woman, told me what happened: A "young girl" (her term) passed her, running with her head down...she came right up behind me and when she realized we were going to collide she pushed me. BAM! Down I went like I was spring loaded. She didn't stop. It took a bit (three miles) to pull myself together and feel ok and I was able to finish in about 5:19 with two sore hands and some chest pain. All that sort of dissolved when I crossed the finish...Perfectly Goofy!
Now If I realized I was going to hit someone with a back as sweaty and hairy as mine I'd have pushed them too, but at least I would have helped them up and said I was sorry! She probably hasn't learned yet that what goes around comes around. I just hope she doesn't get hurt when it does.


  1. Oh heck she will hurt big time.... Well done Anton, you continue to amaze me... that ankle must be titanium.

  2. Stephen - snail_male from trifuelJanuary 14, 2011 at 7:25 AM

    Wow, Anton, glad it wasn't worse for you; that was a horrid situation we pretty much never expect when running. Your indomitable spirit is beyond Goofy... Congrats on the finish(es)!