Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Five Days, 42.5 Miles to Go!

The Disney Dumbo Challenge is rapidly approaching. In fact its a bit scary how close it is and I'm starting to get nervous about it. I've been slowly doing little things all week to get ready for it. I've been on the road since mid December with a car full of stuff. Suitcases for Christmas travels, training, bike training, swim training, work clothes, work tools, marathon clothes and supplies etc...etc... Its been a constant shuffle of suitcases. The other day I had a few hours off from work so I went out and did some laundry and then did a complet reshuffle of suitcases so I could just carry one to my hotel room for the marathon. Last night and early this morning I double checked all that stuff and packed a bag for the morning of the 5K with everything I'll need in it. Sleep and time are going to be in short supply the next couple of days so anything I can do to make that morning brainless is going to be a good thing. Essentially this is what the next few days have in store for me....
Wednesday (today):

-Up at 4:30am
-packed bag for pre/post 5K
-packed up extra clothes and laid out clothes for tomorrow
-work from 6am-11pm
-I'll probably get a break somwhere in the afternoon where I'll load up my car with everything I can including my bike and extra suitcases etc that I don't need anymore.
-go to bed by midnight.


-Up at 5am
-pack everything in car
-at work by 8am
-strike from 8am-6pm. (its going to be long, brutal, and I need to do my best to NOT tire myself out)
-shower, get in the car and head to Orlando. Hopefully arrive by 11pm and go right to bed.
-Up at 4AM
-Out the door by 5AM
-At Registration at Epcot by 5:45am (apparently traffic/parking is supposed to be UGLY!)
-5K starts at 7am
-Run 5K at nice easy 9's, smile and enjoy the easy warmup
-Enjoy post race silliness, and then back in the car and head to marathon expo
-marathon expo, packet pickup etc.
-attend goofy challenge instructional lecture for tips etc.
-Few shopping errands, pickup food, gifts for friends etc.
-dry run and research parking for marathon
-Hopefully back in hotel room in the afternoon.
-layout clothes for half marathon and full marathon after checking weather
-consider a dip in the hottub or quick swim/stretch session
-get in bed by 6-7pm.

Saturday and Sunday:
So the half and full marathon both start at 5:30am, and you HAVE to be in the pace corrals by 5AM or they don't let you start the race. Apparently traffic and parking are an absolute nighmare and its a twenty minute walk from parking to the start area. So that means that an absolute last minute arrival would be 4:30am, so I'll likely want to be there by 4AM which means leaving my hotel room around 3:15AM. UGH!!! So that means I'll have to wake up around 2AM. Who needs sleep?
So thats a little preview of whats coming in the next few days... its going to be exhausting! Just the logistics of it all are tiring! But heres what happened yesterday....
I had originally planned to go for a run before work yesterday, but work started so early yesterday that meant waking up at 4am in order to get the 4 miler in. I did make an honest effort to do that but it just didn't happen. So I was pretty psyched when an unscheduled break in my work schedule showed up yesterday afternoon so I could get a run in. So I headed out the door in the 70 degree Florida sun to go get my last 4 miler in before the races start. Being that I've done most of my training in New England in the fall and winter I haven't run in 70 degree weather in a very long time. So I was not used to it. The hot air felt very strange in my lungs.
I headed out from the hotel wondering what my pace was going to be and I decided I wasnt going to look at it except at the mile splits. So after a mile I looked and I was running 8's. Ok... not too bad considring how crappy my legs have felt lately. I was sweating almost instandly in the heat. It felt great, but odd at the same time. Over the first drawbridge "hill" and into mile 2 I started to feel pretty good. I was guessing that I was going faster but foreced myself to wait to the 2 mile split to find out. Finally my garmin chirped and I had just run a 7:30. At this point the alarm bells start going off in my head that I need to chill and stop looking at pace and just relax for the two mile route back. But my brain always short circuits at this point. I've run so much long and slow lately that I get excited when I start to warm up and get even a tiny bit of speed going. So I pressed onwards on my way back to the hotel. The last two miles in were at 7:20 and 7:00 even. I felt pretty good afterwards too. A tiny bit of soreness in my hamstring area thats been plaugeing me for weeks now but nothing too bad. So I stretched a little and then took a very long hot shower and stretched more in the shower. All in all it felt pretty good and as a last run before the races start it was a nice little confidence booster.
And now an update on Nick Vs. The Pasty Tray
So here at the gig the catering area for the crew is DIRECTLY next to my backstage "office area" where I'm camped out during the show. The hotel catering staff have decided to put the table full of evil stuff directly in front of me. As in mere inches in front of me. I barely have to take two steps to hit the breakfast pastry tray. Two days ago I caved... and kind of binged on it. Not good. But I love muffins and banana breads and the like and I just couldn't resist it. I was pretty mad at myself afterwards and upset about it. So yesterday they put the tray of evil stuff right in front of me again. So I moved it when the hotel staff wasn't looking. So they moved it back when I wasn't looking. This became a battle. I lost. However I also won as my will power of steel reappeared and I dodged it all day yesterday. Once again today I'm staring at pastries as I write this and resisting and putting only good things in my body to get ready for the race. So all is well. But this is why being on the road is hard. Theres always a tray full of breakfast pastries or cookies or cakes at every meal. And somedays, the ghost of fat Nick shows up and I lose the battle. Fortunately those days are few and far between.
Ok... time to get back to work... here's hoping the next couple of days pass by fairly painlessly and without being too tiring!


  1. I'm so excited for you...this sounds so fun! So the Dumbo challenge must be new? I've heard of the Goofy challenge with the half then full.
    Surprising that the start time is so early-maybe because the parks opening, but your training + the adrenaline will see you through then you can kick back with a pastry :) and a beer

  2. Hi Cindy... The Dumbo isn't actually an official name. But adding the 5K to the Official "Goofy Challenge" is known amongst runners as the "Dumbo" or the "Dopey". Its just a joke. I do think the early starts have to do with them not wanting runners in the parks when they open and they have to allot for the walkers in there as well. I can't wait till the finish of the full when I can enjoy some great food and beer! I can't wait!