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Learn : Marathon Story  

Running Background:

marathon photoI consider myself an intermediate runner and I primarily run for weight loss/control. I decided to run a marathon because running allows me to find myself, whether it is a training run or a race. Life gets really busy and stressful and there are times that a person gets so caught up in those issues that they forget what makes them happy. I am happy when I run.

Training:

I trained for 9 months following Jeff Galloway's "Marathon You Can Do it" plus added back-to-back long runs on the weekend.

The best training advice I would share with others is: 1) take it easy on the long runs, but also do other runs like speed and hill work; and, 2) train to eat after long runs to refuel and speed recovery.

Race Day:

The 2008 Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge was better than expected.

This is my 3rd Goofy' race and a Half Challenge. Saturday was the half marathon. The weather was perfect and the race course flat. Disney really knows how to put on a show and handle crowds. Once I entered the main race area there was a band and lots of other tents and action. The best advice that I can give here is just go to the baggage check tents and go through to the staging area, find a place to lie or sit down and get off your feet! There were plenty of portajohns and volunteers with water. It was definitely less crowded and when we were marshaled out to the staging area, which was a bit of a walk, getting a spot to sit/lie down in the corral was very easy.

Of course, the start of the race was incredible with fireworks and lots of music. The start was in waves which really helps with the crowd control. There are a few bottle necks that happen in the first 2 miles. I just allowed myself to go with the flow and not try to speed up and pass in these areas. Once at mile two there was a lot more space and room to run. The key for me was to finish with as fresh as legs as possible, and start recovery for the marathon ASAP. After the half marathon, I made sure to eat a good breakfast, walked in the pool after, and slept with a focus of staying off my feet.

The next day was again great weather and again ,my focus at the marshaling area was to stay off my feet. The marathon course was just as much fun. Along with the power gels my disposable camera was fun to have as there were many characters along the way. I felt that Disney had many aid stations, I think 22, so I never felt like I had to wait too long for a drink.

Overall, Disney really puts on a good race. They have an expo with wonderful speakers. I particularly enjoyed listening to Bill Rodgers speak. They all provided useful insight and continued to expand my knowledge as a runner. The course has many distractions that keep your mind occupied. Also, after the races, there is a lot to do and keep your family busy. I have been to Walt Disney World at busy times (like New Years) and the crowds this time of year are low. I will be back next year to keep the streak alive!!

Recovery:

I didn't have any recovery problems. I ate and drank as soon as I crossed the finish line! After the half marathon, I made sure to eat a good breakfast, walked in the pool after, and slept.

Running Gear Recommendations:

iPod + DJ Tiesto
My new favorite, DJ - Tiesto! Great for the long runs and some speed work.
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DJ Tiesto

Powerbar Power Gel
I still love green apple!
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Camelbak
Great for long runs to stay hydrated on the hot days of training.
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

The journey of the marathon will take you so many places that you will never expect.

Plans to Run Another:

I'm planning to continue to run marathons. Running is part of my life that brings me happiness. Training for a marathon keeps my mind and body healthy. I plan on continuing my streak of the Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge for as long as possible.

For my next marathon, I'll run more with friends, some of the long runs get lonely so I'll plan more with my running buddies!

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