11 Tips for Running Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge
2013 marks my fourth attempt at Walt Disney World’s Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge. And no, I’m not certifiably insane.
I first learned of runDisney races back in 2008 when I wanted to cross “running a marathon” off my bucket list. While researching the Walt Disney Marathon, I came across the Goofy event and my immediate thought was that these “Goofy” people were foolish and how on earth would it be possible to complete the Half Marathon of 13.1 miles on Saturday and the Full Marathon of 26.2 miles on Sunday for a total of 39.3 miles and therefore be GOOFY!
My first marathon, the 2009 WDW Marathon, came and went and I swore I would NEVER, EVER, EVER subject my body to another 26.2 miles ever again. I don’t know what happen, but I few weeks went by and I started feeling good. My body was recovering and my mind forgot. It was the 5th Anniversary of the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge and I got caught up in the marketing and I plunked down my $300 and I was training for Goofy. What a Dumb ass.
Here’s what I’ve learned running my 3 Goofy Challenges.
11 Tips for Running the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge:
1. Switch it Up: Bring 2 pairs of running shoes to wear for the weekend. 1 pair for the 5K and half and another for the marathon. (In 2013, I have switched to Newton’s and they should be good for both days.)
2. Be Prepared: Lay out your race attire Friday (Thursday for Dopey) night for both (3) races. Why worry about it after you complete the half? Conserve your energy. I begin stacking my clothes backwards with the last item I’m going to put on on the bottom – so shoes, compression socks, Garmin, RoadID, sunglasses, Sweatyband, skirt, underwear, shirt, sports bra, deodorant and Glide. Lay it all out with peace, quiet and focus. Remember to write your emergency info on the back of your bib even if you have a Road ID. Remember to lather up on Glide or TRI SLIDE.
3. Compression Socks ROCK: I strongly suggest compression socks for this event. When running Dopey, I will wear a different pair of compression socks each day. I don’t cramp up when wearing them. I love them!
4. Get a Rub Down: Get a massage after each event. Disney charges $1 per minute for a massage in the tent. Bring $10 for the Half and $20 for the Full or book a massage at Saratoga or Grand Floridian. Remember to pack and use your Stick or foam roller too!
5. Fuel Up: Nutrition – know your plan and what works for you and don’t change it up. You will need fuel. I am not a carb loader. I eat a veggie, a starch and a protein and continuously drink water up until 10pm the night before the race. And don’t eat garbage until after the full marathon and look forward to celebrating with a cold beer (or two)!
6. Stay Calm and Carry On: Don’t succumb to the craziness of the half marathoners or the 5K. Run your race, but take it easy and remember that you also have to run the following day(s) – TWICE the distance. Stay calm and stay focused. If your plan is to run 2 minutes and walk 30 seconds – then do it. Move to the side and stick with plan at mile 1. Stay true to your vision. Put on your blinders. Focus.
7. Trick the Noggin & Break Up the Distance: Don’t worry about the full marathon while running the half. Concentrate on the race at hand. Break up the distance – run 3 different 4milers and then a 1 miler for the half marathon. Run 4 different 5-milers and then a 10-K for the full. Do whatever you need to do to not think about the total mileage.
8. Get to Bed: I am in bed by 10pm. I don’t necessarily fall asleep, but I zone and let my mind go. Prior to going to bed I rub Bio Freeze over my legs and torso and then freeze to death – I think this helps with letting my mind concentrate on something else. I wake up at 4:30am and walk to the start while eating my banana and cereal bar and am normally the first in my corral by 5am.
9. Walk it Out: After the race(s) I walk the parks. I think that walking around helps my body recover and prepare for the next race. I don’t recommend being a park warrior, but I don’t recommend just sitting around. It tightens you up and that’s not good.
10. There May be Tears and Pain: and it’s okay. We’ve all been there. For my first Goofy I wanted to give up at mile 22 of the full. I ran around World Showcase chasing Captain Jack Sparrow’s feet. I was hyperventilating crossing the finish line. And yes, I did hug and kiss, while sobbing uncontrollably, the volunteer that gave me my 1st Goofy medal. It’s okay – you’re a Goofy Finisher!
11. Wear Your Bling! Let’s face it – you earned it! Wear it. Wear all of it. Wear it proud!