If Disney really were the place where dreams came true, I would have run a Boston qualifying time there yesterday. I’d passed on the Goofy Challenge (the half on Saturday, the full on Sunday) with hopes of a new PR. It was not in the cards.
But, I can’t complain. I ran my 10th marathon in my 7th state, and I ran the best I could, given the conditions. My time—3:42:39—makes this the third fastest marathon I’ve run, so I’ll take it!
The biggest challenge I anticipated. I thought the unseasonable heat would be the biggest problem (61 at the start, rising to about 70 and sunny by the finish), but the humidity was the real beast. Everyone around me was glistening before we even ran a mile. I dumped cold water on my head at all the stops to stay cool, which helped, but the water never evaporated. I was drenched.
The biggest challenge I didn’t anticipate. I knew the course was flat, which I read as “fast.” Turns out, nonstop flat is awfully hard on my legs. They started feeling pretty shot around the halfway point, not because I was going too fast, but because I was using the same muscles in the same way for such a long time. I never run flat routes at home because they don’t exist. I can barely move today.
The biggest victory. Like at Marine Corps, I had to employ some pretty convincing self-talk to get myself to press on without stopping. If I had stopped, my crampy legs may have seized up entirely, so I’m glad I didn’t.
The biggest disappointment. I didn’t hear a single song from A Goofy Movie on the course.
My biggest concern. I’m signed up for Red Rock Canyon Marathon in March, and I am not excited about it. I’m feeling a little burnt out. And if I really want to do this 50 states marathon thing, I’m going to need to learn how to run marathons “easy,” without so much mental bargaining. I’m going to need to go out much slower, and stay much slower, and walk if I have to. Red Rock won’t be easy, because it’s incredibly hilly, but it will hopefully be less mentally draining.
I’m looking forward to taking the next couple of weeks really easy. I need to hit the “reset” button.