Spartan Race

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Goofy, or a short treatise on how I didn't train like I thought I would

I had fully intended to come up with a great training plan and great strategy for running the Goofy. I fully intended to train hard for it all summer. I fully intended to have run daily for the last year. I fully intended to be in the best shape I have ever been in, right now, today, as I write this. Oh well.
I’m trying to remember what made me think this was a good idea. Last January, my wife was coming off her second Goofy in a row and seemed no worse the wear for it. I thought, hey, I can do that. Hey, I want to do that. I signed up for it the night we got back from the 2009 Disney Marathon Weekend.
I love half marathon. I think they are the most elegant race length. They’re long enough to be an accomplishment, but don’t require hours and hours of training. You can finish a half marathon, shower, and still make it to a restaurant while they’re serving their breakfast menu. I like that distance. It’s my best distance. I ran four halfs (halves?) last year, and I’m already signed up for 5 this year before the end of April. I get respectable times in half marathons, I don’t in fulls. I do have to admit, though, I do feel a little greasy, a little oily, a little wimpy, when I am running a half that also has a full associated with it. I secretly feel like a little less of a runner when I turn off early to go get my medal and beer while the folks I’m running with go on for another 13.1, only half done (maybe I should gravitate towards stand alone half marathon). It’s clearly this effect that made me decide to do the Goofy. And why I am now coming up with a contingency plan.
My conclusion: I’m going to enjoy it. At this point, I’ve run my share of races, I can’t pretend to be a neophyte. I’m not out their wondering if I can do it. At the same time, I’m going to have to convince myself that there is something in between a PR and a DNF. The vast majority of the time when I finish a race, if I don’t PR I end up kicking myself about not picking up the pace somewhere along the way. On this one, though. I think it’s a losing strategy.
Strategy: The Half. After substantial discussion with Mrs. Running Doc, we came up with this idea. We’re going to be tourist. We’re going to run at a moderate pace. I’m going to throw my camera in my belt. We’re going to be the idiots who everyone stares at who stop in the middle of the race to get their picture taken with Pluto. We’re going to be the ones who climb up on the Pirates of the Caribbean float with Jack Sparrow. We’ll line up to pose with Daisy. And then, we’ll finish, and go find a place still serving breakfast. Not an approach I’m used to taking, but I think I need to finish running this one with plenty of gas left in the tank.
Strategy: The marathon. Go run. Nothing fancy here. Start, go as hard as I can. Eventually, be done. Collect medals. Find beer. Take picture of sweaty Running Doc hoisting all three medals in one hand with beer in other hand. Take another picture without beer, so I can be selective in which one I show to people (I read somewhere that you should never be photographed with alcohol in your hand. Too late for that.) I won’t PR this race, and it’s not about that.
And I’ll hurt the rest of the day, and maybe the next day. Depending on how bad, I very well may sign up for the 2011 Goofy before I get home. If I make noises about going to a marathon that associated with an ultra, somebody shoot me. Mu.

1 comment:

  1. Perfect strategy! Disney is all about fun right? After I didn't make my first 1/2 goal, my running club buddy told me this, "Always remember why we run. Listen to the birds, look at the sights, wave to a fellow runner...and when the day and opportunity arises run for a PR."

    I'm going to do Disney is 2011, Orlando and California. Love that place! Good luck and I can't wait to hear about your experiences.