2007 Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge Report: Joseph Schum(Part 2)
Joseph Schum (Part 1)
Hello 2:30AM. Freaking Groundhog Day. Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel. etc. Yogurt, Propel, folding chairs, blah, blah, blah. Met JB sans Spidey outfit and we boarded the bus to trig class, I mean the holding corral. Same thing really.
This time we had an even longer walk to race staging corrals. It was clear that there were more people for this race. I thought the 1/2 would be more crowded but not the case. We set up at the back of our corral so Deb could be in the front of hers and we could hang out. We had our chairs along the retaining fence and ate the rest of our breakfast. It was pretty funny to watch the whole pack mentality with the crowd. Someone would stand up and then the whole corral would stand up. They would figure out that there was another 45 minutes to wait and eventually sit down. Weird stuff. Like the clicker nuns used to carry :)
The strangest start in marathon history for me. As we got closer to the gun I started to stretch. I was just off the pavement using the fence post for calf stretches. I felt a mosquito bite me and thought; 'wow, at this time of year?'. Then another bite. And another. I walked into the light and looked down and my right foot was covered in fire ants. I quickly started to brush them off. They were on both feet. I removed my shoes and started slapping these things off me. What a great pre-race routine. I was bitten at least three times and now was wondering if it would affect me once I got going. A few moments later some more started crawling out of my socks. What a trip. A nice calm relaxed start for a marathon.
My strategy here was to run a negative HR splits run with 6, 6, 6, & 8 mile segments. I noticed right away that my heart rate ran up. Most likely due to yesterday's half. Usually on my first split I'm right around 8:35/8:45 thinking I'm going too fast. My first split on this day was 10:09. My segments and pace were very steady. There is something to this type of strategy. It really levels off your split times. I ventured below 10:00 and above 10:00 all the way through but only about 10 or 15 seconds either way. Again, I had to fight off the urge to run faster than planned when we were inside the theme parks. The crowd support there was good and many of my fellow runners started to pick it up. Once we left Magic Kingdom things slowed back down and got a bit quiet. It was also getting hotter by the hour and it was important to stay hydrated and fueled. I was working combinations of water, e-gel, Powerade and Endurolyte capsules. I felt good through 14 but noticed my legs early on from the 1/2. Then things started to get a little labored up to the jungle area. I was very inspired by the young military recruits that were lined up around mile 15 cheering on runners. (Soap Box On: These are the real heroes that stand on that wall so the rest of us can run a marathon in safety. I thanked each and every one of them. Soap Box Off.)
My new pair of shoes were performing well as they only had 5 miles on them prior to this race. I'm glad I switched over. Things were getting very hot and wet and we were all soaked. I started seeing bodies around Mile 16/17 and just kept trekking. The run between the jungle and MGM was tough, hot, sunny and boring. I knew that once I got into that theme park it was not too far from the finish. Things got really tight in spots around MGM and that boardwalk into Epcot. This would be a tough PR course spending energy just getting around people in these narrow sidewalks. Crowds in MGM and Epcot were really good. These weren't family members or other organized group cheering sections (ahem). Just park vistors who were wowed by the athletes efforts of the day. That was cool. I started cramping after crossing Mile 25. This was something I feared most of the day since I was losing control of my HR over the last mile or two. Sure enough, with less than a mile to go things were getting crampy. I had only stopped at water stations on the way and really wanted to keep going to the finish line. I cranked up my toes and tried to lengthen the stride to keep from cramping. The finish was close and I knew the basic course going in from yesterday. Once I cleared the dome and rounded the corner and saw the grandstand I just beared down. I saw some friends in the stands and waved. As I crossed I realized that I had just completed 39.3 miles in 24 hours!
What would you do differently?:
This is easy. I would never run a 1/2 and full marathons back-to-back again. This is a lot harder than it sounds.
Mickey medal. Chip removal. Bottle of water. Can of Diet Coke. Goofy Medal. Get bag. Dry off and change into dry clothing. Waddle to bus. Sit and pray I could get up again. Room. Bath. Beer. Bed.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
In all seriousness. The hot weather was trouble for me. I really focused on hydrating, fueling and maintaining my race plan. Goofy was the goal here.
Welcome to Goofy! I attended these races through friendly intimidation :)
But, once committed I really wanted to do this. It's tough enough to marathon, but Goofy was insane. The course is not that great and I understand that they ran out of water later in the day at miles 13 through 20. The bling is top drawer though and while I wouldn't do this again, if one is looking to challenge themselves, this event is certainly up to that task. Congrats to all my fellow Goofy medalists. They really deserve some praise!