Thursday, February 11, 2016

Boston training Week 3, where mercurial weather is plentiful.

I feel like week 3 of #omgbostontraining was about what I have come to expect from a marathon training cycle.
A little good, a little bad, a little shit.

The week started off strong with me feeling obnoxiously good about a couple key workouts. Like, the kind that almost make you want to puke (but you don't, and therefore think you are impervious.)
I got through those in fine form was actually able to take it outside at the end of the week.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a 50 degree day in February.

Last Thursdays run, basically no snow.
I was feeling really good for this workout but it was scheduled to be easy, with a progression run the next day and a long run the day after.

Capris and DRY roads in Feb?! Fuck YES.
I purposefully kept the pace well in check (and it retrospect, I shouldn't have. I should have gone balls to the walls screaming "screw my plan!!" because going easy did not pay off.)

Easy run equals looking at the pretty sunset.
Anywhoo. The next day came and my run absolutely sucked. I was hoping for  pretty solid progression run but it was weak and blah. Lame and dumb. Stupid. I figured it was just an off day and went about my business.

Saturday was long run day and, unfortunately the weather had been crap all day on Friday.

WTF snow, WT actual F.....

The roads were clear enough to be safe but there was enough slush to make things yucky (and wet) and it was quite a bit colder than it had been (although 35 in Feb is really nothing to get hystercal about.)

Gross roads. Cold enough for tights. Dumb.
All that being said, the first 9 miles of my run were just the worst. I was still blah, I was getting splattered with slush and gravel by he passing cars and life was just *so hard* and *so challenging*.
I did a full system check and, discovering that I was neither sick nor injured I decided that I really needed to just suck it the hell up.

THIS. Because, seriously.....
The last 6 miles of my run were just fine. Back to normal. No problems. Apparently my body realized that I wasn't taking its shit and it got on board with the plan of slapping one foot down in front of the other. Jeesh... Too bad the first 9 were an actual death march to hell. GAHD.

Not thrilled. Really, not that excited.
 Anyway, I got home and recovered well like the true athlete that I am.

What's the point of running if there isn't any beer and cheese?
I'm not sure why the blah's came out at the end of the week. It usually happens a couple times during a marathon cycle so I'm attributing it to that. My winter allergies had been out of control and my sleeping hadn't been 100% perfect, I had been waking up in the night with a dry cough (I say had because as of this week I am better- a few allergy pills and I seem to be getting a handle on it.) Either way, one lousy week is ok and I still managed 40 miles which was exactly to plan.

I am far from a marathon expert but in my experience a lot of shit goes down in the 18, 12 or (if you are me) 9 weeks that you train hard for. (yeah, yeah- I'm training for more than 9 weeks this time *sigh*) In the end, one bad workout doesn't matter one bit. You won't even notice a lousy week come race day. Since a marathon takes a few hours and training takes a few months I try to make the best of it and let the crap roll off my shoulders. The beer and cheese really, really helps with this! 

Next week is a lighter week for a few reasons and then the countdown really gets real!
(I was asked today if my "training week" differs from the traditional Mon-Sun runners schedule. No, it doesn't, I am just lazy and can't be bothered to post a blog until the following week is almost over!)

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Boston Training Week #2, shoes, and Bobcats

Currently the weather is much more like April than like February 1st. While I know that Feb is traditionally the month where the shit hits the fan I don't count on this to last but I certainly am enjoying it!

All last week the weather was really decent. Sadly, the sun is still going down too early for me to feel inspired to hoof it around town but we are getting there. I took my long run outdoors and appreciated the lovely sunset and the muddy snowbanks. (muddy snowbanks are always better than snowy snowbanks in my opinion!)

Pretty sunset at 4:44 PM
I had a shockingly good long run this week. 16 miles of complete enjoyment and at a pretty decent clip too. This is unheard of for January so I am going to attribute it to one of two things: the base I built up during Philly-thru-Dopey OR (and more likely) dumb luck. Either way, I'll take it. I had a crap ton of fun, I listened to some sweet tunes which is not the norm, it was warm (38) and just a good day.

My thumb looks so large. This is a weird pic but I'm using it anyway.
Since about a month prior to Philly I have been having a bit of shoe drama. Even though I have it mostly sorted out it still merits mention because shoes play a big role in my happiness.
I snagged a pair of Clifton 2's after my final pair of Clifton 1's bit the dust.
Well, this was a struggle. Lots of changes to the 2's (this is old news) and after bleeding all over them for 50 miles I tossed them aside. I put back on the Clifton 1's for another 100 miles (at that point, 100 miles was less than 2 weeks.) *side note- those final 100 miles really turned the 1's into slippers. poor things. they have a life span and 470 miles was tooooo much.*

Right, I digress.
I basically crossed my fingers and picked up a pair of Odyssey's. I think I put less than 70 miles on them and then ran Philly. They are now nearing the end, with over 300 miles on them. While they don't fill me with joy they get the job done and have improved with miles.

Beat up Odyssey's left, Clifton 2's Right. Dog foot bottom.
So here are my feelings.
The Odyssey 1's, because they have the "original" Hoka tongue worked better for me than the Clifton 2's. However, both pairs of shoes are much more narrow than the Clifton 1's (or any Hokas from a year or so ago) and that just stinks. I don't even have a wide foot!
I have another pair of Odyssey's in the wings and have found that the Clifton 2's, after a lengthy and bogus "break in" period are pretty serviceable. I feel they will get me through Boston.
All of this being said the original Clifton's were an amazing shoe- one that I had ZERO complaints about. I am holding out hope that Hoka brings back a similar model ASAP.
Why not just change brands you might ask? Because at the end of the day my legs/hips/back all feel better in a Hoka than in anything else. So apparently I am willing to sacrifice my little toe and let my ankles bleed to keep the legs happy....
I have very high hopes for the upcoming Clayton and the reps have promised me a better Clifton 3. Since the Hokas have kept me on my feet better than any other shoe thus far I will consider the past few months to be a small bump in the road of an otherwise delightful relationship. 

So what else?
My whole week of training was solid. I came in, as planned at 39 miles which included the previously mentioned great long run and a variety of treadmill training that included a few mile repeats and a progression run which were good, but sweaty.

Unflattering sweaty selfie, as promised.

In more exciting (late) news....
I mentioned the encounter with the bobcat in my last post, completely forgetting that I had left that experience off the blog!
Back in late October I was out running after dark, lit up like a damn Christmas tree per the norm. When you are used to running in Maine in the Fall you get used to hearing a variety of critters moving thru the fallen leaves and assorted puckerbrush. I am pretty used to hearing squirrels, turkeys, and assorted small wildlife and I barely give those noises any notice.
Anywhoo, I was a few miles out, on one of the bigger roads in my town (in the DARK) when I heard an unusual scuffle in the underbrush just ahead of me on the other side of the road. I contemplated what it could be and decided that it was either a very large dog or a creepy skulking human. Feeling prepared to deal with either of those situations I turned my flashlight to the right AND THERE HE WAS. You guys, he was right there. Taking a look at me. Like just across the road!

JUST LIKE THIS! But dark. No, I did NOT take pics!! #terror
I was quite certain that it was a mountain lion and (possibly for the first time ever while on a run) thought I might be completely fucked. So what did I do? I ran LIKE HELL. I knew that about 150 feet away there was a driveway and my plan was to get there, chuck stones and yell. Luckily, Mr. Bobcat was just as startled to see me as I was him and he stayed put. (he was most likely hunting the chickens right across the way.)
Of course, once I had run quite a ways, unreasonably fast I spent a minute or two going "ahhhh! I DID NOT LIKE THAT!" and kind of sobbing and dry heaving from the redline sprint like a *very brave* person.
(and I get it, backseat drivers, you don't run from cats. but what would you have done with zero time to plan!? I have a plan for bad dogs, creepy people and even bears. just not BIG fucking huge cats. So I RAN!!!!!)

Anyway....! That's it from here. Enjoy the Spring everyone. :-)

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

"Week one" of Boston Training, done and done.

Post Dopey I took basically a week off. Recovery was honestly a snap but I don't mess around after running almost 50 miles in 4 days.

Once I finished up my little break I got back into the swing of things with the intention of perhaps being prepared for Boston this year (this is a pretty amusing statement coming from the queen of the 8 week training plan!)

Per the norm, a consistent running schedule has created a disgusting overload of laundry.
Two baskets for the win.

Yeah, this is my life
Week one of "Boston Training" went off without a hitch. I think I ran 32 miles which included some fairly uninspired 800's and a decent enough 10 mile long run (done on the treadmill which is a study in managing boredom.)

I feel funny declaring a certain day as the "start" of training because I have actually been running very consistently this winter and the past few months of training will all contribute to things to come. But whatever, all the cool kids are "officially" training for the big day so I will too!

Because it has been cold, and dark, and I am very busy the bulk of my training has been on the treadmill which is fine. I am happy to run outdoors in the dark if it is warm but absolutely not when it is freezing! Also, my November face to face encounter with the huge Bobcat made me feel a little spazzy about my afterdark workout routine.

Sweaty treadmill miles
So that's about it from here. February promises to be a bit slow in the race/adventure department but should be heavy on the unattractive basement selfies. Nobody should miss that so stay tuned for more!



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2016 Dopey Challenge: Wait, WHAT? We have to run a marathon??

Part five of our Dopey Challenge Experience: The Final Chapter 

Yes, we are all Dopey.
Just like that it was marathon day.

I stepped outside first thing to determine how many extra layers we would need to stay warm and came back in with this: "you guys. this isn't good."
It was, by 10+ degrees the warmest morning we had encountered. And thick with humidity.

Thinking that the conditions certainly could change we bundled up as we had in the previous days and, well stocked with snacks headed to the now familiar bus. We had a much less scary driver on this particular day. Our Half Marathon bus driver was filled with rage and a desire to terrify all of us. (he was fairly successful and I guarantee that he terrified several motorists who he just about pushed off the road. Be AGGRESSIVE!)

Waiting (5 seconds) for the BUS!!
Whatever had been the issue with the previous days security line had been resolved and we flew thru bag/belt check. The whole process was so damn fast that we were in our corral very close to the front by 4:30.

There were still loads of people though. And I like snapchat.
It was, as previously noted, considerably warmer than the previous days and quickly we were down to race apparel. All of us were trying to get some hydration pre race so this led to a few bathroom breaks before the start. A good way to pass the hours....

See the lack of clothing? Warm.
(note: for the half and full bring your own drinks. there was a concession stand in the initial staging area selling bagels, coffee, and water but nothing after that. oddly, for the 5k and 10k there were a few hydration stations set up and easily accessible. none of us could find such a thing for the longer distance races within reach of the corrals.)

There was some GOOD NEWS. There was only a 3 minute hold for most of the corrals- spacing to a 4 minute hold for the final few. Such a great feeling for all of us who were dreading the 10 minute hold we had been warned about. I'm not sure if this is a case of Disney changing things or a case of "don't believe what bus strangers tell you" but either way- PHEW.

The whole gang, about to start!
And then. We were off. All of us appreciated the fact that Andy's fitbit recorded that as we moved up towards the start his heart rate increased 10 bpm per corral. He was basically tachycardic by the time we reached the start, which I appreciated since nothing is scarier that the start of a marathon.

BIG FIREWORKS!
The first 6 miles were a carbon copy of the half. A few notable exceptions were the undeniable fact that I was soaked, dripping sweat after the first mile. Also, due to the pre race hydration plan I had to stop and pee behind a tree around mile 5 (the lines for the porta potties needed a fast-pass so, no thanks...)
While people genuinely had quality race etiquette throughout the full, it was slow going.
My legs were a bit heavy from the previous days, the air was like glue and nobody was moving quickly.
Similar to the previous day, traffic slowed down one notch more around the Contemporary and throughout the Magic Kingdom. I give kudos to whoever decided to divert traffic into two lanes after running through the castle but there wasn't an option to do much more than slow run throughout the whole MK.

OMG such FOCUS. Just looking at the traffic ahead actually.
I was not entirely shocked to find that the 10k split had me running over a 10 minute mile. (WELL over. like a solid 10:21) Between the crowds, a pit stop and (already) about 5 very slight pauses to grab water/powerade this seemed reasonable. Not ideal, but reasonable.

Heading out of the MK traffic opened up a bit since the roads did. Around mile 8.5 we started on a different route, one that was not visually stimulating but did allow for a bit more progression.
(I need to be brutally honest- I was running off the road again and working hard to get around the other runners doing the same. all this effort only allowed me a barely sub 10 pace. not normal!)

I knew, with the humidity that I would be ill advised to pass up any water stop. I think that I walked briefly through 18 hydration stations, picking up 2 cups of powerade at most of them. I ran through another 4 or so- and I don't believe I would have finished healthy had I not done so!

Just before the Animal Kingdom we finished the boring stretch of road by running past some (what I believed to be) water treatment facilities, then along a short out and back. Water treatment facilities are not exciting.
After that we were greeted by some animals which I was very excited to see! I won't stop for characters but I will certainly stop for a majestic vulture, who was not too impressed with the situation. He was badass though and I talked about birds with his handler before hobby jogging out of there.

I LOVE HIM. The vulture, that is.
From there the course proceeded through the Animal Kingdom which was great. The park had not opened yet so my thoughts of riding Expedition Everest were short lived. I wasn't going to stand in line for 20 minutes! (I thought perhaps it would be running early but no luck.) As we ran out there was a formidable line of people waiting to enter the park and a real blast of heat as the sun came out over (yet another) glorious parking lot.
(There was also a highschool band. There were many highschool bands and they were quite good.)
Thank heavens the sun pretty much stayed away- when it peeped out the temps went from tolerable to a bit nasty.

From there we ran towards WWS (ESPN Wide World Of Sports) on a pancake flat stretch of highway. Again, unlike the rest of the world the highway was my favorite! After the half split which I came to in a downright pedestrian 2:14 I was able to pick it up a bit. I had started the day hoping that a 4:15 might still be in the cards but had begun the reconsider after the death march of the first half- especially the first 10k.

On the way to WWS there were many wonderful people who wanted to feed all of us cheez-its and pretzels. I could not thing of ANYTHING that sounded better so I shoved all of them in my face.
I am a complete germaphobe and in real life would never take food from a roadside person.
On marathon day all bets are off, give me a communal dish of salty snacks and we can be best friends!

While WWS was a bit twisty and turn-y it was also fun! There were lots of spectators, an aid station with cold sponges and an aid station with bananas. I hate bananas but at the time they sounded delicious so I ate one and it was like a little slice of heaven in my mouth.
(now, thinking about eating a banana grosses me out. who knows.)

Wide World Of Sports- I liked it here.
So, from mile 17 to 20ish the course is like a lollipop and I was REALLY hoping to see Eric and Andy. After emerging from the WWS I jumped up onto the median into the grass in order to give myself a better view. I looked, and looked, and looked (and bizzarely ran my only sub 8 mile, go figure) but I never saw them. Strava showed us crossing paths but the crowds were so thick that I can understand why we missed each other.

Heading up to mile 21 were the green soldiers!!! I love them and they were straight up giving people shit which was hysterical! "GET OFF YOUR PHONE" they would yell at people "IT IS NOT TIME TO CHECK YOUR FACEBOOK, YOU NEED TO RUN!!!" "Do PUSHUPS!!!"
I like their style.

Then there was some highway with people passed out on because of the humidity, I imagine.
Luckily there were people tending to them because I am not a Doctor.
I was glad not to be passed out, because on occasion I have been known to run faster than the weather warrants. Thankfully, I continued to feel quite well. I was still sweating like a fool and I could do basic math so my brain was still functioning on an acceptable level.

Quickly, Hollywood studios came along and it was cool. There was new shit to see! A disco dance party tunnel! A chocolate aid station! Lots of spectators! Hollywood studios was super fun, plus I was running right along and passing people which I enjoy.

Basically right after HS we got to run towards the Swan and Dolphin and the Boardwalk. I think I might have decided where I want to stay for our next trip because it's gorgeous over there. The running got a bit crowded again but I was still making better time and it was really pretty.
PLUS. I had managed to make it to mile 25 without any crying or complete emotional breakdowns. 10:00 pace for the win....

Back into Epcot. Around the world. Under the ball.

Yep. Under the ball.
 GLORIOUS PARKING LOT FINISH!!!!!

Glorious.
 In 4:11:35.

Victory, bitches.
I didn't cry but I got a teeeeeny but choked up because 17 minute negative split and all. Takes it outta ya.

Done!!! 48.6 miles of running complete!
I drank a full powerade. And some water. I collected all my medals and got a few pics taken.
I looked all around the finish area and found our favorite race MC's back at it *sigh*
I considered a beer but I was too cheap to cough up the $12.

While I was at the finish it was very uncrowded, I don't know if I just lucked out if the glorious parking lot was just huge enough to accommodate thousands.

From there you know the drill. On the bus, back to POFQ, showered, dressed and back at the bus stop to greet Eric and Andy and congratulate them on their GREAT SUCCESS!!!! I was very excited that they had completed a successful marathon and had stuck together the whole time, having some kind of twin fun. They both looked good and healthy and were upright and walking!

I went to the food court and collected the most sensible post race meal of all time, grilled cheese, fries, chicken nuggets (which I had been dreaming about since mile 8) chocolate milk (gross) and ice cold Coke. We all got back into our beds and had a most delicious feast!
We enjoyed some time rehashing the race, looking at strava, accidentally falling asleep and then getting ready to depart. Post race time is the most fun until you actually have to mobilize..

We mobilized for a photo op!
We had a celebratory not $12 beer at the pool bar (and made more new friends) before departing for the airport.
As it turned out all of our flights got cancelled which, despite the cost of staying in the airport Hyatt for the night was a blessing in disguise. We had fun. We ate a big meal of healthy food AND were asleep by 9:00, which is about the time we were supposed to depart.
So yeah, basically winning.

We were all feeling reasonably comfortable the next day and uneventfully reentered the real world where customer service isn't that great, the weather is cold BUT the food is better!!

Closing thoughts. I never thought I would want to do the Dopey Challenge again.
But I do.
While the view from the last corral made for some amazing memories I think it would be a completely different experience from (closer) to the front of the pack. I would not be at all surprised if we revisit this adventure at some point!
There are serious improvements that runDisney could make to their website, registration and communication but once we were there we had no complaints. Things ran like clockwork and they managed to make some of the more unpleasant aspects of racing easy (bus lines, etc.)

My legs appreciated a pancake flat course, between that and my reasonable pace recovery was a snap.
Also.... We got a SHIT TON of medals. And shirts. So much stuff.

I really had a blast experiencing this with Eric and Andy, it was a great way to celebrate their new age group and to have some family time. We are all super busy so it's hard to imagine another situation where we would all hang for close to a week! We certainly have a nice collection of bizarre inside jokes after the time we spent together.

So maybe, in a couple years we will get together and do it again... :-)

And one more time:
Sara: 4:11:35
Eric: 5:07:52
Andy: 5:07:56
(we are all amazing)

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

2016 Dopey Challenge: Half Marathon trail adventure

Part four of our Dopey Experience: The one with the off road running. And the fog. 

By Saturday morning we were beginning to settle into a routine. The 3AM wake up call didn't feel too bad, Andy was enjoying it so much that he had decided to one up all of us and wake up at 1:30. (he continued to do this, much to his dismay for the rest of our trip. UGH!)

Things were funny on Saturday. Apparently the strange hours were getting to us even though we felt acclimated. Eric began laughing uncontrollably for no apparent reason within moments of turning the lights on. Andy cheerfully serenaded us with Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah. (this would be an ongoing theme for the next 48 hours.)

Typical routine, we walked outside (and it was not raining!) jumped onto a bus, made new friends and took a different and slightly longer route to get to the start.

We certainly noticed a change in the crowd level once we arrived. There were lots of runners.
The relative calm of the first two days wasn't present on this morning and before we could even see the security and bag check area we had ground to a screeching halt.
We aren't sure what was up- nobody could really tell what was going on (other than we were not moving) but it certainly took a long, long time to get through security.
None of us were bothered, we were in Corral P so there was no need to rush. Even better, we decided to make getting thru bag check an additional part of the dopey challenge- we all picked different lines and GO! I lost, miserably.

From there it was, as we had been told, a solid 15 minute walk to the starting corrals which were set up on a 3 lane highway. Nice change from the glorious parking lot of the previous two days.

Unflattering three lane highway selfie
By the time we made it to P it was so late that we were about 5 minutes from the start (of corral A, that is.) Getting into our corral there were a few runners from B who didn't make it to the gate in time!  However, at 5:30 corral P was nowhere near full (maybe 1/3) and certainly not ready to go so we set up to relax against the wobbly fence.

We got pretty comfy since we were staging area pros at this point. It was a nice surprise when we timed a 3 minute hold in between corrals. We had not been sure what to expect and this was ideal!

Around 6:25 we started the walk to the start and, once again were serenaded with the endless puns of Disney's favorite race MC's. (at this point we were over them. at this point THEY were over them!)

Anyway, right on schedule there were bigger fireworks than the days before and off we went. We were all planning to do our own thing and meet up back at the hotel. (in retrospect this is good. making a pace line for a 5k is fun. for a 13.1 it would have been exhausting!)

There were a fuck ton of people.
Right off I was running in the grass. Yeah, I know I know. You don't go to Disney to "race". But I wanted to run, and to run the best I could.
An off road trail adventure was the only solution.

I tried to figure out what the weather was up to for the first few miles. It almost felt like mist, and in lit areas it looked like drizzle. Once the sun came out it became apparent that it was FOG. Heavy, heavy fog. At about 59 degrees it was a perfectly nice morning for a run. (really, I liked it.)

Take note of the thick fog
The first 4 or so miles of the course were a combination of highway and parking lot. While they weren't the most exciting to look at they gave me a better chance to find room to run, get into a rhythm and assess how the crowd was moving better than I could in the parks. Right before mile 5 the road narrowed significantly as we approached the Magic Kingdom. At this point I was having to completely focus on staying safe, there was some phenomenally erratic running going on to the point that I was involved in a legit 4 runner pile up.
The moral of the story is, if you slam on the brakes to take a selfie you are going to get hit. The man in front of me had no choice but to hit selfie runner (and then get hit by me, as I was absolutely flattened by the woman behind me.) He then used some choice, non-Disney approved words to express his feelings which I found quite amusing.
As much as I had been attentive to traffic to this point, I was on high alert from then on out.

We ran through the Magic Kingdom. Everyone's favorite. Not mine because I am the worst.
I couldn't get out of there fast enough! Running through the castle.... Complete bottleneck. I was like "easy Bradlowski.... easy. this is fun. people are having fun. they are being very unsafe but THIS IS FUN DAMNIT EVERY MILE IS FUCKING MAGIC!!!!!" Ugh Magic Kingdom.

Fucking. Magic.
Anyway. We finally made it out of there.

From there the course ran behind the Grand Floridian and there were a ton of spectators through that area. Right around there (maybe mile 8?) The course opened up beautifully and I ran right along!
There was still a considerable amount of off road running but I was just so pleased to have some space. From what I understand mile 8-12 are the most hated parts of the Half.
I'm such a rebel, they were my favorite!
In other good news even though it was still quite foggy the sun had (sorta) come up and I could see where I was going. I could see well enough to notice that I was passing people who had started in corral D.
Some people have fun taking pics with the castle, some people have fun running with friends. I have fun catching people and blowing by them.
This makes me a jerkface and I own it. This is how I have fun.

I look mad, but I'm passing people so I AM HAPPY!!!
At mile 11 I decided to hustle and I ran the last 2 miles at an 8:00 pace. This was especially adventurous as we spent the last mile or so doing the weaving/looping thing through Epcot again. It was kind of like, here we go UNDER spaceship earth. Now let's turn around! Time to go BACK under spaceship earth!! What are we doing hahah?!

Running away from Spacship Earth and passing people like a BOSS.
I ran to a glorious parking lot finish (today with much more hooplah, bleachers and all kinds of staging and excitement!) in 1:56:37.
WINNING THE RACE.
I felt like my 4WD choices made the race feel a bit harder than it should have but that's what you get for being impatient. Also, I wasn't convinced that my collision with the other runners in the beginning had not grievously injured me. I got my medal and met some of the most delightful volunteers ever, imagine if all of your grandparents were race volunteers and how nice they would be! That was happening.

Thanks to my race Grandpa for taking my pic!
I did have one funny moment though. I got my medal and my volunteer looked at my bib. "Is that your bib?" she said. I was like "yeah" because it was. She proceeded (in a very nice way) to ask if I had actually started in my corral. Which I had. She went on to say that she only had to ask because it was so early for a corral P finisher to be running in, hahaha. For about 5 seconds I felt like a fast celebrity. Maybe I always want to start in the back so that I can impress people with my amazing running prowess.

As was per the norm I was thru the med line (ice for broken femur) back on the bus, showered, mostly organized and holding chocolate croissants for everyone when the twins came back. (thanks to the buses, not really to my *formidable* speed.)

They had enjoyed the race, even the ghastly Magic Kingdom part! They had also chosen to run on the road the whole entire time which, while smart, really doesn't hold the promise of death and/or broken limbs. Wimps! My mud run had secured my spot at the top of the leaderboard of excellence!

For the remainder of the day we took ice baths (awful.) Sat in the hot tub (glorious) Ate the aforementioned chocolate croissants (the best thing in Disney!!)

We took the fabulous boat to Disney Springs to enjoy some live entertainment and dinner at the downright geriatric hour of 3:30. Yes, you read that correctly.
We totally wore our medals to geriatric dinner time
When we got back Andy needed to do laundry, Eric needed to put his feet up and I needed to eat another round of chocolate so we did those things with tentative plans to watch the kids movie on the grassy knoll for a while. (this happens at Disney resorts and is lovely.)
But it POURED!!! What the hell Florida?
So we sat at the pool bar, not drinking BECAUSE MARATHON and we made more friends who were great fun! I must admit, I had a ton of fun having a non-park Disney experience. Maybe it is because I have been several times as an adult but I did not feel any urges to spend more time in the parks than we did. Our resort was great and we took advantage of everything it had to offer. Plus, if we had spent any more time on our feet we would have straight up died.

We were all in bed early, with visions of a three medal day dancing in our heads.
What would the next day bring? Who would win the security line race? Would Andy be able to get a whole corral to sing Zip-a-dee-do-dah???
All these answers, and more in the next episode....

The stats:
Sara: 1:56:37 
Eric: 2:12:36
Andy: 2:12:37


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