Well, I answer with another quote:
-Cher (from Clueless. Not the singer)
Of course there is plenty to conquer! I'm just getting started here. Plenty left to do...
For a second there though, I was feeling like that scene at the very end of Finding Nemo. The one where Nemo's friends in the dentist's tank finally accomplish their plan and make it to the harbor, only to find moments later that they can't get out of their bags and Bloat asks:
The thing is, I'm trying to frame a new main goal, but it has to be something big. Just like the marathon got me through these two years, I need something equally bold to maintain that. Surely there will be smaller, short term goals but I need a whopper of a goal that is scary enough for me to get out there and get it done.
First Things First
The first question often asked to runners right after their first marathon is: Would you do it again? Answers vary of course, and many feel they need some time after the experience to answer it. Me? I knew the answer even before I crossed the finish line. Absolutely! There were a lot of feelings gushing out after finishing. Some were unfamiliar (self-pride, for example. Not used to that) but there was one feeling I recognized instantly. I have felt it before in other races. The feeling of wanting to do better. It's not frustration. I wasn't thinking: "Man, I suck! I can do better." It was more like: "Yeah! This rocks! I'm gonna do so much better next time." I loved the distance and the challenge. I want to do it again.
The Disney Conundrum
Being a Disney fan prior to this running journey was a clear hint that I would enjoy running Disney immensely and guess what? I was right! (duh...) Sure enough, there is a whole bunch of stuff Disney-wise I would love to do. For example, the Disney medal I want the most is the Coast to Coast medal.
You earn this one by running either a full or half-marathon in Florida, followed by running a half-marathon in Disneyland all the way off in California in the same calendar year. Even when I first learned about Run Disney, this medal attracted me for some reason. It calls to me (my precious...). But if I'm honest with myself (and I have to be), this challenge is not a physical one. It is really a financial one and this year, it will be a challenge I will most likely not overcome. It's just too expensive. Besides, as you read this, registration for the Disneyland Half-Marathon, which is in August and would be my goal race to get the medal, will have opened... and closed! Last year it was sold out in 53 minutes. This year it took 40 minutes for the Dumbo Double Dare to sell out and the Half was gone within a day. So Coast to Coast is on the back burner. For now...
That's the medal I want most. The Disney race I want to run the most is the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. It closes Epcot's Food and Wine Festival. It's run at night and ends in some party that is supposed to last until 4 am.
I wanted to do this race more than the Marathon but it was a tactical decision, goal-wise, to aim for the full instead. I love to cook and I love trying food from different cultures so I guess it's more the festival (and an excuse to go there) that attracts me to it. It certainly isn't the post-race party. Can you imagine all those aching runners trying to dance? It will be like Michael Jackson's Thriller. But not in a good way. (Man, I'm on fire with the quotes and references today!)
And then there is Goofy and Dopey. Not that they're close personal friends or anything. I'm talking about the challenges. The Goofy Challenge, where you run the Half-Marathon on Saturday and the Full on Sunday; and the Dopey Challenge, where from Thursday to Sunday you run a 5K, 10K, Half and Full consecutively. I cringe just thinking about it. But, if you want to take it to next level...
All this to say, it is very likely that there will be no Disney racing for me the remainder of 2014 and probably all of 2015. You never know but, champagne wishes, beer pockets I guess. Speaking of which, Megan Biller, who literally co-wrote the book about Disney running (and you should check if you are thinking of running Disney by the way) wrote this post about why she is taking a break from runDisney this year. Very enlightening.
The Non-Disney Stuff
But, my life doesn't revolve around Disney! (despite my daughter's wishes to the contrary) There is plenty out there for me to do but I already have a very specific goal for 2014 that I think it's very important I accomplish going forward. I want to run a sub-3 hour Half-Marathon. If I'm ever going to run a better marathon, I need to improve some things as a runner and this is the step in the right direction. This "being scared of the sweepers" thing is getting old really fast. I enjoyed running the marathon but I'm sure I would enjoy it a lot more if I didn't have balloon ladies and buses full of crying, swept runners in the brain.
Now, I know I can hit that number pretty efficiently. The only problem is the lack of Half-Marathons in Puerto Rico. I'm gonna be training for a race that might not exist. There's the Puerto Rico Half-Marathon but that's in March which is right around the corner and I'm already signed up for. I'm good but not that good. I'm not expecting to hit sub-3 in that one. I was thinking more in the fall or winter. So I might have to do some traveling to get it done. On the cheap, of course, so Disney is out for this one. I could sure use some suggestions. The Rock 'n Roll series and the Biggest Loser Run/Walks sound fun and there are many cities to choose from. Also I would looove to run a race with a Loop Fest (or is it Loop Meet?). There is a whole bunch of very caring people I would love to meet. Let me know what you guys think would be good options for 2014 Half-Marathons in the fall or winter.
And the Next Daring Goal Will Be...
After much deliberation and consideration, I have decided...
Yup, in 2016, I'm going Goofy.
That means, I will run the Disney Half-Marathon on Saturday, then run the Full Marathon on Sunday. I must be going insane.
This is not just a simple "train and you shall overcome" challenge. Not for me. To get away with this, I'm gonna have to take my game to a whole other level. For all intents and purposes, finishing both my first Half (Divas Half-Marathon) and first Full (Disney) was a matter of squeaking by. Don't get me wrong, I worked my butt off. But I was so far gone health and fitness-wise that all that hard work barely got me to the finish line. That is a great accomplishment in itself, but it's not gonna cut it this time around. If the marathon enhanced me, completing the Goofy Challenge is gonna take a whole bunch more enhancing.
So that's two years from now. It allows me time to get faster and train for the challenge of running two big races in two days. In other words it gives me time to become a better runner. It also gives me time to save up so I can do something that is very important to me. I want to take my whole family with me on this one. I think, given that they got me across the finish line, that they have earned it.
Which reminds me: I know this question will be asked frequently. "If you are going Goofy, why not just eat the whole enchilada and go Dopey?" It does interest me very much but I'm making a family decision here. If they are coming with me, I want to spend time with them. We do the Disney Vacation "thing" during the week, then I focus on the races during the weekend. Everybody wins. Dopey can wait. Besides, the brunt of the Dopey Challenge is the Goofy Challenge. I mean, what's 9.3 miles more between friends? If I ever do go Dopey, it will probably be solo.
So that's the next step. Sensible or or insane out of my mind? Let me know what you think and if you know of a great race I could go to in the fall for that sub-3 be sure to let me know as well.