Some of the people who read this are probably crazy runDisney people like me and realize the importance of April 10th. For those who are sane – or at least differently crazy – April 10th is the day that registration for the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon weekend opens. One month from today I can sign up for the 2013 marathon and any other races over that weekend. Which leads me to the title question….
Approximately 2 years ago (right around early March, as I recall), I registered for my 1st ever race. That race was the 2011 Disney World Half Marathon, At the time I could barely run a mile and had only the Couch to 5k training program as a guide. A woman on the Disboards, who I have never met in person, was writing a pre-trip report about her training for the 2011 Disney Half. She was also a novice runner. I probably knew about Disney’s Marathon Weekend because it’s on the Disney calendar but I had never considered participating. When I started reading her story, a light bulb went off in my head (which is funny because it happened while we were experiencing a 5 day black-out and camping out at my mother-in-law’s house). I had failed to complete the couch to 5k on several occasions. I figured that paying $$$ to participate in a race would force me to finish. (I’m extremely stubborn so i was going to finish even if it meant crawling!)The rest, as they say, is history.
I love to talk about how incredibly inspiring my 1st marathon weekend was. I loved every minute! The race was amazing and the camaraderie of the weekend was nothing short of awesome! And while I would never, ever say that I “only” ran a half marathon, I felt a certain hierarchy of medals. 5k then Donald (1/2) then Mickey (full) then Goofy (both). I knew right then and there that I would try for a Mickey medal in 2012. My ultimate goal was a Goofy in 2013.
Those who have read my race report for the full marathon know that the last part of the race was anything but ideal. I mismanaged my fluids and overheated. Although my legs were still ok, my body wasn’t doing so well and I walked the last 6 miles. I felt that I probably should try repeating the full in 2013 (the 20th anniversary of the full!) in order to “redeem myself” before trying Goofy. Recently I’ve been re-thinking that decision.
Amongst runDisney fans there is a bit of encouraging people to try races or try more races. It’s not uncommon for Goofy runners to actually go “Dopey” – an unofficial designation that includes a 5k on Friday, a half marathon on Saturday, and a full marathon on Sunday. When I signed up for the Tower of Terror 10 mile run in September (an evening race), I debated also doing the morning 5k. Few people tried to talk me out of it. (I decided not to do the 5k because I won’t do well with an early morning and a late night on the same day.). So peer pressure is strong for going Goofy.
The bigger “issue” that made me start re-thinking Goofy is the status of my current training. As I talked about my elusive time goal for the next race, I began re-thinking the whole concept of running for time. Would I enjoy racing more if I focused on the experience rather than the outcome? Is it the journey or the destination? Or both? The experience is even more a part of the races in a runDisney race. People wear costumes and stop for character pictures, for crying out loud!
If my goal in January is to take revenge on the full marathon course and run the race the way I would have liked to run this year, I should just run the full. If I am willing to accept that my training will never be optimal – I’m a surgeon with 3 young children after all – then maybe I should give up watching the clock and enjoy being Goofy.
I have a month to decide…. (I know I don’t have to register the 1st day I can but I also know the 20th anniversary of the Mickey medal will be quite popular and I don’t want to miss out!)
Opinions welcome! (For the record my husband thinks I should do the Goofy…)

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