Just over a year ago, I completed my first Walt Disney World marathon. It was only the second marathon I had ever completed (and I don’t even really count the first one I did just 3 weeks prior… yeah, very dumb move). After I had crossed the finish line and stumbled around to find a place where I could attempt to rest my aching body, I noticed people walking around with 2 medals (of course at the time I didn’t realize that they had actually received 3 medals that weekend). I asked around about the Goofy medal because I knew that Donald represented the half marathon and Mickey (the one around my neck) represented the full marathon. Come to find out, the Goofy medal was received when a person (crazy to say the least) finished both the half marathon and the full marathon in the same weekend. All I could think was that those people had lost their minds. I was having enough trouble trying to get my legs to move.
Needless to say, the thought came back to me later that day, but I was more focused on getting a cheeseburger and fries into my belly. Then there was the fun of walking around the Disney parks for the next 3 days and I would occasionally spot someone with a Goofy Race shirt. It didn’t take long for my running buddy to start talking about the Goofy race…. I’m almost positive she mentioned it the very next time we ran after that marathon. Yeah, she was (still is) kind of insane about that stuff. I remember saying that it sounded like a good idea, but thinking that I would never follow through with it, especially when I caught wind of the registration fee.
The months creeped by and I became more focused on my speed rather than distance. I was happy keeping my races at a 5K, 10K or even 15K. I really had no desire to get right back to that marathon business. However, the next thing you know I am signing on to coach Team in Training (TNT). Lucky for us, we really only had to focus on a half marathon. However, since we were intertwined with TNT yet again, my buddy decided to play the Goofy card again. “How about we do the Goofy Race with TNT?” It seemed plausible, but the thought of fundraising again made me keep my distance. Somehow that didn’t last long and I was coerced into saying that it sounded like such and great idea and “let’s do it!.” Just a few days before I was supposed to submit my registration with TNT, I received a text from my friend: “I just found out that TNT is offering a marathon in Madrid during the spring!” To make a long story short, we opted out of the Goofy Race with TNT and registered for the Madrid marathon.
Yet, I wasn’t out of the clear. The idea of the Goofy race never left my friend’s mind. Not only that, but we found out that one of our other friends had been registered for the Goofy race as a birthday gift from her husband (nothing like torturing your wife on her birthday). I remember sitting at my computer hitting the “submit” button. After that there was no turning back. I couldn’t really start training until I had finished coaching. Even after that I kept putting it off. I began to wonder if I was ever going to get prepared for this race. Little by little I started training… And then… I was hit by a ton of bricks. Not literally of course, but there was some bad news that had traveled my way.
Come to find out, my friend (yes, the one who talked me into this mess) was getting deployed for 6 months. And it just so happened that she would be leaving the country one week before the Goofy Race. At that point it was too late for me to back out. I had already paid a large sum of money and I had kind of started my training. However, I wasn’t alone. Our other friend had started her training and we brought ourselves together for a common cause (to finish this sucker). It wasn’t looking so bad after all, but we often found ourselves animatedly discussing our friend’s absence and how she must have done this on purpose to torture us. I guess friends can make us stronger… at least that is what I keep telling myself.
Stay tuned for what happened next…