Thursday, January 17, 2013

Final Thoughts on my Goofy Weekend

Some of this may come across as pretty negative - it isn't meant to be that way and I am not holding onto any of it.   I just feel some of these thoughts are worth noting so others may learn from my experience here. Overall - this was a fantastic experience and in many ways I knew how it would play out before I even entered into it.  

On Aches and Pains

Surprisingly, I am not in pain.  Stiff, yes...but not in pain.  I ran my ass off over the course of 3 days and I have had half marathons where I was more sore.  I think the difference was taking the time to recover quickly and properly.

After each race (except the 5k), I would stretch a bit and have an ice bath.  This was tricky since our hotel didn't have cold tap water.  So I would have ice for as long as the ice lasted and that wasn't long.  The weekend was busy so it was hard to avoid walking too much but it was what it was.   I still felt good the next day for each race.   Before bed after the half and the full, I had an Epsom Salt bath (tip for Canadians - if you do a lot of destination marathons - pick up the epsom TABLETS at shoppers.  Less space needed in your luggage and less chance of a big mess)

The one place I am really finding I have a great deal of discomfort is in my toes.  I was careful with clipping my nails and filing rough edges.  I had hot spots on the sides of my toes in the half so I wore blister pads in the full to cushion that area just in case and it helped.  Survived blister free unlike so many others in my party.  But, three days later - I still can't wear my shoes for long stretches.  These puppies need to be free to wriggle.  I can't tell if my pinky toe on the right is planning to darken or not.  I suppose if I have to lose a nail - Goofy is the race to sacrifice it for and the pinky toe is the smallest of the bunch.  I don't suppose I can complain.

On Team in Training

This Team in Training experience was much different from my first,  years ago.  TNT Flex is a different beast entirely.  I tried hard to stay connected to the coordinator and the coach, but it was still odd to be relying on people I didn't know come race day.   In the end, Ramona, my coach , was spectacular.  Loved her!   She made the effort to run with each and every one of us on race day and it really felt like I had a coach I knew...almost like having Coach Sheena there.

I think a greater effort could have been placed on showing appreciation to us overall.  Throughout our training and fundraising - we were constantly being told that we should aim higher than our fundraising minimums yet - there was little shown in the way of appreciation for those of us who did it.  There weren't even thank you notes at our places at the dinner - they were instead slipped under our room doors later. When I did Nike in 2010 - there were thank yous and tokens of appreciation all over the table for us. Not big and not expensive, but they added to the feeling of the event.  I felt some of the other details were lacking as well - for example, I noticed after I got home that my name tag stated that it was the 2012 WDW Marathon Weekend.   There were not many of us on the whole Canada team so it seems like some extra effort could have been done there.

In the end, though, I am proud to have done this for Team in Training.  Will I do another TNT event?  That remains to be seen. If I do - it likely won't be through TNT Flex.  I much preferred working with an actual chapter.  I think it is a wonderful organization, but I need a break.  A break from fundraising.  A break from drama.  A break from expectations.  If I could have done this event for a chapter - I would have. As it was...well, it was what it was.  I went. I saw. I conquered.

On Group Fundraising

NEVER AGAIN!  Sorry, guys.  I love the fact we were a team and that we were celebrating Anna's success in beating cancer...but I think a team should have equal effort and ours did not.  It was my own fault for agreeing to the team fundraising in the first place.  I knew there was no way that it would be equal right from the start and I should have listened to that naggy feeling because it would have saved my sanity in a big way throughout. I held onto a great deal of bitterness for too many months.  I feel really bad for the other members of the team who were much closer to the drama than I was - now that this is over, I don't need to deal with it anymore because my connection was really only to two people on Team Alberta.  I just feel sad at how it affected those I care about (and grew to care about) by how it all went down.  It's ok to be a princess as long as you realize that real princesses work hard too.

Live and learn and move on.   I will probably fundraise for something again...but it will be on my own and drama free.

On Florida

I never had any desire to visit Florida and I don't really have any desire to go back.  The heat and humidity were really draining on me.  I also didn't feel there was much to see outside of the parks (in the Orlando area).  It felt a lot like the parts of Mexico that I visited 2 years ago but more like a giant swamp.  I kinda just went with a purpose and now I'm home.  I probably won't go back. It just holds no interest for me.

On Walt Disney World and Run Disney

Run Disney puts on a hell of an event.   So well organized and really accommodating.  When there was suddenly a heat advisory - they answered the call with stepping it up in the aid station department! On long expressway stretches that could have been boring - they stepped it up int he entertainment department.  Always something to see or do or take pictures with.  Your brain was seldom left to contemplate the discomfort of running in the heat.

While I understand the need to reopen the roads - I did feel that the course narrowed far too often to handle the mass of people running.   I heard too many stories about people DNFing because they were trampled and I took a great deal of elbows to various parts of my body (I feel particularly bad for those who saw the business end of my own three-pronger elbows...

I was incredibly struck by how well maintained Walt Disney World was.  I don't know what I was expecting in that regard - maybe that it would be the same as older theme parks I had visited in the past - but Disney blew me away.  From the mascots who never stray from their character to the pristine upkeep of the parks - I was impressed.  Utterly impressed.  It makes me look forward to visiting Disneyland with my girls one day.

I also liked staying in resort on the property.   Having free access to buses to all of the locations was awesome.  As was the free airport transportation.   Often, when I travel, my transportation costs end up eating up my budget.  Not so this time.  I spent a bit on cabs, but saved enough by not eating out that it all evened out in the end.  The rooms weren't much to write home about, but they worked for as much time as I spent in mine.   Playing a part in the race meant it was so much more convenient to be onsite!

On Visiting the States

I can't wait for Super Targets to eventually come to Canada.  And for Cherry Coke to come back.  And Mint M&Ms.  mmmm mint m&ms....

*******

But to sum it all up, Walt Disney said it best:

It's kind of fun to do the impossible ~ Walt Disney

3 comments:

  1. Im glad you enjoyed the actual race! Hopefully your next trip will be more enjoyable! :)

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  2. Oh man, Cherry Coke and flavoured m&ms. We bought a pack of raspberry ones from Target and they were so good!!

    I agree with your thoughts on the course. I actually think they need to cut capacity by a few thousand people. I've run this race several times now (both half and full) and this was the busiest I've seen it. And we started in corral D which is not too far back! I can't imagine what it must have been like for those in the last corrals.

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  3. Sorry to hear about all the negative aspects of your experience. If you aren't used to warm temperatures Florida can be really miserable. Congratulations on a great accomplishment in completing this event!

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