Here I sit, moments after registering for the Goofy Challenge……..again.
There isn’t the nervous excitement there was last year after I hit the “Register Now!” button. At the end of the day this time round it will be nothing more than a training run, admittedly an expensive one, but training nonetheless.
Since my last post this is actually the second race I have signed up for. Whilst on holiday a couple of weeks ago I signed up for the Cayman Marathon here in December, and now we have the Goofy to add to that. The final piece of the puzzle, that I can’t register for yet, is the “Off The Beaten Track” 50KM Ultramarathon they have here at the end of February.
It wasn’t all that long ago I was saying quite firmly that I wasn’t planning on doing any of this long distance stuff again, and I would concertrate on the 13.1M distance for a while. Now here I am with one half-marathon, a full marathon, a weekend of both, and then plans for going even further all booked up and training arranged for!
I really wanted to do the Ultra, as it the challenge that is interesting for me, to get the training in for that the plan I have looked at calls for running 26 miles on or around the weekend of the marathon here, and then doing “Goofy” distances the weekend of the races in January. So it all kind of fitted together; Almost like it was meant to be.
There are other motivations; I ran Cayman in 2007 and fell apart from half-distance thanks to injury and being woefully under-trained resulting in 4:45 finish time, so I want to prove myself I guess. My brother-in-law has also decided to do the Goofy at Disney, so with him coming all the way across from Scotland, we couldn’t not go up and see him. I would obviously be training for the Ultra, so would need to run, I don’t fancy doing the types of distances I need to on a treadmill, so I might as well do the races.
One of the big reasons for not wanting to do the long runs again, was because I was getting up as early as 3AM both days at the weekend so that I could get my runs in before it got too hot. This resulted in me needing to go back to bed for several hours when I got back, the knock-on effect of which was me being still tired all weekend and I missed time with Max as he was learning to roll-over, crawl etc. This time the plan is to sleep normally, and just run during the morning. This is to help with not being tired all the time, and also get me used to running in the heat, which I am going to have to do for the Ultra. As I will be running for less time than I was sleeping I should also have more time with the family.
Another aspect of training that will be different is the weekday running. I will only be going out after work one evening a week, and that is only because the cleaner comes on a Tuesday and doesn’t want me around the house at a lunchtime sweating and making a mess. All other weekday runs will be done at lunchtime, so no more early mornings either. The training plan I am looking at doing, at least to get to the marathon in December, is different and involves shorter, faster runs which I can fit in over a slightly extended lunch break.
With these couple of changes, I should, hopefully, enjoy training a whole lot more, and it shouldn’t feel like it is taking over my whole life like it did last year. That’s not to say it won’t be hard, looking at the plan for the Ultra requires me to run 6 weekends of 13.1M on Saturday and 26.2M on Sunday. So effectively 6xGoofy Challenges in the space of 7 weeks! Including Christmas weekend!
At the end of the day, I have concluded over the last 3 months whilst I haven’t really been training for anything, that I just love running. I love the individual aspect of it all, it is solely down to me, and how hard I push myself, it is nobody elses fault if I don’t reach the goals I have set. With that in mind, I was never going to be happy just doing the shorter distances, it wasn’t enough of a challenge.
I am sure though, if you ask me right around about December 25th when I am out running a marathon before opening presents, I will tell you I am never doing it again!