Thursday, August 20, 2009

On the road to the Walt Disney World Marathon

Whenever I think about my family trip to Disney World as a kid, the first thing I think about was the lake. I remember taking a ferryboat from the parking lot to the park. I was watching a landscaper riding a lawn mower cutting the grass right up along the edge of the lake. Right as I told my little brother that the guy was a little to close to the edge of the water for comfort, the uphill side of the mower started to lift off the ground. The guy jumped off and into the lake just in time to clear the tumbling John Deer as it crashed into the water.

When we signed up for the Walt Disney World Marathon a few months back, we thought we had tons of time. We are now officially 20 weeks away from the race and while that may seem like a lot , what it really means is that our 16 week training plan starts September 21st. 4 weeks and 4 days from today.

I have not chosen a training plan yet.

If you google "Marathon Training Program", there are 3,810,000 results. A little about me... If I go to a restaurant and there are more than eight choices for dinner, I close the menu and put it back down on the table. I then ask the waiter what they suggest, and nine times out of ten, order it. Sometimes I win. Sometimes I lose. (particularly when it involves crab)

How In the hell do I choose a training plan. There is no "running waiter" standing in front of me saying "If it were me, I would go with the intermediate plan that is five days a week running, one day cross training, and one day of rest. (but I would have the chef hold the goo packs, cause they give me gas)"

How in the heck do you decide? I have been trying to figure that question out for several weeks now and am pretty sure that I am no closer than I was when I started. I am 20 weeks and four days from hitting the starting line at the happiest place on earth, and I still have no plan. Eff!

Jane and I went shopping at the Runners World at Tempe Marketplace last weekend. Spent a frikken mint. Running belt with four water bottles for Me. One with two bottles for Jane. She also needed new running shoes. Then you go to accessories. Who knew that running requires accessories. Crack would be cheaper. Do you know about nip guards? Awkward! That is all I am going to say on that matter. How about Glide. Yep, it's lubricant for fat. I can't have one fat part of my body trying to intimidate another fat part of my body because it starts to chafe and hurts like hell. Can't we all just get along?

Now lets talk about goo. You may have guessed that you need to replenish nutrients DURING the marathon. I had no idea. I assumed you had some pasta the night before to carbo load, had a little water out on the course, and fell asleep in pain afterwords. Apparently, it's not that simple. You have to carry around little packs of goo, or chews, or jelly beans designed by mad running scientists Your choice depends on what you like, what gives you the best energy, and (here's the good one) which one doesn't give you the walks (maybe she meant runs:).

Yes, you have to eat something out of a little aluminum pouch the size of a pack of gum, and while you are worrying about your speed, mileage, pace time and breathing, ability to finish, you need to hope you don't all of a sudden have to pick the pace up to a sprint, while you take off for the bathroom. No one told me this as I was sitting at home one night thinking that I wanted to run a marathon. All I was thinking was "Cool, I might as well go to Disney World." That running waiter guy didn't jump out from behind the couch and say "Dude, that stuff might make you poop your pants!"

I don't care. I would gladly have to change my undies for a chance to spend time at Disney World again. It has been about 26 years. (I grew up on the West Coast, so we usually went to Disneyland) I passed on Captain EO and went with the the Indiana Jones ride instead. (never did like M.J.)

One of the plans I am looking at says that I need to be comfortable with 8, 10, and 12 mile long runs to start. I am NOT. One of the plans we looked at actually has us PLANNING on walking some of the time...WTF? Pre forbid, I might end up walking at some point in the race, but I sure as Hell am not going into it PLANNING on walking!

But then again, it's Disney World. I might want to take my time...

Here is another thing that we have to do over the 16 weeks of the training plan... We need to practice our pre race dinner. We have to eat a nutritious carb filled dinner that (here the tough part) won't make us have to go number two during the race. We actually have to test different dinners on Friday nights and measure what it does to our system between 5am and 11 am the next morning. No poopin' on the race course from what I hear...:)

Whatever plan we choose will have us running nearly 500 miles between now and race day. We catch the Red Eye on the Thursday night before the race. Since we have to report to the parking lot at Walt Disney World at 3 am Sunday morning, we will be changing our sleeping times for the week prior. Our hope is that we can get some sleep on the plane, drop off our luggage at the hotel, and go straight to the park after landing in Orlando at 9am. After spending both Friday and Saturday at Disney World, we will hopefully be in bed by 6pm the night before the race so that we can get up and be able to run 26.2 miles without falling to sleep. How is that gonna work?

This may not be exactly what I had in mind for my next trip to Disney World, but we just didn't want to pass up the chance to knock two things off of our Dream Fruition list. I am looking forward to both, and will keep an eye out for the landscaper in the wet overalls.


  1. have you read up on HIIT? you could get a lot of benefit doing it 1x a week, say for 3 weeks on, one week off. You have to truly hammer it full throttle to get the bennies. Rest is very very important, read up on overtraining as well and incorporate that.

    Nausea comes with dumping a load of high carbed something(this is usually in the form of sugar--like those gel pax or straight Gatorade) into your gut while in high gear.

    When I'm trail riding on my dirt bike(it's like bucking hay nonstop) I do good with water(gatorade makes me sick) and peanut butter and jelly sandwichs and trail mix(dried fruit n salty nuts), eaten in bites and sips at a time (no big dump). If it's in small portions then you don't get energy diverted to digestion(that sluggish feeling). You can get nauseus from gulping too much water at once too. For bonking a few bites of a snickers bar is magic.

    Ha, maybe you can train yourself to poop first thing in the morning, then you're nice n lite for the race. And think about those Apaches who ran 100 miles nonstop in the dez with a rock in their mouth.

    You can do it!

  2. great post.nothing like jumping in with both feet. i look forward to following your road to disney!

  3. Thanks for the Sole Runners follow on Twitter. I have some great marathon training info for you, since I write marathon training programs. I can't cut and paste here so please email me and I will send you some links