Thursday, January 20, 2011
Whew. Ok. I've been putting this one off because I wasn't sure how much I wanted to say or how I even felt about things. But here goes --
I've been talking about the Goofy since 2008. I signed up in spring, 2010 when my knee was looking strong and all things seemed possible. Unfortunately, things didn't go according to plan, and my knee has never completely come back. I only walk now, not "wog", and the knee struggles with anything more than eight or nine miles. So my 1/2s are do-able with a bit of teeth-gritting, but not fulls.
I decided not to do the Goofy (1/2 on Saturday and full marathon on Sunday) before we even traveled. I planned ot do the 5K with my BFF, do the half on Saturday, and cheer her on in her first full marathon. It's been ages since we really got to spend time together, and forever since we visited without children around, so I was psyched.
I arrived at Walt Disneyworld very late Wednesday. I thought BFF was arriving on Thursday morning. Unfortunately, she arrived closer to dinner time. The Magic Kingdom just isn't all that magical by oneself, I'm sorry to say. She arrived, we went to the expo, and it was bittersweet to receive all the "stuff" associated with the race and the encouragement from the well meaning volunteers who thought I'd be racing both big races.
We had a blast in the "Best Friends 5K" on Friday. Woody and Buzz hosted, and spirits were high. We saw lots of people in fancy dress. It was fantastic to spend time with my friend, and time limits be darned -- we just walked, took lots of silly pictures, and enjoyed ourselves.
My BFF and I were at Epcot when we finished the race, and it was just too tempting. We played in the park all day, and I logged 28000+ steps. Big mistake. The next day, I could feel that I just didn't have much "juice". I lined up and prepared for a tough few hours.
For some reason, friends who finish around my time received higher corral placements than I did. Because of the wave start, many of them started 30+ minutes ahead of me. Disney said we needed to maintain a 16-minute mile. I averaged 16:07 per miles for the first four miles. ...
... which meant I was mere seconds behines the pacers at the 4-mile mark This did not stop them from physicaly preventing me from continuing the race. For the love of 28 seconds, they frog marched me and those others behind the pace onto a bus, where our numbers were recorded, and then a woman PHYSICALLY CUT OFF MY CHRONOTAG so that I couldn't get back into the race. It was like being drummed out of the army. I was utterly humiliated, and it irritated me even further when I later saw how many other people averaged a much slower pace than I did but managed to finish because they had started earlier. My suspicions? I requested an XL shirt, and they assumed I was slow. Had I requested a S, I might have finished the race. Many people sobbed the whole ride back. I kept up a conversation with another determinedly pleasant women and tried not to think about it.
The bus took us to an area parallel to the finish line and after race area. In a mockery of the finishing ceremony, we disembarked, and walked a gauntlet of silent, solemn volunteers, who handed us race towels and MEDALS. I know what some of you are thinking, right? I'm a bling 'ho. I was happy, right? It's called a Finisher's Medal. You don't get one for showing up. It made me sick. I thought about handing it back to them, but the situation was so uncomfortable -- why make it worse?
When I returned to the hotel, my BFF was on the phone. I thought she would ask me about it, but instead we planned the rest of the day. I tried really hard to not dwell on it and ruin the weekend, and also keep her positive for her big race, but it was a hard for me when she suggested multiple times that I should line up with her for the marathon, even though I'd get pulled. I don't know if she was asking for support, but it didn't make me feel good, and combined with some other things, it left me with the impression that I think more of her than she thinks of me. I hope I'm wrong about that.
The good news? Her race went really well. She finished strong and had a lot to be proud of. I was at the finish line to see her come across and was super psyched when she finished in under five hours.
We had a good day in Hollywood Studios the next day, and then it was time to leave WDW. I was feeling icky. It was a little bit emotional and a little bit physical. Still, I hooked up with DANIMITE2 and her DH and went to Universal.
Wow! I loved visiting with my dear Sparkfriend, and it was huge fun to wander the world of Harry Potter. The only downside? I couldn't fit comfortably into the Hogwarts ride and ultimately opted not to ride rather than face the humiliation of being asked to get off. It's a new ride. One would think it was sized for people today. Still, it was another reminder that I'm not at the weight I should be.
We ate at the Three Broomsticks, and I discovered that butterbeer is one of the great delights in life. Yum!
I felt ill by that night, and by the next morning, it was clear that I was sick. I drove down to the Everglades as planned but spent the whole time in bed in the hotel, too feverish and sick to go anywhere. Keeping to the plan, I flew to Savannah to visit my father. The poor man. I was in bed almost the entire time. We did visit Fort Pulaski, which was fun. The NPS is following history. At this point in the Civil War (Janaury 20, 1861), Georgia was flying a "secessionist flag" but hadn't joined the not-formed-yet Confederacy. So we saw a white flag with a red star flying proudly over the fort. So clever. The NPS is going to show events in "real time" over the next five years. If I lived in America, I would definitely frequent these places to "live" the action. We also strolled through my absolute favourite cemetary Bonaventure Cemetary. I find it relaxing and beautiful, and if I ever wanted to be buries somewhere, it would be there!
Now I'm geting ready to return home. I'm still sick, but at least the fever broke a couple of days ago.
It wasn't the holiday I'd hoped for, but maybe I hoped for too much.