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My Holiday

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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    OMG... I am so sorry that I am so behind in responding to this. HUGE emoticon going out to you. What a nasty experience, and at Disney no less emoticon I would write/call/email them to let you know how it made you feel that they did that and just for them to realize how totally nasty they were.

    I must say that I had high hopes for my races in 2010 and it was a horrid, disappointing year for me. Through all my injuries I gained weight and just kind of lost hope and stopped exercising. I am ready to get back and start thinking about racing again, probably more in 2012 than 2011.

    You can do anything you set your mind to and we will be cheering you on the whole way

    emoticon emoticon
    2642 days ago
  • RAVEN1025
    Oh honey. I try to avoid giving hugs on the internets, because it always feels so shallow (I will refrain from elaborating here). However, in this case I am making an exception. Hugs, hugs, and more hugs. Because if I were there, I would be giving you the most heartfelt, sincere, full of love hug I could. I understand the feelings of picking up your race packet, knowing you can't do the race. I made my husband pick up mine for the TC Marathon, because I was already so low about it, I couldn't face it. It was brave of you to go! The situation wasn't as dire, but when I did the half last April, and despite finishing in the top half time-wise, due to the poor organization of the race and having started over 30 minutes late I was the second-to-last to cross the finish line. They were already tearing down the finish line, all of the post-race goodies were shut down, they had even opened the course to traffic despite me being ahead of the lowest pace finish time. My husband thoughtfully grabbed some sustenance for me, otherwise I wouldn't have had anything. I chalked it up to it having been a local no-big-deal race. I thought Disney races were better than that. I assumed that they based the pick-ups on when the last folks crossed the start line. With how many entrants they have, and how generous they always seemed with the course fanfare, it never occurred to me that they would pull folks so closely. I am so bummed out for your experience. However, I am proud of you for giving it your all. So proud!! You are such an inspiration to me.

    I agree with Foodgirl, and think you should talk to your friend. I get the feeling that she was trying to make you feel better, but didn't know just how to do it. Sometimes when we see the hearts of those we love breaking, we want to fix it and just don't know how. Maybe she thought focusing on having fun at the parks would distract you and make you feel better. Maybe she thought that queuing up for the marathon would give you the momentum to finish and make up for the unfortunate turn of events of the day before. I am just guessing, and looking for the best in human nature. You are such a wonderful person, and you attract good.

    I am also so sorry you were sick. It isn't fun to be sick anyway, much less to be on vacation!

    Here's to nothing but the best for the rest of 2011!!

    Much love your way!!
    2676 days ago
    Man oh man.. Late on offering my condolences re: the Goofy-that-wasn't...

    (I was actually coming over here to give you that "Beautiful Woman" award, but FunFrog beat me to it!).

    I remember the creeping dread as I was trying to "ride my own ride" at the Tevis in Y2K, kept on falling farther & farther off-pace until I was pulled @ 56 mi. I knew when I saw the drag riders come around the bend behind me that we weren't gonna make it past the next checkpoint...

    Onwards & upwards, hope you are feeling better soon!

    luv Val
    2676 days ago
    Cat, I am so very sorry. You so looked forward to this trip,you definately deserved better treatment than what you were given.

    2677 days ago
    Oh boy. So sorry that your well-planned holiday wasn't all you had hoped. I certainly don't think you hoped too much - the pacers could have cut you (and the others) some slack - I remember another race you did wherein the pacers kept stopping, and taking their sweet time tying their shoelaces, etc., to give you much-needed seconds to finish - you know, decent human being stuff. I do wonder, along with you, if you had ordered a different size shirt things would have been different. That is a sad state of affairs if it is true, but definitely a possibility.

    Glad you're feeling better. I was feeling ill all during Christmas break. I felt well just in time to go back to work! It seems like it will be the same with you.

    I am so pleased that your trip to 'Hogwarts' was a huge success, apart from the ride sizing. *sigh* That's disappointing.

    Oh! I forgot to say that the overwhelming thing I took away from your whole blog was your determination to speak with a positive/pleasant woman after you were pulled out of the race. Most of what happens to us is coloured by our attitude - and you set me an example right there. Thank you!

    Take care, sweetie.


    2678 days ago
    Dear Cat!

    I am sorry to hear that the race didn't go how you had planned. I sincerely hope that you write to the race organizers and explain how you were rudely hustled out of the race when people with slower times were allowed to continue, just because they started earlier. That is not right!

    I am glad that you were able to see a few fun things, and enjoy a butterbeer in the three broomsticks.

    I hope you are feeling better!

    2680 days ago
    Cat I'm sorry your trip was such a mixture of ups and downs.

    Shame on Disney - I agree with Holly...shouldn't matter how fast you go. The fact that you're doing it should keep you in it...

    I hope you and your friend work things out.

    Super duper jealous you got to go to see Harry FUN!!! Is butterbeer really that yummmy?!

    I'm so sorry you got sick too. Glad you're feeling a bit better...hope you feel like yourself again soon!

    2680 days ago
    Cat. I wish I could do something to make your holiday a better memory, but sadly I am just a novice witch at this point. emoticon I am truly dismayed and disheartened by the un-magical, un-Disney-like treatment you recieved from the booking of this trip, through the execution and the race pace nazis. Thankfully you had some bright spots in this trip with Danimite and your father. Try not to dwell on the bad and just hold onto the good moments.

    Once you are feeling tip top again and you are ready, think about contacting your BFF. Perhaps she treated you insensitively or possibly you mistook her comments or the context in which they were said. Either way, you should let her know how you feel and give her the chance to make ammends if they are called for. If she really did mean the comments the way you took them, it's better to know now so you can decide how you want your friendship to proceed.

    That being said; there are better times to look forward to on the horizon. emoticon You have another race to do with cool pirate emoticon bling to earn, with a friend who will never treat you with anything less than respect and consideration. emoticon emoticon I can't wait to get to NC in April! We're gonna have a blast, and we're gonna get more bling. (See.. you make me aspire to greatness...I want to be as big a bling whore as you. emoticon )

    emoticon Here's hoping you can keep your sunny side up! emoticon
    2680 days ago
    I can't believe what you had to go through at Disney. I'm so sorry for all of it, and then to get ill on top of it? Yuck.

    I'm glad you got to see Harry's World. That sounds like so much fun, but it's sad that the seat weren't a smidge bigger.

    Hopefully next time you get back to the States you will have a better trip.
    2680 days ago
    I hope that you are feeling better and that your illness has passed.
    I have no words about what happened at the Disney race... I am so amazed by your strength!
    2680 days ago
    My dear Cat...maybe they called it the Goofy because thats what the people were. I am sorry you had that experience. I am also sorry that you got sick, and your friend wasnt friend-like. That stinks. OK on the pacers..i get what, but i dont get why. In my mind anyone with the guts and determination to line up should be allowed to finish. period. even if its 2 am. Even at that..SECONDS behind? come ON.
    And the medal thing..i totally agree with you. winning something doesnt have alot of meaning if you didnt earn it..but in this case i think you MORE than earned it..but it should say..winner of putting up with and dealing with jerks.
    I am SO glad you got to see Hogwarts..i would SO love to do that!!! And to see Dani too..thats fantastic!!!
    I hope you are feeling better and your trip home goes smooth. Hopefully the next trip to the states will be MUCH better!!!! (i know some of it will!!!)
    2680 days ago
    Oh, dear! I'm so sorry you had to go thru that! emoticon Those pacers at Disney are my biggest fear. I'm so glad you got to go to Hogwarts, cool, huh? I LOVE the butterbeer and The Three Broomsticks! I'm sorry you are sick, I hope you feel better, emotionally and physically soon! emoticon
    2680 days ago
    ((HUGS)) Glad that you had some wonderful times thrown in with the not-so-wonderful times, friend!

    Boo to the pacers and the VERY un-Disney-like treatment of you and the others!!

    Super jealous that you and Dani got to enjoy Harry Potter World together! I hope a bunch of Spark friends can meet up there some day and that we can all fit on the rides! I heard someone else mention that previously; that the rides were kind of tiny considering...

    Hope you can rest and recoup now, for a bit, Sweetie!

    LOVE you loads!!!
    2680 days ago
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