|Challenge shirt and 6 medals|
I kept telling myself I would get more excited as the event got closer. Meh.
I met up with Joel and Tammi Wednesday morning and we made the drive down together. Headed straight to the Orlando airport to pick up Kemper and then off to the house we rented to unload the car. Driving down has its privileges. A lot of things I had to buy last year I just brought with me.
We piled back into the car after claiming rooms and then picked up Jason to head to the expo.
|Jason doesn't know what to do with his hands if he's not photo-bombing.|
Paige and Charlie spotted me at the expo and then they joined us for dinner. After dinner there was a quick trip to the grocery store and then to our home for the week. It didn't suck! 5 bedroom, 6.5 baths, pool/hot tub, home theatre, pool table, natural gas grill and the best stocked kitchen I have ever seen in a rental property. If you want information on staying here on your next visit to Orlando, let me know.
|Each bedroom had a king sized bed except for one which had 2 twins.|
Last year I met up with some tri friends I had connected with through a Facebook group for single triathletes. We met at Downtown Disney and it was loud and hard to talk to each other. This year I offered to host it at our house. I made some food. Michele brought salad and Tobias and Mark brought some fruits and veggies. Most memorable though was that Tobias brought Rittersport chocolate from Germany. I may be in love. I digress. We just sat around the table and chatted about different things and ate. I think Andrew might have even managed to stay awake the entire time.
Outside of the races it was a nice relaxing weekend. Hung out, talked with new friends, watched a movie in the home theater and just kicked back.
But the part you are really waiting for is the race reports. Yes, plural because if you missed it, the Dopey Challenge is 4 events (I choose to not call them races.) in 4 days. The 5K starts at 6:15am and then the 10K, half, and full all start at 5:30am. That's the Dopey part...waking up when half the country is just going to bed.
The whole goal of the weekend was to have fun and take lots of pictures. Stephanie and I knew we were going to run the half and full together, the 5k was just an added bonus.
The 5K is Disney's Family Fun Run. It stays within Epcot and you weave back and forth a lot. I was in Corral B with Stephanie (of course because all of our races have been together!). We both hid in the car as long as we could because it was cold and windy. There was a wind advisory. I don't think I'm going to race in Florida ever again. While waiting in the corral for the race to start, everyone just huddled up. There was no such thing as personal space. It wasn't desired. B-list characters, long lines, and chilly temperatures had us skip the posed pictures and just take some scenery ones. Nice relaxed 5k, some posed pictures at the end because the lines weren't too long and it was home to eat.
|These 'Bananas' were awesome at IMFL too!|
The Half was a lot of fun. Stephanie and I met up at gear check and walked out to the corrals. The corrals are probably about a mile from the parking lot. T-shirt Guy found us at our corral and we were able to wish each other good luck (this was our first race together last year). It's really easy to meet up with someone as there are unique signs all over the place.
Stephanie and I ran. We took pictures. We tried to keep each other reeled in when one of us picked up pace. We had a lot of fun! Very excited about putting together a book for this one and 2014. Funny, both of us were 'done' at mile 10, but neither of us said anything about it. We confessed it during the marathon the next day. The only issue from the half was one blister on my foot. We got home to pancakes and Canadian bacon made by Joel, Tammi, and Paige!
|Lane is basking in the glory that he beat us, but it didn't last long as we got him on the full.|
The ugly: I must have messed up my nutrition or my blood sugar must have dropped because at one point I took a moment to whine out loud about what was hurting (HUGE, I mean HUGE blister on my toe that I could feel sliding around and my quads and arches) and I started to cry. A few miles later, I grabbed some miniature Hershey bars (I NEVER eat the stuff they put out on the course). I ate them and half a Twizzlers a child was handing out and almost instantly, the pain wasn't any better, but I could process and cope much more rationally. Oh, and we skipped Everest. We got there too soon, lol. It wasn't going to start running for another 10 minutes and I was really afraid if we stood still in line for 10 minutes, I might not be able to start running again.
The good: The miles just ticked off. Running with Stephanie is always a joy. She's such a strong runner and positive person. We took lots of pictures. I got to see my friends Ada and Martin as they volunteer at a medical tent. We talked to other Ironmen on the course. We walked through every water stop to sip on water and/or Gatorade. We thanked the volunteers. We kept moving forward. There was a time getting in and out of ESPN that we noted how freakin' boring the course was, but considering how long it took us to get through the course, the time really flew by.
The villains were awesome. It was absolutely worth the wait. Special thanks for the cast member who refused to take pictures of a woman who cut in from the other side.
This marathon was by far the hardest, the slowest and the toughest I've ever run. I never had any doubt that I would finish (even though I didn't really want to start it). Let's be clear: I'M NOT DOING THIS AGAIN NEXT YEAR!
The most awesome part of Dopey last year was running the half and full with friends, especially Adam. The most awesome part of running Dopey this year was getting to run with Stephanie. It was a fun trip and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know some of my housemates better and enjoyed getting a chance to meet some friends from the interwebs in real life. It was also nice to just be. To my friends that knew I was in the area but I didn't reach out to: it wasn't personal. I didn't really leave the house after I returned from running.
|I'm buying all the photos, I'm just waiting until they sort them all out before doing my download.|
|Calling it quits on a high note.|