Another creative answer on Why a Half the DAY BEFORE A FULL?????

7 01 2009

 The strange thing about the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is that it comes so closely on the heels of the Holidaze. For the second time, the weekend happens the same day as the first Trophy Series race for the Rocky Mountain Road Runners. I came in 4th in the point standings last year because I missed so many races due to … uh … racing. I don’t know how many of their races I’ll be doing next year as my concentration is on distance and my walking. I love my friends though. They got me through my first Disney and they’re in my heart for every subsequent one!

The first year I did the Marathon (2007) I was in complete awe. My story is fairly well known – not making fundraising minimum, getting fired 8 hours before I was to be on the plane, and barely training due to work, life, my own negativity. Looking backward, getting canned was probably the best thing that ever happened. I went in to the race from a completely different perspective. Since I really had issues with the double standards, that feeling was gone. I knew that I would never be able to afford the food at the Disney resorts, so I just started going through my cupboards … Nutella is my friend … and began my Packing-My-Own-Food-For-Races tradition.

I met a couple of folks on the plane, but since I didn’t really have the time to train with the team I was more or less on my own. It’s not that I’m not a team player, but it takes a lot of energy for me to be me and I like to concentrate that into my legs … I am hopelessly lazy, however so 2009 will find me up in Boulder training with my buddy Kristin as much as possible. Since I do like my privacy, I paid to have my own room; a trend, like packing food, which has continued.

I remember the resort (Riverfront – off of Port Orleans) and it was beautiful. I looked around the room and then left to go to the expo after figuring out the confusion with buses and wristbands. I forgot my release card, but that was fine as I was awash in the vastness of the expo. When I used to run there was *nothing* really like this … or maybe nothing I’d really paid attention to. Booths and zillions of people who looked so … race ready … and me. Oh my … just what had I gotten myself in to this time??

The best part, for me, about the hotel situation was that it was placed off a waterway on spectacular grounds. I could walk a decent distance along the waterway and smell the flowers, have my eyes mellow out with the sights and plant myself on the emerald grass. Even better was the fact that the waterway was a free ride to what I cadisney-2007-baloolled Consumer Island. The moment I dropped my race bag back off at the hotel, I was off. I did make a friend, Cindy, who was also walking. We hung out a bit, but my nerves and needing to spend time alone found my cellphone and me down at Consumer Island those first nights. I liked getting lost in the people. Might as well get used to it!

I’ll never forget waking up on Saturday to the television I’d left on for noise. It was the Orlando morning news saying “There they go – There are all the Walt Disney World Marathoners …” bla bla … they started blathering about one of their people in the race. OH MY GOD! I’d slept through the race!!!!! Completely terrified I called the front desk and found out it was Saturday not Sunday… pfew!

The next morning, all I could think of was that it was time to walk my own race. It was me and 13,000 of my closest friends …. but me. Not the stupid naysayers. Not the people who tried to buffet my potential for failure. Not the people whom have done this 100 times before … but me. Who gives a crap if it is going to take me in excess of 6 hours … I’ve got 6.5 to get disney-2007-finished-sassy-girls1it done! When we took off, I watched Katherine and Cindy take off … and I happily did my slower miles. They’d trained far more than me and had trained together … but although the people were there for good words, and TNT coaches to make sure I was OK … it was a matter of me asking my body to keep going. No-one else but me. I clicked in to myself as well as what was going on around me – but although it would be fun to take a million photos, I was on a mission … a mission to finish my marathon. The funny thing with the coaches checking in, it would take a bit for me to realize they were there and aknowledge them … Probably one of my favorite race photos was taken then … I saw Baloo!!! Yeah!! I was really doing this … and walking through the parks with all those people who were paying to stand in lines!

The hardest part, however, was after I checked in and looking around at all the folks who had made so many friends. The crushing thought of “Wow – you’re a marathoner, but you’re unemployed.” came wafting through. Mom’s “Ok – so you’ve done this, you never have to do it again” was still echoing in my ears … as was Er’s ecstatic “You’re not Auntie Dizzy Lizzy … you’re Auntie Dizzy Lizzy the MARATHONER!!” from when I called him just after crossing the line. The funny thing, as I stood there in my Walmart-On-Clearance-Danskin exercise skirt was that I realized that I would be coming back … if just to prove to myself that this wasn’t some strange fluke.

I went back in 2008. By then, I’d had several races under my belt and was in the beginning stages of being coached. I was starting to “get” training and enjoying it. I wanted to get under a 6 hour marathon … but … alas … that wasn’t the case. I got rather violently ill the Saturday before the race … so ill that I actually called my dad (a doc) in Tiburon. For me to call and say something was wrong, my parents know that it’s a lot more serious than I’m letting on. I did the race … I finished near my goal … I can say I’ve yakked in Disney World without partaking in any of the rides. I finished hallucinating and keeping it together in typical Lizzy style – until she found people she felt safe around … strangely enough, I’d only met Happy and Gary hours before in the race itself! Don’t get me wrong – I had a great time, met a gal who has become one of my closest buds, fellow racewalker Kristin Hanak of Boulder. The legendary story of meeting my close bud, Gary Dexter of San Diego, in the early morning potty line because we were both representing Experiment 626 – aka: Stitch is probably one of my favorite highlights … but I felt I started down the road of second guessing myself. I *know* I started a year that would be full of injury, mental mind games, and the like.

SO – wh626-stitch1ere does this get me? I leave tomorrow!!! Bailey has a Puppy Sitter and I’ll be packed probably within the next couple of hours. I’m feeling really calm and comfortable. I am leaving with the last of the 2008 injuries: ankle, hamstring, calf, knee and back. Nothing I can’t handle because I truly feel they’re going to work their way out.

I’m doing the marathon again … but I’ve got the half to do first. … Yeah … I’m doing the half first. Let’s face it … looking at the two stories, I’ve freaked myself out the day BEFORE the Marathon … once thinking I’d missed the event and the other by getting just violently ill. Let’s just take that out of the equation and go for a little walk on Saturday … checking things out … give my legs a stretch … collect a duck … then get down to business on Sunday … have a great time … walk through the parks … give my legs a stretch … collect a mouse … then collect a Goofy …

Then fly back to Denver to start training for the Surf City 1/2 Marathon in February!

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