Sunday, March 11, 2012

My TNT Goofy Challenge 2012 - Orlando, Florida 2012 Jan 6, 7, 8

Back in July of 2011 this crazy email came into my mailbox from Team In Training Canada that only TNT Alumni were now allowed to do the Goofy Challenge through TNT - the first time ever!  I had ALWAYS wanted to do this and I needed a new goal that was challenging! 

Off went my registration forms to Cheryl Pollock with TNT Canada Flex.  Nope, I never even told Kevin.  Fundraising doesn't scare me.  I needed a challenge since I had just finished one of the biggest challenges of taking my Muscle Activation Techniques courses to become a MAT Specialist.  I always rise to the occasion of a good challenge! 

My main goal for 2011 was to get faster with my 10K and Half Marathon times so I never had my Goofy Challenge training on my radar.  I remained focused for my goal race in Los Angeles in October, 2011.  I trained hard and hired an online personal run coach, Tania Jones of Goalspeed Coaching.  Tania is located in Ontario and I found out about Tania from another TNT friend, Brock Skywalker.  Acquiring Tania's coaching skills was exactly what I needed!  I needed to become accountable to a coach.  Yes I could have done my own program and planned my own workouts but not having that higher accountability seems to make it much easier to make excuses not to do the workout that I have planned. 

My training with Tania was perfect!  She tested and challenged my mental and physical ability with running.  Weekly, on Wednesday evenings, we would meet to do our group training for LA Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon but Tania stressed that I must start running for myself if I had a goal for myself.  I, on the other hand, often sacrifice my own goal just so I can help someone else achieve their own goal.  I guess that is the Run Coach within me.  I was faithful to my journaling and keeping constant contact with Tania.  The goal was to train 5x per week - 1 run was intense with intervals and 1run was the distance training for the Half Marathon.  The other 3x per week were anything between 6km to 12km.  Most weeks, I managed to get 4x per weeks and seldom was I able to achieve the 5x per week training as planned.  I wasn't too disappointed in myself as I was also teaching fitness and cycling classes 4 to 6x per week.  I knew I wasn't sitting on my butt and not training.  No matter what, I knew if I had a time goal I would have to put in the hard work to achieve it.

Rock'n'Roll Los Angeles 2011 - Half Marathon PB
Needless to say, I did several 10K events within Calgary and I started to run consistently faster than I had ever run before for a 10K.  Wow...I never ever thought that would happen, but it did.  I actually saw results from my training and that felt good.  Then our event of the LA Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon in October I finally got the monkey off my back and ran faster than I have ran since 2006.  I ran faster and I a 5 years older.  I was very happy with my results of the hard work. 

After taking a couple of weeks off to recover from the race, it was then time to get back on the training plan, but this time, it was specifically for the Goofy Challenge!  For those of you who don't know, the Goofy Challenge if a Half Marathon on Saturday (21.1km) and then a Full Marathon on Sunday (42.2km).  Then we decided to do a little 5km race on Friday just so we could get more "bling" from the weekend.  My training for the Goofy officially started November 14, 2011.  I do not recommend that new runners do this but I had a SOLID half marathon base where weekly I was running a minimum of 21km to 25k on a Saturday followed by a minimum of 10km to 15km on Sunday.

My training schedule sort of looked like this:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3Day 4
Day 5
8K EasyIntervals ~ Approx 10K10K EasyNov 19
2 Hrs
Nov 20
2 Hrs 30 Mins
10K EasyIntervals ~ Approx 10K12K EasyNov 26
2 Hrs
Nov 27
3 Hrs
8K EasyIntervals ~ Approx 10K10K EasyDec 3
Dec 4
21.1K @ 3 Hrs
Vegas Rock'n'Roll
10K EasyIntervals ~ Approx 10K12K EasyDec 10
2 Hrs 30 Mins
Dec 11
3 Hrs 30 Mins
8K EasyIntervals ~ Approx 10K12K EasyDec 17
3 Hrs
Dec 18
4 Hrs
10K EasyIntervals ~ Approx 10K10K EasyDec 24
2 Hrs
Dec 25
2 Hrs
8K EasyIntervals ~ Approx 10K12K EasyDec 31
Jan 1
10K Easy10K EasyJan 6
Race Day
Three Amigos
Jan 7
Donald Duck
Half Marathon
Jan 8
Mickey Mouse
Full Marathon

Remember, this plan worked for me but may not work for you!

Before I knew it, the time was here to execute my plan!  What was my plan.....gosh, I really didn't know!  I had never done something like this before.  So what was my goal or game plan for the Goofy Challenge was to be realistic and enjoy the moment!   My TNT Goofy Challenge was amazing thanks to our dear friend, Michele Pedersen!

Goals for each race:
Three Amigos 5K - Friday, January 6, 2012 - No Goal :) - Have fun!  Take pictures!  Dance!  Smile!

   ~ Mission Accomplished!!!  We had a blast!


~ Donald Duck 21.1K Half Marathon - Saturday, January 7, 2012 - Goal 3:00 :) - Have fun!  Take pictures!  Dance!  Smile!  Enjoy the weather!  Find Cinderella and pirates!

~ Mission Accomplished!!!  It was so much fun!


~ Mickey Mouse 42.2K Full Marathon - Sunday, January 8, 2012 - Goal NONE!!!  Keep moving!  Beat the crowd to the Magic Kingdom so I could use the flush toilets!  Smile!  Enjoy the moment!  Find Cinderella!  Smile some more!  One foot in front of the other!

~ Mission Accomplished!!!  I had an amazing experience and my time was way better than I expected!  PLUS....I not only got to see Cinderella but also got to hold onto Prince Charming!

The hardest thing to do in preparation for this amazing event was not to be tempted to stay on your feet for long days.  The temptation was there!  To keep ourselves active plus rested, we did buy a park hopper pass so we could spend small amounts of time at each park.  Prior to getting to each park, we would make a decision on our "priority" of the visit to each park.  Hollywood - It was to ride the Tower of Terror; Animal Kingdom - It was to find the donkey and piglets (but were unsuccessful); Magic Kingdom - To go inside Cinderella's Castle and find as many characters as possible; Epcot - Well, that was the celebration after all the running - it was to have a celebration drink at each country :)

The challenges of doing this event were plenty.  Water was extremely expensive but it was a necessity; Good food on the Disney Parks were difficult to find.  It was there but in plentiful amounts.  We were looking at snacking quantities not meal sized.  There was a big time change shift to our disadvantage too.  Of course, we did not plan for these sort of things.  Thankfully, I did bring half a dozen coconut water for my electrolyte and a case of protein bars.  I always travelled with several of my own snacks handy.  As for the lack of sleep, we just coped and did our best!  On average we had 3 to 4 hours of sleep per night but it didn't seem to matter.  We still had energy and were just as happy as ever, after all, we were at the happiest place on earth and somehow we really were happy!

Finally, why do I think this event was so amazing for me...............

     1.  I had a positive attitude and didn't set ridiculous goals for myself.  No stress!
     2.  My travel companion (Michele Pedersen) was amazing and respected that my priority for the visit was to run these races. 
     3.  I snacked all the time and I tried to keep them small and as healthy as possible.
     4.  I drank as much water as possible plus one coconut water per day for electrolytes.
     5.  Recovery socks!  I slept in them each night.  It honestly was awesome.  Prior to the socks, I did ice my feet.
     6.  I ate a Power Crunch Protein Bar prior to my event and during my event.  I wasn't starving during this race.
     7.  I sucked on lifesaver Candies during the entire marathon.  My sugar levels didn't drop at all.
    8.  I went for a MAT treatment with Suzanne Gross in Orlando (Love her!!!  The best treatments EVER!!!)
    9.  I allowed myself to look around, smile, be in the moment - I LOVED IT!!!

To those of you considering the Goofy Challenge, I would highly recommend it!  I completely forgot to mention Team In Training!  WOW!!!  Team In Training did an amazing Inspiration Dinner.  It was a million times better than some I have attended in my years of experience with TNT.  I was extremely proud to be apart of such an amazing group of heroes and to have the honor of being a run coach for this organization.  It was the Inspirational Dinner that always recharges my batteries!  I end up loving life more than ever and appreciating each and everyone that are in my life!   Another thing I was thankful for was that our dear friend Michele was there to actually see and experience this event with me as I know TNT is amazing but sometimes I am not sure if our friends see it the same way as I do.  I know Michele love her experience in Orlando too!

So where do I go from here?  I'm not sure.....I do have new goals but with this amazing experience, I am unsure if anything can compare to this experience. 

I have, however, registered for the Disneyland Half Marathon in September, 2012 where I will qualify for another medal called "Coast To Coast Challenge".

2012 Goofy Challenge Completed!!!
I Did It!!!

My Finisher Photos Below:


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