I just signed up for the 2011 Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge in Walt Disney World next January.
Yeah, I haven't even figured out which races I'm running THIS year and I've already signed up for one for next year.
I'm insane. You don't have to tell me.
And a tiny bit poorer (darn you Active.com and your ridiculous $20 processing fee on top of the already ridiculous race entry fee!)
I know tons of people will think I'm crazy. Or should we say goofy?
You'll think I'm goofy for wanting to run 13.1 miles on Saturday and then 26.2 miles on Sunday.
You'll think I'm goofy for spending around $300 to run 2 races. (And you'd be right. It took me 5 minutes to hit the button after entering my card info. I'm definitely paying for the experience here, that's for sure.)
You'll think I'm goofy that I'm also going to spend money to travel to Orlando and stay there (and let's be honest, I'll spend money on at least one day in the Magic Kingdom because how can I be at Disney World and not go to MK?).
But here's the thing. It may be goofy, but I think it's the best decision I've made so far in 2010.
I've always been a runner for the fun and for the challenge of trying to see what I'm capable of doing. If there's one thing I know for sure, it's that running in these races will be fun. It will also certainly be a challenge.
I have never run that much mileage in one weekend. I know that training for it will be very different this fall. It will be hard. I will have days when I will have to come back to this post to remind myself why I signed up for the darn thing. But when I cross both of those finish lines and when I come home with those 3 medals, I will know that I just did something I have never done before. I will feel ecstatic with the accomplishment of running 39.3 miles in one weekend.
A lot of people only race to see how fast they can go, and I have days where I care about time goals... but I can tell you right now that I will have no time goal for these races other than to finish in the time allotted (you have to keep a 16-minute pace... this should not be a bit of a problem). I don't give a flip what my time will be. The only time that will matter to me is whether or not I'm having fun with the time I spend out there.
I am also doing this for fun. I grew up going to Disney World pretty often... I've been at least 5 times (maybe 6... I've lost count) and always have a blast exploring the parks and riding the rides. There's something about the magic of Disney that mesmerized me as a kid, and I never quite shook it off. The last time I went I was 23 (as seen in the photo above), and I still loved riding everything from the big rollercoasters to the little Dumbo ride where you push a button to go up and down.
I want to stop and take my picture with every character I see during the races. I want to have a photo in front of the Cinderella castle. I want to shake hands with Mickey and get those Mickey, Donald and Goofy medals. I think I'll have a smile on my face the whole time.
So yeah, it's expensive. And yeah, going down there for a few days will end up being a small vacation in terms of time and money. But I think the experience is going to be incredibly unique.
I know it'll be here before I know it, and in the words of Goofy, I'm pretty "gosh darn" excited.