Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Training for Goofy’s Challenge

I’ll admit, I’m not the best about keeping up a training log - I never have been. There is one thing I AM good at…I like to take pictures!

Since I am not the best at keeping up with a training log, I’m also not the best at documenting my training regime. A lot of people lately have asked how I trained for Goofy’s Challenge, so I am going to give an overall recap of my training progress and setbacks.

(Please note: This method does not work for everyone and I realize that. I’m also not saying that this method is the best or only way to train for a race such as Goofy’s Challenge…this is just how I trained via a certified coach’s supervision.)

I began this running season with a lot of fear. Having healed from Tendonitis in my knee (I took about 3 months off from running in April/May/June), I was very cautious and scared to begin running again.

A new Marathon training season began for my running group in July of 2012. On the first day of each season, our coach gives us each a running schedule based on the specific race we are training for (isn’t she awesome?!).

I remember looking over that schedule with a lot of anxiety. Not only did I begin back to back runs right away (meaning – 1/2 the distance on Friday that I was running on Saturday), but I was also scheduled for two 21 mile training runs - since I’m no longer a “first timer”. I spoke with her about my training schedule and she told me to take it one week at a time. If the schedule needs to be cut back, we could do that without problem. I felt a LOT better after talking to her!


First week jitters!!

In the weeks to come, I started out slow with mileage. For instance, my very first back to back was a 3 mile run on Friday followed by a 6 mile run on Saturday.


Can I honestly say I ran a back to back run every single weekend of this training season? NO. To be honest, back to backs were incredibly hard – by Saturday, I felt as if my legs were dragging through wet cement. I’d say overall, I ran 75% of the scheduled back to back runs.


Warm weather, still running!


Aaaaand this is where the real fun began! Training went very smooth in July, August, and September. My knee didn’t bother me much and I foam rolled a lot. The week of my 9 miler/18 miler fell in October and that day brought rain, and a TON of it. I had no problem running 9 miles on Friday. As a matter of fact, I ran it on the treadmill while my husband and I watched movies. No knee pain.

Saturday held a different story. About 16 miles into my run, I knew I couldn’t run any longer. I was with two of my friends – one was also dealing with issues - she stopped to walk several miles before. My knee was not hurting near as bad as the pain I’ve felt before (like the Houston Half), but I felt my knee on the verge of spasm several times. I walked as much as possible and ran as much as possible. When Kelli caught up to me, we walked the rest of the way back. (This is another reason I freaked out when I heard rain was in the forecast for BOTH days of Disney’s Marathon Weekend. Thankfully that’s all changed now!)

In the back of my mind, I also knew I had the Mandeville Half the following weekend and I also had every intention of pushing myself no matter what. Boy am I stubborn. Guess that’s my Cajun heritage coming out in me!


I ran most of the Mandeville Half Marathon on an aching knee. I foam rolled all week and stretched as much as possible, but the pain began around Mile 8. Despite my knee sleeve and the amount of biofreeze I gooped on every few miles, I couldn’t shake it. I was determined and stubborn and pushed myself to the end. Not only did I cross the finish line with a hurt knee (NOT near as bad as it was in the Spring, it just hurt), I also made my heart go crazy and beat out of whack - which in turn led me to a Cardiologist on Monday. You can read all about it if you haven’t heard the story yet!

In the weeks following Mandeville, I took time off from long runs. My coach also told me to hold off on back to back runs for a little while, and she omitted one of my 21 mile training runs (whew!).


After much healing time, I finally felt strong again! November brought a 7 mile/14 mile training run which helped give me a ton of confidence! (Maybe I WOULD do this after all!)


1/2 there!


I also ran an 18 mile training run on Thanksgiving weekend – and I kind of didn’t run 9 miles the day before because I spent most of Black Friday shopping in town. Shopping = mileage. Yes.


Last but not least, the BIG one!! I met up with my friend Scott for our 11 mile training run (he is also tackling Goofy’s Challenge). We had a really great run, but I dreaded the next day. I slept in compression tights on Friday night (something I plan on doing in Disney) which helped me significantly on Saturday. We took our 21 mile run very slow and finished without any issues!


After my final back to back run this past weekend, (3 miles Friday/6 miles Saturday), I knew it was GAME TIME!

These past six months have been a wonderful crazy experience and I wouldn’t trade a minute of it. I could not have done all of this alone. I have the best friends a girl could ask for and my family has stood by me every step of the way!

I’ll admit, I AM very nervous and scared, but I’m also looking forward to the excitement and the experience!

Six months of training and it all comes down to this weekend! I dreamed of this weekend back in July and I didn’t think it would ever arrive! It’s here! It’s really almost here!!

Best of luck to everyone running this weekend whether it’s Disney, Houston, or any other race going on around the country!! :0) I’m cheering for you!

If you would like to read additional posts related to Goofy’s Challenge, see the following:

Last Minute Tips for Race Day
Goofy's Challenge Packing List


  1. Ahh! I can't wait to stalk you via runner tracking! :) Even with your set backs, your training seems really solid. I know you've got this in you. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, you inspire me! Now get those medals!

  2. Congratulations on your Goofy training, and good luck this weekend! I'll be running the Disney Princess next month -- my first half -- and reading blogs like yours are so motivating for first-timers like me! :-D

  3. Game on, girlfriend!!! What a great post and I appreciate your candor about the highs and lows of training. Hope to high five you on the course Saturday (look for pink pants and neon pink signs!) :) -Christine

  4. Loved the training stories. My training was kind of opposite yours as I did my long on Sat and then 1/2 that on Sun. Getting excited as well - it's good to see someone else in the same boat at me.


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