Goofy Challenge the EPIC race.

In case you missed the first half of my Goofy Challenge recap, you can find it here. After we ran the half marathon, we headed back to the resort to get prepared for the marathon. My PT, Joe came back to finish working on me and see how bad I was. I was actually feeling OK and not that sore or pained.

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The only trouble I was having was, my upper right shoulder which Joe quickly fixed. We napped, ate, hydrated, hydrated and more hydration. I went back to the Harvest Bistro to have seconds of the delicious penne, tomato spinach plate I had! We headed to bed and woke up at 1:30 a.m. to get down to the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek send off party!

But first, let me KT Tape up!
But first, let me KT Tape up!

mwI can’t believe how awake and energetic this bunch was! They were so enthusiastic and supportive they were contagious! Loved how GREAT they were cheering us on as we boarded the bus!

This time the cold wasn’t as bad. it was almost 20 degrees warmer at 52. I had the mylar blanket this time and Alpha’s costume had arm warmers. We took photos and headed to our corral to wait.

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Once we crossed the start line, it was on! Last 26.2 miles left and I would officially become Goofy! I had no idea that once I crossed it, this would become the most unforgettable marathon yet.

The first 1/4 of it was fun! We ran through Magic Kingdom and the race track and saw so much! I was SOO happy to have my Vega Sports gel to keep me going. I love those things! Have you tried them?

Almost immediately my Scoliosis flared up and wanted to lock up on me. Luckily Joe showed me some quick stretches I could do to prevent so much tightness and I did those stretches through out the race. Alpha did massage me a few times, and thanks to Brenda she took a very moving photo of it happening. It’s one thing to hear about what I go through but it’s another to see it. I am happy she took this photo because it speaks more than my words could ever describe.

received_10153036713242354I was approaching the half way point and was struggling with the pain. My cheer squad has been sending me text messages and my “sis” decided to call me and pray with me as I ran.

There it was, the 13.1 mark! Our friend Andres was working the split time and boy was I happy to see him! He gave me many hugs as I told him I needed them and we took off. I felt a little better but NOTHING could prepare me for what was ahead at mile 14….

There was another GREAT school band playing on my right side, when suddenly I hear a VERY familiar voice shout “Mami! Mami!” Without a doubt I knew that was my little man but I didn’t see him. The last my BFF and I talked, she would be with him and Jennifer waiting at the WWOS ESPN center. So I was a little surprise she was here.

Then I saw him! I ran across and ran towards him to hug him and squeeze him tight! He is my everything and seeing him at the moment was much-needed. Then as I look up, my ENTIRE clan was there to surprise me!!! I couldn’t believe it and was so overwhelmed with joy that I broke into tears! I had told them how meaningful it would be to have them all there but they all said they couldn’t make it.

It was a complete and total surprise for me and Alpha and I will NEVER forget the feeling I got when I saw them and how much support I really do have. They are an INCREDIBLE family to us and have been there for us since day one! I’m getting goosebumps just thinking of that moment when I saw them all standing there cheering for us.

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I don’t know how my friends and family kept that a secret! That is a lot of people to keep quiet including my little man! I can’t even put into words how I felt knowing they were there. But I had to keep going as I had to finish this race. So we hugged, said our good byes and yelled “See you at the finish!”Just 12.2 miles to go! Shortly after that it started to rain, but a light drizzle. It was actually perfect and preferred this cloudy, rainy, marathon than hot and humid.

As we came to the ESPN center, or what I call, the twilight zone because it seems to never end, and it’s were you clearly see runners hit the infamous “wall”. I was tired but feeling OK. Seeing my people REALLY REALLY helped give me the boost I needed. They will NEVER know how important that was =)

ESPN

I knew once we made it through the field, mile 20 was just around the bend. I used all these soft terrains to run and relieve tension. I made it out of the field and had to walk. Made my 100th stop for Biofreeze and then I hear a VERY loud group of cheers and had a feeling I knew who it was….my cheer squad was back!!! I didn’t expect to see them at mile 19 but there they were! Never failing me!

Family and friends cheering me on.
Family and friends cheering me on.

I said hello and good-bye as we made our way to the last 10K left of the race. I got the other boost I needed to continue through until the end. I ran happily and had MANY familiar faces cheering me on and recognizing me, so to all you followers..THANK YOU for stopping me and saying hello! I LOVE meeting you all and knowing I am running along side you!

I had run into Joanna(early on) from Races for Awareness who we’ve become close friends and helped each other out through training. It was truly an honor to run along side her for her first marathon! She did AMAZING!

20150111_070544Making our way through Hollywood Studios and getting that chocolate, I knew I was getting close! Next stop was the Boardwalk, Epcot, and the finish line!

20150111_122444Once I entered Epcot, my cheer squad knew it and flooded my phone with “You can do it” messages. I received a special one, which was of my sis wearing purple butterfly wings on her arm. Are you familiar with my purple butterfly wings on my Asics? They symbolize a VERY special angel in the sky who fought a hard battle until the end. I always ask her to watch over me and fly with me…now her mom, was giving me her wings. Bella my beautiful princess, thank you for being with me through the tough, good, bad, and empowering. You gave me the strength I needed and I KNOW you were with me at each mile. I had your wings your mom sent me and I flew for you.

Bella Grace's  beautiful mommy, my sis
Bella Grace’s beautiful mommy, my sis

I flew through Epcot and could hear the choir singing. Which if you’ve run a Disney marathon before, you knew what this meant….the finish line was just ahead! We came around the LAST corner into the finish line shoot and crossed that finish line PROUD! I did it! I was officially Goofy and had run 39.3 miles successfully!

finish lineMet up again with my people and after we talked and shared how this all came about, Alpha and I headed to the hotel to ice bath and Epsom Salt soak! Our friends Tina and Manny came back with us to spend more time before they headed back home.

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And surprisingly enough, we went out to Epcot to meet up with the family! I have NEVER been able to do that! All the work Joe did on me and the stretches he taught me certainly made a HUGE difference!!!! I was able to walk pain-free! I have never been able to say that! Sometimes running 6 miles will cause incredible pain where I can stand up straight. But running 39.3 miles and able to go to a theme park and walk around is just mind-blowing to me. I have never felt so unstoppable, more in control of my body before. My PT is amazing and has fixed me when no one else has in the 15+ years I’ve dealt with them.

This Goofy Challenge was an over all unforgettable experience! From the freezing temps, to the comfortable beds, to my mile 14 surprise and my little man saying he was proud of me. I will do it all over again in a heart beat and not change anything.

I ran an EPIC race as my favorite Disney classic character and I indeed chase the white rabbit until the end.

There is no limit to what you can do. People will doubt you and try to break you. You need to believe you can and believe you are strong enough to overcome. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Some may not understand and never will, but you know why and keep chasing those dreams. NEVER GIVE UP.

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-cheetah g

 

15 thoughts on “Goofy Challenge the EPIC race.

  1. Congrats again! I’m so happy that you were not only able to complete Goofy, but do it smiling and in record time. Your support system is one that most of us can only dream about but it is paying huge dividends for you. I’m glad I was part of this experience with you. I look forward to seeing you and Alpha at future races.

    1. Yes it definitely was a lot of fun! My support system is incredible! It was a race I will never forget! And running with you was fun. Keep me posted on your local races. I might do some 5Ks, 10Ks, and any halfs that might come around.

  2. I’m so proud of you! You get me every time with your recap, but this one especially! It was important for ALL of us to be there cheering you on and letting you know how special you both are to us. Nothing can compare to the feeling of cheering for perfect strangers who seem to be on their last leg. I love you and can’t wait to see you in New York City 💪👟🏃🗽

    1. Thank you so much for EVERYTHING! I can’t ask for a better Best Friend! Your family is INCREDIBLE and sure made me feel like I wasn’t alone! Love you all!

  3. Love you! Crying happy tears! You are such an INSPIRATION! I could say so much more but you know we love you Sis! Never give up!

  4. Glecy’s your inspiration never fails me. You are truly amazing. Congrats on your EPIC finish. I plan to go Goofy next year. I ran the full last year as my first marathon and it was just amazing (even though I wasn’t saying that after I finished). Keep being AMaZING girl. Show scoliosis who’s boss. YOU!

    1. Thanks so much lady! It sure was a fun race! Will not think twice about doing it again. It was more smiles, laughs, and memories than anything else. Hope to see you if you go Goofy! 😉

  5. Congratulations! I enjoy following your posts. I ran my very first “Marathon” a week ago during WDW marathon weekend…completing the Dopey Challenge! And I also stayed at Hilton Bonnet Creek! What a great place and send off each morning! Loved it! I wish I would’ve been able to meet you in person! Best to you in 2015 and keep on running!

    1. Congratulations to YOU!!! Way to go! i am not sure i can handle Dopey well so I admire all of you who ran it! =) I LOVE Bonnet Creek! The send offs were such a positive exciting way to start the morning.

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