Sunday, April 2, 2017

Dopey Challenge 2017 - The Monday After

We were doing Animal Kingdom with our friends today, but I was very very tired and didn't want to rush. I really wasn't that sore, just exhausted. So Paula went on ahead and I took my time, eating, stretching, rolling, and getting partially packed for my flight home on Tuesday. Eventually I was ready to go to Animal Kingdom. I made it there just in time for our fastpass on the Dinosaur ride. This was a fun ride, not scary, with very realistic dinosaurs growling ferociously around every turn. Diane's granddaughter Alair loves dinosaurs. I hope some day she gets to go on that ride!

After Dinosaur it was time for another roller coaster - Everest. I think I was on roller coaster overload, because I had been dreading this ride for several days. It was another themed ride, the search for the yeti on a runaway train through the Himalayas, but you could see it from far away, and hear the people screaming too. I said I didn't want to go on it, but then at the last minute I changed my mind. I didn't want to be mad at myself for missing the experience.

To tell the truth I can't say I enjoyed it, but it was a very good ride, with some really scary components. I actually wish I could have another chance to ride it, when I was more well rested and less anxiety ridden. Who knows, maybe someday!

After Everest we made our way to the Nomad Bar. Tucked away in a corner of Animal Kingdom, this is another aspect of Disney for Grownups. A quiet and peaceful, beautiful, romantic hideaway, right in the middle of an amusement park. We sat on the comfortable couches and drank some delicious and unusual cocktails. In fact all of our drinks were so interesting that we passed them all around so that everyone could have a taste!

It was time for dinner and our luck held. It was close to the time for our reservation and we found the bus we needed to take in no time at all. Off to the Polynesian Resort we went, to their wonderful restaurant with an all you can eat Hawaiian feast. They brought us salad, bread, potstickers, veggies, Singapore noodles. They came around to the table with skewers of steak, chicken and shrimp. They brought bread pudding with caramel sauce and ice cream for dessert. We tried to pace ourselves, but it was hard. What a feast!

The plan for the evening was a monorail pub crawl. It sounded like a great idea, and I really wanted to go on at least part of it, but I just couldn't. I didn't want anymore alcohol and all I really wanted to do was go back to the hotel and go to sleep.

I hugged my friends and tried to thank them for showing me such an amazing time. How do you thank someone for planning and executing such a great vacation? I'm still in awe.

My flight home was trouble free, although it was a bit of a shock to see the cold grey snowy expanse of New Hampshire spread out below me when we landed. Lee met me at the airport with the dogs and it was so very very nice to see all of them, my family, furry and otherwise.

Well I'll have to put the Dopey Challenge right up there with Philly and New York in my top marathon experiences. Not by time, but this wasn't about time. 48.6 miles, 70,000 Fitbit steps in one day, 190,000 Fitbit steps in one week. Four parks, 7 days, 4 races in a row. Setbacks, triumphs, running in the resorts to get our 13.1 miles with 100's of other runners. 6,500 Dopey Finishers, 75 Dopey women in the 60-64 age group. My last marathon before I graduate to the 65-70 age group!

I don't know what the future holds. My leg is still somewhat sore, and I've got to take it easy for awhile and hopefully let it heal. I have no idea if I have any speed left in me, but the endurance is certainly still there, and I think I've got more training and racing smarts to employ. I know I need to start allowing for some of the disadvantages of aging, allowing more time for recovery for one thing. But I don't have any intention of stopping, not yet, maybe not ever. I love running. Who would have ever thought that un-athletic uncoordinated kid would end up as a marathon runner? Pretty darn incredible, that's all I can say!

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