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Old 12-31-2012, 10:06 AM   #1
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Coach's Corner

Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory... lasts forever. – Shane Falco

That about sums it up. First time runners you are about to cross a threshold that many only give a glancing thought. About 1% of the population will run a marathon; meaning the half, full or both. You have won the battle. There are no more hard fights, only the celebration of the weeks of training remains. You can and will do this in less than 2 weeks.

Take this time to heal up, rest up but not eat up. You have one longer run between you and race day. Take this time to reflect on you accomplishments. Who would have thought a 6 mile run could ever be phrased, “only a short 6 miler today.” Hopefully, any lingering injuries will heal up during taper.

Remember you packing list. Check it twice. Bring your race gear (shoes, socks, clothing) in your carry on. Throw down stuff, fuel and other items not worn can go in checked bags if you do not have room. You can always replace this stuff in Orlando in the unlikely event of getting lost.

Get a GREAT night’s sleep the night BEFORE the night before. For the half, that means Thursday is the night you should target for a good night’s sleep. I can almost guarantee the night before the big run will find you tossing and turning. You will try to hit the bed early only to find you can actually hear the fireworks very well, have neighbors who really enjoyed the fireworks and hear the guy two doors down snore. Do not worry about getting lots of sleep that night. Do set your watch and phone alarms as well as the room’s alarm and ask for a wake up call. You never know, I find that I have my best sleep just before wake up time. Though since 99, I do not think I have ever been in bed when an alarm sounded.

Try to get on the bus in the 0330 range. While early, there is a special feel to the staging area that you will want to experience; from the sleepy looks, scared looks, the band, Tony Horton, The green army solder, etc. Make a friend. Talk to your neighbor. If your crew came out, pick a spot for the post race reunion. From the staging area, you will pass through the bag check tent area to a runner’s only area. You need to show your bib to go past here.

Once in the corral, you will not be the only person who is nervous, frightened, scared – insert your own adjective. Use this as a positive energy to do a systems check. Once the gun sounds, make an effort to make you first mile at training pace, or just a little slower. Your visual speed sensor will always try to return to the pace you first run, so slower is better at first.

After you get into a pattern, take in the race. Look at the mile markers, take photos, keep an eye open for things that you see. Disney peppers the course with many special attractions. Most of all create GREAT memories of your race…even if things may not be going as well as hoped. Focus on the new scenes, the characters, the magic, other runners, find that inner peace. Remember, nice easy deep breathing so you stay relaxed.

If speed challenged, keep an eye on your pace – but stay within yourself. Remember, the relentless pursuit of forward momentum.

For the half folks, MK is the high point of the course…. The stretch just after the park can be a let down. Do not let it be! Run with purpose but again, stay within yourself. Once you pass the GF and Poly, it is a very short jog to mile 10 and the cloverleaf turn up and onto Epcot. You have three not so bad overpasses to cross… you crossed the second of the three at mile 1, so remember they are just not all that bad. Nice easy breaths and you are in Epcot and home.

For the full, MK is still the high for many, but it is only mile 5. Stay on pace and let the new course bring a few surprises. The marathon really starts at mile 20. We will be in WWoS at mile 20 and Disney promises something special. But once out of the park, we are on the return side of an out and back. Look at the faces of those you are meeting and draw energy from these folks. Before long, we hit the Osceola, World Dr interchange… the dreaded uphill cambered bridge. Just take it one step at a time. It is only 0.12 miles long. You can do anything for a couple minutes, right? After this interchange, it’s a short jog in the shade on World Dr then into DHS.

Remember, once through DHS, it’s Boardwalk, Beach Club, Epcot and HOME!

Post race, remember recovery drink, clean up, and then head out for a walk. You will not feel like walking so a short nap is ok, but then get up and move. Most of the next day’s stiffness can be alleviated with movement.

Wear your medal. You earned it! You will have several hundred nods an hour from folks in the park. Share your stories and enjoy your stroll. Wear your medal on the plane home. You will not be the only person wearing one. You will have to remove it at TSA, but otherwise, enjoy it. You will see another runner or two dig theirs out after they see you.

Finally, when you get home, you will realize that you are a changed person. You are now somehow different. You are a marathoner. Bring your medal to work. Share your stories, but understand that not all will be thrilled to hear them. That’s ok. You will have lots of questions. You are the expert for folks who are thinking of running one. Make sure you talk about the weeks of training if the questioner is thinking about running one. Yes, you will receive numerous questions along the lines of, “Now tell me, was that one of those 3 mile marathons or what?”

On a personal note, I enjoyed helping each and every one of you through this process. While not obvious, you see I draw much more from you than you from me. I draw energy through your experiences, questions and replies. Without each of you, I may well have retired this year or a couple years ago. Each of you helps get me out the door, or into the gym to get a run in or some other training in. For that, I say thank you! It’s been an honor being coach.
Coach Charles
Perfectly Goofy 2006-2014
Endurance Coach
Running Disney since 99

I don't want easy - just possible

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Old 12-31-2012, 10:28 AM   #2
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Thanks for this post Coach! You sum up so much of the feeling of running a marathon at Disney perfectly.

Thanks so much for your help this year, and especially for the input you gave me over PM in the fall. I really appreciate it.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:05 AM   #3
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Thanks for this post Coach! I'm fairly new to this thread, but your words have given me much strength and confidence that I need to finish my first half marathon! Thanks, Happy New Year, and best of luck to you in (less than) 2 weeks!
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:18 AM   #4
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Thanks, Coach!
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:17 PM   #5
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Shane Falco. Outstanding!
Thanks for everything.

Medals received: 2008 WDW Half ~ 2010 Princess Half + 2010 Disneyland Half = Coast to Coast ~ 2011 WDW Full ~ 2011 Wine & Dine Half ~ 2012 WDW Marathon Relay ~ 2012 Expedition Everest Challenge ~ 2013 Goofy Challenge ~ 2013 Dumbo Double Dare + C2C

Medals pending: 2014 ToT 10 miler, 2015 Dopey Challenge, 2017 January Half w/daughter, 2018 Glass Slipper Challenge, 2018 Tinkerbell Half, Avengers Half??
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Big Vic
Thanks, Coach!
I agree. Thanks coach!
Married at WDW 11/08/04

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Old 12-31-2012, 02:50 PM   #7
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Great advice and inspiration! Thanks for taking the time to share

In Training: 2015 Disney Half Marathon (possibly 2014 Wine and Dine)

Finisher 2013 Disney Half Marathon, 2006 Disney Marathon and 2005 Half Marathon
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:56 PM   #8
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The uphill bridge is only .12? I'm telling you Coach, that seemed to be 2 miles in length. Maybe it was the green Army man yelling at me, but wow that seemed to last forever. Not this year! This .12 will be a breeze and run in your honor this year coach! Thanks for all the support!
Disneyland 1978, Disneyland 1992, WDW-December 1998, WDW-December 1999-Married at the World!
WDW-September 2003-2 kids later...
WDW-January 2005, WDW-December 2005
WDW-January 2007, WDW-January 2008
WDW-January 2009-Dad COMPLETED the 1/2 Marathon!!!!. WDW-February 2009
WDW-January 2010. 1/2 Marathon and Mickey Mile!
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:03 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice and encouragement. Without your words over the last couple of months, I doubt I would even be getting to the start line. Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:56 PM   #10
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Thank You Coach

Just wanted to say thank you. I only post when injured (feeling pretty good am sore but have a few solid 12 and 14 miles before stress fracture and a 16 and 12 post stress fracture), but i lurk on this board a lot. It gives me strength and inspiration even when injured and undertrained. Am going to try and do the Goofy, i think i can make it but I will have a very easy and slow half.

Good Luck to everyone!

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Old 12-31-2012, 04:04 PM   #11
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Thanks, coach! Can't wait to finish my first full marathon!!
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:59 PM   #12
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Thanks coach; you made getting back in the race easier!
Rock-n-Roll Marathon 2014
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:34 PM   #13
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Coach, I appreciate your experience, advice, encouragement, and if course humor along the way. I feel that I have a fighting chance to cross the finish line, despite a less than perfect training season.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:01 AM   #14
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Thank you, Coach! Have a Happy New Year! And a great race!
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:27 PM   #15
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This will be my first Goofy AND my first full. I am going to be thinking of some of what you wrote while doing the full.
Going through MK at 5miles, I am going to think of what great things are ahead at mile 20...whatever is at mile 20 (aside from that .12 hill)...

Normally when I do a half I do increments of quaters...mile three is sort of the first quater...mile 6 and so on...mile 7 is more than halfway and then I go backwards...less than half...then less than a quater...it works for me while I am listening to music. I like to check out all the various runners that seem to change frequently around me...

So I have this mile 20 in my head...its ONLY six.2 miles to the finish line from there!

Last year I stood near Epcot (at the resort area entrance) and cheered on the full marathon runners...I really felt like I wanted to join them! I saw some cheery and some nearly crawling...some made funny comments...but no matter I watched them tretch through their last two miles. I thought then that I wanted to do this and make my first full at Disney...its fun and forgiving.
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