Hi, gang... I finished my Goofy (Dopey) this year! and can honestly say that the WISH team really helped! I don't have the team shirt, but tried to say hi to WISHers, or introduce myself when our paths crossed. Had a nice little chat with Rick, Courtney, Don, and another girl (sorry I forgot your name!) in corral D before the marathon start (because I couldn't find DumboBuddy, which was fine, because I couldn't have kept up with her!). I especially want to thank the WISH cheer group outside of DHS. (ha...almost typed MGM) I was the one in the blue/orange top and blue skirt that ran up late in the race and asked for sunscreen on my shoulders...the lady in the green wig and another one found some for me, and I am so grateful! Sure, it was probably a little late for extra sun protection by then, but it couldn't have hurt, and just knowing I could count on the WISH crew, even though I only have met very few of you in person, meant so much. Brief recap of the weekend: (ok, it might not be brief...I'll try) This was my 2nd completed Goofy out of 3 attempts. Did it in 2010, was injured in 2012 and DNF'd the marathon, came back this year to get a real Goofy medal. (I hated that big 5 medal from 2010.) 5K: My BF and my running buddy (RB) ran with me. They're both much faster, but we just sort of played our way around the course, taking photos, trying to post them on FB realtime, running and walking. about 45 minutes. Just a little fun to shake out the legs. Gangnam style danced across the finish line. Then our usual breakfast with other running friends at Boma. Half: Finally met Coach Charles before the start. Ran with the RB again, and let my BF run his own race, since he's faster than both of us. RB and I did a 3:1 Gallowalk. It was too slow for him, and he decided he really doesn't like all the dodging and weaving one has to do in the later corrals (even D)...who does? ugh. The race is getting too big. But...we tried to keep a relatively easy pace, and decided to take some photos along the way, and make it fun. Got a hug from DumboBuddy near GF and it was great to see her! No real worries about not making time for the half. Noticed that it got pretty warm by our finish. Took about 3:20 to finish, including a few photo stops (not all). At one point, we had decided to just walk it in from Mile 10, then stopped for a pirate photo...so were going to walk from Mile 11, but then just wanted to get done, so we pretty much stuck to our run/walk until close to the end. Full: Ouch. Ran this on my own, as I needed to focus, and as said above, I couldn't find DumboBuddy at the start. Started with a 3:1 run/walk and had mentally broken the race up into: 5 miles to MK; 4 miles to racetrack/turn on Bear Island; 5 miles to AK exit; 3 miles to WWOS; 3 miles around WWOS; 2 miles to hill/ramp by DHS; 2 miles through DHS and onto walkway; 2.2 miles through Epcot to finish. I figured I could adjust my run/walk ratio for each section as needed. But the heat got to me. I'm from Texas and used to thrive in the heat for running, but not anymore (maybe because I'm near a "change" in my life, if you know what I mean). No problem through MK, kept cruising to the race track, but was thinking I wanted to walk more...though I knew it was sort of early to be feeling bad. I have ambivalent feelings on the race track section...the music was good, but so many of the car owners were just sitting there staring at us. They looked so bored. Got on the section to the AK and this is where it all went bad. I wanted to stop. I wanted to be out of the heat. I couldn't fathom that I would be out running in the heat and sun another 4 hours... even a hug from a volunteer didn't help. I was starting to cry a little, because I did not really want to come back and try another Goofy. But I knew my BF was in my heart and would rather I give it all I had rather than quit....and he had told me the morning of the race to not get into my head like that (because I do... ), and I also know that quitting leaves a bad taste in your mouth for a very long time. So, I ran when I could, but walked a lot, with the plan to try to finish, but if not finish, then I would have to get swept to get me off the course. I wasn't 100% sure I had the time to kill, but EE had just opened (I got there at 9:13 a.m.), so what the heck? I rode it with another runner! I figured, when else would I ride a rollercoaster during a marathon? Coming out of AK, I was still hot and tired and most likely behind on nutrition, and wanted a Coke like they provide at Ironman races. So I ran over the machines at the bus stop and got one (thank you to a park guest who gave me change for a $5, when the machine wouldn't take it). That tasted so good, and gave me a boost for several miles on, as one friend dubs it, the Highway of Death between AK and WWOS. Just after the turn to WWOS, I saw DumboBuddy....yay for her! She was doing great, considering she had been injured late in training, and was so positive! We exchanged hugs and good vibes, and ran along our separate directions. My thought at this time was, if you get out of WWOS and runners are still coming in, you're doing fine and can maybe walk it in if you have to. Didn't love all the turns in WWOS because you don't know how much progress you are making, but got through to the other side and there were no runners entering. Yikes...so the sweepers are within 3 miles. Though, that is up to a 48 minute difference, so I hoped I was still ok. I ran when I could, and made sure I walked purposefully for the rest. Saw that one girl had gotten an ice bag at a medical stop, and when she was done with it, I took it from her to use on myself...ice on the course just out there would be nice, but then, I am used to races with 2000-3000 people, not 20,000+. I think by mile 23, I figured I was ok. But still ran in bits and spurts because I wanted to be DONE, and at that point, had a chance to finish within 7 hours. Got great cheers (and sunscreen) from the WISH team outside of DHS...again, thanks! At the choir, I just lost it and started crying. It had not been my best day at sport (so true for various races this last year, which has been mentally tough on me), but I also had just persevered through the various challenges, both physical and mental. I was happy, I was sore, I was tired, but I was going to finish. I waved to the photographers near the finish line and made it look like I was having fun and not as slow as I am, then hugged Mickey and Minnie and crossed the line. And then cried some more. Finish time 6:53. Thanks again to everyone!! (and sorry so long!) Considering the Dumbo thing...19 miles doesn't sound nearly as bad as 42. No plans for another Goofy as of now.