Submitted by Sean Astin, @SeanAstin
Walt Disney World Marathon 2015
The Dopey Challenge
48.6 Miles in 4 Days
(5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon & Full Marathon)
I’m 43 years old for one more month and my passion for running has morphed into a full blown obsession.
In 2013, I ran 3 full Marathons. Last year I did 2. Hmm, what craziness might I get up to this year? I hope The Dopey Challenge sets the tone. Crazy? Maybe. But, as my carbon based body proceeds along its course, I have a ticket to ride, paid for with a lifetime of long distance running. The Dopey Challenge? Bring it...
First, I love Running in "Disney" events. In fact, I'm a regular, having completed 6 RunDisney ½ Marathons, with 2 Dumbo Double Dares (10k & 1/2 in the same weekend) & the prized Coast to Coast Medal (A Disneyland, CA & Disney World, FL 1/2 Marathon in the same calendar year).
The time has come for me to return to the big Park in Florida. Walt Disney World, I shall tackle the biggest event your RunDisney has to offer.
Sunday, I attempt to complete my 9th Full Marathon (LA, San Francisco, Chicago and in the fall of 2014, The Marine Corps & The Rock n’ Roll Vegas). I'm no stranger to the long run, but this challenge is different. The Dopey is, well, MORE.
Two days ago I was pretty freaked out thinking about it. Now, sitting on the plane I keep flexing my calf. It doesn't hurt. Yet. It will. I've been thinking about the Expo. I have the opportunity to share my thoughts and insights about running with participants every day of the EXPO. My experience is a warm blanket that I wrap around me. I think I'll share what I've been feeling the last couple of days. Having anxiety or "Nerves" looks different now, at my age, with the thousands of miles I've logged on the road. I don't have butterflies in my stomach. I have crows flying around. My stomach isn't flittering, rather my shoulders settle deep as I consider how my past might help predict the future. When there is perceptible concern, I literally have a glimmer in my eye and I smirk at the doubt in myself. I've had it before and conquered it. The gentle wave of questioning gives way to a high tide of confidence. I've been here before so many times. These are the minutes that will eventually seem so silly to have spent worrying once in the corral at the start.
I can’t remember the exact year of my first 10k. I was 14 I think, certainly too young to be nervous. It was a glorious 48min 27sec's, and the very first time I'd ever run that far. Then there's the day I made varsity on my High School Cross Country squad (the slowest on the team). I felt the strongest I’d ever been. Yet, I bonked on mile two and practically crawled the rest of the race. I’ve often said that the key to managing anxiety heading into an event is to remember your training and that the mind is an incredibly powerful tool.
Was I breathing hard just walking down the jetway of the plane?
It comes down to this.
I want to push my body and my mind. I want to test my spirit. I want to see what's possible. Mostly, I'm looking to go beyond the limits placed on me, mostly by custom. I’ve set many lofty goals and failed at many. Well, failed so far. I am actually not freaked out about this coming behemoth of a task. I'm totally stoked. Flex leg, deep breath in my airplane seat. It'll probably hold up.
I’m 43 years old for one more month and my passion for running is a full blown obsession.
Walt Disney World Marathon 2015
The Dopey Challenge -- 48.6 Miles in 4 Days