Am I glad I did it? Yes! Will I ever do it again? I don't know. I can say that, unlike my two prior marathons, there was never a point during the marathon that I thought I had made a mistake or that I swore off future marathons. If anything, I think my experience this past Sunday made me think that I could do another marathon - it was slow, but it wasn't bad - ever.
I was taken aback by the generosity of friends, family and co-workers. I had though that raising $5,000 would be a stretch, but we got to $7,500 with ease.
I was impressed by the volunteers and spectators on the course and I've decided to find a race that I am not interested in running and going to cheer. Having people - strangers - yelling for you or ringing a cowbell gives you a little spring in your step and keeps you moving. After all the support we got in Disney, I feel like I need to repay the running community.
I was also really moved by the TSA dinner on Friday. It was so nice to meet other people affected by TS and both Hope and I talked about our desire to stay connected with this community and to do more locally. The boys have been talking about running the half or the 10k next year, so we'll be thinking about that. I certainly cannot raise $7,500 every year, and an annual Disney Marathon trip would blow the budget, but we are trying to figure out how we can capitalize on the excitement of the weekend.
I cried a lot last weekend and sometimes at odd things or at odd times. I was so touched to have Brenda and her family down there and her sons, Kyle and Darren running and raising money. I spent a good deal of time during the races thinking about everyone who donated; and everyone who sent email or text well-wishes. I thought about John Hartley standing in my driveway in the snow, ready for another freezing cold run when you knew he just wanted to stay in bed. I thought of Renee carrying the conversation on Saturday runs so Anne and I would have something to talk about on our Sunday runs. And where would I be without Anne? We laughed on most of our training runs and both laughed and cried at Disney. There is absolutely no way I could have done this without her. None. She put up with my constant burping (and other bodily functions) as well as my anxiety-riddled mileage counting and for that I will be forever grateful.
It's been several days since we completed the Dopey and I think I'm ready to get in a nice (slow) run tomorrow. I am also moving forward on a different endurance-based Tourette's fundraising effort (but one that I will not be hitting up friends and family). Not sure what to make of this blog thing - clearly I am no longer "Counting Down to the Dopey Challenge" but I may continue to write on the off chance someone is reading. For now, I need to get my thank you notes out and close out this awesome experience.
4 days, 4 races, 6 medals, $7,500 raised for TSA