The Agony of Defeat #epicquest #100Days

For over a year I have been calling my adventure to walk the Disney Marathon 2014 my Epic Quest. I thought about my Epic Quest as I walked, and walked and walked for training. I thought of my epic quest as I planned, for trains, and cars, and hotels. I trained, I walked, I planned. Then I got sick. No worries, it’s three weeks until the race….it’s just the flu! Unfortunately my lungs and therefore asthma got involved. I didn’t recover as quick as I would have liked. Antibiotics, steroids, and an inhaler became my companions.

I considered calling it quits and not going to Florida. But I had trained. I had spent money. Ultimately, I knew I may not finish. 

I WANTED to do this! I was going to go until I could not go any more (or they pulled me from the course).


The experience was amazing! I was so excited that when I reached the start line I suggested a slow jog to get us started….I felt GrrreeeeaaaaT! (as Tony the tiger would say). And I did feel great, I was in my mind seeing the finish line although we were just at the start.

My legs were pumping and my head was in the game…life was good.

Somewhere around mile three my lungs had other ideas. They were unable to get air….enough air. I wanted to stop and catch my breath. If I could just stop and breathe for a minute (or two). We slowed for this picture, my way of hoping for a lung full of air, as we entered the Magic Kingdom.


But time wasn’t on my side. I had trained but I had foolishly trained to the minimum. I hadn’t trained to finish fast, I trained to finish just in time. So although I was keeping my pace, there was no wiggle room to stop and breathe. So, I pushed on. Struggling for every breath. Lamenting the forgotten inhaler (it was in my carry-on back at the hotel) with every ragged, labored breath.

Then a nice young woman on a bike pulled up next to us and said “you have 14 minutes to make it to mile five”. My response, “No problem, how far to mile five” the answer, “you just passed mile four”…..OH CRAP!

We watched as all the follow cars passed us. We pushed on. We pushed as hard as my lungs would allow. At mile five we heard “you’re done”. I’ll admit there was a large part of me that was happy to be able to stop and breathe. But mostly, I felt dejected and sad. A years worth of work. A large investment of time and money – DEFEAT!

As we climbed into the van that would return us to the start, the staff and volunteers of RunDisney were amazing. They cheered us. They congratulated us! They acted as though we were winners. However, there is no feeling quite like the feeling of defeat.

The feeling of FAILURE!

Abe Failure Quote

I am fond of the saying ONWARD and UPWARD! and this is one of those occasions. All we can do is move forward.

Plan Better.

                                Train Better.

                                                                 and Finish!

It seems as if I am resetting the clock. I’m winding back to January 2013 and looking forward to 2015 and the Disney Marathon. I have a whole new perspective.

I want to ROCK IT!

Not just finish! I want to play for time and not just a minimum! 

That’s a whole new perspective. A completely different outlook. One that needs to begin right away. So, here’s the plan….



There are 365 days in a year. My goal is to see how much I can change my life in 100 Days (hashtag #100days).  My broad goals are listed above, but the specifics are:

  1. Gym 6 days a week;
  2. Eat Healthy, Whole Foods (no processed foods);
  3. Eat at home
  4. Drink Water
  5. Lose weight (my specific goal for this #100Days is 40lbs).

I see the flaws in my last plan. I trained for a perfect set of events that would allow me to cross the finish with no time to spare. There are no perfect races. There is only being well prepared. Being well prepared for a marathon requires more than the physical training. I need to condition my whole self….food, stamina, mind.

On the Saturday before the race we attended the race expo. There were several lectures that accompanied the expo. We were particularly interested in one presented by Champion – The Science of the Sports Bra. It was interesting, and after listening to what Champion had to offer, I was anxious to visit their booth and receive expert assistance in finding the perfect sports bra. I had a professional measure me and then heard then heard words no one wants to hear “Champion doesn’t make a bra in the ‘extra support’ big enough to fit you.” I wasn’t just the big girl at the expo….I was outside the range for what they even consider might try!

If I want to complete this marathon (and I do) I can’t keep carrying extra poundage. I can’t train and overeat. If I want to be an endurance athlete, I must eat, sleep, and train like one. Next year when I attend the expo, I may not have morphed into the skinny runner girl but I won’t be the elephant in the room either :)



I invite you to consider taking 100 days to change your life. Maybe what you wish to change is the same as mine, maybe it is vastly different. Either way, join the challenge #100days.

I vloged our Disney Marathon 2014 Quest (and vacation) if you’d like to watch all the vlogs you can find them on my youtube channel (all 13 of them).


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About Gayle

Gayle is a Social Media Enthusiast and Consultant with Biz Buzz Social Media Marketing; co-owner of Glynne's Soaps; a dalmatian rescuer; genealogist and member of the Daughters of the Revolution (DAR) and of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC); a Cubs Fanatic; hopeful bagpiper; purveyor of positive; and a curious seeker of life.
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2 Responses to The Agony of Defeat #epicquest #100Days

  1. lelly says:

    LOVE THIS!! I’ve got your back for #100days AND BEYOND!!

    • Gayle says:

      You inspire me everyday! I plan to be as dedicated to my marathon training as you have been to yours….I’m gonna high-five Mickey at the finish line in 2015 (not just watch others do it).

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