One Week to WDW!

EEP! One week until I leave for Orlando, Walt Disney World, and my second Dopey challenge!

I'm totally excited!

Last year I wrote about my whole running experience, you can check out my Dopey recap here: The Dopey Experience - In Review

I learned a lot from last year and here are the things I want to keep in mind this year:

  1. Listen to my body - Be it before, during or after, I need to listen to my body and make sure I'm taking it easy when I need it. Last year I think I pushed a little to hard to go to the parks in between.
  2. Have fun - I'm running the races with friends this year and I can't wait to get character pictures and enjoy the miles
  3. REST! - this goes along with number one, but I need to rest between races. Last year I pushed it too much in between races and I really needed to rest.
  4. Get to the finish - This is a big one. Just get to the finish some way, some how.
  5. Not spend a lot of money at the expo - I've been going through everything in my apartment since I'm moving and I DON'T NEED ANYMORE USELESS STUFF! I want to get a stick, an "I Did It" shirt, and one other sweatshirt but really, I can't buy more stuff that will get donated in a year or 2.



What are you goals for WDW Marathon Weekend?

My Pre-New Years Resolutions

So with the year ending, it's always a good time to reflect and improve for the next year. For me it starts with my birthday and roles right into January 1st, creating an entire month of reflection.

Here are the things I like to do now.

1. Eat Clean-er - In the triangle of fitness (exercise, sleep, and diet) my weakest point is diet. Recently, I've been finishing up a book called "Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us" and it's been illuminating. More cooking and less snacking out of a bag when possible for this girl! I'm not perfect but even a small change will help :P

2. Stretch More - I've been dealing with a hip flexor issue and so I need to stretch more so help it and also avoid further issues.

3. Hip Strengthening - Same as the reasoning for stretching, strengthening the other muscles in my hips will help me heal faster/better

4. Dedication to Dopey Training - This is a big one since I'm going to have to dial back my speed a bit to help my hip heal. I need to train smart not fast for Dopey. My focus is on getting the miles in and not on speed. The "dress rehearsal" weekend is the most important in building not only my physical preparation but also my confidence that I can make it through the weekend of races.

These are my goals for December, what are you hoping to achieve before the year ends?

Training For Dopey

Hello All,

This past week my twitter running friend, @amandaJeberly (Go follow her!), asked me how I trained for Dopey and since it wasn't as easy as linking to a training plan I thought I'd share it here.

For starters, I love Hal Higdon's training plans, they are simple and usually just post a distance you should run each day. His Intermediate Half Marathon plan helped me complete my first half marathon all the way back in 2010 and his Intermediate I and Intermediate 2 marathon plans have helped me complete all 7 of my marathons to date. For all you Goofy runners out there, his Intermediate 2 plan is PERFECT since every weekend has back to back long runs where you double your Saturday mileage on Sundays.

Here are the reasons I like Hal Higdon's plans:

  • I'm not a big cross trainer so I don't mind running 4-5 days a week
  • The weekly mileage peaks at my breaking point (more than 50 miles a week and I start to fall apart)
  • It's pretty easy to swap around days without ruining the program (sometimes my Thursday run becomes my Friday run)
  • Not a ton of other stuff to remember (speed work outs, what to run at the track, etc)
  • I've never been a walk/run or Galloway runner

So, when starting my search for a Dopey Plan I had to take a look at Hal Higdon's Dopey Training Plan to see what he recommended. This plan had more rest days that I was really looking for so I decided to frankenstein a plan of my own by combining it with his Intermediate 2 marathon plan.

NOTE: I am a fairly seasoned marathoner (the 2014 WDW Marathon was my 6th marathon) and feel comfortable doing this, I would not recommend this if you have not trained for a marathon before. The marathon is the most important piece to the Dopey puzzle since this is the toughest and longest distance. If I were you I'd follow Hal's Dopey plan to a T.

The key to success when approaching any back to back race weekend is getting in back to back training runs (Sounds like a "Well, Duh!' statement but you'd be surprised). If you don't see this in the plan, DO NOT FOLLOW THE PLAN. If the plan conditions you to only do 1 long run with a rest day before and after, you are not setting yourself up for success. You need to learn how to run on fatigued legs.

So here's the plan I created for myself using the Intermediate 2 marathon training plan:

In this plan, the week leading up to the last 20 mile run is the most important since this is your "dress rehearsal" for the Dopey. Also, I've put in some optional rest days in the final 2 weeks just in case I'm feeling a bit more tired after dress rehearsal week. It's important leading up to the Dopey that you trust your training and get rested during taper!

Note - I've swapped a week to fit in the Avenger's Half Marathon in Disneyland. Also, in reality I will probably have a fall marathon that will mess up this plan complete for the first 8 weeks :)

Also, just to make it easy here are the links for the Official Galloway plan, Galloway Dopey Plan. He has a ton of great tips which I've read through many times!

What does your Dopey Training look like?

One Week Until WDW Marathon Registration Day!

Hey girl hey!

Did you know? It's one week until us "regular" folks can sign up for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend! This race weekend will always hold a special place in my heart. It was about 6 or 7 years ago I was listening to a podcast by one Lou Mongello and he was taking on the WDW Half Marathon. The way he described the excitement at the start line, the magic that happens when you run up Main St USA, and then the relief and accomplishment at the finish line, I knew I needed to do this.

I was never really a runner. I have always "worked out" but never really enjoyed running. I would pick it up every once and awhile but then life/weather would happen and it would end. The summer of '09 I started running more regularly but then going back to college meant stress and less time, plus in Syracuse it snows a lot, so I fell off the bandwagon. I was originally thinking that '10 was possible, but then life happened at so I set my sights on '11!

Halfway through my junior year, I picked up running and it stuck. I spent the summer in NYC and got to run all over the place and fell in love! I got to explore and see so much of the city! So that July, I made the plunge and signed up for the full marathon. I had toyed with the idea of the half, but not being a huge fan of Donald I decided to upgrade to a nice shiny Mickey medal!

Really from there the rest is history. I ran a half in upstate NY on 10-10-10 and since it was pretty small my 1:54 finish time meant I took first in my age group! Not bad for a first half marathon! I was so nervous going into my first marathon, but it was totally worth it! More on that in another post!

I had a few apprehensions before my first marathon! I have to run all those miles?!

Running at Disney is awesome! If you are a fan of the parks, seeing backstage areas is really fun and the unique character pics can't be beat!

Since January of '11, I've run every marathon since:
-2011- Marathon
-2012 - 5k + Marathon
-2013 - 5k + Goofy
-2014 - Dopey Challenge
-2015 - ?Dopey Challenge Hopeful?

Fueling after our races! (2011)

Another one in the books! (2012)

Meeting the main Goof-ster after my first Goofy Challenge! (2013)

I went Dopey! (2014)

I can't believe this will be my 5th marathon-iversary! So excited!

But you don't have to take my word for it, here are some recent podcasts on runDisney that hopefully will convince you!

Be Our Guest Podcast - Episode 663 - WDW Marathon
WDWRadio - WDW Marathon Weekend - Episode 354
Mickey Miles Podcast - WDW January Review Part 1 - Episode 138
Mickey Miles Podcast - WDW January Review Part 2 - Episode 139

And the podcasts that started my running/runDisney adventure
WDWRadio - Show 50 - Jan 20, 2008
WDWToday - A Marathon of a Show - Episode 489

Registration opens April 22, 2014 at 12pm EST!

Hope this helps you to decide if it's time to make the plunge! You have 1 week!

Post WDW Half Marathon

Post Walt Disney World Half Marathon

After the half I tried to sleep but it wasn’t quite working, I just couldn’t power down. So instead I just relaxed in bed with my feet up. I wanted to go back to the Expo to pick up a few things and I had a friend who was running the marathon with me who needed to pick up his stuff so I decided to head out and get some stuff done.

Saturday was so nice at the expo, it was still a bit crowded but not nearly as bad as it has been in the past.  The thing I really wanted to get was my first ever Sparkle Skirt to wear with my new Dopey tank from Raw Threads for the Marathon. I just love these 2 companies. Raw Threads makes ridiculously soft apparel which is perfect for my sensitive skin. I just love their stuff. I really can’t say enough!

After getting my skirt, I then looped around the other vendors to see what was what. I didn’t end up buying anything else, I was trying to be good and not blow all my money. J
Then I got a call from my friend saying he had arrived so I went with him to get his race stuff and get his shirt. We made another lap around the expo but he wasn’t really interested in buying anything, so it was time for some park touring.

Originally, I had said I wanted to go to Hollywood Studios because it’s a smaller park which means less walking, but because I passed the exit, we went to Epcot instead. We rode Nemo, Journey Into Your Imagination, Spaceship Earth, Grande Fiesta Tour, Maelstrom, and finally Ellen’s Energy Adventure. After getting off of Ellen’s Energy Adventure (where we were all falling asleep, sorry Ellen) we decided to call it a day.

We dropped my friend off at his hotel and then made our way back to our hotel. I put my compression socks on (love my 2XU socks), made dinner, and was laying out my clothes and getting into bed around… 7:30. I was exhausted. I ended up falling asleep around 9, completely jazzed for the final race and my 3 am wake up call!

One more race! One more race! One more race!

Post WDW 10k

Post Walt Disney World 10k

After the 10k, I started to feel pretty crummy. The lack of sleep and all the excitement was getting to me. I also had a cold that started creeping up on me (runny nose and some sneezing) but it was starting to come on a bit stronger. I still was not really admitting to myself that I was starting to get sick because for me that meant defeat.  If I’m not sick I can still run, thus I’m not sick. I was also having some gastric distress and I was getting nervous about running a half marathon which is a distance I’ve run a dozen times and usually isn’t an issue. 

Friday was also the day of some meet ups which I wasn’t missing this year. So I went back to the hotel after the 10k, showered, and then napped to try to take care of myself a bit. Around noon, I started pulling myself together for a meet I thought started at 1pm. I set out to the Beach Club to meet up with the Mickey Miles Podcast crew but when I got there, no one was there. What’s going on? I checked my phone again for the FB event and the event was still set to PST so it actually started at 4pm EST.  Augh! Instead of being 20 min late to the meet, I was 2:40 early! Oh well, there are worse things in life.

I decided to just mosey around Crescent Lake. I stopped at Beach Club, checked out the gift shop and just relaxed for a bit and then continued to do this at each resort as I went around the lake. I stopped for lunch at the Boardwalk Bakery which was good, but nothing to write home about. I also met some very aggressive seagulls over on the Boardwalk side.

After wandering around for 2 hours I was back at the Beach Club and decided it was time to admit defeat to being sick and buy some medicine. With some decongestant and coffee in me, it was time to meet up with the Mickey Miles Podcast which was a lot of fun! Lots of great people and lots of inspiring runners. I got to me Michelle, one of the hosts, Eddie McCoy runner extraordinaire, and many other listeners. Lots of fun and so glad I went! I stayed and chatter for about 2 hours and at 6 it was time to go back to the hotel, make some dinner, and relax with some compression socks on.

I cooked up some ground turkey and pasta, ate to my heart’s content, and then decided it was time to get some meds to make sure I could get through the race. I grabbed some medicine and some seltzer water (I’m obsessed with seltzer water right now!) at the CVS down the road and then it was time to call it a night. I laid out my Anna costume for the next day and got into bed and tried to sleep around 10pm.

The Road To WDW

So, you know that snow vortex? Yeah... I was suppose to fly of out SFO to JFK on Tuesday night and then arrive in Orlando at 8:30am Wednesday morning however my flight to JFK got delayed and there was no sure way I'd be able to transfer so instead I rebooked a flight for Wednesday morning and would get me to Orlando my 5:30. I was meeting my parents in Florida so I had sent them my packet pick-up information just in case something like this happened.

So Wednesday morning I was on my way. After a layover in Miami, I arrived ready to go in Orlando. Up to this point I had had a lingering cold but was hoping it would just go away. I was here and nothing was going to stand in the way of my races!

My parents had already gotten my race packet and shirts but since I still had some time to run to the expo to pick up my Raw Threads pre-ordered items and get any Dopey merchandise (if any was left) I decided to do that. I got my rental car and got to the expo around 7 so I had an hour to see what I wanted to before closing.

I picked up my tanks from Raw Threads (I LOVE this brand, their stuff is soooo soft and sooo comfortable!) and got pins, a coffee mug, the Dopey necklace, and one of the last women's cut "I DID IT!" Dopey shirts. I suppressed my normal superstition of buying this shirt before the race because I didn't want to not get it. I made sure to put it in the back of the drawer when I got to the hotel, out of sight and out of mind.

The layout was a little different for the expo this year and some of the vendors were in the outdoor areas around the stadium. It was still really crowded in the expo though since a lot of the sponsor vendors had what I call "premium" booths with lots of space and displays. Champion and New Balance both had booths like this. They were very impressive.

After all this I finally made it to the Marriott where my parents were and tried to sleep before my first race and relax.


Hi all!

Sorry to keep you hanging, it's been a crazy week. Lots of fun, lots of running, and lots of great memories! I'm still basking in the glow of all the endorphins and medals.

So before I get into the nitty-gritty day by day, here is my performance in broad strokes.

Total time 8hr 57min 12sec

Woot woot! All under 16 min mile paces! Not my fastest races but they all had negative splits so I might be getting the hang of this distance running thing.

It's amazing to think that in 2011 I ran my first marathon this weekend and now I've run the Dopey Challenge and continue to run. So will I run it again? Yes. Next year? Probably not, only if I can find a friend with a similar pace to do the races with me. Like my training runs, it can get lonely spending nearly 9 hours running.

The hardest part: Waking up super early 4 days in a row.
The best part: I have never been prouder of a race accomplishment and never worn a medal with more pride.
The most fun: Getting a pic with Dopey at mile 24/46.6!

I did have a blast though, as always runDisney put on a great race.. err... races!

Race by race is coming up!

3 Days Until Dopey!

*3 Days Until Dopey!*

Just 3 day! Final packing is commencing and I'm getting all my costumes packed and my papers in order. So excited!

The weather has me a little nervous but as long as the thunderstorms don't get in the way of finishing, I should be fine. Looks like it's going to be a little warm again this year.

Now that we have some weather information. Time to finish packing and as we all finish our packing...

I try to keep it simple for race day but for the half/full marathon the following things are key for me:
iPod + playlist that corresponds to pace/park arrivals :)
GPS watch (how many miles did I just run?)
Deodorant (I basically use this as bodyglide)
Running shoes
Running belt
Starbursts for pre-race/corral snack
Race Bib

Those are the bigs ones for me! What do you need on race day?

4 Days Until Dopey!

*4 Days Until Dopey!*

Just 4 days until we are toeing the start line! Woo hoo!

Today is a quote that I found really inspiring before running my first marathon.

I was really nervous going into my first marathon, but reading this put it all into perspective. I had had the courage to sign-up and train hard. There were a lot of nerves (as there always is) and I kept thinking "Who runs a marathon? This is insane!" but I kept this in mind. I kept the start line as my next milestone.

Marathon milestones:
1. Sign-up
2. Train
3. Get to the start line and start the race
4. Keep going
5. Still keep going
6. Am I still going? Yes!
7. Wow, I'm still going! I'm going to do this!
8. I'm doing this!
9. I did it! Where's my medal?!

5 Days Until Dopey!

*5 Days Until Dopey!*

I've started packing and my waivers and auth forms have been sent to the parental units. So excited to race and play in the parks! Also, interested to try out the MyMagic+ experience, should be interesting.

You've done the training, now it's time to get out there and do it!

6 Days Until Dopey!

*6 Days Until Dopey!*

6 Days. I start packing this weekend. I'll print out my raice waivers and send copies to my parents who will be down in WDW with me (just in case flight get delayed eep!). I only have 3 days over work, including today until I'm flying home to WDW :)

Today's quote!

So true, I haven't been this excited for a race weekend.. well... since my last race. I think that's what I love/hate most about racing, the excitement and anticipation!

8 Days Until Dopey!

*8 Days Until Dopey!*

Happy New Years!!!

Hope you rang in 2014 in style with friends and family!

Now that it's the new year it means resolution time! Good thing completing Dopey and then earning my coast to coast medal the next weekend is a great goal!

Go out there and accomplish your goals this year!