Holy cow – 6 weeks? Its all happening so fast…
Don’t freak out, don’t freak out, don’t freak out. I mean its not like its the furthest I’ve ever run in one weekend or anything. Tho, at least I have four days to do it. (Unlike the 44+ miles in 12 hours that’s my last furthest.) Of course, 4 (make it 5 with travel) days of waking up at an absurdly insane hour may be the bigger challenge. Should I train for that too? Nah…there’s no sleep at Disney anyway. Too much excitement, magic and wonder for sleep. I think they put pixie dust in the air.
But first, a training update.
Sunday was 18 miles on the plan. The weather wasn’t looking great for Sunday, and I considered switching to Saturday. But, Saturday morning it was 26 degrees and I was just not mentally prepared. Plus Saturday mornings are Eddie’s “freedom” time where he gets to spend it outside his cage, rolling around in the ‘hammy death star’ and in his “playpen” And #petsfirst…so Sunday it was.
I’m gonna whine for a moment – it was WET and there were GIANT puddles and my feet were thoroughly soaked by mile 2 (I sent a humorous video to my friend Amanda at mile 8 to gripe as she’d run in the same mess the day before) and I think I might lose a toenail – but it was still a great training run.
It was warm out and I saw both halloween and christmas decorations (ah, thanksgiving – the hybrid holiday. lol) and even though I was trying to run easy I still ran a great (for me) pace. I am a little disappointed I couldn’t get a post run turkey selfie (my neighbor’s inflatable bird met an untimely demise this week #ripturkey). But I did randomly find my initial lying on the ground, so that was photo op worthy.
Running Disney…is totally magical. Its the most fun i’ve ever had at a race, and that is what keeps me coming back. (For some people, its the post race cheese they return for) And I want everyone to find it as amazing as I do, so here are six tips for having the best Disney race you can – whether its your first 5k or your 5th Dopey. And it starts before you even get there. This is applicable for any Disney race, not just marathon weekend. And, I will say, if you’re running Dopey you’ve hopefully at least done #1 by now. 😀
- Set Your Goal(s)
- Do you wanna run a PR? Or maybe just have fun. Do you wanna try everything? Or just go the distance. Find what matters most to you and plan for it.
- Be Prepared
- Pick a training plan. They are not ‘one size fits all’ and there’s plenty out there (Jeff Galloway and Hal Higdon are the most popular). Find what fits your life and ability level, modify it if you need to (its a guideline, not the law) and complete as much of it as you possibly can.
- Practice your fueling and try to train in what you’re going to race in (Yes, I’m even going to try out my costumes between now and then – just likely on a treadmill. Less gawkers. LOL) Learn what works and what doesn’t. And know that race day, anything can happen – cold, rain, fueling mishaps – so experience as much as you can leading up to race weekend (even the bad stuff).
- Do Your Research
- Read the runDisney website. When it comes out, read the weekend event guide. Know where you’ll need to be and when.
- Review the course map when its available (a couple weeks out usually). Find where your water/fuel stops will be, or where the perfect spot is to drop your toss hoodie when it finally warms up (mine was left under the unicorn in the animal kingdom parking lot).
- I’m not saying overthink and overplan…just have enough knowledge to help reduce race day jitters. There will be enough of those without wondering where you get the bus race morning.
- Have Courage
- Racing can be scary. It doesn’t matter how many marathons i’ve done, I still hit that line slightly terrified, and it usually is just because I care about how I do. But if you’ve done the prior 3 items, then know you’re ready.
- Trust your training, stick to your plan and be brave. You got this!
- Be Kind
- You are going to be sharing the course with a LOT of people. All of which have different goals and different paces. And the best way to make sure that everyone hits their goals and finishes in the upright position is to be nice to each other out there.
- Smile at other runners. Talk to them. You would be amazed at the fascinating people you’ll meet on course. Commiserate with each other during the ‘purgatory’ of the Wide World of Sports zone. Encourage those that are struggling. We’re all in it together out there.
- Best way to be kind? Communication. Please, if you are about to slow down and move over, look behind you first. And just like driving, signaling goes a long way to preventing a crash – raising an arm in the air is a great sign to other runners that you’re slowing down/stopping. (I can tell Disney runners in my non-disney races by that exact thing. And I thank them for doing so.)
- Enjoy every moment
- From the expo to the finish line, there’s so much to see and do. And there’s runners EVERYWHERE. I still get giddy seeing race weekend signs up all over property. And the flags with race weekend trivia at Disney Springs. Soak it all in. Smile. Say hi to other runners. Pay compliments. Wear your medal(s) everywhere and soak in the accolades. You’ve earned it. Enjoy it.
Hope this helps – and happy training!
And to all my readers, I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!