8 Weeks to Dopey? Here’s my 8 favorite Disney movies. But first, a race recap!

Omg it’s 8 weeks to Dopey? Man are the next 8 weeks gonna get tough!

Not only is it getting colder…but the runs are really gonna start getting longer. Well, after this week. And that’s okay, because this week was awesome!

After the “finish in the upright position” goal that was the B.A.A. half, I needed a do-over. A good solid half to finish the year. And Sunday was it…the Harborside Half.

It was up in Newburyport, MA. And it was COLD. Well, okay not arctic cold, but still, 30’s feels like 20’s cold. I dressed for warmth rather than for style.

When the race started I went out with the crowd and tried to find my rhythm. I decided to not look at my watch at all and to just see what it was at the end.

I had set 3 time goals. One I knew I could hit (2:15), one I’d like to hit (2:10), and the dream goal (2:07 – close to my May half). Little did I know I’d shatter all three.

The race was pretty and hilly. And had gorgeous homes and interesting historical markers scattered throughout. There was plenty to look at and enough challenges to keep it interesting.

I struggled a little at mile 9 and ended up chatting with a group of runners, which gave me the mental boost I needed. Until about 11.5 when my legs hurt and my brain was DONE and I just didn’t feel well.

I grabbed a water, walked for a second and made it to 12. Where I just had to walk for a few seconds. When a runner passed me she said “just 10 minutes” and I replied “yep, just trying not to hurl” (that Gu wasn’t sitting right). Then started running for a bit and granted myself another little walk break.

At this point, I took the first look at my watch. It read 12.5 miles. 1:57 and change. Holy smokes! I was stunned. Just stunned. And realized, my butt better get moving.

I picked up the speed, and was delighted to find a downhill as I neared the mile 13 marker (which I declared to the woman next to me was my “favorite sign ever”). So I just went for it.

(That’s me in the middle. With her eyes closed.  LOL) 🙂

Full on, full stride, everything left in me to cross that finish line. With a 2:03:40.

Even days later I sit here in disbelief. I haven’t run a half that fast since April 2017. I didn’t know I could. And actually, I’m glad I didn’t know. Because it let me run with no pressure. I hadn’t told many people (like maybe 3?) I was running it, I had no flat Kelly pics or pre race pics. If it had flopped, none would be the wiser. And yet…it turned out to be just another of the amazing race successes I’ve had this year.

And it came at a great time. Because that April 2017 race I’ve been using for a Dopey corral POT needed a replacement. And this new one, is only 16 second off it. 🙂 which now lets me go into 2019 no pressure.

Plus I have to give a quick shout out to my sole sister Cara. She also kicked asphalt out there and scored herself a shiny new PR! Cara, you rock!!

Anyways,,. I can’t do a blog during Dopey training without a Disney connection. And while I did have one of my Goofy race shirts as a base layer Sunday (best shirts ever), that doesn’t count. Lol

So in honor of it being only 8 weeks to go, here are my 8 favorite Disney movies. (I know, I know, there’s some good ones missing – but its hard to pick just 8)

8. Darby O’Gill and the Little People. It’s Ireland. It’s got leprechauns and a banshee and a great story. It’s the only classic live action one I really love.

7, Robin Hood – The animals are adorable, the music is fun and I just adore it.  Archery, romance, adventure. And I swear there’s a little bit of Robin in Flynn Ryder.  Oo-de-lally, oo-de-lally, golly what a day.

6. The Aristocats – Everybody wants to be a cat, because a cat’s the only cat, that knows where its at.  Its jazzy and fun and Marie is the cutest little thing (cuz i’m a lady, that’s why).

5. Brave – Guess there’s just something about a sassy, strong-willed curly haired girl.  LOL  Plus its medieval Scotland and magic and action.  I adore this movie.

4. Beauty & the Beast – Tale as old as time… and lets face it, i wanted the library more than the prince.  But this one always gives me the feels.  Another strong willed independent woman who knows what she wants… adventure in the great wide somewhere.

3. The Little Mermaid – Maybe its because Ariel and I were both teenagers at the same time.  Maybe its because she had an animal sidekick.  Maybe its the music, the giant fluffy dog, or just the fact that this kicked off a line of amazing Disney movies, but I love this one. I’ve run Disney as Ariel, I find myself spontaneously breaking into its songs (look at this stuff…isn’t it neat?).  This almost came in second….but there’s one princess i gotta put above her…

2. Snow White & the Seven Dwarves. My girl snow.  The OG princess.  This movie scared me as a kid – that witch is EVIL.  Even the old Snow White ride (and window displays on main street) terrified me as a kid.  Snow just had a pure heart, a love of animals and a bunch of people looking out for her.  She just wanted love and someone to save her. There’s some good songs, its classic animation and everyone has a different favorite dwarf.  While I was always a Happy girl..lately, Dopey is my guy.  🙂

1. The Lion King. The one I have seen more times that I can count. I own every version that’s been released. I’ve seen the live stage show. I have the Art of the Lion king book and multiple collectibles. And during my days as a Disney store cast member? The Simba puppet and I had an awesome time as greeters. 🙂 The music, the colors, the story, all great. I just can’t wait…to watch it again. 🙂

So…what’s your fave?

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Dopey 2019 – 9 weeks to go!

Okay – did anyone see where this week went?  How is it blog day again.  LOL

It was actually a pretty good week.  I got in some awesome runs, hosted an 80th birthday party and saw the most amazing sunrise (or should I say sunrise) yesterday morning.  That is my favorite part about daylight savings time – getting to run in the morning before work again.  YAY!

I’ve got a half-marathon coming this Sunday and i’m feeling really ready for it.  I know i’m going to do WAY better than my last one, so i’m kind of excited.

Know what else i’m excited about?  That its only 63 days to Dopey!!!!  I had friends down there for Wine & Dine race weekend and while it was fun following their adventures, I wanna go have my own.

And thinking of those adventures….Here are my 9 favorite things at Disney!

9. Tofu Bowls from S’atuli Canteen. Disney is a master at food allergies and preferences. And this celiac vegetarian does well in the parks. But this? I still remember exactly how it tastes. Plus there’s blue sangria!!

8. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover. (The wedway) Not only is it a great place for a quick nap during marathon weekend – lol – it’s just a relaxing inside look at Tomorrowland.

7. Kilimanjaro Safari. I’m all about the critters. And you never know which ones you’ll see. And while love me some Simba, getting to see baby Stella was a highlight.

6. Journey into Imagination. Figment is my spirit animal. I mean I even dressed like him for the marathon in January. It’s just a really cute ride with a fun area to explore at the end.

5. Haunted Mansion. Despite of (or maybe because of) being on this ride as a kid when it was struck by lightning, I love this ride. It’s delightfully spooky and the cast members are awesome (one once followed me until I realized it and shrieked lol). It’s…haunting 🙂

4. Rock n Roller Coaster. It’s fast, it’s fierce, it ROCKS. It’s Aerosmith and neon and just a darn good time. Plus it usually results in hilarious photos from “take off”

3. Gran Marnier Slushies.  Yeah, i know, i mentioned these last week.  But…they are amazeballs.  So freaking delicious.  And its one thing I always look forward to.

2. Flight of Passage.  This ride is just….. WOW.  I was lucky enough to ride it twice in January and its such an amazing adrenaline rush and feast for the senses.  I could ride it all day.

1. The 3:00 parade at Magic Kingdom. I dare you not to wave back to the characters as they go by. The characters, the pageantry, the music, the floats, the dancing. It’s all the feels. And it makes me happy.

Hello Eugene… lol

So my fellow Disney runners – what’s yours? Food, ride or experience? What makes you feel like a kid again.

OMG – its 10 weeks to Dopey

Ummmm….. how is it only 10 weeks?   I’m suddenly feeling horribly behind in my training.  LOL And yet super excited!!!

Then again – I DID run 12 miles on Sunday.  So I guess not really.  And by run, I mean R U N.

Like – not as fast as my last pre-injury long run.  But, pretty close.  Negative splits, sub-10 minute miles and my stride was back to normal.  I know, I know, it sounds silly. But when it takes you over 8 weeks to recover from an injury – you savor every achievement on the road back.  And while I know that I won’t be quite as prepared as I was for my first Dopey, I know i’ll still ‘finish in the upright position’.  (Likely with a sangria in hand again.)

But anyway… being only 10 weeks out, means its time for the countdown lists to start!

So….here are my top 10 favorite things about running Disney.

10. Its Florida.  In January.  And even tho it was Boston cold this past January, that was a fluke and its bound to be really nice for 2019.  Or at least nice enough to be walking around with no coat.

9. The monorail.  Something about boarding the monorail at 3am with a bunch of other lunatics in costume to go run 13.1 or 26.2 miles is magical.  Its a great reason to stay at a monorail resort.  I know the buses are fine too…but the monorail…its even better.  It feels more Disney.

8. Gran Marnier Slushies.  There is only one place on earth i’ve seen them…at that little kiosk in France at Epcot.  And they really should come in a bigger glass. But they are SO amazing.  (and side note – also right on the course during the marathon)

7. Spending the days at the parks.  I know some people don’t ‘party in the parks’ when they run Disney.  And I have definitely spent less time in them as the years have gone by (gotta somewhat rest the legs). But…its DISNEY!  I can’t be near the parks and not IN the parks.  So, we Run, Park Hop, Repeat.  🙂

6. The Merchandise.  OMG I need that pint glass.  And that magnet.  And the ‘I did it’ shirt.  And the Alex and Ani bracelet and the Dooney purse and…. well, pretty much one of everything.   Because ya gotta show off what you’ve achieved.

5. Congratulating other runners.  Whether its spotting the KT tape on the back of their legs or the medal around their neck…during marathon weekend you see runners EVERYWHERE.  And no matter if its the 5k or the Dopey, we’ve all earned it and its so fun to acknowledge each other. Whether a nod and smile or a quick – nice job out there.  It just makes the weekend extra special.

4. Getting to run in costume.  I mean sure, I dress in sparkle skirts and stuff for other races.  But only at Disney have I run 13.1 (and 6.2) miles in Minnie Mouse ears. Or a marathon with horns.  Planning my costumes for each year is SO much fun.  Its so hard to choose just 4.  But yes, I have them already planned for January.  And they are going to be SO cute!!

3. The shirts.  My husband said to me this week, while doing laundry (isn’t he the best?), don’t you own any other shirts?  I said, not this time of year.  Long sleeve days are Disney shirt days. They are just SO comfortable.  Plus, its Mickey, and Minnie and Donald and Goofy and Dopey.  And I have four years worth of them.

2. The medals!!!  They are big and shiny and pretty and sparkly and legit the heaviest ones I have.  I love each and every one of them.  And I know, you thought this would be number one right?  Its close… but there is something even better.

1. Getting to spend time with family.  Like my perfectly Dopey brother.  He’s the only one i’ve run 4 marathons (soon to be 5) with.  (He did one alone…. LOL) And my nephew who loves the 5k’s and 10k’s (January will be his second 10k).  There’s no one i’d rather run Disney, or celebrate after at the parks, with.

So fellow Dopeys, Goofys and other disney runners… what is YOUR favorite thing about running Disney?

Good, Better, Best – A tale of 3 races

Its hard to write a running blog when you aren’t running.  I just can’t seem to get my brain to want to create.  You don’t really realize how important running is to creativity until you can’t for a while.

Late August, during a long run something just went wrong in my ankle.  Turns out – it was, according to the doctor who didn’t seem to realize he had a marathoner in his office, peroneal tendonitis.  His advice?  Just bike for a few weeks.

I’m like ummmm yeah cuz you know, its not like I have fall races planned!  Especially the half-marathon that was roughly a month after I saw him.   But I took a deep breath, trusted that my body would remember….and got my butt on the bike.  And it helped.  And I slowly eased my way back into running.

Since late August I have iced and rolled and worn compression socks and tried biofreeze and tiger balm and anything that “doctor google” recommended.

I have also completed three races.  One good, one better, one best.

The first was a 5K – the Irish Cultural Center half-way to St. Patrick’s Day 5k.   I walked it. I walked it FAST…in sparkly green and white and my custom design “Irish as Heck” shirt. I played tag with a run/walker, who called me a leprechaun (but had a net time 2 seconds slower than me.  LOL) and I had a great post-race craic with my run posse.  IMG_9705.JPG

It was GOOD.

Then came a 10k – the Ocean Road 10k.  This I ran/walked with my pirate posse.  It was my friend Linda’s first 10k, and knowing I couldn’t race yet, I choose to party with the pirates.  There were four of us following a Galloway interval (a first for me in a race) and we had an absolute blast – plus looked Ah-dorable.  🙂

IMG_4435

That was even BETTER.

Then came the big one – the final leg of the BAA Distance Medley….the BAA Half Marathon.  I had 3 hours to finish this.  Which is about a 13:44/mile pace.  And I was terrified.  It had been 6 weeks since i’d run more than 8 minutes straight and I had no idea if I could pull this off.  I had to trust in muscle memory and willpower, and hope that I could most of the first few miles to give myself a cushion for when I inevitably imploded.

I started with friends…43308898_10156405380240239_7473871912611872768_n

And we all split off to run our own races.

I totally crushed the first mile – as it was all downhill.  The ankle held pretty well but I stopped myself 13 minute in to walk 2 minutes.  I didn’t trust it yet.  And didn’t want to do anything stupid.  For the next few miles I ran 8 minutes/walk 2 and was really surprised to see I was still averaging a great pace.

By mile 5 I pretty much knew I had this. By mile 7, I definitely knew.  I had banked myself enough time that I could walk the rest of the race and be sub-3.  But where’s the fun in that?

The intervals got shorter… down to 5 minutes running or walking longer than 2 minutes when needed.  Heck by the end I was convincing myself even 90 seconds of running was good because it was cutting down my overall time.

At mile 12, cruising through the zoo (yep, this race actually goes through a zoo – and I passed a warthog and a wildebeest (what is this the Lion King?) I realized I had a chance to go sub 2:30.  And suddenly, I REALLY wanted that.

We came out of the zoo and toward the stadium we were going to finish in.  It had a lot of downhill and I just cruised along to almost to the entrance.  I could see the 13 mile marker and I wanted to be able to finish strong.  So I walked for a smidge. Of course, the spectators were ALL over that “Go Kelly, come on, you got this, you look SO cute, you can totally do this” Awwww – my adoring fans!

I started running, though the gates onto the track and smiled.  Just a little jaunt around the turn and then kicked to the finish… every last drop. I crossed arms raised.IMG_4569

And then went to claim my unicorns.

I may have cried a little when they hung my Distance Medley medal around my neck.  Because I worked so hard for this one.  I gave it everything I had to finish, and finish well.  Its about giving 100% of what you have, even when you don’t have 100%.

This?  Well….this was the BEST!IMG_4482

 

Dopey 2019 – Medal Reveal

Signs of fall…. leaves changing, pumpkins, a chill in the morning air and Disney Medal Reveals!

I mean, not that I’ve spent a few days stalking the Disney Parks Blog or anything…but knowing they came out on September 20th last year, I may have been actively monitoring.  And when last week came and went, I had a pretty good hunch it would be yesterday.  Especially as i had a 2-hour work meeting…and figured THAT would be when they came out.  LOL   Of course, I was right.

And with every medal reveal, comes the comments… people love them, or hate them.  Some, aren’t sure.   Me?  I was not entirely sure at first, but they are growing on me.  Lets take a look.full set

As a Dopey runner – i’m getting everything but the one on the far right (The Castaway Cay Challenge one).  And I kinda can’t wait to hang them all on my new medal holder that I built.

As a whole, I like them. They all go together with similar elements and look like a set. Unlike prior years where some have been a unique shape or they all just didn’t flow, these “match”.

Let’s go through them one by one…with some pros and cons.

The 5k – Oswald the Lucky Rabbitoswald

This is the first time Oswald has made an appearance.  And while i’m bummed that Pluto was ‘demoted’ to a kids race medal, i’m definitely intrigued to have something so unique. And wonder if going forward the 5k will continue to change characters. (Maybe steamboat willie 2020?).  I do like the dark silver, which matches my 2017 5k medal.

Decision – Its okay. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it.  I just don’t know Oswald that well.

The 10k – Miss Minnie Mouse

My 2nd favorite of the four races and not just because i’ve been known to rock the dots a time or two.  I love this race’s course too.  Running on the boardwalk at sunrise is so pretty.

Decision – not as sparkly as last year, and fewer dots on the ribbon, but a great medal

The 1/2 marathon – Donald Duck

At least its round…  LOL Sorry, but the 20th anniversary X’s (which was also the race that wasn’t) were not my favorite.  This fits the theme and I like the blue.

Decision – its prettier than that final on ramp on course. 🙂

The marathon – Mickey Mouse

My friend asked..why so angry?  In his defense, that’s his “fierce focused face”  Haven’t we all looked like this running a marathon? LOL  Its mickey  It seems to have some sparkle.  And it spins.  Tho i’m curious what’s on the back side.

Decision – Again not as sparkly as last year, but better than some of my other disney marathon medals.  Its a win.

The Goofy – 39.3

It spins.  I think like a dial?  I don’t know…this is my 5th Goofy medal and i’ve definitely liked some of the others better.  Also, with it not having the stripes behind him like the other medals in the set, it doesn’t entirely match. (One of these things is not like the others.)

Decision – Sorry Goofy…i love you, but i’m not sure on your medal.

The Dopey – 48.6

This will be my 2nd Dopey medal.  And while last year was AH-mazing…this year is still a good solid medal.  Dopey looks adorable, i love the color of the metal itself (copper? rose gold?) and that there’s no stones that call fall off in transit. (I didn’t lose mine last year but apparently a lot of runners did)

Decision – Its cute! And his little armed raised in victory? That will be me. 🙂

I hope there’s blueberries in Heaven

One year ago today was extremely hard. It was the day we said goodbye to my furry little boy. The dog of a thousand names. My Gus.

Little did I know today would suck so much too.

Over the past year we’ve grieved. And we’ve tried to heal. We have very slowly put away things – like dishes and toys – but kept out photos and trinkets and memories. It took a while for those not to hurt. And now they make me smile more than cry.

I am very grateful to have a wall and a shelf and a cellphone full of photos and videos. Ways to keep his memory alive. Ways to see and hear him any time I want.

We have spent the past year doing things we didn’t get a chance to while tending to an elderly boy. We have taken trips and spent full days away from the house. And done things at a moment’s notice. Because we know he’d want us to. It was another way to honor his memory.

I still speak of him as if he’s still around sometimes, when it’s more convenient than explaining. Like when the woman at the airport noticed that he’s my luggage tag and commented how adorable he is. (That’s my boy!)

And I speak of his passing when I need to. And say how lucky we were to have him for 15 1/2 years.

I have missed him every day of the past 365. I speak to him every morning before I leave the house. Often telling him “Have a good day. Please don’t eat your brother.” (Eddie Van Hamster)

Today I had a long chat with him.

I told him how much he’s missed. And how I hope that he’s running wild and free at the rainbow bridge. Terrorizing squirrelies and chasing all the tennis balls he can find.

I told him that I hope he found his best friend Reilly. And that maybe he’s seen mommy’s childhood dog Scruffy, or even a new friend named Tweedle. And formed a pack of crazy terriers.

I told him that I hope he’s happy and that he knows how much he was loved. And I told him…I hope there’s blueberries in heaven.

Love you my boy. Every day of always.

Dopey training…sorta

So, I was supposed to officially kick off my training for the 2019 Dopey Challenge today.  And I did…sorta.

Its 18 weeks to Expo Day!  Plus, summer is unofficially over and it seemed like the perfect day to start training (especially as its the last day of my long-weekend vacation).

I had the thought a couple weeks back to start my training with a nice 13.1 mile run.  My body however, had other ideas.

Apparently what I thought was a charley-horse in my lower right leg during my last long run appears to be a little more serious.  And I kinda can’t run.  That whole heel-to-toe transition?  Not cooperating. Hmmph!

I took a week off running and just cross trained.  Then Sunday I decided to test it out. I was in one of my favorite places to run (hilton head island) and the line where the sky meets the sea, it calls me.  So the hubs (who is suffering from a wicked bout of plantar fascitis) and I set out with the hopes of 3 miles.

We called it about 2.5, took off our sneakers, headed into the water and slowly splashed our way back to the hotel.  Almost in hysterics over how pathetic we are right now.  Its SO not funny, that its funny.

I know I shouldn’t even think about running again for another week (or two) and am doing all the stretching, icing and rolling I can.  I plan to walk this coming weekend’s 5k.  And am really hoping I can run by the end of the month for my 10k (and the half the following weekend).  But all eyes…are on Dopey.

So I decided to go out and do what I could.  I walked…. first a 10k, and then a 5k.  Both well-within Disney time limits.

The hardest part was not running.  I legit had to tell myself several times “NO.  Don’t even think about it” but I successfully made it all 9.3 miles without running.

And honestly? I’m actually still WAY ahead of where I was the first time I ran Disney.  That year I was on crutches until August 2nd, had to rebuild to walking first and then running, and yet I finished the Goofy Challenge that January. So its all perspective.

I know i’ll be back at it as soon as possible…and in the mean time, its just exciting to finally be OFFICIALLY training for the 2019 Dopey Challenge.  Let’s Get Dopey!