Good Fortune

Don’t you just love when something really cool happens on a run?

Sunday I had 13 miles on the schedule, and since Saturday’s insane wind (and fear of closed roads from fallen trees) kept me from getting in a short run with my training partner, I decided to split it up and get the best of both worlds.

A 3.25 mile loop with the hubs, and then 10 on my own.

The “not an injury” is still clinging to life, although it’s definitely improving. So the “warmup” miles were a little slower than I liked. But, any run where you get to chat and laugh with someone is a good run. 🙂 And the hubs is becoming such a great runner – I’m so proud and looking forward to having a joint race calendar this year.

For my 10 miles alone, I opted to run into the center of my town because a) sidewalks b) its flat and c) I wanted to kind of “assess the damage” from the storm.

And about 3 miles in, it got eerie. All the business were closed. None of them had power back yet. Seeing the buildings dark and the parking lots empty was kind of “post apocalyptic” and I wanted to check over my shoulder for zombies. Lol

But I continued on to the spot in the middle of town where the sidewalk ends. And when I turned around and looked down…I saw this!

I’m not a girl to leave a fortune cookie unopened…. so I had to. And look what I found inside!

Of course, “I’ve got a dream” from Tangled instantly popped into my head.

And I spent the next few miles singing “I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream…I just want to make it to mile 13.”

And of course I did make it. And somehow, with a few stops to stretch, I managed to run it all. Yay!

Major progress from last week. (Even if we still have some rehab work to do.)

I guessed I picked the right spot to turn around… you never know where you’ll find motivation (and some luck) on a run. 🙂


Everything but the kitchen sink

When you’ve been weirdly “injured” for a few weeks, and you realize it’s oh, around 90 days until your next marathon, you kinda start to freak out.

You check the race time limit to see if you have a chance even if your training is less than ideal.

You panic, you have a bit of a meltdown, and then you go zen. And you decide to throw everything but the kitchen sink at whatever the hell is wrong with your legs.

So over the past week I’ve done yoga, I’ve stretched, I’ve foam rolled, I’ve done hip exercises, I’ve foam rolled again. Yesterday I even got on the stationary bike.

And today…I actually had my best run in 3 weeks.

It wasn’t “normal” but it was progress. I called it at 3.5 because I knew they legs were starting to get wonky and I needed a happy run more than a longer one.

So it looks like all this rehab work is working. Yay!!!!

So I’m gonna keep doing what I’m doing. Rolling and resting and running smart. That way when the bigger miles kick in I’m ready for them.

I’m realizing that my chances of a marathon PR are extremely unlikely now. But that’s okay. The goal for this one now is just to survive the training and get my legs back.

We can do this.

PS… I think it’s a hip/glute issue.

PPS…the race time limit is 6 hours. No problem. 🙂

Hot mess express

This winter has not been kind.   Between weather issues, the flu and a complete and total lack of motivation, I haven’t been logging that many miles, or even that great of quality lately.  And its hard to write a running blog when you’re…not running.  

I almost didn’t even post this, because it sounds whiney.  And that’s not who I am.  But I realized not posting is lying… and you have to be honest.  Running isn’t all sunshine and roses.  Its hard, and letting other people know when you’re struggling too is just as important as the ‘good stuff’.

So here goes….  here’s how I earned my first class ticket aboard the hot mess express?

You see…since I’m kind of in a “distance off season” I thought it would be a good time to start back into strength training.   Which I hadn’t done in oh, three months.

I thought I took it easy – I was using half the weight that I had been back in September.  But apparently, my hamstrings were not a fan.  Nor was my back.

The next day – O U C H.  Like can’t bend, can’t move, kinda laughing at myself over how just a dozen deadlifts (among other stuff) could have caused this.

So I rolled and stretched and got a massage and took it easy with my runs (ie more walking days, less running days).  And still…. Several days later…. HOLY CRUDBALLS MY HAMSTRINGS ARE TIGHT.

Plus, I was forced onto a treadmill for a week straight because…ice. And cold.  And dark in the mornings with a crazy week at work that didn’t let me run midday.

Well, apparently tight hamstrings and too many days on a treadmill are a bad combo, because it started to affect my gait.  And I started landing too hard (and flatly) on my left ankle.

And you know where I’m going with this….  It got hurty.

I noticed it at first at night, or when I pointed my toes.  Then it was ‘dang it I stepped down off the curb wrong’ and now…its KT Tape City. And watching my form.

Yes, I googled it. And yes I think I know what’s wrong.  And no, I’m not saying.  Its not BAD…its just well, I didn’t mind going away on a girls weekend for a few days and not running.  LOL

I ran Monday.  The hamstrings are still not quite 100%, and the left ankle is still, cautious, but I’ll be fine.  And I think i’ll run today – it is going to be near 50 degrees today and the river she calls me.

I’m just trying to figure out how in the world a hamstring led to an ankle injury…And planning to stick with upper body strength training for a while.  Or maybe just run….  


Can I get a do-over?

Anyone who lost a week of training to the flu, raise your hand! 🖐🏻🖐🏻🖐🏻

Ungh…I thought I was safe. I dodged the ‘Dopey Flu’ that had plagued Disney and gotten so many of my fellow runners sick.   But one week of crazy immune-system lowering work stress followed by an encounter with a flu/bronchitis sufferer and BAM….  down for the count. 😷

The thing about being wicked sick is that not only can you not work out, but you don’t even care that you can’t work out.

I quarantined myself in the guest room and the far end of the couch, I went through a box of tissues and a half a jar of hand gel, and I traded in marathon training for netflix marathon training.  LOL

It hit on a Tuesday….I did not emerge from the pit of misery until sometime on Saturday.  The moment I stepped out into sunlight I felt like a butterfly emerging from her cocoon.  🦋 It was glorious.

The fog had lifted enough that I was eager to try a short run.  Which was perfect as the hubs was due for one too.  And omg, it was 50 degrees out.  So, impossible to resist.

Just an easy little 5k, alongside my best friend and new favorite training partner, was just what I needed. And shout out to the hubs – he’s a natural.  So i’m glad that running the Disney 5k was enough fun that he’s decided to keep running.  It will be nice having company on some short runs.

Sunday I was feeling WAY more human and decided to run again.  Goal was 6 miles, and running at least 4.5 of it.  I started out slow, hit a groove and just enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine i’d been missing.

And then that runner, coming from the other direction, turned behind me down a cul de sac and I had to go faster to make sure she didn’t catch me.  LOL  And that felt amazing…for about two miles, when I realized it may not have been my smartest idea. Its okay, I slowed down and finished all 6 running.

I just learned one does not simply race a 10k while recovering from the flu.  What one DOES do however, is race hunt.  Not that I needed to find a race, more that its fun to look.  Its race window shopping!   Until you know, you find one that you just have to have.

I’m seriously considering adding the Providence half to my calendar. Its 3 weeks before Vermont City, which is perfect timing for a time trail (like I did last year with the Blackstone half), its a course I know well.  And, it has a 5k that the hubs could run as something to do while waiting for me to finish.  All good reasons.

I would love a do-over on this past week, but that isn’t happening.  Instead i’m going to be grateful that January is technically off-season.

And for now, I gotta kick the rest of this flu before I can kick asphalt.


So…what now?

When you have completed the biggest run challenge you’ve ever done…what’s next?

My friend said to me that Sunday, “You just finished the Dopey Challenge, now what are you going to do?” I’m going to Disney – oh wait. Lol

instead… it’s time for the three R’s. Rest. Recovery. Registration!

Because a runner without goals, is an unhappy runner. So this Dopey girl….is entering

Unicorn Mode!

Yep, it’s time for me to finally complete my set of unicorn medals and add the BAA 5k, 10k, half and medley challenge medals to my set of 3 marathon ones. 🙂 I want #alltheunicorns!

This year is the 5th Anniversary of the the only time I ever DNF’d. Me and a few thousand other runners. It wasn’t our fault. And thinking about it still raises so many emotions (anger, sadness, frustration). Since running the Boston marathon again this year wasn’t an option, this feels right.

I’ll still be able to cross the marathon finish line (during the 5k) marathon weekend, and that will be enough.

That logo above? It’s on the awesome raw threads tank that I ran my training run in this weekend. And it will likely be my race shirt for all 3 races (or at least the 10k – it’s probably gonna be hot in June).

Also, because I needed a marathon to train for too…Vermont City here I come!

Yep, I’m gonna go run with Meb again. 🙂 The last time I ran with him he won the Boston Marathon. I still remember running on the course in 2014 when the cheers of “an American won! Meb!” were passed along from runner to runner.

So I’m hoping this time the victory will be mine. You see, I want a shiny new PR. My old one feels a little dusty and it’s time to replace it.

It’s gonna take a lot of work, but it’s good to have goals. And if I believe in myself enough, and train my butt off, I know I can do it.

We’ve rested, recovered and registered. Now it’s time to get to work. 🙂❤🏃🏻‍♀️


Dopey Challenge…I did it!

There’s a feeling you get when you cross the finish line of a race.  It’s a combination of victory, exhilaration and exhaustion.   When you cross the finish line of the marathon of the Dopey Challenge, its all that amplified.  I could only describe it as “Run Drunk”  I was, in a word, HYPER.  🙂  And i’m sure the sangria didn’t help.  LOL

I don’t think i’ve ever been so happy, excited and tired in my entire life.  I felt completely badass and victorious.  And I instantly knew I need to do this again.

It was that same kind of feeling I got after riding Flight of Passage.  Such a major adrenaline rush that you want again.  And again.  I totally get why my brother is Perfectly Dopey.  You just can’t resist repeating it.

As someone who is three times Goofy (well, two and an asterisk) I have always loved running Disney.  But running Dopey is its own creature.  Its hard. But beyond rewarding. Plus its fun when my coworkers ask “oh, did you run the half or the full” and I reply “both, plus a 5k and 10k”.  The look on their faces is priceless.

I’ve spent days trying to write this blog.  Because how do you capture four days of running and parks and magic and pixie dust and amazing experiences in a few hundred words.  Lets just say the weekend as a whole was magical.  And i’m going to highlight a few of my favorite parts of each race.

5k – Thursday

Running with my husband, brother & nephew was a blast.  Even tho it was absurdly cold and I had to layer my warmest hoodie over my mike wazowski tank, I still pulled off cute.  I love this course – the world showcase light by tiki torches is so pretty.  And not only running with, but crossing the finish line with the hubs was a highlight of the weekend. I was also inspired post race to take a silly medal photo – a trend I continued all weekend (photos below).

We spent the rest of the day at Animal Kingdom.  Got to see hippos lying on the ground with their mouths wide open (LOL), rode Flight of Passage twice, hit all the rides we could (Everest was closed and Dinosaur had a 2 hour fast pass line so those were out) and had amazing drinks at Nomad Lounge.  I’m also glad we got to see Pandora at night.  To me, that was cooler than fireworks.

And while at Nomad lounge, I met some great people.  We were invited to share a table with two random strangers, who turned out to be members of the Dopey Challenge facebook group I’m in, and had a great time chatting with them.  Shortly after they left a family asked if we were leaving soon as they were looking for a table.  I invited them to sit down, as we likely were, but we were happy to share space, as we’d been invited to do.  It was a couple and their son, and noticing our medals we chatted about the races.  The mom, Julie, was in a wheelchair, and in awe of runners, as she’ll never get to.  I vowed to run a mile for her.  Which I did during the half (see that section for more….).

10k – Friday

This was me, my nephew and my brother.  My nephew’s first 10k and he did SO good.  We had coordinating shirts (Perfectly Dopey, 1st Dopey and Trevor’s Challenge) which got some love from other runners.  At one point my nephew was struggling so I told him to smile.  That when runners smile it makes the running easier because you’re happy.  At this point another runner chimed in with “and listening to runners talk about smiling helps too”.  With a fist bump, he was off.  🙂

This was my first time running a Disney 10k.  And i’d heard that its a lot of folk’s favorite course.  I could totally see why.  Not only do you get the beauty of the tiki torch lit world showcase again, but running the boardwalk is SO fun.  The lights reflecting on the water, the smells from the bakery, the spectators cheering so loud i’m sure it woke people up, all of it made for a fun run.

A shout out to my favorite volunteer at the race – after thanking her for a bottle of water she replied singing “You’re Welcome”  Disney humor…never gets old.

The rest of the day was spent at the Magic Kingdom.  I got to ride Haunted Mansion for the first time in years, but going there first cost me a chance at Space Mountain (the wait never dropped below 2 hours).  It was worth it.  The park was crazy crowded but through my brother’s skill at “Fast Pass Chess” we managed to ride some classics – Dumbo, the Tea Cups – as well as Monster’s Inc  Laugh Floor and a first and final ride on Stitch’s Great Escape.  I’d heard it was terrible, but since its closing, it was now or never.  And I love Stitch, good or bad.

13.1 – Saturday

Down to me and my Dopey brother now. (My nephew isn’t old enough for the half yet, but will totally run it once he is.) It was slightly warmer for the half so i was able to run in a skort and compression socks instead of pants (YAY).  And in ran this one sort of dressed as snow white, and continuing a trend from last year, with my hair down.

My brother had a goal for this one; he wanted a PR.  And we were going to get him one.

The first mile at Disney is always slow as you find space and get through the narrow sections, but we quickly settled into a good pace and were through the Magic Kingdom clocking sub-10 minute miles and out to the narrow mile 7 with no crowding issues. (aside – there was a truck stuck in the middle of an open area of deep sand here – much to the amusement of the runners.  Dude…what were you thinking?)

By mile 8, the course opens wide and there’s lots of room to run and lots of spectators to cheer you along.  SO many signs, so many high fives, so much fun. And still moving faster than we expected.  So fast in fact that we flew past Jeff Galloway who was walking along the side of the road.

I hit a mini wall at mile 9.  The second it started to hurt I thought of Julie, who would give anything to run and knew that this was her mile and i was going to push through it for her. At mile 10, we took one quick walk break, assessed our time, and knew that with just that 5k left, we were getting Jeff that PR.  We dropped our pace, flew up those annoying onramp hills and surged into Epcot on a mission. And then, the dry heaves started.  I don’t know if it was from pushing pace a little, or from this weird congestion thing i get while running, but it wasn’t pretty.

When we got close to the finish my brother looked at me as he typically does during the half and said “See you at the finish”, only for the first time in 4 years of racing, HE was the one that took off.  🙂   I didn’t fall too far behind, only finished 6 seconds back, but it took everything I had to smile while high-fiving Chip and crossing the finish.

My pics are hilarious – half are happy and smiley and half are a weird “omg i’m going to hurl” face.  And I love them all.  Because getting my brother a shiny new PR?  Priceless.

For the rest of the day we went to Hollywood Studios – rode Tower of Terror, Rock & Roller Coaster & Star Tours, met Chip & Dale (who tried to eat my nephew’s medal) and saw Muppet Vision 3D (always a classic), then on to Epcot to ride and see everything we could and grab a Orange Slushie (OMG those are SO good).  By 5pm we’d hit our limit for the day, because the final leg would soon be upon us.  And I was tired.

26.2 – Sunday

The Big day.  The final 26.2.  And my favorite costume for the weekend – Figment.

Maybe its because I made a lot of it myself.  Maybe its because everyone loves Figment.  But it was super fun and I got TONS of love and figment related jokes out on course.

I’m not gonna lie and say I woke up feeling great and ready to race.  In fact I sort of didn’t recognize my alarm for what it was and the hubs had to nudge me up.  I also woke up to a sore achilles and a desperate need for coffee.  Fortunately my brother was also stiff and sore so neither of us had great expectations for the race other than “We WILL finish”

We started out slow and stayed there.  LOL   We hit the first med tent for some bio freeze for Jeff (and several other ones along the way…) and at mile 5.5 hit a restroom near the carousel.  Waiting for my brother I snagged a quick photo.

We trudged along, never pushing, just keeping an easy pace.  At mile 7 we discovered the truck from the half had been rescued (YAY) and we kept our fingers crossed we could get through the narrows easily again (we did).   Mile 9-10 Disney had hauled out some throwback items from rides (20,000 leagues, jungle book, haunted mansion) and played Making Memories.  I started singing along and Jeff was like “what is this song”.  Awww, early epcot.  Kodak sponsored imagination stuff.  I’m not old, but i’m glad i’m old enough to remember it.

At this point our goal became to run to the half (or 14) before we started a run/walk strategy.  We made it into Animal Kingdom, where I was disappointed that I had just missed the critters from the conservation station (it was cold enough that they had the out in shifts and we were between shifts). Oh well.  We were happy to get bananas – and I carried mine for a half mile to get a new banana phone pic.  Which oddly never showed in my photo pass.  (So if any of you encounter figment on a banana phone in your pics – send it my way.)  And we made it to mile 14 and a little past, before we decided to walk through the parking lot, past the marching band, to finish the mile. And that we’d run a mile / walk a mile to the end.

Mentally, its a great strategy and it lined up perfectly so that all my gels, etc were during walk miles.  It also gave us a chance to relax and have fun.  I totally raised hell during the walk miles – singing, dancing, chatting.  I run Disney because its fun, and fun I am going to have.   So even when we entered “purgatory” (i.e. Wide World of Sports Complex) I was in a good mood.  We got around the track, past the boring mile 19-20 amused by the DJ and the bad jokes they had posted on signs along the mile (Where does a mermaid sleep? A water bed.) We ran the warning track at the baseball stadium, and I heard them announce my name (woohoo!) and made it out to the parking lot, where I HAD to run over and high-five the guy in the Brady jersey (Go Pats!).  And we made our exit out to mile 21 and the final stretch.    I had friends who had started in later corrals that I thought might be headed in there as we were headed out, and I watched the ‘parade of runners’ as long as I could, but never spotted them.

Mile 22 we were facing a steep onramp hill and I was afraid I was going to have to walk it, but after a brief biofreeze stop for Jeff, I was rested enough to crush that hill past the green army men and then back downhill to the strains of Sweet Caroline (So good! So good!)

We entered Hollywood Studios and snagged some candy (omg those were the best m&ms EVER) and cruised up Sunset Boulevard, where my favorite photo from the race was taken:

Then out through the front and to the water.  This is a crazy narrow stretch to the Yacht & Beach Club and there’s not a lot of room for getting around runners, so its good that we didn’t want to. But we got through, and to the back entrance of Epcot and felt the crowd. Past the mile 25 marker (themed for the 25th anniversary) and through the world showcase.  I said to Jeff “I have $30 in my pocket, what should we get” and we decided on Sangria from Mexico.

It cost us about 10 minutes in line, but it was worth it.  I said to my brother, it is very hard for me to not care about my time during a race, but this sangria helps.

We walked past Spaceship Earth, waving to our adoring fans and sipping our drinks.  The closer we got to the finish, the slower I wanted to go.  I didn’t want it to end.  But we walked past the gospel choir and to the finish chute and ran it in.  I crossed the finish with my sangria in one hand and the other raised in victory.  (Oooh – and a photo that shows me doing this, my brother and some other folks made the post event guide – sweet!).

We got our marathon medal and a heatsheet and suddenly spotted our family!  The hubs,  my sis in law and my nephews had come to cheer us on.  LOVE!  We got the rest of our medals, some great pictures and then found our family.  I was just so freaking excited.

Best. Day. Ever.

Back at the hotel to shower I found Mickey Mouse.  And got a picture with him.

Then we went to Disney Springs for a good medal photo.  And some onion rings.

I’d say it was a once in a lifetime kind of weekend, except that I know i’m going back next year to do it again.  And I can’t wait.

Oh, those silly medal photos I mentioned? Here’s the complete set.

A quick shout out to the products that got me through this weekend:

  • Running Buddy – my buddy brites let me brother easily find us during the 5k & 10k (he started a corral behind), my bib clips kept my run shirts hole free and my buddy pouch kept my phone secure under all those layers
  • Sparkle Athletic – LOVE my sparkle skirts and visors – and my purple one pulled double-duty this weekend.  Runs are more fun when you sparkle
  • Pro Compression & Balega – kept my legs and toes warm and happy. My two fave kinds of socks (5k day i wore both!)
  • New Balance – 880 v7’s for distance and vazee pace for speed. Love these shoes
  • Huma gel – raspberry lemonade (YUM) got me through the marathon
  • Miscellanous – three toss pairs of gloves, two toss hoodies and two heatsheets returned back to rundisney.

Its been a lot of fun these past few months blogging my Road to Dopey – I hope you’ve all enjoyed it.  Time for some new topics, which I hope you’ll enjoy too.


Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho – Just one more week to go!

Omg, omg, omg, it’s one week to Dopey!!!!! Is everybody ready? I am!! At least I think so.

So I did my dress rehearsal last week.  At the time of my last blog, I had already completed the easy half of my Dopey simulation. And the tougher half went just as well. 🙂

Wednesday’s 10 miler went great. I headed out at dawn and saw a gorgeous sunrise, a “hidden mickey” and took a Santa selfie at the end. I spent the rest of the day refueling and trying to recover properly for the next day’s 20.

My 20 miler was a little tougher, which was completely expected. The legs were kind of ummm what?? So I ran easy, breathed through it and kept my eyes out for a good character stop. Found a bunch of turkeys, a cool heart and Olaf.

By mile 15 I was starting to struggle. And opted to start walk breaks. I know full well there will be walking during the marathon. I’ve been there to witness my Dopey brother’s legs say “no more” during it, and I know that mine likely will too. And I am completely okay with that. So I walked a 1/4 mile, ran to 16, then repeated it each of the final miles. Which was apparently the right strategy and mile 20 felt pretty good.

I was also delighted to see that those 5 miles weren’t all that much slower than the full-run miles. And I’m thrilled with my overall pace. Training is like, done. Expect for some short runs. So now…. we are knee deep in taper. You know… that place where you Question Everything.

And by question everything I mean it… did I run enough miles, did I train hard enough, should I get in one more long run, am I really going to be comfortable in that skirt for 26 miles, will 3 gels be enough or should I pack 4? Why in the world did I think running 48.6 miles in 4 days was a good idea?!!?

It’s not my first rodeo. I’ve run 12 marathons, 3 of which were at Disney (and part of the Goofy Challenge). I know that the taper crazies are just all a mind game.

And that all I can do from here…Is have faith, trust and pixie dust.

And pack. And make lists. And finish my costumes. And make more lists. And weather stalk. And watch Disney movies.

Since the hubs is coming this year and he hasn’t been to Disney in ages, we’re doing kind of a crash course and rewatching a few movies. Like Avatar and Monsters Inc and Lilo and Stitch. Nothing too princessy.

At this point the weather looks awesome.Which makes packing easier. Although after last year’s marathon temps, I’m packing for all possibilities.


  • Race outfits – including sparkle visors, arm sleeves, sparkle skirts, shorts / capri options and possible layering shirts
  • Start Line “tossables” – hoodies from the goodwill store, cheap gloves, hand warmers, trash bags, cheap poncho
  • Sneakers – New Balance, 2 pairs (a purple and a raspberry) which go perfectly with my race outfits and both have about 100 miles on them
  • Huma gel – strawberry lemonade flavor. 3 or 4 of them (for the marathon). I’ve found citrus flavors go down better in the later miles.
  • Running Buddy – I’m bringing my bib clips, my buddy 7 pouch and my red buddy clutch.  (Race buddy & parks buddy) I’ve also packed a set of clips for the hubs.
  • Miscellaneous – glide, mini flashlight, tape, tiny scissors, bandaids, Advil, sandwich bags, sharpie
  • Ears! – This year I have both my Minnie Mouse ears that have been at all my runDisney weekends and a new pair of Dopey themed sequin ones (purple ears, green bow and 100% gorgeous)

How about you? What’s in your suitcase?

I really can’t believe that one week from right now I’ll be blogging from the airport as I get ready to head to Best Race Weekend Ever. And one of the craziest, make that Dopiest, things I’ve ever done.

To my fellow marathon weekend runners – see ya real soon!