Get comfortable getting uncomfortable

Training a puppy has definitely similarities to training a runner.  One of the most important things in both situations, is to get comfortable getting uncomfortable.

This epiphany started during class on Thursday, and then really struck home during my run  on Sunday.  See in class, the focus last week was about body awareness (also good for runners) and pushing limits – putting the puppies in new, and likely uncomfortable, situations.

For Mugsy (and his classmates) this meant climbing over a plastic ‘ladder’, sitting on low platforms of various surfaces and climbing a ramp.  Mugsy approached each new obstacle with a little trepidation, but also curiosity.  And was quickly comfortable. By the end of class he, offleash, focused on us and his obstacles and completed the little course the trainer had set up, with ease.  SO proud of this kiddo! (future agility star in training!)

Obligatory photo because he’s cute. 🙂

How does this apply to running?  The only way we get more confident and comfortable as runners is to push ourselves outside of our own comfort zones.  Whether it be new distance, new surfaces, or new paces.  We should approach these obstacles like a puppy, with a little trepidation, but also curiosity.  What would it feel like to run that fast, that far.

You gotta push, to grow. You have to take a deep breath and step into the unknown.  And soon, what you once thought impossible becomes possible.  And then you can push even further.  Your world is full of possibilities if you just take that first step.

For me on Sunday, all that crossed my mind during my run.  I know i’ve phoned it in lately.  I haven’t done all my speedwork or been totally dialed in to runs.  And i’m selling myself short.  With my next half in a few days, I realized I want to do well. And while I was trying to run easy (since you know, taper) I also wanted to get uncomfortable.  So I did.  My last mile I pushed…just enough, just to be a little bit uncomfortable and to see if I could stay there.  And it was an entire minute faster that the mile before.  Yes!

So while i’m not saying i’m in PR shape, I am ready to spend some of this race getting uncomfortable. Wish me luck!  🙂

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Ocean Road 10k – Tale of a Rock & Roll Mermaid

So….do I bury the lead or not? Not…   Guess what?  I got a FREAKING PR!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not like i’m excited about it or anything.  LOL   But it was a total surprise and i’m so thrilled and i’m going to make you read all the way to the bottom to see what it is.  🙂

Anyhoo…. so Sunday was the Ocean Road 10k. A great little race in Narragansett, RI that is a point to point along – Ocean Road. 🙂  This was my third year doing it and I absolutely LOVE this little (well, about 2,000 people little) race.

This has become a girls weekend away for friends and we always have so much fun and dress in theme.  Last year was the Pirate Posse and this year was Team Mermaid.

Funny enough – you can dress 9 women as mermaids and get 9 completely different pairs of pants (skirt).  See? #obligatoryshoephoto

I am madly in love with my outfit.  The pants were a last minute choice.  I had the mermaid skirt from sparkle athletic but was worried about bib placement because i didn’t want to cover my shirt at all.  So i got the pants.  And SO glad i did.  They’re actually pretty comfortable and I LOVE the leg pockets (carried my phone and room key no problem).

So….wanna see my shirt?  This is if Ariel went to a rock concert and bought the t-shirt.  #ironmermaid

Epic right?  Of course…feeling the whole rock star mermaid vibe, my friend Cara convinced me I should do the rock & roll hair and sunglasses look.  So, I ran the whole race with my hair down because sometimes, its all about the photos.

Race morning was GORGEOUS.  Beautiful sunrise, a little chill in the air and just one of those days you can’t wait to go for a run.

We took the bus to the start (but forgot to do our singalong lol) and gathered as a group.  Some stretched, some snacked, I finished my coffee (this mermaid truly did run on dunkin) and we got ready to go.  

Cara asked if i was going to race it. I said yeah, I think so. I think I said something like “I’m shooting for 58 minutes.  I’m not in PR shape, but I think i can pull 58”  (Lesson here – you are often capable of more than you imagined)

I tucked into the start corral, found my friend Ashley and waited for the start signal (a rather half-hearted ‘go’ (really dude?  Want coffee??).  And off I went.  I darted and dashed and found room to go.   I knew I was going out a little hard but figured I could reign it back in later when needed.

Which wasn’t really needed until almost mile 4. 🙂 I followed the group and passed people where I needed to, and never looked at my watch. I heckled some spectators for not cheering and barked at some dogs (a race tradition).

Mile 5 was a long gorgeous downhill which I was grateful for. And as I hit the mile marker I smiled, thinking of Linda, Amanda and Nancy. And how we posed with every one of those makers last year.

Mile 6…is stunning. It’s wide open ocean views and yet also annoying because you can see the finish area. But know how far you still are from it. I let my head go blank. I soaked in the view and just stuck with the guy in front of me (thanks for pacing me even tho you didn’t know you were) and made the final turn knowing I only had a 1/2 mile left.

And when I finally saw the mile 6 mark I pulled my phone out of my pocket, said “Hey Siri, play ‘The Trooper'” and gunned it.

As I neared the finish line with a grin on my face and my hands in the air I looked at the clock and saw 59:31. And thought sweet – I’ve totally got 58 minutes.

Then I paused my Garmin (and my music) and just stared. I had a little trouble believing what I saw. I collected my medal and texted the hubs.

“Hey babe? Can you check the post-it in my bib binder with my PR list? I think I’m close.” The reply? I’m out with Mugsy. 😂

But I knew I had to find out. And I pulled up my photos. And flipped to the Camp Chingachook Challenge 10k from last year. My 3rd 10k PR of 2018 – and saw a 56:39 result.

So I stood along the fence – waiting for my mermaids to finish and just bouncing with excitement. For me…and for them. Because it’s a rare treat to cheer friends on.

And to witness Ashley cross with a PR and Cara finish strong and Rachel come cruising across in a ridiculous pair of shells just makes a great race even better.

Because my PR? It is now a 55:45.

Almost a freaking minute faster than the old one. And the fact that it came after a summer nursing a cranky hip – one that went out at mile 9 of my last half a month ago – makes it even better.

I’m writing this with a huge smile on my face. Because a sub 56 seemed like something I would never see. And yet, again, somehow shows I’m not getting older. I’m getting faster. (At least at 10ks). 😁

And this heavy medal is totally heavy metal mermaid appropriate.

Hello October…

I know, its been a while, eh?

Sorry – I got some major writers block (and runners block) and needed a break.  I just hadn’t meant to take a six-month one.  Oops.

So…how’s everyone’s 2019 going?

Mine’s been good… mostly. LOL   Running hasn’t been my friend this year.  I have been dealing with a myriad of minor injuries and just mentally struggling.  I went from knocking out miles to wondering WHY 10 miles suddenly got hard.

My May marathon didn’t go as planned – but still turned out great.  I hit a wall around mile 13 and was dealing with a wonky leg and ended up run/walking (1/4-1/2 mile intervals) the second half.  I still finished in 4:38 which is a great finish for me.  But walking so much was mentally defeating.    I know there’s people who LOVE the run/walk method.  But i’m not one of them.  I really only do intervals when injured, or running speedwork.

So…between the mental struggle and the physical struggle I decided to take a bit of a distance break this year.  I opted out on my planned ultra and I focused on shorter races and events where friends were running.  I needed company more than I needed miles.

Oh – and I GOT A DOG!  THAT…was totally the highlight of my year.  For those of you who only read my blog and aren’t a social media follower – meet Mugsy.IMG_9131.jpg

Mugsy is a border terrier.  He’s got a bit of a split personality disorder – goes from snuggle bunny to baby stark in a heartbeat.  LOL   But he’s my heart and I love him.  He turns 5 months old tomorrow.

Mugsy recently graduated from puppy kindergarten and is starting ‘middle school’ next week.  He can sit, shake, lie down, crawl, stay (somewhat), identify specific toys, fetch and run through an agility tunnel like he was born for it.

Its going to be SO much fun helping my boy discover all his talents.  But for now…lets just hope we all survive TEETHING.

But…its October.  And i’m building back the miles (hit 100 last month – woohoo!) and have a couple of races coming up.   First up – this Sunday is Ocean Road 10k.

I’m really excited for Ocean Road.  This will be my 3rd time at this one.  2017 I ran it with my sole sister Karen and 2018 with my pirate posse.  This year, i’m #teammermaid and I have a shirt even more epic than last year’s pirate hamster.  (If you give a girl a cricut she will create…)  I’m looking forward to my girl’s night out and running my own race this time.

I’m also a little nervous about my first night away from Mugsy. But he’s got a momma who likes to travel for races and Dopey will be here in ONE HUNDRED DAYS so he needs to get used to it.  This is a good test to see if he’ll be fine with Daddy.  LOL  (I picture them on the couch with popcorn and car shows on tv)

Well…my boy is bored, so i gotta go.  But don’t worry – i’ll be back next week with an update on both my race and boys night in.  🙂

 

Doubly Dopey

Well, I did it.  AGAIN!  Survived 5 days of early wake-ups, 48.6 race miles and at least that in park miles.  And IT WAS AWESOME!!!!

First, apologies for it taking me a month to write my recap.  LOL  At first its a matter of getting past the zombie stage, then trying to gather those threads of thought and then simply finding time to write.

So here goes…

For those of you who have NO idea what i’m talking about… the Dopey Challenge in running 48.6 miles over four days at Walt Disney World.  Its attending an Expo on Wednesday, then a 5k Thursday, 10k Friday, 1/2 marathon Saturday & full marathon on Sunday.   Because there’s just sooo much to say, i’ll break it down by day.

Expo Day

Maybe it was the smaller number of runners, maybe it was the expo opening 2 hours earlier, but this was the smoothest expo day i’ve had at Disney.  I was able to get my bib with no line (tho I skipped the line for a photo op with the Dopey display they had up:

Then I hit the official merchandise and found everything I wanted, no problem before getting to browse the other race vendors.  Scored some free packs of Jelly Belly sports beans, bought some unicorn compression socks (YES!), a rose gold sparkle visor and then, a wine slushie and a blue beer for my brother.   The whole expos experience was just so…civilized.  And with a stop at ALL the medal-replica signs, we were done.

Then on to the hotel for unpacking, dinner and relaxing.  Because the races were about to start.

5k

Mike & Marty Wazowksi and a 2319 reporting for duty! This was fun. We had A corral, and ended up in about the 3rd wave.  But, the volunteers who were in charge of roping off the waves saw my adorable nephew and said “There you are, i’ve been looking for you.  Come here and hold this.” and handed him the tape.  We started, toes on the start line.  And it was SO cool.  I warned him, when the gun goes off, we’re gonna take off fast and then settle in.  And we did.

We oddly had a lot more room to run than we had before and were able to cruise along.  I high high-fived the guys on stilts as we passed and entered the world showcase.  Where we posed for ALL the photographers we noticed, smiled at other runners and just kept on cruising. Waved to volunteers, danced and sang along to the music. My nephew did an awesome job at keeping up with me.  We passed Spaceship Earth and headed out to the finish chute. Where my nephew, surprised me. He kicked, and kicked hard.  I laughed and took off after him.  I caught him, and we’re not sure who finished first, but we both finished grinning…with my brother right behind us.  That, was awesome!  Even more awesome?  My nephew got a new PR.  By between 3 & 4 minutes.  A 30:44.

Park: Animal Kingdom. Rope dropped flight of passage, rode all the rides, saw all the critters.  Including a private safari trek (OMG SO COOL!).

Dinner: Sanaa (Animal Kingdom Lodge) – the bread service is to die for!

10k

For the 10k, we were in purple & green (Dopey colors) in shirts I custom made.  Our challenge shirts.  For this race my nephew & I started in A, while my brother started in B.  So we tried to be the last wave of A, and him the front of B.  Again, my handsome nephew made himself a friend in a volunteer and we started on the front line.  Where I interacted with (raised heck with. LOL) the DJ as we waited to start. SO much fun.

We took off a little slower this day, knowing my brother needed to catch us, which he did just at mile 2.  I’d seen him on the other side of one of the turns, so I knew he would. Which was good because apparently my poor nephew had left it all out there in the 5k and struggled.   But people are so great running Disney.  The other runners were all so encouraging of him, telling him he was doing great and trying to help him get out of his head.  No matter how much he struggled tho, he never gave up. And only took one walk break to regroup.   As we went through the world showcase (OMG this is so my favorite part of marathon weekend – the showcase light by torches) and then onto the boardwalk past the cheering crowd, I just smiled and soaked it all in.  I got a little ahead of the guys by the end and let my brother help my nephew.  In the end…my nephew got another 10k PR, a 1:12:16, beating his first one last year by just over 4 minutes.  So proud of this guy!

Park: Hollywood Studios/Epcot. Rope dropped slinky dog, rode all the rides, hugged a wookie.  Then at Epcot – Imagination, Soarin, Test Track, Spaceship Earth and a Gran Marnier slushie.  The basics.

Dinner: Fairytale Dining at Artist Point – Dinner with Dopey!  And snow, grumpy and the evil queen.  Totally worth it.

Half-Marathon

It was just my brother and I for this one. I dressed as Rose Gold Minnie.  And the ears stayed on the whole race.  LOL

We started in corral D and noticed it definitely had less people than prior years.  We had more room to run and HUGE props to Disney for having the first 3 miles much better lit than in prior years.  I carry a mini flashlight for safety (and dark POP’s) and was happy to not need it for the course this year.  We made it to the “under the sea” hill away from any Galloway Groups, then through the gates to main street with no issues.  I also thought Main Street was a lot less crowded.  Tho I spend most of that stretch just staring at the castle all shiny and beautiful.   I love this little section of course – Main Street, Tomorrowland, past Mine Train and then though the castle.  Out beyond the Country Bears, splash mountain and onto the backstage area where the villains always hide.  Even “cone alley” was better this year for pacing.

But once you leave that, its wide open and slightly boring.  LOL Miles 8-11 are a whole lotta highway.  And yikes those onramps.  But the minute you head back into Epcot’s backstage area you know its the home stretch.  The course was a little different this year, and as we came behind The Land (i still have Listen to the Land stuck in my head from hearing it there and again the next day at animal kingdom) I thought it was cool to see something different.

We headed out towards the front of the land and out towards, as the cast member said “The giant golf ball”  LOL  Past the Gospel Choir and toward the finish. I high-fived a pair of chipmunks and crossed the line. 🙂

Park: Magic Kingdom

Dinner: Maria & Enzos – loved it. Great sangria, great pasta

 

Marathon

It gets a little harder each day hearing that 3am alarm. But there’s something about knowing its the last day to hear it that helps you drag yourself out of bed and into a costume.  I think by Sunday i’m almost on remote…and on the monorail before my brain realized what I was doing.  LOL

Just like during the half, the roads were well lit and the crowd definitely thinner than prior years. We had room to run and when my brother had technical difficulties with his music we had no fear of being trampled trying to fix it.  It was right around here that I saw a man in a Run for Rett Syndrome t-shirt.  I smiled and told him that i’ve run for Rett too – three times and that my friend continues to do so.  He told me he pushes a girl in Alabama.  I told him he was awesome and wished him luck today.  🙂

We made it through the TTC, and on to the Magic Kingdom, cruising up main street.  I just can’t help but stare at the castle the whole time.  Its SO pretty and I treat each race as if “what if this the last time I get to run this” to make sure I soak it all in.

Past the characters – I always look to see who it is, and yet never stop.  I think i’m afraid to lose momentum by stopping so early and yet later in the race am usually too tired to want to stop – and out to the backstage Villains area.  Then on to cone alley.  Cone Alley is the worst spot of the course – its so narrow and crowded and often boring, but I still laugh thinking about the year the truck got stuck.

Once you’re out the road opens wide past Grand Floridian and Polynesian.  Where family  was sleeping – and even knowing full well they were definitely sleeping, I still looked as we went by….just in case. Then past the golf course the road turns to head to Animal Kingdom.  This road can get boring – but by now i’d found a pack of dwarves (only 4 – tho they had great excuses as to the missing ones) who were only too happy to have fun with this snow white.  In fact for the next few miles we played tag – passing each other – and always with a fun comment.  “That house better be clean when we get home” “Doc’s in the med tent, and we didn’t even bother asking Grumpy to run”  (Guys – if you read this – thanks for that. Ya gotta have fun during a marathon.)

My favorite character stop ever – was there outside Animal Kingdom.  I got to pet a goat. Yay!  And in animal kingdom I almost stopped for a character photo with Timon.  And just didn’t.  I did however carry a banana for almost a mile just to get a good banana phone picture (sorry – can’t talk, running a marathon)

The first half of the marathon my brother & I always do much better than the second half.  We usually run 99% of the first 14-15 miles and then ‘survive’ the second half.  It becomes a run walk strategy – first run as long as we can, then walk, then alternating 1/2 miles, or 1/4 miles or ‘run to the med tent/water table’ and then walk a bit.  Plus by now it was getting sunny and a little warmer.  Which, combined with fatigue, makes it a little tougher.   And the road from Animal Kingdom to the Wide World of Sports is a section we refer to as the “Highway to Hell” because there’s not much to see and you know that WWOS is just torture.

But in we headed and did our best.  And when we got to the track I asked my brother if he wanted to run.  He looked at me like I had three heads and replied No.  I grinned and said “Meet you at Goofy” and took off like a shot.  Full sprinted around the track and got in line for my first even character photo.  YAY!  Got the pic, turned around and there was my brother.  Perfect timing.  🙂

And I did it again – upon spying Joy & Sadness (OMG LOVE THEM) outside the baseball stadium I sent my brother ahead and said i’d catch up.  Short line, quick photo, and I sprinted into the stadium.  Around the warning track, past my brother (cuz if you can’t tease family, who can you tease) and to the mile 20 sign.

I LOVE that sign.  because it means you are almost done with WWOS and there’s just a 10k to go.  I feel like at that point if I have to walk the whole rest of it, so be it.  I will finish.  From there is just a short hop and a couple of med tents to Hollywood Studios.  Well and one hill.  And ugly hill with a green army man yelling at you.  As bad as that hill feels in that moment, I shimmy up that sucker.  And when we hit the next med tent and my brother stopped for biofreeze I spied a can of coke on the table. And asked if they had any.  I could have kissed the volunteer who handed me an ice cold can.  Because in that moment it was exactly what I needed.  Walking along, drinking coke and singing “Sweet Caroline” was an awesome moment.  I left my can just outside Hollywood and in we went.

I scored a cool Mickey Mouse sticker from a young spectator and tissues from a couple others.  Got compliments on my outfit and some pictures.  Hollywood goes SO fast and we were out before we knew it.  Along the water towards Epcot.  So close…and yet still so far. But this section along the water? Its Candy Row! Just lined with spectators who know that sugar and chocolate the last two miles of a marathon can make a difference.  I loved the woman yelling “who wants to take candy from a stranger” and did – thanks for the swedish fish!

We FINALLY made it into Epcot and saw the 25 mile sign. I looked at my brother and said, shall we run? He goes NOW? I said, yeah, why? And he goes “we’re in france”  Oops – slushee time! Expect….the sucker was still closed. 😦 So instead he said “why don’t you go fetch us sangrias”  hahaha  And I did.

I ran strong through the world showcase, waving to cast members and spectators, singing along to ‘how far i’ll go’ and on to Mexico.  OMG that was SO much fun.  I hopped in the short line for sangria where the cast member promised to get me through there quickly and when I got them, turned to see my brother standing at the fence.  Again, great timing and we didn’t lose the 10 minutes we did last year.

These sangrias are amazing… And I will happily walk that 1/2 mile stretch of the race drinking it.  Because by now, time doesn’t matter.  Having an awesome fun-filled experience with my littlest brother does. Its moments like that that keep me going back to the race.

We finished them right before we hit the finish chute and tossed them in a trash can.  Smiled and took off to the finish.  Past pluto and across the line.  I threw my arms up in victory and crossed SO happy. (hmmmm maybe that was the sangria talking. LOL)

We finished nearly 10 minutes faster than last year – and still got sangria as well as two photo stops.  I say we aced this year. 🙂  Let see how much more we can fit in next year!  (No, i’m still not riding everest mid-race.  But maybe this time I will stop for Timon.)

No matter what tho – we will be back next year.  Me and my perfectly Dopey brother.  Because….I mean LOOK at this medal!WDWRUNDISNEY_WDWMARAMEDALBACKDROP5_20190113_8306814426.jpg

‘‘Twas the night before Dopey

”Twas the night before Dopey, and all through the parks, not a creature was stirring, not even Mickey Mouse.

The runners were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of medals, danced in their heads.

Okay, yeah, I know – no sleep at Disney!! Lol

But omg guys – we did it! We survived training and taper and now it’s Go Time!!!!

I’m so excited to go “home” today and hit the expo and meet a bajillion new friends and have a truly epic weekend full of fun and frivolity and All the Miles. Yay!!!!!

Hope everyone’s final week of running went well, and that you’ve all reviewed the event guide and know where you gotta be when. I have been studying it like it’s the Patriots playbook. 😁😂

I also have a printed map of the expo vendors, with my must haves circled. (Seriously sparkle athletic – did you actually really put out a rose gold visor? Way to guarantee I stop by!!!)

I feel…oddly calm about running this weekend. Maybe my training was spot on after all. Maybe because I’ve been through this once already I know that the marathon will hurt, but that I will finish. Or maybe it’s because I know that I don’t give up, I don’t give in, I just finish what I start.

And tomorrow – starts 48.6 miles in 4 days.

To all of you running this weekend, no matter the distance, may it be an epic voyage. And may you get all the merchandise, photo ops and gram marnier slushees your little heart desires.

See ya real soon!!

One little week….to Dopey!

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

img_9021Of course, this is taper…where the first rule is QUESTION EVERYTHING!!!!!  lol

The second rule of taper is trust the training….so when that little voice pops up with “what ifs” ya gotta just say “knock if off…we got this”

First, my apologies for the lack of blogs the last couple weeks. See, I totally wiped out on the second day of my Dopey simulation before Christmas.  I was sprinting to beat the crosswalk countdown and when I got to the curb, not all of me made the jump onto it.  I fell HARD and did a number on both my knee and my right hand. (i’m more ticked I tore my favorite gloves than anything else).  So….my thumb is sprained and in a splint, which has made typing a bit of a challenge.  I know, excuses, excuses.  LOL  I couldn’t skip the one week announcement tho, so bear with me on any typos.  🙂

Other than that, the simulation went great.  I got in my miles in some interesting weather and survived a good chunk of the 20 miler on a treadmill.  If I can survive that, I can totally survive the WWOS miles during the marathon.

I also kicked off the year with a New Year’s Day race – the Hangover Classic 5-Miler in Bristol, RI.  Ran wicked fast and surprised myself.  It was also fun running in shorts on Jan 1.  The course was mostly in my favorite park – Colt State Park – where i’ll be headed back in August for 12 hours of running loops.  Can’t wait to run the Anchor Down Ultra again.  Its the craziest thing i’ve run other than Dopey.

So here we are in the final week of taper.  Just 3 little runs between now and the Disney 5k (which will be my 100th race ever – cool, huh?).  3 miles tomorrow, 6 on Sunday and then 2 on Monday….followed by 2 days of rest.

So what am I doing with all my free time? I finished making my costumes, I jazzed up my magic bands and i’ve started lists.

This weekend I really need to pack. And watch Disney movies.

While i’m refusing to weather stalk this year – since one week out last year it looked AH-mazing and turned into “holy crow its friggin cold” – I do plan to just pack for all possibilities.

So what am I bringing?

  • 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, mylar heat sheets (got a 10 pack off amazon), cheap poncho
  • Footwear – 2 pairs of race shoes (to alternate), an extra pair of sneakers, my snow white toms and my birkenstocks. Oh, and my sparkly purple snoozies.
  • GU and sports beans – I used to be a citrus person for gels, but this training cycle i’ve developed an addition to birthday cake Gu.  It tastes like funfetti!
  • Miscellaneous – glide, mini flashlight, tape, tiny scissors, bandaids, Advil, sandwich bags, sharpie
  • Food – as a celiac vegetarian i’m used to packing snacks to even just leave the house.  For Disney I pack paper travel coffee cups and starbucks instant, plus granola bars, protein bars and gluten free pop tars
  • Ears! – My collection has been growing – I now have my Minnie Mouse ears that have been at all my runDisney weekends, a pair of Dopey themed sequin ones (purple ears, green bow and 100% gorgeous), the official rose gold ears, and a pair of black and rose gold for my half-marathon costume.  I’m hoping to add the purple potion ones to my collection while i’m there.  Swoon – they are SO gorgeous!

How about you? What’s in your suitcase?

So logistics – we have our waivers, we have our event guide, we probably all have our dinner reservations and fast passes.  I just ordered memory maker (to save the $30 with advance purchase) and now i’m just stalking the parks blog for our merchandise preview (hopefully friday???) and i’m stalking the alex and ani blog, hoping for marathon weekend bangles agin.    Gotta make my shopping list for the expo!

I really can’t believe that in six days from right now I’ll be blogging from the airport as I get ready to head to Best Race Weekend Ever. And one week from right now i’ll be heading through Epcot towards the finish line of my 100th race.   Squee!!!!!!  😀

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

Four weeks to… 4 days, 4 parks, 48.6 miles

Its just four little weeks to Dopey…. So what do we want? Waivers!  When do we want them?  NOW!!!!  LOL

Hopefully this week….especially since last year they came out like the day I wrote about them. But, this year NONE of the race distances are sold out.  (Side note – wanna run??? You still can!)  But, we’ll see.  Not that it really matters where  you start…its the same journey anyways.  Just a matter of how dark it is when you hit main street.  🙂

So FOUR.  Four weeks left for training and planning and ‘omg am I really doing this again.’  Four weeks until….Four Days, Four Races, Four Parks, Four freaking early wake-ups.

In keeping with this week’s theme, i’m going to bring you four top-4 lists.  But first, a training update.

This weekend was 18 miles… And it made me realize just how far out of marathon shape I am.  Its my own fault.  I had the summer of speed followed by peroneal tendonitis.  I hadn’t done 18 miles since May.  That’s too long.  Not to self – distance all year!!  (And no injuries, please.)

I am being realistic in my training tho.  Knowing how I felt and how I ran last year, I tried to make this more of a marathon simulation than a “lets go kill it” run.  What that means is…running 14 and then run/walking.

Mad props to those of you who can run every step of those 48.6 miles.  I’m not one of them.  And i’m okay with that.  Even my 44-mile overnight ultra had some walking.  Its just a matter of ever forward.   I figure my Dopey brother & I will be using the same strategy we did this past year.  Run to the parking lot at animal kingdom (where I always smile thinking about leaving my toss hoodie at the base of unicorn parking sign) and then alternate walk a mile / run a mile.

So the 18?  I ran a good solid sub-10 paced 13.5,  And then I walked a half-mile eating a chocolate-mint (HOLY CROW THAT IS DELICIOUS) Gu.  Ran the next, then went into 1/2 mile ‘intervals’.  And I finished the 18…feeling like I could totally knock out a couple more miles – as long as I didn’t have to run more than 1/2 of one at a time.   And that’s perfect.

End of next week will be my full-dopey simulation (3, 4, 10, 20) and then taper.  OMG TAPER – that means we’re almost there.  LOL

Okay – getting ahead of myself… lets talk Disney fun…

So here’s four lists, each with four items, to get you in a Dopey state of mind: Costumes, Characters, Rides, and Things We Want.

Costumes – do you have yours planned?  I do. And I’m ready to reveal them….

  • Mike Wazowski (repeat, sorta, last year it was covered in a very warm winter hoodie – fingers crossed I can actually wear the real shirt this time!)
  • Dopey “style” (I made myself a wicked awesome dopey challenge shirt that i’m SO excited for.  Its green and will be paired with purple accessories.  I might even race in my ears again)
  • Rose Gold Minnie (again, custom design – and unless Sparkle Athletics puts out a rose gold visor (PLEASE!!!!!) will also include minnie ears)
  • Snow White (i’m very excited to run as the OG….)

These are in race order….I think.  LOL  And I’ve got my race posse in coordinating outfits for the 5 & 10.

Characters – I have never stopped during a race for a character.  The lines are just too long and while I’m apparently willing to wait 10 minutes for Sangria, I haven’t done the same for a princess.

I mean, I stopped to pet a sheep, and yet I wouldn’t stop for poor Meeko who didn’t even have a line.  Priorities…  Anyway – there are some people that i’m hoping to meet that weekend.  Or at least see.

  • Snow White (She’s a guarantee – i’m having dinner with her that Friday night!)
  • Stitch (I have seen him on course.  This year I may be tempted to actually stop)
  • Flynn Rider (I would love to get up close with that smolder!)
  • Oswald (he’s this year’s GOAL.  He’s the 5k mascot and my nephew LOVES him.  If he’s out – we are stopping!)

Rides – What’s on your fast pass list?  Did you get all the ones you want?  My four that i’m most excited about riding (one in each park) are…

  • Flight of Passage (Best.  Ride.  Ever.)
  • Seven Dwarves Mine Train (Sooooo fun.  And I love seeing them dance at the end.)
  • Spaceship Earth (I know – for some people its a toss-away.  But this ride just speaks to me.)
  • Rock & Roller Coaster (horns up, upside down that is…. fast and fun!)

Things We Want – The important one! What are we runners waiting for right now? What, other than the long runs, is keeping us awake at night? These…

  • Waivers – show me the waivers!  They’ve come out anywhere between the 5th & 16th. So soon my pretties.  Soon.  And may the corrals be ever in your favor.
  • Event Guide – Just as important as the waivers…we want the courses and the other little details and information that matters.  Personally I want this even more!!!!
  • Magic Bands – Mine are ordered and I’m just waiting on them to ship.  I can’t wait until they arrive so I can customize them with the decals I designed. Yes, I may be a little cricut crazy, but if i’m going to wear something all day, its gotta be pretty.
  • Merchandise – this we won’t see most of until race week.  Although a picture of the Dooney & Bourke purses has been released, and I AM due for a new tote (I just wish it had Dopey on it) and the magnets have come out – which totally gives us an idea of the them for all the merchandise.

I definitely need the magnet.  And probably another ‘I did it” shirt.  And a headband. And oooh – fingers crossed for another Alex & Ani bracelet! Or a pandora charm…Maybe a pint glass this year (i’m still bummed they didn’t get the last year).  Yeah – I always overspend at the expo.

What else is on your “alright, where is it” list?

Are you as excited as I am? Let’s Get Dopey!!