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

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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.

Fab Five…and a TVQ update

Yes folks, just five short fabulous weeks left to Disney!! A mere 35 days….  Yay!!

I’ll get to my training and tips in a moment, but first I need to talk turkey.  Turkey Vision Quest that is!

Last week was the Gobble Wobble 5k, the race I spent a good chunk of time speed training for, in hopes of a 5K PR, an age group place or both. Well, one of them happened.

A quick shout out to my sole sisters for all their love and support.  You two ladies are both amazing and i’m lucky to have you.

It was one of those race mornings when everything just came together.  Saw a hawk as we left the house (good luck sign), I got in a pre-race warmup and I claimed a starting spot near the front.  Because I knew it would help get out me fast like I needed to.

It was a fast flat course, an out and back.  I had my carefully created playlist of songs i’d been doing my speedwork to, and when we started,  I took off at full sprint.  Knowing I would just run as hard as I could for as long as I could and see what happened.

A PR happened!! Yes, i shattered my prior 5k record set in 2009.  I ran a 25:19.  WOW!  Proof that hardwork and speed training truly pay off.

For some reason, tho, and even tho it would have gotten me a top 3 the past two years prior…I was dismayed to find that it was only good enough for 6th pace.  Granted 6 is DANG good, but I kinda wondered is this how Shalane feels?  To have the run of your life and end up bested by a Kenyan? LOL  (shout out to the woman who did win my age group.  a 23 and change 5k?  You go girl!!)

And now that my race schedule for 2016 is in the books and i’ve run the cycle, its all DISNEY baby!

Sunday I got in an 18 mile run – at a 10:02 average pace.  Seriously?  Guess the speedwork also helped my long run paces.  🙂   In the next 35 days i’ve got a couple shorter long runs (12’s) and two 20’s.  In fact, the week before Christmas will be true Goofy training – a 10 and a 20 on back to back days.

Hope everyone else’s training is going as well as mine seems to be.  🙂  Pixie dust everywhere!!

So…in honor of the 5 week mark, here’s a top 5 list.  My five favorite things to do at Animal Kingdom.  (hence the tree of life as this week’s photo!) I know some people aren’t that into Animal Kingdom.  But i’ve been a fan since before it was born.  I have a mug I bought when I worked at the Disney Store heralding its arrival.  That mug still makes me smile.  I am just a sucker for critters.

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris – because…animals!  Giraffes and alligators and zebras and lions. And lions.  🙂  You never know what you’ll see – every tour is different.
  • Expedition Everest – my absolute favorite roller coaster at Disney.  I could ride this all day.  Its fun and scary and exhilarating.   I mean, if it wasn’t so good, would half the marathoners stop to ride it as they came through the park during the race?  (side note – i haven’t, i’m always through before the ride opens)
  • Dinosaur – Not sure if its the familiar faces (Mrs Cosby, the guy from CSI) or the amazing animatronics, but this ride is SO awesome.  One of those you spend hunching and weaving to escape things that really look like they might get you.
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek – TIGERS.  Enough said.
  • Terra Treats – a gluten free oasis.  Cupcakes, beer, and other safe stuff?  Warms my little celiac heart

I’m sure you all have your favorites too!

Hope everyone has a great week – and happy training!!