‘‘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!!

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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!!

5 weeks to Dopey – and my 5 favorite runDisney memories

Wow – just five little week’s to my 5th Disney marathon.  Cool!

So that means just five little weeks to my:

  • 3rd 5k
  • 2nd 10k
  • 4th half (one got canceled – darn lightning!)
  • 5th marathon

Yep, that’s 3 years of Goofy (one with a 5k for extra fun) and a 2nd Dopey about to happen.

When I ran my first Goofy, I thought it was one of the craziest things i’ve ever done (that was before i’d run any ultras).  Little did I know the crazy would get bigger.

My 3rd Goofy, I added the 5k, and we made it a family affair.  Me and my brother’s family.  Dressed as characters from Inside Out.   And i’m so glad I ran it because it gave me a medal to wear around the parks, even when the half got canceled for lightning.

For my 4th trip, being the marathon anniversary, I upgraded to Dopey. It was time.

My sis in law had been running the 10k with my brother (kind of against her will.  LOL) the prior years, and I finally took over.  I wanted a Minnie Mouse medal. And shirt.  Gotta have a minnie mouse shirt.

I’m so glad I ran Dopey.  It was such an amazing experience doing all the races.  Though I do have to say that the marathon was WAY harder after 3 days in a row of running that it was after just 1.  It HURT. But we got through it.  We knew we could finish and as I sometimes say during a hard run “It doesn’t have to be pretty….it just has to be.”  And it was.

That Dopey medal will always be a favorite.  I EARNED that sucker.

So, as I reminisce about my races so far and think ahead to weekend #5…here are my five favorite runDisney memories:

5. Crossing the 5k finish line hand in hand with my nephew. It was his second Disney 5k  (he’s about to do his 4th (and 2nd 10k)) and my first. He had trained really hard to do well and I helped encourage and coach him along.  He was SO proud of himself for doing so well and between the awesome experience of seeing the world showcase lit by tiki torches and crossing the finish as a family i’m smiling right now remembering.  (I can’t wait to run the 5k & 10k with him again in five weeks)

4. The Beverly. While this wasn’t during a race, it remains one of my favorite runDisney weekend memories. My brother trying to prank me, and being able to turn it around on him? Priceless. And how much it delighted the cast member who witnessed it? Even better. 🙂 This Coke slushie was my “medal’ for that victory. Lol

3. Running the 5k with my husband. His first Disney race, and first running 5k (he walked one with me the year I broke my hip). I surprised him with it and he trained so hard and did AH-mazing.  It would lead to a year of him racing (and even placing his age group) before…plantar fasciitis struck. 😦  But still – that chance to share with him why I love running Disney so much?  Magical.

2. Crossing the finish line of my first Disney marathon.  This was only my 4th marathon ever.  And it was my comeback marathon.  I broke my hip (femoral neck) in May 2013. I spent 4 months on crutches and had to re-build to walking distance, then running.  I wasn’t supposed to run two days in a row yet, but I had registered for this before i’d gotten injured and I was going to do whatever I had to do to get there.  Crossing that finish line was four months of discipline and determination.  Proof that you can’t keep a good marathoner down.

1. I kicked a squirrel…. Its not as cruel as it sounds.  I barely touched it.  It was more of a punt. But the sucker came out of nowhere. It was trying to cross in traffic –  near Mexico.  And by the time my brother got out the word “squirrel” it was right in front of me and there was nothing I could do. But laugh….. There was some random stranger next to us right then too.  I hope she still remembers it.  And…that has led to a new favorite runDIsney marathon quote for our family “Ye Critters be warned”

And I’m so looking forward to adding new memories to this list soon. 🙂

OMG – its 10 weeks to Dopey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ten weeks to Dopey – and my 10 favorite rides

Omg omg omg…It’s 10 weeks to the Dopey Challenge!!!!!!

Let’s see…10 weeks from today is expo day. And 10 days from today is fastpass day. So, in tribute to both, let’s talk about my 10 favorite rides at Disney World.

First – quick training update. Got in 12 miles Sunday and 5 miles Monday. Both at paces I’m quite pleased with. Oh, and I got a selfie with Halloween Mickey at the end. Lol

Because when you train for running Disney…you include as much Disney as possible. Shirts, headbands, visors, photo ops. 😂

I know some of my fellow Dopeys are following a different plan that has them higher mileage right now…but the one I have works for me, or at least has for my last few marathons and marathon weekends, so I’m sticking with it.

So…since I didn’t have to run 17 miles this weekend, it meant I had time to start thinking about those fastpasses that will get booked in 10 days. And what rides I’ll need them for and what rides either don’t need them or are worth standing in line for.

And I made a list of my 10 favorites. My absolute must do rides. Here they are, in no particular order. And, why I love them.

  • Wedway People Mover – yeah, I know it’s know the “Tomorrowland Transportation Authority” now, but as the Boston Garden will always be the Boston Garden, so will this always be the Wedway People Mover.  Its relaxing, its fun, its great for napping the day of the half marathon and I love the view of people on Space Mountain.  Speaking of space mountain….
  • Space Mountain – One of the first roller coasters I ever rode.  And always a favorite. Its sci-fi, its dark, and even after countless rides I STILL duck.  And it will always be the ride that my brother & I rode like four times in a row because it was raining and there was no line and we could get off, through and back up to the start in like two minutes.
  • Haunted Mansion – I L O V E the Haunted Mansion.  I’m not even 100% sure why.  But its charming and spooky at the same time.  I love the ballroom dancing ghosts, and the puns on the headstones. And the cast member who snuck up behind me and made me shriek. 🙂 Its also the ride where I sat in front of an open tomb for 15 minutes while the “ghosts wreaked havoc up ahead” because it was struck by lightning while I was on it.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean – Still spooky.  The dark queue to get to the boat, the drop in the pitch darkness, the smells, the rowdy pirates.  I feel like a kid again any time i’m on it.  It makes me smile.
  • Expedition Everest – I could ride this all day.  And while I have yet to actually stop during the marathon to ride it (considered it tho), its one of the few long lines i’ll stand in without a fastpass, because its awesome.  It goes SO high up you can see forever, the Yeti is awesome (I always roar back) and it just makes your heart race in the best way.
  • Kilimanjaro Safari – One word, critters!  I am such an animal lover and getting the chance to see them up close (Giraffic Jam anyone?) is always great.  Every ride is different – and this year I even got to see baby Stella (the elephant).  This is another one I could ride over and over.
  • Rock & Roller Coaster – Aerosmith, zero to sixty, rock and roll.  Its fast, its fun, its loud.  Its dark and neon and SUCH a rush.  I’m always a little bit shaky when I get off the ride.  LOL
  • Tower of Terror – The ride I love to hate. The building is awesome, the Twilight Zone video is great and the reason I watch it. The cast members who really get into character?  Creepy cool.  But the drops.  I HATE the drops. I’m usually screaming my head off while trying to hold onto something, anything, for dear life.  And yet, still I ride it.
  • Spaceship Earth – Its relaxing, its informative, its just….cool. I know some people find it boring, but its a look through history and there’s SO much to see and I just sit there in awe soaking it all in.  How do they make it smell old? or like campfire?  Disney magic…
  • Journey into Imagination – Figment.  I have loved that little purple rascal since the very first time I saw him.  He’s mischief and goofy and lighthearted.  Figment just wants to have fun.  And while the current version of the ride is great (doesn’t everyone sing along with the song?), I miss Dreamfinder.

Do you hve an absolute favorite? What’s first in your fastpass list?

And to all my fellow Dopeys, keep up the great training!

Weather Jinx

As I sit here five days out from the Adirondack marathon with too much time on my hands and therefore lots of time to think, I realized something.

My marathon weather has well and truly sucked this year. 3 marathons – all different kinds of bad weather.

Does mother nature hate me?

Lets review…

January – Disney marathon
30 degrees at the start. In Florida. Ummm what??? Granted it did eventually (like like 3 hours in) warm up to 50. But still…was NOT prepared for that. See how cold I look?

May – Maine Coast marathon
Nor’easter. 43 at the start. Torrential downpours. And crazy winds. Gheesh…. nothing like looking like a drowned rat in all your photos. LOL

September – Adirondack marathon.
Fall. In the mountains. And look… actually don’t look because every time I DO look it goes up. And I just can’t deal.


But I have no choice. Other than to suck it up and get through it. At least it’s not going to be windy. 

My friend said I might need to adjust my goals. I said yeah, if it gets that bad i’m just gonna walk and sing Disney tunes.

Thank goodness there’s a lake to dive into at the end. Which is nice. 

So wish me luck folks….i’m gonna need it! 🙂