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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‘‘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!

6 weeks to Dopey – let’s talk costumes!

Doing weekly countdowns keeps me so very aware of how many (or few?) days are left until Dopey. And we’re at 42. Eek!!!
It’s time to really get my costumes together. While I know what I’m planning – there’s still some organizing and cricuting still to do. 🙂 And I’m definitely doing some reminiscing about the ones I’ve worn over the years. Below…I’ll discuss my favorites!
But first…training update. While my mileage is definitely down from last year, having been through it once already totally helps my confidence.  I know I can finish.  And having the loooooong runs begin totally makes it feel like go time.
I did run my last race of the year on thanksgiving.  My third time at the Attleboro YMCA Gobble Wobble.  Some of you may remember the last two years of Turkey Vision Quest…well this year was NOT that.  LOL  I had no time or placement goal, I had no expectations and I had no idea what my legs had.  It was C O L D and I felt both totally silly and badass running a 5k in feels like -1.
When the race started I took off with the group, fell into pace, warmed up and just went for it.  That said – when I saw the clock at the end I had to grin.  Because it was over 2 minutes faster than I expected!  And within 40 seconds of the PR I set last year.  So while sure, part of me was disappointed I missed 3rd place in my age group by 30 seconds (drat!) I know there is NO WAY I could have shaved that off what I ran.  So i’m happily walking away from that with 4th AG.  And 99th overall, which is pretty cool.  😀
I followed that up two days later with a Saturday 16-miler.  I found that window of time that would be prime running – and it was Saturday afternoon.  A time I NEVER run.  But it was single digits again friday and rain expected Sunday – so when you find 45 degrees and sun you take it.
I told myself the run was a no-pressure, time on my feet kinda long run (just Dopey marathon practice) and yet, my legs had other ideas.  I should NOT have been running 9:40’s…for 10 whole miles.  I did finally get my legs to slow some after that…but still super awesome long run pace for me.  I ran by a lot of christmas decor and even a tree farm.  I saw two ponies and some chickens.  And I just enjoyed what might be the last chance to run in capris in 2018.  It was an awesome run and a confidence boost for sure.
Of course, since my mind loves to wander during runs….I was trying to remember what I still need to do (or buy) for my costumes.
Picking out four is both easy, and hard. There are SO many to choose from! And while I try to not repeat myself, I am bringing back characters this year – although with new costumes.
One is my girl Snow White. She wasn’t meant to be a costume last year. But it was SO cold for marathon weekend, that what I had originally planned just wasn’t gonna work and I had enough cold gear with me to “Disney bound” her. So this year, she’s gonna get the royal treatment. She’ll be my marathon outfit.
She’ll join that ‘hall of fame’ of the four other outfits i’ve worn running the Disney marathon.  And I think she’s a great choice for fifth.
I definitely have a favorite from each year – and its usually my m marathon one.  I think its because I save the good one for the big race (whether i’m running Goofy or Dopey). I also have a favorite picture that goes with each one.
So here they are…my favorites so far!
2014 –  Minnie Mouse / Goofy
It was my first year and I wasn’t as good at costumes yet.  I chose Minnie as my first (for the half) and Goofy for the marathon, as that was my challenge of choice that year.  I made custom shirts for my brother (who was running Dopey) and I that read – I’m Goofy but my brother’s Dopey…it runs in the family (and the reverse for him.) Those shirts got a lot of love…and will always have a special place in my heart.img_0382
2016 – Ariel / Tigger
My second Goofy, I branched out a little and joined team sparkle.  I kept Ariel simple so I could run well (purple shirt and visor, green sparkle skirt) and Tigger, my bouncy trouncy flouncy pouncy buddy, was FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN!img_1356
This is also the infamous “I kicked a squirrel” photo…(see my 2016 weekend recap blog.  LOL)
2017 Joy / Merida
This year my family ran the 5k together as the emotions from Inside Out.  I was Joy (obviously – lol) and it was fun to do a group costume. I had planned Mike Wazowski for the 1/2, which got cancelled and almost chose to run in that for the marathon…but I knew I had to stick with my original plan – Merida.  And i’m SO glad I did.  I had a blast posing for the photographers…and got what will always be one of my most epic race photos.img_2091
2018 Mike Wazowksi / Dopey colors / Snow bounding / Figment
My first Dopey…and boy was it cold!  I had planned to run the 5k as Mike with my hubs as Sully, but when its in the 30’s, you adapt.  I was fortunate enough to have a green fleece Mike colored, but still, my awesome shirt has yet to have its moment.  So him, we will bring back in January – hoping third time is the charm for this guy.
This was also another year of the costume shirt.  I designed Dopey challenge shirts and a challenge shirt for my nephew (who runs the 5k/10k) and we wore those (with a billion layers under them) for the 10k.  I ran the whole race also in a pair of sparkle purple and green minnie mouse ears.  So awesome!
For the half – I had a minnie mouse costume packed…but it wasn’t going to be nearly warm enough for a thank top, and i didn’t have any black long sleeves. So a quick plan B and Snow was ready to go.  Like I said, this was not one of my best costumes and the OG princess deserves a chance to shine.
Figment….this goes right up there with Merida as my favorite Disney costume ever.  My awesome sister in law gave me the idea (she’s a MAJOR Figment Fan) and I totally ran with it.  It was fun to craft and fun to run it – the crowds loved it.  And this picture…makes me smile.img_2933-1
So my fellow Dopeys, Goofys and other marathon weekend runners…what’s your favorite costume ever?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So…what’s your fave?

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?

Dopey 2019 – Medal Reveal

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 5k – Oswald the Lucky Rabbitoswald

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

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

The 10k – Miss Minnie Mouse

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

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

The 1/2 marathon – Donald Duck

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

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

The marathon – Mickey Mouse

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

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

The Goofy – 39.3

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

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

The Dopey – 48.6

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

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