‘‘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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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!!

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?

Sprinkler Season

Runners don’t just have four seasons…

Each “calendar season” can be split into even smaller ones.

Like fall has “leaf season” and “fleece season” and “Halloween decoration season”. And spring has “delayed Christmas decoration removal season” and “tulip season”. Sometimes they occur simultaneously.

Summer has one that I both love and hate – sprinkler season. And we are full on into it.

I’m at a point where I have about 4 loops that I alternate in the mornings. And I try to remember which days the sprinklers go off on each one. But I don’t always get it right.

Like last week I picked the wrong day to run my own street. It’s a perfect 1 mile loop, and sidewalks, so when all my neon shirts are dirty, or if I just don’t feel like dealing with cars, I run that.

But apparently Thursday is “every sprinkler on the loop goes off on a staggered schedule” day. And I was getting so annoyed that I had to keep going into the road around them. Remind me to not run that again this week. Lol

Then there was today. It was hot. And humid. And just SLIMY out. I was about halfway through mile three and cutting through a neighborhood when I saw a man adjusting his sprinklers. He aimed one at the sidewalk and I smiled. I ran through it, arms raised in victory with an oooh yeah! Which of course totally cracked him up. I turned and grinned a thanks.

The relief lasted all of 10 seconds. But it did help. 🙂 Because I was about 20 seconds faster the next mile.

I guess it’s all about the timing – and love them or hate them…we gotta deal with them. At least for now. But – school bus season will be back soon enough to replace it.

7 Weeks to Dopey – 7 Marathon Must-Dos

And, we’re in the 40’s!  No, not degrees, we’re actually in the 30’s here… brrrr!

We are now 49 days to Disney!  Yep, just 7 little weeks until I become one of the 7 dwarves…. Dopey.  🙂 (I’ve already covered Happy, Grumpy and Sleepy – all during the marathon.  LOL)

So, I figured its a good week to do some marathon planning.  As in, what do you need to do during the marathon, other than running.

But first – training update.  I didn’t run long this weekend.  In fact, I almost didn’t run at all this weekend.  Its okay, it was written into the schedule.

The hubs and I had a getaway in southern NY state – toured the Woodstock museum (groovy), went to a book signing (fun) and toured the trifecta of a winery, cidery and distillery.  Who would have thought NY was ‘napa east’.  It was a lot of fun.  And I did sneak in a short fast run Sunday on the hotel treadmill.

The real fun was yesterday – for the first time in ages I got to run the Charles River in the morning.  I had a very fun, very chilly 7-miler.  With a character stop.  Because when you see a T-Rex, you pose with a T-Rex.  🙂

And speaking of Character Stops…lets get back to my list of marathon must-dos.

If you’re running the marathon for time, you’ll want to skip a lot of these.  Me, I run it for fun.  Its Disney, and i’m there for the party, the experience, the miles of laughs with my brother.

Below is my marathon bucket list. I’ve done some of the below, wanted to do others.  And this year, I hope to knock at least one off the list (Jeff – bring your beer money!). They are sort of in order of the race… to help you map it out.

  • Take an Epic Photo
    • This, i’ve done.  While the one where i’d just accidentally punted the squirrel is great, and my banana phone will always make me laugh, my Merida shooting her bow and arrow is simply EPIC.  The best race photo I may ever get.
    • How to get one?  Relax, smile, enjoy yourself.  And plan ahead.  You’ll see the Disney photopass photographers in their green ‘tents’, so figure out what you’ll do when you get there.  Also, check your surroundings.  You don’t wanna go for the jump and smack someone in the head.  Of course, that can also be an epic photo.  lol
  • Pose in Front of the Castle
    • Never done this.  Its always dark when i’m through the castle and crowded.  Plus I always feel like its too early in the race to stop.  I’m still in a groove at mile 6.  But, the pics i’ve seen look great – so i’m recommending this.
    • How to do it?  When you come through the castle, you’ll see the sign and people directing you down to the front area for it.
  • Take a Character Photo
    • I’ve come close.  Meeko didn’t have much of a line this year, but (and sorry Meeko) I didn’t care enough about him to stop.  And, I had just done the next one on my list.  But this is 100% on my list for this year.  Especially if who I’m dressed as is on the course.
    • How to get one? There’s SO many to choose from all along the route.  Just go over and get in line. Try to pick one with a shorter line if you are just crossing it off your list, or if there’s one you REALLY want, be prepared wait. Keep your personal time goal and the race time limit in mind (the clock doesn’t stop when you do), but hit as many as you want.
  • Pet the critters outside animal kingdom
    • This is one of my absolute favorites.  I have pet goats and a sheep and they are just the sweetest.  I will, of course, do this again.
    • How to do it?  Keep your eyes open as you approach Animal Kingdom. You’ll see people from the conservation station out there with some furry friends and usually a tortoise.  Go over, give em a pat and a thank you and continue on.
  • Ride Expedition Everest
    • This is one of everyone’s favorites.  What other marathon lets you ride rides in the middle?  While i’m always through before the park opens, its been close to it.  So I have seen people go over to get in line and wait.  Not sure if I’m going to try this year or not.  I’d rather spend my time on a good character stop.
    • How to do it?  If the park is open (or near open), go get in line.  And hold onto your hat/ears/etc.
  • Grab a drink in Epcot
    • This year, will finally be the year I get my sangria for the road.  We were going to this year, but my brother was on pace for a PR and we didn’t want to mess with it.  However, as I’m going to be Dopey this year too, I have a hunch we’ll be slower.  And thirsty.
    • How to do it?  Bring id (n case) and cash (or charge to your magic band) and hit your favorite country for some refreshments.  Is it hot? Grab a gran marnier slushie in France.  Craving a grapefruit beer?  Hit Germany.  The closest to the finish is Mexico – and the place with sangrias and margaritas is quite easy to stop at.   If you’re good – you might be able to hit all three.  🙂
  • High-Five one of the Fab Five at the Finish Line
    • I’ve done this twice.  It is so much fun to high-five Minnie Mouse (or Pluto) as you cross the finish.  Its sure to have you grinning in your final race photo.
    • How to do it?  As you come up the finish chute – look to see which is on which side, and (after looking behind you to make sure you don’t collide with another runner), angle yourself over.  Stretch your hand out and smile.

Any of these on your must-do list? Anything you think i’m missing?  Would love to hear from my fellow Dopeys and marathoners.

Happy Training (and planning) everyone!

One week to go! Time for faith, trust & pixie dust. 

Omg, omg, omg, it’s one week to Disney World!!!!!

Is everybody ready? I am!!

So I did my dress rehearsal last week and it went really really well.  It consisted of 3.1 miles on Monday, followed by 10 (well really 11.5 by the time I ran/walked back to the car) on Wednesday and 20 on Thursday. 

I ran my “half training” with my sole sister up around my favorite lake (the place I ran my first 50k) and it flew by. Not only was my pace great, but we had some fun goofy photo shenanigans. 🙂

My 20 miler was a little tougher, which was completely expected. But I just stayed calm, ran easy and then when mile 16 hit, practiced the run / walking I know I’ll be doing at WDW. And still, not a bad long run pace. 

So, taper is upon us. A runner’s frenemy… sure, who doesn’t want to sleep in on a Sunday morning. But this is also where you Question Everything. 

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

But, those of us who have done this before…we all know we’re fine. And those that haven’t? Don’t worry…It’s all faith, trust and pixie dust from here on out. 

So what’s left?  Well, we have bibs and corrals and runner tracking signup; course maps and expo vendor lists (buy everything!) and the 10 day weather forecast.  I think we’re just waiting hopefully for a merchandise preview (bring out the Dooney!!)

At this point the weather looks awesome. Which makes packing easier. Oh yeah, better start packing. So what are my essentials?

  • Race outfits – this year is Minnie Mouse, Merida and Mike Wazowski
  • Sneakers – Brooks launch and Asics Gel Pursue
  • Hammer gel – Montana huckleberry. I only use them for the marathon, so they should all fit in my allotted carry on liquids bag. 😉
  • Running Buddy – this year I’m bringing my bib clips, my buddy 7 pouch and my red buddy clutch.  (Race buddy & parks buddy)  

I seriously would not run Disney without them. How about you? What can you not Disney without? 

And wow, just think, next week I’ll be posting my blog from the airport as I get ready to head to the most awesome place ever. 🙂  to my fellow Disney runners – see ya in a week!

Two weeks to go…Dress rehearsal time & taper tips

Two weeks to go! Woohoo!!

First things first…did everyone get their waiver & corral info?? 

I know about 50% of the runners are happy, 20% are upset and 30% don’t care. 😀

For me, getting my corral just means a sense of relief that they were able to properly verify my proof of time and I’m not starting too far back. Lol

I got G by the way…G for Goofy! 

And speaking of Goofy, this week, the last few days before I start my taper, are my dress rehearsal. 

Since I’m doing Goofy + 5k, I’m doing a sort of simulation. (Tho a true simulation would involve tons of walking all day after the runs and maybe consuming a little too much wine after my “half” run. Hmmm…should I?)

So Monday I ran a nice little 5k, Tuesday was “active rest” and today I’m going to log 10 miles with my sole sister (sole sister solstice run – a sort of tradition)  then Thursday will be 20 miles. Followed by a couple days off. 

I’m feeling good and ready for my runs this week – isn’t carb loading wonderful? And hoping that when they are done, I’ll be feeling good and ready to take on the “more than Goofy challenge.”

So let’s see…we have our waivers, we have our corral assignments, we have our weekend guide. All we need is to see what the new merchandise looks like! I’m particularly curious about the design for the Dooney & Bourke bags. Hoping it’s as pretty as last year. 

Since we are two weeks out and most everyone is tapering now, here’s some helpful tips for a successful taper. 

  • Don’t take it out on your friends & family. It’s taper, you will be an antsy cranky mess. Just warn your loved ones…because it is the holidays!
  • Speaking of the holidays…enjoy them! Be glad you don’t have to log 20 miles on Christmas or New Years Day. Not only will your family be grateful, but you will love sleeping in and relaxing. 
  • Quality vs Quantity. You will be running less miles, but don’t phone them in. Keep them good solid quality runs to ease the “omg am I truly Goofy (Dopey)? What am I getting myself into?” freakouts. 
  • Get a massage. Not only will it help reset your legs, but it will help control the taper crazies. If only for an hour.
  • Use your free time wisely. You are headed to Disney World after all. There’s lots to do, like finish your costume, make a packing list and study the event guide. Now is the time (now is the best time…) to get that done. 

Hope everyone has a successful final long run, and a good transition to taper. Let’s get Goofy!