‘‘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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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?

Be Present

Two simple little words that made a huge difference on Sunday.

Sunday was my last long run before the Vermont City marathon – a planned 22 miles. And I headed out early feeling calm and ready.

But, sometimes things don’t go quite as we plan and we end up needing a mantra to get us through. And sometimes that mantra finds us.

All was well until mile 10 when I stopped to pull my gel out of my pocket. And seeing a group of cyclists headed towards me ( knowing it could get dangerous if a car joined the mix on this narrow road), I opted to eat my gel there and wait for them to pass.

As soon as I started running again, everything felt tired and heavy. And the mind games started – you know…question everything.

I told myself it would get better. I told myself, just make it to 11 and see how you feel.

But I am an overthinker. In both life and running. I’m always planning ahead and then stressing over things that are like 2 months (or 5 miles) out.

I tried to calm myself with my usual “clear your head” “let it go” “just stop” kinda stuff. And I got to 11, then 13. And then, the my mind bounced around again.

I was thinking ahead to the next gel, and how far can I make it before I have to walk. And just generally worrying myself.

Then two words popped into my head. Be Present.

Just pay attention to where you are. Be in the mile you’re in. The rest will happen as it happens.

Stop and smell the lilacs. Bark back at the dogs. Watch the birds fly by.

Just be…

And I got to mile 16. And reminded myself again. And then to 18. At 18 I decided I was going to walk 1/4 mile so I could eat my chews. But after 1/10 of a mile I realized I didn’t need to walk and started running again.

To mile 19.25. Where again I was going to walk a 1/4 mile, but was fine with 1/10.

And I hit mile 20 feeling good. And ran all of mile 21, to actually a little past it. I took one last walk break of about .15. And then ran strong to finish at 22.02.

Looking at my watch I smiled. Because I realized that I if I can do this again in Burlington, I could walk the last four miles and still finish under 5 hours. Something even a month ago I wasn’t sure I could do.

I’m ready to taper. I’m feeling really good about the work I’ve put in. And I know, when I tow the start line in 11 days, I just need to remember to Be Present. 🙂

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho – Just one more week to go!

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

So I did my dress rehearsal last week.  At the time of my last blog, I had already completed the easy half of my Dopey simulation. And the tougher half went just as well. 🙂

Wednesday’s 10 miler went great. I headed out at dawn and saw a gorgeous sunrise, a “hidden mickey” and took a Santa selfie at the end. I spent the rest of the day refueling and trying to recover properly for the next day’s 20.

My 20 miler was a little tougher, which was completely expected. The legs were kind of ummm what?? So I ran easy, breathed through it and kept my eyes out for a good character stop. Found a bunch of turkeys, a cool heart and Olaf.

By mile 15 I was starting to struggle. And opted to start walk breaks. I know full well there will be walking during the marathon. I’ve been there to witness my Dopey brother’s legs say “no more” during it, and I know that mine likely will too. And I am completely okay with that. So I walked a 1/4 mile, ran to 16, then repeated it each of the final miles. Which was apparently the right strategy and mile 20 felt pretty good.

I was also delighted to see that those 5 miles weren’t all that much slower than the full-run miles. And I’m thrilled with my overall pace. Training is like, done. Expect for some short runs. So now…. we are knee deep in taper. You know… that place where you Question Everything.

And by question everything I mean it… did I run enough miles, did I train 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 running 48.6 miles in 4 days was a good idea?!!?

It’s not my first rodeo. I’ve run 12 marathons, 3 of which were at Disney (and part of the Goofy Challenge). I know that the taper crazies are just all a mind game.

And that all I can do from here…Is have faith, trust and pixie dust.

And pack. And make lists. And finish my costumes. And make more lists. And weather stalk. And watch Disney movies.

Since the hubs is coming this year and he hasn’t been to Disney in ages, we’re doing kind of a crash course and rewatching a few movies. Like Avatar and Monsters Inc and Lilo and Stitch. Nothing too princessy.

At this point the weather looks awesome.Which makes packing easier. Although after last year’s marathon temps, I’m packing for all possibilities.

Including:

  • 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, trash bags, cheap poncho
  • Sneakers – New Balance, 2 pairs (a purple and a raspberry) which go perfectly with my race outfits and both have about 100 miles on them
  • Huma gel – strawberry lemonade flavor. 3 or 4 of them (for the marathon). I’ve found citrus flavors go down better in the later miles.
  • Running Buddy – I’m bringing my bib clips, my buddy 7 pouch and my red buddy clutch.  (Race buddy & parks buddy) I’ve also packed a set of clips for the hubs.
  • Miscellaneous – glide, mini flashlight, tape, tiny scissors, bandaids, Advil, sandwich bags, sharpie
  • Ears! – This year I have both my Minnie Mouse ears that have been at all my runDisney weekends and a new pair of Dopey themed sequin ones (purple ears, green bow and 100% gorgeous)

How about you? What’s in your suitcase?

I really can’t believe that one week from right now I’ll be blogging from the airport as I get ready to head to Best Race Weekend Ever. And one of the craziest, make that Dopiest, things I’ve ever done.

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

Holy crow, just two weeks to go!

Two weeks to go! Woohoo!! And omg I’m almost Dopey. Well, officially that is. First things first…did everyone get their bib # & corral info?? Have you read the event guide? It’s all there on rundisney.com.

For me, getting my bib & corral info is just a sense of relief that they were able to properly verify my proof of time. I told the hubs it’s all “submit in October and spend two months hoping you put the right link” lol

With the smaller corrals this year, I got C! Tho had my 13.1 qualifier not been 13.4 long (stupid lead car confusion detour) I might have made B. So close.

Oh well, it’s all good because I’m not starting in my corral anyways. I always run with my (soon to be perfectly) Dopey brother. And he got D! Which I love – D for Dopey!!

And speaking of Dopey, this week is my dress rehearsal / simulation. So far I’ve completed the 5k (treadmill) and 10k (along the Charles river). With the 10 miler about to be completed and 20 tomorrow. Yay!

I’m running all of them as early as possible to try to be as close to start time as possible. And also trying to walk around enough during the day to try to mimic “park miles”.

And I’m half wondering if I need wine with lunch tomorrow (as we usually wine tour at Epcot the day of the half). Or hmmm should I make my own gran marnier slushie?

With 2 legs of the 4 complete, I’m feeling pretty good. And I’m sure by the time I’m done I will be SO ready to taper.

I hate tapering. I really do. But this may be the one time I embrace it with arms spread wide – reaching for a Christmas cookie. 🙂

Since most of the rest of my fellow Dopeys or Goofys or marathon runners are in taper town too, here’s some helpful tips for “winning at taper”.

  • Warm your friends & family. You will be an antsy cranky mess and don’t want to toss a fruitcake at Aunt Edna just because she looked at you funny.
  • It’s the holidays – eat the damn cookie. You’ve worked SO hard the past 16 (or however many) weeks and you’ve earned it. Besides – cookies are carbs, and carbs fight the crabbies.
  • Speaking of the holidays…enjoy them! Be glad you don’t have to run long on Christmas or New Years Day. Sleep in, relax, watch your favorite holiday movie. (May I suggest Emmett Otter’s Jugband Christmas)
  • Quality vs Quantity. Make your miles count. There’s less of them the next two weeks so don’t phone them in. Keep them good solid quality runs to ease the “omg am I truly 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. I’ve got mine booked.
  • 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, bling your magic band and study the event guide. Over. And over. And over. Now is the time (now is the best time…) to get that done.

Wishing you all Happy Holidays and a Successful Taper!

We’re almost there – let’s raise a mug of cocoa as a toast to the fun that awaits us in…14 days.

21 Days to Dopey, 12 Days to Christmas…how about a song?

Dashing through the snow, to get my miles in…slid on some black ice, and went home again.

Actually – that wasn’t the song. I have a better one below…The 12 Days of Dopey Christmas!  Because you know…. its only 12 days to Christmas and holy crow – 21 days to DOPEY!  Yay!!

Let me just say first, I am SO happy I have a treadmill. Because even tho I had only 10 miles on my schedule for Sunday, it wouldn’t have happened without one.

I got about a 1/10 of a mile from my house and stopped to admire this winter wonderland.

The next step, black ice, foot out from under me and I decided it’s WAY too close to Dopey to do anything stupid. (cold? sure.  snow?  sure.  Ice? no way.)

So I went home, swapped fleece for shorts and knocked out 9 miles on the treadmill and 2 episodes of Haven on Netflix.

While it wasn’t the training run I had hoped for… all roads lead to Dopey. Even the indoor ones.

But you know what happens when you spend 90 minutes on a treadmill?  You get creative.  Even while watching a great show, its not always enough to keep you going.  And mine started thinking about what I want for Christmas…from a Disney runner’s standpoint.

So, let me present…the 12 Days of Dopey Christmas!

You know the song…i’ll just feed you the lines.  🙂  On the 12th Day of Dopey Christmas, Mickey Santa gave to me…

12 o’clock reservation at Be Our Guest

11 rides on Everest

10 perfect toenails

9 Mickey bars

8 character stops

7 dwarves mine train fast pass

6 shiny medals

5 long sleeved race shirts

4 finish lines

3 gran marnier slushies

2 race bibs

And a pair of rose gold Mickey ears

Yes, you’ll be singing this all day.

You’re Welcome.

Four Magical Weeks to Dopey!

And then there were four.  Four weeks left for training and planning and ‘omg what have I signed up for.’  Four weeks until….Four Days, Four Races, Four Parks, Four 4am buses.

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

While not truly a Dopey simulation, I did run four days in a row this week.  Not a TON of miles (4, 7.4, 4.25, 3.25), but this was the first time i’ve run four in a row in a very long time.  And everything felt fine.  Tho I was glad for that one rest between it and my 20-mile long run.

Sunday was my first of my 20-milers.  The second will be at the end of a true Dopey simulation the week before Christmas.  And knowing that that one will undoubtedly involve some walking (as will the marathon itself), I wanted to do well on this one.

Well….have you ever had one of those mornings that you put SO much pressure on yourself to do well on a run that you had an absolute meltdown before you even got out the door?  A whole “why do I even run, I’m going to be awful out there, I won’t even be able to enjoy it,  i’m gonna push too hard and have to walk the last four miles” meltdown? I know it’s just this stage of training.  It’s the longer miles and the “I have seen the same road SO much lately I just can’t even” route boredom.  And it messes with my head.  You’d think having 12 marathons under your belt would be enough.  Yet still…20 miles freaks me out.

So I planned out a longer loop over into a more rural area I don’t run often and hoped for the best.  I ran slow, stopped for a minute when I needed to eat my gels, and gave myself permission to relax.  I looked at all the beautiful christmas decorations (and mentally ticketed those with pumpkins still out). I stopped to say hi to a pony (character op! Lol)

I talked myself through a couple of rough patches, and somehow, I managed to actually run all 20.  Yay!!

It feels good to have that done.  And to know it’s like 15 days before I do it again.  LOL

Now back to the fun stuff!

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 have yet to repeat one from three years of Disney races, because there’s SO many to choose from. This year, the four i’ve chosen are…

  • Mike Wazowski
  • Dopey “style”
  • Figment
  • Moana

I won’t tell you which is for which race, because while 2 are set, the others may depend on the weather the other two races (warmer vs colder).  🙂

Characters – I’ve been very lucky over the years to meet a lot of characters, but there are still quite a few I haven’t.  I’ve made a character goal list for this year, which between the races and parks i’m hoping to hit. And it is…

  • Snow White
  • Mike Wazowski
  • BB8
  • Rapunzel

Rides – What’s on your fast pass list?  Did you get all the ones you want?  They did just release some extra time slots this week, so don’t give up if you didn’t – just keep checking!  My four that i’m most excited about (one in each park) are…

  • Flight of Passage
  • Seven Dwarves Mine Train
  • Test Track
  • Rock & Roller Coaster

Things We Want – So…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.
  • 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 (Etsy has some fun decals to trick them all out.).  If i’m going to wear something all day, its gotta be pretty. And I have a special surprise for my nephews.
  • Merchandise – this we won’t see until race week.  Although a small picture of the Dooney & Bourke purses has been released, and a throwback 25th anniversary shirt came out, with the design below, which leaves us all wondering ‘what in the world will the weekend logo look like’ (and kind of hoping it’s less…pastel)

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

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