‘‘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?

Dopey 2019 – 9 weeks to go!

Okay – did anyone see where this week went?  How is it blog day again.  LOL

It was actually a pretty good week.  I got in some awesome runs, hosted an 80th birthday party and saw the most amazing sunrise (or should I say sunrise) yesterday morning.  That is my favorite part about daylight savings time – getting to run in the morning before work again.  YAY!

I’ve got a half-marathon coming this Sunday and i’m feeling really ready for it.  I know i’m going to do WAY better than my last one, so i’m kind of excited.

Know what else i’m excited about?  That its only 63 days to Dopey!!!!  I had friends down there for Wine & Dine race weekend and while it was fun following their adventures, I wanna go have my own.

And thinking of those adventures….Here are my 9 favorite things at Disney!

9. Tofu Bowls from S’atuli Canteen. Disney is a master at food allergies and preferences. And this celiac vegetarian does well in the parks. But this? I still remember exactly how it tastes. Plus there’s blue sangria!!

8. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover. (The wedway) Not only is it a great place for a quick nap during marathon weekend – lol – it’s just a relaxing inside look at Tomorrowland.

7. Kilimanjaro Safari. I’m all about the critters. And you never know which ones you’ll see. And while love me some Simba, getting to see baby Stella was a highlight.

6. Journey into Imagination. Figment is my spirit animal. I mean I even dressed like him for the marathon in January. It’s just a really cute ride with a fun area to explore at the end.

5. Haunted Mansion. Despite of (or maybe because of) being on this ride as a kid when it was struck by lightning, I love this ride. It’s delightfully spooky and the cast members are awesome (one once followed me until I realized it and shrieked lol). It’s…haunting 🙂

4. Rock n Roller Coaster. It’s fast, it’s fierce, it ROCKS. It’s Aerosmith and neon and just a darn good time. Plus it usually results in hilarious photos from “take off”

3. Gran Marnier Slushies.  Yeah, i know, i mentioned these last week.  But…they are amazeballs.  So freaking delicious.  And its one thing I always look forward to.

2. Flight of Passage.  This ride is just….. WOW.  I was lucky enough to ride it twice in January and its such an amazing adrenaline rush and feast for the senses.  I could ride it all day.

1. The 3:00 parade at Magic Kingdom. I dare you not to wave back to the characters as they go by. The characters, the pageantry, the music, the floats, the dancing. It’s all the feels. And it makes me happy.

Hello Eugene… lol

So my fellow Disney runners – what’s yours? Food, ride or experience? What makes you feel like a kid again.

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!