Hot mess express

This winter has not been kind.   Between weather issues, the flu and a complete and total lack of motivation, I haven’t been logging that many miles, or even that great of quality lately.  And its hard to write a running blog when you’re…not running.  

I almost didn’t even post this, because it sounds whiney.  And that’s not who I am.  But I realized not posting is lying… and you have to be honest.  Running isn’t all sunshine and roses.  Its hard, and letting other people know when you’re struggling too is just as important as the ‘good stuff’.

So here goes….  here’s how I earned my first class ticket aboard the hot mess express?

You see…since I’m kind of in a “distance off season” I thought it would be a good time to start back into strength training.   Which I hadn’t done in oh, three months.

I thought I took it easy – I was using half the weight that I had been back in September.  But apparently, my hamstrings were not a fan.  Nor was my back.

The next day – O U C H.  Like can’t bend, can’t move, kinda laughing at myself over how just a dozen deadlifts (among other stuff) could have caused this.

So I rolled and stretched and got a massage and took it easy with my runs (ie more walking days, less running days).  And still…. Several days later…. HOLY CRUDBALLS MY HAMSTRINGS ARE TIGHT.

Plus, I was forced onto a treadmill for a week straight because…ice. And cold.  And dark in the mornings with a crazy week at work that didn’t let me run midday.

Well, apparently tight hamstrings and too many days on a treadmill are a bad combo, because it started to affect my gait.  And I started landing too hard (and flatly) on my left ankle.

And you know where I’m going with this….  It got hurty.

I noticed it at first at night, or when I pointed my toes.  Then it was ‘dang it I stepped down off the curb wrong’ and now…its KT Tape City. And watching my form.

Yes, I googled it. And yes I think I know what’s wrong.  And no, I’m not saying.  Its not BAD…its just well, I didn’t mind going away on a girls weekend for a few days and not running.  LOL

I ran Monday.  The hamstrings are still not quite 100%, and the left ankle is still, cautious, but I’ll be fine.  And I think i’ll run today – it is going to be near 50 degrees today and the river she calls me.

I’m just trying to figure out how in the world a hamstring led to an ankle injury…And planning to stick with upper body strength training for a while.  Or maybe just run….  

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Can I get a do-over?

Anyone who lost a week of training to the flu, raise your hand! 🖐🏻🖐🏻🖐🏻

Ungh…I thought I was safe. I dodged the ‘Dopey Flu’ that had plagued Disney and gotten so many of my fellow runners sick.   But one week of crazy immune-system lowering work stress followed by an encounter with a flu/bronchitis sufferer and BAM….  down for the count. 😷

The thing about being wicked sick is that not only can you not work out, but you don’t even care that you can’t work out.

I quarantined myself in the guest room and the far end of the couch, I went through a box of tissues and a half a jar of hand gel, and I traded in marathon training for netflix marathon training.  LOL

It hit on a Tuesday….I did not emerge from the pit of misery until sometime on Saturday.  The moment I stepped out into sunlight I felt like a butterfly emerging from her cocoon.  🦋 It was glorious.

The fog had lifted enough that I was eager to try a short run.  Which was perfect as the hubs was due for one too.  And omg, it was 50 degrees out.  So, impossible to resist.

Just an easy little 5k, alongside my best friend and new favorite training partner, was just what I needed. And shout out to the hubs – he’s a natural.  So i’m glad that running the Disney 5k was enough fun that he’s decided to keep running.  It will be nice having company on some short runs.

Sunday I was feeling WAY more human and decided to run again.  Goal was 6 miles, and running at least 4.5 of it.  I started out slow, hit a groove and just enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine i’d been missing.

And then that runner, coming from the other direction, turned behind me down a cul de sac and I had to go faster to make sure she didn’t catch me.  LOL  And that felt amazing…for about two miles, when I realized it may not have been my smartest idea. Its okay, I slowed down and finished all 6 running.

I just learned one does not simply race a 10k while recovering from the flu.  What one DOES do however, is race hunt.  Not that I needed to find a race, more that its fun to look.  Its race window shopping!   Until you know, you find one that you just have to have.

I’m seriously considering adding the Providence half to my calendar. Its 3 weeks before Vermont City, which is perfect timing for a time trail (like I did last year with the Blackstone half), its a course I know well.  And, it has a 5k that the hubs could run as something to do while waiting for me to finish.  All good reasons.

I would love a do-over on this past week, but that isn’t happening.  Instead i’m going to be grateful that January is technically off-season.

And for now, I gotta kick the rest of this flu before I can kick asphalt.

So…what now?

When you have completed the biggest run challenge you’ve ever done…what’s next?

My friend said to me that Sunday, “You just finished the Dopey Challenge, now what are you going to do?” I’m going to Disney – oh wait. Lol

instead… it’s time for the three R’s. Rest. Recovery. Registration!

Because a runner without goals, is an unhappy runner. So this Dopey girl….is entering

Unicorn Mode!

Yep, it’s time for me to finally complete my set of unicorn medals and add the BAA 5k, 10k, half and medley challenge medals to my set of 3 marathon ones. 🙂 I want #alltheunicorns!

This year is the 5th Anniversary of the the only time I ever DNF’d. Me and a few thousand other runners. It wasn’t our fault. And thinking about it still raises so many emotions (anger, sadness, frustration). Since running the Boston marathon again this year wasn’t an option, this feels right.

I’ll still be able to cross the marathon finish line (during the 5k) marathon weekend, and that will be enough.

That logo above? It’s on the awesome raw threads tank that I ran my training run in this weekend. And it will likely be my race shirt for all 3 races (or at least the 10k – it’s probably gonna be hot in June).

Also, because I needed a marathon to train for too…Vermont City here I come!

Yep, I’m gonna go run with Meb again. 🙂 The last time I ran with him he won the Boston Marathon. I still remember running on the course in 2014 when the cheers of “an American won! Meb!” were passed along from runner to runner.

So I’m hoping this time the victory will be mine. You see, I want a shiny new PR. My old one feels a little dusty and it’s time to replace it.

It’s gonna take a lot of work, but it’s good to have goals. And if I believe in myself enough, and train my butt off, I know I can do it.

We’ve rested, recovered and registered. Now it’s time to get to work. 🙂❤🏃🏻‍♀️

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!!