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?

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Fab Five…and a TVQ update

Yes folks, just five short fabulous weeks left to Disney!! A mere 35 days….  Yay!!

I’ll get to my training and tips in a moment, but first I need to talk turkey.  Turkey Vision Quest that is!

Last week was the Gobble Wobble 5k, the race I spent a good chunk of time speed training for, in hopes of a 5K PR, an age group place or both. Well, one of them happened.

A quick shout out to my sole sisters for all their love and support.  You two ladies are both amazing and i’m lucky to have you.

It was one of those race mornings when everything just came together.  Saw a hawk as we left the house (good luck sign), I got in a pre-race warmup and I claimed a starting spot near the front.  Because I knew it would help get out me fast like I needed to.

It was a fast flat course, an out and back.  I had my carefully created playlist of songs i’d been doing my speedwork to, and when we started,  I took off at full sprint.  Knowing I would just run as hard as I could for as long as I could and see what happened.

A PR happened!! Yes, i shattered my prior 5k record set in 2009.  I ran a 25:19.  WOW!  Proof that hardwork and speed training truly pay off.

For some reason, tho, and even tho it would have gotten me a top 3 the past two years prior…I was dismayed to find that it was only good enough for 6th pace.  Granted 6 is DANG good, but I kinda wondered is this how Shalane feels?  To have the run of your life and end up bested by a Kenyan? LOL  (shout out to the woman who did win my age group.  a 23 and change 5k?  You go girl!!)

And now that my race schedule for 2016 is in the books and i’ve run the cycle, its all DISNEY baby!

Sunday I got in an 18 mile run – at a 10:02 average pace.  Seriously?  Guess the speedwork also helped my long run paces.  🙂   In the next 35 days i’ve got a couple shorter long runs (12’s) and two 20’s.  In fact, the week before Christmas will be true Goofy training – a 10 and a 20 on back to back days.

Hope everyone else’s training is going as well as mine seems to be.  🙂  Pixie dust everywhere!!

So…in honor of the 5 week mark, here’s a top 5 list.  My five favorite things to do at Animal Kingdom.  (hence the tree of life as this week’s photo!) I know some people aren’t that into Animal Kingdom.  But i’ve been a fan since before it was born.  I have a mug I bought when I worked at the Disney Store heralding its arrival.  That mug still makes me smile.  I am just a sucker for critters.

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris – because…animals!  Giraffes and alligators and zebras and lions. And lions.  🙂  You never know what you’ll see – every tour is different.
  • Expedition Everest – my absolute favorite roller coaster at Disney.  I could ride this all day.  Its fun and scary and exhilarating.   I mean, if it wasn’t so good, would half the marathoners stop to ride it as they came through the park during the race?  (side note – i haven’t, i’m always through before the ride opens)
  • Dinosaur – Not sure if its the familiar faces (Mrs Cosby, the guy from CSI) or the amazing animatronics, but this ride is SO awesome.  One of those you spend hunching and weaving to escape things that really look like they might get you.
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek – TIGERS.  Enough said.
  • Terra Treats – a gluten free oasis.  Cupcakes, beer, and other safe stuff?  Warms my little celiac heart

I’m sure you all have your favorites too!

Hope everyone has a great week – and happy training!!