It’s been a pretty good week of runs/workouts. I’ve been adjusting to the warmer weather and the non-stop wall of wind. I also started up with hill repeats again – which means track work is soon to follow…So, good times?
Ha, in other good times, I was able to join TNSR for a run too. Only problem was the SWARMING TARANTULA ATTACK!
Our runs are so dangerous!
OK, maybe “attack” is an exaggeration. There was just one fuzzy little guy on the trail.
He’s not so bad.
I actually see those suckers fairly frequently on my runs. They won’t bother you, and they eat a lot of bugs and things that I don’t like, so we’re cool. All you have to do is hop over them and continue on your way!
After all, there’s a margarita at the finish…
Even the margarita has bunny ears this close to Easter.
Now for the marathon news!!! I’m very excited for this! VERY! This will be my 5th full marathon. Every other one I’ve done was at Disney World. And while they’re a ton of fun, man, that humidity just takes it out of you.
After the Disney 6 Dopey Challenge last year.
I’ve also made some training mistakes in preparing for those marathons. That’s ok, you learn and move on. And now I hope to take that knowledge (and hopefully lower humidity) and finally have a good showing in a 26.2 mile race.
My shoes and socks after my very first marathon. Told you I made some mistakes. Try not to barf.
But which marathon is it? Well, you’ll have to wait a few days to hear that news (I need to prepare a few things first). Sorry to be a tease. 😉
I will give you a few hints: It’s in the USA. It’s in the Fall. I may or may not celebrate afterwards with a billy goat.
Can you guess which marathon I’m going to run? What’s something you’ve learned from running? Ever jump over a tarantula?
PS – COME BACK IN A FEW DAYS TO HEAR ALL ABOUT MY NEW MARATHON!!!
This weekend is the Disney Marathon Weekend. I have run the 26.2 magical miles x’s 4. And last year I ran the inaugural Dopey Challenge – 4 straight days, 4 straight races – Thurs 5k, Fri 10k, Sat 13.1, Sun 26.2. For all those running any of the events this weekend, or thinking about running in the future, here’s my official guide.
BE SURE TO CLICK ON THE RECAP LINKS BELOW FOR TONS OF PICS/VIDS/INSIGHT!!!!
The 6 Dopey Challenge Medals.
1. The Expo!
Yup, that’s an expo.
The Expo is Huuuuuuge. It’s takes over three buildings at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. You pick up your race packets, you get to see famous expert speakers, and you shop. You can shop for miles. It can be pretty overwhelming, but luckily there is a bar on hand where you can relax with a cold one, if you so desire.
Our boy has run the Kids’ Race x’s 3. The races also take place at the ESPN sports complex. Distances depend on age and desire, from the 100 to a mile. And yes, parents can run with their kids. And yes, it can be pretty chaotic. The start times, corrals, etc. can AND DO change at the drop of a hat. My advice: Be early, be ready, be flexible. They are a lot of fun though, and it’s great to get kids involved in the marathon weekend.
The 5k takes place on Thursday at the parking lot of Epcot. The race itself basically takes you in and around the theme park. It’s actually kind of neat to be in the park before it’s open. They still have characters you can take pictures with, and tons of volunteers to cheer for you. And just like that, it’s over. A quick 3.1 miles through Epcot.
Don’t really need gloves in Florida heat, but ya know…
2014 was the also the inaugural 10k. I gotta say, this was probably the least exciting of all the races. Again, you start/end at Epcot, but the first 3 miles you are on the dark roads outside the park. There’s a little entertainment, but mostly it’s silent. The second 3 miles you do run through a resort before entering Epcot to the finish – that part is fun!
5. The Half Marathon (or Day 3 of Dopey & Day 1 of The Goofy Challenge)
Yes, I wore a child’s Snow White apron.
The half marathon again starts/ends at Epcot. The difference is here that you do an out and back from the park to Magic Kingdom and back. The highlight is running through Magic Kingdom (and thru Cinderella’s Castle), but in between the two parks, again you’re just running on roads. Of course, they do have people cheering, characters, entertainment, and there’s more to see (resorts, etc.). And this race can be a lot of fun.
6. The Marathon (or Day 4 of Dopey & Day 2 of Goofy)
Medals 6/6 (includes Dopey & Goofy bonus medals)
The marathon is the shining jewel of the whole weekend. The granddaddy. The big kahuna. And it’s my favorite as well. Over the course of 26.2 miles, you go through all the theme parks (Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios) as well as through several resorts and also a lap on the race car track and a jaunt through the ESPN sports complex (incl. a lap on the track & baseball stadium). There is excellent support along the course & tons of entertainment. This is Disney at it’s best. They pull out all the bells & whistles. Really a magical marathon.
Of course, Disney is a big draw. Not only for tourists, but for runners as well. I’m really happy that at the Disney races I’ve run, I’ve been able to meet-up with so many long lost (and new) friends. At the Dopey Challenge, I couldn’t believe how many old friends, fellow bloggers, etc. that I had the fortune to meet up with.
Anyone who runs, knows it takes a lot of support. Months and months of early morning miles can’t happen without the support of family, friends, social media pals, etc. This was not lost on me when I was Dopey last year. And so I made sure to thank everyone – from fellow runners to fellow bloggers to the fams.
So to all you who are running in any or all of the races this Disney Marathon Weekend, I wish you the bestest of luck! Whether you’re running or not, or just thinking about running this event in the future – hit me up with any questions you have! I’ll try to help! Soooooo……
Today’s Question: What Disney Marathon Weekend questions do you have for me?
Welp, we’ve dun it. Anuther trip around the sun. Looking back, 2014 was a pretty decent year. Let’s take a peek at a few hightlights, shall we?
It kicked off with a BANG! In January I ran the Disney World Dopey & Goofy Challenge. That’s 4 straight days, 4 straight races.
The 6 Dopey Challenge Medals.
Day 1 – Thursday – 5k (3.1 miles)
Medal 1/6 gotten!
Day 2 – Friday – 10k (6.2 miles)
Medal 2/6 got.
Day 3 – Saturday – Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
Medals 3/6 got.
Day 4 – Sunday – Full Marathon (26.2 miles)
Medals 6/6 (includes Dopey & Goofy bonus medals)
All in all, it was a magical 48.6 miles.
Running at Epcot, waving to my fans.
Included in the weekend was the Kids’ Race, where the soon to be 5 year old rocked it!
Medals for everyone!
Oh, and did I mention my sis and ma also did the Dopey?
At Magic Kingdom with our medals.
Shortly afterwards though, I was going for a run, tripped, felled, and Nancy Kerriganed my own knee.
Put me out of commission for a little while.
I was able to eventually get active again by doing a lot of yoga in a retail store.
Cat, cow, what difference does it make?
I really think yoga is important for everyone – including runners. So I do a lot of it. And besides…
Another part of my cross training is lifting weights. And besides…
Dumbells make you smart…and sexy.
I also like to mix up my runs with track work. And besides…
Track work makes you sexy. Here’s the proof!
Trail runs are also great. And besides…
Eventually my knee felt better and I got back on the roads with some of my fave people. Like Thursday Night Social Runners.
And also my crazy early morning elfen crew.
They like to run at like 5am. They cray cray.
I also made a few Luke’s Locker social trail runs.
Run trails, eat pancakes. Repeat.
And the White Rock Running Co-op, who really helped me to become a better runner this year.
WRRC. Good runners.
To help fuel my workouts, I ate lots of tacos. Lots.
In between training, I also got to see some of my fave bands…like at this FREE concert – The Killers!
About 30 rows deep, my mouth a gasp with excitement.
And the Old 97’s.
Seen this band countless times.
And I was super thrilled to see the traveling Broadway show, based on the movie – Once!
And I got to make my annual Jimmy Buffett concert experience…TWICE!
JB concert #1. Just call me Front Row Joe.
JB concert #2. Things get wild at the tailgate parties…trust me!
I also got to hangout on stage during a Graceland Ninjaz concert.
On stage open mouth selfie.
As well as Pentatonix.
I liked to imagine they were all cheering for me (they may have been).
They were amongst the Celebs that got to hang out with me this year.
They asked me to join the group based on some of my youtube karaoke videos.
And my model friend Brooke Becker.
And long time friend, fashion blogger, and TV host, Hilary Kennedy.
We had to wear our shades because of the flashes from the paparazzi.
And all around media star, and long long time friend, Ashley Kamrath.
At the Emmy’s. We didn’t win this year, but we’ll get again next year!
And I made another video with friend & TV host, Emily Reppert.
On the set with my actor friends.
And I made a new BFF when I interviewed Olympic gold medalist, Jennie Finch.
See, told ya we were new BFF’s.
And my Dallas Half Marathon Champion friend, Logan Sherman.
Logan, Me, Patrick. Mustachioed.
And model/actor buddy, Shane Land.
We have played brothers in two movies. Can you see the resemblance?
And a Dallas Cowboy – Charles Haley.
A couple of legends.
Anyways, back to running. I ran a bunch of races. Starting with Abby’s Run 5k, where I won my age group!
Yay! I got a photo with Abby (who the race is named for) and her mom. Ann photobombed us.
Then came the Rock the Block 10k. New PR – 46:00!
And we’re off! -Photo from Dallasnews.com
During the months of Texas heat, it was really hot, so I only ran a few unofficial races. Like the Boston Marathon virtual run.
And the America, F**k Yeah 4th of July 10k.
And the TNSR Beer Mile.
This was a bad idea.
Then came the Fall. Autumn is always a time of change. For us, a big change was the boy starting kindergarten. Where does the time go???
He’s grown about 5 times his size. Based on that growth rate, I figure he’ll be about 80 feet tall by his 20’s.
I even volunteered to coach his soccer team. That was a lot of fun!
Landsharks on three!
And the little girl just keeps growing too!
Stop looking at me swan.
Fall also saw a lot of PR changes. Starting with the Oktoberfest 5k – 21:33. When you PR, you have to celebrate…
They love me.
Next up was the Dallas Mavericks 5k. Another PR!
The Mavs Dancers asked to have their photo taken with me. I obliged.
Speaking of which, my brother ran his first half marathon this fall! And my dad is running his first half in January 2015!
Dad, Bro, Me at an FC Dallas game this fall.
The next PR to fall was at the Dallas 13.1 – 1:42:59!
Bottle opener medal.
Next was the annual Halloween fun run.
Our costumed group.
One sad change was that we lost our oldest doggy this fall. She was such a great pup.
sweet Bailey girl
But in happier times, I set another PR at the North Texas Turkey Trot 5k 20:04. Bummer was the course being .1 miles short.
Stop looking at me turkey.
Next up was the Rudolph Run 5k. And yet another PR – officially 21:29, but my watch had the course being long. According to it I came across at 20:50-something. Either way, I got 2nd in my age group!
Last year’s race was cancelled due to ice. So I got two medals!
The final race of 2014 was the Dallas Half marathon. No PR this day, but still got my 2nd fastest half – 1:45:01.
Big state, little medal.
And as part of the Dallas Marathon festivities, I got to meet MEB!!!!!!
Me n Meb
The end of the year was spent with friends and family for the holidays.
Looking back, it was a pretty good year. Lots of tacos, shows, good times, and running. In fact, I went over 1,200 miles on my feet. I even surpassed 5,000 miles total with my Nike+ watch – starting when I got it a few years ago.
5 g’s over the past few years.
Here’s hoping 2015 will be even better! Happy New Year, y’all!
Today’s only question: What’s your top 2014 highlight?
So I had a pretty good October, running wise. I ended up going the most miles in a month since when I was training for this past year’s Disney Dopey Challenge.
My last run of the month was with friends. Here’s what we looked like after…
Post run #groupie
I ended up running about 145 miles. Not bad, especially considering that I’m not training for any particular race.
I know it says 142, but I did get in some miles that weren’t recorded by my watch.
Buuut, when it came to the last day of Runtober, I didn’t run. Why not? Because my knee felt weird, fool!
I’m convinced that it was my body telling me to get some rest. I didn’t take one day off…even after setting a nearly 5 minute PR in a half marathon in October. Mistake. And so my body was telling me to take a break.
I ended up taking three days off. And since then it feels much better. And I’ve jumped back into running 6 days a week.
My body did the same thing to me back in the winter. After the Dopey Challenge, I didn’t take enough time to let my body recover. And when I was out on a run, I tripped and Nancy Kerriganed my own knee. Forcing me to take a month off.
The view back in early 2014…Gettin my swol on.
What’s the lesson? Don’t be a fool…listen to your body, fool! When it says rest, rest. When it says go, go. When it says go-go dance, go-go dance.
She’s got moves like grocery bagger.
And now for something completely different…
Here in Dallas, the city is gearing up for the football Cowboys playing their game in London, UK this weekend. And the talk radio station I listen too has been broadcasting live from Jolly Ole’ England. They are going on and on about all the cool experiences they are having. I’ve been to London a few times, but it’s been several years. And all this talk is really making me miss it.
Ahh well, the best I can do now is find a British Pub and watch English Premiere League on the telly. Might have to do that this weekend.
How bout you? Have a good Runtober? Are you a body whisperer or a fool? Ever been to London town?
This should be the last Dopey Challenge post (unless I come up with something else later). If you missed any of my other Dopey Recaps, you can see them here: Expo, Kids Race, 5k, 10k, 13.1, 26.2, Post Run, & Meet-Ups.
Much like my first marathon (Disney 2008), my sister is the one who urged me to register for this challenge. So first shout outs go to her.
2008 – First marathon experience was painful.
Not only for that, but also running with me (and finishing herself), driving us around, letting us stay at her place, and getting us into the theme parks. Here’s a tip for anyone wanting to run a Disney race – try to get a sibling that works there, it has its benefits, ha!
Us runnin through Cinderella’s Castle.
Another shout out goes to her roommate. She had to put up with a few things, like us crowding up their place. But more importantly she put up with a few days of watching Disney Jr non-stop on the TV as her and her beau watched the boy when we were up early for the races. She also was able to bring him to the final race in time for us to cross the finish line. Then she took him into Epcot while we went to meet our ma when she finished.
Glad they were able to make some roomie.
Speaking of which, more shout outs to the mom for not only paying for a couple meals and groceries, but also some theme park photos. She also gets props for finishing the Dopey herself. I’ve had many comments from people on how impressed they are with that last fact. She had never run a full marathon before, and was able to do that after three days of consecutive races. Not only that, but she finished it faster and stronger than a lot of people who didn’t run the previous three days.
Her arms were being ripped out of their sockets.
Also, I need to shout out to all the bloggers who supported me through all the training and races. The amount of positive messages you sent was unbelievable! I don’t want to leave anyone out, so I won’t mention specific people, but know that I appreciate it!
That also goes for all my friends and family who supported me either with words, messages, or even running with me! Like my “coach” Rexy and the fine folks at Thursday Night Social Run and Project Run 214. As well as my yoga instructor and chiropractor who helped keep me injury free during all those training miles.
My constant companion, the training sched.
Finally, I have to thank the immediate family for putting up with my months of training. I tried to do it without inconveniencing anyone – like running in the wee hours before they were awake – but I know there were a few times when I did. So thanks for TCB and allowing me to put in the hours!
So now it’s time to move on to new challenges. I look forward to continued support as well as supporting everyone else as they take on their endeavors! Let’s do this!
What challenges are you looking forward to? What kind of support do you get?
This is it. The last race of four on consecutive days. If you missed my recaps of the earlier races, you can see them here: 5k then 10k then 13.1 half marathon.
Now we have the 26.2 full marathon to complete the Goofy and Dopey Challenges. I had stuck to my plan of running personal worsts (PW) for the first three races. Now I wanted to go for it in the final race.
Ready to go 26.2 rounds with Mr. Mile.
My “A” goal was to break 4 hours (9:10 per mile). Considering my pace at shorter distances, I should be able to shatter 4 hours, but I have yet to do it. My “B” goal was to PR (PB). I would accomplish one of the two goals.
Traditional pre-race family photo.
We got a gift this day from the Weather Channel gods. The temps went from hot and humid the day before at the half, to chilly (and a little humid) for the full!!! It was in the 50’s (American) at the start!
With Sis on way to the corral!
Even thought it was chilly, I knew my body temp would warm up once we started running, so I wore light clothes – including a new Ohio University tech tee that the wife got me for Christmas!
Ain’t I purdy?
I also carried the GoPro camera with me. Looking back, it probably was a bad decision considering I was going for a PR. It definitely took energy and brain power (I don’t have much to spare) to use it throughout the course. But I decided to take it anyway, and I don’t really regret that. We did pass some cool attractions along the way.
Mid race selfie vision.
The edited down video is a bit blair-witchy, but I think it shows the race experience. It’s funny to watch how I go from cracking jokes and getting somewhat stable shots, to gradually having zero sense of humor nor the energy to hold my arm out straight! Haha!
The night before the full I spoke via phone with my “coach” – My good friend (and awesome endurance athlete) Rexy. We actually have history of sports at Disney World. In college, we were cheerleaders and competed in the National Championships there my senior year.
Rexy is 3rd from left in front. I’m 2nd from right in back.
Anyway, she gave me a pep talk and helped work out the race strategy. She said to stick to exactly 4 hr pace for the first half. Then evaluate how I felt and pick up the pace if I could for the next 7 miles. Then let it all hang out the last 6.2. She told me to leave it on the course, and that if I crash, it’s better to do so the last few miles knowing that at least I tried.
Again, we had a 2am wake up call. And the race started at 5:30am. The course began and ended at Epcot. It immediately went from there to the Magic Kingdom.
26.2 magical miles. Click to enlarge.
The first few miles were a bit crowded. I wasn’t able to go my normal pace, and I had to do some weaving. By the time we got to Magic Kingdom, I knew from the clock that I was going too slow. But I also knew I had time to correct that. 5 Mile in 47:39 – 9:32 per mile.
Runnin Down Main St, USA!
We got into the park – which is the highlight for me. It’s still dark out, and the whole park is lit up. Main St. is lined with tons of cheering spectators. And Cinderella’s Castle is all lit up! We get to run right through the castle, which is neat. The MarathonFoto folks had some pictures of me at the castle, but they lost them. I had even stopped for the official Castle photo – like I took with my sis during the Half the day before…
They did NOT light up the castle for the half. I wish I had the pretty lit up one to share with y’all.
…But they lost that one too. Bummer. If they find them later, I will share. They did have these though…
Still in the park.
Feelin the love.
Feelin a little fuzzy in Magic Kingdom!
After we left the Magic Kingdom, we then headed past the Polynesian Resort and the golf course. There was a glow in the East and I knew the sun would be rising soon. The weather was still cool, and I felt GREAT! I was actually smiling and having a really good time. My pace was steadily fastening.
Suns comin up. Right on my forehead.
Then we headed into the Speedway – their race car track. We did the mile lap, and there were a ton of classic cars out. A childhood fave – Herbie the Love Bug – was there, but for some reason the characters from the movie Cars weren’t out this year. Where’s Lightning McQueen???
I think running on this race track is a pretty unique experience though – how many people get to do that? Again tho, the MarathonFoto folks couldn’t find my photos from that locale. Sorry dude.
Then it was on toward Animal Kingdom. Still feeling great. Still picking up steam. 10 Mile in 1:32:49 – 9:17 per mile.
*Side note. My sis works at AK, so I happen to know a few other of the zoo keepers there. I was glad to see some of them at the entrance to the park. They were there to cheer for us, very cool!
AK also had some animals and characters out. And some marathoners would stop to ride the roller coaster, but I didn’t have time for that.
I’m ahead of the guy that thought he could fly.
Once we left the park, we reached the halfway point. I was almost EXACTLY at 4 hour pace. Right at 2:00:06 for 13.1 miles – 9:10 per mile. I had made up the time I lost due to the slow start.
Now was time to reevaluate. I still felt good, so kept picking up the pace. We were on the way to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. There we got to run through the sports fields, along with a lap on the track where we had been before for the Kids Race.
The highlight here is getting to run a lap on the baseball field. This is where the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball do their spring training. It’s a really cool experience, especially with people in the stands cheering! It was in WWOS that I had my fastest mile, but that would soon change.
I already got to first base, now I’m going for home.
Looking back, I think all the energy I spent trying to make up the time took it’s toll. I started to feel it around this point. But at mile 20, I was still on pace to break 4 hours. 3:02:30 – 9:07 per mile.
An angel in the outfield.
From there we headed toward Hollywood Studios. Getting closer to home, but like they say, the real marathon starts at mile 20. I was really feeling it and took short walk breaks at the drink stations to grab a little powerade (and one port-a-potty stop to get rid of the old powerade).
The tower of terror ain’t got nothin on my towering form.
But then I felt doing that worked and I got a second wind! Awesome!!! But then at mile 21 I think I made a bad choice. Instead of continuing on with my new energy, I decided to stick to my recent pattern and grab a quick drink at the drink station. After that brief walk, I never recovered. I should’ve just kept running past it.
Putting on a brave face.
Also at this point, I think the cumulative miles from the previous 3 races started to kick in. My legs started to cramp. Every step I could feel my quads tense, and when I pulled over to try and stretch them, my hammies cramped into a giant ball. OUCH!
You lookin at me?
My pace slowed considerably as I tried to deal with the cramping. Kept running, but had to take a few walk breaks. Mostly at drink stations, but also on a hill or two. Speaking of which….
…This is supposed to be a flat course. It is decidedly not! Sure, it’s not super hilly, but it does have it’s fair share of long steady inclines and declines. Mostly from the bridges and overpasses we had to traverse.
That’s a big wizard hat. Where’s the wizard sleeve?
Anyway, at this point I could see my “A” goal slipping away. It was frustrating, and I felt like I was letting people down who I knew were following along with the auto text/facebook/twitter updates runDisney was sending of my splits. I also felt like I was wasting a great opportunity because of the weather and all the training I had put into it. But I couldn’t control the leg cramps. Maybe I wasn’t mentally tough enough to fight through it this time. Ahh, the stuff we think when we look back.
By now the sun was up and the parks were open, so there were lots of people there. I’m sure they were annoyed that they had to wait behind a rope for us to pass before they could get to the churro stand, but many of them still cheered, and I appreciated that. And I had made it through the Studios.
I almost wore the same outfit as that chick…that would’ve been embarrassing for her.
We then made our way to the Boardwalk Resort. I know that we’re close to finishing, as it borders Epcot. I was slowing even more, but still going.
Somewhere in Disney World.
Finally we enter Epcot. You’d think we’d be right at the finish, but get this – we still have 1.2 miles to go before getting to the parking lot finish. That’s how big those theme parks are!!!
The big spiky golf ball means we’re in Epcot.
Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament.
By now I knew my “A” goal was gone. And when I saw some characters with virtually line (queue), I decided to take the opportunity to stop for a photo – especially with DOPEY!!!!
I cannot explain the Dopey expression on my face, other than we were 47.6 miles into the Challenge.
Disney puts characters ALL along the course, but this is the first time I’ve ever stopped for a photo. Then I got a second one with one of my Asian wife’s fave movie characters – Mulan!
I want a funny pet dragon.
One of the highlights, right before you leave Epcot, hidden from the general public, is a gospel choir. When I ran past them, I turned to look at them and had one final big full body CRAMP! I stopped in my tracks and doubled over in pain. A race attendant asked if I needed the medics. I shook her off, sucked it up and ran toward the finish!
Waving to my fans.
About 100 meters to go and I see my boy! My sister’s roommate and her boyfriend graciously agreed to babysit him while we ran, and they made it just in time to the race to see me finish! That was the final boost I needed to finish strong!
Waving at the boy. Pretty cool pic!
Past the bleachers of cheering spectators, I ran to the finish, and high fived Donald Duck (why wouldn’t I?)…
That guy quacks me up.
His hands were downy soft.
And finished with a defiant fist pump!
I will punch you air, in your face’s mouth!
Yes, I was disappointed that I didn’t break 4 hours, but I still PR’d! I broke my previous personal best by 2+ minutes to finish at 4:07:47 – 9:28 per mile.
Yay for me!
They said there were somewhere between 25,000 – 30,000 people in the marathon. In the end, only around 19,000+ of them finished.
It’s too bad, I had a nice negative split going on until I bonked. But hey, at least I finished the challenge! Next time I run a Full Marathon however, I will NOT run 3 races in the days leading up to it!
Pace getting gradually faster…
…and then the wheels fell off.
After we crossed the line, I collected my Mickey medal for the full. Then on to the Goofy station to get that medal. Then finally to the Dopey station to get that medal.
Finally our blingy reward!
It’s funny, as soon as they put that medal on my neck, I felt real emotional. Instantaneously. I guess it finally kicked in all those months and months of training, all the early hours, all the miles and miles, all the preparation. But sadly, the Disney folks don’t let you stop and enjoy the moment. They.keep.you.moving. “You can’t stop here. You can’t stretch here. Keep walking. Keep moving.” If only I had the energy to tell them that I can’t walk right now. My legs are a ball of lactic buildup!
I’m screaming in triumph, or pain, either or.
Funny story after I collected the medals and walked past the medical tent, a medical person started screaming – the other medics all thought someone was really hurt, but it turns out she went to Ohio University too. You have no idea how many “Go Ohio!” and “Go ‘Cats” I got on the course. Such great support!
After a chat with her, I then retrieved my gear bag, which had the other medals ready for their photo op!
Finally, they are all got!
Later on after all our friends and family members finished, we wore our 6 medals into Epcot to cheer on the later finishers and to ride some rides and get some Guinness and grub. People commented that we sounded like robots with all the clinking that accompanied each step.
It really was kind of heavy. The weight we Dopes carry is indeed a heavy burden of joy.
So there it is: 48.6 miles done. It was a fun challenge, and I’m glad I did it. It’s always a treat to run through all the parks that we would visit as kids. And they do a good job of having characters and volunteers along the way to keep your spirits up! Also, I’m glad I followed my “coach’s” plan the best I could, and even though I crashed toward the end, at least I left it all on the course.
Rumors confirmed – I am dopey.
In the future I’m not sure if I’ll do it again. But I would like to do another full with this same training. I think if I put in the same mileage, but with only one race as the goal, then I can slap that timing clock around!
I will say this though, the thing I’m most proud of is that while I was doing the Dopey Challenge, and posting about it on Twitter and Instagram and such. That I had people message me that I had inspired them to get out and run themselves! That’s probably the best result of this whole thing!
Did I leave anything out? Any questions about the inaugural Dopey Challenge? You have any desire to do it? What’s up?
Day 2 of the inaugural Dopey Challenge was the inaugural Minnie Mouse 10k. Day 1 was the5k Family Fun Run. This race was warm and humid. And still early. Yet another 2 am wake up call for a 5:30 am start. It was also much more packed and energetic than the 5k. There were a lot more people this morning. A lot more buzz.
My best Mickey pose
For this race, I was again rockin’ an Ohio University shirt. My costume consisted of my over-sized Disney cartoon gloves, and my customized Mickey Mouse ears.
Sis, Mom, Me B4 da race.
To help keep the ears on, I wore the GoPro camera on my head with a head strap that held the hat in place. The only issue was that it was hard to tell if the camera was recording or not. The solution was to hold my hand in front of it to see if I saw the reflection of the red blinking light…or ask one of the volunteers if it was blinking.
Hitting record on the GoPro.
Same corral as the 5k —> A. The course once again started and ended in the Epcot parking lot. Truth be told, the first few miles were kind of boring. Actually, a lot boring. It immediately took us out on the roads that link the parks within Disney World. Dark. Quiet. Sure, there were a few attractions (characters, deejays, etc.) placed along this stretch, but not much.
The 10k is the RED line.
Plus, I got to see first hand the corral start separation that everyone was complaining about after day 1. I got to see it because the course started with about a mile out and back on the road. I kept watching the road on the way back looking for corral B. It never seemed to come. Not sure why they held them so long. There was plenty of room on the roads. As you can see from the highlights from my head mounted video camera:
Anyway, once the course finally got us into Epcot, it livened up. It also took us around the Boardwalk Resort. That was pretty cool too. It’s so weird being there so early in the morning, and I’m sure we woke up a few tourists staying in the hotels there, but it was eerily cool.
Running and waving and sweating. Talented.
The final stretch took us back through Epcot before finishing back at the parking lot near where we started.
Running and smiling.
Once again, I tried to take it easy. My last 10k I finished in 46:23. This one I came across in 1:04:28. Once again, I reached my goal of finishing with a personal worst (PW)!!! Mission “Take It Easy Races 1 Thru 3” successful so far!
I have weird running form.
Again, I ran the entire way, as I wanted to complete the Dopey Challenge by actually running all 4 races – no matter how slow I took the first few.
I really need to stop running like that.
Again, I was trying to relax, enjoy the run, and not exert myself too much. This was all in design to be able to have something in the tank for the 26.2 in just a couple days.
Moments before I pounced on Snow White.
At the finish, I decided to do something other than just run over it – so I did a little heel click hop!
Heel click wide shot.
Heel click close up.
The Minnie medal was pretty cool too. I do love getting new hardware! Bling Bling Race Bling!
Medal 2 of 6 got son!
And now we were done with 2/4 races. 9.3 miles down, 39.3 to go! The 39.3 is the Half and Full marathons back to back – they call that the Goofy Challenge. So all that’s left for me to get Dopey is to be Goofy.
Next up I’ll recap the Half Marathon. If you missed my recaps of the Expo and/or 5k, you can see them HERE and HERE respectively.
How bout you? How was your last 10k run or race? Ever run with a camera? Ever do anything special at a finish line?
Day 1 of 4 of the inaugural Dopey Challenge. This was the 5k Family Fun Run. It was chilly, but humid. I was there with my mom and sis. It was early. The 2 am alarm clock did not allow for much sleep – especially since I kept tossing and turning afraid we’d miss the alarm. I also couldn’t shut my mind off while struggling to figure out which outfit to wear for this race (a manly problem, I know).
Sis, mom, me. Before the race.
My goal for the first 3 races was to finish with a PW (personal worst). I wanted to save my legs for the finale of 26.2 miles in just a few days. To remind myself to take it easy, I had brought a few outfits to wear. You can’t take a race too seriously if you’re wearing something silly. I decided on an old Goofy hat that I own, along with giant Disney cartoon gloves. And of course, I had to represent my Ohio Bobcats!
The theme of the race was Pluto, but Goofy’s a dog too…isn’t he?
I also carried a GoPro video camera to capture some of the highlights. If you have a couple minutes, and don’t mind Blair Witch style cinematography, then you can watch the video here:
And while I wanted to get a PW, I still wanted to RUN all 4 races. I figured part of the Challenge is to actually run, and not walk. Save for a few photo ops. Not that I have anything against walk/runners, but for me personally, I wanted to complete what I took to be part of the challenge – running the races.
Yes, I started and finished the race before the sun came up.
The 5k started in the Epcot parking lot, and finished there too. Basically the course took us on a lap of the park.
The warm-up runs.
I was a tad disappointed with the lack of characters out. They’re were a few – but the line to get a pic with Dopey was insane!!! Luckily I got to meet up with him later on (stay tuned for that pic)!
Judging from the photos, I ran the whole race with my arms in the air…like I don’t have a care.
I was also a tad disappointed that they didn’t have all the Disney flair going on – Like lighting up the giant torches. This was done for a later race, however.
At the finish, next to a lady with a glorious lion mane of hair!
I was lucky to start in Corral A. From the peeps I talked to who were in the later corrals (through E), it took a long time before they got started. In fact, I talked to some who said people were finishing the race before they even started! Apparently the gap between corral starts were kind of lengthy.
Bird’s eye view of the finish. Hands still in the air.
In the end, I reached my goal of getting a PW by about 10 minutes – 35:26. Considering my last two 5k’s I finished right at 21:50, I’d say this result is a good job of taking it easy!!!
All smiles at the finish photo line!
Race 1 done, 3 more to come! 3.1 miles over, 45.5 to go! And a fun finisher’s medallion to boot!
Medal 1/6 gotten!
This race was over quick. Like I said, it was still dark out at the finish. And it was good to get the race jitters out of the way. It was weird to line up for a race that I wasn’t “racing”, but like I said – I had a plan and stuck to it!
So there you go, Dopey Challenge Race 1 Recap! Next up will be the race 2 recap – the inaugural Minnie Mouse 10k! If you missed my recap of the Expo, you can read it HERE.
How bout you? Ever ran a race that you didn’t “race”? What do you think of the Disney 5k? Holla at me!
Since the Dopey Challenge was four days of races, I figured I’d break up the recaps so I don’t bore you with one big huge one.
Anyway, the first day started with an early morning rise to get to the airport. I was traveling with my mom and my almost five year old.
On dee plane. He’s a good flier, or is it flyer?
We got in to Orlando where my sis picked us up and went straight to the Expo. Both of them were doing the Dopey too! Crazy cause my moms hadn’t ever run a full marathon before, but she wanted in on the action!
With my sis and mom and dwarf.
The Expo takes place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. That’s where they have all their soccer, baseball, and football fields, along with a track and some field houses.
The Expo was divided into three buildings. The first one is the main baseball stadium where we had to pick up the boy’s kid’s race packet. While we did, we took a chance to preview a portion of the marathon course that runs there on the Atlanta Braves baseball spring training field.
Diggin’ the dugout.
The other two Expo buildings housed all the usual stuff that you usually see at an expo.
Yup, that’s an expo.
I’m not big into expos, I prefer to get my stuff and get out of the crowds. But I did have to take a closer look at some of the bling we were shooting for!
My precious is so close.
I wish that was the end of the story, but it wasn’t. The big thing this year was the RunDisney New Balance designed running shoes. There were lines down the street, and people were buying them even if they didn’t have their size! Turns out a lot of them were turning around and selling them on Ebay for like $700. Crazy! That said, my mom and sis wanted some, so we went back to the Expo a few more times the next few days until they were able to get them.
They were all the rage.
It wasn’t all bad though, as they had a bar there for me to play at. And one booth had a Wii for the boy to play with. And I got to see some of the speakers. And my mom bought me some new running shades. And we got stickers for the cars – you know, the kind that say 48.6. Hayup.
Anyway, we got through the Expo, got some dinner, and went to the hotel to sleep (or at least try to) because the 2 am wake-up call was looming.
My Dopey Game Face.
So there you have it, the Disney Dopey Challenge Race Expo Recap (from my perspective).
How about you? If you were there, do you have any opinions on the Expo? Either way, how do you feel about Expos – Do you like all the crowds and merch? Or are you like me and want to get your race stuff and go because you prefer to buy things on your own terms?
I can’t believe the training is finally finished! I basically started back in the late spring. Then in the dead of summer the real training began. I followed the Hal Higdon plan as closely as I could. Except for a couple weeks when my knee was achy and so I had to swim instead of run. And a few days when we were under a coat of ice and I had to run on the treadmill instead of outdoors. I hope that means I’m ready!
Hundreds and hundreds of miles done! I added up the entire past year and I ran somewhere between 1050 – 1100. Pretty good!
But as I prepare to get Dopey, I realized I never did a race recap of last year’s Disney Marathon. Oops, my bad. To be honest, I didn’t have too much drive to write it because I didn’t have a great performance.
Me and my sis running this past year’s Disney Marathon. 4 miles and and doing OK.
While the race experience was wonderful, the weather was not. It was so fargin hot and humid, that it was a real struggle to keep moving. In fact, I didn’t even look at the race photos until last night…
Somewhere near mile 18, not doing OK. Check the Sweat! I was drenched!
I’ve bought my share of Disney race photos before, but I didn’t have any good ones this time around. Although this one gave me a chuckle…
I don’t know who that guy is, but it looks like we planned to wear green university shirts. His was a little generic. haha!
I eventually did finish, but my time was waaay off my goal. I was pretty bummed, and was mad at the weather, and even tweeted about it. But then a cool thing happened. Sean Astin – famous actor dude, lover of running, and sometimes Hobbit responded to my tweet.
Puts it in perspective.
Yes, it was hot, but we still had a great time. Can’t do anything about it, so just enjoy the experience.
Medals dang near big as yo head!
Anyway, I hope to get better actual race photos this year, in fact I already scouted out the photographers’ locations Here,Here & Here. Hahaha!
Next up is travel and Expo! So close! If you’re running at Disney this week, best of luck! If you see me, please say, “Hi.” You can recognize me because I look like the guy in the photos above.^^^^^^^^^^
To everyone else, what do you do to get a good race photo? How would you handle running in that heat? Tell me something good!