Posts Tagged With: weekend

Disney Marathon Weekend – Complete Guide from Expo to All Races (incl. Kids’ & Dopey)

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.

The 6 Dopey Challenge Medals.

1. The Expo!

Yup, that's an 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.

To read my full in depth Expo recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

2. The Kids’ Races

Medals for everyone!

Medals for everyone!

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.

To read my full in depth Kids’ Races recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

3. The 5k (or Day 1 of the Dopey Challenge)!

All smiles at the finish photo line!

All smiles at the finish photo line!

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.

To read my full in depth 5k recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

4. The 10k (or Day 2 of Dopey)!

Don't really need gloves in Florida heat, but ya know...

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!

To read my full in depth 10k recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

5. The Half Marathon (or Day 3 of Dopey & Day 1 of The Goofy Challenge)

Yes, I wore a child's Snow White apron.

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.

To read my full in depth Half Marathon recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

6. The Marathon (or Day 4 of Dopey & Day 2 of Goofy)

Medals 6/6 (includes Dopey & Goofy bonus medals)

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.

To read my full in depth Marathon recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

7. Disney Meet-Ups!

We had to refill our carb levels somehow.

We had to refill our carb levels somehow.

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.

To see my in-depth Meet-Up recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

8. After the Races – Time to Celebrate!

At Magic Kingdom with our medals.

At Magic Kingdom with our medals.

Of course, Orlando is a huge tourist destination. There’s tons to do and see there. Disney World has so much to offer. But so do others, such as Universal. So many rides, foods, drinks, good times.

To see my in depth recap of how we celebrated CLICK HERE NOW!

9. Finally, Be Thankful!

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.

To read my in depth thankful recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

Rumors confirmed - I am dopey.

Rumors confirmed – I am dopey.

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?

-Scott

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Categories: disney, fitfluetial, marathon, Race Recaps, run, Running, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Disney Marathon Recap – Dopey Challenge Day 4

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.

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.

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!

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?

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.

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

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.

Peace homey.

Peace homey.

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.  Or so they claim... :)

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!

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.

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.

Still in the park.

Feelin the love.

Feelin the love.

In Magic Kingdom!

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.

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.

(photo missing)

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!

Hello.

Feelin fine.

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.

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.

B.O. check.

B.O. check.

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.

hi

Unidentified location.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Keeping a brave face.

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!

Still going...

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?

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.

Goodbye Hollywood.

Goodbye Hollywood.

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.

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.

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.

The big spiky golf ball means we’re in Epcot.

Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

That guy quacks me up.

His hands were downy soft.

His hands were downy soft.

And finished with a defiant fist pump!

I will punch you air!

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!

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.

We did it!

We did it!

Overall Place: 2249/19,225.  Division Place: 344/1602.

Can I stop running now?

Can I stop running now?

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.

Pace getting gradually faster…

...and then the wheels fell off.

…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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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?

 

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10k Recap – Disney Dopey Challenge Day 2

Day 2 of the inaugural Dopey Challenge was the inaugural Minnie Mouse 10k.  Day 1 was the 5k 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

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.

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.

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.

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. Talented.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 wide shot.

Heel click close up.

Heel click close up.

The Minnie medal was pretty cool too. I do love getting new hardware!  Bling Bling Race Bling!

Yup yup.

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?

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5k Recap – Disney Dopey Challenge Day 1

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

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!

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!

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Knuther Knee Update

Thanks again to everyone!  Today I feel much much better.  Here’s what I think went down – I hadn’t missed a workout, not a single one, in over 3 months.  Road runs, yoga, trail runs, track workouts, weight sessions, etc. etc. etc., it’s been a never ending parade of physical phitness.  So last week when my knee decided it wasn’t going to let me run or workout, I think it was just telling me to take a few days off.  So that’s what I’m doing.

It hurt noticeably for a couple days, and when that scared me enough to decide to cool it through the weekend, it suddenly started feeling better.  As if my knee was saying, “Thanks for getting the message, bro.”

As those of you who complain about taper madness know, I’m kind of going through the same thing.  But I’m using the time to catch up on housework, etc.  Hopefully next week my body will have gotten the recovery it needed and I can get back at it.  We shall see.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.  Tell me something good.

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Dopey Training Schedule

So Dopey Challenge (5k, 10k, 13.1, 26.2 in 4 days at Disney World) training doesn’t officially begin in Hal Higdon’s program until Sept, but week one the long run is 13 miles, so obviously we need to be able to run that far by that day.  Doy!  I’ve been smartly and surely raising my mileage.  Last week I ran 11 on Saturday and another 4 on the trails on Sunday.  I’ve been doing 400’s each Tues at the track.  Running on my own on Wed. And of course social running on Thursdays.

This week's group pre-run. We looked different after running in 100+ degree temps.

This week’s group pre-run. We looked different after running in 100+ degree temps.

Of course, I’ve been lifting weights several times a week and I try to NEVER miss my weekly yoga practice.  But anyways, since we’re about a month out, I took Hal’s plan and took his pattern and backtracked it thru today.  It at least gives me a structured plan to follow.  I had been just waking up and randomly running a random distance.  Only problem is that back tracking his plan had some pretty low mileage for some of the runs, but I figure since I’ve already been running further, I can continue to do so without messing anything up really.

The only other adaptations I want to make are adding Yasso 800’s and some Hill Repeats.  It looks like Wednsdays are the days for speed work, so that’s where I’m looking to add them.  Any suggestions for this?  Anyway, here’s the basic plan:

Doesn't seem so bad on paper...right?

Doesn’t seem so bad on paper…right?

BTW, you can click on the image to enlarge it.  Anywhoodle, that’s all I got.  Here we go!

 

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

In Training: The Run Disney Dopey Challenge

So I did something that might be a little suspect.  It went down a couple months ago I was in North Crackalaka to run The Flying Pirate Half Marathon.  I was at the apt. of my good friend Christie, or Xty as I call her.  She has a gluten allergy and can’t drink beer, so wine it is!  After a couple glasses I get a text from my sis in Florida.  She was getting ready to join us in NC for the race, but had just done something a little suspect.  She had registered for the Dopey Challenge at Disney World.  The Dopey is a brand spankin’ new event.  It takes place during Disney’s Marathon Weekend.  It’s four straight days of racing with each day increasing the distance.  Thurs=5k Fri=10k Sat=1/2 marathon Sun=Full marathon.  She registered because she lives there, wants the challenge, and wants the bling (you get 6 crazy medals for completing the challenge).  Also, after a day and a half of being on sale, the Dopey was already 99% full.  Drats!  I had to make a choice to join her or not then and there.  It was about to sell out, but I wanted time to ponder.  No time to ponder.  Another glass of wine.  Registered!

Let's get doped up.

Let’s get doped up.

Registered.  Now time to train.  But how does one train for this?  I’ve asked several people but they usually tell me I’m on my own with that one.  Some say I should treat it like an Ultra.  The official training guru for Disney is Jeff Galloway, and he does have a plan on their web page.  I will reference it in my training, but I know his method is the run/walk one.  I want to attempt to run each race, to me that’s part of the challenge.

One thing I do know is that our bodies won’t get much recovery time between races.  So what I’ve been doing is trying to make my body sore/tired all the time to get used to it.  I’ve been basically doing two-a-days of running and weights or yoga, back to back long runs, etc.  Last week I was so drained that it was a struggle just to walk the dogs around the block, and when I got on the floor to do my foam rolling, I promptly fell asleep. On the floor.  On my foam roller.

But it’s all good.  I think my body is getting used to the constant (as can be) motion.  Already lost some extra lbs.  Adjusting my diet too to keep up with the extra energy I need.  And I think the lactic acid in my legs are getting flushed out faster so they can be ready to run again sooner.  But in reality, I haven’t started the actual training yet.  The race isn’t until January, which is good.  Gives me time to get ready.  So I’m trying to be smart about it and not do too much too quickly.  Avoiding injury is key!  But I’m wondering how my body is going to respond in a few months when I have to run 10+ miles one day, and then 20+ miles the next.

As far as training programs go, I already mentioned Galloway, which I will reference once in a while.  I’m also looking at Hal Higdon.  I think he advocates back to back medium/long runs.  So that could be useful.  I’ve also looked into the Hanson marathon method.  They never have you run more than 16 miles, but you are running almost every day and going pretty good distances each time.  Something to consider.  I will look at all of it and try to figure out a plan of attack.

I know I’m probably just telling myself what I want to hear, but I’m thinking it won’t be so bad.  I’ve been running these distances for about 5 years now.  And this past year was the first time it all felt like it was starting to click.  I’ve been injury free (mostly) for that time and I keep getting faster.  I recently read that they tell elites coming out of college that it will take them about 3 years before it clicks for them, and it makes sense.  You’d think running is just running, but it’s not. It’s a lifestyle.  You’ve got to learn to put it all together – the diet, sleep, cross training, etc. etc.  It can take a while to get it.  I still have more to learn, but I hope I’m getting it.

Good news is the 5k is not timed.  My goal will be to get a PW (personal worst).  The other races are timed, but I’m hoping to be smart about it.  I do NOT want to PR in the 10k or half marathon.  I want to keep as much in the tank as possible for the full.  It will hurt the ego and competitive spirit to run slow in a race, but it is necessary.  And I know it’s dumb, but I’m secretly hoping I can still PR in the full.  Like I said, I know that may be a dumb wish.  It would be pretty cool to PR though after three straight days of racing.  We’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, I’ve resisted in the past using this blog as a place to post my routine workouts, but I might start doing more of that now.  Hopefully some of you others doing the Dopey can get some use out of my training posts.  And maybe some of you can offer me some advice from your own perspectives.  Runners helping runners.  There you go.

So it starts here.  I’ll recap my week.  Saturday, 7 miles then 1 hr yoga.  Sun, 7 miles.  Mon, weights.  Tues, 4 miles. Wed, weights then 5 mile track workout.  Thursday (today), weights then running around 4 miles.

Like I said, it’s Thursday.  That means evening social run.  This week we’re running from one of my fav local pubs (they always have good quality beers and it helps that I know the owners) – Rugby House.  Last week we ran from the Katy Trail Icehouse Outpost in Plano.  GREAT patio!  It’s close to 100 degrees outside in North Texas right about now, but on the patio you wouldn’t know it.  Blanked with tree shade, chilled with cold brews, and fanned by misty fans.  Though on my track workout yesterday, I definitely did know it was close to triple digits….HAWT!

That’s enough for now.  I’ll leave you with a pic from our social run last week.  Join us sometime why don’t you?

We run.  We socialize.  It's cool.

We run. We socialize. It’s cool.

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

runDisney Kids Races (Part 1) #WDWMarathon

So as part of the Disney Marathon Weekend, they also had something for the kiddos.  And why wouldn’t they?  It’s Disney after all!  It’s also a small world after all (Now try getting that song out of your head!).

They had a few options depending on their age, and for our toddler Griffin, he was in the 100 yard dash.  I think we could’ve signed him up for the mile, but stuck with the shorter distance this time (he has done a 1 mile fun run before).  He ran the same race last year too, so we knew a little better what to expect…and it went well!

I can't believe he has better form than I do.  He also has better race photos.

I can’t believe he has better form than I do. He also has better race photos.

The race takes place at their Wide World of Sports complex on their really nice track.  And being Disney, they go all out with a DJ spinnin tunage, a couple hosts/commentators, t-shirts, finishers medals, food and drink, personalized bibs, and even Mickey himself!  You can’t beat the price either – $10 entry fee!!!

Photo op with the mouse.

Photo op with the mouse.

You even get to get their goody bags at the race expo.  I think the kids really liked the race and the whole experience made them feel like real runners (which they are!).

And they're off!  Most of them anyway.

And they’re off! Most of them anyway.

Griffin actually warmed up for about 20 minutes before the race.  He also wanted “energy” in the form of my mom’s Power Bar Gel Blasts.  Speaking of energy, Griffin told me before the race that he would leave some of his on the track for me to use during my marathon.  I remembered that around mile 18 when we ran on the exact same track!  Definitely helped me to keep moving.  He was sure to remind me before the race to pick up some of the energy he left, and I did!

He's leading the pack!  I'm taking a shaky movie of it.

He’s leading the pack! I’m taking a shaky movie of it.

All the warming up and “energy” must’ve worked because Griffin won his race!  To be fair, he was only in one of three heats on our day and there were three days of kids races.  But still, he crushed it!  Nobody else was even close to him at the finish.

Breaking away from the pack. Note how I'm not even in the picture anymore.

Breaking away from the pack. Note how I’m not even in the picture anymore.

I don't think his feet ever touched the track.

I don’t think his feet ever touched the track.

Crossing the finish line, still floating.

Crossing the finish line, still floating.

My only instructions to him before the race were to run right down the middle of his lane and don’t stop till he gets to Mickey, who was at the finish line.  He did and did.  He was pleased with himself that he “beat all the other kids”.  But we had to have a good sport talk after we passed a girl who was crying cause she didn’t win and Grif told her, “I did.”
Hard to blame him though, he did really well and earned his second race medal!

Showing off his medal.  He's as serious around a camera as his pops is.

Showing off his medal. He’s as serious around a camera as his pops is.

Funny thing is that after the race, he just kept running.  I didn’t want to chase him as I was conserving “energy” for my marathon, but at one point he had run almost a mile away from us.  I finally caught up to him and asked why he kept running.  He responded that he’s, “getting ready for my next race.”  Haha, good for him!

In part 2 of my review of the runDisney Kids Races, I’ll post the videos – wait until you see them!!!  They’re amazing, trust me!  So stay tuned!

In the meantime, I need to study Griffin’s photos to learn myself how to have better running form!  Peace out Internet!

Categories: Race Recaps | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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