runDisney Marathon Weekend Registration 2016

Today is a big day for runDisney fans, registration for marathon weekend 2016 opens at noon EST today on runDisney.com! I sadly won’t be registering (unless I find out I have some rich great uncle I didn’t know I had), but I wish lots of pixie dust to those of you that are registering!

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Be sure you understand the above instructions!

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If you are on the fence about registering, allow me to shove you over. Marathon weekend is the first runDisney race weekend I ever participated in before runDisney even existed. I went back in 2011, 2013, and 2014 adding more distance each time (I went from the half, to the full, to goofy to dopey!) It is a blast, and I do hope to participate again in the future. Lots and lots of special memories!

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Anyway, if you have any questions about marathon weekend of any of the races I would be happy to help you. For now, please enjoy some of my old posts on the races and race weekend by visiting my runDisney page. I will link to a couple of them here for you, too. GOOD LUCK!

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Why are runDisney races so popular? An interview with Faron Kelley

Tips for running a runDisney race

5 reasons to run a runDisney race

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QOTD: Are you registering for marathon weekend? Which races?

PS- After you register, head over to the Disney Store for your “in training” shirt!

January 2014 Disney Trip: Part 2

I left off part one of the recap with us roasting marsh mellows before going to sleep for the half marathon the next day!

We got up at 2:45 to run the half marathon, then ate breakfast and took a nap. This day was pretty boring, but we really enjoyed all the relaxing! I found a newspaper and saw that my picture was on the front page of the sports section of the Orlando Sentinel!

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Very, very weird to me, but also really cool. We ate lunch at the resort, and spent some time sitting outside in the rocking chairs enjoying our beautiful surroundings.

That afternoon, the Saints Playoff game was on, so we lounged in the room and watched that while we ate dinner. We called it an early night, we only had one more day of waking up at 2:45 wahoo!

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The next day we completed the Dopey Challenge, and earned our 4th, 5th, and 6th medals.

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While we were on the course, I heard a girl talking about wanting a cheeseburger, and I could not get it out of my head. After we showered, I told Bobby I must have one, so we headed down to Roaring Forks at our hotel and I enjoyed a huge cheeseburger, a coke, and a mickey straw given to me by the cast member at the register as a congrats on Dopey!

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All we wanted was a nap, so that’s what we did! I woke up from my nap not feeling so hot. I just felt…icky and blah and had a headache. We rested in the room until our dinner reservations at Trail’s End. I really wasn’t feeling up to going, but didn’t want to lose money for canceling and knew I needed to eat, so we hopped on the boat and made our way to the campgrounds. I am so glad we went, because we ran into these two!

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Jenn, Danielle, and me

The next day was our last full day in Disney, so we spent the whole day at the magic Kingdom. I couldn’t wait to get this photo opp, I had been thinking about it for months!

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Don’t worry, I just wore the Dopey medal around the parks and the others only came out of my bookbag for the photo. That would have been insanely heavy!

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We stayed in the park all day, which isn’t very typical for us, but we were having a great time. We had lunch at Be our Guest.

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hung out with some friends

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had Dole Whip floats

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and told Dopey his challenge was a piece of cake (haha)

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Dopey’s on the Peoplemover! Our legs thanked us.

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We went back about 4:45, we needed to get changed for dinner at Chef Mickey’s! Can you believe I had never eaten there? There were some people at the table next to us that had the BEST idea and I am so bummed I didn’t think of it! They brought all their medals and took photos with each character and it’s corresponding medal (ex. Minnie with the 10k medal) then had each character sign their medal with a sharpie!

Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto were there. Would have been perfect!

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The food was actually really, really good! We were impressed. Oh! I had this cute ornament made for us Monday while we were at the Magic Kingdom.

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We drove home the next morning, and it all seemed like a blur. I can’t believe the race we planned on for so many months had come and gone in the blink of an eye. We feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to go and run, and can’t wait for our next adventure!

QOTD: Do you buy ornaments to commemorate special occasions?

Dopey Challenge: Final Thoughts

I finished my race recaps from marathon weekend this week, but wanted to give a few final thoughts on my experience with the runDisney Dopey Challenge and marathon weekend as a whole. Overall I had a very positive experience with a few minor snags along the way.

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With any inaugural event you can expect there to be some issues, so I try not to judge too harshly the first year. The test will come next year when we see if runDisney fixes any of the problems. They have a good track record or listening to the runners and making positive changes, so I am hopeful. I think for an event of this magnitude it was handled very well, and to be honest I feel like there is a lot of negativity in the blog and social media world right now about runDisney, so I wanted to give my perspective on the good and the bad.

Courses: The half course will always be a favorite, I love running through the castle, and turning onto Main Street still gives me goose bumps. I also really enjoyed the full marathon course, I am so glad they decided to re-use the special 20th anniversary course, it was way more entertaining than the “old” course. Running on the speedway and adding in the sports complex helps break up those long stretches of road. The 10k course really underwhelmed me. I had such high expectations after the Disneyland 10k, and was kind of bummed. The best part was running on the Boardwalk, there were so many spectators out! The 5k course is the same course that has been used many times, maybe it’s time for a new one through another park? EPCOT is beautiful in the dark, but if you ran the 5k and 10k you ran much of the same course. I LOVED that the torches were lit going around World Showcase though, way cool.

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Characters: For the full marathon, I felt like there were a good amount of characters on the course. We took plenty of pictures, and didn’t even stop for every one of the characters. The half course felt like it had less than I have seen in years past (though I cannot verify this) and the 5k course I believe had 3 stops if I remember correctly, possibly 4? (I ran by one stop and there was a line but no character was out!) I would love to get some hard numbers on this to know if there really were less or if it was just my imagination. I again enjoyed having a cast member at each stop to take our photo.

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Corrals: Oh the dreaded corrals. Having one bib for the half AND full pushed me into the correct corral for the full, but put me in a corral an hour off for the half. We had to nearly walk the first 1.5 miles of the race and I was very, very frustrated. We ran in the grass several times to try to get around a very congested course, and really feel that this is an issue that needs to be fixed for Dopey  next year. Maybe have one corral for the half and a different for the full? Same thing happened in the 5k. I was in a corral where people started walking immediately from the start, 3-5 people across, right in the middle (Again please don’t misunderstand, there is nothing wrong with walking a race if you are in the right corral and stay to one side).  I also asked many, many people what times they put down for the Dopey challenge, and I would venture to say 60-70% of the people I talked to lied about their finish times to get put in a further up corral. I feel that if Track Shack would have verified finish times like they claimed they would, this wouldn’t have happened. It’s a safety issue to have people in the incorrect place and it can slow down and bottleneck the course if enough people do it.

Aid/Volunteers: Were awesome as usual. SO many volunteers, SO many water stops and med tents were helpful. I loved how encouraging the volunteers were, many calling out to me by name. So thankful for these folks to help make the races run smoothly!

Expo: I felt the expo was much more organized and lines were not as long. I hope this trend continues. I did hear a lot of merchandise still sold out very early, so hopefully this is remedied (and for the love Pete, PLEASE make a DISHWASHER SAFE mug! Really don’t think that’s too much to ask!)

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Price: Was Dopey expensive? Absolutely. But no one forced me to sign up, I did it on my own, times two. (yes I love running with Bobby but everything is doubled when we both run!) Did I cringe when I hit submit? You bet. It sucked. But I knew what I was getting into, and I knew exactly what I was getting for the money and still chose it. Because of the price, we chose to forgo any extras like race retreat, pasta party, and only bought three days of park tickets when we were there for six nights. Those are all unnecessary extras that just make the overall cost even higher. (Don’t get me wrong they are a fun treat but not necessary to have a fulfilling or successful race experience).

Questions people have asked me:

Did you go to the parks? Yes, but not every day. We decided we would go on the 5k and 10k days, and then rest on the half and full days, and go again Monday before we left on Tuesday. This worked well for us, we were able to nap a couple times, take it easy, and just relax while not sacrificing out favorite rides and attractions.

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What did you eat in Disney? I tried to be a little more careful than usual, but we still indulged in many of our favorite treats, I just tried not to eat as much/overindulge. I drank lots of water during the day and at the parks, and we ate a banana and cliff bar in the mornings before the races. I didn’t drink alcohol the night before the half or full, and we went to bed as early as possible.

What are your thoughts on race prices going up and up? Do I hate it? Absolutely. Can I fault them? Absolutely not. runDisney is a business, and I wish I had a business where I could keep raising my rates and have my product sell out in 42 minutes! I will not be running every runDisney race, I will be picking and choosing, which is fine. There are other races I want to run in other destinations, but I will always try to run at least one runDisney race a year, two if I am lucky. It’s a choice we all make. Some people choose to buy expensive art for their homes, some buy expensive jewelry while others have a big wine collection. We all spend out money on something, and I choose to run races, even expensive ones. It’s just personal preference, so I don’t shun people for choosing to run or not to run. (By the way has anyone looked at the price of running an Ironman, a one day event? $400-$700 and you get one medal!! Makes a 4 day event like Dopey with 6 medals not look so bad.)

Will you run Dopey again? Probably not, and it has nothing to do with anything runDisney did or didn’t do, I simply do not enjoy full marathons (in particular, full marathon training). It is a time suck, and I always end up getting injured, so I think I will stick to halfs and fun challenges like Glass Slipper or Dumbo for now.

What was your favorite part? That’s tough, I enjoyed so many things about the weekend! I loved getting to hang out with so many of my friends that I have met online, meet readers, and of course spend time with my hubby in my favorite place. Being around so many like minded runners was so much fun, I simply love the atmosphere of runDisney race weekends. Crossing the finish line on Sunday is pretty high up there as well.

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In closing, I just want to say I think it’s fine and even good and constructive to talk about concrete things that need to be fixed with the races, but I see a lot of negativity about things that aren’t really “wrong” or aren’t runDisney’s fault. Do they have some work to do, especially when it comes to Dopey, crowding, and corrals? Absolutely. Can they control weather, drama online, or the fact that the races are so popular they are selling out quicker than people can register? No way. Let’s all remember that this is supposed to be a FUN thing and that every mile is MAGIC! I definitely had my moments of frustration over the weekend and during the races, but I chose to shake it off so I could soak it all in and enjoy the experience. I reminded myself how lucky I was to be up on two healthy legs, running 48.6 miles in the most magical and fun place.

Dopey was an AMAZING experience, and I am so, so glad I signed up and was able to race with my husband. It is a weekend we will never forget, and I hope one day you, too have the chance to run it if it’s your dream!

QOTD: If you ran Dopey, what are your thoughts? Do you want to run Dopey? How do you feel about race prices going up or about any race organization fixing problems?

***Disclosure: I paid for my ENTIRE trip to Disney World for marathon weekend myself. This includes Hotel, park tickets, race registrations, and food. I speak from my heart no matter the situation, but I felt it was important to disclose this.

Dopey Challenge 2014: Marathon Race Recap

The fourth and final installment is finally here!

rundisney marathon recap

The marathon was the only thing standing in the way of me getting three beautiful new  runDisney medals. I knew this would be the hardest day of all, and I was nervous. I felt undertrained, tired, injured, and just wanted to be done!

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We hopped on a bus for the fourth and final time, and made the long walk to our corrals after meeting up with a  few team runDisney friends before the race. We sat again again, conserving energy, and waited for our turn.

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We inched closer to the start, and I just couldn’t believe I was about to run 26.2 miles after already racing for three days.

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The fireworks went off, and it was finally our turn! Luckily, the congestion wasn’t near as bad as the day before at the half. There were still a few bottlenecks going over bridges and around turns, but it cleared up a lot better than before. We made it to the Magic Kingdom sign…wasn’t I already here once?

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I was feeling pretty good. We were walking through water stations and for about one minute every five or six minutes as well.

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Those first few miles were kind of “just keep swimming” for me, I knew we had a long way to go, and it was still dark so I was focusing on my feet and how I was feeling and not what was around me. The big crowd at the TTC was a nice boost, and I was going to stop ad use a “real” bathroom there, but the line was out the door, nevermind! We kept going and finally made it into the Magic Kingdom. I was bummed it was already daylight, I love running down Main street in the dark. I did get to see a couple familiar faces cheering us on though, thanks for coming out Kelly and Meghann!

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I decided to stop at the Tomorrowland bathrooms, huge line again, drat! I finally found an empty one where Tomorrowland meets Fantasyland, so we also stopped for a picture with this guy.

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I wanted to get a good castle picture of the both of us, so we stopped off on the side next to the castle to take a selfie.

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A super sweet girl saw what we were doing and asked if she could take the picture for us. Sure!

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Bobby took one of me, and mid photo a reader called out to me, which resulted in this photo:

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We made our way through the rest of the Magic Kingdom, and I took some Tylenol at the same med stop as the day before. Soon we were back out on the tiny road going to the Grand Floridian that is always crowded, and I saw more friends cheering for me at the wedding pavilion.

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We also had to get a photo with this duck.

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I was glad when we got to the speedway, having new ground to cover proved to be more entertaining.

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(looking like I’m running but actually at a standstill trying to turn onto the speedway!)

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Saw this lovely lady about this time, always good to see her on the course! Also, I have no idea what I am looking at here.

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An odd thing happened about this time, my feet started THROBBING. Not from my injury, but just the bottoms of both feet were killing me with every step. Luckily I remembered there was a med tent up ahead, so I stopped for more Tylenol. I was very thankful that the rest of my body felt fine, but wow my feet made me want to cry, and I wasn’t even halfway yet, or even close to it.

We trudged on to one of the two more boring stretches. (one is from the speedway to Animal Kingdom, the other is Animal Kingdom to the Sports Complex.) Several readers recognized me, and it was so much fun to chat with everyone! It lifted my spirits and kept my mind off the race, too!

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We were finally nearing Animal Kingdom, and I knew on the other side of it was the halfway mark, woo hoo! We love animals and were excited to see so many going into the park.

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The pig was wearing a bib! Adorbs.

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As I was in line, I saw a familiar face….but I thought nah, just coincidence. Then someone ran up and asked to take a photo with her. It WAS her! Yup I was right behind Tara from the Biggest Loser! She let me take a photo with her and we ended up running about the same pace back and forth for the rest of the race, and she finished just before me.

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We went on into the park, and Bobby said he had to go to the bathroom, so I nodded and kept running and stayed to the right, which is what we were doing any time one of us had to stop so the other could catch up and not get lost.

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Well…I kept going and going…ran into Dave Mari….kept going…and still nothing so I stopped after Everest and waited about two minutes…then he calls me…he was WAITING outside the bathroom! So we were both just standing still for several minutes ug! I told him I was going to keep going and he could catch me.

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I made it out the other side of the park and hallelujah I reached mile 13!

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Bobby finally caught me after this, and we headed out towards the Sports Complex. Bobby wanted to stretch his legs so several times he would run ahead of me, then stop on the side to stretch until I caught up with him, and this worked well for us for several miles. I didn’t want him to cramp up because he was shortening his gait to run with me. We made it to the sports complex, still doing our stop and go/not run with each other the whole time thing. I also took a bathroom break here (there was a line but I had to go!)

We rounded Champion Stadium, and headed out again back onto the road.

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Coming out of the complex Bobby said he was going to run ahead again and told me to stay on the LEFT, which I did. I was approaching mile 20 and the DJ was playing “Roar” and I started singing, and I have no idea why but I started crying during the chorus. I started thinking about this whole journey that I was so not prepared for, and how it definitely takes a fighter to do this, and no matter my time in the end I was going to be a champion. Running 48.6 miles in four days is awesome, and I couldn’t believe I was a 10k away from my goal. I had been SO nervous about this race, about how my body would hold up, and here I was, mile 20, and feeling pretty good. it just all hit me at once, and I was SO proud of myself. No matter what life throws at me, no one can take this accomplishment away from me. The little high school track sprinter who hated running was competing in a crazy race challenge, what a dream come true for me.

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The moment passed, I kept running for a good ten minutes, still no Bobby. I crossed over to the other side of the road about to exit towards Hollywood Studios, and my phone rings “did you cross over the road yet””?” Uh…yeah…about 7 minutes ago…. Bobby had somehow missed me and was way behind me. I told him I would run walk but I couldn’t just stop, he would have to catch up. Apparently I was REALLY far ahead because it took him until we almost turned into the Park to catch me!

We grabbed some chocolate and I knew the worst of the race was behind us. The parks were entertaining, and I knew I was going to make it from here.

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If you have read my first marathon recap you know exactly what these two pictures are for. Smile

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I surprisingly wasn’t that emotional going around this turn, I think I used up all my sappy emotion back at mile 20. I was just focused on finishing at this point. Bobby was happy and feeling great which I was SO thankful for since the last two marathons we ran here, Hollywood Studios is when his hamstrings would start to cramp.

It was a tight squeeze going along the path to the boardwalk, but we made it to the bridge going over the water. Fun story: during the 10k when we ran over that same bridge I told Bobby I could not WAIT until crossing this same point on Sunday. We would be so close to DONE and I would be so, so happy. Well, Bobby remembered this, and stopped and took my picture.

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I saw some more friends cheering outside the Beach Club, it’s always great to see familiar faces! We made our way to EPCOT. We saw the line for a photo with Dopey and decided to pass, I just wanted to be done and off my feet.

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We made it around World Showcase, and it was so great to see so many spectators calling out our names, it was just the push I needed that final mile and helped so, so much.

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Holy moley we were almost there!

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I couldn’t believe it was almost over. I was trying to soak it all in, this was it, the moment I couldn’t wait to arrive. The triumphant finish. We earned it. Turning that final corner is always such a rush for me, seeing the people, hearing the shouts, and that beautiful finish line straight ahead.

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I grabbed Bobby’s hand, and we finished the race, together. We started this challenge that way, and it was the best way imaginable to finish.

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We finished in 6:06, just eight minutes slower than last year when we were only running two of the four races. I was very pleased considering all of our stops, and even more pleased at how “ok” I felt. Sure I wanted to sit down and eat a cheeseburger (that would come!) But I wasn’t dying either. A win! My goal for Dopey was to finish in an upright position, and that I did. God totally got me through that race, I have NO IDEA how my foot and knee hurt during the shorter races but not this one. Yes my feet ached very badly, but my recurring injuries stayed away. Amazing.

I knew a friend of mine was handing out marathon medals, so I was super excited when I was able to get mine from her. How special!

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We headed over to get out Goofy and Dopey medals. FINALLY MINE!

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We didn’t stick around. I wanted a shower ASAP and needed some food. Right onto a bus we went.

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Then this happened:

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It was glorious, and I was ready for a nap. I think I deserved it.

QOTD: Do your feet hurt when you run long distances? Who is ready to tackle Dopey?

Dopey Challenge 2014: Half Marathon Recap

My alarm went off….again…at 2:45. I was beginning to feel a bit like Groundhog Day! I put on my Dopey costume, ate a banana and a clif bar, and we were ready to go tackle the runDisney half marathon.

half marathon recap

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Note: I originally was going to wear this outfit for the full but switched when I found out today, for the half, it was going to be the warmer of the two days, and since my other costume had arm and leg sleeves, I wanted to wear it on the cooler day.

Bobby loved his new Under Armor shirt!

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We hopped on a bus right at 4:00, and headed to EPCOT. It was nice not being freezing cold walking to the corrals like I have done before, but that also meant it would be a warmer race. We made it into corral K and waited. We sat down because we knew we wouldn’t start until about 35 minutes after the gun went off and I wanted to save my legs.

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it was finally our turn!

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The beginning of the race, if I am being perfectly honest…was a nightmare. Because they placed Dopey runners in corrals based on their MARATHON time then tacked time onto that, everyone was pushed back that did Dopey. I am a much faster half runner than full runner, so for the half I was in a corral with people who had never even run a half marathon before. Again, I am NOT trying to sound like I should have been in front, no way, but based on my half finish times, I should have been in C or D, not K. I wanted to cry the first mile and a half. We literally came to a standstill a few times and I ran on the grass as much as I could where it was safe. So many bottle necks, I just wanted to get out in front of the congestion and have some breathing room.

Finally, when we got almost to the Magic Kingdom signs, the crowds thinned, but unfortunately I would face many more bottle necks to come.

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I love this guy they put on top of the bridge, he is always so much fun yelling to all the runners.

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We finally made it to the Magic Kingdom, and I was bummed that the icicle lights were not on the castle.

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We stopped at the bathrooms in Tomorrowland where I ran into these two!

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Linzie and Kat

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We made our way through a very crowded Magic Kingdom, and were soon back out onto the road. My IT band had started twinging during the 10k the day before, so I wasn’t surprised when it started to bug me here. I stopped at the med tent after Magic Kingdom and got some Tylenol.

We went through more crowded areas heading down the road towards the Grand Floridian and ran mostly in the grass. It opened up again near the speedway, and we saw this fun guy, which was very hard to get a good picture of due to the wind.

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We kept on trucking, doing run walk intervals at a comfortable pace, and made it to the mile ten marker, just a 5k to go….oh and then a marathon haha. We tried to conserve energy so we took it easy going up the overpasses, and were finally in EPCOT!

I picked up the pace because I was so excited and like to finish strong, but Bobby was wanting to hold back. It was so hard for me to slow down, but I’m sure it helped us the next day.

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We made it to mile 13, and I could hear the finish line, woo hoo!

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We crossed at 2:43, 3 races down, one really big one to go! (and mileage wise, we still were not half way, yikes!)

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I celebrated with a post race mimosa, of course.

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We actually stayed until the very last person crossed the finish line, which was surprisingly way after the 16:00 per mile sweeper pace. Either way, it was really fun to see and cheer on everyone to the very end. I screamed my lungs out, and shed a few tears along with the runners that were crying as the crossed the finish line. It was so inspiring and so much fun!

We chose not to go to a park this day, and instead opted for a nap and hanging out at the hotel. It was a good decision!

Final thoughts: I LOVE this course, and running through the Magic Kingdom is my favorite. 9Secretly hoping they change it up a bit to run through new Fantasyland though!) There were plenty of aid stations, amazing volunteers, med tents, and bathrooms. The actual race was put on very well. I did notice a lack of characters though, which led to even longer lines at the ones that were out (we didn’t stop for any).

I do hope they will either reduce the number of runners, or give Dopey’s a bib for the half and a bib for the full so they can be in the correct corral for each (I was in the correct corral for the full, but I’m terrible at fulls so the time they based my half placement off of was my estimated finishing time for the full, yikes). Coming to a standstill during a race is never fun. I also heard that a lot of people were dishonest about their finishing times, and that track shack did not actually verify the times, hence a lot of people in places they did not belong which I’m sure made the problem even worse. I felt bad for the people in the alter corrals who wanted character pictures, because the lines were so long since there were not many characters out.

Overall this race holds a special place in my heart because it was my very first half marathon in 2010, and it is my favorite course so I know I will come back and run it, just not as a Dopey.

QOTD: Have you ever watched the very end of a race?

*Winner of my Under Armour giveaway is Rachel V! Please email me with your address so I can get your prize to you!

 

 

 

 

48.6 Miles Done

Well folks I did it! Four days, four races and 48.6 miles later I have 6 new medals and very sore legs. Thanks for all the encouragement you all showed me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Your virtual cheers helped! We are enjoying one last day in Disney today then we head home tomorrow!

Here are a couple pictures from today:

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QOTD: who wants to tackle Dopey?!

Orlando Sentinel Dopey Story

Good morning folks! By the time most of you read this I will be DONE with the half marathon and will only have one day left of racing. Halleluiah!

I normally don’t post on Saturdays anymore, but this is something I just had to share. I was Interviewed for a story for the Orlando Sentinel about running Dopey, then Thursday, I met with a photographer and we shot video and photos in the pouring rain for the paper.

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(Photo credit Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)

If you live in Orlando and get the Sentinel, check out the sports page today! Here is the online version and the video we shot. I hope you enjoy!

Story HERE

On the front page, eeekkk!

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QOTD: Do you run in costume? Would you ever run Dopey?

Packing for the runDisney Marathon Weekend/Dopey’s Challenge

Last year, I wrote a post about packing for runDisney’s marathon weekend. I even included a fun video to help be your guide, and I thought packing for TWO races (Goofy) would be the most I would ever pack for. Check out that link if you want a super extensive packing list!

dopey packing

Weeellll, I was wrong. Most of you know I am running runDisney’s Dopey Challenge, so now I will need FOUR of everything! This can get quite confusing since We are staying for six nights and will also need park clothes, nice clothes for dinners, etc. I am not going to do another vlog (sorry guys, there is just no time!) but I did want to give you some tips to ADD to this vlog, for those running Dopey.

1.) Ziploc Bags: You will need four sports bras, four pairs of socks, etc, and it can get confusing as to which you want to wear for what race. To minimize confusion (and a messy suitcase) pack the items you need for each race in a ziplock bag or two, and label the bag with a sharpie.

2.) Carry on your shoes: If you are flying, be sure to carry on or wear your running shoes. Most other items are replaceable, but you don’t want to run (especially four races!) in new shoes

3.) Extra running shoes: I plan to bring three pair at least, and rotate them out for the races. Also, in case one pair gets soaking wet, muddy, etc. you will want to have a back up pair for the other races.

4.) Lots of fuel: I take fuel every 3-4 miles, so between my husband and I we will have a lot! (They also sell GU etc. at the expo but don’t try anything new for the race!) I will also be hydrating a lot, it’s going to be another warm race weekend.

5.) Recovery aids: In between each race there are certain things you can do to minimize stiffness and aches for the next race. I plan to bring my traveling stick/foam roller, ibuprofen (do not take ibuprofen before a race, take Tylenol if you must!) compression socks and pants, and Biofreeze.

I hope everyone has a wonderful race experience! If you see me at the expo or any of the races be sure to say hello! You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook as well, I will be posting live from Florida and from the races.

Happy packing, safe travels, and I hope to see many of you in Florida!

QOTD: What am I leaving out between the video and these tips?

For information on runDisney events, registration, and dates, be sure to check out runDisney.com

Weekly Workout Recap: January 2014 Week 1

First workout recap of January! I hope everyone had a great workout week kicking off the new year. I am tapering for Dopey, so I took it easy on the running front.

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We are ready to see some characters!

At this point, nothing I do is going to make me faster, so it’s just about maintaining, keeping injuries at bay, and feeling confident. I took 3 rest days this week, Friday was unplanned, but I didn’t have a great day and working out was the last thing on my mind. Take a look:

Sunday: rest

Monday: 10 mile run

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 30 minutes elliptical

Thursday: 30 minutes stationary bike, weights

Friday: rest

Saturday: circuit workout at home 25 minutes

My plan for next week is to rest today, run 3 or 4 miles tomorrow, and that will be my last run until the 5k on Thursday. We leave Tuesday and are driving halfway down to Disney, and then arrive Wednesday morning to go to the expo. If you are going to the races, I hope to see you there!

QOTD: Do you run the week of a race/before the race?

runDisney Marathon Weekend Changes for 2014

I just got off the phone with Faron Kelley, director of marketing and communications for Disney sports to chat with him and some other bloggers about marathon weekend 2014, and some of the changes the runDisney folks are making to have the weekend be a great experience for all involved.

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First of all, the obvious news, is the new Dopey challenge (Faron is running it, too!) He said he is super excited about the six medals, as well as the inaugural 10k race. In keeping with the theme of the classic Disney characters (Donald for the half, Mickey for the full, etc) they knew they wanted Minnie for the 10k. He was also excited about the fact that there are very few if any places where you can get a race experience like this one, and have the opportunity to earn so many medals and run so many races in four days.

He also wanted to be very clear in stating that runDisney listens to it’s runners. They read blogs, social media, (such as the runDisney Facebook page) and listen to feedback to get information from participants and to make changes to give everyone a great race experience. One of the main concerns folks have been having is crowding on the race course. Well friends, runDisney heard you loud and clear, and is making some big changes for 2014. Let’s take a look:

-There will be 2,000 less runners for marathon weekend distributed between the half and the full. Since the half is where they have seen the main course pinch points, most of the cutting down will come from that race. Faron mentioned that it’s a tough decision because there is so much demand to run these races, and they want to give as many people as possible the chance to run. However, they realize this is the right thing to do to make the run a better experience for everyone.

-There will be more corrals to spread out the runners a little more and to help even out the course.

-A proof of time will be required for 95% of runners, so pretty much everyone who has run before, all to make sure runners are in the right corrals. It can become a safety issue if participants are in the wrong place, and again it goes back to helping everyone to have a fun experience.

– Finally! Women’s fitted shirts! Faron said they have heard about the desire for the shirts for awhile, and since ladies made rundisney what it is and are driving the running boom in the country, we should get shirts that fit us. Hooray! Also, as far as he knows they will continue to be long sleeve shirts.

-The marathon course will be the same as this past year, the 20th anniversary course. The half course will remain the same as well, as will the 5k. The 10k course is yet to be released.

-There will be a new marathon medal. Faron knows people run for the bling and seeing the awesome medals is something he loves!

-Spots for Dopey: They have not officially decided on a number of spaces yet. They are watching the numbers for the presales, and don’t want to take all the 10k spots because runDisney wants to leave most of them for people wanting to run the 10k only. Faron said it is quite the balancing act, and that the presale numbers were very limited.

-An earlier start time is possible in order to add the new corrals, however, the main objective is to get to the Magic Kingdom as soon as possible and then clear it out so guests can go to the park for the day. For 2013 the loop around EPCOT was taken out, and we ran straight to the Magic Kingdom, clearing the park sooner than ever. runDisney is confident they can still accomplish this goal, even with more corrals. People in the back corrals will just start later and finish later in the day.

-The 16:00 per mile pace requirement is to remain the same

– They are working out the details for the kids races so they will hopefully not interfere with the runners participating in Dopey. runDisney knows the weekend is a family affair, and wants everyone to be able to participate in the races as well as their children.

-I asked Faron about people wanting to submit proof of time from Wine and Dine, but it’s after the November 1 proof of time cut off date. He said that was actually a really good idea and said he would check on that for me. So stay tuned for updates on this as the race gets closer.

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We had a great call, and I am so thankful that Faron took the time to talk to us about the changes for 2014. I could sense the excitement in his voice, and I can’t wait for January! Don’t forget, registration opens to the general public TOMORROW. So be sure to visit runDisney.com to secure your spot. You won’t want to miss this fun weekend! (Don’t forget registration is still open for the Tower of Terror 10 miler and the Wine and Dine half as well!)