Wednesday, April 24, 2019

To Dopey or Not To Dopey

If you are on any kind of social media these days, the question is up almost daily. "I've never run a marathon (or sometimes even a half), but I really want to do Dopey. Am I crazy?" All the runDisney fanatics chime in with the usual upbeat, "You got this!" comments and we perpetuate the new marathoners taking the Dopey plunge. Friends, don't do it. Let me say that again: DON'T DO IT! And guess what? It's not why you may think.

The Inaugural Dopey Challenge
So first, let's go with the logical explanation, which I'm sure is what you think my reasoning is. A marathon is a beast. 4 days of super early wake-ups. Miles upon miles of running on less than fresh legs. The level of commitment of training to make each race successful. It felt like a part time job. If you have never run a race of more than 13.1 miles, it is an entirely different experience. Taking on a four day challenge when you don't know what the final distance even feels like is a little crazy. To finish these races with a smile, you have a lot of work to put in. Yes, it can be done. Yes, when you register I will turn into your cheerleader and gladly offer my advice and experience. BUT, before you slap down that credit card, hear me out.

The marathon. Let's get real, Dopey is all about the marathon. Some people will tell you to walk everything else. Focus on the marathon and you'll be fine. (I personally ran each race, but did have a strategy that I'd happily share for anyone who wants to listen). The marathon. It is an incredible race. It's something most people will never be able to say they have done. What happens when you stack all those races before marathon day? You lose the marathon. There is nothing in the world like your first 26.2. Why would you want to combine that with a challenge like Dopey? Think about goals. What it feels like to accomplish those big, hairy, scary goals. Why would you want to check all those boxes in one weekend? A marathon on fresh legs is hard. It is its own accomplishment. A marathon will change you. You will be stronger and know that you can do anything. That strength will take you through tough times in running and in life. You will forever be able to carry that strength to your future goals. You will gain confidence, smile bigger, and walk just a bit taller. Take the breath, run the marathon, revel in your happiness, celebrate, come back another time and do Dopey. You will never have another chance to do your first marathon. Do you want to simply survive? Or do you want to train and focus on that race and make each step amazing?

So friends, before you follow the crowd who will all "rah-rah" you and say "DO IT!" think about you, your goals, and how you want to remember your first marathon. It an experience like no other! Hopefully I'll see you there in January, only doing the marathon!


Monday, February 4, 2019

Race Report: 2019 WDW Half Marathon

We're unpacked and back to our normal schedules, which means it's just about time to recap the races! This year, the adults were in for the half (only...) and it was right in the middle of our trip. We already had 3 full days of parks, food, and late nights leading up to the morning, so needless to say, we weren't giving the race our best. With that, I had a blast and it was a great reminder of why I love to run Disney!

My mom stayed with the boys while Bill and I were up early to run (thanks mom!). Disney World races never disappoint with those early wake up calls! We were out of our hotel around 3:45, which is pretty good since we were aiming for 3:30. We met up with Chris and found out that Kate's kidney stones (which clearly did not get the memo that we were on a Disney vacation) had kept her up sick all night. She decided it would be best to sit this one out and come back next year for the full, but that's another post, another day, and a fun prospect for next year!

We boarded the buses as usual. I personally prefer to let Disney do the driving on vacation. I know many will disagree and say take your own car, but I should never be trusted driving at 3 am in a sparkly skirt and ears! We had our hands full with breakfast, bags, watches, headphones--I always look like a hot mess getting on the bus. It was business as usual, minus the bag tags. This, friends, is why you should read your event guide. I freaked out because I was missing my tag, just to find out they label it for you when you get there. Corrals were well organized and we did the long trek, hit a few port-o-potties, and got a little time to rest before we began. I was in corral E, but we got off surprisingly fast. I was in the second wave of this corral. I have to say, I appreciate the waves instead of corrals lined up to P. It's a nice incentive for people to get there early!

The course felt so comfortably familiar! It seriously felt like a homecoming! I was sad to have missed the Cigna meetup the day before (we were doing lots of family stuff and I couldn't bail on them), but it was great to just know I was surrounded by friends.

If you've never run the half at WDW, here's the quick summary: lots of back roads, a little Magic Kingdom, the CASTLE, more back roads, lots of cones, a touch of Epcot (really just a touch), and the finish line. I was lucky to enter MK in the dark and got to see the castle all lit up for the holidays. It is so beautiful, and running up Main Street to the castle may be my favorite part of every runDisney race. The WDW races never have much time in the parks, but in some ways the wide open spaces are nice. There's a few crowding points (hello cone alley!) but overall there's space to breathe and move.

I didn't do many photo stops in this race, but I had to stop for Jack Sparrow. My first big disappointment as a mother--here I was so excited to show my pirate obsessed kid, and nope. Not impressed at all! Of course Daddy got a picture with Lightning McQueen and that was a huge hit! Robby hasn't even seen Cars, nor does he really care much about cars in general. Go figure!

I finished in a respectable, but definitely not goal-reaching or "good" by my standards 2:33:33. Far from a PR and far from where I wanted to be in this race (my initial goal was 2:15), but it felt good, I wasn't in pain or pushing so hard I thought I'd die, and I finished in time to get back to the hotel and help my boys get ready for their big races.

Post race was very well organized: medal, snacks, pictures, bag pickup. Pro tip: pack a lightweight, small backpack in your gear check bag! Those bags are so big and cumbersome. It was really nice to be able to stick all my junk in an actual backpack. I saved the ones we got a Princess and Tink. They are perfect! I wish runDisney did those for every race!

I got back to the hotel with plenty of time for breakfast, waking the kids, getting them ready for their races, and taking the bus to ESPN. I wish I had a bit more time for a shower, but luckily it wasn't too hot for the race.

I do hope to be back next year for the marathon with Kate. We are planning on it, but also seeing how training is going for both of us as the race day approaches. Little kids definitely make this whole thing a lot more difficult!

Did you run marathon weekend? What race or races did you do? How did you do? Any PRs out there?

Monday, January 7, 2019

My Ultimate Packing List

I LOVE planning! I LOVE planning Disney vacations even more! I LOVE lists about planning Disney vacations the best! I've been adding to and working on a HUGE list for our family for marathon weekend. Ever wonder what a family of 4 packs for a race weekend when everyone is running? Here you go!

Food:
Cereal (x 7)
Shakes (x12)
Recovery/preworkout drinks
Shake bottle (x2)
PB&J (x5)
Bagels
Pouches (x16)
Fruit snacks (x8)
Granola bars (x7)
Almond milk
Vitamins (Robby, Aly)
Biotics
Melotonin
Ryan spoons
Bibs (x4)
Pump
Bottle
Bottle brush
Storage bottles (2)

Money:
Gift cards
Small bills for tipping

Carry-on:
Magic Bands
Headphones (B, A, R)
Seatbelt
Disposable placemats
Snacks
iPad
Coloring packs
Running shoes (B&A)
Running clothes (all)
Bra
Underwear (B&A)
Socks (B&A)
Pants (B&A)
Shirt (B&A)
Skirt
Mylar blanket (x2)
Hand warmers (x2)
Sleeves
Compression socks
Socks (x2)
Gloves (x2)
Garmin w/charger
Gymboss Timer
Pacing band
Running belt
Diapers (4 extra for each)
Race waiver

Misc:
Mickey ears (x3)
Stroller
Stroller handlebar caddy
Reusable shopping bag
Stroller tether
Stroller hook
Stroller signs
Bubble machine
Extra bubbles
Extra batteries
Backpack for park
Size 4 diaper pack
Size 6 diaper pack
Wipes (x2)
Water bottle (x 3)
Dish soap/sponge
Diaper disposal bags (x2)
Extra battery pack
Disney book
Printed itinerary
Carrier
Blankets (x2)
Camera, battery charger
Small backpack (for gear check) (2)
Ponchos
Laundry bag
Post card stamps
Addresses
Autograph mat
Autograph markers
Winter hats
Gloves
Daily surprise gifts
Jewelry

Diaper bag:
Size 6 diapers (x6)
Size 4 diapers (x4)
Changing pad
Wipes
Diaper rash cream
Wallet
Phone & charger
Chap stick
Lotion
Extra clothes (x2)
Teething necklace
Bib
Sunglasses
ID for kids
Tissues

Clothes:
Pajamas
Outfits x7
Outfits x 9—Robby
Outfits x 10—Ryan
Bras x 3
Underwear x8 each
Socks x7 each
Bathing suit (one each)
Flip flops
Sweatshirts (B, A, Rx2, Rx2)

Toiletries:
Baby bath wash
Baby lotion
Baby comb
Baby nail clippers
Robby toothbrush
Robby toothpaste
Robby gel
Bandaids
Neosporin
Advil
Baby Tylenol
Thermometer
Headbands
Hair ties
Hair clips
Hair spray
Straightener
Makeup
Brush
Hair pomade
Rock tape
Arnica gel roller
Golf ball
Scissors
Bath puffy
Razor (A)
Razor (B)
Shave gel
Face wash
Body wash
Makeup remover
Tweezers
Nail clippers
QTips
Nail file
Hand sanitizer
Body glide
Powder
Glasses
Extra contacts
Contact solution and case
Deodorant (B, A)