Tag Archives: #Dopey15

WDW Marathon Weekend – The Dopey Challenge: The Marathon

28 Jan

Well…here it is!!! I had been looking forward to this day for at least a year and a half!!


Today there were no costume alterations — the weather was going to be more along the lines of what I’d expected the whole weekend to be! There was a slight chance of some rain, but…well, I’d deal with that if and when it happened!

Before bed on Saturday I had put my things together in my gear check bag so I’d be sure to have everything I needed, set the alarm and hit the sack!

Another early morning…another wait for the bus, another ride over to EPCOT and a quick stop at the Race Retreat before meeting up with my friends for a picture


This was the early crowd…some of us, or, ME, wanted to get to the corral quickly!


and heading to the corral!


With a thousand or so of our close friends…watching the runners in front of us moving up…


We waited for an hour again – at least this time we knew what to expect! Then it was go time!


I had trained using 1:1 intervals and didn’t use them on Friday or Saturday. I wasn’t completely sure I would use them for the Full, but I had my timer set up, just in case…but I started out just taking it easy and guessing at my intervals.

Things were going really well, and I was kind of in a groove…keeping my eyes open for friends along the way. My big goals for today were to have enough cushion to ride Expedition Everest (about mile 12-13) and to not get swept!

That being said, it was a fairly uneventful first 5 miles…though it was kind of cool to see the earlier runners already heading through the Raceway (about Mile 9)


These lucky people are already at mile 9!!


Running into the park “the back way” is kind of cool!


The run up Main Street USA always takes my breath away! What’s really great is that the volunteers are always willing to take pictures! The gentleman who took mine insisted on the TAH DAH! pose!! 🙂


And from the backside of the castle too!!




And then, entering Frontierland, I saw him…


Me and Woody!!


It was really great that the next mile marker featured Toy Story too!!


Finally we were winding our way out of our first park — some boring miles until we got to the Speedway…and the clouds seemed to be getting thicker and darker. Around mile 10, on the way to Animal Kingdom, we run past the ever popular Water Treatment facilities for Walt Disney World!


We come into the back side of Animal Kingdom and part of the fun is the animals that they bring out to cheer us on!


And then. There it was. The mountain I’d been focusing on all morning! And, I was going to make it!! Research had told me to go in the Single Rider line – apparently in prior years, the cast members were pretty cool about letting runners get on quickly from this line. Apparently that was prior years….so a few of us waited. It seemed like hours, but was probably only about 10 minutes! And then we were off!!  I got a great “selfie” of the girls behind me!!


This was so much fun!!!


Once we jumped off, the cast member at the picture booth was yelling to remind us that our pictures were automatically captured on our MagicBands…


You can kind of almost see a little bit of my shirt…in the back seat!!



As we ran out of the Animal Kingdom it started to rain. Not heavy rain at all…and it actually felt pretty good! We were now on our way up to the Wide World of Sports: ESPN. Now, here was an out and back section so I was REALLY keeping my eyes peeled for my friends who had started a couple of corrals ahead of me. The timing was about perfect so I figured I’d see someone!

And I did!!! As I was turning into the road up to ESPN I heard Angela and Karin calling me! Man oh man – was it wonderful to see them!! And of course there was a small bit of crying (I’m telling ya, this marathon thing is pretty emotional!) and then I knew that I was good for the next – LAST – 9 miles!

Up next, around miles 22-23 was Hollywood Studios! On the way there, I met up with 2 more friends and decided to hang with them the last few miles – until we got into the park and I saw Mike and Sully waiting for me!


After my picture break I caught back up with Chris and Krista — until I had to break off … for my first ever jumping attempt – that, sadly, is not documented…


And a final potty stop before the final push to the finish!

Once out of Hollywood Studios and on the path over to the Boardwalk, any danger of being swept is past. Which causes some people to just really come to a crawl…but I managed to catch up again to Chris and Krista and we stayed together until we got to EPCOT.

But before we could get to EPCOT, we were going to run past our very own cheering station!! Vanessa had gathered the troops to set up a spot where we could grab a bite to fuel up for the last mile and a half! And again, it was SO good to see them out on the course! The M&Ms and Twizzlers were nice too!! 🙂

Once in EPCOT, I really just wanted to be done so I split off on my own again and just steadily made my way through the World Showcase — full of tourists already. Along the way, I passed Santa. Yes, really! Santa! I was happy to be in his corral because NO ONE would DARE sweep Santa!! 🙂

You know you’re getting to the end of the run when you turn the corner to see the Gospel Choir singing in their golden robes! From here, it was another .3 or so to the finish line!!

Once across the finish, Dopeys had to check in at a special booth – at the expo we’d had our pictures taken with our bibs and it seemed that they were comparing those pictures to the person in front of them, as well as verifying that all of the races had been completed. After that it was simply a matter of collecting the bling!

The Marathon Medal




The Goofy Medal




The Dopey Medal




And again, off to see what treats awaited in the Race Retreat and wait for Tracy (or meet her there…who knew!?!) The Race Retreat would be closing soon so I really hoped that Tracy was already there, or on her way (and that’s a topic for another post…)

Tracy arrived shortly after me, but wasn’t hungry so we headed back to the room – she was leaving that afternoon and I was heading out to dinner at the 50’sPrime Time Diner with my running family!

I have to say, I was pretty proud of myself for getting through the weekend! And, I had gone into the Dopey Challenge with those famous words “One and Done”…but ….I may be back.


WDW Marathon Weekend – The Dopey Challenge: The 5K

16 Jan

So, like I said, I was REALLY looking forward to getting down to Florida to hang out in the sunshine and warm air…Well.  Yeah.


Thursday morning we woke up to this 🙂 What you don’t see is that the “feels like” temp was somewhere in the 30’s. Which means that some of us were not as prepared as we should have been. 😉 Oh, I *brought* gloves with me, I just left them in the room! And with the 5K there would be very little time to actually warm up.


I added a white jacket to this which helped a bit!


We were planning to meet up with my Facebook running friends way out in the open where the wind was sweeping cross the plains (or something like that!). It was VERY windy! A few of us made it!


But then we went and hid behind a fence with a large group of warm bodies…I mean, people! Then right before we headed into the corrals we gathered up a few more or our friends for one last pre-race picture!


I had been placed in the last corral. The. LAST. Corral. for the 5K and the 10K. Which, in the end turned out to not be too bad…once you got past the wheelchairs and people strolling along. We hung out with a couple hundred of our closest friends and listened to all the other corrals head out — but let me tell you, there’s a different excitement from the VERY back of the pack that I hadn’t noticed before!


There’s the start line….


As we were taking off, the sun started coming up. This is always one of the best parts of these early morning races!!


The earlier corrals…and then there were none.


I managed to grab one picture before my phone died. At mile TWO! (aside: Oh how I hate you iPhone!) but I hadn’t really planned many photo stops anyway!


In honor of Vanessa…ps. they were empty.


As we were cruising through Future World a few of my friends caught up with me and it was nice to finish with them! There were even jumping pictures involved…though, upon further review, my feet do not appear to have left the ground!!

Since my phone died, I don’t have my splits but my overall pace was good and I was happy with the results! And I got to take home this baby!


Possibly my most favoritest runDisney 5K “medal” of all!!! This makes me so happy!


After finishing and catching up with my friend Tracy, we hopped back on the bus to warm up. Initially we had thought we might try to get over to Harry Potter World at Universal, but the need to find warmer clothes took precedence 🙂 We headed back over to the expo – where I grabbed a Bondi Band and a runDisney sweatshirt


Mine has maroon color instead of the blue…


We hung out at the ESPN grill for awhile – lunch and a beer or two – then back to the resort where…not much happened!! We took a walk around just to kind of get our bearings (and Tracy was NOT thrilled to hear that we’d be running right past here when we were at about mile 24 or so on Sunday!)


I’d never stayed at the Beach Club Resort and it was nice. And VERY conveniently located. And really, in my case, reserved for VERY special occasions so…I’ll likely be back at POP Century before you know it!!

Once it was dark, it was time for a shower and bed! I managed to crash pretty quickly, though it wasn’t a very deep sleep since I knew the alarm would be going off soon!!

10K, coming up!!!

WDW Marathon Weekend – Dopey Challenge: The Expo

15 Jan

So, last Wednesday was travel day and expo day!!

I woke up to some pretty cold temps at home — and couldn’t wait to get down to Florida and hang out in the sunshine!!!

The flight wasn’t bad, Southwest managed to get us on the ground 10 minutes early even. Then it was just a matter of getting to the Magical Express and getting to my resort!

When we landed and I turned on my phone, I learned that my roommate had already arrived and was headed towards the resort! I eventually got there too and got up to the room, changed into shorts and we headed up to the expo

I was expecting the zoo experience that I’d had at both Goofy and Dumbo in 2013 but there was none of that! We hit the runDisney merchandise booth first, to make sure I’d get my magnets and wine glasses and coffee mug. I also decided on some “I Did It” shirts – one for Dopey and one for Goofy since I’d missed out the last time!


Then it was time to pick up bibs and shirts and all that fun stuff! It seems we missed the crowd cause it was a walk up and walk out situation!! LOVE it!

And, the shirts are the same ‘new’ tech material that we got for Wine and Dine and they were available in Women’s cuts– I don’t get overly excited about the shirts, generally (but I do love the W&D one!) but these are pretty neat!!


Two bibs – one for the 5 and 10K and one for the Half and Full. And, I know I complained before about the corral placement and I have to say. REALLY runDisney? The LAST Corral for the 10K?? (reminder – I submitted a proof of time that had me a couple/few minutes below the required time, those who didn’t submit a proof of time were supposedly put in the last corral. Not true. My roommate is in the same corral as me for Saturday and Sunday and didn’t submit a proof of time.That is all) SPOILER: I managed to keep my pace in the 5K and finished with my friends from 2 corrals in front of me…though I wasn’t able to stop for pictures

After the expo, we went to lunch and then Angela brought us to Target to grab some supplies. We may have overshopped 🙂


Angela ALSO made some nifty stickers for our MagicBands — I think this will be the only MB that I don’t use again – I love it!!


Tracy and I ended up just hanging at the hotel for the evening — since we had to get up EARLY on Thursday for the 5K there would be no late night for us!! In fact, I’m pretty sure I was asleep by 8!

Up next…the 5K!




Ready to get Dopey?

5 Jan


Well, it’s finally here!! Almost!

And, as you can imagine, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about packing 🙂 I’ve also been working on one of the most important aspects of any runDisney event – “What am I going to WEAR??”

4 races means 4 outfits, possibly even costumes! There are always a few things I keep in mind – most important is comfort, especially for longer runs (that would be the half and full on Saturday and Sunday!). In Florida, the weather is also a big consideration so eyes are on the forecast as early as possible – though, in Florida, the weather can change overnight!


Forecast the evening of Jan 3



Forecast the morning of Jan 4

And, when I’m in Florida, I’m all about the sun so I also try to avoid getting a farmer’s tan since I know I’m going to be out there in the middle of the day (thank you Corral O)

5K is pretty easy since it’s not so much a costume run for me, but wearing my team skirt. Also, since it’s early I don’t have the above mentioned tanning issue and can wear really any top I want – I might even be wearing a jacket this year since it’ll be “chilly” on Thursday and we won’t be out long enough for warming up much!


Racing The Dream “Melty Hearts” plus Blue


10K looks to be a little chilly as well, so I am bringing two options for tops – my wonderful friend Angela is making the letters for my shirt – so this is an incomplete, more of a Disney Bound costume, and I may wear the cami or I may wear the tshirt. But I am definitely wearing the wig!!

pink girls


Looking at this now, I might switch to a purple skirt…


For the half, I’ll be dressed as my favorite bear!


And the Full. This is quite possibly my most ambitious costume attempt to date!  I decided long ago that I wanted to do a race as Jessie.

running jessie

Initially I tried to find a top online – by the time I justified the cost to myself (it was a LOT!) the seller was taking a break. So I figured “How hard can it be to just paint a shirt myself?” Well…so far so good. Ish.

Then when I was at the store buying my crafting supplies I saw that yarn was on sale..so my brain said “How hard can it be to make a yarn braid?” The answer to that is “No too hard, so far, but how are you going to attach it to your head?”…So, we’ll see! And of course I have to have her cuffs right? Again “How hard can that be?” We don’t know…yet!

Hopefully I’ll have this finished in time to pack it Tuesday night — or maybe as I’m rushing out the door Wednesday morning 🙂

I can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like!! If nothing else, it’s been fun!

Time for you to share your running costume ideas with me!!  And hey, now that you know what I’ll be wearing, if you’re on the course(s) or cheering on the sidelines, give me a shout!! 


Training Update and Corral Woes

19 Dec

So, last night while I was out doing leg 1 of the Hal Higdon Mini-Dopey weekend (2.5 miles), I realized that in THREE WEEKS I will be in the midst of the real thing.

And…man oh man… let me tell you!

Over Thanksgiving, I – as well as many other people across the country – did a Turkey Trot. 10K of holiday goodness, for a good cause (short recap coming! really!!). Around mile 4 my left calf tightened up. Like, painful, felt like if I kept running I’d rip my hamstring right out of my leg, tight. But I found that if I adjusted my ‘style’ a bit, I could run on it and finished. But the next day (and a few of the next ones) my leg would not loosen up. And at this point in the process, I’m more concerned with staying relatively injury-free than anything else.

Which leads me to this: I haven’t done a whole lot of running since Thanksgiving. Or, really, a whole lot of anything…

Then the corrals came out. I had figured, based on calculators all over the internet, with my 3:04 half marathon POT, that they’d put me in with the 6-6:30 finishers. Um…no. I’m in the next to the last corral. Apparently there is a “Special”, one might even say “Magical” formula used by the runDisney placers …I have learned that it’s also very “SECRET”.

But back to my lack of training in the last month….yeah….this was not terribly encouraging news given that I’ve trained more for this event than anything I’ve ever done and now I’m gonna have to fight past walkers and, from what I’ve read, a lot of other people who have been mis-corralled. (Be advised: I have *nothing* against walkers! I am, myself, at times, a walker!)

I need(ed) to make a decision – just give up and figure I’d raise the biggest stink EVER if they tried to deny me my #DopeyChallenge medal or keep going and hope for the best.

Well, I need to keep going and hope for the best! Yeah, I’m at the back of the pack – not unusual for me. I do just hope I have time for a few very important photo stops – I need to get the Genie, Buzz and Woody and hopefully Jessie, and Sully and Mike W.  Anything else I will consider gravy.

If you’ve followed to this point now you know 🙂 1. Not a lot of training 2. Bad corral placement 3. Less than three weeks to wrap up training 4. More determined than ever

The training plan for this weekend is:
Thursday: 2.5 miles  (done!)
Friday: 5 miles (currently finishing coffee and hoping the rain dies down)
Saturday: 10 miles (supposed to be a bright sunny day – had to go buy a short sleeved shirt to run in!)
Sunday: 20 miles (another bright sunny day – bribing myself with a Shipley donut and Mexican food)

And my Dopey plan is to print out some of the online calculators along with my POT and talk to runners relations at the Expo and hopefully get a little more photo op cushion (even one corral would be nice!).

No matter what though, I plan to have an absolutely AMAZINGLY fun time!!!


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