In just under a month I will be embarking on an insane journey- a Dopey journey if you will. While I really don’t think this is the most insane challenge I’ve embarked on (Gasparilla weekend was a beast), it’s definitely up there.
For those unfamiliar the Dopey Challenge is a part of the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend where only the craziest of runners decided to run every race of the weekend. The journey kicks off with a 5k on Thursday morning, a 10k on Friday, a Half Marathon on Saturday, and for good measure a full marathon on Sunday. All said and done 48.6 miles of running.
During this weekend I’ll be running my 25th half marathon and 5th full marathon. Following that insanity, I’ll be jumping on a plane and heading out to California to run the Star Wars: The Light Side half marathon weekend in Disneyland.
WHO AM I?! HOW DID I GET HERE?! WHAT IS LIFE?!?!?!
I started my running journey with my first race in October of 2014. This was the
(apparently final) running of the Tower of Terror 10-Miler at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I had signed up for the race and an incentive to get moving and start losing weight.
My running continued with a half marathon a month later, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon (or as we called it that year- the Splash & Dash).
With two races under my belt I was feeling good and decided I wanted more. I went into 2015 saying I’d run at least one race a month, probably a 5k. Something to keep me going and working towards and improved me (you may remember this from my first blog post back in March 2015).
Turns out that one race a month wasn’t ambitious enough and it soon turned into running almost every weekend.
As the year went on it became clear that I was up for more and more so I started gave one of the Disney Challenges a try. In May I snagged a last-minute bib to run the Pixie Dust Challenge in Disneyland totaling 19.3 miles in two days (10k followed by a half).
The decision to try out my first marathon pretty much made itself. I decided to register for the Walt Disney World Marathon to be run in January 2016. It was natural to choose this as Disney is where my running adventure began so why not celebrate my first full marathon there?
So I did. Coming in at 5:53:57.
If 2015 was the year of the half marathon for me, 2016 was my marathon year. I took a chance on entering the lotteries for both the Chicago and New York City Marathons hoping to get one alongside my running buddy Erica. Turns out, I won both and she got nothing.
Chicago was a lot of fun though it really sucked to be out there by myself. I came in at 5:16:00 which was impressive as I couldn’t properly train because of surgery on my leg over the summer.
New York was a bit of a different story when it came to finishing. My mental game was off going into the weekend and I felt really stressed out. I went in knowing I wanted to take the race easy and enjoy the experience rather than shoot for a personal record. So that’s
what I did.
What made that race more fun was knowing I had support on the course. A friend from Boston was down with her running group to cheer some of them on as they were running. I was able to get an epic hug at mile 10 which was enough to push me through. She then trekked to mile 25 where her beaming smile helped me push through that final mile to cross the finish line.
Why not run some more? The following weekend I joined Erica out in California for the Avengers Superheroes Half Marathon Weekend for another 19.3 running weekend. Here I ran my 20th half marathon and 6th RunDisney challenge.
Not crazy enough? I finished out the month with the Space Coast Marathon in Cocoa, FL. I hated every step of this race. I know some of the reasons why I was in a bad mood but I’m not going to dive into them now. But this was the race that I realized I really don’t enjoy doing full marathons.
Finishing time: 4:43:27
This past weekend saw me run half marathon number 21. The OUC Half Marathon in Orlando. This is one I ran last year and really liked despite being sick so I gladly signed up again. While I love Disney runs, smaller, local runs are just as fun. It’s really great to see familiar running faces.
With 25 days until the beginning of Walt Disney World Marathon weekend, there’s a lot to do to begin preparing for the Dopey Challenge. Mostly keep running. I have three more races lined up between now and then plus training runs along the way.
I’m looking forward to sharing this journey as it continues!