Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snow Day!

Snow days seemed more exciting when I was a kid. The snow isn't interrupting my work schedule. I left about 15 minutes early yesterday, I was already off today, and I don't go in until 1:30 tomorrow so a 12 pm opening isn't exactly inconvenient.

I've laid around all day. I'm not going to lie.

Then I decided to start the Commit to You Challenge on Gaiam TV. I did 1 hour of yoga tonight. It was challenging. (I could never do crow pose before. I can't do it now.) I am tight in my hip flexors (not a surprise). My knee is also still sore. Hopefully I get it together soon.

Hopefully this challenge will help with my anxiety lately. I can tell you my lacking of unpacking and putting things away is not helping. I'm taking this one day at a time.

I'm also going to try a Barre class again on Monday night. I was suppose to go last night, but the building had a gas leak or something. Plus the snow. It was probably better to just go home and stay there. I have done Barre once before and found it challenging, but good. I liked how I felt afterwards. (You know the pain that just feels good.)

I'll be going back to lounging around again. It'll be needed.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dopey Challenge Numbers

I don't want to go into how I felt about the whole challenge. Why? Because I felt great. It was awesome. I'm still excited about it. 

A few days after the challenge ended, Runner's World put out the results of the Dopey Challenge and ranked everyone. (You see the results here.) According to them I placed 5,160 out of 6,397 finishers. My times looked like this:

5k: 36:57
10k: 1:28:37
Half: 3:13:32
Full: 6:48:01
Total: 12:07:07

Cool. That took a lot of time for someone to do. Disney only put out the Dopey results alphabetically by last name. There were no gender places or division places or even total time.

Today I saw another post from RunKnitTravel. They also posted more broken down results. (You can view it here.) According to their information there was 7,500 people signed up for the Dopey Challenge. (This came from the volunteers at the races. I actually saw a paper with this number on it.) Here's how those numbers changed throughout the 4 days:

5k: 6,826 finishers
3,498 females
3,327 males

10k: 6,800 finishers
3,482 females
3,318 males

Half: 6,749 finishers
3,446 females
3,303 males

Full: 6,488 finishers
3,283 females
3,205 males

1,102 people started, but did not finish

There is a slight discrepancy on how many people did finish all together between both sources. There also may have been less than 7,500 people who were actually signed up. (I think that if it was not an even number it would be more confusing for volunteers to share the information.) I do find it interesting to see how many people finished on each day and to see how the numbers drop. People won't finish for all sorts of reasons. Maybe they just don't show up. Maybe there's an emergency that pulls them from the races. They may get hurt along the way. They may choose to drop out. They may get swept. 

Just a little insight into what the weekend looked like for people.

Walt Disney World Marathon

Day 4.

This is it.

The big one.

The Marathon!

I headed out to the race alone. Nate would come out later on, but there was no need for him to be there super early again. I was more awake surprisingly for this run. I checked a bag with my jacket in it, but I was wearing a tank top for the run. The day would be warmer than before. The news was reporting rain, but not until later on in the day.

Marathon Course!

I would be running through all 4 parks today along with Wide World of Sports and the Disney Speedway. The first half of the course is pretty similar to the half course. . I did get to run through the castle unlike during the half. I also stopped for a picture in front of the castle. 

Courtesy of Marathonfoto

I also got a picture with the White Rabbit. (I seem to get a picture with him a lot.)

Courtesy of Marathonfoto

The big difference with the half and full course is running along the speedway. A lot of people hate the speedway, but I like it. You can't run on a race track normally and I've grown up with cars so I think that it's cool. 

Courtesy of Marathonfoto

From Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom there is a lot of highway. It can be a little boring, but not too bad. This is where I took my second picture of the day, with the villains!

These are my people!

I feel like we entered the backroads to Animal Kingdom a lot earlier than I remember. I wish we ran through this park more, but most of the runners get there around park opening so it makes sense. I had no idea what my pace really was because I had made a bathroom stop and added a half mile onto my mileage. I knew that I wanted to ride Expedition Everest during the marathon. I didn't do it before and I don't plan on doing another marathon so this was my chance. I got into the single rider line and I was on there!

You don't get to ride a roller coaster during your marathon?

Woo hoo!

It gave me a boost. I was feeling amazing. This was probably my favorite time on this ride. I smiled and laughed the whole time. I did get cold, but warmed back up quickly. I wish there wasn't so much construction going on at this park, but I can get over it. They do have a lot of signs on the walls for people to take pictures with and upload.

Can you tell that those trees are fake behind me?
Courtesy of Marathonfoto

Remember the rain I had mentioned? On the highway to Wide World of Sports the rain came down. I knew that Nate was there somewhere, but I didn't want to ruin my phone so I had to hope I'd see him.The rain stopped, but started again. It was actually nice to get a cool down. It did get a little harder which made it harder to see with rain in your face, but nothing too bad. I walked a lot of Wide World of Sports until they gave out a banana which helped get my energy back up. Soon after, I saw Nate which was awesome. 

Soon I was heading towards Hollywood Studios. I was interested in seeing how the course would be now that the Backlot Tour is closed and you run through it. Through the costume tunnel they had fog and strobe lights. I hated it. I just pushed through the tunnel and was so excited to see light! There is construction going on here too including the Magic Hat. I'm glad I got a few pictures before the hat got the wall around it, but soon the parks will be redone and look great. 

Courtesy of Marathonfoto

After leaving Hollywood Studios we went along the Yacht and Beach Club. There are always a lot of people out and about here. It's nice to get the spectator support here too. 

Soon we were in Epcot. I honestly was ready to be done running, but was so excited that I was so close to finishing another marathon. I saw Nate again on the bridge heading into Future World. He asked if I wanted a doughnut. (Have you ever seen the doughnuts in this place? They are huge!!!) I said "No! I want to be finished!" In reality that is I want to finish and have a doughnut. (I did not get a doughnut.) Getting to mile 26 and seeing that choir, knowing that throughout the doors are people cheering you on as you make your way to the finish is a feeling that I can't fully describe. It is amazing! It is emotional! It is the moment you can just stop and be thankfully for everything. Finishing was amazing. I cried a little. I was so thankful to every single volunteer. I got my medal. I got my ice. I got a wet towel (which I hear are pricey). 

Courtesy of Marathonfoto
Courtesy of Marathonfoto

Remember when I said that no one knew what we were suppose to do without bracelets? Now was the first time the tent for Goofy/Dopey was being used for anything outside of herding us through! There was someone looking at our bibs and then a computer. (I'm guessing it was a picture from the expo and our times that we finished the previous 3 days? I should have turned around to see.) Hearing them say "Congratulations. You're all set." was the best. Next I got my Goofy and Dopey medals! There may have been a tear or two again.

Courtesy of Marathonfoto

And then food! Precious food! I got my gEAR bag for the final time and met up with Nate.

What nice volunteers!

5 mile: 1:14:34
10 mile: 2:36:17
Half: 3:28:49
20 mile: 5:10:48
Finish: 6:48:01
Clock Time: 7:28:24

Place: 17,024/19,970
Division: 1,433/1,731 (W25-29)
Gender: 8,325/10,285 (Women)

We went back to the hotel and grabbed some food. I took a little nap before showering and heading to my family's hotel. From there we went to Magic Kingdom to hang out for a little bit. Nate and I had dinner reservations for Be Our Guest later that night so we got in a few rides before hand.
Hey guys!

Dinner was delicious as always. We got to ride the Mine Train one last time on the way out of the park.  It was a great week. Running this challenge was amazing. Everything was great. I'm happy that I did this. 

Will I do this again? I've said no. Then again never say never right?

4 days of greatness.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

All the sudden I was entering day 3 of the Dopey Challenge, the half marathon. I remember feeling super tired. (I also remember almost falling asleep standing in the corrals.) Nate got up early with me and came to the start. He was going to head to Magic Kingdom and then back to the finish to see me.

Half Marathon Route

After hanging around for a little while I headed over to the corrals. I was in corral L for the half and the marathon. All I can remember is closing my eyes and knowing that I wanted to sleep. I knew that I couldn't though. My game plan for the half was to take it easy and walk a lot of the course. I was also feeling a little sick. (Did I mention I was sick the night before? Yeah…awesome.) Soon we were at the start line and off we went.

Starting line!

We headed out of the parking lot towards Magic Kingdom. I think running through the parking gate towards Magic Kingdom is one of my favorite parts. We've all driven through the gates that say Magic Kingdom on top and this would be the first of two days that I would be running (or walking) through them. After you pass through these gates you head towards the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) and the Contemporary. Nate was at the TTC to see me which was great. It was a nice pick me up. After the TTC, you have to go under a water bridge which is pretty cool. They always have a DJ with huge Mickey gloves on to get you up (as one runner called it over the weekend) "Disney's Heartbreak Hill". (I've run Heartbreak Hill, this is nothing.)

One of the best parts of this course is coming in a side entrance to Magic Kingdom onto Main Street. The street is lined with spectators and this is your first glimpse of Cinderella's Castle. The castle is lit up, but it depends on when you get to Magic Kingdom if you see it lit up in the dark or in the light. Today was light when I arrived. Nate had said that he was by the Christmas tree, but I hadn't seen him. So he headed towards the castle to see me.

On the way to Tomorrowland!

From Main Street you head into Tomorrowland before heading back towards the castle. I had seen Buzz Lightyear in Tomorrowland and the Queen of Hearts by the Teacups. I wasn't stopping for any pictures today so I kept on trucking by. Soon we came up on the back part of the castle. Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff were out there with fake snow again saying hi to everyone.

They're trying to take over Cindy's castle!

Running through the castle is usually the coolest part of the route. Today I hated it. All the sudden everyone just stopped inside. They were taking pictures inside of the castle which I didn't expect until I almost stepped on a photographer. I didn't get to run out of the castle and get a fun photo like I have before because everyone was walking. They were taking photos in front of the castle as well, but I didn't head over there. I did see Nate and gave him my jacket now that I was warming up. I kept going and headed over to Liberty Square and towards Adventureland before heading out of the park. 

Now we were on our way back to Epcot.

Epcot this way!

We were half way through the half marathon. I was almost done with day 3 of the challenge. Whoa! I had read on a Facebook group that there was someone dressed as Richard Simmons doing the Dopey Challenge. I didn't really believe it until I saw him on the starting screen while waiting for the start. I ended up texting Carrick about it. (We send each other Richard Simmons memes for motivation.) All the sudden I heard something. I turned to my right. There he was! I laughed and it helped me move more! He was great. I wish I ran with him more! 

Soon we were back in Epcot and almost done! Nate was at the finish line waiting for me and I was thrilled to be done. I grabbed some ice on the way out and headed to the reunion area. I was done with day 3.

Courtesy of Marathonfoto

10k: 1:37:49
15k: 2:19:53
Finish: 3:13:32
Clock Time: 3:54:16

Place: 16,683/22,081
Division: 1,230/1,697 (W 25-29)
Gender: 8,605/12,379 (Women)

Only the toughest pose with ice!
We met with my family later that day for lunch and hung out at Magic Kingdom for a little bit. Nate and I headed back to our hotel early. I was ready for bed and head to get up one last time super early. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Walt Disney World 10k

Day two of the Dopey Challenge was the Walt Disney World 10k. I've never done the 10k in Disney before, mostly because it was just introduced last year during Marathon Weekend. The course was similar to the 5k with an out and back on the highway and running along the Boardwalk. I know that people don't necessarily love this course, but I didn't think too much about it. (A runDisney employee even told me the 10k route wasn't good.) Spoiler: Not my favorite route. The out and back was boring and going into Epcot (near the Test Track back entrance) was really dark. I wouldn't rule out running the 10k again, but I don't want to go out of my way to run it.
10k route in red
The morning of the 10k was warmer and less windy than the 5k, but a lot of us still huddle inside the tent like the previous morning. After waiting around before moving to the corrals I finally got to the start line. The time in between corrals was longer today. 

Start line!

There were different characters along the course today. The White Rabbit was at the turn around on the highway, but he was kind of far down the street still. It was kind of weird. Lilo and Stitch were out. I was going to stop, but there were long lines again everywhere. Anna and Elsa made their first appearance this weekend on the overpass. When you got close enough to them you could see snow falling! (It was actually really cool and the same snow you'd find on a mountain. It was cold when it landed on you!)

Anna & Elsa made it snow

I stopped for Mushu from Mulan.

Courtesy of Marathonfoto

I also saw football player Mickey, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb, Genie, baseball player Chip and Dale, a few dancers on stilts, and a couple large puppets (which were along the mile 20 during the 2013 marathon).

The finish line was at the same parking lot as the 5k. (Spoiler alert: its the same spot for the finish for the half and the full too.) After I got my medal and my snacks (did I mention these are the best snack boxes Disney has offered!?!) I headed to the bus back to the hotel. 

Finish Line
Courtesy of Marathonfoto

5k: 38:15
Finish: 1:28:37
Clock: 1:59:30

Place: 7,311/10,949
Division: 489/743 (W 25-29)
Gender: 3,710/6,309 (Women)

Look at that medal!

After the 10k we headed over to Animal Kingdom to have breakfast at Tusker House. I've never eaten here before and I'm so glad that we did. We got to meet Donald, Goofy, Daisy, and Minnie decked out in safari gear. It's a buffet, so you can eat as much as you want! This is also a great time to try something new. I'm a big fan of the juice that they offer you. I'm a bigger fan of the Krispy Kreme doughnut holes! I recommend this character breakfast to anyone and everyone! I'm already thinking when can I go back.

With Donald at Tusker House

Next up, the half marathon!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Walt Disney World Family Fun Run 5k

Part one of the Dopey Challenge is the 5k. The race started at 6:15 am in the Epcot parking lot. This was the first of four days waking up early and hanging out in this parking lot. There was a wind chill advisory for that morning. Let me tell you, it was cold. (Meanwhile back home it was in single if not negative digits.)

A bunch of people ended up staying inside of a tent before the 5k. I'm not sure what this tent was meant for, but I did hear it was going to be used after the half and the full for massages. The tent kept the wind out and with so many people in there it was warm (or at least warmer than outside). Nate did mention that after all the runners moved to their corrals the tent was not very warm.

Danielle, Me, Becka

I walked to the corrals with Becka and Danielle. They were in corral B, while I was heading to corral D. (A lot of people complain about corral placement, but I don't care too much. Do I wish that I was in a higher corral? Sure I do. Am I upset at the corral I was placed in? Not so much. I'm happy to have the opportunity to participate.) Before getting to the corrals we hit a bottle neck that we couldn't figure out what was happening. What was happening is that they were checking everyone for bibs before getting to the corral area. Once at the corrals you were checked again to make sure you were entering the proper corral. They had the corrals start fairly quickly. Nobody wanted to be outside in the cold!

Soon I was at the starting line! I was slightly nervous. This is usually when I find out my knee is acting up again. I felt amazing the whole run though! The course had changed slightly since the last time I ran this race is 2013, but I liked it. We ran through the The Land (this is where you find the ride Soarin') instead of running around Spaceship Earth by the entrance.
The blue line is the 5k course

We enter Epcot through the backstage area and come in next to Mexico, then head around the World Showcase, towards Future World, by The Land, then towards Spaceship Earth, and back into the parking lot.

There were a lot of character stops throughout the World Showcase. The lines were all fairly long so I didn't stop at any. There was Princess Atta & Flick (from A Bug's Life), Norway Daisy,  Marie (from Aristocats), Pinocchio, Japanese Chip & Dale, and Canadian Donald. I feel okay not stopping for any pictures. I didn't want to be out in the cold longer than I needed to be. Plus I'd always have the next 3 days for character stops.

Courtesy of Marathonfoto

I was feeling amazing when I finished the 5k. I got my "medal" (it's made of plastic, but it's always one of my favorites) and met up with Nate. 

Finish: 36:57
Day 1 complete!
After the 5k we headed back to the hotel and then to Hollywood Studios. We rode a few rides, watch Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. We ate a delicious cupcake. (No really, it was amazing.) And we met a couple of characters.
Baymax cupcake!
Pluto was excited to see himself on my medal!

We left fairly early. I had to be up the next morning for the 10k!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Expo

Last week at this time I was in the midst of the biggest physical challenge I'd face, the Dopey Challenge! I haven't been home or awake long enough to write any recaps so I'm going to break it down over the next couple of days.

I left last Monday to head down to Orlando. I couldn't wait to get out of the cold that we have been having. The first two days Nate and I visited some parks. On Wednesday we were up early to head over to the Expo! The expo is where you pick up your bibs, shirts, swag, merchandise, and almost anything else you could see. The expo for Marathon Weekend is at ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. I already had in mind what I wanted to accomplish while there which helped. (You should always have a game plan!)

Once you arrive at the complex you want to go do your packet pickup in the HP Field House.  I usually do the 5k and then another event making me need to go all the way around, downstairs, and back upstairs to do it again. This was the first year I only had to stop at one area because I was doing the Dopey Challenge!  runDisney has just started making it so that you have to pickup your own bib. (People will sell their bibs or have someone run a portion of a challenge for them, but still receive the medals.) After getting my bibs I had to get a picture for the race weekend. The pictures were the way to make sure that I was running every race. I was given two bibs (one for the 5k/10k and one for the Half/Full), a gEar bag sticker, and a card to pick up my commemorative items. (I've never received a card for commemorative items before. I've always received them when I got my bibs.)

The next stop for me was the lower level of the HP Field House to receive my gEAR bag. I loved only going to one table to receive all of my things. (The bag that you receive is what you will use to check any items at the race.) Inside this bag was all six shirts! Yes six shirts! You get a shirt for doing the 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon as well as receiving a Goofy Challenge shirt and a Dopey Challenge shirt! After picking up my bag I headed over to receive my commemorative items. I got all six pins for the races and challenges.

In the field house they also have a smaller area for official runDisney merchandise. In the official event guide they had a picture of how the runDisney merchandise would be organized. I knew what I was looking for when I walked in so it was easy to grab things quickly and pay. I got the 2015 Mickey Vinylmation, the 6 race and challenge pins (they are mini medals), and a pint glass. I was happy the line was quick.

Jostens Center

After we left the field house, we headed over to the Jostens Center to look at more vendors. If you are not running a challenge this is also where you would head to pick up your gEAR bag and shirts. There is a bigger runDisney merchandise area which was busier and a little chaotic so we just kind of looked through quickly and moved on. We had walked throughout the aisles of exhibitors, but I didn't need anything so we headed towards the exit. On the way to the exit you can also find the Speaker Series. We listened to a little bit of Jeff Galloway talk before we headed outside.

Free photos!

Something new this year was that they had exhibitors around Champion Stadium. We looked at some exhibitors and won a free gift. Nate made me a cheering sign outside too. While he did that I put his name on a sticker that said something like "Thanks for being there" on it.

We took off back to the hotel after that to drop off our stuff. We had lunch reservations at the Magic Kingdom that we needed to get to.

I did end up back at the expo on Friday to get more capris (it was colder than expected). I also got an I Did It! Dopey Challenge shirt and a Coast to Coast Challenge pin. I'm not doing Coast to Coast this year, but I have in the past. I also got a gift certificate for Marathonfoto so that I could get some race day photos to keep. Nate also signed up for Runner Tracking while we were there.


Half Marathon

Dopey Challenge
Goofy Challenge

Overall my experience at the expo both day was quick and easy. It felt strange that there were some exhibitors outside, but it was okay. The Jostens Center was a little crowded, but nothing out of the ordinary from previous years.

Coming up…the Walt Disney World Family Fun Run 5k!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Drinking Water is a Must!

A couple weeks ago a girl who I went to high school with invited me to an event she is hosting. The event is help everyone in the event drink more water. I have been slacking on the water intake lately and was back to drinking soda regularly. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to get me back on drinking more water.

The challenge will last for 4 weeks starting January 1st. The ultimate goal? To drink 1 liter of water a day.

My friend Carrick gave me a new Bobble water bottle for Christmas. I was super pumped after the last 2 that I had got thrown out. This water bottle has a filter. I love this because I can just go into the bathroom at work and use the sink to fill the bottle instead of having to find time to run to a store to buy a bottle of water.

You just need to buy a new filter after 2 months/40 gallons of use. I have 2 filters from my previous bottle so I am ready to filter for half of the year! 

Back to the challenge!

The few days before the January 1st we were told to figure out what our daily average water intake was. Once we got our average intake we were to subtract that from 128 oz (or 1 liter) and divide that number by 4. Once we got that final number we are to drink that much more each week to reach the final week of 1 liter a day. 

Here's what my break out for the next 4 weeks looks like:

Week 1: 92 ounces
Week 2: 104 ounces
Week 3: 116 ounces
Week 4: 128 ounces

I know that the next week in Disney will be slightly more difficult to keep up on my water. (I promise I will nix the soda when I get back!) Water is really important for runners, especially when they are doing the Dopey Challenge! 

I hope that I can report back that I have done a good job of keeping up with my water intake. I'll be honest about how much water I have taken in each day and at the end of the week will report of this little blog.