Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dopey reality check

runDisney Dopey reality check or how I made it work for me!

Based on a Facebook conversation with Rhonda Sweeney.

I was a bit all over the place on the Dopey courses, actually a whole lot all over the place during the 10k, half, and full. All my goofing off/photography left me with slower runners. I think I ran the grass during both the half and full after leaving MK. I definitely ran the grass on the off camber interchanges. I can not do the one leg shorter than the other thing. It kills my knees. The base of the Speedway was level enough, but you better believe I was hugging that turn and running the grass when need be to get around slower runners. 

During the WDW Marathon
(I always step out of the way if I'm going to stop to take a picture.
That said, it take plenty of pictures while still running.)

I also ran tangents when the road was bending. The course is measured shortest distance point to point, so I try to run it that way. We are not automobiles! The lanes do not apply to us! 

Running toward the WDW Half Marathon mile 10 interchange
that puts you onto the overpass from which I shot this photo. 
Since I knew there was a right turn coming after the straight away, my usual plan would be to drift right and be prepared! However in this instance I was thrown off by the addition of the Disney cruise folks/buses and one individual in particular who caught my attention! You all know by now that photo ops play a huge part in my runDisney funDisney approach to running!

My Mile 10 photo op!
Bet you did not know I almost went to the Coast Guard Academy! 

He wasn't the only one with a cool hat!
As for the early mornings...I simply function differently at Disney. I kick into an overdrive setting. I try to go to bed early. I'm usually asleep by 10 pm, but 5 hours sleep is something simply unheard of in my real life. I am a 7 hour minimum kind of girl! And 4 days in a row...insane! Yet it happened and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

My rule is to try and be in my room by 7 pm, but I know my body would never let me go to bed that early. It gives me time to get organized and settle myself for sleep. My big shock came before the marathon when my sister and roommate went through her pre-race routine. She reviewed the course mile by mile. I was half asleep, but could feel the adrenaline rush through my system! I am very much into visualization and she put me on the course. We each prepare in our own ways. I was just not prepared for our very different needs. Long story short, it led to an interesting night. I never thought I was a "mumbler". Of course I have absolutely no recollection! I wonder if I was pre-running the course? I'm just glad it did not come back to bite my sister! She PRed over last years WDW Marathon! Way to go sis! 

Having a car was a huge help to me. I did not need to bag check anything and I was able to sleep later than I would have if I was taking race transportation. I turned my phone on when I woke up and was shocked to find that runners were already tweeting from the Epcot parking lot. I skipped all pre-race entertainment. I arrived in time to potty at the finish line and move to the corrals. I am a master at simplifying for self-preservation and it really paid off at Dopey! 

These are all just my ramblings about my Dopey Challenge experience. I hope there is something in here that will be of help to you. What I would like to end with is that I was having a ton of fun throughout this whole experience! These are all just self-preservation techniques to make sure I keep having fun during what is a very serious distance! 48.6 miles is the farthest I have ever run in 4 days and I want to be able to do it again! #DopeyChallenge2015


  1. I was lucky enough to run in the Goofy Challenge and it was a blast...but two days of garbage sleep was bad enough, can't imagine four of them! That's probably the hardest part...well, that and those cambered ramps, ugh!!

    1. I think I was running/operating on pure Disney adrenaline for 5 days straight! I am usually a napper, but I could not settle myself to even get a decent nap in after the 10k. I did not even try after the half. I guess you could call it my Dopey buzz!

  2. I'm surprised to hear that having a car and driving yourself was less stressful. I was somewhat thankful for the bus transportation because of the road closures, but then again I don't know the Disney property very well. What time did you leave in the morning on Sunday?

    1. I want to say we left Bonnet Creek at 3:15. I did go the wrong direction on the interstate for one exit, but quickly corrected. There is only one way to get to Epcot on race morning. Only one entrance route. I have learned from the past that the published way is the only way. I like driving myself, but I also like taking the race transportation. Either way I am good to go. I do make sure I am on the first bus if I am taking race transport though. Being on the first bus just makes me feel better about being able to get there. You do hear stories about impossibly long bus lines and buses passing by because they are already full. Taking the first bus has always prevented that from happening to me.