Brigitte Mittler - "I'm really considering doing Dopey next year. However, it would be my first full. Am I crazy? I have a ton of halfs this year and just feel that I might actually be the best prepared after this running crazy year. You've inspired me!"
Brigitte when I was deciding if I was ready to run my first full I decided to test myself. I was two months out. I went out for what I knew would be a long training run and left it open ended. I would run until I was done. I went 17 miles. I knew with 2 months to go I would be ready.
If you are already half marathon ready, I suggest you do the same. Test yourself and try taking a low key training run to the next level. Make sure you have fuel and fluids and make sure your have a rescue plan. Like someone you can call to pick you up if you are ready to stop before you make it back home or to your car.
Of course this is all just what I did (March 2012). So take it with a grain of salt and choose your own course of action, but it was the motivation and proof I needed to take the marathon leap. I am a firm believer that you should try these things out on your home turf. No need to spend lots of money and be untested headed into Dopey until you have proven to yourself "I've got this! I'm Dopey!"
There are lots of different kinds of athletes out there. I happen to be a mental one who is blessed with a strong body. You may think I am crazy, but I do look down at my knee (substitute any body part you want) and think "oh not now" during my race. As in you will not fail me now! I adjust my stride or protect the joint and move forward. Hyper-extending ones knee in a race is just not acceptable (for me).
I guess what I am trying to say is that we are all different and I do think I am pretty high up on the toughness scale. It freaked me out a bit that I was so far behind on my distance training for Dopey, but I simply did not allow it to scare me since race day (x4) was going to happen regardless of how I had or had not trained. As I passed the 10 mile mark on the WDW Marathon course I set of into the "no man's land" of my training plan, my reaction ... "it's all icing from here!" More on that later!