Race Recap: Running with the Cows Half Marathon 2015

A couple weeks ago I crossed off another state in my “Running in 50 States” goal, this time Kansas!  Not really sure why I picked Kansas as the next state to do except that I have a friend who lives there and the Running with the Cows half marathon race looked really cute :)

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On the lookout for flying houses.

I left Milwaukee on Friday afternoon and flew into Kansas City International Airport, picked up my rental car and headed for my hotel in Overland Park, KS.  I stopped for a little pre-race Chinese food on the way, because that’s totally a good idea, right?

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By the time I finally made it to the hotel, it was 9pm or so and I had an early wake-up for Saturday morning so I just watched a little Netflix and went to bed.

The race was in Bucyrus, KS which was about 20 minutes away from my hotel but it had been raining a lot leading up to this race so there was an alternate parking plan in place which was to drive to exit 199 and park along the sides of country roads.  This was totally awesome and told me right away that I wasn’t in Wisconsin anymore (subtle Wizard of Oz pun intended).  I think I was the fifth car parked so clearly I got there plenty early and then it was about a 10 minute bus ride to the start area!

They offered packet pick-up the morning of the race which ended up working out well because I didn’t have to get in early on Friday and my friend’s mom was able to hold our goody bags while we ran.  So I picked up our packets and sat in the school/church and waited for A to get there.

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Sometime around 6:45, A and her mom got there and we both started freaking out a little bit!  It was A’s first half so she was even more nervous than me.  I was nervous because it was a good 20 degrees warmer than Wisconsin so I wasn’t really used to running in heat yet for the year.

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The race started at 7:30 and right away, the cow decorations were SO CUTE!  They had cow cutouts on the sides of the road and painted on the roads, awww!!

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A and I ended up running the whole race together which made the time pass really fast.  We just talked and ran, ran and talked and it was really fun! The clouds stayed covering the course until right after we finished which was really a good thing because as soon as the clouds went away, it was HOT!  There was a pretty good breeze along the course so it was pretty comfortable the whole time.

These were pretty much the only cows we saw on the course... maybe it was the impending rain that was keeping them hidden?

These were pretty much the only cows we saw on the course… maybe it was the impending rain that was keeping them hidden?

The course was also pretty flat with just a few rolling hills but nothing you really needed to stop and walk up, so that was really nice.  The only problem with this race was that we ended up right ahead of the 2:30 pace group and the leader of that group was SO LOUD AND ANNOYING!  She kept going with this roohaha mantra stuff and a continual countdown of how long we had left and it was not helpful at all because it made you focus on how far you still needed to run… they also MOOED at every freaking mile marker.  Needless to say, we made it our mission to beat them and to stay out of earshot ;)  I mean whatever works for them but it was driving us nuts!

Mile 12 was for sure the hardest, as it always seems to be. but soon we were running towards the finish! A had a goal to run under 2:45 and when we saw the time on the finish clock, we realized we’d probably be under 2:30 so we booked it for the finish! (She a little more so than me – lol!) I finished in 2:27:29, A beat me by like 3/10 of a second I think – ha!!

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This race ended up being one of the funnest I’ve ever done and the medals were so adorable!  It makes me want to run this race again and again because of how well it was organized and everything about it.  Too bad Kansas is not very close to Wisconsin :(  Also, the after food was AMAZING!  I can’t even list it all there was so much but some of what I remember: pizza, subs, tacos, chips + salsa, meatballs, little smokies, Corner Bakery, protein oat balls, bakery for days, pork with homemade noodles, it was awesome!

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SELFIE REFLECTION ALERT

We spent the rest of the day doing Wizard of Oz things because WHY NOT!  When in Kansas :)

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All in all, it was a really fun weekend albeit super short. I was up early Sunday for my flight back… to 40 DEGREES!  COME ON WISCONSIN!

As you can see, the flight was super packed on the way home.  I only had three seats to myself.

As you can see, the flight was super packed on the way home. I only had three seats to myself.

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Now I need to decide what weekend trip destination race to do next year :)

Thoughts on Dopey.

I keep intending to post at least once a week on here but the weeks seem to keep flying by and I’ve written nothing down… Now here we are, almost one month post-Dopey and I still feel like I want to type something up about my Dopey experience so I have something to look back on at the very least.

I really thought this Dopey Challenge thing would be a once in a lifetime experience but less than a week post-Dopey, I was already wanting to do it again.  Not this year but maybe in a couple of years I will be up for it again.  I am pretty set on running the Disney Marathon in 2016 though so I am sure when I am there for that, I will have lots of Green Eyed Monster feelings for those walking around with their Dopey medals after the marathon :)

Some of the parts of Dopey went just how I imagined they would and some were so much harder than I thought they would be.

YEAH RUNNING!

YEAH RUNNING!

The better parts:

  • Race congestion this year was MUCH IMPROVED from 2013 when I ran the marathon last.  I could not believe how much better the course felt from mile 1 – 48.6 and all miles in between.
  • The weather this year was pretty much perfect for running.  Rather cold on day one but even marathon day proved to be just fine.
  • Getting to run all races except for the marathon with other people made those first miles fly by!
  • For the 5k-half days, I didn’t feel like the races in the morning took away from being able to enjoy the parks for the rest of the day.  So therefore I didn’t feel like all I did on this trip was run, run, run.
  • I did not feel like dying on marathon day, I thought for sure this day was going to be a horrible race but nope, not even close!
  • I thought I might get tired of running routes in the same area each morning but they were all different enough that I ended up really liking what course I was on each day.

The not-better parts:

  • Disney told the runners to get to the 5k and 10k WAY TOO EARLY!  It would have been nice to sleep in a little more those mornings because there was no need to get to either of those races one+ hours in advance.
  • In line with point #1, I was SO EXHAUSTED by Sunday.  It seriously took me about two weeks to feel like I wasn’t completely exhausted all the time.  Part of this was probably just time change + travel + all the time outside but getting up at 3am four (really five because we flew out early on Wednesday) mornings in a row was not fun.
  • The Runner’s World Challenge piece of the registration that I signed up for was a total waste of money.  I won’t be doing that again!!  There was zero wait for general Dopey packet pickup but I waited about 45 minutes for the Runner’s World line.  I am not sure why they had such a small area set up for this.
  • The goodie boxes for after the races were really disappointing this year… and they were the same every morning so I didn’t even take them the last two.  No, I don’t want to dip tortilla chips in spreadable cold cheese.
  • Traffic Saturday and Sunday morning was really stressful.  I guess I kind of anticipated this but it was worse than I thought it would be.
  • The merchandise for Dopey was totally disappointing this year.

Things I did right this time:

  • BROUGHT A LARGER PAIR OF SHOES! I am so glad I did this because by marathon day, my feet were a little puffy :)
  • Stayed on-property.  There is no way you could do this race and not stay in a Disney hotel.
  • Planned less-intense parks for after the two long race days.
  • Stayed a few days after Dopey was finished to be able to enjoy the parks more on those days.

Things I would do differently:

  • If I had all the money in the world, I would stay at a hotel on the monorail :)
  • Leave for half-marathon and marathon mornings a little earlier.
  • BRING CLOTHES FOR ALL WEATHER VARIATIONS.
  • Remember my foam roller so I don’t have to order one from Amazon while there :)

Overall, I think things went really well for Dopey.  I feel like I had a relatively solid training cycle (albeit a slow one) and I feel like I didn’t have race anxiety like I normally do.  I am excited to see if I can PR in the fall knowing what I know about marathon training now!

I WANT TO GO BACK AND DO IT AGAIN!

I WANT TO GO BACK AND DO IT AGAIN!

What to do in 2015?

I want to talk more about Dopey/RunDisney in the future but this has been really annoying me lately so I thought maybe typing it out would help clear my mind…

I intentionally waited until after Dopey was finished to think more about what my goals for the rest of 2015 are but now that I have started thinking about them, I CANNOT DECIDE!  Seriously, I know there are life coaches but are there race calendar coaches because I need one!

I am already signed up for two travel half marathons, one to Kansas (Running with the Cows) and another one in Yellowstone, so ideally, I would like to keep most of the other races I sign up for localish.  That gets hard when it comes to triathlons though because even though I live like seven miles from a Hugh Jass lake, it’s not actually a lake that frequently hosts triathlons… wonder why? :)  But I really want to do an Olympic distance triathlon this year and maybe another sprint too because I am so afraid of swimming in open water for the distance of an Oly…  I suppose I could just practice that too, huh?  But again, easier said than done because they don’t really recommend swimming in lakes alone I suppose… I need a triathlon nOOb like myself to swim with I guess…

After having a really good marathon experience in Disney, I would really like to attempt to PR at the marathon this year.  But the options for local marathons are again, limited.  I don’t really want to spend more money on a hotel room… I am leaning towards the Fox Cities Marathon (it’s their 25th anniversary I think?) so they promised a new course and more water views and things so I don’t know.  That area is at least really flat but the only problem is it’s not even a week after I get back from a long vacation so what if I get sick traveling or something… I JUST DON’T KNOW!  Plus I really love their half marathon… so maybe I will just do that.

Geez, can you stop talking about running yet?  You are so boring.

Geez, can you stop talking about running yet? You are so boring.

Another marathon option is the Lakefront Marathon which I did in 2012 and really liked, but I know I will be one of the slower ones at this race and that makes me hesitate… but I also know it fills up FAST so I can’t wait too long.  Realistically, it’s probably my best bet at this point but decision are so challenging right now.  I was ALMOST registered yesterday but then I quick clicked the corner “x”.

Plus, man, that time of year is beautiful!

Plus, man, that time of year is beautiful!

A third marathon option is the new Milwaukee Running Festival but it’s the first year for this race and I can’t find if this race director has done races before so quite frankly, I don’t quite trust them for a full marathon… so I am thinking of trying the half for the first year.

Gah, I have so many mixed emotions and normally something just clicks and feels right but this year I can’t find it!!!

I also most vertainly thought I would be able to take a year off of running in Disney but who was I kidding, I totally want to run again.  Although I am leaning towards “just” the marathon this year so I can enjoy myself more the other days and I don’t have to stay as many days.  Sure, it’s just one medal then but somehow I will have to come to terms with that.  Or maybe just do Goofy (haha) but really, I better not…

I also toyed with the idea of doing a longer organized bike ride but I think most of those are later in the summer and don’t normally fill up so I will just take my time and decide on that I think.

Dopey Challenge Race Recap: WDW Marathon

5k, 10k and Half recaps before getting to the good stuff!

THE BIG RACE! I was TERRIFIED for this race for many months leading up to it.  My last marathon was in Disney in 2013 and it was Horrible. I was in so much pain, I felt so discouraged and the last 10k of that marathon took 1:38!!  Not fun.  I knew that my problems were training/overtraining and had nothing to do with the Disney marathon so it wasn’t that, it was just the wondering of could I do it?

The pre-race anxiety was pretty minimal though because I’d already done the whole morning routine for the past three mornings so what was one more?  Plus I kept telling myself, no more 3am wakeups in the near future!  I felt like I had eaten a lot of food to “carbo-load”/refuel from the half marathon but still made myself eat like two/three dinners the night before – lol!!

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Once Sunday morning finally rolled around, I didn’t really feel super anxious, sure, a little bit but I knew I would finish, even if it turned into a Death March there in the end because DARN IT I AM NOT GOING TO MISS OUT ON THREE MEDALS! I did develop quite a bit of anxiety once we got on our race bus that seemed as though it was going to KIDNAP US! We seriously got on the bus and then the driver pulled over and just sat there… as we watched about 5-6 other buses drive by.  I was seriously freaking out about this.  Plus the driver was BLARING THE MOST INAPPROPRIATE MUSIC.

We did finally get to the race start area and luckily I had signed up for this Dopey Challenge thing through Runner’s World and that was a pretty big waste of money until this morning when I could use the private porto-potties with NO LINE!  So I hurried for those and then made my way to the start corrals while my sister headed for the Chear Zone in Magic Kingdom!

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I bypassed so many people by walking in the grass instead of on the roadway and managed to get to my corral with plenty of time to spare.  I think I was there about 5:10 or so and the start was not until 5:30 + I was in corral G again so that added another 20 minutes.  So I had plenty of time to calm down, sit, stretch, etc.  It was actually really pleasant weather this morning so I just wore my tank top and shorts and felt comfortable which was nice because I didn’t have to mess with any throwaway clothes or anything like that.  I opted to forego carrying my water bottle again so I just had my phone and a couple of Gus.

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The fireworks sent us on our way around 5:50 or so and then it got real for me!  I think I was actually “that person” in my corral because I was not at all planning to run a 4:15 marathon pace like the pace group in my corral was… so the first probably 10 miles of this race were so discouraging because people kept passing me left and right!  But I just managed to keep a slowish, comfortable-feeling pace (I was also running it totally time-blind because I didn’t want to suck up too much battery on my phone by doing GPS tracking).  I just kept running and tried to work out the muscle soreness from the previous days.

OMG WHAT IS GOING ON?

OMG WHAT IS GOING ON?

I decided to chunk up this marathon in my mind to help pass the time.  I’d figured it was 6ish miles to the Castle, another 6ish to Animal Kingdom, about 5ish to ESPN Wide World of Sports, 3ish to Hollywood Studios and then fairly constant entertainments until the finish.  So as I was running, I just counted down until the next interesting venue and tried not to do the full math on the distance remaining… I actually was able to be really excited for the Castle because that meant part one was almost done and also I knew I would get to see my sister!!

I didn’t really stop for any pre-castle pictures this time but did pull over to the side so my sister could take one of me before I headed on my way again.

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After leaving the Magic Kingdom, I started the mental countdown until Animal Kingdom!  I love Animal Kingdom so I was really looking forward to running through that and also, AK was the time my last marathon here went to crap so I was looking forward to passing that marker to remind myself I was not running that same race.

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I totally forgot about running on the Speedway so that was not in my calculations but we started that around mile 8 and exited around mile 9.  It was fun seeing all the old cars lined up though!  I wasn’t feeling too encouraged at this point… I was starting to really doubt whether I could finish or not.

But then I started to get close to the AK, and there were so many interesting things leading into the Animal Kingdom including actual animals!!  (also the waste treatment plant but let’s pretend that doesn’t exist, k?) so that got me feeling a bit better about myself and running.

The SUN IS RISING!

The SUN IS RISING!

I really liked running through Animal Kingdom this year and also I knew the half-way marker was up ahead!! Yeah!

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LOOK AT ME I AM HAVING FUUUUUUNNNN!!!

LOOK AT ME I AM HAVING FUUUUUUNNNN!!!

After exiting the Animal Kingdom area you run across the 14 mile marker so I knew that meant about 4ish miles until ESPN!

CAUTION RUNNERS, RUNNERS COMING AT YOU AHEAD

CAUTION RUNNERS, RUNNERS COMING AT YOU AHEAD

The bad thing about ESPN though… you spend about 1-2 miles running TOWARDS people who have already passed the 20 mile mark :( – I remember not feeling very encouraged about that in the past and didn’t much like it again this year!  I knew my time would come though so I just kept running and tried to listen to my book instead of obsessing over the fact that those people were so much further than me!

In 2013, I HATED ESPN so much!  But this year, I can honestly say I loved it!!  It was so fun to run around the track and through the sidewalks and then finally through the baseball stadium!  It was just so much fun!!

Can we talk for a minute about how this guy was wearing a belt and khaki short?

Can we talk for a minute about how this guy was wearing a belt and khaki shorts?

I don’t think I have ever been having FUN at mile 20 of the marathon but this time, I sure was!  I was completely clueless on my time but knew the rough time I started the race and also roughly how long it would take me to run a 10k and thought maybe, just maybe, I could get close to my PR time so I decided to book it for the finish!

IT'S MILE 20 AND I AM NOT DEAD YET!

IT’S MILE 20 AND I AM NOT DEAD YET!

It probably wasn’t my wisest decision ever in my life but it turned out to be what helped pull me towards the finish mentally.  My legs were just feeling good and running faster for the first time all weekend was just feeling better so I just went with it!  Miles 20-23 passed in no time!

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I was too intent on getting to the finish that I feel like I didn’t really make much notice of running through Hollywood Studios… I am sad because this will be the last year I could have had pictures with the Sorcerer’s Hat in the background and instead I have serious face.

How many miles is your marathon?

How many miles is your marathon?

I felt like I was exiting HS as soon as I started running into it but then around two miles to go, I stopped to grab some Powerade and I totally fell off the roll I was on… I was still able to keep running but it was not quite as fast and mentally I started to suffer a little bit more so at that point I pretty much gave up hope of PR’ing.

Running around the Boardwalk was cool (although it started sprinkling a bit at this point which actually cooled me off nicely) and I was getting really excited to run around World Showcase!!

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Can we talk another minute about that dude behind me in the black t-shirt wearing an oxygen depravation mask? Can we also talk about how FREAKING ANNOYING it was that his breath sounded like DARTH VADER!?

But seriously, HOW WAS THE LAST 1.2 MILES AROUND WORLD SHOWCASE ACTUALLY 10,000 miles!?!?

NO ONE TOLD ME WE WERE LITERALLY RUNNING AROUND THE WORLD!

NO ONE TOLD ME WE WERE LITERALLY RUNNING AROUND THE WORLD!

I felt like I was running and running and running and getting nowhere!!

THIS IS WHAT MILE 25.8 OF A MARATHON LOOKS LIKE!

THIS IS WHAT MILE 25.8 OF A MARATHON LOOKS LIKE!

But finally I saw the choir! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! And knew that meant FINISH LINE!!!! So I booked it for the finish!

I THINK I MIGHT WIN!

I THINK I MIGHT WIN!

YEAH!!!!!! 4:42:01 later, I was a Dopey Challenge finisher!! Unbelievable!  I was seriously in shock that I was able to finish this thing and just to finish the marathon feeling relatively OKAY!

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48.6 miles in four days.  Pretty crazy but I did it!  And came within three minutes of my marathon PR on top of it all!

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I grabbed my medals (ALL THREE OF THEM!!!!) and headed straight for the buses because I just wanted to stretch at the hotel instead of on the ground.  Turns out I missed my chance to see Dopey for a photo op but I was pretty much ready to sit down and eat food anyways.  Sorry, Dopey, you are kind of weird anyways.

I think I will still do some reflecting on this week/weekend in a future post but this one is long enough for now so I will stop while I am ahead.

The Bling.

The Bling.

Dopey Challenge Race Recap: WDW Half Marathon

Already we are on day three! (Day one and day two in case you missed them)

Half Marathon morning!  I really didn’t know how happy my legs would be after running the two previous days.  I also felt like it was quite possible I would overdo it at the half and be dead by the full so I was glad when Sister agreed to let me run with her.  I figured if we could talk during the race, it would assure that neither one of us overdid it.

Getting to the start area was trickier on half marathon morning because traffic was being routed a different way than it was for the 5k and 10k.  But luckily, Run Disney has buses to get you to the start line so really, it was just more time sitting on a heated bus instead of standing in cold corrals so it was really no problem.  I think we got to the start area around 4:45am or so and stopped for the porto potties and then walked towards the corral area.  Sister was in corral H and I was in G but I was able to drop back one to run with her.  We sat on the ground in the corrals for awhile and then once 5:30 rolled around, we started moving forward as the corrals were released.  I think we started running about five minutes before 6am.

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The first thing I noticed was how much better the crowds were!  It was a night and day improvement from the get-go.  In the past, it’s been a real challenge to stick together for the first few miles and it seems there were always a ton of people going way slower than everyone else but whatever changes Run Disney made to the corral assignments worked very well!

Running in the dark.  Carrying my stupid throwaway t-shirt because I just couldn't part with it!!

Running in the dark. Carrying my stupid throwaway t-shirt because I just couldn’t part with it!!

The first few miles are just pretty dark and you are running on the roads so they are not that exciting but soon enough you enter MAGIC KINGDOM!  Running down Main Street USA with the castle up ahead, this is why I am so obsessed with Run Disney races.  It really is the coolest experience ever.

OMG I LOVE THIS PAAAARRRRRTTT!

OMG I LOVE THIS PAAAARRRRRTTT!

You get a little bit of a tease though because you don’t run straight to the castle, you wind around in the park a little bit first but you can see the castle the whole time so it’s pretty cool.

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Plus I LOVE Tomorrowland so I will happily run through that.

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The castle for the half marathon means you are practically half way done so that is also really nice! (Not quite so for the marathon though ;).) I got suckered into buying race photos for the first time in my life but I think they were worth it (even though I still look so dumb in 99% of them)!! I now wish I would have done more posing before, during and after races but oh well.

Sisters by the Castle!

Sisters by the Castle!

After the castle, you run a bit more through the park, I think until a little after mile 6 or so and then it goes back to being a little boring until you get closer to the finish line.  There are tons of characters along the way and music and other entertainment so it really is still cooler than the best half I have ever done around Wisconsin.

Sister hadn’t really trained for this race so neither one of us really knew what to expect as the miles kept ticking by but by about mile 10 (the point Disney throws in a really nice on-ramp hill to run up) we both realized that the hill wasn’t even bothering us this year.  Back when we did this race in 2012, Sister started to fall apart at this point but not this year!  This year she picked up the pace and we got faster until the finish!

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With around one mile to go, you start to enter EPCOT and since that is probably my favorite park (and also the park I didn’t really get to visit this trip!!!), I really enjoyed running through it.  You kind of twist all around though and it started to play some mind games with me because I just wanted to finish at this point but coming up towards Spaceship Earth was really awesome!  I feel like we didn’t do that exact same route when we ran this in 2012 but I might just not be remembering correctly.

Sister wanted to beat  me at this race so as we crossed mile 13, she sprinted towards the finish and I just be-bopped along since I knew the BIG DAY was still coming up.  I really do love the choir that is singing you to the finish!

RACE THREE!!!

RACE THREE!!!

I crossed the finish line with a finish time of 2:28:21 which was a course PR!  I was secretly hoping that I could course PR for both the half marathon and full marathon and spoiler alert: I did.

The finish area was also so much less congested than I remember from past years and the volunteers actually let you walk to the side and stop moving to stretch or whatever you needed to do which was SO MUCH BETTER!  Sometimes I just need to stop moving for a second after longer races and in the past they would yell at you when you did this.  I hope this is a permanent change because it was much appreciated!

OMG MY HAIR IS SO EMBARRASSING.

OMG MY HAIR IS SO EMBARRASSING.

Sister and I both collected our medals and then made for the parking area/bus pickup area to do a little stretching and drinking.  I didn’t carry my water bottle with me because I knew the rest stops were plentiful but by the finish, I was glad they had tons of water and Powerade bottles waiting for me.

I was still really nervous about marathon morning but having three races behind me out of four felt pretty awesome!!

TIRED EYES FINISHER MEDAL SELFIE!

TIRED EYES FINISHER MEDAL SELFIE!

Dopey Challenge Race Recap: WDW 10k

ICYMI: 5k Recap

Morning number two was quite a bit warmer than the 5K but still a bit colder than the weather forecast was saying so I didn’t have the correct clothes packed.  I ended up just wearing the long sleeve overshirt I’d worn the day before since it’s not like I sweated in it or anything :)

I got to the start area really early (again) and met up with Katherine (again, deja vu so far!) but this time we headed straight for the tents!  This was a very good call as it really helped block the wind.  We sat around until about 5:15 or so and then walked for our start corral (B again).  It seemed quite a bit fuller this race but maybe that was just because more people were spread out rather than huddled together.

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After the fireworks went off for the A and B corrals, we were off!  The 10k route was pretty cool in that it went through a few boring miles but then through World Showcase and around the Boardwalk area.  I know I ran the Boardwalk area the last time I did the marathon but I was in way too much pain and don’t remember it at all… so this felt like a brand new experience – ha!

This was my favorite character sighting!

This was my favorite character sighting!

We pretty much spent the hour talking and it passed in a flash!  It was all of a sudden mile 6 and we were pretty much done.  We had to laugh at a few people (with Dopey bibs I think) booking it for the finish at that point.  You win that thing!!

YOU PHOTO BOMBER, I JUDGE YOU.

YOU PHOTO BOMBER, I JUDGE YOU.

My finish time was about 1:09 or so, pretty much the exact same pace as the 5k!  I might not be the fastest but my legs like to keep an 11 minute mile and do it pretty consistently!

Yeah!

Yeah!

I seriously loved this race and the bus situation was totally improved this morning!  Walked right on a bus to head for my resort.  Perfect!  After the rocky start with the 5k being so cold, the 10k morning was a welcomed improvement.  I never felt like the course was crowded and everything just seemed to go really well this day!

Probably I shouldn't post this but it makes me laugh.

Probably I shouldn’t post this but it makes me laugh. Especially since it seems like Katherine is posing so nicely next to me.

I do like running 10ks, just not racing them, so this was perfect.  My legs were feeling a little sore already this morning but I don’t think I took any real walking breaks, maybe just a water stop drink or two, I can’t even remember since I’ve done so many races since then!

2 down, 2 to go!

2 down, 2 to go!

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Dopey Challenge Race Recap: Family Fun 5k

What a week!  I am seriously going to be in such a depression for the next three months.  Even though we didn’t see much sun in Florida, by the day we left, it was gorgeous out and I was wearing a tank top to now being home and it’s like 12 degrees or something like that.  Plus I already miss Disney!!  At least I have four recaps to write that will help prolong the vacation just a little longer, at least in my memory.

The first race of the Dopey Challenge was the Family Fun 5k.  I think this race used to me a lot more families and kids running it but then Disney started the Dopey Challenge and pretty much took it over.  I think there were about 10,000 runners, 7,000 of which were doing Dopey!

Shameless bathroom selfie to kill time before walking to the bus and to keep from waking my sister.

Shameless bathroom selfie to kill time before walking to the bus and to keep from waking my sister.

The race started at 6:15am which doesn’t sound TOO bad but Disney told us we needed to be on a bus by 5am which meant I got to the start area about 5:05… that was WAY TOO EARLY, DISNEY!!  For 1/2 marathon and full marathon mornings, there was a ton of traffic but 5k/10k days, the drive was super fast.

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Another blogger I know, Katherine, was also running the Dopey and we both ended up in B corral for the 5k/10k piece of it so we decided to meet up before the 5k.  Little did we know it was going to be ARCTIC COLD on Thursday!  Confession, I always thought people who wear coats in Florida were a little crazy but after experiencing this cold, I no longer think that.  Something about the humidity level or something made it just biting cold.  I never wear coats in Wisconsin…  So her and I waited around for well over an HOUR in the biting cold, trying to stay huddled near buildings and in a tent because did I also mention there was a WIND CHILL?  IN FLORIDA!  Everyone was clearly miserable.

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Things finally got moving about 6am when we had to head towards our corrals.  (For the 5k/10k, there were four corrals compared to fifteen on 1/2/marathon mornings.)  People were huddling together again to try to stay warm but it really was not helping that much!  I think Katherine and I started with corral B around 6:20 or so?  I don’t really know but I do know, it was FREAKING FREEZING!

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I don’t remember anything really remarkable from this race, except that it went by super-fast!  It seemed like we crossed the one mile mark and then were done in no time.

Gonna win or something!

Gonna win or something!

The course was pretty neat though, it started through a boring area but then we ran around the World Showcase in EPCOT and then out and around a bit to tack on the few extra miles for 3.1 before crossing the first finish line of the weekend!  I ended up with a finish time of 35:02 which was probably just about right, knowing what was ahead of me!

With our plastic race necklaces.

With our plastic race necklaces.

The worst part of this whole morning was the bus pickup after the race.  Everyone was still so COLD! And to top it all off, since runners/walkers were still going in the area the buses drive, we had to sit and wait!  And then they had this asinine rule that all the buses had to enter and leave in a row… it was pretty close to mutiny by the time everyone was loaded on the buses.

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I waited about FORTY MINUTES for a bus.  Way longer than it took me to even run the thing… The 5k really needs a little tweaking by Disney to get this to not be the most painful of the four races… but all in all, it was still a really fun race apart from the weather.

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Katherine calculated that after finishing this race, we were only 6.38% done or something like that… that was a little eye-opening but I think making it through waking up at 4am and doing the whole bus/freeze outside/freeze for the bus thing must have made it count for a little more than that!  Spoiler alert, I really do think this morning was the most painful of the four.

Next up, the 10K!