Wandering with a Purpose

Tag: marathon training (Page 1 of 4)

2023 Dopey Training Week 5/6: July 25 – Aug. 7

This is a catch-up post because I didn’t write during these two weeks of training. Not sure why, but it just slipped my mind.

Training Week 5: July 25 – 31

This week was hot. It was just humid and hot. My Tuesday and Thursday runs were lackluster. I felt slow and sluggish, but I got both runs done. I didn’t do anything on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday – just pure laziness.

On Saturday, I did a 16-mile “run.” Since my weekday runs were not great, I knew I wouldn’t be able to run the full 16. Instead of doing a run/walk pattern, I opted to speed walk the full distance. This helped keep my confidence high and not get discouraged like on my 14-mile run. The other change I made was to do loops where my house was in the middle. I first did 6 miles, and then I stopped at home to get some Nuun and a wet rag. Then I went out for another 6 miles before stopping at home again. Then I went out for my final four miles. Those breaks helped a lot. I did the full distance in 4:06 which averaged a 15:23/pace. Well above any goal pace, but Coach said it’s training and walking is beneficial. I was below a 15-minute pace until mile 7 – then it keep increasing. At mile 11, I was over a 16-minute pace. I didn’t feel great, but I was happy to be done. It was just so hot.

Training Week 6: August 1 – 7

Monday I did get in a 10-minute yoga session – but that was all. Didn’t even close my green ring! My two maintenance runs this week were okay. Tuesday I did a 3.2-mile tempo run which averaged a 12:31 pace. My tempo portion was only at 11:51, which really made me mad. Thursday I got in 4 miles on my drill day. Wednesday, I did my final bike ride before Pelotonia and completed 4.5 miles. I felt ready to go since a bike ride doesn’t feel like a lot of work…

The big highlight of the week was going to Columbus for 2022 Pelotonia! On Friday, I drove to Columbus for the event. On my way, I finally stopped to tour the West Virginia State Capital in Charleston. It was nice to get some walking in during a road trip, especially by seeing something that I find really exciting. I love to tour state capitol buildings. I’ve been traveling on I-77 between North Carolina and Ohio my whole life. I’ve always seen the beautiful gold dome of the WV capitol building but have never stopped to actually see it. I’m so glad I finally toured it!

Pelotonia was quite something! I have a full recap here, but a high-level summary is that it’s an event to raise money for cancer research. It was my first time riding 20 miles. Read about my takeaways in the recap because I definitely learned a lot!


These past two weeks really got away from me. I’m not sure if it’s the summer heat, but I was really sluggish and unmotivated. Pelotonia was a great experience, and I am really glad I got to do this with my brother. Now, it’s on to training week 7!

2023 Dopey Training Week 4: July 18 – 24

The weeks are just flying by! We are four weeks into 2023 Dopey training, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m sticking to my schedule and doing what I’m supposed to do, but, like last week, I don’t feel confident at all.


Today was a pretty lazy day. I only did a 10-minute core workout, which is, unfortunately, an improvement on my Monday workout session. I’m struggling to feel confident, and I know the two things that would help would be strength training and losing weight. Strength training should help lose weight, so why don’t I prioritize it? Ugh!

On a fun note, I got my new Macbook Air M2 today! I had a Macbook Pro 2011, and I had been waiting the last few years to get a new Macbook. My old one is still a good computer (I love Mac quality), but I couldn’t really upgrade the OS anymore. Not a big deal because most of what I do is web-based, but I also wanted a new computer. The difference in 11 years of technology is just outstanding! Just look at the screen and the size. I’m quite excited!

2011 MacBook Pro vs. new MacBook Air M2


Tuesday is tempo day, and I’m focusing on trying to PR the Around the Crown 10K in just over a month. Overall, my total pace was 11:58/mile, which includes a 30/30 warm-up and cool-down. I did 2.16 miles at 90/30, but it was only at a 10:53 pace. According to my MM pace, I should do a 10K at 10:19/mile, but I’m not sure how to do this. I felt like I was sprinting to do what I did. I got in a total of 3.5 miles, but I was really frustrated.


Just a small, slow walk. I was feeling sluggish, so it only ended up at 1.89 miles at a 16-minute pace. Boo.


Thursday’s training was drill training. My cadence drills again ranged from 41-45 or so. I feel like I should be able to do more, so I must be missing something from this exercise. Overall, I did 3 miles in about 44 minutes. My overall pace was 14:37/mile because I was really slow on the warm-up. I hate that I keep saying that “I wasn’t feeling it” because I do want to get out there. I’m just so, so sluggish. Despite being slow going, I did do squats, lunges, and calf raises when I finished, so got in a little strength training.


I did a short 10-minute pilates workout to help my core. Friday night I was so tired and skipped an event at my church and went to bed before 8 pm.


Despite an early bedtime and the dogs sleeping all night, I didn’t feel well when I work up Saturday morning. I was planning to do my speedwork on Saturday so I didn’t have to get it in before helping in the nursery tomorrow. Based on how I felt, I just couldn’t do it. I wasn’t much in the mood for walking let alone speedwork. The pups and I had a slow morning, and I hoped I would feel better by the afternoon.

Sure enough, I didn’t feel so bad later and did the long bike ride I planned for Sunday that afternoon. I took my bike to the greenway for some shade and to ride without stressing about cars. When it’s really humid out, a bike is nice because it creates an automatic breeze.

Because it was so hot and humid, I brought a water bottle with a Nuun sport tab. Part of the issues I have with hydration have to be related to electrolytes. Despite the Salt Tab label listing it includes all 5 electrolytes, my running group said you still have to drink electrolytes; Salt Sticks are not a substitution.

I was about 4 miles into my ride when I stopped to take a drink. I didn’t want to slow my ride, so I went to pause my watch and I stopped the workout instead! The agony! Has anyone done this? I just hate it because now the workout will look shorter, and you wonder if you should just redo it. Sigh. I told myself that is dumb and to get over it. Therefore, by the end, I did a 3.77 mile and 7.22 mile bike ride back to back. Not quite 11 miles, but I could have done 11 miles if it was showing on my watch. The dumb things technology makes you do…

Pelotonia is in two weekends! I’m really excited to do this event and am feeling comfortable that I will be able to complete the 20-mile ride. My fundraising goal is complete, but if you’re interested in helping support cancer research, please feel free to donate here. Any size donation is meaningful!


Speed workout day was finally here. I tried going to bed earlier and planned on waking at 4 am, but I was still so tired. It was 4:45 am before I woke up and finally got out the door around 5:30 am. I forced myself to eat a Honey Stinger waffle and brought a Ucann gel with me. I wasn’t sure I was going to use it, but I probably should to practice and because it would total 8 miles when I finished.

The dew point was around 67 degrees. I don’t know a lot about the dew point, but it has been mentioned in several running blogs and podcasts since it relates temperature to humidity. All I knew was that I just needed to do the workout. I walked a lot of my warm-up and then busted the 800-meter speed portions. Unfortunately, while I thought I was sprinting (which you shouldn’t do), I didn’t meet my goal times. My 800-meter time should be 5:05, which I only surprassed on my fifth round. All my other times were higher, which is very upsetting.

spadework segments

But survive I did. That was my second time completing a speed workout, and I can see how this can help you improve. I would still like to find a track to use, but this setup is working okay.


This was not a great week, but I did the workouts I needed to. I hope to start feeling better so I can embrace these workouts more and add in more strength/flexibility exercises. Next week, I need to watch my diet and eat more energy-rich foods. It’s still going to be hot, and next weekend has a 16-mile run on the calendar. Whew!

2023 Dopey Training Week 3: July 11 – 17

Week 3 of Dopey training is in the books. It is definitely summer in North Carolina, so it is really hot and sticky. This week was okay, kind of like last week. I managed to get in all of my runs, a bike ride, and some yoga. While I didn’t do “formal” strength training, I am adding in some exercises after my runs.


No real workout today. Churchill had a vet appointment, and then I had to get to work. I did some stretching after work but basically took it easy.


Tuesday is tempo day. I did my 10-minute warm-up at 30/30 ratio then switched to 90/30 ratio, hoping to hit a 10K pace of 10:19. This is what my Magic Mile predicted pace would be according to Jeff Galloway. If I can hit this (and sustain it), I can PR Around the Crown 10K on Labor Day weekend. It’s my goal to PR, so I will keep working towards this.

My pace was 11:41, which is way off, but I was also feeling way off that morning. Just super sluggish. Total workout time was about 37 minutes.


Today I got in a 5-mile bike ride. It’s funny about bike rides because they are encouraged, but I don’t feel like it’s a workout like a run. I just rode around my neighborhood and luckily didn’t have any encounters with crazy people in their cars. Pelotonia is in just a few weeks.


Thursday is drill day. I’ve been keeping my intervals at 30/30 for these days so I do a warm-up, then cadence drills for 5 minutes, then acceleration gliders before making my way home. My pace stays about the same (low 13:00), which I’m not sure if that’s good or not.


Churchill had to go back to the vet today because, on Monday, they spilled his blood sample. The poor little guy had to redo this. I decided to do a full 30 minutes of yoga before bed, which was very nice. I was able to clear my head and actually focus on the exercise.


Today went wrong in every way. The dogs were up at least once every hour starting at 11 pm. My goal was to wake at 4:15 am, but I was so exhausted that I hit my snooze until 5 am. Finally, I pulled myself out of bed because I knew how brutal the heat/humidity would be if I waited any longer.

I finally got my tail out of the door around 6:20 am for a 14-mile long run. The set pace for my long runs is 13:40. On our Tuesday call, Coach Twiggs referenced this as a stop sign. You can go slower, but you aren’t supposed to speed. I changed my ratio to 20/30 to try to slow down to this on my last run, which worked okay.

For the first 6 miles, I was definitely speeding. I kept trying to slow down, but I was having a hard time without constantly walking. My other goal was to worry about fueling. My fingers swell in the heat/humidity and Salt Sticks tabs are supposed to help with this, so I started taking them from the beginning. I had a Ucann gel around mile 4. I wasn’t hungry, but you’re supposed to stay ahead of things.

Well, I could feel the heat around the halfway point. Pretzels were my next snack, so I ate about 5 during the next mile, which was a win because I didn’t feel nauseous. I was still trying to keep up my ratio. By mile 9, I knew I couldn’t do it and gave up to straight walking. I took a really hilly route, so I could get some more exercise, knowing that I would be walking. Around mile 9, I decided to have my Honey Stinger gummies. They are yummy, but I was feeling nauseous around mile 11, so I have to think that is a cause. I just can’t handle sugar.

The END!

By mile 11, I couldn’t even give it a go at running. I really slowed my walk down. Coach says to just cover the miles. Well, I listened, and I got them in. It was ugly, but I did what was on the training plan. I was so wet from sweat. My legs were tired, my left calf was sore from mile 2 or 3, and my hands were swollen and hurting. But I was done and that was the biggest goal.


It was another hot Carolina day, so it was nice to visit my parents and go to the pool. I was able to get in 45 minutes of light swimming. I know it’s doing something, but I never feel tired until I get out of the water. Maybe it’s because you don’t sweat in the pool. Not sure, but it was a nice activity to add to the training cycle.

Take Away

I have a lot to figure out with fueling and hydration during this Dopey training session. I love my hydration pack, but I was so tired by 14, I don’t know how I could do 26 (let alone 3 times in a matter of 2.5 months). Trust the training. Trust the plan. This is what I need to do, but I can’t help but think I need to run more during the week. I really want to be a better runner, but I’m not sure what to do.

2023 Dopey Training Week 2: July 4 – 10

As many people have mentioned on Instagram, we are still in the honeymoon phase of training where things feel good and are manageable. I can agree with this on the running front, but I was a LAZY bum all of the other days. Sigh – how to keep motivated if this is supposed to be the honeymoon phase! The big downside to this week was the heat. This was the excuse I made on my cross-training days, which was definitely just an excuse.

Churchill and I celebrating July 4
Me and my best man, Churchill


Happy Independence Day! I was off work today to celebrate America’s birthday, but I celebrated by doing Run Charlotte’s American 4-Miler. Read a full race recap here. Ultimately, I was pleased with my performance.


Today was my scheduled rest day since I did my tempo run yesterday during the race. I was really lazy. I should have done something – a walk or yoga but NOPE. I did nothing but attend my group call. I had an event after work, so that definitely cut into any available time.


Today should have been a walk or a bike ride, but again, I didn’t do anything. I had to leave early for work and then felt it was too hot, so I didn’t do anything. I regret this a lot.

Rise and Run Pod


Even though I had to leave early for work, I work up at 4:30 am so I could do my 3-mile drill workout. I was able to do my cadence drills (I think I got up to 48) and acceleration gliders. I think some people can get into the 50s and some even 60s on the cadence drills. I would love to know how they do it. I may have broken 50 one time. They say there isn’t an ideal number, but I feel like there should be a range.

On Thursdays, I get to listen to the Rise and Run podcast, which is one of my new favorite running podcasts. This week was the second installment of their Jeff Galloway interview, which I found very helpful and informative now that I am doing this training program.


Today was another lazy day, but I snuck in a slow 0.78 mile walk. Definitely, nothing to write about here.


I set my alarm for 5 am and had intentions of doing my speed training at a track at a nearby middle school a neighbor told me about. He mentioned it had been a few years since he went there, so he wasn’t positive, but he knew he had run around it before. I got to the school and did a little bit of a warm-up around the school trying to find the track. Once I found it, I was sad – “Closed for Renovations. Do Not Enter.” I jogged back to my car intent on finding a track I could actually use.

I stopped at a local high school, and it was also not available. This was around the football field and there were tall gates prohibiting anyone from using the track. By this time it was about 7 am and getting more sticky. I was frustrated and decided to call it a day.

On my way home, I stopped and toured some townhomes that were under construction (very nice) and told myself, I would take my bike to the greenway for a trip. That definitely didn’t happen, so I ended up being lazy again. I did do a bunch of errands and projects that I had procrastinated but nothing good on the workout front.


It was now or never. I had to get in my speed workout today! I opted to go to an area of a nearby neighborhood where I do my magic mile for this activity. Compared to the surrounding area, it is flat. The circle is about 0.33 miles around, so I couldn’t use it to measure the distance, but it would give me an idea.

Coach’s assignment was to run 800 m (0.5 miles) in 5:05, then recover at 400 m (0.25 miles) in 5:05. I was to repeat this 6 times after a 15-minute warm-up. Last time I had 4 sets, and I just couldn’t figure out how to monitor the times. This time, I think I did pretty well! I’m not sure if it’s a good thing, but I actually ran most of the 800m segments faster than his recommendation. Afterward, I slowly jogged and walked a mile cool down. I put together some Apple Watch tips here.

All in all, I did about 7 miles today but it didn’t feel like that at all. I kind of liked the speedwork exercise because it changes things up a bit. I’m still wrapping my head around the logistics, but I can see how this can be beneficial. It was a slightly rainy morning (yes, I was a wet dog when I got home from the speed workout!), but the humidity broke and it was cooler, so it was actually a really nice day for a run.

I’m fitting in some yoga and strength exercises throughout the day on my Apple Fitness app and meal planning for the week. Here’s to a better Training Week 3!

2023 Dopey Training Week 1: June 27 – July 3

I’ve really slacked at writing training weekly updates lately, but I think they were helpful for me when I was training for the 2021 Chicago Marathon. I started training with the Galloway Customized Training Program in April, so I am not following the Hal Higdon Dopey Training Plan or the RunDisney Galloway Training Program since Coach Twiggs created a training plan for me. When I signed up for the program, I told him I wanted to finish the 2023 Disney Marathon strong and in 5 or 5:15 time (I forgot what I told him). That is how he created my current training plan.

Instagram is abuzz with 2023 Disney Marathon training kicking off this past week (June 27 – July 3). The RunDisney training plan has a 3-mile long run this weekend, which is the plan a lot of people are following. I did a 12-mile run on Saturday, so my plan is a bit different. I decided to keep up with everyone, this week was my first “official” training week for Dopey 2023. The excitement and camaraderie makes the difficult training cycle more fun, so I am going to do updates based on this broader plan. The first of 28 weeks…


This is my rest day. I was supposed to do yoga, but I didn’t…I did fit in the speed workout I was supposed to do on Sunday. My business was robbed early on Sunday morning, so I didn’t get to do my first track workout then because it was too hot. (Don’t get my started on the idiot who tried to rob me and likely won’t have any repercussions to his STUPID actions.)

Coach prescribes a track workout to help with speed. Today I was supposed to do 4 x 800 in 5:15 (90/30 pace) and a 400 meter cool down in between in that same amount of time. I tried to go to a local middle school and use their track; I left because it said “no trespassing” and got nervous. Instead, I tried to use a neighborhood circle, but I couldn’t keep track of the time/pace/distance and basically botched the whole thing.

What I learned for this is WOW, this is going to be tough. This was only 4 sets, but my later training exceeds 10. I’ve never done a speed training before, and this is going to be INTENSE! That’s what I’m here for, and why I decided to work with a coach.


My typical Tuesday training is a 10 minute warm up (30/30 ratio) then 10-15 minutes at race pace (60/30), follow up by a 10 minute cool down (30/30 ratio). I did this with my neighbor, which it is nice to have someone to run with, and it was actually a nice morning. This generally works out to a 3-mile run. Overall, I did a 12:15 pace for the workout. It was a good run, and I finished in time to get ready for work.


Coach has me scheduled for cross training. I try to bike this day, but I decided to go for a walk instead, even though I should have biked for my Pelotonia training. Cycling is so overwhelming because I am terrified of the cars. When I walk, I don’t feel bad about using the sidewalk…


Today is Coach’s drill day. I still go about 3 miles, but my schedule is:

  • 10-minute warm up (30/30)
  • Cadence Drills (keep on 30/30 timer)
  • Today I did a MM instead of race pace
  • Acceleration gliders
  • 10-minute cool down (30/30)

I kept my timer on 30/30 the whole time today but ignored it during the MM, but it was easy to do everything else with this timer. The thing I should note here is my MM. On Tuesday’s group call, Coach suggested I do a MM because I was really struggling to slow down enough to hit my recommended paces. This would be my 3rd MM a month or two, and since I know I haven’t been able to execute it well, I thought that was a good decision. I added in more walk breaks since that is the recommendation he makes to other group members. My “track” is a neighborhood circle 3+ times. I put my walk breaks at half way, at the start, and then repeated that 3 times, so it was 6 times instead of 3 times as I did on my second try. On my first try, I ran with 0 walk breaks.

I really don’t understand it, but I ran faster with 6 10-second walk breaks than I did with 0 walk breaks. It was a hot day, and I did a mile in 8:58; that is crazy! I don’t know if I ever did a mile that fast before! Super happy about this!


Today was a low-key cross train day, so I just walked for 2 miles.


Today was my weekly long-run. I did 12-miles, which I did at a 30/30 ratio. It was really tough, but I was steady. Not sure I could have gone too much further, as I was excited to be done! Best of all, I basically hit my 13:40 pace!

Let me tell you, I’m so happy with my hydration pack. That makes a huge difference. I’ve been trying out Salt Stick tablets and using my vest, so I feel like I can sustain myself for longer. My fingers are swelling, but they don’t hurt like they usually do.


For today’s cross-training, I finally got in my swim. It has been a long time since I got into a pool. but I know how beneficial it is. I walked to the pool before its opening. Having signed the waiver saying that I was adult and could manage the pool without a lifeguard, I was disappointed to find all of the gates locked. In a mature fashion, showing my real age, I jumped the fence. Yep. I’m 37 but definitely felt 15 again. The lifeguard came in about 30 minutes later, and asked how I got in. I couldn’t lie…

Even though it was hot, I did get in 18 holes of golf that afternoon and had one of the best games that I have done (I’m still a beginner). It’s just so pretty!

May 2022 Training Update

Even though no one reads this, I find updating my blog helpful for accountability. There are a lot of things I need to write for my training updates, but I haven’t prioritized a weekly update. Therefore, I have a lot of updates in my running routines, and I will do a high-level update here.

Customized Training Program with Chris Twiggs

On May 17 or 18, I started the Customized Training Program with Coach Twiggs, as part of the Galloway Training Program. I learned about this program on a podcast I’ve been listening to when Coach Twiggs was interviewed. When I first received the schedule, I panicked. It was so different than what I was planning using Hal Higdon Dopey plan. I was also overwhelmed because he had me running 26 miles in November with the race in January. The shock was a lot for me to take in.

Take it in I did, and I emailed him questions and comments. I also signed up for an extra 6 months (taking this program to 1 year) so I could see the full plan for Dopey. He has been really wonderful to work with and help with making changes. I think this Galloway program will be good for me to improve as a runner.

Upcoming Race Plans

With my new training program, I had to adjust the races I was signed up for. I was signed up for the Charlotte six-pack series, Cannonball half marathon, and the City of Oaks half marathon. I was toying with doing the Charlotte half marathon but Coach said that would be a challenging date. Instead, I signed up for the Kiawah Island Marathon in December to do during my Dopey dress rehearsal.

Favorite podcasts

Podcast have been both keeping me motivated and teaching me new things. My favorite running podcasts are:

I’ve learned a lot about running from each of them, and highly recommend them. l enjoy listening to them on runs.

Finding Community

I’ve been really nerding out to running but don’t have anyone to talk to about it. One of the things I hear in the RunDisney community is meeting virtual friends. Even though I have to have a limited relationship with Facebook, I decided to join some Facebook groups for Dopey people. It is neat to see the updates others have and feed off their excitement.

Training Update: April 18-24

What a week! With the beautiful weather, calmer allergies, and a successful Dopey registration, I was really motivated to get out there and be moving.


Monday was a lazy day because of travel. I did some stretching, but no real exercise.


Dopey registration day! I got in a 3-mile, easy run in the morning and wore my Dopey shirt to celebrate the date. I was really nervous about it, and it turns out I had every reason to be. It was a crazy day, but I was really lucky and secured one of the coveted spots. My run was nice and just what I needed to start the day.


Sometimes a walk is just what you need. I didn’t run in the morning, but I opted to enjoy the beautiful weather with a 2.69 mile walk and strength training.


2-mile speed run


Nothing specific


10K run went really well. Just a steady run/walk and I felt great afterward.

longest ride yet


I completed my longest ride yet – 9.3 miles! It went really well and is almost half of my Pelotonia distance. I’m going to be able to do this! Just need to keep training, and I’ll get ther!

2023 Dopey Registration

Whew! I needed a night to recover because runDisney Marathon Weekend registration was an absolute nightmare! Registration was announced weeks ago that it would be on April 19 at 10:00 am ET. This year is celebrating the marathon’s 30th anniversary and Dopey’s 10th – aka, this isn’t their first time.

It has sold out in 2021 (turned virtual) and in 2022. I think my friends registered for the half several months after registration opened for 2020, and I believe I registered in August for the marathon in 2018. There was a lot of hype around this year’s themes because they are awesome, so I felt like the 5K and 10K were going to go fast, but I had no idea how fast everything else was going to go.

Prior to registration, lots of people will post tips on things to do to prep for registration. There is really helpful information about making an account, what information to have available, and generally what to expect. There is a lot of debate on whether you should get in the queue early or right on time. After today’s experience, I think getting in right on time is the way to go (with, of course, another device in early as backup!)

My Journey

2020 Dopey shirt

I started my day with a good 3-mile run in my 2020 Dopey shirt. I was ready for registration day!

ready for registration

All of my friends were prepped for 10 am registration. I was going to be at work so I was nervous about a customer coming in at that time, but I was all ready for a quick process. The Dopey queue opened, and I was in on my phone browser at 9:40. I was saving my computer browser for a 10 am entrance. Then 10 am came…and 10 am went. We were in the queue for a while before the screen changed to this

And this is what we saw for almost 2 hours!! I can’t understand what the issue was. They knew this date was coming; they knew there would be high traffic; this was not the first time they had registration. What exactly was the issue?


There were some great social media posts.

small world registration
Should we be worried about the Balloon Ladies?
We don't talk about...

At least that was entertaining, but it was completely inconvenient. People had other things to do and a lot of people tried to make themselves available from 10 am to 11 am.

Is the End in Sight?

Thank you for your patience

Eventually, runDisney updated the message at 12:15 pm stating that registration will now open 2.5 hours after it was scheduled. This message said not to refresh! At this point, my phone queue had stopped, and I stopped receiving updates sometime around 11 am. I also had a screen opened in Chrome.

At 12:30 pm, my Safari and Chrome browsers on my computer showed this, and I was so annoyed!

1 hour wait

I had been on for 2.5 hours and got placed at the end of the queue?! Since I’m impatient, I opened a screen on my phone and got 20 minutes or something. This is why I am now on the side of the people who say to get in at registration time. The “Do not refresh the browser” message on the original screen is a lie! I heard from a friend the 5K and 10K were sold out before I got onto the registration page. She was lucky enough to get in.

The countdown started, and my phone won!


Shortly after I registered, another friend texted me to say Dopey was sold out. Then Goofy. Before I left work, everything was sold out!

2023 marathon weekend sold out

I can’t imagine this was all of their spots. So many people waited since 10 am, stayed in the queue as instructed, and they didn’t get their spot! I feel so bad for them. I don’t know why it doesn’t put you in the queue in the order that you arrive – especially after a 2.5-hour delay. Hopefully, they will open up more spots!

I’m feeling very lucky and excited for this opportunity to take on 48.6 miles again! It was so much fun in 2020, 2023 should be just as exciting. I can’t wait!

Big Goal: Dopey 2023

Dopey Challenge 2023 has been on my goal list since I completed the challenge in 2020, and I have been looking forward to the event. Unfortunately, I have been struggling with the decision as of late (which I won’t go into now), but on Thursday night, runDisney released the 2023 marathon weekend themes, and WOW! They nailed it!

How exciting is this 90s theme to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the WDW Marathon! This is the Disney I remember from my childhood, and I was a big Disney kid. Dopey is completing all four races: 5K, 10K, half marathon, and half marathon during runDisney Marathon weekend. It’s difficult, but there is such energy that it makes it so much fun!

On top of it being an anniversary year for the marathon, it is the 10 year anniversary of the Dopey Challenge. My very first marathon was the 25th anniversary of the Disney Marathon. It’s hard to believe that was almost 5 years ago, but I remember how exciting it was. They gave us Mickey ears after the race to celebrate, and it was just so cool! I’m sure they will do something really cool this time, too!

I’m sure the weekend is going to be so much fun, and I decided that I am in for the challenge. There are several goals I want to complete to get ready for this, but Dopey 2023 is my motivation. Registration is on April 19, and I will be ready!

Training starts on September 5, so I have Pelotonia before then. It will be a great way to start 2023. Lots to accomplish before then, but it is just the motivation I need to make them happen!

Race Recap: 2021 Abbott Chicago 5K

During my marathon research, I found out that major marathons host a “shake out” run the day before the big event. Chicago Marathon’s is called the Abbott Chicago 5K. Even though I was nervous about running the day before the marathon, much of my research showed that it’s a positive thing, assuming you take it easy.

Course Map

The course is a one-way 3.1 mile run through the heart of Chicago’s downtown loop area. It passes major landmarks and is just a fun way to see the city.

The course itself was very cool and a fun way to see the city. The race highlights different countries so many people had flags to run with to show their home countries.

The Start

I arrived too early because I had a hard time sleeping. It was a pretty morning and fun to watch people arrive. My guess is that many of the people running were also running the next day.

The Race

There’s not much to report on a 5K race going at a really easy pace. I felt strong the whole time but really was there to take it all in. The coolest part of the race was around a mile going up an exit. There was a group of people and I heard some rumblings. When I turned around, it was Shalane Flanagan walking up the ramp with some girls from Girls on the Run. A bunch of the runners freaked out and tried to take pictures as we passed. My pictures didn’t turn out, but it was really cool to see her on the course.

fun bag of snacks post race

The Finish

I felt great at the end. The run gave me a lot of energy, and they gave everyone a cute bag of snacks at the end. My final time was 35:24 which was about an 11:24/mile pace.

If anyone is doing the Chicago Marathon and is considering the Abbott 5K, I would highly recommend it. Not only was it a fun course, but it was a nice way to get out race jitters before standing at the start line. I think I would have been much more nervous on Sunday if I didn’t get this race in the day before. To read how the marathon went, check out my race recap.

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