Wandering with a Purpose

Tag: rundisney (Page 1 of 2)

Race Recap: 2023 WDW 10K

10K is such a great distance; it’s long enough to be a good run yet not too draining. The race course for this race made the distance even better. Add to that the amazing 90s theme for 2023 marathon weekend, and I cannot stop smiling! This was probably my favorite race of the Dopey 2023 weekend.

Getting Ready

After the 5K, I went to Animal Kingdom with my friend and her boyfriend. We met up with another friend and had a very nice day. We rode several rides, but I only got to meet Donald and Daisy. Since it would be another early morning, I wanted to get back for an early dinner and bedtime. My goal was to have dinner at the Pop cafeteria around 5 pm each night.

After dinner, I made sure to get all of my things together. Based on my super nerdy schedule, I made sure that I:

Dopey 10k flat Kristin
  • Had my morning fuel – a cherry Pop Tart and a caffeine sport Nuun
  • Laid out my outfit and bib, along with my shoes. My 10K shoes were the same shoes I was wearing around the park, a different pair for the half, and then the same shoes for the 5K and the marathon.
  • Recovery Nuun for when I got back to the room after the race
  • Emergen-C. I would take one packet of Emergen-C when I got back from the park and another one before bed. I was determined to not get sick.
  • Protein recovery drink. I would fill up my shaker with water, Tailwind recovery powder and put it in the fridge overnight. This was something I would add to my gear check bag for after the race. The sports nutritionist I worked with really stressed the importance of getting protein and carbs within 30 minutes after a hard workout. Because Dopey is so intensive, I made it a point to do this after every race – even the 5K. I think this helped me during the week, so I’m glad I did this.
  • Got into bed to make an Instagram post. Originally, I wanted to do my race recaps, but I couldn’t focus enough to type them then.

The Course

The 10K course was a different course than I had done at my two previous runDisney 10K events – 2022 Princess 10K and 2020 Dopey – yet it had similarities. Essentially, there was some highway running at the beginning, but by the halfway point, you’re in the park and have a lot to entertain you until the end. On top of the fact that Chip and Dale were the new mascot, I was really excited for this race.

2023 Disney Marathon Weekend 10K Course Map
Monterey Jack

Pre-Race Party

My 2 am alarm came quickly, but I was looking forward to the day. I wasn’t too tired yet, and as I mentioned was excited for the 10K distance. I was able to get on one of the first buses around 2:40 am or so and made it to the pre-race party in time to get a picture with Monterrey Jack! I’m so glad I watched an episode of Rescue Rangers before this weekend since the last time I saw one was when I was a child. That show was one of my brother’s and my favorite shows!

After getting that picture, I waited for my friend, but eventually got nervous and went to my corral. Why do those emotions creep up when I know I’m going to be okay on the 10K? There is no reason I should be scared about getting swept at this point, even with character stops. That is definitely part of the mental game that I need to address!

The Race

The race started promptly at 5 am after the playing of the national anthem. This is one of my favorite parts of sporting events, and Disney always has amazing performers! One day was a trumpet or something, and it may have been 10K day, but I can’t remember.

2023 Disney Marathon 10K Start

I was in corral C but believe I went off about 30 minutes after the start. My goal for the race was to take it easy with (I think 30:30 intervals). I wanted to go steady but feel strong at the end of the race – and maybe stop for a few characters!

There were a lot of characters on course! I was hoping to stop for pictures with a few of them, but the lines were out of control! If I had more confidence, I should have stopped, but I got so worried about making sure I finished. Once I entered Epcot, they had a photographer with the Figment statue, so I stopped for that since it was a shorter line.

Right before gettingo

Character stop with Darkwing Duck

Right before mile 6, there was a character I just couldn’t pass up; it was my brothers favorite cartoon – Darkwing Duck! Lucky for me, the line wasn’t too bad when I arrived. Since I was close to the end, I knew I could book it, if I needed to get to the finish. The line added about 20 minutes or so, I think, so it wasn’t too bad. That being said, his was one of the shorter lines that I passed. This was a cartoon I should have watched before coming in for the weekend since I hadn’t seen it in decades. We heard the theme song multiple times, and it always made me smile.

2023 Disney Marathon Weekend 10K Finish Line

The Finish

About 0.2 miles to go after seeing Darkwing Duck, and I was done with my second race. But in reality, you are only finished with 19% of the miles. I felt really good after the race and was on a complete high. The music and the course were so good, and there were still two more days of magical miles to experience!

There is something about crossing a finish line that is so exciting. If you’re someone who hasn’t done it yet, please do. Find a local race and traing for a 5K. You will feel all the feels everytime you cross one, and that feeling of accomplishment is just the best! Also, as a side note, this was my first time running wearing ears. This has always concerned me, but it wasn’t a problem at all! They didn’t move, and I never worried about them falling off, so I will definitely do this again!

Finish line picture

After crossing through the finish line, I was able to get my medal with Chip and Dale, 2 waters, a snack box, and a banana. It was still dark, and I was so cold! Not sure what I was (or wasn’t) thinking when I packed my gear bag, but I didn’t pack my coat. For some reason, I didn’t see any mylar blankets either, so I had to find a way to warm up.

Post-Race Party

There was so much energy after the race. I was waiting for my friend to finish, and decided to get in line for the most sought-after character stop of the weekend – Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers. They are just so darn adorable. Funny enough, it took me longer to stand in line for this picture than it took me to finish the race – and it was worth every minute!

Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers

By the time I got my picture, the sun was fully up and the party area started to clear out. This was an advantage for me because Launchpad McQuack’s line was pretty short (especially in comparison!), so I got a picture with him.

Launchpad McQuack character stop

So even though I didn’t get many stops on the course, I was lucky enough to get 3/4 of the characters at the pre/post-race area. Unfortunately, I can’t remember who the fourth one was.

Post Race – Hollywood Studios

After the pictures, I loaded the bus back to Pop Century for a much needed shower and warm clothes. After breakfast and getting ready, I headed out on the Skyliner to Hollywood Studios to roam around for the day. My goal was to find more characters, but also to do some rides in the park that I hadn’t done before.

Character-wise, I was lucky enough to meet Sully (a very, very long wait) and Olaf (not too bad). I’m not sure where all the characters were, but after two days in the park, I was disappointed. In 2020, I met many more characters. For attractions, the new ones I saw were Lightning McQueen’s Race Academy, Mickey and Minnie’s ride in the Chinese Theatre, Frozen Sing Along, and lunch in Toy Story world. One of my favorite shows since I was a child is Beauty and the Beast, which I also got to see. It was really fun, and is another thing that always makes me smile.

I left the park around 3 or so to get back again for my evening routine. It was quite a day and an even bigger day was on the docket for tomorrow. I wanted to make sure I got a good dinner and felt prepared for the half marathon.

Race Recap: 2023 WDW 5K

Thursday morning was the first morning with a 2 am wake-up call for the 2023 Dopey Challenge where runners complete the WDW 5K. It’s definitely early, but it’s not a stressful morning because you “only” have to complete 5K, which is a normal weekly run for me. My goal was to be on one of the first buses out since I get worried about logistics. When I stayed with friends in the past, we would leave later, but I was worried about doing it on my own. The night before, I laid out everything that I would need.

5K/10K prep
I organized the drawers in the room with everything I would need for each day. This was very helpful and reduce a lot of nerves.

Getting Ready

One of my main concerns over Dopey was to avoid getting sick. This race is in January, there are big temperature changes, we are around a lot of people, and you expect your body to function with early mornings and high physical exertion, which all weakens your immune system. My plan was to take a sports Nuun with caffeine in the morning, a vitamin/recovery Nuun when I got back after the race, and then 2 Emergen-C before dinner. I think this plan helped me a lot, and I avoided getting sick during and after the race! Many people posted that they did get sick afterward, which is expected when you wear your body down so much.

Flat Kristin 5K

Anyway, I had my Nuun while I got dressed in my Pluto-inspired costume. This was my first time doing a “costume” for each of the races. I didn’t do my first costume until the Princess 2022 Half Marathon when I dressed like Minnie Mouse. I love it when people wear costumes, but I don’t do them because 1. it can be expensive and 2. I’m not very clever.

This year, I decided to dress like the mascot for each of the races, with a few exceptions. For the 5K, I dressed in Pluto’s colors, which was hard because I don’t own a lot of clothes that are yellow. Many people wear skirts and hats from Sparkle Athletics, so I decided to get a yellow pair at the expo to match with a pair of pants and (luckily) we got a yellow race shirt with Pluto. To round it out, I made a green collar out of a ribbon I had at home, and voila, I was Pluto!

The Course

The 5K course for runDisney events is almost always the same, and I think the best course. You spend almost the whole time in Epcot, so there are just a lot of fun things to see. It is crowded, but the vibe is very calm and fun. This day is also when people where the craziest costumes because you can walk the entire race.

2023 Walt Disney World 5K Course Map

Essentially, you spend the first mile backstage and go into Epcot around Mexico then travel around the world. The lake has equipment from the evening show lit up with the marathon weekend logo, and it’s just really cool. They also play music from the speakers, so this year we listened to great 90s music and got to jam out!

Pre-Race Party

Getting to the race early was a good idea, and something I would do again in the future. There are characters set up before the race where you can take pictures. In the past, I never tried to do this because the lines are so, so long. When I arrived, they were not long, and I was able to get a picture in 15-20 minutes. My goal was to get a picture with Dopey after each race, but he wasn’t around on 5K day (nor would he be there on any day!!). While I can’t remember exactly, I think Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy were there. Daisy had the shortest line, so I got my first character picture of the weekend with her. Definitely worth the early morning!

Daisy Duck 5K

My friend Tina and I spent the 5K together, which was a lot of fun. This was her first runDisney experience, so I was excited to see her experience this fun time! We had to wait for a while for our corral to start, but eventually, it was our turn for the fireworks to take us out! The announcers are the same each year and provide a lot of entertainment. We actually didn’t have to wait too long for our corral (D) to go off, which was nice. I think we waited 40 minutes or so.

2023 WDW 5K Start Line

The Race

There were a ton of characters on the 5K course and all of them had a 90s theme!

The lines for the characters were so long! I regret not stopping for Tarzan. He was the first stop and the line wasn’t really that bad, but I was in too much of a rush. There is no reason to be because there isn’t a time limit, but at the same time, it is a race. The other lines could have been 30-40 minutes! And even though there isn’t a time limit, I heard they almost swept people because people were waiting in character lines for so long.

In addition to the awesome characters, they were also playing 90s music. The overall environment was just so exciting. We walked most of it and did some running here and there. There’s no reason to rush this race since it is the first of the 48.6-mile challenge and just a fun course; it’s important to savor each and every moment.

The Finish

5K Finish Line

The finish line finally appeared in the distance and is always an exciting thing to see. This was the first finish line of the weekend, and it was just the beginning! I felt great and had a wonderful time doing the 5K with my friend.

Overall the course was busy, but everyone was friendly. There were a lot of Dopeys out on the course, so I think everyone was feeling the fun vibes.

After the race was over, I was able to get a picture of me at the “photo booth” with my first medal. I really liked this Pluto medal – Pluto moves across the bottom, and it is just fun! It’s bright yellow and just smiles when you see it!

Post Race – Animal Kingdom

After the race was over, I went back to Pop Century to shower and go to Animal Kingdom. There is a good amount of walking at Animal Kingdom, but it’s also a park where you can see a lot and not spend all day. I was able to go on the safari, watch the festival of the Lion King, and even as brave enough to ride Everest.

One of the main reasons I like to go to parks after the race (besides get walking in) is to get pictures with characters. I was really sad that I didn’t see many characters at Animal Kingdom. I did, however, get to visit with Donald and Daisy. Donald was very impressed with my Pluto medal.

Donald and Daisy

I think I got a Genie Pass this day because I really wanted to ride Flights of Passage, which is my favorite ride at Animal Kingdom. While I was waiting for my Fast Pass, I couldn’t believe what I saw! During this training cycle, I learned about YouTube videos of people who run and record Disney races. The first channel I came across was RezRuns, and I binged on all of his videos. Lo-and-behold, there was RezRuns standing right in front of me!

me and RezRuns

He was absolutely the nicest person, even when I asked to get a picture with him. Not only did they stay and chat for a while, he and his friend even asked if I wanted to go on the ride with them! Of course, I said yes, and had a fun time talking to them about the race weekend and how they were feeling about Dopey. It was quite a highlight of the weekend – like meeting a celebrity!

Medal and Tree of Life

To cap off the afternoon, I was able to get a picture with the Tree of Life and watch It’s Fun to be a Bug. Then it was time to take the bus back to Pop Century and get ready for bed to do the 10K the next morning. While I was done with 25% of the wake-ups, the miles were just starting…

Trip Synopsis: 2023 WDW Dopey Challenge

Dopey bib

Dopey 2023 – whew! I’m finally writing this summary in mid-February even though the challenge was at the beginning of January. This trip was fantastic and everything that I wanted it to be. After completing the 2020 Dopey Challenge, I made a goal to complete it again in 2023. This would be the 10th anniversary of Dopey and 30th anniversary of the marathon.

The 90s theme made this weekend even better than imagined – there were bright colors, fun music you hadn’t heard in ages, and characters from when I was a kid. With people in their 30s being the main demographic for runDisney, it was a hit with almost everyone! RunDisney is a positive environment anyway, but there was something about this weekend that made it even more memorable. I wish I could describe it more, but I’m not sure how to. I recently bought a video camera so I can record my journeys to try to share some of the fun.

With both of my Dopey bibs

What is the Dopey Challenge?

RunDisney currently has 4 event weekends throughout the year: Wine & Dine, Marathon Weekend, Princess Weekend, and Springtime Surprise. Marathon Weekend is held in January, and consists of 4 events:

  1. Thursday – 5K (mascot is usually Pluto)
  2. Friday – 10K (this year it was Chip and Dale!!)
  3. Saturday – Half Marathon (mascots are Donald and Daisy)
  4. Sunday – Marathon (mascots are Mickey and Minnie)

The Goofy Challenge is when participants complete both the Half and Marathon. Ten years ago, runDisney said, “what is more ridiculous than the Goofy Challenge?” They came up with the Dopey Challenge, which is when someone completes all four of these events. It is an incredibly popular challenge and has about 500 people who are “perfect” meaning they have done all 10 challenges. Just blows my mind!

How to Prepare for the Dopey Challenge

Coach and Me
Finally got to meet Coach Twiggs in person!


This is obviously a very physical challenge. Training not only makes the event more enjoyable, but the training actually makes it more fun! I learned so much about myself and running during this 6-month training period. I’m so proud of myself. I improved as a runner by getting faster and completing 2 extra marathons which allowed me to qualify for Marathon Maniacs! I trained with Coach Twiggs in Galloway’s Customized Training program, and I cannot recommend this program enough!


When I started training for the 2021 Chicago Marathon, I learned about blogs. My evening activity would be reading people’s stories about their running journeys. This was really great motivation for me, and it helped me get excited about the event and learned a lot. In that research, I stumbled upon running podcasts and started listening to Marathon Training Academy and Run4PRs.

Signs for motivation
This is one of the signs I made during training to hang on my fridge to keep me motivated.

Somewhere around the 2022 Princess Weekend, I stumbled upon a podcast called Rise and Run. This podcast is with a gang of people who love runDisney. It was so fun to listen to people talk about training for the same thing as me. They have a Facebook group and host bi-weekly Zoom calls. Through their conversations, I learned there was a whole world and community of people via Facebook groups, YouTube channels, and blogs. I really dove into this, and all of a sudden I found a tribe of people who had a similar interest. I love this community and being able to nerd about in this space.

Travel to Disney World

I planned a week for my trip because I wanted to have a chance to go to different parks and get pictures with characters. This was my first week-long vacation since Dopey 2020, so I was really, really excited for this trip. My teammate and I were joking around because his idea of a vacation is sitting on a beach; Dopey is my kind of vacation.

Spaceship Earth

My Itinerary

  • Wednesday: Fly to MCO, check into POP Century, go to the expo, have dinner with friends at Ale & Compass, then have an early bedtime.
  • Thursday: 5K and Animal Kingdom
  • Friday: 10K and Hollywood Studios
  • Saturday: Half Marathon, relaxing, and Rise and Run Meetup
  • Sunday: Marathon and celebration in Epcot
  • Monday: Magic Kingdom for fun pictures then dinner with Dopey at Storybook Dining in Wilderness Lodge
  • Tuesday: Fly home

Lessons Learned

This was a wonderful trip, and even though I was tired on Sunday, I am looking forward to doing it again one day. I am not planning to do Dopey in 2024 because it was a lot to do with training, but I would definitely do it again one day. I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on the weekend, and these are the things I would change in the future:

my guest room was a mess from packing
My guest room was a mess with everything I needed to pack
  • I need to incorporate strength training and more yoga into my training. I’ve been doing strength training for the last month, and I do think this is making a difference in my running.
  • Ride Everest during the marathon. I was too nervous that I would get picked up by the balloon ladies if I did because it’s a long ride, and I didn’t know how long I would have to wait in line, even though they were letting runners go in the single-rider line.
  • Don’t go to parks every day. The parks are really expensive, and with shortened days, I’m not sure I get my money’s worth. I went to a meetup on Saturday which kept me on my feet a lot longer than planned because I was standing at the event and then had to stand for an extra hour until the bus came to pick me up from Disney Springs. I think this is one of the reasons the marathon did not go as well as I wanted it to go.
  • I did a good job packing and making a routine for each day. I felt prepared and had everything that I needed for the trip. Dopey requires a lot of things, but I remembered everything for my costumes, vitamins to prevent me from getting sick, and all of my recovery tools.

2023 Dopey Training Week 19: Mock Dopey 1

This was part of one of the most awful weeks of my life. On Friday 10/28, my little sister, Shadow, passed away unexpectedly when she was getting her teeth cleaned. That was in the midst of Churchill having strokes, from which he passed away on 11/2. I’m absolutely heartbroken.

This week also concluded with my first Mock Dopey. At least it gave me a good amount of time to run my blues away…except I’m still very sad. So here are the details for October 29 – November 6; training week 19.


I didn’t do much besides work and be with Churchill.


Today was my tempo run. Churchill fell asleep on the couch, so I went off for my 3-mile run and then worked on my computer next to him for the rest of the day. The run helped clear my head a little bit, but I really wanted to get back to him.

My best boy


This was a terrible day. I did not do any exercises since Churchill had another stroke after going outside at 4:45 am. I made an appointment at the vet, and unfortunately, had to make the decision to put him down this day. I didn’t think it would be this fast, but he was really hurting and having strokes more often. I miss him so much. I held him almost the whole day, and I wouldn’t have had his last day any other way. I love you and miss you so much, Churchill. You are my best boy.


Today was the start of my first Mock Dopey. My very grateful that I had so much running ahead of me. Today I did my normal 30-45 minute run, but I cried a lot. It helped me to get out and run, but I was really sad.


Today I had 5 miles scheduled. I did a run/walk combination but took it really slow. I did 15:30 intervals which got me around a 13:30 pace for the whole 5 miles. again, it was good for me to get out. Running is really a positive addition to my life, and it helps in a number of different ways.


Day 3 of Mock Dopey had me at 10 miles. Coach recommends walking this, so I was back and forth between whether to listen to him or to do a slow run/walk like I did yesterday. Once I got started, power walking was feeling really good, so I just kept going with it. In the end, I finished with a 14:02 pace just walking, which made me very happy. This keeps me well ahead of the balloon ladies at that point!

My focus was on recovery when I got home, so I did a lot of massaging with my Hyperice massage gun. I was very nervous about the marathon tomorrow. Eventually, I left to go to Raleigh. I went to Mellow Mushroom for pizza as a pre-race dinner then to my Airbnb for the night. I was very, very nervous…

Raleigh Marathon Finish


Of all of the races I’ve signed up for, I’ve never been so scared or nervous for a race. The City of Oaks Marathon takes place in Raleigh, NC. You can read a full race recap here. I won’t go into too many details on this page, but I did finish! Even though it was hot and humid conditions, I even finished under the 6-hour limit by just a couple of minutes. It was a rough day, but I got it done! Finished my first Mock Dopey, and I couldn’t be happier.

Next week is a recovery week except that I have the Charlotte Marathon relay planned. It will make for a fun day. This week was one of the hardest of my life, and I am glad I had some running goals to move me forward and keep me going. I love you so much, Churchill.

2023 Dopey Training Week 15: Oct 3 – 9

This was a low-mileage training week after running last week’s 23 miles, and I am appreciative of that! There wasn’t a lot to report about this week, but I do feel like I am getting better.


I hate how many weeks I don’t do yoga, but this was another one to add to the list. I know it would be helpful and valuable, and then I just can’t get myself to do it! It just seems so boring. I did sneak in a very short walk.


Today was tempo day, and I did a 3.5-mile run followed by lower body strength exercises. My tempo run was about 2 miles and at 11:22 pace with 60/30 intervals. Not too bad, and I felt really good after getting out for a run.

My exercises range from lunges, calf raises, single-leg deadlifts, and crunches.


Churchill couldn’t wake up on Thursday. He was still sleeping with his tongue out when I carried him downstairs!

In the morning I walked 1.64 miles, then I went to dinner for a neighborhood meeting and walked about 0.8 miles each way to dinner, which was nice.


Today was drill day, and I was really really sluggish. I kept intervals at 30/30 and hovered around a 13:00 pace for the entirety. I was able to do my cadence drills, but really bad counts, and some acceleration gliders. Then I just continued on at 30/30. I did a few strength exercises, but I just felt sluggish.


I just couldn’t get myself going in the morning. I ended up doing some things to catch up at home and didn’t get out for a walk in the morning or the evening.

Boulder Dash Cup


Today was the Boulder Dash 5 Mile race! You can read a full recap here, but I had a lot of fun running through the quarry. My fueling was okay since I was able to have peanut butter toast beforehand and not get sick, but I should have brought my water bottle. Most importantly, I felt steady during the run, which is what I am aiming for!


The weather is absolutely beautiful! I went for a long walk (about four miles) with my neighbor, and it was nice to have the company and get my legs moving. I can understand the importance of cross-training, but it is something I am not doing enough of or doing good quality.

2023 Dopey Training Week 9: August 22 – 28

Another week of training, which was a down week in terms of mileage, but racing is back again this week! This gave me some new motivation to keep me going.


Oh Mondays…yeah, I was lazy again. Sigh.


My normal tempo day. I tried to hit a mid-10-minute pace with a 45/15 ratio, but I only hit 11:27 for my tempo potion. I tried to do this as a variation of the 90/30 the website calls for, but I am still slower than its prediction.

On the call, I asked Coach Twiggs his opinion, and he told me to try a 2-minute / 30-second ratio.


I walked 1.6 miles for 25 minutes and did a 10-minute HITT workout on Apple Fitness. It was a fine workout, but nothing special.


On top of my cadence drills and acceleration gliders, I tried coach’s suggestion of a 2 min/30 sec. pace and I was able to hit 10:37 pace, so I was thrilled! I got in 3.7 miles overall for the day, but this gave me some confidence for race day. I was a bit tired, but I was sure this would help. My 5K PR was around a 10:30 pace, so if I could do that and a little, a PR would be very achievable. I even got my lunges, step ups, and deadlifts in after the run.


Another very lazy day…


Today was the big day – the Yiasou Greek Festival 5K! Read a full recap here, but I did a great job today. I set a new 5K PR, and I am very confident I can continue to get better in the future.

When I got home, I did a 20-minute HIIT workout since I was feeling so good.


Today was my first time trying water running. I bought a flotation device a couple of weeks ago and finally got to try it out. This is something Coach recommends. I had 45-minutes of cross-training on the schedule and decided to do this. It was really hard to get the hang of and didn’t really feel like I was “running.” I didn’t feel tired, just kind of bored. When I got out of the pool though…yeah, my legs felt like jello. It was a good workout, and I was glad that I did it.

Training Takeaways

It’s hard to believe we are 9 weeks into Dopey training. Next week is a big week for me with Around the Crown 10K, but it also closes the first phase of my Dopey training. After that, things get more serious with longer distances and trying to get better endurance – kicked off by a 20-mile run! That’s the longest I trained when I did Chicago in 2021, so whew! Training is getting real!

2023 Dopey Training Week 7: August 8 – 14

How have we completed 7 weeks of training for 2023 Dopey?


Monday was a very lazy day. I didn’t do anything besides recover from my weekend travels for Pelotonia and get ready for the week. Not an excuse since I should have done yoga, but I just couldn’t focus…that’s always my excuse!


Today is tempo day. I did 3 miles in 39 minutes, and I am just frustrated with my tempo runs. I do the 90/30 combination, but I don’t hit my paces. My tempo portion was at 11:15 pace. My Magic Mile says that I should be able to run a 10K at a 10:19 pace, and I am nowhere near that! With the Around the Crown 10K coming up, I don’t think I’ll be able to do it. I really want to PR that pace, so I need to figure out what to do.


I’m really upset with myself for not losing weight. I keep trying and then not doing things right. Starting today, I am going to try to make sure I fast at least 12 hours a day every day. I shouldn’t eat after 7 pm most days. I’m also going to try to be more cautious of my food selection, but my first goal is to incorporate a fasting part of my day. Some days, I can do more when I don’t have a run in the morning.

For today’s cross-training, I walked around the neighborhood. I didn’t do a second workout in the evening.


Thursday is drill day! On our running call this week or last week, someone says they do 80+ for their cadence! I struggled to get to 45 today, and I just can’t understand how they can do that. I’m going to keep trying, but I am definitely missing something.

It wasn’t as humid this morning, which made my run much better than it has been. Overall, I felt great and got in 3.7 miles and listened to the Rise and Run podcast, which I just love! I was going to do a strength exercise when I got home, but I had to get to work. I did get in a set of lunges and step-ups.


Watched RezRuns videos, which made me really happy. His videos are really entertaining and motivating – just what I need to nerd out on training with no one to talk to. My rule is that I need to do something productive like stretch or strength exercises while I watch them.

I wish I would have known about all of these people back in 2017 who were training and running these races I was attending. There are some really fun, passionate people out there, and they are part of the runDisney community.


“I forgot the world could feel like this!” When I looked at the weather Saturday morning, I was in shock! 18 degrees C. It has been 23 degrees with humidity in the morning. Walking outside, what insane. I forgot how the world could feel. I almost debated wearing pants to go on my run. It was GLORIOUS!

After taking the dogs out and doing my Miracle Morning, I did some warm-up exercises and headed out. Today was an easy 5 miles with a Magic Mile. This would be my fourth MM. Each one has improved from the other, but after getting an 8:58 on my last one, I didn’t think I could improve anymore. My goal was to be around 9 minutes and not gain too much time. I’ve been gaining weight, so I was scared it would be a lot higher.

My first 1.4 miles was a slow 30/30 warm-up on my way to my “track.” Then it was time for my MM. I have to run just over 3 times around the “track,” and I add a walk break halfway around and then when I pass the start. I was tired, and it was hard, but I did it in 8:40! It must have been the weather because I have no idea how I did it. I was so happy!

I finished the remaining miles at a 30/30 pace. It was so nice to be outside, and I didn’t want it to end. Hopefully, more of this weather is coming to me in the future.


I took a small walk today, but nothing big. I mean to do some strength and yoga, but I didn’t end up doing it.

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!

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