Wahooo! I completed the Dopey Challenge!
I am extremely proud and exhausted. I can’t believe I actually did the challenge – I feel like it’s something I talked about forever but ultimately, it would be out of my reach. Proving to myself differently has been an incredible confidence boost – not just in running; in all areas of my life!
My alarm went off at 3 am Thursday morning. I got a wake-up call and they play Disney music. It’s kinda cute – or at least would be cuter at a more decent hour! The 5k is a family oriented race so it starts at the reasonable hour of 6:30 am. You have to be in your corrals really early for all of the races though so we left our rooms at 4:15 am.
I brought a jar of peanut butter and some english muffins. When I got to the hotel, I was very surprised to find they didn’t have a coffee shop. They had a market place but it was hot coffee only. The night before, I bought some chocolate milk and the hot coffee and did my best to create some caffeine magic.
I want to say, the person who sang the national anthem for the 5k did such an impressive job. I was really moved – she just belted it out! You could hear the pride in her voice. In fact, I get chills remembering it!
The 5k was crowded for sure and a lot of fun. We all ran together for this one and we took it easy. Our finish times were around 45 mins. We stopped for pics along the way and also added in a couple of walk breaks. The walk breaks were mostly around bottle neck areas! The run is through Epcot and it was a great time.
This was the inaugural 10k event – the Minnie Mouse 10k. It was JAM-PACKED! In fact, I heard some individuals who signed up for the Dopey just so they could run the 10k but maybe these were rumors.
Anyway, this was another laid back race. I love the 10k distance and was excited. Naturally, I dressed in Minnie attire – as did about a million other people and it was a fun atmosphere. In fact, on our way to the bus in the morn, another hotel guest took our picture – it was cute. This race started at 5:30 am and we left for the bus at 4 am. My walk up call came at 2:50 am and there was a part of me that wanted to run super fast so I could come back home and sleep!
My 10k time was an hour and 27 mins. Again, a relaxed pace with some walk breaks thrown in there. I took some character pictures as well and soaked up all of the energy and sites from the park. Last year, the marathon finished up in Epcot but I hated everything and didn’t notice. This time, I looked around and didn’t wear headphones for the 5k or 10k. I wanted to have FUN! This may sound odd since it should be a given since I was in Disney and all but I had to focus on it in order to not think “I should be running faster”. 10k’s are my sweet spot, long enough for me to build up speed and finish strong but short enough to blow all of my energy so I wanted to go faster. I’m so happy I didn’t because EVERYONE cheers for you – love it!
For both races, the atmosphere was pretty relaxed and high with energy. They had fireworks at both starts for each corral. Disney does this right! It makes every corral feel special, no matter if they are 6 min pacers or 16 min. Everyone is congratulatory and people wear their medals all over the parks and Downtown Disney. I think this is odd but also fun. It is such a CELEBRATION! That’s another thing I love, how running is royalty for the weekend!
After the 10k we hit up Downtown Disney and then dinner. The funny part was, we were starving around 4 pm! I completely lost track of time and days considering the ridiculously early wake up calls! The weather was good for the 5k and 10k and thankfully, it only sprinkled a bit during the 10k and the downpour didn’t start until later in the day.
I felt good after both races. The arch in my right foot was kind of announcing itself which meant my ankle and knee also wanted some attention. I stretched really well afterward, became besties with Tiger Balm and I took an ice bath after each race. I also brought my Tiger Tail with me and an extra pair of compression socks.
I know this might seem over the top for these distances but I wanted to give my legs as much of a shot as possible. I’m glad I did it. Maybe only the stretching was helpful but mentally, I felt I repaired as much as I could.
Oh! I ordered pizza through room service on Wed night and didn’t realize 15′ diameter is HUGE! It was a yummy pre-race meal (for a couple of days!). However, I tried some chicken and fries the night before the 10k. This is what we call a “mistake”! All in all, I enjoyed both the 5k and 10k!