I had a dope time, yo

While I guarantee I will be referring to my weekend again in future posts I think this will be the last in the Dopey series (1, 2, 3, 4).  I’m sure you want to thank me for moving onto a different subject matter.


I’m really happy I took on this challenge.  It was a huge confidence boost and brought back many of those “I love running” feelings that can sometimes get lost in a majorly long training cycle.  Yes, I started rebuilding my foundation back in May or June and then started training around July.  Those are some long months!

all the medals!
all the medals!

Here are some of the highlights:

1.  Met Amanda from Too Tall Fritz!  Well, ambushed her actually but those are just semantics

a celebrity siting!
a celebrity siting!

2.  Went over to Animal Kingdom lodge where I had my tasty mouse head waffle and checked out the animals.  It’s great – you can see some of the animals you would see on the safari tour without having to go to the Animal Kingdom park.

giraffes are the best
giraffes are the best

3.  Discovered the Mickey head ice cream sandwich.  Also very good and cute to boot.

this was very good regardless of the shape!
this was tasty regardless of the shape!

4.  Disney kind of slacked on the Dopey merchandise and early expo attendees wiped them out of the stock they did have (I mean in about 4 hours).  They had tech shirts left but I wasn’t interested since I already had one.  I finally found a light sweatshirt from Raw Threads, which I love.  Also in Downtown Disney Hanes has a design your own shirt so I created a long sleeve Dopey one.  It was super speedy and they have a ton of different characters.  Disney did come through afterward though and I found a (cotton) shirt online and yes, I already ordered it.

the sweatshirt is from raw threads
the sweatshirt is from raw threads
this is the shirt I made!
this is the shirt I made!

5.  I took advantage of the fun atmosphere.  Disney races are geared toward all-level athletes and it is a good time with no pressure – well, aside from the pressure you place on yourself!

my namesake restaurant in downtown disney!
my namesake restaurant in downtown disney!

6.  The race snacks weren’t anything extravagant but they did have these rice chips and little things of cheese.  This became the absolute yummiest thing in the entire world.

dopey snacks7.  Running in costume is so fun!  People are so freakin’ creative and I loved seeing what everyone came up with.  Mine was fairly simple but thanks to Sparkle Athletic, Running Skirts, Pro Compression, Aspaeris and some RockTape, I was running in style.

cleaning my costume in my room - much better than being all smelly
cleaning my costume in my room – much better than being all smelly

8.  It was warm.

beautiful view and no snow!
beautiful view and no snow!

9.  I’m obsessed with all things Dopey.  Luckily, I didn’t let this overtake my pocket-book but it was close!

dopey is just so cute!
dopey is just so cute!

10.  Iced mochas are tough to come by outside of the parks.  There aren’t coffee shops in the resorts, which really surprised me.  So future race attendees not visiting parks, you can score a good (naturally expensive) espresso drink right outside of the ticket areas of Epcot.  You do have to go through bag check but then it’s fairly close.  For me, it was totally worth the cash!

my view from the coffee hut
my view from the coffee hut

11.  I’m not quite sure on how much money I spent but doing a Disney race certainly isn’t the cheapest option when it comes to racing.  As I was walking to Epcot after the marathon, a security guard asked me if I would be returning next year.  I told him, to ask me after my body had recovered!  Honestly, I won’t be back next year.  There are a lot of other races I want to do and Disney kind of saps my race budget.  Nevertheless, I am so happy I could take advantage of this opportunity and was actually able to save for it!

I so wanted to keep this space blanket... but I didn't
I so wanted to keep this space blanket… but I didn’t

10.  Simon has decided I can’t go anywhere for a good long while.

dopey simonI am so grateful for this experience!  I’m grateful for all of the support, encouragement and confidence from all of you and my other friends and family.  There were times when those “you got this” were what kept me going!  Thank you!

now 26.2? what a dopey idea

Did you know there is a handle in the porta potty hooked to the door to hold onto while doing your business??  I had no idea!  I was quiet Sunday morning thinking about what was ahead of me.   As we gathered at the porta potties for our last race, we were all talking about nerves.  Almost falling in the porta potty (again) made me even more nervous and I told my friends this.  They asked me why I hadn’t held onto the handle?  This was race-changing folks!

only 26.2 miles to go!
only 26.2 miles to go!

At the start line, I was freezing cold.  It was a chilly morning and I was happy as a clam.  We all knew it was going to be much cooler than the day before and I was thrilled.  I sat and chatted with a woman who was doing the Goofy and we talked running for about a half hour.

oooo - pretty! now RUN!
oooo – pretty! now RUN!

An even bigger set of fireworks exploded and the first group was off!  At this point, I realized I had to go the bathroom again.  I had time to run to the porta potty but I thought maybe I was just nervous and I wouldn’t need to pee anymore once I started running.  Plus I hate porta potties so I didn’t want to use it if I didn’t really have to.  Unfortunately, I overestimated my bladder and I had to stop even before I hit mile 1!  Great job, Aim! But the handle sure was helpful!

dopey marathon signI used the same strategy as the last three races and made sure to walk once a mile.  I used the water stops a lot and also walked any hills despite them not being very steep.  My legs were sore and at the start of the race I seriously questioned whether or not I could pull this off.  Five miles in, I knew I would finish.

it really helps with moral to have a giant mouse cheer for you
it really helps with moral to have a giant mouse cheer for you

The day before, I found some flat ground in the grass along side the road and since it was a similar course for the full I did the same thing.  It allowed me to get in a zone in many areas of the race and I could just run.  It was hugely helpful – physically and mentally.  My pace was pretty even and I felt more and more confident.  All of a sudden I completely believed I was a STRONG runner.

Mile 14 changed my race and my running future.  When I saw the mile marker I said to myself, “I only have 12 miles left!!”.  Last year?  “Oh my gosh, I still have 12 miles left”.  The difference between the words “only” and “still” is the best example I have of my strong mental attitude.  My  quads were tight and hurting.  My feet were sore, my left calf was irritated and I was more and more excited about this race and distant running as a whole!  It’s completely twisted.

race/game/life changer!
race/game/life changer!

I took some fun pics – Rafiki is my little zen master and last year when I saw this army guy I wanted to punch him in the face.  It was nice not to hate him this year!

rafiki and I sharing a zen moment
rafiki and I sharing a zen moment
he was pretty funny!
he was pretty funny!

The woman who brought the cups of Pepsi was back (tasted fabulous!) and another woman brought pretzels.  I love taking treats from strangers during a race!  I took another picture of the castle so I could completely take in the moment.  My new motto became, “it’s going to hurt anyway, so I might as well go for it”.  I would select something in the distance and run to the point and then walk a certain amount.  I stuck to these mini goals like glue.

once again, chills as I ran through
once again, chills as I ran through

My average pace was approximately 14 mins for the first half and a little over 14 mins for the second half.  I really owe all of my solid pacing to the treadmill, which I no longer hate with a passion.  I hit the medical tents for BioFreeze 3 or 4 times, was able to get 1 Tylenol (they were really strict about this), went through every water stop, and took advantage of the two banana stations.  They also had a cold wet wash cloth station and incredible volunteers.  I finished in 6 hours and 2 mins!  I crossed the finish line and started crying.  I truly had a good time the entire race.  I felt tough and ran through the muscle fatigue and the hurt.  I was/am so stinkin’ proud of myself!


I collected all of my medals, took a massively cheesy finisher picture and headed to the ice tent.  They wrapped my quads and I waddled out to our meeting area.  I was waiting for friends and then kind of forgot I had the ice on my legs for about 45 mins maybe?  It wasn’t until my friend asked me why my knee was turning blue that I took the ice off and noticed my numb legs.  I gave myself a minor case of frostbite!  It’s no joke!  I got a ripe ol’ sunburn and frostbite in the same day.  By the way, my legs are still kind of numb so take it from me and be careful when icing.

this wasn't my smartest move
this wasn’t my smartest move

Oh and right when I got to the meeting area I had to ask a stranger to help me sit down!  My legs were incapable of doing it on their own.  Once we had all of our team in, we took pics and I headed off for coffee.  Seriously, knowing an ice cold mocha awaited me was a huge motivator.  I did forgo activities in the evening as I was beat.  Just getting off of the bed to pack was an effort!

oooo - shiny!
lots of shiny!

I really am looking forward to my next marathon.  When I was running, I kept thinking about how lucky I was/am to participate in such a cool event.  I thought about how just 8 months ago I was so depressed getting out of bed was my accomplishment.  I remembered how I had to rebuild mileage and the love and support I’ve gotten from so many people.  Endorphins + feelings of gratefulness is some powerful stuff people!  Thank you all!

dopey 1/2…this was the real challenge

Saturday morning I woke up yet again at 2-something am.  I was tired, grumpy and nervous.  Since I was feeling blue, my mental game was off as well.  Knowing this, I had some concern about the upcoming Donald Duck 1/2 marathon.

c'mon donald - I need your rebel spirit for this run!
c’mon donald – I need your rebel spirit for this run!

The start line was a different experience than the last two races.  There was still a ton of energy but there was a higher level of seriousness than the other two.  I was back in corral “L” and they went to “P”.  I should have left about a 1/2 hour earlier as I had to stand in line for the buses and then book it to the start line.  Part of this was just a perceived sense of urgency since once I got there this is what I found:

dopey sitting 1/2
everyone was sitting around and I joined in – it was a good idea

All of the races had staggered starts and it was going to be about a half hour before we started (not to mention there was still about a half hour before the start on top of this) so I rested up a bit as well.  As we got closer to the race start, I realized I was starving.  Then it started to rain a bit and it was definitely warmer than the other two days.  See what I mean about being grumpy?

the 1/2 is the first time running through the magic kingdom!
the 1/2 is the first time running through the magic kingdom!

With a bigger set of fireworks (than the other races) we were off!  In some of the literature, it suggested walking almost the whole 1/2 in order to be ready for the full the next day.  I respect this suggestion but I didn’t want to be out there for that long.  I hadn’t been running long before the humidity became more and more pronounced.  I stopped for a pic of the pirate ship

dopet pirate ship
blurry pic but I love my pirate stuff

and of course THE CASTLE!  The 1/2 and the full are the only races where you run through Cinderella’s castle and it is fantastic.  Cheesy?  Maybe but both days I got goose bumps as I ran through main street with the castle in the distance and then actually running through it.  It IS magical!  As are the crowds who line main street and cheer and high-five you as you run through.  I soaked all of this up and it totally dissolved my crabbiness.

I kind of felt like a celebrity!
I kind of felt like a celebrity!

Disney is more than prepared for the heat though and the water stops were aplenty.  In both the 1/2 and the full there was a water stop at almost every mile and a bunch of medical tents.  In preparation for this challenge, I figured the full would be my soul-sapping race.  I didn’t give enough credit/respect to the previous two races and by mile 6, I wanted to be finished.  I was surprised by how my legs were fatigued more than I would have imagined.  My plan was to walk once every mile and I stuck with this plan but man, I was getting tired!

I’m sure a major part of this fatigue was the humidity and heat.  Wow!  Thankfully, it wasn’t overly sunny and there was a breeze that would hit every once in a while – yay!  But I was dripping sweat.  I mean, sweat was dripping from my elbows!  Part of my Dopey costume consisted of arm sleeves.  I pushed these down and tried to use them to wipe my face but the sparkle wasn’t very absorbent!

isn't funny how a shiny medal makes you forget the pain?
isn’t funny how a shiny medal makes you forget the pain?

I started running a bit faster – I ran negatives splits even.  I knew this wasn’t a wise idea, I knew I had 26.2 miles to run the next day and none of this could make me run smarter.  I will say, I drank a water bottle full of nuun and I took water at every station and powerade when I ran out of nuun.  I brought my Honey Stinger gummies with me and ate those as well.  I hit a GU stop and because I was feeling hungry and tired I took a mocha GU.  This did NOT settle well!  At this point, I thought I might throw up, was crazy hot and just ran faster to get to the finish line.

The cool part?  I got to give Minnie a high-five at the finish line!  Oh yes, I was beyond geeked about this and might even buy this picture.  I pushed my epilepsy a bit too much at the end and had to rest after the race.  The funny thing?  I was so bloated when I got back that my stomach was pushing against my tshirt for a little while!  I drank more and more water and thankfully the bloat went away.

dopey 1/2 finish
I was so happy to be done! I didn’t care that I would hurt the next day, I wanted to give it a really solid effort!

While passing mile markers, I used the clock to estimate my pace.  I was doing 13 something per mile.  My goal became a three hour finish time.  Due to my desire to be done and the possibility of regurgitating a GU, I finished in 2:50.  I knew I would probably regret this on Sunday but I had an iced mocha to drink, a nap to take and some food to eat!

this coffee was tough to find but made me feel right as rain!
this coffee was tough to find but made me feel right as rain!

I’m a dope!

Wahooo!  I completed the Dopey Challenge!

we are all sore, tired, sweaty, smelly and HAPPY!
we are all sore, tired, sweaty, smelly and HAPPY!

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!

dopey medal
these banners were outside of the expo – I wanted that dopey one!

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.

dopey 5k running
view during the 5k (thankfully a friend took some of these fun shots!)

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.

dopey coffee
the first day, it was passable. by the fourth day this was delicious

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.

3 mile shot!
3 mile shot!

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.

dopey 10k
sort of in front of the start line!

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!

dopey group 10k
group shot! lots of minnies!

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!

I was so happy my bib made it through both races! two medals down, 4 to go!

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.

dopey - all in legos. amazing
dopey – all in legos. amazing

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.

dopey ice bath
ice baths… even after all of them this weekend, they didn’t get easier!

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!

dopey pizza
the pizza box – dumb pic? probably but everything is just so darn cute!

#dopey challenge – half way through

I was going to recap both the 5k and the 10k but I am exhausted.  So, I’m going to chat about some of the highlights I’ve enjoyed so far on this trip.

First of all, I almost didn’t get here.  My car wouldn’t start the morning of my flight.  It was 5 am and I panicked!  I even hit my head on the steering wheel Back to the Future style but no such luck.  This trip was destined to happen though because a friend was able to jump the car at o’dark early and I was on my way.

this is how I felt getting to the airport!  So happy I made it!
this is how I felt getting to the airport! So happy I made it!

I’m staying in a Disney resort, Pop Culture.  I’m thrilled with my choice of staying on the property this weekend.  Going back and forth to races is a million times easier staying here and I love that I can get back from the finish line so quickly.  I highly recommend it.  I thought the prices would be out of my budget range but in reality, it was fairly close to the price I paid last year at a hotel further down.

I'm in the 70's building
I’m in the 70’s building

I got a Mickey Mouse head-shaped waffle!  I first saw this on some blog and I knew it was on my list of things to do.  I just think it is the cutest thing ever!  I headed out today and missed the breakfast cutoff by 45 minutes.  I was kind of crushed to be honest since there was no other day I could get one.  After presenting my case to the manager at the eatery, he said he would make me one.  YAY!  Truth be told, everyone has been so generous and kind here.  The customer service is incredible.

super delish and enjoyed outside under the sun!
super delish and enjoyed outside under the sun!

Hanging out with friends as well as having my own time.  I’ve blended this as much as possible.  I want to make sure to get some downtime  and enjoying some outings.  Each morning my friends and I walk down to the buses and keep one another company.  It is a great way to not focus on the upcoming miles rather be in the moment.  We meet up after the race – I really like doing this with other runner-friends.

this is how WDW is tracking runners participating in the dopey
this is how WDW is tracking runners participating in the dopey

Oh yeah, I’ve run two races already!  Whoopie!  I will do recaps when I get home and will combine the 5k and 10k races.  I’ve done a good job of keeping my pace nice and easy including walk breaks.  I also have pulled over for some character pics!  I’m not sure if I will do this for the 1/2 or the full.  Tomorrow it’s projected to be 84* and I want to be finished before it really starts to get warm.  Today I noticed the heat at approximately 10:45 am when I headed out for my waffle hunt.  So I want to be done with the race and drinking some iced coffee at 10 am.

you can't tell but my finger is a hook - oh yeah, my creativity is out of this world!
you can’t tell but my finger is a hook – oh yeah, my creativity is out of this world!

Enjoy your weekend eve!  Thanks for all of the support!


According to reports the next few days are going to be north pole kinds of storms.  14′ of snow is supposed to fall and the temps are going to be crazy cold.  I have my fingers crossed for a snow day!

oh weather, you can’t vex me! unless I can’t fly out on wednesday, then I’ll be crabby!

This whole weekend I’ve been lazy.  It’s been wonderful.  Coming back from vacation and jumping back into work always throws me out of whack.  It’s just re-establishing routine.  Thursday and Friday were two busy days as far was work was concerned.  I did most of the prep work for them before I left for break but since I haven’t learned how to control the actions of others (definitely working on it!) there were snafus.

my snuggle-bug
my snuggle-bug

So I’ve used this weekend to decompress.  Simon and I spent some quality time together.  I ran on Friday evening and some miles are on the docket for today as well.  It’s a good thing too, 4 days separate me from the start of the Dopey Challenge!  I still can’t believe it’s here.  Obviously, time passes but it took forever to get here and I’ve been waiting so long!

DopeyhouseofmouseHow did my training go?  I didn’t stick to the plan exactly.  In fact, I probably estimated a 67% success rate.  For me, this is huge.  Of course I still don’t feel fully prepared to DOMINATE the Dopey Challenge.  However, I do feel ready to COMPLETE it.  Back in the early days of training, I had visions of busting out a marathon PR, not stopping to walk until mile 17 of the marathon and essentially skipping across the finish line.  Don’t worry, I’ve since adjusted these expectations.

It happened slowly, adjusting my standards.  I accepted that walking will be part of my success, not a detriment to it.  Allowing my expectations of myself to be more manageable makes me feel more confident that I will, indeed finish it.  It’s so strange!  This “phenomenon” has happened to me before.  When I wanted to first lose weight, it didn’t actually happen until I stopped hating my body.  Learning to appreciate it, was the catalyst to eating better and moving around more.  I used to pray every night that I would wake up in the morning thin.  It was hard work and acceptance that ultimately helped me drop 85 lbs.  I know hard work and acceptance is the key to finishing the Dopey Challenge.

1d1e6693fd685f88224b956e95f2b64eMy mental game is a 1000% stronger than last year at this time!  It’s even stronger than it was for the Nike Women’s marathon.  Not to mention, I’m excited about having fun during this run.  I was so dreading it last year – I didn’t want to fail.  I finally got it through my thick skull that failure is not measured in finish times.  My only goal for the Dopey Challenge is to complete all four races.  During every training run I envision myself crossing the finish line.  I’ve seen it so many times I know I can make it happen.  While I’m nervous, I’m also excited!

I’ll talk more about my strategy for the race tomorrow.  I’ve got an idea in mind so writing it out will be helpful.

dopey challenge excitement brewing!

This weekend is the Disneyland 1/2 marathon and the Dumbo Double Dare.  The Dumbo consists of a 10k on Saturday and 1/2 today.  It has gotten me ridiculously excited for my impending races and completing the Dopey Challenge!

this is the castle in disneyland but same difference!
this is the castle in disneyland but same difference!

I can’t believe I’ll be running through this again!  When I ran the marathon last Jan, seeing this as the sun came up was amazing.  It sparkled in a muted manner and then running through it gave me chills.  It reminded me of my mom who loved Disney so much.

At the same time excitement is setting in so is the fear.  48.6 miles in four days a lot.  I know people run 50 milers in ONE day but I never really imagined this would be me.  When I signed up, I knew it would be a challenge but now it’s setting in – SCARY!  In order to combat the fear, I decided to focus on what kind of costume I would wear!

dopey-running-costumeHere is a cute Dopey-inspired outfit that appeals to me.  I found it on According to Kelly.  By the way, she has some ROCKING ideas for Disney costumes.  All of them are adorable!  I also think purple compression socks would look cute with this.

Mulan is my favorite Disney movie.  Not to mention, I may need to internalize some of Mulan’s inspiration and strength during this race.  Here is the idea that Team Sparkle skirts put together

princess-mulan-running-costumeI’m just not sure this is Mulan-y enough.  I don’t think the outfit would automatically make people think of Mulan buuut, I still like it.

Then I started thinking about how nice characters are fun but VILLAINS are awesome!  Ursula popped in my head along with Malificent – who by the way scared the pants off of me as a youngster!  Here are the ideas for both of them

no cape though and maybe a crown on a black visor?
no cape though and maybe a crown on a black visor?
okay, obviously I wouldn't be busting out!
okay, obviously I wouldn’t be busting out!

With Ursula, I could add the tentacles to a purple sparkle skirt but then would it look enough like Ursula?  I don’t want to wear a wig – it was so hot last year!  Maybe with the black visor, I could add some weird Ursula like hair?

Wait!  I almost forgot – a pirate theme outfit!  Since my initials are ARG, I’ve always had a love affair with pirates (yep, this and the trex – I’m a strange bird)

I have some stripped compression socks already!
I have some stripped compression socks already!

I do want to be able to wear pieces of a costume more than once since that would get pretty expensive.  I also would love to wear a Minnie polka dot skirt (Kelly’s Minnie is adorable! it looks a bit different from the one above) for the 10k since this is “her” race and maybe the Dopey outfit for the marathon.  If I did the two villains, Dopey and Minnie that would be three skirts total, which wouldn’t be terrible.  Not to mention I could probably use black tanks twice… hmmm…

See how much fun denial is?!

Lastly, the medals were announced for January.  I will get all of these puppies except for the top left which is for another race.

Going for Goofy posted these
A Goofy facebook page posted these

Did I mention the bling was an incentive?!

Any running costume ideas for me?

There is also a really cute Snow White one that is still a possibility

zombies scare me and running safety

Stick with me during this post – I promise there is a point!

On Sunday I went with friends to see “World War Z”.  I’m not sure this was the best idea for me considering I get frightened by scary movies.  But I was going with friends and NOT watching it on my own, I figured I would be alright.

I was wrong.

This movie scared the pants off me.  Not kidding, there were times when I was cowering in my seat.  And boy did I ever jump.  Apparently they also have this movie in 3D which would probably give me heart issues.  Anyway, I realized by the end of the movie I would not survive the zombie apocalypse.  I originally swore up and down that I would live through it whenever we would talk about it.  My thought was I would trade pieces of my stuff “hoard” for protection.  It was pointed out to me that unless I holed up in my apt, I wouldn’t be able to carry all of my belongings with me hence not having any goods to trade. Hmmm…

I am still determined to put my cookie cutters to use though.

it will be like this, only with cookie cutters!

Why is this relevant?  There are two definitions/types of toughness.

1) the mental toughness and determination that got me through 26.2 miles at the “happiest place on earth” (which believe me, during my misery the irony was not lost on me) with heat stroke and being severely undertrained.

one of the only pics where I don't look like I am dying
one of the only pics where I don’t look like I am dying

2)  Then the toughness that actually would aid in living through the zombie apocalypse or simply protecting myself in some kind of fist to cuffs situation.  Until recently, I believed this applied to me as well.

Throwback to last summer – I decided to walk home from a friend’s house at 11:15 at night, on my own in not the safest of neighborhoods.  Up until this moment I would tout my bravery and explain I had a plan.  Most of the time this plan involved outrunning the bad guy, stabbing them with my “switchblade” car key or some combination of laughing manaically/vomiting/urinating on myself in hopes that one of these would prove to be a deterrent to said bad guy.

On that walk home I quickly realized my stupidity.  This was a dumb move.  Running at 11 pm on a Saturday night was a dumb move.  Running in the dark with headphones was a dumb move.  Not being aware of my surroundings and allowing my bravado to inhibit safety precautions was a dumb move.  Much like depending on my hoard to get out the zombie apocalypse, all of these were delusions.

Thankfully, I have come to my senses this last year.  On the way home from the movie a person in the car asked me if I run in a not so great part of town.  I explained I didn’t and that I also had changed up my former route of running by the downtown bus station.  One of the guys in the car said, “that’s a smart idea”.  I realized this was a major step for me and a compliment.  I don’t want to live my life as a possible victim but I also don’t need to live my life as a potential victim.  My toughness isn’t questioned because I take precautions rather seen as intelligent and realistic.

The point of this post?  Well, there are several:

1) I may not make it out of the zombie apocalypse in one piece.  I did make my friends “promise” to keep me as their pet though if I were to change.

2) Being tough and being smart are NOT mutually exclusive.  They can go hand in hand and SHOULD.

3) A plan is still a good idea when it comes to running and/or staying safe but it should be a realistic one.

Hopefully, I was able to tie all of this together in a way that was slightly amusing but still serious(ish).  Don’t be the previous version of me!  Take precautions!  Look out for yourself and your fellow runners!

There you go – a PSA from me.  Oh and go see the movie, it’s a goodie!

even little food creatures have to deal with zombies!

dopey vs. goofy

It came down to a battle… a battle royale if you will.




In the end, it really wasn’t that much of a fight.  I already had decided I was going to attempt the Goofy race at Disney World (doing the 1/2 marathon Sat and then the full on Sun) next year and then I didn’t get into the Chicago Marathon so I decided doing the Dopey (doing the 5k, 10k, 1/2 and then the full over 4 days) was a nice balm to soothe my hurt feelings – thanks a lot Chicago.  Not to mention, Dopey is PRICEY! so not getting into Chicago actually made it possible for me to afford it.  I still haven’t decided if I am going to check out any full marathons for fall but I am leaning towards sticking to shorter distances.  I do think some of my burnout this past year can be attributed to trying to do “all the races” instead of sticking to one and calling it good.  I will admit to getting sucked into posts on twitter, facebook and blogs that detailed their latest race.  I would read them and think of myself as a slacker for not signing up, too.  Ah well, live and learn.


So, the Dopey.  You might be wondering why I think I can possibly pull this off given my blog posts as of late.  Trust me, I thought about this too – could I really do it?  Did I have enough faith in myself to actually train consistently and well in advance?  Where would I find the motivation when so often I talk about how lackluster it is?  These are all quality questions and I did think these through.  Because I love a good bulleted list, here is what I have:

1.  I want some redemption on this race course.  While this primarily speaks to the marathon course, I would love to have some happier race memories from Disney World.  I figure if I race all of them, this is bound to happen.

2.  I’m placing a lot of faith and hope in these new meds.  While I haven’t been promised to feel like a new woman, I have been told I will feel BETTER than I have in the past year.  This bodes well for my motivation and overall attitude.

3.  Determination – I “haz” it.  Or at least remnants of it that currently need to be fed and nurtured a bit.

4.  A group of us are taking this plunge together.  We have all worked together at one time or another and realize this is going to be a painful experience.  But I think being in pain with friends is so much more fun then being in pain by yourself.

5.  Perhaps my biggest “let’s do this” moment was when I decided I wanted to use this as an opprotunity to raise money for Epilepsy Awareness.  Like I mentioned last week, I want to make something good come out of this recent hell experience and this seemed like a good idea.  I will be happy if I raise any amount of money.  I have some different ideas of ways to raise the funds and hopefully I will find support from friends, family and the blog community – whether that be in monetarily or simply a “Yay Amy!”.

check out this site!  it's great and super informative!
this is a great initiative – check it out!

So there you go – this was my thought process as I filled out the entry form and committed my legs to this feat (ha! see what I did there?!).  I am absolutely nervous but recognize that individuals run 50 mile races in ONE DAY so I can certainly run 43.5 over the course of 4.  Oh yes, and if you have heard, there is a multitude of shirts and medals.  This certainly makes my heart sing.  Like anything with me, it always sounds like an amazing idea in the beginning and then it becomes real and I wonder what the hell I was thinking.  Essentially, I am planning for this to happen so at least I won’t be broadsided with these feelings.  Seriously, it’s an adventure right?!

15 thing Friday – let’s get down to business

Are you singing the theme song from Mulan?  No?  How ’bout now…….

15 thing Friday isn’t my brainchild… instead we have RunningOfftheReeses for this lovely bloggy concept!

1.  Happy Spring!  I know, I know… it’s snowing outside and REALLY cold but at the end of the last two days it was sunny!  I’m pretty sure Mother Nature is completely trying to buy our love for all of the snowy shenanigans


2.  The Gonzaga Men’s Basketball team tried to kill me yesterday… yeah, that score was too close

Thursday, March 21, 2013 – 4:45 pm ET
Final 1 2 T
Southern #16 31 27 58
Gonzaga #1 « 34 30 64

3.  I tried to explain to people that I still wasn’t feeling that great and one person said, “but you are drinking coffee.”  Ummm… that’s because coffee is a necessity.  Fact.

4.  Seriously – I was a little overwhelmed by all of the Triscuits choices:

-1Completely daunting…

5.  Buzzfeed’s are the best!  This one deals with the best college food out there and Gonzaga is on the list!  They feature the COG chocolate chip cookie.  Yep, it’s true – my hips and bum remember it well.  What is a COG cookie?  First of all, COG stands for, “Center of Gonzaga” – at least this is the rumor (it’s not true!) and this is our cafeteria.  The cookies ROCK!

6.  Pretty much, this has been my diet for days now.  Oh add in a sugar-cinnamon bagels.

basically the only things that sound good...
basically the only things that sound good…

7.  I can’t wait to make this Amish cinnamon bread in the next couple of days.  Yes, I am very much obsessed with sugar-cinnamon at the moment.

8.  Last Friday, my dear friend had a gender-reveal party since she is preggers.  I’ve been saying for months now it’s a boy.  Guess what?  I was RIGHT!  This isn’t the first time I’ve been right.  I was right about my friend’s baby girl, too.  I’m like a baby-guesser-whisperer!  I think I should make a business out of this


9.  The universe wants me to have a big soft pretzel.  I feel like everywhere I go, someone is eating this delish treat.

10.  You know how there are times when you are thinking, “Man, all I want is food made in a MUG!”  Yep, I heard your cry and apparently so did other people because here are a ton of recipes!  Actually, most of them look tasty!

11.  My new meds are causing some weird side effects.  I talked to my big sis about it and she sent me this text.  She’s the best!


12.  Did you know cow’s have best friends with other cows?  I LOVE this fact!

13.  Have you seen this lunch meat commercial?  I thought it was some kind of movie trailer at first!  Then I just started laughing!

14.  I saw this really cool daybed on pinterest and I would really like it for my couch.  It adds some storage, a place for a guest to sleep and is just cute!  Here are two models:91b0d1189d89692c32bad10934de2a6e5e0e8207830dd96a0d9912174ea8072e

15.  The GOOFY CHALLENGE!  Okay, so I’ve been hearing some rumors that Walt Disney World is adding some craziness to their marathon weekend.  Here’s the deal – they already have a 5k, which will be on Thursday, now possibly adding a 10k on Friday and then the half on Saturday and the full on Sunday.  It would be called Dopey something (I can’t remember).  The Goofy Challenge has been around for a bit and it’s doing the 1/2 on Saturday and the full on Sunday.  I’m definitely signing up for this one.  But what about the Dopey?  The clincher?  It’s $495 smackers.  I know.  But the Goofy Challenge is $305 so that’s not cheap either.  And I am not doing the Chicago marathon… ugh – look at me!  I can talk myself into anything… what should I do?


*Really, I want your opinion!  Spill your thoughts!!