The Dopey and a Book Review

Terrifying as it is, I’m signed up for the Dopey in 2017. Which means I need to run a full marathon. Which means I need to train for a full marathon, run it, and then transition into training for the Dopey.

I’m using the Hal Higdon Novice 2 program to prepare for a race in September. It seemed like the best way to transition into longer distances. We shall see if it works.

http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51138/Marathon-Novice-2-Training-Program

I’m planning to run the All Out Fallfest marathon in September, which looks like a good fit for me. I’d like to do Bellingham Bay the same weekend, but my Washington State friend might not be able to manage it so probably gonna be easier to stick close to home.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

My Year of Running Dangerously by Tom Forman is a hilarious, inspiring, brutally honest look at going all in for a marathon…and an ultra marathon. I listened to the audiobook (thank you, Jeffco Libraries!) and it was BRILLIANT. I highly recommend listening to it if you don’t feel like reading it. I’m also making my way through The First 20 Minutes, and The New Rules of Running, and I’ll review those later.

Mr. Forman used to be a runner, but then life and family happened. His older daughter Ronnie challenges him to run a full marathon with her, and despite his reservations…he does it.

I enjoyed the humor and honesty, and I was giggling silently at several points. Anyone who runs will love this book, and anyone that wants to run is going to either be inspired or will panic and I’m not sure which.

I listen to tons and tons of audiobooks and podcasts because I work for very boring companies doing very boring things and it is much easier to ignore my creepy, godawful coworker when I don’t have to hear his stupid voice.

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Dark Side Challenge 2016

It is raining/hailing/sleeting in Denver, and my birbs are cuddled up and watching bad TV with me. Seems as good a time as any to write my race recap for the RunDisney Star Wars Dark Side Challenge!

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I was Darth Jar Jar from the reddit theory for the 10k. Don’t you judge me. (Photo taken by Disney Photopass)

To start with, I don’t think I’m going to be doing any more inaugural races for a while. Too many kinks no matter how good the organizers are. RunDisney tried a new course that went from Epcot to ESPN, and a lot of people hated it, but I honestly didn’t mind. The people who drove and parked at Epcot were the ones who had the most trouble. It took a long time to get from the finish back to my hotel (Pop Century) for the 10k, but for the half they’d clearly called in every charter bus for a thousand miles so it was a MUCH faster process. Presumably it was also faster for the people who needed to get back to the parking lot, but I can’t speak for that aspect.

The course for the 10k went from Epcot, through Hollywood Studios, then over to ESPN. There were a lot of weird bottlenecks along the path between Epcot and Hollywood Studios, which I’m told is pretty normal for that route. It was horrifically hot and muggy so there was no chance of me getting a faster time than I had in New Orleans anyway, and I was happy to enjoy the chaos. The last mile…ish was on a packed dirt path and that got hairy in a couple of spots as well. Not awful, but you could easily twist an ankle.

As always, the medals and shirts are great. No complaints there.

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The course for the half was pretty similar except that it went out to Animal Kingdom and then came back to ESPN. There were tons of Storm Troopers and other characters all over both courses, and Kylo Ren on the stage at Hollywood Studios was a lot of fun. I’d like to say I got some great photos but I honestly didn’t because I was so hot and kinda loopy.

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Have some fireworks. I’m a terrible photographer.¬†

For anyone worried about the Disney Photopass changeover, don’t be. They did great and (once the server problems were resolved) everything popped up quickly.

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Darth Maul’s horns did not hold up as well as Jar Jar’s eyes…not gonna lie. (Photo taken by Disney Photopass)

I’ll almost certainly do both Star Wars races at some point so I can get the Kessel Run medal, but that’s the only reason I’d do this race again. It is fun, but it is just too damn hot in April in Florida. I love RunDisney but I think they need to reassess what time of year they hold this run.

As for the next round… I don’t know if I’ll be staying at Pop Century again for the Dopey…. my friend Sara and I are going to try to upgrade to Port Orleans. Or Yacht Club. We stayed at Yacht Club the last two nights of our trip and it was GLORIOUS. The pool alone is worth the cost, but given that the Dopey is in January…ehhh. Probably won’t be able to use it.

Signups for the Dopey are tomorrow and I’m conflicted. Am I going to be able to do this? I’ve lost more weight. I’m getting faster. Can I really go the full 26.2?

I hope so. I’ll sure find out.

Avengers Infinity Gauntlet Challenge 2015

Disneyland

So. This was the first year that Disney has done the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge. And really it was wonderful overall, but I think I still prefer Disney WORLD. I haven’t done any other Disneyland races, so I don’t know if the half marathon route is the same for the other races through Anaheim, but I have to say I wasn’t super impressed. There was a lot of running along a drainage ditch, and for all the wonderful cosplayers and encouraging spectators…it didn’t really change the fact is was a bleak and sad area with random homeless encampments that were mysteriously vacant? Did Disney off the homeless people before the race? Who knows. Angels stadium was cool, and the WWII re-enactors were amazing, but the miles of sand and empty trail…ehhhhh.

The merchandise…was just bad. We won’t discuss the awful colors or the bad designs or any of that crap. Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed. I did buy an Infinity Gauntlet running hat because I needed a new hat, but if you want swag? Stick to the Princess.

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The whole thing happened right after the Paris attacks, so there were delays that I’m quite sure were related to the dozens of bomb dogs running around everywhere. No complaints there, I get that Disney was trying to keep everyone safe.

The Captain America 10k was fantastic, and I LOVED the route, so if you are looking for an excellent shorter race? DO THE 10K AND DON’T HESITATE. The medal for that one was also great.

Avengers Medals

The Infinity Gauntlet medal…well let’s just say there were some structural failures on the gems. They fell off pretty much instantly. That’s fine with me since it looks a little less gaudy without them. I got my Coast to Coast medal as well and THAT is stunning and wonderful and I’m so glad I had the chance to run both places.

On an aside…Disneyland was just packed to the gills and I can’t say I was impressed. Disney needs to either ban large strollers, or limit the numbers allowed in. I felt like I was being crushed multiple times, and nearly got run over a few other occasions.

NO MORE HUMVEE STROLLERS.

All in all? The races were both worth doing once, and if you want your Coast to Coast? TOTALLY WORTH IT.