No Disneyland events in 2018

I heard rumors about this a few days ago and then saw the announcement that they’ve cancelled/suspended the races held at Disneyland for 2018. I’d also heard they were having trouble with permits with the city of Anaheim and there’s speculation that it might also have to do partially with all the construction at DL.

I also wonder if it could have something to do with trying to revive waning interest in Disney races? For the past several race weekends now the challenges and the shorter races have sold out first and the longer, capstone races languish unsold. I think it was a couple of weeks ago someone was offering bibs for the Disney World Marathon for only $75, which is ridiculously cheap for a WDW race. I have to agree that I think they’ve outpaced themselves by raising the prices each year and then also now making it harder (impossible) for their travel agents to sell bibs only and not a lot of people also want to be forced into buying park tickets and also a hotel package.


For me, a race weekend like Dopey and then the Castaway Cay Challenge were a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity because of the cost

Even though I’m now much closer to WDW than DL, this is still such a bummer as DL trips were almost always cheaper than visiting WDW. There are excellent hotel options (I like staying at Grand Legacy at the Park, they have a military discount and are a block away from the entrances and also have a really good continental breakfast)off site and lots more food options than just in the parks, as well. On the plus side, since the races were typically held in the off-season, going to the parks now should be less crowded since there won’t also be all the runners there.


I’m taking a brea-who am I kidding?

I told myself that I was taking a break from runDisney races after running the Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare last fall. It was the last race I’d really wanted to do and I felt like I was pretty happy with that. I’ve done the Princess Half, the Glass Slipper Challenge, the Pixie Dust Challenge (both in the same year for the pretty pink Coast to Coast Challenge medal), the Dopey Challenge and then the Dumbo Double Dare (and got the black Coast to Coast medal that year.) The races are just so expensive and Disney isn’t getting any cheaper, plus I felt like the trips just weren’t as special or fun to me anymore as they were in the very beginning. P even told me it wasn’t fun for him because we on;y went on race weekends and I was so tired all the time.

Then we moved to Georgia where WDW is only six hours away. That might seem like a lot, but in Alaska the closest Target was six hours away so my interpretation of “far” got skewed pretty heavily. I also found out my sister has never been to WDW so we made tentative plans to go together in the fall, and then I found out yesterday morning while waiting for my movers to arrive that the Disney Princess Half’s 10-year anniversary race was 1) next year and 2) opening for registration that day.

I am weak.

By the time I remembered to register the Challenge was sold out as was the 10K (weird, right?) so I registered for the half. I’m honestly okay with that. Although the challenge medals are always pretty and who doesn’t like getting a third medal for two races, only doing one race is cheaper and will mean I don’t have to go to bed as early and will probably be more fun for me and for P as well.


Weekly Recap 10/19-10/25

I felt pretty good this week. I had some issues getting into the run on Tuesday so I stuck it out for a solid three songs and then skipped over to the bike. When I use the bike to cross-train, I try to keep it from being too easy by making sure I have lots of resistance and try to keep up a cadence of at leas 90. My pace was a little slower this one because I was doing some hills.

I’ve also been slacking a bit on my lifting. I resolved to rededicate time to it since it makes me stronger all around. I did a heavy legs workout on Thursday and followed it with a run, which definitely makes my pace slower but for lifts that use a combination of muscles, like deadlifts and squats, I want to do those first when I am still fresh and so I can make sure my form is solid.

I avoid bench presses and pull-ups and I know I need to work on them. I avoid them because I’m bad at them, and I’m bad at them because I avoid them.

I did my first “Magic Mile” as specified by the Galloway plan today. It was a little weird because I did it on a treadmill. I averaged a 7 minute mile for it, but I know I could do better since I had to manipulate the speeds by hand. Still, it was good to have some sort of baseline so I know where I stand and can tentatively predict my race times. I’m looking forward to improving on it in the next few weeks, too.


This is pretty much how I’m feeling most days about training. I try to keep in mind that it’s only two more months (and four races, not including Castaway Cay). On the one hand, it does help motivate me to go to the gym and it makes my run streak easier since I feel like there’s a point, but there are some days where it is just such a hassle.

Like yesterday, I didn’t have time to get a five-mile workout in because we had some serious network issues that required everyone’s attention. I had to be satisfied with one mile and move my five-mile workout to today.

I just have to keep finding those smaller goals along the way. Virtual races help a lot, and so do other things, but that’s probably for another entry.

Off-Season Planning

Being deployed has really shown me how important smaller goals are in breaking up the long slog and helping the time pass. I’ve gotten to a point where I just focus on the present and the next small milestone, kind of like a long run.

Every year with the cooler weather I find myself staying indoors more and doing more cross-training and always, planning for the upcoming year. Now that it’s getting cooler here in Afghanistan, I’ve been thinking more about what races I want to sign up for next year. I deferred the Marine Corps Marathon this year so I will probably run it this coming year.

Since the Disney races are pretty expensive and the MCM involves a plane ticket and hotel, I will probably try to keep my other races closer to home. That being said, Alaska is the biggest state in the US so “close to home” can still be anywhere from 8-14 hours away and still in the same state. I am still considering another destination race, though.

Some also depends on when I get home since traveling can take a while and I have to go through a brief re-integration period on the backside and that may mean I miss some races in the area I’d like to do.

So far my tentative schedule looks like:

January 6-10 – Disney World 5K, 10K, Half and Full

January 12 (?) – Castaway Cay 5K

February 25 – Town of Celebration Virtual Marathon

June 18 – Either Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon or Midnight Sun Run

August – Santa Claus Half Marathon

August 21- Moose’s Tooth Marathon

September 17 – Either Equinox Marathon or Ultra. I want to do the ultra, but it depends on where I am with training at that point.

October 30  – Marine Corps Marathon

If I had unlimited funds and could get the time off from work, I’d love to run the new Disneyland Paris Half Marathon this next year. I love Disney races and I think it’s going to be so pretty and fun to run. As expensive as Disney races are, and this would be combined with a flight to Europe, I would absolutely love to do this. Maybe as an end-of-deployment gift to myself?

In a Funk Friday

I’ve been in a bit of a funk this past week. Instead of feeling peppy in the afternoons when I usually work out, I’ve felt tired and sleepy. I’ve also felt sleepy in the mornings and evenings, too. I have been staying up a little late reading at night, but not enough to make me tired all day. No matter how much coffee or water I drink I can’t seem to shake my tiredness.  Last night I even slept for 11 hours

Part of this I think is because I’m deep into my Dopey training. This week is a step-back week, thankfully, so I have minimal mileage to get in, but it makes me nervous for next week’s mileage.

I’ve been using a few “tricks” to keep myself going.

  1. Something is better than nothing – any workout is better than no workout.
  2. Mix it up – okay, this may come back to haunt me on race day when I hit the wall because of too much cross-training, but in line with Reason #1, anything is better than nothing. So if I have miles to get in and I can’t handle the treadmill anymore, I’ll switch to the elliptical for a bit and then go back. The different movements keep me engaged.
  3. Split it up – I can’t spend several hours running in one stretch because of my work schedule. I have no choice but to break it up, unless I want to get up super early to try to get it in and believe me, I’ve tried waking up early and it just doesn’t work for me out here. I will go back to sleep every time. But by breaking my workouts into smaller, bite-sized chunks, I am much more likely to succeed.

I’ve got three months until Dopey. It seems so far away right now but I know it’ll be here before I know it. I’m going to keep chugging along with my training plan and try to stay motivated. And maybe try to find some sort of energy drink or pre workout to jump-start my body.

Weekly Recap 9/27-10/4 + A Few Miles for my Coach

I had a pretty good week of training this week. I’ve been having some gut issues on my longer runs but I think that’s mostly because I’ve been experimenting with when and what I eat before I run and how far in advance I eat. Some things are out of my control since I can’t cook out here, but I think I’ve realized that my supplements need to either be well before I work out or after, not right before or during.

I’m also using cycling to help supplement my running. It’s a nice change of pace. I may pay for it later during the races, but I think my goal is really just to finish and to do that I need to get to the starting line healthy and unhurt.

Part of staying healthy means taking the time to stretch, which I can be bad at.

This next week is a lower mileage week so I’m going to work on speedwork (which my computer is convinced should be “spadework”) and inclines/declines as well as focus more on lifting in my step-back weeks. On days where I know I have a lot to fit in, I just skip the lifting so I can get the miles in.

Lastly, a few days ago my college cross-country coach revealed that she is fighting another relapse of breast cancer. This woman is SO incredibly hardcore and super strong and I know that she will kick this recurrence of cancer out of the park. She is also unbelievably humble and caring. I was so fortunate to have her as my coach in college and she has helped me and so many others find joy through running.

Today is also the birthday of the woman whom my undergraduate college was named for, Mary Julia Baldwin. In honor of two strong, savvy women, I wanted to dedicate my run this morning to them.

I wore my new pink Raw Threads shirt, my Road Runner Sports shorts, my trusty Brooks Ghosts, and my new Stride Box socks I just got in yesterday. I ran the typical cross-country distance we raced in college and thought about all the early morning practices and the two-a-days and the thrill of racing the course. I love running and I am so thankful for those who have shared with me their time and experience.

Just. Keep. Running

Weekly Rundown 9/13/15-9/19/15

This week I didn’t feel too badly. I ran every day and even hit some good paces in there, too. I had a really killer leg workout on Friday with squats, deadlifts, lunges, and leg extensions and curls that left my legs leaden.

I’m trying to find a happy medium somewhere in there. I know weight training and lifting is so important to overall strength, but I also have to get the miles in running and some days it’s hard with the other physical requirements I have for regular work. I’m especially worried about the long runs. Even if I break them into two-a-days it’s going to be difficult to find the time for them. I guess I will just have to do the best I can and work with what I have.

Foam rolling, looks goofy but hurts so good.

Foam rolling, looks goofy but hurts so good. Also, terrible potato quality picture.

I thought about switching to the Hal Higdon plan, but I think I’m going to stick with Jeff Galloway and just add in some extra mileage so that I’m running every day. I know I can do a full, and I know I can do two in two weekends, so theoretically this should not be impossible. I can do it, I’d just like to also be able to walk around and enjoy my time with my husband, too.

I found this in a box by the Chaplain's office.

I found this in a box by the Chaplain’s office.

Treadmill Training

I am especially bad at following training plans. I’ve lost count how many have fallen by the wayside. Life just gets in the way sometimes, and when my work hours and unpredictable, or there’s an FTX involved, or I had a paper due for my master’s degree, getting in all the miles unfortunately just wouldn’t happen sometimes.

With that in mind, although I’ve run several full marathons, an ultra-marathon, and completed both the Glass Slipper Challenge and Pixie Dust Challenge, two multi-day races, running four races on four days is going to be very different. I respect the distance and I respect Florida’s heat, but I also respect my previous failures so I am going to use Jeff Galloway’s plan to “Finish in an Upright Position.”

Since I registered a little late, I’m jumping into the plan at Week 10/11. It’s three days a week with a long run on the weekends. I think I can do it.

The other part is what I have to run on. This is my “track.”

It also doubles as the HLZ. It's about 200 meters around, half the size of a normal track.

It also doubles as the HLZ. It’s about 200 meters around, half the size of a normal track.

As a result, I’m using the dreadmill most of the time. There are a few keys I’ve figured out to keeping me happy on it:

  1. Random/hill setting – makes sure that I am still getting the benefit of running on uneven ground and hills.
  2. Intervals during the run – I’ll pick up the pace for a minute or two, either based on a song I’m listening to or the clock on the treadmill. It really helps to break a workout down into smaller, more manageable chunks.
  3. Headphones – seriously necessary.
  4. TV – I am fortunate that this gym has TVs in front of its wall of cardio machines. I pick something that looks interesting (usually sports because it’s active, unlike whatever movie is probably playing) and pick a machine near it.
  5. I cover up the menu with a towel. Otherwise I obsess over the distance and it goes by so much slower because of that.

Five Things for Friday

I can’t believe it’s already Friday.

Here’s what’s been on my mind this week.

1. BackBeat Fit headphones

I couldn’t take running with earbuds anymore so I took the plunge and splurged on bluetooth headphones and boy, am I ever glad I did. No strings attached.

Kind of like this

2. Fighter Diet Whey in Natural Chocolate flavor

I was looking for a protein powder that was clean without a lot of added fillers, artificial flavors, and without added sweeteners. I decided to try Fighter Diet and I can’t tell you how GOOD it is. I have a big sweet tooth so the chocolate flavor was a must. It’s made from grass-fed cows and has NO artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, no artificial colors, and no preservatives.

It mixes very well with liquids and while it doesn’t taste amazing with water (it tastes like chocolatey water), if mixed with soy milk it is absolutely delicious. I usually drink it with vanilla soy milk but tried it with chocolate yesterday for a double chocolate experience and man, was that good.

It does now, however, taste as good when mixed with shelf-stable milk

It does now, however, taste as good when mixed with shelf-stable milk

3. TP Massage Ball

I picked this up back home on sale at REI. Um, amazing. I like to roll it against my back while leaning on the wall and it really digs down into my sore muscles in a good way. It’s small enough that it’s easy to take along while traveling. Some people use tennis balls but I think this one is a little more firm and up to the job than a tennis ball would be.
tp ball4. Any kind of hip stretch

I’ve been doing more running and more lifting more consistently and my hips are constantly tight. One of my new favorite stretches to relieve their soreness is the “Pigeon Pose” from yoga. You cross your leg in front of you with the opposite leg stretched back and then gently fold your upper body over the bent leg in front and feel the glorious stretch.

Hurts so good

Hurts so good

5. Constantly changing goals

The fluidity of things out here makes it hard to plan. Sometimes I think it’d be easier to nail Jello to a wall.

So it doesn’t look like I will be running the Air Force Marathon and my trip to Japan may not work out, either. Instead, I’m changing my focus to an entirely new goal (with less variables to mess it up) and I signed up for the Dopey Challenge!

What is the Dopey Challenge? It’s four days and four races. A 5K, then a 10K, then a half-marathon, and on the final day, a full marathon for a total of 48.6 miles. It’s also at one of my absolute favorite places – Walt Disney World!

I am beyond excited for the challenge and am going to register also for the Disney Castaway Challenge. After I’ve completed the Dopey Challenge, P and I will be on a cruise to the Bahamas where we will stop at the Disney-owed private island, Castaway Cay, and run a 5K there.

I think it will be a perfect blend of my favorite things as well as give me some much-needed relaxing time. Plus, I’ve never been to the Bahamas before so that will be really neat!