This past weekend I completed my second Dopey Challenge at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2015. If you’re addicted to running Disney, you know that a wave of insanity rushes over you at noon the day of race registration. If you’re not sitting at your computer by 11:59am, you run the risk of not registering. Anything can happen during the faux release of running related endorphins caused by signing up to run Disney.
After running the inaugural 48.6 mile challenge in 2014, one would have thought the fog would have lifted over my brain as the muscle aches set in. While for a time that was true, by April’s registration date, I was ready to be dopey again, only this time without any equally crazy companions.
To see my recap of the first Dopey challenge, please see the post from my other blog 365krisbits- 12. Dopey Challenge Completed!
There’s no need for my to recap this race as it was equally similar in course and cruelty. It was much more difficult this year not having friends to lean on for motivation. I ran the 5K in 30:20 and set a PR in the 10K at 1:04. For the Half Marathon, I suffered from dehydration the night before and only slept for 30 minutes- a combination of dehydration symptoms and excitement for something happening in my personal life. I was happy to finish and beat my other “sick” time from the DIsneyland Half 2013 by 20 minutes.
The Marathon is my least favorite distance (why the hell do we even run that far anyways?), but I LOVE the race course. It’s an opportunity to see all four parks plus some. I started the race and immediately suffered from side cramps. Expletives floated around my brain with each stride. No breathing exercises, extra walking, or potty breaks eased the pain so by mile 10 I gladly accepted Tylenol at the medical tent. Before half the race had even been completed, I’d done two things I don’t ever do during races- stop for bathroom breaks and visit the medics. The good news is that the Tylenol worked and I was ready to tackle the rest of the race.
I can’t say I finished strong. I continued my run-walk ration of 3/1 until about mile 17 but finally fell to defeat when the balls of my feet wouldn’t allow me to pound, pound, pound away on them anymore. I added a few more longer walking breaks and varied my ratio to 1/1. I would finish this race no matter what, I wasn’t concerned about that. But I’m also a bit competitive with myself. I had hoped to beat my 5:22 time from my first marathon in 2013. By the time I saw that glorious finish line, I forgot the pain and the fact that I was falling short of my goal, and sprinted to the end. Do you remember that flash of hot pink that whizzed by? That was me.
Dear God, it felt so amazing to be done. Lying on the ground with my food and medals was what all I had hoped for since mile 17. I finished in 5:35. Definitely slower that I wanted, but considering I pushed myself extremely hard the first two days of races, hadn’t run as much prior to this race weekend as I had before the last two WDW marathons, and admittedly gained a couple extra pounds since those other marathons, I did well enough.
Two days later and my recovery is superb. I’m almost ready to start running again. I have to be in top shape for my next race- the Marine Corps Marathon in October! Maybe I’ll even properly train with long runs? And hills? And speed work? I don’t like running all THAT much but I’ll be surrounded by Marines…I need to be prepared to be strong!
And who knows, in a couple months I might be crazy enough to be perfectly Dopey and sign up for the third year in a row. There’s something internally magical knowing just what you can accomplish.