Friday, January 12, 2018

Fitness Friday - Dopey Challenge Style

We have returned from another fabulous runDisney event weekend and I know I say this all the time, but I cannot believe it's over already! On the morning of the 10K, I never thought the full marathon would get here and now that it's all said and done, I'm kind of sad.

Many MANY hours were spent walking and running throughout the parks over the past week, so I'm going to recap them here along with my step count.

As a disclaimer, I was not a good girl as far as the first time Dopey participant went. I actually didn't stay in bed or relax at the hotel every day. Instead, I spent time at the parks with my family and friends. Whoops. However, I did make sure I was in bed by at least 8 or 8:30 p.m. every night so I could have an adequate night's rest.

Fitness Friday
Currently Training For:

  • Dopey Challenge 2018 - Walt Disney World
  • Rock n Roll New Orleans Half Marathon 2018 - New Orleans, LA
Dopey Challenge Week:
Thursday, January 4 - 5K (daily step total 29,600)
Friday, January 5 -
10K (daily step total 34,400)
Saturday, January 6 - Half Marathon (daily step total 45,700)
Sunday, January 7 -
Full Marathon (daily step total 69,300)

Monday, January 8 - Animal Kingdom - 14,000 steps
Tuesday, January 9 - Magic Kingdom - 16,800 steps
Wednesday, January 10 - Travel Day - 6300 steps
Thursday, January 11
Friday, January 12
- Afternoon walk with Jason/Brayden

What a week! My fitbit hit its highest mileage ever on the day of the full marathon which was quite exciting! (And maybe cheating since I used it while I was running a race but oh well..steps are steps, right?)

Also, I want to put this out there - no, it's not a grand idea to venture all over the parks while doing a race of this magnitude. However, I do not live a sedentary lifestyle on a regular basis and I work at a job that has me on my feet all day (as a nurse), so I knew my body's limits and when it was time to return to the room to sleep or take a rest on a bench, I did just that.

Honestly, I felt that walking so much helped my body not become stiff or terribly sore. I did hobble around a little bit the evening after the full but by Monday morning, I felt great and was ready to go! I also wore a lot of compression (CW-X compression pants were worn nightly for sleep and Legend Compression socks or leg sleeves were worn daily for most of the races and around the parks) which helped TREMENDOUSLY!

Would I run Dopey all over again? Probably not.
Would I run another Full Marathon? Maybe...still on the fence about this one. (This full was my 6th so far.) 
Did I have an AMAZING time? YES!
Could I have used more sleep? YES.
Was the training hard? YES!
Was it worth each and every mile? DEFINITELY!!

I am so happy I had the opportunity to run this challenge and having my friend Melissa to run it with me made it that much more exciting! We had a BLAST stopping for character photos and I had the chance to do something I wish I'd done on the last Disney Marathon I ran - I had the chance to ride Expedition Everest around mile 14 in Animal Kingdom! I know it's crazy, but my main reason for wanting to re-run the full is because I didn't ride Everest the previous two times I ran this race - it  was totally my "cherry on top" for this race weekend!

Now for the opposite side of the coin (I'm not being negative, just giving my honest opinion)....

Traveling with my husband/son and friends was hard because I felt as if I was missing out on times with them while having to leave the parks at 7 to catch a bus and be in bed on time. During the morning of the full marathon and about half way through the full, I texted several people and said "I'm NEVER doing this again, EVER!" Am I still holding true to that? Yes, more than likely for Dopey at least (I'm still on the fence about running another full).

Here's the thing - it all depends on the mindset you go to Marathon weekend with. Is it to run a race and have a Disney vacation (our style - sun up to sun down) all at the same time? Or are you there strictly for runDisney? If you're just there for a fun running weekend and don't mind a ton of downtime at the resort, then Dopey is a great idea! My personal favorite are the shorter race weekends like Princess or Wine & Dine because I feel as if I can have that runDisney experience by participating in a challenge (10K and half) or a half alone and still have time to enjoy the parks with my family. Again, not being negative as I had an AMAZING time, I'm just sharing my thoughts! :)

There will be recaps to come as well as several vlogs for those of you who asked, so stay tuned! Again, this past weekend was an incredible one and I'm grateful I had the opportunity to run and complete my first Dopey Challenge!

Did you run any races over the past weekend? Have you ever run Dopey? If so, what are you thoughts and would you run it again?


  1. I think your final thoughts are completely realistic. My husband and I are definitely "sun up to sun down" parks people too, but you cannot do that during a weekend like Marathon weekend. I'm looking forward to a more laid back approach to Princess next month since it'll be just my friend who I am running with and I (I'm leaving the boys at home this trip), so I won't feel torn and feel like I'm missing out on what the rest of the family is doing.

    1. Your Princess trip sounds amazing! I hope you guys have a great time! Can't wait to hear about it!

  2. I do know people who have done Dopey, and they said the hardest thing is the down time to rest up for all the races. I'm not good at sitting still, and while I did that for Tink the day before, to rest my legs, I missed out on the parks.

    1. I do not sit still well. At. All. Especially in Disney! That and the 3 a.m. wake up calls four days in a row were by far the hardest part!

  3. I found that walking around the parks also helped my legs recover for Dopey. The hardest part was being so sleepy and not closing down the parks!

  4. I know you are not a negative person, so no worries there! I completely understand your thought process on Dopey! Challenge races at Disney can be difficult just because there are So many distractions and it doesn't lend itself to much relaxing, cuz HELLO, it's Disney! Hehe. Looking forward to your blogs and vlogs of your time at Disney. And congrats on such an accomplishment! So proud of you!

    1. Thanks so much, Meranda! It was a ton of fun but the downtime was TOUGH!

  5. I ran Dopey in 2016 and have to agree with you. I'm very glad I did it, but it's not anything I want to do again. I did miss out on the parks and since I had traveled on my own, that was OK, but it was one of the hardest weekends I went through. I also didn't have anyone to run with and I really would have fared better mentally if I could have run with someone during the marathon. Though riding Everest really gives you an adrenaline rush half way through. I did go on to run two more marathons that year, but that might be it for me for that distance too. I never say never, so I say, at least for now. You accomplished something amazing!!!

    1. Thank you so much! I'm thinking I might be up for my next full with the WDW 30th but we shall see on that one...

  6. I definitely agree about the weather...I was so glad it wasn't hot! Those people who are "Perfectly Dopey" amaze me...I don't know how they do it!


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