Tag Archives: Goofy Challenge

Dopey Core Work

It occurred to me that I could elaborate a bit on the core work that I suggest doing for the Dopey workouts. Thanks Tammy & Tammy’s friends who are following the program!

First let me reiterate that core work is very important to running or any sport. A strong core will help you maintain your running form across the long miles of the Dopey Challenge or any distance really. A strong core is also great if like me, you have a desk job that may have you slouching all day. Before we get to the exercises I suggest in the plan I made let’s first discuss what is meant by “The Core.”

Most people think of their core as just their abdominal muscles or their “Abs.” While the abdominals are included, the core is made up of around 30 muscles depending on how you count them. I’m not going to go through all 30 here so don’t worry this isn’t a Gross Anatomy 101 lecture.

Here they are! Your core muscles as one part of the core.

Psoas Major/Iliacus: Known as the hip flexors, these muscles lift the thigh toward the abdomen and limit excess motion of the hip joint. **Limiting excess motion means a better running form so these tiny muscles are important to runners!

Erector Spinae: This collection of three muscles straightens the back and, along with the multifidus, a short muscle, supports the spine. Remember I said that I have a desk job? Slouching over a desk kills these muscles. Strengthening them helps your posture throughout the day and during a run.

Now, let’s talk about the abdominal muscles of the core.

Obliques: These muscles rotate your torso and work with the transversus abdominis to support your center during movement. If these are weak and you need to make a quick directional change then it’s going to be difficult.

Rectus Abdominis: These are what the lay person means when the say “The Abs.” These form the six-pack we all long for at the beach. Primarily, this muscle helps stabilize your core, its main function is to flex or curl the trunk like during a crunch or bending over to tie your shoes.

Transversus Abdominis: This muscle is your natural weight belt. It’s a very deep set muscle sitting under the obliques and wraps laterally around your center just like a belt.

Okay, now that you know the basics of the anatomy of your core let’s talk about how we are going to make them stronger because you know Dopey has a six pack under that tunic he wears to the mines, right? That’s because he is an avid core worker and his job is physical. The dude is stacked!

Below is an excerpt from my Dopey Challenge Novice Training Program blog post concerning core work. Remember if you want a more advanced program I did write a Dopey Challenge Intermediate Training Program as well. The core work for both programs is similar except I added a standard plank to the intermediate plan.



Working your core is imperative for your training as a runner especially for the novice runner. As you run long distance your core stabilizes your entire body from your upper torso to your hips and spine. As your core fatigues your running form begins to degrade and you must expend more energy to keep running or maintain pace. Worse yet, as your core stabilizers weaken across the long miles it is easier to become injured as your ability to recover from a quick side-step or a high curb lessens. DO NOT SKIP your core workouts! Ask me if you don’t know how to do these exercises. I’m happy to explain!

Oh, and forget sit-ups. Sit-ups are worthless. I almost didn’t add crunches as I don’t do them, but I know the standard crunch is a recognized exercise by many people. Try to move from one core exercise to the next with minimal rest between exercises and only 30-60 seconds of rest between sets. If you are just starting take it slow at first and work your way into the workout little by little.

After you finish the core work stretch out the major muscle groups for 20-30 minutes holding for 15-20 seconds for each muscle and do 3 sets each. Hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and calf muscles should all be stretched after your core work.

Core  Rep/Time  Sets
Standard Plank 60 sec 3
Low Plank w/one leg off the ground: both legs 60sec 3/leg
High Plank position. Knee to elbow. Both legs 15/leg 3/side
Crunch w/arms crossed on chest 30 3
High Knees 50 3

The Core Exercises:

Standard Plank:

The standard plank has two positons, Low Plank & High Plank. The high plank position is just like when you are doing a push-up and you have your arms locked out straight at the top of the movement. Your hands and elbows should be directly below and in line with your shoulders. There is a straight line going from your head to your heels. Don’t allow your pelvis or hips to sag toward the floor and keep your head in line as well. Also, don’t stick you butt higher than your shoulders. Remember, a straight line is the goal. Just holding this position is a great beginner’s exercise for core work. Work your way up to holding it for 60 seconds for three sets. The low plank position is the same except you’re resting your weight on you forearms as your elbows are bent at 90 degree angles. Again keep a straight line going from your head to your heels just as with the high plank. Your elbows should be directly below and in line with your shoulders. The low plank may be an easier start for the newbie athlete as compared to the high plank. The picture below shows both high and low plank position as well as how to transition between the two.  The transition from high to low plank and back again is another exercise for the core if you want to add it later.

Transition from Low to High Plank position
Transition from Low to High Plank position

Low Plank w/One Leg Off the Ground

Get into the low or high plank position. I suggest low plank for beginners. From the low plank position and while maintaining the straight line from head to heel you will simply lift one foot off the ground so it is 6-8 inches off the ground. You will need to balance on one foot and your forearms. This is more difficult than the standard plank as your core has to work to balance you.

Low Plank with One Foot Off the Ground
Low Plank with One Foot Off the Ground

High (or Low) Plank – Knee to Elbow

This is an advanced move. Get into the low or high plank position. From the plank position and while maintaining the straight line from head to heel you will bend your right leg at the knee and hip bringing your right knee toward your right elbow. Depending on how flexible you are you may be able to touch your knee to your elbow (I can’t do this so no worries if you can’t either). Just don’t force it! Slow and controlled is the key until you learn the movement. Avoid allowing your butt to raise into the air as this compromises the integrity of your core. Remember, slow and controlled.  Work your way up to the suggested number of repetitions ans sets. Repeat for the other leg and keep the number of repetitions and sets the same for each side. NOTE: While I suggest doing this in high plank you can also do it from a low plank position as well. In low plank you will need to bring the knee to the outside of the body a bit more so you don’t scrape your knee on the ground.

High Plank Knee to Elbow
High Plank Knee to Elbow


When training I assume nothing so let’s go over the proper form for a basic crunch. Do these at the end of your workout as this exercise is from the most stable position. I don’t want you to pre-fatigue your abdominals until you’ve learned well the movements discussed above and built some dynamic core strength.

Lay with your back flat on the floor with your knees bent so that your feet are also flat on the floor. For beginners, cross your arms on your chest. Using your abdominal muscles lift your shoulders and head off the floor reaching your forehead toward the ceiling. DO NOT GO TOWARD YOUR FEET but rather toward the ceiling for proper form. I always describe having a string tied to your nose that pulls your head and shoulders toward the ceiling. Apologies, I don’t have a picture for this one as all the ones I found show the improper technique of yanking the head toward the feet with the chin pressed against the chest. there should always be space between the chin and the chest for this exercise.

Additionally, avoid putting your hands behind your head until you have gained enough core strength to not use your hands to lift (yank on) your head. This is hard on your spine and lessens the exercise as your arms are doing all of the work instead of your core.

High Knees:

These can be done “cardio style” or they can be done more as a slow and controlled “set and rep” style. From a standing positon raise your knee straight in front of you until your quadriceps (the front muscle group of your legs) is parallel to the ground. You don’t have to raise the knee higher, but you can once you get used to the exercise and learn the movement. Avoid just throwing the leg up, but instead use the core muscles (Psoas Major/Iliacus…hip flexors) to lift the leg. Cardio style is when you do these fatser and for a specified amount of time. Learn the movement before trying them “cardio style”. Play the right music and you could even do them Gangnam Style.

High Knees
High Knees

So that’s it for the core! There are basic and advanced moves in the program that hit all of the core muscles. If you wanted to do this more than once a week you definitely could. I do a 17 minute core workout twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays before work. My exception is that I don’t do crunches or sit-ups. There are a lot more exercises and versions of the exercises we discussed above that you could add, but this will get you started. As always, if you have questions I am here to help.

Happy Training!


Dopey Challenge Novice Training Program

So what IS a novice runner anyway? While I leave the final definition up to you a good rule of thumb that I use is to look at three criteria.

  1. How long have you been running?
  2. How much have you run in that time period?
  3. Do you consider yourself a novice? (mentality/attitude/applied knowledge)

If you’ve signed up for the Dopey Challenge then I hope you have at least one marathon under your belt as well as a half marathon and perhaps a couple lesser distance races, but if you’ve already paid the registration and you plan to go the 48.6 mile distance across four days then take a look below for a simple program to get you across those four finish lines. First, seriously consider using the Galloway method as described on Jeff Galloway’s website or on the runDisney training website. Next, start training now. My assumption is that you are not starting from zero and you can run a good 5-8 miles right now without worry, but don’t wait to start training. Use this extra time to build base miles and as a good friend of mine says, “Respect the distance!

You may want to look at my previous blog post on the Dopey Training Program that I personally would use. I am not a novice runner as the upcoming Disney Marathon will be my 9th full marathon, but you can see the difference between the two programs. The program that follows is for a novice runner.  It is severely scaled back and cut down in comparison to the first program I posted for more intermediate to advance athletes/runners.  The following program is all about running and is based on the following assumptions.


  1. You are healthy and injury free.
  2. You’re doctor says it’s okay to do this.
  3. You may have been running only 6-12 months or are returning from a long-ish break from running. (Not returning from an injury)
  4. You may have minimal races under your belt (1 marathon and maybe only 1-2 other long distance races).
  5. You run less than 15 miles a week at present.
  6. You can go out and run 5-8 miles right now non-stop, no problems, no big deal…you would say, “Let’s do this!”

The novice program I have designed is 31 weeks in length meaning you would need to start this plan in mid-June (June 9th I believe, but check my math) to complete it for the week leading up to WDW Marathon Weekend. The first few weeks are fairly light, but then the program ramps up quickly at a rate that is designed to allow your muscles, tendons, and ligaments to adapt to the work you are placing on them. A big component of this program is rest. Even if you feel great on a rest day do not run more or workout as the rest time is needed for adaptation.

Be sure to calculate your own program start date to ensure you have time to complete the plan in full. Details of what to do for the Bike and Core work follow the program table.

Week Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
30 Bike 30 2 miles 3 miles Rest Bike 30 5 miles Core/stretch
29 Bike 30 2 miles 3 miles Rest Bike 30 5 miles Core/stretch
28 Bike 30 2 miles 3 miles Rest Bike 30 6 miles Core/stretch
27 Bike 30 2 miles 5K Rest Bike 30 8 miles Core/stretch
26 Bike 30 2 miles Rest 5K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core/stretch
25 Bike 30 2 miles 4 miles 2 miles 3 miles 4 miles 8 miles
24 Bike 30 3 miles 4 miles Rest Bike 30 13 miles Core/stretch
23 Bike 30 3 miles 5 miles Rest Bike 30 15  miles Core/stretch
22 Bike 30 4 miles 5 miles Rest Bike 30 10  miles Core/stretch
21 Bike 30 3 miles 6 miles Rest Bike 30 17  miles Core/stretch
20 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 5K Easy Bike 30min Ellip 30 Core/stretch
19 Rest Bike 30 Rest 5K Easy 5 miles 6 miles 12 miles
18 Bike 30 5K Easy 5 miles Rest Bike 30 15 miles Core/stretch
17 Bike 30 5K Easy 6 miles Rest Bike 30 17 miles Core/stretch
16 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Rest Bike 30 12 miles Core/stretch
15 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Rest Bike 30 21 miles Core/stretch
14 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 5K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core/stretch
13 Rest Bike 30 Rest 5K Easy 10K 8 miles 16 miles
12 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 10K Easy Bike 30 17 miles Core/stretch
11 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 10K Easy Bike 30 19 miles Core/stretch
10 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 7 miles Bike 30 14 miles Core/stretch
9 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 7 miles Bike 30 22.5 miles Core/stretch
8 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 5K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core/stretch
7 Rest Bike 30 Rest 5K Easy 10K Easy 10 miles 21 miles
6 Bike 30 5K Easy 10K Easy Rest Bike 30 19 miles Core/stretch
5 Bike 30 5K Easy 10K Easy Rest Bike 30 21 miles Core/stretch
4 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Rest Bike 30 23 miles Core/stretch
3 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Rest Bike 30 15 miles Core/stretch
2 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Core/stretch Bike 30 20 miles Core/stretch
1 Bike 30 15K Easy Rest 10K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core/stretch
0 Rest Rest Rest WDW 5K WDW 10K WDW Half WDW Full

Special Weeks:

Dopey Practice Weeks:

Weeks 25, 19, 13, and 7 are designed to give you a little Dopey Practice to prepare you to run four days in a row at distances that build across the 4 days.

Pull Back Weeks:

Weeks 22, 16, 10, and 3 are Pull Back Weeks designed to give you extra rest from the long run in comparison to the two previous weeks.  As the program progresses these are still fairly long runs, but less distance than the previous 2-3 weeks.

Push Weeks:

Weeks 21, 15, 9, and 2 are Push Weeks which fall between the Pull Back Weeks and Alternative Training weeks.  You will notice the Push Weeks come back strong with the long run pushing out a bit further than before the Pull Back week.

Alternative Training Weeks:

Weeks 26, 20, 14, 8, and 1 are Alternative Training Weeks. These weeks mix things up with a break from the standard schedule, a couple easier and shorter runs, and an elliptical session. These weeks will help you with the mental fortitude and motivation to keep training by giving you a break from the “same old same old” routine.

Taper Weeks:

Weeks 1 and 0 are the days leading up to The Dopey Challenge. Week one is an alternate training week, but also the start of your tapering off period for the 4-days of running you have approaching. Follow the program, trust in your training, don’t add workouts, and if you must change anything opt to be over-rested rather than over-trained. Try to minimize time walking around the Disney parks on the 2-3 days before the 5K and across the 4-days of The Dopey Challenge. It would be a shame to train all this time to just throw it all away by being too tired.  The average park guest walks 8 miles per day when visiting a Disney park.

Types of Workouts in the Program:


30 minute bike sessions should be on a cadence/rpm of 80-100. Add a resistance that will allow for you to have a “good effort”, but not so difficult as to make the next day’s run difficult.  RPMs are more important than resistance on the bike. Push with the heel down, NOT the toe when pedaling.


As an alternative form of exercise that is less impactful on joints, but still works the running muscles I have added an occasional elliptical (Ellip) session during alternate workout weeks.  Notice a Core workout follows these so as to give your legs a rest. If you don’t have access to an elliptical at a gym then just walk for 30 minutes at a brisk pace, but do not run.


Working your core is imperative for your training as a runner especially for the novice runner.  As you run long distance your core stabilizes your entire body from your upper torso to your hips and more. As your core fatigues your running form begins to degrade and you must expend more energy to keep running or maintain pace. Worse yet, as your core stabilizers weaken across the long miles it is easier to become injured as your ability to recover from a quick side-step or a high curb lessens. DO NOT SKIP your core workouts! Ask me if you don’t know how to do these exercises. I’m happy to explain!

Oh, and forget sit-ups. Sit-ups are worthless.  I almost didn’t add crunches as I don’t do them, but I know the standard crunch is a recognized exercise by many people. Try to move from one core exercise to the next with minimal rest between exercises and only 30-60 seconds of rest between sets. After you finish the core work stretch out the major muscle groups for 20-30 minutes holding for 15-20 seconds for each muscle and do 3 sets each. Hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and calf muscles should all be stretched after your core work.

Standard Plank 60 sec 3
Low Plank with one leg off the ground: both legs 60sec 3/leg
High Plank position. Knee to elbow. Both legs 15/leg 3/side
Crunch with arms crossed on chest 30 3
High Knees 50 3

Rest Days

If you must do something on a rest day then opt for an additional core workout or just take 30 minutes and stretch out the running muscles, but stay off your feet as far as running, walking, elliptical, or anything else as much as possible. Try to get extra sleep whenever possible especially after long runs. Your body needs the extra rest to recover and adapt for the next session.  Shut off the TV, close the laptop, get off Facebook, put away angry birds and go to sleep!  Many times injury happens not because of the intensity of the training program, but because proper rest and recovery wasn’t taken on rest days. If in doubt, trade a bike or elliptical day for an additional rest day if you need it.

I’m here if you have questions. Don’t feel you have to know everything or tackle this alone. I’m happy to answer questions and respond to comments. If you connect with me on Facebook, just let me know that you’re a runDisney/Dopey-to-be runner!

Happy Training!


The Dopey Challenge

Are you Dopey enough?  Of course you are!
Are you Dopey enough? Of course you are!

It’s already started. People are asking that very important question.

How do I train for the Dopey Challenge?

For many, the Dopey Challenge may be the closest they ever get to running an ultra marathon…it seems I may have said something similar to this about a piddly little race called the Goofy Challenge a couple years ago…I’m joking obviously as both are very much a challenge! However, now we can officially be Dopey!

An ultra marathon is defined as any distance beyond the 26.2 mile marathon distance in a single day, BUT most ultra marathoners will tell you that the respect of ultra runners start at the 50 mile marker and not a step before. Anything less is just a “marathon plus”.  The Dopey Challenge will cover 48.6 miles across four days while the shortest official ultra will cover a minimum of a 50K (31.069 miles) in a single day. However, I digress as this post is about the Dopey Challenge.

I’ve decided to post “unofficial” training plans for the Dopey Challenge for my personal use. I’m basing the plans off my experience from training for relays (64 miles), two Goofy Challenges, multiple marathons, half-marathons and other shorter races. My educational background is in Movement and Sport Science double majoring in Exercise and Fitness.

Disclaimer: You should always consult your doctor before beginning ANY exercise program regardless of previous experience.  If you want to use a plan posted here then it is your choice. It’s freely posted on the web and you use the plan at your own risk.

Here are some general guidelines to get you started before I post my training plans:

  1. Start now or as soon as you consult your physician.
  2. Don’t wait or only wait until after you consult your physician.
  3. Start slow regardless of previous experience
  4. Start slowly building your mileage to 50 miles per week over the next several months. (Dopey = 48.6 miles)
  5. Get yourself used to running back to back to back to back days with increasing distance. Start this process slowly and take a few months to build your base miles and consecutive running days.
  6. Cross train. Bike, lift, spin, row, swim, whatever, but do something more than just run and do it weekly until December.  Preferably cross training should use something else besides your running muscles.

Happy Training!


Goofy Challenge Recap – Part II

“Divide the marathon into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart.” -Mike Fanelli

Whenever I run a marathon I begin to think of all the motivational quotes that have inspired me.

“There will be days you don’t think you can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime of knowing you have.”

Beer Run•ner (noun): 1. Someone equally devoted to fine beer appreciation and an active, healthy lifestyle.

After psyching myself up a bit I’m ready.

I always set up my marathon gear the night before and for Disney races this time is especially important since once you leave your resort the possibility of getting back should you forget something is nearly impossible.

Bib pinned on the night before! Ready to go!
Bib pinned on the night before! Ready to go!

Getting to see and run with friends is one of the best parts of Disney Marathon Weekend.

Me, Lori, and Mitch on Marathon Morning
Me, Lori, and Mitch on Marathon Morning

The marathon was a mental battle. The lessened training due to illness along with the half marathon the day before made this race one of the toughest (read painful) races that I have ever run. In addition to being one of the most painful races I have ever run it was also one of the most fun and exciting races that I have ever run. I pushed myself to the mental edge and persevered. Now, with that being said let me show you how much fun the race really was!

Full start

The best part about the race as you might imagine is running through all of the parks!

Running into The Magic Kingdom
Running into The Magic Kingdom

The only hill besides the on and off ramps is “Contemporary Hill”. Chances are unless you’ve stayed at the Contemporary Resort or ran a Disney World race you don’t know about this “little hill” which brings many runners to a walking pace. The picture may not do it justice but the grade is significant.

Contemporary Hill!
Contemporary Hill!

The next best thing to running through the parks is all of the characters you see along the way!

Captains Jack and Barbosa
Captains Jack and Barbosa

I was surprised at how fact the first 11 miles went by!

Mile 11
Mile 11

The new course for the marathon allowed us to run around the Disney World Motor Speedway. This was the first time I had seen the inside of the track!

WDW Motor Speedway
WDW Motor Speedway

And the Cars characters were out in force!


Running through Animal Kingdom is always awesome!

Screen shot 2013-01-27 at 8.53.47 PM

Again this year I did NOT have time to ride Everest, BUT this is on my to do list for a future Disney Marathon


Another change in the marathon course this year was getting to run through the Wide World of Sports including where the Braves conduct spring training!

The stadium was fun to run through and soon enough we had rounded the bases and were off! This whole running the infield made me want a hotdog from Casey’s!

Screen shot 2013-01-27 at 8.55.17 PM

I don’t have any pictures from the Disney Hollywood studios as I was in a lot of pain by this time in the race. The next thing I knew we were entering EPCOT where we had phoned in our order to the Rose & Crown for some adult libations!

Best Aid Station Ever
Best Aid Station Ever

Guinness never tasted so good! Notice all the people behind me who REALLY want my beer! See if you can find all three!

Mmmm, Guinness
Mmmm, Guinness

A short mile later we were approaching the finish line!

The Finish is Near!
The Finish is Near!

Then finally, the 20th anniversary Disney marathon medal was mine!

20th Anniversary Medal
20th Anniversary Medal

Added this to my collection!

Two days and two medals!
Two days and two medals!

Not my fastest time, but great training for my upcoming ultra marathon in June!

11:36:01 on my feet across two days.
11:36:01 on my feet across two days.

Thanks to eBay I did find myself an UNofficial Goofy medal. It’s unofficial because Disney didn’t get their extra registration fee, but I’m sure the running community at large would be okay with it since it’s the 39.3 miles, not the $300+ registration fee that make a runner Goofy. I did the miles (painfully so) so I earned the bling!  All my fellow running friends agree with me!

UNofficial Goofy Medal!
UNofficial Goofy Medal!

I can’t wait until next year!

Happy Training!


Remember, you can follow me @TheRunningMan23 on Twitter!

2013 Goofy Challenge Recap – Part 1

Wait…what? Yes, you read correctly. I did the Goofy Challenge again…by accident this time. Like, whoops…you tripped and ran a half marathon last weekend too?  Pretty close, it all started Friday night when I met some friends at DHS. I was originally down in Florida to run the full marathon with my friend Lori as I had been coaching her throughout her Goofy training and knew it would be nice to have me along for the moral support for the last 26.2 miles.  I met Lori and a host of others at the 50s Diner as they were finishing dinner. Another friend of mine, Julie, was going to go watch Fantasmic. Her friend, Mitch, was down to run with Lori as well. Mitch’s wife, Mary, wasn’t able to come down but had signed up for the half marathon on Saturday…so, there this extra bib for the half marathon just lying around with no one to give it some love.  In steps Brian and the rest is 13.1 miles ago. On Saturday I was “Mary” for about three hours running along side Mitch and Lori and another friend Matt. Talk about good times! It was a non-stop running laugh fest across 13 miles of Disney property.

Before I recap the two days of running let’s chit chat about the weather.  It was hot. The Orlando area was experiencing temperatures 20 degrees higher than normal and increased humidity.  Saturday wasn’t as bad since we were finished mid-morning before the temperature had risen too high, but Saturday was smokin’!  At one point the temperature was 85 degrees with 80% humidity. The heat and humidity slowed everyone down. And now, back to the recap!

Hot Day

Luckily, I just happen to carry two of everything running related when I go to a race. Two pair of running socks, two pair of running shorts, two running shirts. I didn’t have two pair of shoes, but I was willing to go it on just one pair. If I had planned it I would have brought another pair so I could swap them for the two races.

Friday night I went to bed and then went to the meeting area Saturday morning with a good four hours of sleep! As always, runDisney had rolled out the red carpet for all of the runners.

runDisney always rolls out the red carpet for me!
runDisney always rolls out the red carpet for me!

Before long we were headed to the start line corrals. I was a little worried as the longest run I had completed was 15 miles.  I had become sick with the flu the week I was supposed to do my 20-miler for Disney and missed it plus I hadn’t done any back to back long runs since last summer.  I knew I could do 26.2, but adding another 13.1 was, well…Goofy. One thing I did learn on the way to the start corrals is that porta-potties are not in the most opportune places!

Tinkle Bell...when you gotta go!
Tinkle Bell…when you gotta go!

The next thing I knew we were ready to go for the first third of the journey!

And we're off!
And we’re off!

The 1st mile flew by even though we were taking it easy as a part of the strategy. We still had 38.3 miles to go.

1 down...38.3 to go!
1 down…38.3 to go!

For the most part the half marathon was as I mentioned before a 13 mile laugh fest across Disney property. Four of us were running and keeping each other entertained as we went. We sang Disney songs, quoted movies, did impressions and even stopped and did push-ups for Sarge from Toy Story.

Mitch, Lori and I hamming it up at the castle
Mitch, Lori and I hamming it up at the castle

Before long the last mile was whizzing by and we only had another 26.2 to go!

A welcome sign on the half marathon day.
A welcome sign on the half marathon day.

After crossing the finish line I collected my (or Mary’s rather) half marathon medal!

2013 Donald Duck Half Marathon Medal
2013 Donald Duck Half Marathon Medal

After snagging our medals we went over to get a picture taken.

Half Marathon Finish Photo
Half Marathon Finish Photo

The sun was out and shining bright by the time we finished. It was time to head to EPCOT for dinner and some well earned libations before retiring for a little sleep and doing all again on Sunday.  As my usual custom I did an ice bath before heading to EPCOT.

As an update I just received my (Mary’s) certificate recently! That’s Mary on the right…in the blue. She’s cute!

Hi my name is Bri...er I mean, Mary!
Hi my name is Bri…er I mean, Mary!

Stay tuned for Part II of the Goofy Challenge Recap!

Happy Training!


New Disney Marathon Course for 2013!

Ok, so there I was sitting at my desk and an email hits my inbox from a friend of mine who is a fellow “runner of the world”.  The subject line of the email…”new wdw marathon course!”  Really?  I mean REALLY?!?!!? First, it’s the 20th anniversary of the Disney marathon and now runDisney tempts us with a new course as well???  Oh, come on!

Sorry….my fit is over now.

See the video of the new course!

And here’s the 2013 map!

A couple of cool additions to the marathon course AND a 20th anniversary medal!

Happy Training!


The 2012 Goofy Challenge Recap

This is my first multi-page post (fancy I know). Please click the title of the post above if you don’t see the page numbers at the bottom of the first page.  🙂

The 2012 Goofy Challenge is over and I am happy to say I arrived on the other side of 39.3 miles (+3.1) unscathed!  Kate and I arrived at Disney World on Thursday this year and went straight to the Expo after dropping by the hotel to see if our room was ready (it wasn’t). We stayed at the Hilton Grand Vacation near the Vineland Premium Outlets just a 5 minute drive from Disney property.  Why stay off property you ask?  Two words…Jacuzzi Tub, but more on that later!

While at the Expo I picked up a new wardrobe of running shirts as each of the three races came with a shirt and I also purchased Goofy Challenge memorabilia and two coast-to-coast challenge shirts as I’m doing the Disneyland Half Marathon in September. Be sure to register on January 18th, 2012 if you missed the registration at the Expo!

One of the best things about the Expo was getting to meet a long time twitter follower, Facebook friend, and Disney Mom’s Panelist…Deborah Bowen also known as @DisneyDeborah on Twitter!

I met Deborah for the first time Thursday!
Deborah after crossing the Marathon finish line!

Deborah is not only a fantastic person and friend, but also completed her first full marathon on Sunday!  So proud of her!

Goofy (Dopey) Packing!!

The time has come to make the packing list for the 2012 Disney World Marathon Weekend!  This year is a bit different for me since I’m packing for not one, NOT two, but THREE RACES!  I must be well…..Dopey!

The List:

  • Running Waivers x2 – I can print them at the Expo, but why have an extra step…I want my BIBs NOW!
  • Running Shoes x 2 –  A single pair may not be dry by the time the marathon rolls around at 3am after completing the half the previous day!
  • Running Socks x 3 pair – I use Under Armour Socks
  • WDW Radio Running Team Shirts x3 – Gotta Represent!
  • WDW Radio Running Team Bandanas x 3 – Still Representing!
  • Under Armour Cold Gear – 2 tops & 2 bottoms – It’s usually in the mid-30s on the morning of the races and one year there was freezing rain…
  • Combos Snacks – Pizza or Cheddar Cheese Flavor (I just like ’em)
  • Running shorts x 3 – A little extra warmth and wind resistance…down there.
  • Gels – I use Pacific Labs Accel Gels since they have a little protein to improve endurance
  • Body Glide – A must for multiple races!
  • EAS Shakes x3 – For recovery…of which there is very little between these races so nutrition is extra important!
  • iPod – Gotta make sure I can shuffle everyday
  • iPod arm case – I’m not carrying it for 42.4 miles…it’ll get heavy!
  • yurBuds – Gotta have these or I can’t use my iPod…small ear lobes
  • Knee braces x2 – What? I’m not superman….it’s 42.4 miles!!
  • Extra safety pins for pinning on the bibs (I need 8 total)
  • Bio Freeze – Good to have Saturday….praying there’s some left Sunday…
  • Ibuprofen – For Monday….and the rest of the week too.
  • More ibuprofen….
  • BlackBerry – For updating Facebook & Twitter along the course as well as camera purposes
  • Large Trash Bags x 3 – For extra warmth – Hefty Hefty Heeefty!
  • Fuel Belt – To carry gels and such
  • Sport watch or GPS device – If you so desire!

Ok, if I sat here longer I could probably think of other things to add to the list but these are my minimums for MY trip.

Hope to see some of you down there at Disney either running beside me or cheering me on as I run by!

Happy Training!


Tapering for the Dopey Challenge

It’s that time in my training to start the tapering process and I couldn’t be happier.  The Monumental Marathon in early November did something to my left knee so I’ve been babying it ever since. I actually started last week (1 week early) due to the knee.  I finished up my last long run of 20 miles a couple weekends ago and then ran the Jingle Bell Run last weekend.

Today I ran my first 4 miles with zero pain, twinges or other knee maladies! Woo!  Still I have a short 10-12 miler this weekend and I’m hoping between my rehab efforts and my knee brace I will get thru just fine. I also switched back to an older pair of shoes I had that seemed to help a bit.

In other news I am working out in the mornings again for a few weeks and have even done a couple two-a-day workouts to get a little more weight lifting and easy cardio in for the holiday season.  My wife and my mother are both excellent cooks so I have to burn some extra calories somewhere!  🙂 Christmas is the time to go ahead and have that slice of pumpkin pie or a few more slices of turkey…just run an extra mile or two to make up for the splurge!

My next post will be all about packing for the trip down to Disney World.  I’ll need a bit of equipment to get thru 42.4 miles!

Happy Training!


Jingle Bell Run 2011

Before I go into my race day description of the Jingle Bell Run (JBR) in Indianapolis I want to tell you a bit about the organization I ran for this past weekend. The Arthritis Foundation puts on the JBR and is a non-profit that supports research for all types of arthritis of which there are many. I run this event and take part in other Arthritis Foundation events since I have family who suffer from arthritis every day and because it is a very misunderstood chronic disease that afflicts not only senior citizens, but also children and people of all ages. Arthritis is not just something you get when you get older!

And back to the race!  The day started out chilly as usual, but even colder than last year’s JBR as it was a brisk 19 degrees at the start.  I waited as long as I could inside before venturing out to the start line.  The event starts and finishes at Conseco Fieldhouse where the Indianapolis NBA team plays. The race started at 9:00am and nearly 2000 runners surged ahead for a quick run around downtown Indianapolis. After 2-3 blocks we came upon our first turn and came directly into a construction zone.  The city is doing a lot of construction in preparation for Super Bowl 2012 and we got to run through the “progress” for that event. The pack of runners narrowed into one lane forcing everyone to slow and even some to walk…I was a tad unhappy at this since we all hope for a PR for any event whenever we can get it.

A few blocks later the road opened back up and we were off at top speed once again. The course takes runners through the Mass Ave shopping district to cut over to Meridian Street, back up to the City Circle where we made our final cut back over to Pennsylvania Street for the big finish in front of Conseco.

I wish I could say the day ended with a PR, but my 00:27:24.7 this year will have to do. Last year my time was 00:27:04.8 so just a little faster.  I would loved to have seen what my time would have been without the construction zone delay, but I’ll keep this post positive and not go down that track of discussion. Still, missing a PR by less than 20 seconds is a tad disappointing.

This is my last race of 2011 and it was a good one for a good cause.  My next three races all happen in one weekend next month when I travel South to tackle the Goofy Challenge (+5K on Friday) at Walt Disney World!