2015 Disneyland 5K or How a 2-hour 5K is #Winning

Inside Out - Castle

The Inside Out Crew in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle

Our little buddy @TinyTikiRunner had recovered from the Great Tinker Bell 5K Hamper, Umbrella, and Mop Incident of 2015 and came forward with a Disneyland 5K costume request of her own – Inside Out.  Pretty excited that not only was Tiny Tiki still speaking to us, but that she might (just might) be getting into #RunningInAllTheCostumes, we agreed (even if we hadn’t actually seen the movie….).

Good news was that Tiny Tiki had invited a childhood friend to run with us (Hey – glad you’re coming with us for your first runDisney weekend.  By the way – you’re gonna need to run the 5K as Riley and wear a hockey jersey and helmet and carry a hockey stick.  Hello?  Hello?  You’re still coming, right?!?!  Why is she not responding to our emails?..).

Nicole and Katy Buompensiero - Alice and Mad Hatter...Running in Teacups!

Nicole and Katy Buompensiero – Alice and Mad Hatter…Running in Teacups!

Bad news was that we still needed to con at least 2 more people into dressing up like crazy people and “running” with us if we wanted all the emotions.

Nicole and Katy Buompensiero as Merida

Nicole and Katy Buompensiero as Merida and Queen Elinor

 

 

 

 

 

 

We immediately thought of Nicole and Katy Buompensiero – the mother/daughter team whose runDisney costumes we’d loved (and coveted) over several years.  It was like reaching out to your idols and hoping (against hope) that they would not only want to hang out with you, but would invest their time and money to help you realize an idea.  We cannot tell you how excited we were when Nicole and Katy responded that not only where they in – they were IN!

Inside Out: Fear Costume In-Progress

Inside Out: Fear Costume In-Progress

Inside Out - Anger Head In-Process

Inside Out: Anger Head In-Process

We knew we were going to have to “bring it” as we anticipated lots of Inside Out costumes since it was Pixar’s most recent release.

Inside Out: Disgust Dress In-Process

Inside Out: Disgust Dress In-Process

Over the course of the next several months, we held a few costuming conference calls and posted progress on a closed Facebook Group to ensure that the final product would look cohesive when we all got to the race – as everyone was responsible for their own costume creation.  Thank goodness for technology when your group is located in Connecticut, Florida, Arizona, and California.

Race day arrived and Tiny Tiki, her childhood friend, Kimberly and I got ready in our hotel room.  3:30am came early, as we had a bit of body painting to complete before heading out to our corrals.  There was A LOT of laughter as we all got dressed.  You know you love your running friends when you’re willing to paint their armpits green pre-dawn, in your hotel bathroom…

Sadness Selfie

Sadness #Selfie

And how committed was Tiny Tiki to her idea?

As Sadness, she wore slippers for the ENTIRE race (and still managed to be faster than the rest of us)!  Slippers, people – for a 5K.  Pretty sure this means she’s hooked (even if she swears she’ll only dress up for 5Ks.  We will see, we will see…).

We met up with Nicole and Katy in the courtyard of the Disneyland Hotel were Nicole handed out her hand-made core memory balls.  They lit up and really just added that extra-special something to our costumes.  As we walked to the corrals, we just couldn’t stop giggling at each other.  These costumes were just SO MUCH FUN!

One of the things we love about running runDisney 5K races is that, in many cases, families come out and run together.  We had so much fun taking photos with the kids – who really seemed to love our costumes.  And we were lucky enough to keep running into a family whose kids were dressed up as Disgust and Anger.  They were SO adorable and kept stopping to take photos with us and give us hugs.  So much fun!

Inside Out: Mile Marker 2 (Note the time...)

Inside Out: Mile Marker 2 (Note the time…)

We took #AllThePhotos (both character stops and with fellow runners) and quickly ended up near the back of the pack.  One of my favorite memories is all of us walking together (with NO ONE behind us), coming up to the first water stop and having the volunteers go absolutely nuts when they saw us.  They cheered “Inside Out, Inside Out” in unison and took selfies with us as we went by.

As we stopped for an EPIC Big Thunder Railroad photo op, our friend Cindy Rodriguez-Copey, who had been running near us almost the entire race (and was gracious enough to take some mid-race photos for us) lamented that she hadn’t seen Nicole or Katy the entire race – which was odd – as they run ALL the runDisney races.  We started to laugh and explained that she’d been running with them almost the entire race – as Nicole was Joy and Katy was Fear.  She hadn’t recognized them in costume.  That’s when you know you’ve done good 😉

Inside Out - Big Thunder Mountain Photo Op

There are a number of these Disneyland 60th Anniversary photo ops throughout Disneyland…and they are hilarious!

Inside Out - Joy Draging Sadness Across Finish

HAD to be done!

 

 

As we approached the end of the race and the chute to the finish at Downtown Disney we realized we were bringing up the rear of the race.  But it was totally worth it.  We hadn’t had this much fun at a run in ages!  More photos, more fun.  Seeing everyone smile and want to take a photo with us as we ran by made all the hard work (and pre-dawn armpit paining) worth it.

All this fun and all the photo stops meant that it took us 2-hours to complete the 2015 Disneyland 5K.

Yes.  You read that correctly.  It took us 2-hours to complete 3.1 miles – that’s about a 39 minute mile.

And I don’t regret one single second of it! #Winning

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A BIG shout out to some of our runDisney friends who “ran” into us on the Disneyland 5K course.  Check out their race reports here:

Brandi Gilbert (who ran with her mom – they are just the cutest): Funner Runner

Patty Holliday (who psychically dressed up as Bing-Bong and waited (a LONG while) for us at the finish for another epic photo op : My No Guilt Life

Inside Out - Finish Area with No Guilt Life (Bing-Bong)

BIG thanks to Patty Holliday (My No Guilt Life) for waiting so we could get a photo with Bing-Bong.

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Would you “go slow” for a good time?  

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @RunAllTheRaces and like us on Facebook/runalltheraces.

Perfect Goofy Gail & Delightful Dopey Kimberly

Race Report: Wine & Dine Half Marathon or Would you like WHINE with that half marathon?..

How bad was the weather? We dressed up as ACTUAL runners ;)

How bad was the weather? We dressed up as ACTUAL runners 😉

Part of the problem of having a #RunAllTheRaces philosophy is that we run SO MANY races that we don’t always have the time to talk (and BLOG) about all the races.  Believe it or not, we both ACTUALLY have JOBS – a runner’s got to do something to pay for all those races…

We still owe everyone a BUNCH of race reports on other events from earlier this year, but the WEATHER was such a factor at last weekend’s runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon that we just had to post about this race next!

BLOG DISCLAIMER: It was SO wet and rainy that, for the first time in #RunAllTheRaces history, we did NOT wear a costume and we did NOT stop and take photos on the course.  It was so wet and rainy we ACTUALLY RAN the race!

So, how wet and rainy was it?  In our collective 10+ years of running races at Disney Theme Parks, the only event where the weather was worse was 2010 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (also known around runDisney circles as “The Cold Year”) where it snowed (yes, you read that correctly – SNOWED) and sleeted and was generally miserable for the entire half and full marathons. FYI: Frozen water stops and slippery, ice-covered roads are no bueno!

In fact, it was so wet and rainy that a simple blog description just won’t do it justice.

So – in our first “How To” blog post – we are providing you with instructions on how to re-create the event at home so you can fully understand the experience.  You’re welcome 😉

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How To: Recreate the 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Experience in the “Comfort” of Your Own Home

  1. Run around all day.  Wait until 7:00pm to start your experience.

    An umbrella.  And yes - that's a necessity - NOT a costume piece!

    An umbrella. And yes – that’s a necessity – NOT a costume piece!

  2. Get fully dressed in your running attire. And we mean fully dressed; including shoes, fuel belt, race bib.  As it is a runDisney event, this probably includes an elaborate costume you spent weeks planning and even longer making.
  3. Go into your bathroom and turn on the shower.  Not too hot, mind you.  The water temperature should seem warm enough to be “not so bad” at first, but not so warm as to be enjoyable for any length of time.
  4. Get in your shower.  Fully dressed. Yep.  Just hang out there under the gently falling drops and imagine yourself in the corrals, waiting for the start.  Spend a few moments trying to convince yourself that it looks like it’s clearing and surely it will stop before the race starts.
  5. Begin jogging in place.  Still in your shower.  Still under the running water.  Take a sip of your race beverage of choice and realize, as you tip your head back, water hits you directly in your eyeballs.
  6. Continue jogging in place under the running water for the time it normally takes you to run a half marathon plus a crappy weather factor of 10%.  You’ll need that extra time to run around giant puddles, avoid falling on slippery surfaces, and stop to wring-out your progressively heavier water-logged clothing.
  7. Swear at yourself for even signing up for this race in the first place.  Feel free to include anyone else who encouraged you throughout your training and isn’t actually running in this mess in your rant.
  8. Finish your race.  Have someone place a cold, wet medal around your neck and a space blanket around your shoulders.
  9. Decide ” *&%# it! I paid for the After Party.  I’m still going.”  Have someone hand you a beer and a snack while you continue to stand in your shower.
  10. Go out to your garage.  Stand around outside your car for approximately 20 minutes to simulate waiting for the bus back to your resort hotel.
  11. Get in your car.  Turn on the air conditioner. Hang out for 45 minutes.  Cold? Yep. But the roads are closed for the race and you have to leave property and come back around to get to your stop.
  12. Get out of your car and walk around the block.  Turns out, the event bus drops you off at the Convention Center – which feels like a 3-mile walk from your room.
  13. Swear at yourself for even signing up for this race in the first place.  Feel free to include anyone else who encouraged you throughout your training and isn’t actually still out in this mess in your rant.
  14. Go back into your bathroom and turn on the shower again.  Good news – this time you can take a nice hot shower!
  15. Fall into bed.  Sleep like a rock – as you are exhausted from this entire experience.
  16. Wake up.  Decide it wasn’t so bad.  Check the runDisney website to see when registration opens for next year.
Finishers of the 1st Annual Wine & Dine Wet T-Shirt Contest

Finishers of the 1st Annual Wine & Dine Wet T-Shirt Contest

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What was the worst weather you ever raced in?  What did you learn from the experience for next time?

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @RunAllTheRaces and like us on Facebook/runalltheraces.

Perfect Goofy Gail & (soon to be Delightful Dopey) Kimberly

Flip Side: runDisney’s Race Retreat

Race Retreat 2009

Race Retreat 2009

FLIP SIDE: Spirited Discussion

While there are multiple things that we agree on – like our love of Jeff Galloway and runDisney – there are other running topics where we at RunAllTheRaces have a difference of opinion.

The great thing is, we use it as a way to open a discussion and never let it get in the way of our friendship.

Hearing both sides of a running issue enables our readers to think about things from multiple view points and make the decisions that are right for them.

In the spirit of a good debate, RunAllTheRaces will occasionally post under the “Flip Side” banner. These posts will address a running topic that that keeps us talking and we hope it gets you talking too.

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runDisney offers Race Retreat for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend races.  Race Retreat is a special an add-on to your weekend.  It is basically a special climate controlled tent where there’s seating, television, computers, food and Race Retreat only port a potties.  There are also photo opportunities with characters.  Prices range from $125 to $225 for this service.

Race Retreat 2009 - See in the back door to Women's & Men's potties

Race Retreat 2009 – See in the back door to Women’s & Men’s potties

In this The Flip Side post we will plead our case – is Race Retreat worth it?

Here’s the official runDisney information on Race Retreat:

Pre-Race Amenities

  • Pre-race bagels and fruit, plus coffee, water and PowerAde
  • Temperature-controlled tent with lounges
  • Private restrooms and bag check
  • Padded stretching area
  • Disney character Meet & Greets
  • Self-treatment and First Aid station
  • Breakfast (Half)
  • Brunch (Full)
Race Retreat 2009

Race Retreat 2009

Post-Race Amenities

  • Internet access to check live results
  • Brunch with hot and cold beverages
  • Changing tents
  • Self-treatment and First Aid station
  • 10-minute massage for only $10 (based on availability)
  • Designated location to meet friends and family to celebrate your accomplishment!*
  • Disney character Meet & Greets

Other Amenities:

  • Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend commemorative giveaway items
  • Disney Character meet & greets
  • Live video feed from the Finish Line
  • Information Station
2009

2009

Race Retreat Pricing

  • Walt Disney World® Marathon – $120
  • Walt Disney World® Half Marathon – $120
  • Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge or Dopey Challenge – $225
  • 2015 Princess Race Retreat has not be posted to date

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Kimberly:  The Flip Side:  NO, Race Retreat is NOT worth it

I have been running runDisney’s Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend every year since 2009.  My only experience of Race Retreat, the last 6 years, has been my first WDW Marathon in 2009.  I also believe 2009 was the 1st year of Race Retreat.  I chose to purchase Race Retreat because:

  • It was my 1st marathon experience
  • I was intimated by the enormously of the event
  • Was racing alone
  • Wanted breakfast and post race snacks
  • Wanted a comfortable area to sit and rest prior to the race
  • Easy access to the facilities
  • Easy bag check
2009

2009

When I picked up my race package I also received a Race Retreat bracelet.  The bracelet was my ticket in and out of Race Retreat.  I felt like a VIP when led into the Race Retreat heated tent.  Inside was a breakfast buffet, banquet tables, leather sofas, mats for stretching and then a door which lead to our own port a potties.  Note, these are the regular run of the mill port a potties, but since they are only for Race Retreat, the lines are shorter.

Prior to the race I did not eat from the buffet.  I brought my own breakfast because I live by “nothing new on race day”- a banana and a bar (this is still my go-to breakfast).  I did sit and relax, but mostly spent my time in Race Retreat going to the bathroom.  I did use the Race Retreat bag check.  In 2009, we were given a special bag with flip-flops.

Post race I picked at the food from the buffet, I took my character photos with Mickey and Minnie, picked up my bag and took the Expo bus back to Disney’s Saratoga Springs.  All in all – I feel I didn’t use the service enough to warrant the additional cost.

Before the 2010 WDW Half and I did see snow

Before the 2010 WDW Half and I did see snow

When I returned to WDW Marathon Weekend in 2010 to run my first Goofy Challenge, I decided to secure a studio at Disney’s Old Key West, skip the bus and walk to the corrals (please note – you are not allowed to do this anymore and will be disqualified).  It was the coldest WDW Marathon Weekend I have experienced thus far.  It was so cold in Florida the weather in Connecticut was warmer.

I was the 1st person in my corral at 5am and yes, I did see snow and yes it was freezing.  During the Half it was freezing rain with water stops of ice and the during the full it was freezing, but sunny.  Both days, I didn’t miss the Race Retreat at all.  We had scheduled ADR’s for breakfast right after the races and that’s where I chose to spend my money.  In 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 I walked to the start of the races.  In 2014, with new No Walking rule, I took the bus.  However, I thought long and hard about registering for the Race Retreat, but couldn’t justify the additional cost – especially traveling with my family and my jam-packed race calendar.

Before the 2010 WDW Marathon

Before the 2010 WDW Marathon

If it is ever as cold as it was in 2010, I will drive myself to the Epcot and sit in the heated car until it is time to walk to the corrals.  Even if I were to win Powerball tomorrow, I don’t think I would purchase Race Retreat for my runDisney races, however, I would love to have to make that decision!

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Perfectly Goofy Gail:  The Flip Side:  Yes, Race Retreat is ABSOLUTELY worth it!

2008 Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge. This was a VERY hot year and, as a result, I signed up in 2009 for the Inaugural Race Retreat.

2008 Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge. This was a VERY hot year and, as a result, I signed up in 2009 for the Inaugural Race Retreat.

As with most of my feelings on all things running (and in life, if I’m being honest), this is not “YES – you HAVE to get Race Retreat EVERY SINGLE TIME you runDisney!” post.  I have purchased Race Retreat 4 -5 times (only for WDW Marathon Weekend, not Princess Weekend) since it’s inception in 2009. I’ve purchased just the Marathon Package, the Goofy Challenge Package, and twice experiences Race Retreat as part of the Runner’s World Challenge Package (which we will cover in a later post).  Several of those times WERE absolutely worth it, others maybe not so much (although all the “extras” never totally suck!).

Do I purchase it for every runDisney race in which I participate? No. But I do always consider it.

SO – what makes Race Retreat worth it or not worth it in my eyes?  A lot if it has to do with what my situation is going into the race: am I running alone or with friends, do I feel like I’m totally prepared for the race, do I have my own car where I can hang out prior to the race, am I looking for that “extra special” experience, is the Central Florida weather cooperating…

In cases where I’m running alone, I feel I need some extra support or pampering before and after the race, I don’t have my own car, and when the weather is awful in either extreme (I’ve seen sleet and snow and pre-5:00am 80 degree starts) I say YES, Race Retreat is ABSOLUTELY worth it.  While you can’t control all the items I’ve mentioned – especially the weather – if any of these have a tendency to impact your running or how you feel about your running on any given day, you should definitely consider Race Retreat.

2010 Full Marathon_8

2010 Walt Disney World Marathon: The COLD Year. This is almost 13 miles in and I Just Volunteer Now Melissa and I still have ALL our throwaway clothes on. DEFINITELY wish I had purchased the Race Retreat this year!

I’m also a big advocate of Race Retreat when you plan a “one and done” for that particular runDisney race.  Now, if you know anything about Kimberly and I, we are most definitely NOT “one and done” kinda gals.  That being said, the perks that come with Race Retreat can totally make for a over-the-top race day experience and if you don’t think you’ll be back, GO BIG OR GO HOME I say!

When I LOVE the Race Retreat:

  • When I was new to running and was intimidated about going into a big race weekend. The big white tents provide a bit of a sanctuary before the race.  They are well lit and, I feel, it’s easier to walk up and talk to people in the tent than it is in the dark corrals where everyone seems to be uber-focused on the race.
  • When I have traveled to WDW Marathon Weekend by myself.  Having a place to hang out and meet other runners definitely adds to the experience for me – especially prior to the social media explosion when you couldn’t “find” like-minded runners online.
  • When it was pouring rain before and/or after the race. I MOST DEFINITELY regret not having purchased Race Retreat in 2010 (known in runDisney circles as “The COLD year”), but who’d have thought it would snow?!?!
  • When I was able to get a Diet Coke, scrambled eggs, and bacon after the race.  BACON!
  • When I moved to Arizona, traveled to WDW, and just missed the “full Disney” experience.
  • When I was part of the Runner’s World Challenge. It was SUPER AWESOME to hang out with the folks from Runner’s World before the races and get expert tips right before you hit the pavement.
Disney Mom's Panel runDisney Mom Faith and I hanging out in the 2014 Runner's World Challenge area of the Race Retreat.

Disney Mom’s Panel runDisney Mom Faith and I hanging out in the 2014 Runner’s World Challenge area of the Race Retreat.

When I thought I did not take the best advantage of Race Retreat:

  • When I was running with friends who had not purchased Race Retreat.  It’s an all-in or all-out kinda thing if you are traveling with others.
  • When I lived in Central Florida and I could visit WDW often and runDisney were my “local” races.
  • When I had a bad race day and just wanted to leave right after the race. NOTE: I still enjoyed the pre-race part 😉
  • When the numbers of Race Retreat packages offered increased and the tent began to feel over-crowded.  If it feels just as crowded as the general pre-race area and corrals, I would just rather hang out in the areas that cost me no extra money.

I totally suggest giving Race Retreat a consideration for your next runDisney race.

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Have you purchased runDisney Race Retreat?  What were your experiences?

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @RunAllTheRaces and like us on Facebook/runalltheraces.

Perfect Goofy Gail & (soon to be Delightful Dopey) Kimberly

The Race is Sold Out – Now What? May We Suggest Some Do-Gooding?…

Kimberly's Team's singlet running for those who cannot

Kimberly’s Team’s singlet running for those who cannot

First of all – DON’T PANIC!!!

There is another legal (and awesome) way to secure your race bib.

Head on over to the official race website and go to their Charity Group page.  Here you will be able to view the official charity organizations who are approved and work directly with the marathon to provide entries.  Then you would contact the organization to find the fundraising minimum, entry fees, etc.

We suggest taking the time to find a charity that is near and dear to your heart. Having a connection to the organization you are raising funds for goes a long way to showing those that donate on your behalf that you believe in the cause and are excited to run for that group.

There are lots of great charity organizations out there that sponsor runners. For instance – runDisney has the following charities listed for Walt Disney World Marathon weekend:

Take the time to research potential charities, such as the 18 Charity Groups listed above, and then select the cause that is near and dear to you.

Representing Team during the 2009 WDW Marathon

Representing Team during the 2009 WDW Marathon

Our Experience with Team In Training:

The charity with the largest presence during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is the The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training.  AKA – the guys in purple!!  Both Perfectly Goofy Gail and Kimberly have fundraised and raced on behalf of Team in Training and here are their experiences:

Perfectly Goofy Gail’s Experience: 

I completed my first runDisney event, the 2005 Walt Disney World Triathlon, with Team in Training.  I CANNOT say enough good things about Team in Training.  They are the real reason I love running and runDisney.

I selected Team in Training as I know multiple people who have been impacted by blood cancers and this was my opportunity to give back to those that had given friendship to me.

Rebecca and Perfect Goofy Gail during the 2005 Walt Disney World Triathlon - swimming, biking, and running with Team in Training.

Rebecca and Perfect Goofy Gail during the 2005 Walt Disney World Triathlon – swimming, biking, and running with Team in Training.

I was a Central Florida local for my initial Team in Training event, so my fundraising minimum was a bit lower as airfare did not need to be taken into consideration.

The training and fundraising support was phenomenal with this organization.  We held group garage sales, and even held a treadmill 24-hour run at a local Wal-Mart.  Our team ensured that everyone made their fundraising goal so we could finish the race together.  This was really important, as I’m a bit shy about reaching out to others and asking for donations.

Perfect Goofy Gail, Melissa, and Kimberly.  Melissa was part of Perfect Goofy Gail's original 2005 Team in Training group.  Here she's volunteering for the 2014 Princess Half Marathon.

Perfect Goofy Gail, Melissa, and Kimberly. Melissa was part of Perfect Goofy Gail’s original 2005 Team in Training group. Here she’s volunteering for the 2014 Princess Half Marathon. Thanks Melissa – your water was the coldest and the bestest!

During race weekend, we all stayed together at the same hotel (Disney’s Contemporary Resort) and attended a Team in Training banquet the night before the race with teams from all over the country – talk about inspiring!

To this day, members of my original 2005 Team in Training group join me for runDisney events, both as runners and volunteers on the course.  “Go TEAM!.”

Kimberly’s Experience: 

In 2008, I was already registered for the 2009 Walt Disney World Marathon, but heard about Team in Training and decided to attend a local meeting.  I was interested in fundraising because I figured I might as well help others while training for this monumental event in my life.  Team and Training had me commit to my fundraising minimum and secured this commitment with my credit card.  They then gave me the tools to set up a fundraising webpage, email templates and I was on my way to asking everyone I knew to pledge money to my cause!

Team in Training also provided Saturday morning local group coaching.  Here I would meet and run my long runs with other runners who shared the same goal of running their first marathon at Walt Disney World.  Team in Training also provided training schedules, route cards and on course support during these long training runs.

My favorite part of training with Team in Training was the support they provided on course at the goal race – Walt Disney World Marathon.  Even though I was from Connecticut, I was wearing a purple singlet so I was part of their Team.  It didn’t matter if they were from Texas or California, I was one of them!  The support I received on course was outstanding.  Team in Training coaches were all over the marathon course and would run along side, checking on your progress, state of mind and were there to get you anything you needed.  But most important they were there to coach you through the journey to your goal of finishing.  I was feeling pretty low at some points during that marathon and Team in Training pulled me through and helped me succeed.  I cannot put into words how much Team means to me – even after running 6 WDW Marathons, when I’m on course and I see purple I yell “go Team!”

It's all worth it in the end and you helped others

It’s all worth it in the end and you helped others

Do Good – Feel Good

We at RunAllTheRaces encourage each of you, at some point in your running career, to run to do good for others.  The good feeling you get is worth the fundraising efforts and the friends can last a lifetime.

Have you run a race for a charity?  Tell us about your experiences.

We hope you continue to #RunAllTheRaces with us!

Follow us on Twitter @RunAllTheRaces and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/runalltheraces

Perfect Goofy Gail & (soon to be Delightful Dopey) Kimberly

Flip Side: Should a runDisney Challenge be Your 1st Marathon?

FLIP SIDE: Spirited Discussion

While there are multiple things that we agree on – like our love of Jeff Galloway and runDisney – there are other running topics where we at RunAllTheRaces have a difference of opinion.

The great thing is, we use it as a way to open a discussion and never let it get in the way of our friendship.

Hearing both sides of a running issue enables our readers to think about things from multiple view points and make the decisions that are right for them.

In the spirit of a good debate, RunAllTheRaces will occasionally post under the “Flip Side” banner. These posts will address a running topic that that keeps us talking and we hope it gets you talking too.

First up (and just in time for 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend registration): Should a runDisney Challenge, such as the Goofy Challenge or Dopey Challenge, be your 1st Marathon?

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Kimberly, Main Street, USA 2009 WDW Marathon

Kimberly, Main Street, USA 2009 WDW Marathon

Kimberly: NO

I would strongly recommend that you SHOULD NOT run a runDisney Challenge, such as the Goofy Challenge or Dopey Challenge, as your 1st Marathon.

Here’s the thing.  Your body has never before covered the 26.2 distance.  Just training for a single marathon takes 18 weeks of dedicated training and high levels of stress on your body.  This foundation of base mile training helps your body to successfully endure the race.  Adding the additional stress of multiple days of running when your body is new to this stress is just unwise and opening yourself up to risk of injury.

It is also wise to join a local marathon training group or at least download a training plan and follow it to the T for your first marathon.  Marathon training consists of Base Millage, The Long Run, Speedwork and Rest & Recovery.  For beginners, speedwork is not as important as building base millage and the long run.  Hydration and fueling are key components and should be practiced on The Long Runs.  I would also recommend adding dress rehearsal races like a 5K, 10K and Half Marathon into your training so you have the experience with race morning anxiety, running in crowds, water stations and porta potties prior to your goal race(s).

I would recommend if you ARE planning to run the Goofy or Dopey Challenges in 2015 you should plan to run a fall marathon in October or November prior to the WDW Marathon Weekend.  I would never tell someone not to try a Challenge as their 1st marathon, but I would strongly recommend the runner follow the runDisney Jeff Galloway training plans designed and provided for each challenge.

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Perfect Goofy Gail during her first Walt Disney World Marathon in 2006.

Perfect Goofy Gail during her first Walt Disney World Marathon in 2006.

Perfect Goofy Gail: YES

So, I’m VERY rarely a black and white kinda gal when it comes to running.  Everyone is different and you need to figure out what works for you, but – I’m not gonna lie – running a runDisney Challenge as your first marathon is totally doable.

Why do I say this?

The Inaugural Goofy Challenge was my very first marathon (and only second half marathon).

I lived to run another day.

In fact, I’ll be back in 2015 for my 10th Goofy Challenge (and 2nd Dopey Challenge) and it was the race that got me hooked.

Now, to be fair, when I signed up for the Inaugural Goofy Challenge there was not the large social media running family there is now and I went into this somewhat blind.  I only had my small running family (who started about 8 months earlier with me) and, really, what did we know?..

I will admit that NO ONE ELSE in my running family signed up for the Inaugural Goofy Challenge with me.

But I did have awesome support. My good running friend Melissa ran the half marathon with me and several other running friends ran the full marathon.  As I was local to the Central Florida area at this time, I also knew a number of course volunteers at both the half and full marathon.

I also went into the challenge just wanting to finish. I had been in a bad place for a bit and getting out and running and meeting new people changed my life.  Running the Inaugural Goofy Challenge was as much a mark of a change in my life as it was a “race” for me. I simply wanted to finish (regardless of the time) to prove to myself (more than anyone else) that I could.

I respected the distance, the training, and set out not to run until I passed out (but, in truth, I did almost get stuck on the toilet the day after the full marathon, as my legs had decided they no longer wanted to speak to me…).

If you approach a runDisney Challenge with the right outlook, you won’t necessary set a land speed record, but you will finish (and you just might surprise yourself and others)!

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Let us know what your thoughts are around this topic.

Here’s to a spirited discussion!

Perfect Goofy Gail and (soon to be Decidedly Dopey) Kimberly

You’re IN for the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend….Now What?!?!

Kimberly during her first Walt Disney World Marathon in

Kimberly during her first Walt Disney World Marathon in 2009.

You’ve made the leap.

You got in!

You signed up for the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.

We decided to launch our blog, Run All The Races, in recognition of Perfect Goofy Gail’s 10th Goofy Challenge and Kimberly’s first runDisney WDW Marathon Weekend after beating breast cancer’s a$$.

Whether this is your 1st runDisney race, your 2nd Dopey Challenge (along with Kimberly and Gail), your 10th Goofy Challenge (along with Perfect Goofy Gail), or your 21st runDisney marathon, it’s supercalifragilistic you’re in and we can’t wait to spend the weekend with you.

As our blog name suggests, you’ll NEVER get a “should you/should you not register” post from us about races.  We may be broke from all the race registrations.  We may be desperately trying to convince our spouses to not leave us for a non-runner. But we are ALWAYS…ALL IN!

So –  if you are already as crazy as we are, working up to our level of crazy, or just like to watch crazy online – thanks for joining us.

No, seriously, we dress like this EVERY day...

No, seriously, we dress like this EVERY day…

With over 100 runDisney races between us (and 13+ Walt Disney World Cast Member years), we’ll take the rest of 2014 sharing our experiences and expertise with you via YouTube Videos, Twitter and Facebook posts, Pinterest pinning, and blogging.

Perfect Goofy Gail during her first Walt Disney World Marathon in 2006.

Perfect Goofy Gail during her first Walt Disney World Marathon in 2006.

In our next several posts, we’ll cover:

  • Our 2014 runDisney Race Experiences to date
    • Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: Inaugural Dopey Challenge for both of us! (5K, 10K, Half, Full)
      • Oh by the way, did we tell you about Kimberly and her ROCK STAR performance 2 weeks after finishing chemotherapy for breast cancer? She’s kind of a big deal (at least to Perfect Goofy Gail)!
    • Disneyland Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend (5K, 10K, Half)
  • Charity Running
    • What charity is right for you?
    • Fund raising: You CAN do this

And…if there are any other topics you’d like us to discuss, please let us know!

We hope you’ll join us and Run All The Races!

Perfect Goofy Gail and (soon to be Delightfully Dopey) Kimberly!