November 19, 2013

Training Tuesday: Dopey Training

As you all know, I ran my first marathon on October 27th and am also signed up for Dopey Challenge in January.  Given that I was training for my very first full, I didn't intend to focus on the back-to-backs that are so important for Dopey until after that race.  I figured I would essentially throw the kitchen sink at Dopey after I was done.  What I didn't anticipate was how I would feel post-marathon.  Sure I was on cloud nine but I really, really didn't want to start running right away.  I wanted a break and the thought of jumping back into very long weekend runs made me almost angry and resentful.

Confession time…
- I have contemplated deferring Dopey at least a dozen times.
- I have contemplated selling my bib (so I would never have to do it) at least once (and yes, I know this is against Disney policy…I wouldn't really do this!).
- I have felt down about running a lot since trying to jump back into training.
- I have skipped more runs/workouts than I care to admit.
- I have daydreamed about taking a long break from running quite a few times.

To say my heart isn't in it now is a huge understatement.  Generally I try to keep things light on the blog, but trying to get hyped up to hit another training cycle has been a battle since the marathon.  I've read that you should take as many days off as miles you ran…that would basically put me at starting to train for Dopey December 1st, which isn't feasible.

I'm trying to find some positives to the daunting training ahead…
- I can indulge this holiday season without having to worry about calorie counting
- I can probably squeeze into my "skinny" clothes with ease!
- I will run my longest runs with Mom just before Christmas, which will be a tremendous help.
- It's only 50 days away.
- Running through Epcot 4 times, the castle twice and around WDW property in the span of 4 days will be worth it!

So I've decided that I'm going to run on feel for this race series.  I may not hit all the training mileage and I'm ok with that.  I will work hard, but I will not beat myself up if I cut runs short, miss one or two, or need to take more walk breaks than normal.  Dopey isn't about time - it's about finishing and enjoying some Disney magic along the way.

For those running Dopey, I'd love to hear your perspective on the training, the race series and how you're handling it.  Anyone want to start a support group?! :)
{Christine}

44 comments:

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head.Dopey isn't about time-it's about the experience. You did SO awesome in your first marathon, but I bet your legs are done and want a break. One thing about fun races is that it is so much easier to walk some, plus you can stop and take pictures with characters and catch your breath. I wish I had better advice for you, but I have yet to run my first 1/2, so the THOUGHT of running Dopey makes my legs tired-ha!

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    1. Yes, I need to think about walking, photos and FUN! I was on a mission for MCM…hard to get out of that mindset.

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  2. Christine-- do what feels good going into the race. If you want a day off take it, if you love swimming get in the pool, bike, elliptical. I ran my first marathon after 6 weeks of no running due to a stress fracture and just swimming/aqua jogging alone for up to an hour on most days. I don't recommend that you go that route but with just the goal of finishing it will be tough but you can do it!

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    1. That is really good to hear…the surviving part, not the injury! I've been so focused for so long it's hard to take a step back and balance my need for a break. Thank you!

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  3. This is not a downer. It's uplifting in the sense that now I don't feel crazy that post-marathon I haven't felt like doing much running and am seriously regretting my decision to do Dopey. But I plan on making the best of it and slowly working my way through Dopey in January. Slowly but surely.

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one! It's been a really tough few weeks and I'm so appreciative of the support!

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  4. Christine, I deferred Dopey (because I'm not about to run it while pregnant), but I'm all signed up for 2015. I'll be in a similar boat as you -- I'm running the NYC marathon about two months before the race. Like you said, marathon training is tremendously difficult, and I know all I'll want to do is rest and not jump back into training again. And that's precisely what I'll do. Sure, I may run some double digit runs in December, but I highly doubt I'll hit a 20-miler. I'm pretty sure this will be enough to get me that Dopey medal.

    I think you're underestimating your MCM training -- not to mention how awesome you did at MCM. If Dopey is about finishing, I think you're golden. Years ago, I remember reading a training approach for doing two marathons two months apart, and the expert actually stressed time off and only one 20-miler -- and that was to do well in the second marathon, too.

    Don't push it and just ease back into training when you feel ready. I can't wait to read your recaps in January! <3

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    1. Thanks Jen! I caught your comment while I was at work this morning and had tears in my eyes. I am SO grateful for the support and was so nervous about "coming clean" about my struggles with jumping back in. I kept telling myself I should just get it done, like I did with MCM training, but my body and brain are revolting! Can't wait to repay the favor and cheer you on next year!! :)

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  5. Hi Christine! I couldn't help but giggle a little when reading this....it was like you were in my mind during my first marathon on Nov 10. I thought "what am I doing" during the marathon...and dreading the many more miles of running before Dopey. I took off last week and ran 6 yesterday (left the watch at home). I am starting to get excited about Disney in general....castle lights, characters, music, amazing 48 mile sticker that WILL be on my car! My plan is ease back into it training this week and start back up on week 10 of my previous marathon training miles - just 4 weeks of hardcore running - and 2 weeks of taper. During the race I am going to take it easy during the first three runs so I can be somewhat fresh for the marathon. 4 weeks - ONLY 4 weeks - not 16! You CAN do this!!!! WE can do this!!!!

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    1. The funny thing is I LOVED my marathon experience. It's just been so tough to get back into it. And only having a few weeks to grind is SUCH an advantage…plus the holidays. I keep telling myself it will go quickly. Thank you!!

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  6. Christine, I love when you keep it real on your blog. I am doing Dopey in 2015, and sometimes I wonder what I have gotten myself into (even though I haven't registered yet). I feel anxious about my decision and wonder if I can do the training. It's good that you aren't going to beat yourself up if you miss a run. You have to take care of you. I know you will do awesome at Dopey, you will have your mom right there alongside of you, and the Disney magic I've heard so much about. I would love a support group if you start one up, because even though I have over 13 months, I feel anxious too.

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    1. Thanks Lois! Sometimes I'm nervous about being so candid, but generally I like to keep it real and be transparent about training. And luckily, I got some pretty great feedback for this go round! You'll rock it! It's a tough training cycle but in time, it gets easier…at least that's what I keep telling myself!

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  7. Although I haven't done a marathon yet, I can totally understand this. Training for such a huge race can easily suck up all your energy! Keep up the great work and your spirits as well - Thanksgiving and Christmas being just around the corner I bet will help a ton! :0) Good luck Christine!

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    1. Thank you Lauren! The support and love from this post are amazing…I might print out the comments and tuck them in my belt when I feel like quitting or whining. :)

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  8. Hi Christine,
    One thing to remember with your training, is that you just completed a marathon! That is the longest distance in the Dopey series...so the good news is that you are not "building mileage" at this point, you just have to maintain it. I'm hoping to Dopey in either 2015, or in 2017 for my 50th birthday, and I'm looking at the 5K and 10K as runs I'd likely be doing as part of my taper anyway, then planning on doing a "slow, fun half" and then giving my best effort for the full. I'm a little worried about the 2 VERY early mornings in a row and the race adrenaline and what that's gonna do to my sleep, etc..., but as someone else already said, you've already done the 26.2, so as far as finishing, you're good! Watch out for marathon sniffles, especially during this cold and flu season, get extra rest when you can, and listen to your body, you'll do amazing, and I can't wait to hear your report !

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, the Dopey races will be "fun runs" for sure, which is inherently tough for me…I always want to PR! I really appreciate your support.

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  9. Last year, I trained for the NYCM, which as we all know was cancelled. Even though the marathon didn't actually take place, my body was exhausted from the training. I did Goofy 2 months later and my training between the two events was mostly made up of 6-13 mile runs. I just could not make myself do more. I think if you just maintain for the most part, you'll be fine. Best of luck!

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    1. Great feedback Jaime…and I can't imagine the epic disappointment you felt after NYCM last year. At least I have the emotional high from MCM!

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  10. I probably have no room to give advice here since I have not done Dopey nor am I signed up for it, but can you choose just one of the races to really "run" at and the other to just have fun? After all, you know you CAN do it. You've proved that back in October at MCM!

    This is kind of the approach I'm going with for GSC in Feb! Just have fun! ~M

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    1. Thank you Meranda! I know it will happen…but the weeks between now and the races feel infinite!

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  11. Last year I ran Goofy three months after running the Chicago Marathon. I took 2 weeks off completely in October and then half-trained for Goofy. (aka, my longest LONG run in there was 15 miles and my Thanksgiving week in Maine included precisely ONE 10-mile run and daily hikes all over Acadia National Park). If your goal is to finish and enjoy the experience, then you've got this. Trust the miles you have already logged and maintain until the big week. HUGS!

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    1. Thanks Victoria! That is so good to know…I keep stressing about hitting extraordinarily high mileage (pushing my limits!)…good to know I can probably squeak by with less.

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  12. I totally agree, I am having a hard time getting motivated for my long runs, but I think there is a lot of great advice in the comments above. I am definitely scaling back my training from what it would have been had I not just completed a marathon (as someone above said you are already conditioned up to that distance, now you just need to maintain it!).

    The two things I am really going to focus on are recovery and having fun. I know for my body recovery is super important so it's always going to take precedent if I feel like my body needs a break and during Dopey week there will be a lot of compression, ice baths and legs up the wall!

    Second, even though I am overwhelmed by the idea of training for Dopey I am still really excited about it. I love running through the barks so as long as I can focus on having fun I'm sure it'll be great! I think we talked about it during Marine Corp, but I'm looking at it as 4 "runs" not 4 "races" - the goal here is to complete the distances, not focus on time! The minute you worry about time I think you'll be hurting yourself. (Sorry, that was a really long comment!)

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    1. Thanks buddy. Keep me in check when I freak out again pre-race, ok? :) Can't wait to see you again! Hope we may run together a bit if it works out.

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  13. I can't wait to follow along with the training! I was too chicken to sign up for Dopey; maybe in another year or two?? I'm definitely following along though!

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    1. Thanks Kristen! This ain't for the faint of heart, that I know!

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  14. You would kill yourself trying to do Dopey for time - I agree it should definitely be about enjoying the experience. You don't want to push too hard and hurt yourself or get so bogged down in the "work" of it that you don't enjoy the magic of 4 trips through WDW. - Jess

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    1. Thanks Jess! Yes, this is definitely 4 fun runs, not races. :)

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  15. It's actually really great to hear about someone going through this. I mean, it sucks to be going through it, but it's great knowing you're not alone. There have been so many times after a race where the idea of starting to train again becomes so daunting a task. Do you really want to go through all that again? I have definitely been guilty of missing runs and/or training days in general. It's a hard feeling to shake. But I think listening to your body is a GREAT way to handle it. Rest when you feel you need to, train when you can. I'm not doing the Dopey (planning on it, maybe in 5 years after I've conquered Goofy lol) so perhaps I'm not the best person to listen to. I've tried to start adapting a new FFF philosophy. Focus on the Fun and the Finish. All that matters is you running, finishing and enjoying yourself in the process. You're not alone. And just think of all that BLING!

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    1. Focus on the Fun and the Finish?!??!? LOVE IT! That's my new motto - thank you Kellie!!!! :) Yes, I'm excited about this haha.

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  16. DITTO on everything above, including your sentiment about being exhausted! I had someone ask me this past weekend "How is your Dopey training going?" My answer: great, but the rest of my life is going terribly. I'm realizing that I have not had a good balance of non-running time and between work and training, I've become a really terrible wife and friend! I'm working on balance too, and trying to focus on recovery, relaxation, and not killing myself for the next 50 days. You'll do great---you already have! Work on some costumes--that always helps me to get excited about a race again :) I totally need a support group! My husband probably does too: "My spouse is a runDisney addict, and I'd love to go on vacation without watching her run" Group!

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    1. Haha I loved your comment Aly! It's funny…I would have said the same thing about MCM, but after sacrificing so much, I'm letting running slide now. I'm not sure what is better or worse. But alas, I will cross those finish lines- you will too!! Hope to see you that weekend :)

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  17. Christine, I am running Goofy 2014 and I too ran a marathon in October four days after getting hit with a terrible spell of food posioning! and honestly, having that experience totally changed my outlook. Racing should be a fun, rewarding challenge giving you memories you can cherish. Taking part in the first ever Dopey Challenge will be AMAZING. Not to mention - doing it with your mom!? I would kill to have someone, anyone to run with! I know its hard, I know its a lot, but every time my alarm goes off early or I need to leave fun weekend events early I think of the thousands of runners out there who are all working hard too! You can do it Christine!!!!!!! That goes for everyone here too, WE CAN DO THIS!! Hope to meet you all in January!
    -Loren

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    1. Loren - Thank you for your perspective…I needed that. I should be grateful for this and instead I'm finding myself feeling resentment and frustration. Thanks for the reality check! :)

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  18. While I'm not doing Dopey, Disney 2014 will be my first marathon. I've hit the same slump. It's normal to go through and you are definitely not alone! Just thinking about the fun Disney will be makes me smile and feel better. Thanks for being so honest and know we are cheering for you!

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    1. Thanks girl! I really appreciate the support! I've experienced training slumps but this is so much bigger. Just got to battle and focus on the fun at the end! :)

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  19. I have had the same thoughts numerous times - especially when I look at my training plan for the next 2 months. However, I think (like everyone else has said), the key is to maintain marathon training and have fun. Dopey isn't for time, it's to finish. Yes, there is a little part of me that wants to do well, but then I think about the fact that I'll be running 48.6 miles in 4 days - and I realize my body and well-being is most important! Get in some back-to-back runs to get used to tired legs, then we'll all run those 4 races together!

    You will get to run some of your training runs with your mom - which I think will make a huge difference. Having a training buddy makes those long runs much more desirable :) Can't wait to cross that finish line 4 times with you in January!

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    1. Thanks friend! Your support is awesome. We WILL do this!! I can't wait to share a ridiculously sweaty hug at the end of this. :)

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  20. Christine, you are human! I can't imagine what training for only a full is like, let alone Dopey. You are totally justified to think all that you have thought. I most likely would too. I am glad you will continue on and do Dopey, I think you'd regret it if you didn't. If all else fails, just walk! That is what I told myself for my first ever 2 a day runs, which were the Jingle Jungle 5k and the Wine and Dine. I didn't really do much training for them, due to my being sick, starting a new job which exhausted me, and a summer full of emotional lows; my training wasn't there at all. I told myself what you told yourself, it's not for time, it's fun. I was not only worried about finishing the half, but worried how I would fare with a 5k that morning, my plans to try 2 a day workouts went out the window and I had to wing it all. And guess what?! It worked out fine. I ran both, with beyond minimal training, and didn't walk like I thought I would. Enjoy Dopey, don't put pressure on yourself, and do what you can to get through the training. Be in the moment, and believe! All it takes if faith and trust, and a little bit of pixe dust!

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    1. Maggie - Great feedback on your Wine and Dine experience. Thank you for that! I told Mom the other night that if I had to walk the last 10+ miles of the marathon, I would and I'm not going to beat myself up. While MCM was great for me, it almost feels like more pressure to do well at Dopey….it's silly really. I really appreciate your support! :)

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  21. I'm still such a newbie to racing that I don't know what to say that could even be considered helpful.

    But, I do know that you've been a major source of motivation through this blog to me and to so many other readers. I know you'll find it in you to finish Dopey strong and with a smile. I guess the best I can say is I believe in you! Hope that helps even a little! :)

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    1. Thank you for that - totally made my night!! :) I try to keep it real, even when it's not pretty!

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  22. Big hugs! I can only imagine the feeling of wanting a break after all that hard work! I love your mindset going forward- just have fun! You got this!

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  23. GIRL I feel the same way and I am going to WING IT! wine and dine was a trainng run, then I may do a 15 and 18 miler then THATS IT. No back to backs, just going to run walk everything and have FUN then be done with fulls FOREVER. I am tired and need a break. Don't feel bad about your feelings.

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