November 30, 2015

Mickey Marathon - what to expect and training update

In less than six weeks, it will be time for the Walt Disney World Marathon race weekend.  For many, this will be the start of their 2016 race calendar whether they are running the 5k, 10k, half or full marathon or all of them.  This year, I am going solo to run the Mickey Marathon on Sunday, January 10th.  This will be my third time to run this marathon, and my first time to run it without races on the prior days.  It's hard to believe now that my first marathon was part of the Goofy Challenge back in 2013.  Alot has happened in my running world since then and this will be an opportunity to enjoy marathon weekend without back to back races. This equals more sleep which is a win!


Here is what to expect if this is your first marathon at Walt Disney World:

* Early wake up call:  Because this race starts at 5:30 am, you will be arriving at the staging area between 4:00 and 4:30 am.  Be sure to get plenty of rest on Friday night because the wake up time for Sunday morning can be rough!

* Crowded course: Disney races have alot of runners.  The corral system works well, but there are narrow sections of the course that make it difficult if you have a pack of people running/walking together.  Be patient and have a plan if you are running with someone else.

* Costumed runners: One of the fun things about Disney races are seeing many runners in elaborate Disney themed outfits.  We have worn some costumes during our races in FL and CA, but they include running tops and bottoms so we can still move comfortably.  If you do plan to run in costume, make sure you do not wear a mask as those are not allowed according to the runDisney website.

* Magical moments along the way:  Running through 4 amusement parks during a marathon make the miles go by quicker than a regular marathon course.  Depending on your timing, some runners even try to ride Expedition Everest, a roller coaster ride in Animal Kingdom on the way. My favorite part of the course is running up Main Street in the Magic Kingdom which is lined with cheering spectators.



* Finish line with Mickey:  Each of my marathons has included a finish line with Mickey, but it is quite possible that other characters are at the finish line as well.  If you are not running for time, this is a great opportunity to get a photo since Marathon Foto has camera crew ready to take a special photo.

Training for this marathon has been different than my prior marathons for a couple reasons.  First of all, I did not know I would be running both NYC Marathon in November and then the London Marathon in April 2016.  Normally I would have deferred one of the races, but I talked with my coach and we figured my training for Mickey would be abbreviated after just completing the NYC Marathon November 1st.  After a total break from running for nearly two weeks, I started back on November 14th with a one hour run.  Since then, I have added 3-4 runs per week and feel that I am back to my normal speed for long run training.  Yesterday was fifteen miles in perfect temperatures with sunshine and it was quite enjoyable.  My prior week long run was cut short due to knee pain so I was anxious for this to be a good one.  Coach was not happy I had gone to Zumba class which seemed to be the culprit for my sore knee.

With less than 6 weeks, there will not be many long runs, but after a reasonably good training cycle for NYC, I feel confident that by the time January 10th arrives, I will be ready for the marathon.  Now it's time to hope for cool weather with no rain or snow, especially no snow!

Are you running the Mickey Marathon?  Is it your first?
(Pam)


28 comments:

  1. I am excited for the Mickey Marathon because like you said, it will be the first time I am doing the marathon all own it's own ( no Goofy challenge) and hopefully no knee pain. With that being said, I keep going back and forth on my goals for this race or even if I should have any goals at all. I guess it all depends what race day is like and whatever happens, happens! -M

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    1. I am waiting to see what the weather will be on race day before setting any goals. If it is crazy hot, I guess I will just run it for fun!

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  2. I've run the half, and yes, the early wakeup call was rough! Especially with the time change. Even that one hour did me in. I had fun, but ended up with a killer migraine that afternoon! You don't get much rest at Disney.

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    1. Agree Wendy, there is hardly any rest at Disney.

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  3. There is something special about the Mickey Marathon! I ran it on the 20th anniversary and it was such a special experience!

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    1. I love the Mickey Marathon Mindy, and especially because I had such a great first experience running it.

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  4. So much fun!! I can't wait to run this race again in the future (not sure when, but it's on my list)....hard to believe it's only six weeks away!

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    1. You have plenty to keep you busy until you are ready to run a marathon Karen. Your little bundle of joy will make you forget about running, at least for a little while.

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  5. Can't wait - I'm hoping the third time is a charm for me to finally get a good finish time!

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    1. I hope you reach your goal Kristen. It really is such a fun race.

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  6. I just love your running skirts!! Very cute!! This is on my bucket list for one day, even the Goofy Challege, so it's reassuring to know that your very first marathon was part of that!

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    1. Hi Paula. The skirts are Sparkle Skirts and we love them too because they have great pockets to hold all your stuff in the shorts. You will love the Goofy Challenge and Jeff Galloway has a great training plan on the runDisney website.

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  7. I love all the costumed runners at Disney races, that's great entertainment on it's own :) Add in running through 4 parks and this sounds like a fun choice for a first marathon.

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    1. Me too. I love looking at all the costumes when I am running the races at Disney. People dress up more there than at any other races I have been to.

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  8. Thanks for the detailed information about this race. I can't believe it's only 6 more weeks and we'll be lining up at the starting line in no time. I have a really bad corral placement, because I signed up originally with a friend and she placed us in the 6 hour range. I emailed run Disney about changing my placement, but so far haven't heard back from them. Your posts are so motivating, and they make me feel that I can do this, even though we just came off running NYC:)

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    1. I feel badly about your corral placement, but I guess you just need to plan on a fun race rather than an opportunity at a PR. It is alot of fun though and you will enjoy it.

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  9. Hi there!

    I'm running and I cannot wait!!

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  10. Hope to see you there!!! --------- Denise

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  11. I will (obviously) not be running, but I will be watching! I still can't get over the wake up calls, lol. I think the Disney race that I would do, if I ever do one, would be a Star Wars one. I'm one of "them " (and by that I mean Jedi)

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    1. Any you could dress up like a Jedi too! that's the thing about Disney races, you don't look like a freak if you dress up to run!

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  12. I'm so happy that my first marathon was the Mickey Marathon. Such a fun experience. Hopefully Goofy will follow in 6 weeks. I wish I could say I can't wait but I need the training days. LOL

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    1. Hopefully you will be ready by January. As long as you take the half plenty slow, you should be fine. I loved the Goofy Challenge but Dopey was just too many wake up calls in a row!

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  13. Wow! I didn't realize you were doing this one! So fun! I have yet to do a Disney race, but I would love to. I didn't realize they started so early! Wow!

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    1. Yes, they start super early, but the good thing is it usually helps with beating the FL heat.

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  14. I am registered for the marathon, but it's not look very hopeful for me. I'm really tired of this foot injury and just want things to be back to normal. It will make me extremely sad (again!!) to miss this one. I was hoping to meet you too!

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    1. I did not know you were registered for this one too. I am sad that we won't get a chance to meet.

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  15. I will be running the half this coming January. It will be my first disney race, but my 4th half marathon overall. I only got into running last year, but it is quickly becoming an addiction! Enjoy reading your blog, good luck this January!

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  16. I'm SO excited! Can't wait to see you!

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