So you think I am Dopey?

Yesterday my team-mate Mitch discovered why his foot has been giving him issues. Apparently it has a stress fracture and his doctor told him not to run.

Been there, ran on it and STILL finished a half marathon. I think Mitch is being a wuss, however, he IS being smart and listening to his doctor. It is smart for lots of reasons:

  1. he won’t have a permanent injury
  2. he can rest and mend, then come back stronger than ever
  3. he can get out of chores around the house

All those reasons are good ones.

He asked me yesterday what was the craziest thing I have ever done in the last 30 days. Obviously it was running in a blizzard. That was stupid.

Then he asked me, “What is the craziest thing you will do in the next 30 days?”

Obviously run the Grumpy with very little distance training under my belt.

I was wrong.

He informed me that I was going to run the Dopey. He was giving me his marathon bib and I can run a marathon for fun! WOOT! Now WHO wouldn’t want that for Christmas???

I sat in my chair and looked out my window at this:

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A foot of new snow with more coming and temperatures hovering around -17F. I had asked my other team-mate Joe how many miles did I need to be at this week if I was to consider running the Dopey. He said 15k Saturday and 32k Sunday.

Right.

The furthest I have run to date was in August, I ran 22km. Since then, I struggle in with the snow and cold to make my distances. Today was an hour out there freezing my tushy off and I made it to 6k.

The Dopey is a 4 day back to back race. The first day starts with 5k, next is the 10k, followed by the 21.1k and then finally on the last day you go big with a full marathon. I have never run a marathon in my life. I am not even sure I have walked that far even with all my Disneyland commando type days. 42.2km is FAR. It is the equivalent of walking from Sherwood Park to Spruce Grove (this is for the benefit of my Edmonton peeps). Respect the distance.

As I looked out my window I thought about the possibility. I could toe the line and start. If I get swept, then I get swept. There is no shame in trying. The up side is I am mentally strong enough to finish in 7-8 hours. I know I could do that. This article from Forbes explains me very well.

But do I want to?

Running the Dopey means earning a collection of 6 beautiful medals.

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Running the unofficial Dopey – which is what I would be doing is a collection of 4. I would miss out on the Goofy medal and the Dopey medal. I would have to try to score them on ebay.

My daughter is coming with me that weekend. She is running the 5k with me. She was worried that I would not be able to visit parks after I ran the half because I would be so tired. If I ran the marathon too, I know I would be too tired to be in the parks on Sunday. She is my reason for breathing. Missing out on a full day of park time with her would be devastating for me.

The other thing I thought about was some goals I set for myself.

Recovery is a big part of that. To recover quickly after a race, proper training is part of it. I have NEVER run a marathon and to do so without training is not respecting the distance and doing mean things to my body, then I need to sit on an airplane for 8 hours. I will not be able to move, never mind getting up for work the next day.

I have a dream.

My dream is to prepare to run a marathon. Train to the best of my ability and that includes sleep and nutrition. When I run my first marathon, I want to be in the moment. I want to be prepared and see what my best effort can bring. The days of taking risks because I am mentally strong enough are over.

Go Big or Go home is a motto I will save for different adventures that include training and supporting my physical needs properly. I really do think I could run the Dopey this year. I am in the best physical condition of my life. However, I am not prepared for the physical consequences or the emotional ones where my daughter becomes disappointed. Just thinking about what she means to me brings tears to my eyes. And really, no physical goal is more important than her.

So Thanks for believing in me Mitch and Joe, but I will pass on the unOfficial Dopey and will do the real thing in 2015 when I am ready.

Runner’s Anxiety

images (7)Since my Half Marathon last weekend, I have been experiencing Runner’s Anxiety. I have it bad. So bad, in fact that I have considered dropping out of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon.

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I won’t though. I will find the courage to stand at the starting line. I bet you are wondering why I have anxiety at this stage of the game, 2 half marathons into my season with 6 shiny medals hanging on my wall from this season’s races. Well…you see, it’s because I RAN those races already. I know what I am capable of and I am not feeling awesome about it.

This past weekend, some of my team mates and friends went to Disneyland to run the Disney Dumbo Double Dare. Quite the mouthful. There was a 10k on Saturday and to qualify for the Dumbo Double Dare, you had to run the 10k and run the 21.1k the very next day. I am doing a similar race in January. I run a 5k The Thursday, 10k the Friday and 21.1k the Saturday. I opted out of the Marathon on Sunday because I am just not ready. I am positive about that.

I was looking at everyone’s race photos and medals and was thinking about how much fun they were having. When I began to panic a little. And when I say a little, I really mean A LOT. RunDisney requires that you run a 16 mile pace. Pardon me while I laugh my head off. I am not there yet. I am close! My big fear is being swept by the golf cart people telling me to get out of the way and no medal for me. Not being able to complete a race is a big huge massive fear. I think about it and my anxiety levels rise to beyond reasonable levels.

At this point you are likely wondering why I sign up for races if they make me worry so much. Well? I find them fun. No really I do! I like the before and after of the race! During sometimes. Disney Races have a reputation for having lots of entertainment on the course, thus making them more fun than your average race. (FYI Disney ruins regular parades, fireworks and parties because once you go to a Disney one, the rest are just not even in the same league. I imagine Disney will ruin all races for me as well.) Running the Donald (the half-marathon) is a bucket list item for me. So it is important to me to cross the finish line. Sure I want the medal, but crossing the finish line is the important part.

Knowing this gets placed around my neck helps…a lot

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Look how cute Donald is? But knowing this medal is awesome didn’t alleviate my anxiety.

The fact is I am slow dammit! So I looked up past results of the Disney half marathons, including Saturday’s in Disneyland and you know what I discovered? The slowest half marathoner in 2011 took 5 hours. That made me smile! 5 hours!!!!!! that was net time, not clock time! YAY! I think I can run it in about 3:40. That would still give me time to take pictures. Even more recent times had the last runner coming in at 4:32. My first half marathon was faster than that. So now I can breath easier and enjoy these medals too.

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Then maybe I will go for my coast to coast medal.

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But none of these will ever happen for me if I don’t get my feet back into my shoes.

Anxiety is now back…great. I better keep running.

Happy Running!