Getting into the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in DC isn’t easy – you have to put your name into a lottery because there are so many people that want to do the run and then names are randomly selected. I tried to get in last year, but wasn’t picked so I was very excited when I got the email a few months ago that I would be running this year. The cherry blossoms were supposed to be in peak bloom for the run – something that I don’t think has happened the last few years, and the weather was supposed to be chilly but sunny. So why did I drop down to the 5k?
After the Phillies 5k, Kevin dropped me off at the Philly Convention Center so I could get my packet for the Philly Love Run – another race that I was supposed to do last year, but couldn’t because of my heel injury. I never realized how large the convention center was and had to wander around until I figured out where I was supposed to go. There was not a lot of people so I was able to get my packet fairly quickly – you also get a really nice tech shirt (which if you are ordering the women’s size – keep in mind they run very small) and a mug. I wandered around the rest of the expo, but there is never anything I need/want so I headed to my hotel for the night.
I really wanted to find the famous LOVE statue and noticed that my walk should take me right by it. I did have some trouble spotting it at first, but finally found it in a far corner of Love Park. I was really surprised at how small the statue was. For some reason I thought it was taller than the average person standing next to it…and while it was TALLER, it was raised up on a pedestal so people could stand under it and a lot smaller than I imagined. There was also a huge line that I didn’t feel like waiting in so I just strategically took photos which cropped the people out.
I was FINALLY able to complete the Phillies Charities 5K this year (after not being able to do it last year due to my heel issues). I was so excited to be around thousands of other Phillies fans and MOST excited to be able to walk a lap around the warning track and look up into the stands…
The FINAL day of the Dopey Challenge was the Disney marathon – and it started off with a BANG! No really – each wave is sent off by fireworks and they were especially awesome for the marathon. I was running a little late, but managed to give myself a pep-talk on the way to my coral. I had no idea how this day was going to turn out – was I going to get swept? Was I going to make it?
The 3rd day of the Dopey Challenge during marathon weekend at Disney World was the HALF MARATHON! I have run 13 miles, but never in a race – and this run was ESPECIALLY exciting because I would get to run through the castle in the Magic Kingdom! I had been dreaming about running through the castle since I first heard of the runDisney races. After looking at numerous beautiful pictures and videos of happy people running out the front of the castle I was so ready to have one of those amazing photos to call my own…unfortunately my castle moment wasn’t quite how I thought it would be…
Dark and early (I can’t really say bright and early because I was up well before the sun) Kevin dropped me off at Epcot and I made my way with the other runners to the starting corrals. I felt a little more confident because I knew where I was going since I was just through it all the day before for the Marathon Weekend 5k. I made my way through the crowd admiring the awesome costumes. I kept the mylar blanket they gave me the day before for extra warmth while waiting to start. The lines for the characters were outrageously long so I knew there was no point waiting because I wouldn’t have time to get a picture before the race started. Little did I know that later in the run I would have a very comical “character stop”….
It was almost a year ago that I spent my lunch break at work huddled over my computer trying to get a spot in the Dopey Challenge at Disney World. These races usually sell out very fast – and 2018 was no exception because it was the anniversary of the 25th Marathon and the 5th Dopey Challenge – this meant the medals would be extra cool.
Kevin dropped me off in the parking lot at Epcot around 4 AM and I followed the sea of people in the 32* weather towards the start. As I walked it hit me that this challenge was finally here and I was going to attempt to run 48.6 miles in 4 consecutive days with very little training due to my heel injury. I felt very confident I could complete the 5K and 10K – and pretty sure I could do the half marathon – but could I add a full marathon on top of that?!