Dopey Training: Side Effects May Include...

It sure ain't easy going Dopey.  And it can be even tougher if the Dopey Challenger has a non-Dopey partner or spouse.

Lately, a common theme in the 'Disney Bride and Groom' household is how I (DG) am no fun anymore. Now, both of us run, this is an activity we often try to do together.   But Dopey has had unforeseen sides effect in my marriage.  I'm told I have become a buzzkill by not wanting to register for any more races (big or small) between November and January. I am starting to think that perhaps DB may have underestimated the amount of time that has to be committed to training for Dopey. I am not a fine-tuned endurance athlete. I am an average (at best!) runner who only aspires to complete the Dopey Challenge, then be able to crawl to O'hanas later for a celebratory meal.

So this means that I spend a great deal of time training. As the runs get longer, I find myself wanting to hang out at home watching tv or a movie the nights before long runs. 

Less of this:

And more of this:

Also, I believe as the mileage racks up, and I start with my back-to-back weekend workouts, I won't be wanting to run other races. Now that the Florida summer has reared it ugly, hot, and humid head, races are few and far between. The ones that are scheduled for the summer months are fall short of my necessary training mileage. 

I do like using a race in place of a training run, but I have a really bad habit of starting out too fast.  The more races I do, the better I am getting at pacing myself. But a 5K race is not the same as a 15+ mile run.  

I have two marathons scheduled, Run for the Bay (Apalachicola FL) in October and Space Coast (Cocoa, FL) in early December. These are also My First Ever marathons.  I believe that these two races will go a long way towards teaching me to pace myself at the beginning of a race, and show me that all the training has paid off. But, I am hesitant to schedule any more long distance races from November thru January. As a race is still a race, and I don't want to risk injury in a small local half, and crushing my Dopey Dreams.

However, here in Florida the end of the year is the time where many other beautiful race courses present themselves. There are DOZENS of great races we'd love to do.  Lately, it seems DisneyBride wants to run any and all halfs she can register for.  I am trying to keep my eye on the prize: Runner Bling in the form of 7 medals (yes, SEVEN medals, more on this to come later), 6 awesome tech shirts, feasting at O'hana, and a lifetime of bragging  rights.   

This is how I plan to wear my Dopey medals

In addition to more halfs, DB has suggested adding a few more trail races. While I love running trails, during trail races I tend to allow my competitive side to take over.  Here is where I really worry about an injury that would keep me from my goal of completing Dopey. I have told her to just register herself alone, but I believe that she prefers that I run with her, or at least start with her.  And I keep thinking it is smart of me to not jeopardize all the hard work that I have already put in. 

Falling down on a trail run has become a far too common occurrence. Fortunately, the only damage thus far is my dignity. As charming and handsome as I am, I am pretty clumsy.  

Actual photo of me on a trail run

In my defense, I would like to point out that I've often been the one suggesting that we add a new race to the calendar. So hesitating to add another run is something new. It appears that we have changed places and now DisneyBride is the RacingBeast, whose racing appetite can only be satisfied with more races.

What it boils down to is Respecting the Distance.  I think that I am being prudent in respecting the Dopey Challenge and the training plan I have developed.  One percent of the US population can claim to have completed a marathon.  I hope to be part of a select group of awesomely crazy people who can claim to have completed the Dopey Challenge.  

 However, if marriage has taught me one thing, it is that I am very often wrong. I am not sure I am ready to concede yet. I may just have to wait until Sunday, January 12th, to be proven right.  Look for me at Raglan Road drinking a crisp cold Magner's cider. 

The Jeff Galloway Training plan for Dopey just started this past week.  Many Disney runners are now beginning to adjust to this new schedule and some like me, letting the reality of the required training to sink in.  I wish all Dopey (and non-Dopey) runnners the best of luck with your training.  Remember, it is hot out, keep an eye on your pace, stay hydrated, and remember your sunscreen. 

Are you running many long races right before WDW Marathon Weekend?  

Am I being overly cautious?  

Are Cooke's of Dublin chips with Irish Vintage Cheese and Bacon Dip washed down with Magner's the perfect recovery food? 



Rick Stiles mod

To answer your questions: No, I don't have any long races right before Marathon Weekend. I'm running Dumbo in August, and may add a half marathon in early November, but I'm not risking injury before Dopey.
No, you are not overly cautious. But your body can handle a lot more than mine, so you could probably handle it. Dopey will be my first ever marathon, and even cautious training can lead to injury for me (I will be 66 the day after Dumbo), so I'm being careful. You could risk more (a lot more) as long as you allow enough time for recovery between races.
As to the perfect recovery food, when you finish Dopey, you've earned whatever you want - go for it!

More power to both of you


You're being smart. I've done two Goofy's (unofficial Dopey's) and respecting the training and race distances is critical.

Although, if you can treat a race as a supported training run and it works with your training schedule you could give it a try, but be smart about it!

Sounds like you have a great recovery meal planned too!


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