Dopey Training: Back to Back Runs

With the runDisney Dopey Challenge rapidly approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to attempt some back to back races.  Further, I was looking to score a higher corral placement.

Enter the Pine Run at Tall Timbers 20K, this past Saturday, October 12.

The weather was beautiful: nice and cool.  However, the humidity was still pretty high.  I registered for this event rather optimistically - as I prefer trail runs over road.  It doesn't hurt that the wooded trails in my town are pretty awesome - and appear to be straight out of a Disney film.

I kind of feel like these guys... Oo - De - Lally
Recently I heard from several people that this race was not a good candidate for a PR.  I was told (after I registered), that the course is 'a bit hilly'.  Now, I had heard these same runners complain about hills on courses that didn't contain hills - so I pushed it to the back of my mind.  After all, this is Florida - how bad could it be?  

Emerging from the woods - red-faced and tired -  Photo Credit: Paul Guyas/ Gulf Winds Track Club

This time, however - they were correct.  The race description uses the term 'undulating', but on a few occasions, I felt like I should be using my hands to help pull myself up the hills.  Silly me, I thought that Tall Timbers referred to the trees, not the monster hills.  Don't get me wrong, I really liked the course. It was just more challenging than I anticipated. 

And it could've been worse.  Like poor Flynn here.

For a small local trail race, this was a fairly well attended event.  Also, the course had great volunteers and water stations.  The second water stop (somewhere near mile 6) was completely decked out for Halloween.  Starting about a tenth of a mile from the water stop, spooky decorations started to appear.  I was still rather optimistic at this point that I was well ahead of my time goal (I wasn't) so I failed to stop and take some pictures.  This was the first themed water stop I have seen locally.   I do hope the runners enjoyed it (I did) and it becomes a tradition. 

The course looped through a timber research facility that is not open to the public.  This once-a-year race is actually the only way for runners to enjoy these trail.  I am glad I took advantage of the opportunity.  This is definitely a race I will look forward to running again. 

Photo credit: Fred Decker /Gulf Winds Track Club

Unfortunately, my finish time won’t be helping me to move up in the Dopey corrals.  However, given the course, I did feel pretty good about my finish time.  I tested out my hydration vest for the first time in race conditions - and there were no issues.  I successfully tried out a new interval:  2:30/1 (run 2 minutes 30 seconds, walk 1 minute). I had no cramping, no injuries, and I worked out the timing of my fuel. All in all, a success.

In fact, I felt good enough to run seven more training miles after the race.  Then to make things more interesting, I ran the Color Me Rad 5K with DisneyBride in the afternoon. (Recap coming soon.)  

Daily total mileage: 20K + 7 Mi + 5K = 22.5 Miles

So this back-to-back running gave me a little taste of what Dopey has in store for me come January.  My next big test will be this Sunday as I run my first full marathon: Running for the Bay. 

  • Are you running Dopey or another runDisney Challenge (Glass Slipper, Goofy)?
  • How is your training going?
  • Are you using local races as training runs?



Sorry to hear about the course. I did Dumbo and I'm about to start training for Glass Slipper. Those are about as back to back as I get- but I will be at marathon weekend cheering yall on!

Good luck with the rest of your training!


Good luck with your training for the Glass Slipper Challenge. See you in January! -DG


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