Friday, September 27, 2013

How my decision to run Marine Corps Marathon came to be...

    We are now one month from the Marine Corps Marathon. I wasn't planning on running the Marine Corps Marathon this year. It wasn't even assigned a date yet on my Bucket List of Races. But I am officially registered and running it with some of my favorite and best runner friends!
     So here's how the decision came to be: A rumor came out about runDisney making the undergraound "Dopey" race a reality. In the world of runDisney, you can earn an extra medal, a "Goofy" medal, by running the half marathon and then the full marathon the next day. You were considered "Dopey" by the fans of runDisney if you ran ALL of the races on Marathon Weekend which meant a 5k on Friday, the half  on Saturday, and then the full on Sunday. Well, runDisney decided to make Dopey a real thing but also added a fourth race to the mix, a 10k. So now in order to get an official Dopey medal you had to run all four races that weekend. The bling count would be a total of six - one "medal" for each race and then the Goofy and Dopey medals.
     My heart broke a little with these rumors and then the confirmation and pricing of the new runDisney Marathon Weekend. You could also say I woke up from the runDisney stupor I have been in for the last year or so. I had several issues with this official announcement. And yes, I am ready to let the world know how I feel and risk losing followers, readers, friends. I'm about honesty, so here goes. It bothered me that this lovely little "underground" movement was becoming official. But not only official, it was getting one-upped and being labeled with a very large price tag! Friends broke it down to "it's only $10 a mile" but that's not how I look at races. To run Disney is truly an experience. An experience I have enjoyed many times with many people over the last year and a half.
My 1st runDisney - Wine & Dine 2011

Expedition Everest 2012
Tower of Terror 10 Miler 2012
Wine & Dine 2012
WDW Marathon 2012
Princess 2013
     I do NOT consider runDisney events to be races. I do not go there to race. I go to play and have fun and take lots of pictures and make TONS of memories. I truly do not understand the thinking of people who would pay the amount of money these races cost and then just go run as fast as they can and don't stop to enjoy the "event." For that is what runDisney is to me, an event. I suppose if you have a lot of money to just spend on whatever you want, then it doesn't matter. But that is not me. I have to choose wisely every day how and what I spend my money on. Yay for being a teacher! When I choose a race to BQ on or run for a PR, it will NOT be any race where there are distractions (ie. characters) or even great scenes I just want to capture with my camera. It also won't be a race I've only run once. I learned that lesson at Sarasota this year! I'm also learning that I really love the experience of running, either alone or with friends and especially in new places!
     So, I fell out of love with runDisney and back into just like. I'm just not a runDisney girl. I'm a runner girl. More specifically a traveling runner girl. I want to see the world through my shoes! And not just Disney's World! So I made some tough decisions about my race calendar and then filled it with other dream races and dream activities! My plan was to get my Coast to Coast medal next year with runDisney. (When you run a race at Disney World and then at DisneyLand in the same calendar year, you get an absolutely beautiful medal for your efforts!) I was going to run the Donald Half at Marathon Weekend and then The Tinkerbell Half the following weekend in January 2014. That has all changed now! Now I may do my Coast to Coast in 2016, the 5th anniversary of Tinkerbell Half. Hopefully the medal will be spectacular!
     I also plan on doing the Goofy in 2015 for it's tenth anniversary. This leads me to my last bothersome point of the new runDisney announcement. Goofy scares me. Friends have continued to try to get me to do it and I just refuse! I know what my body is capable of right now and I know that this would be a big undertaking - even if I play through both races! I was scared to run back to back halves. I've trained and have now accomplished that feat. I was scared to run more than one marathon a year - I am now signed up for two within four months of each other. I will train and train hard so that my body is prepared. I think that serious training is essential if you plan to do something like a Goofy or a Dopey. Yet some people will not train as they should and will hurt, may not finish or suffer through it all. I won't ever do that to my body. I do NOT enjoy pain and suffering - not even to earn a medal. Never say never, but right now I'm saying I will never do the Dopey.
     I realize that some people budget only for runDisney events/races and that is all they do all year. But I truly love races and the atmopshere of a race weekend wherever it may be. I did not become a runner because of Disney. I want to run Boston, New York, Chicago, San Fransisco, Paris, Milan, London! I want to see places and run the towns and be with the people and eat their food! THIS is who I am. So I'm running my nation's capitol on October 27th in one of the most fabulous marathons on the planet! I'm running the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.!


  1. Love this! I am also torn about all the recent changes w/runDisney. I have found that some of my favorite races have been non-Disney races. Races that I didn't expect to love (nor get a PR) but I *did*!

  2. I hear ya about the runDisney races getting crazy. I'm trying to find a way to balance them and other races. My goal for 2014 (after Jan/Feb) is going to be to explore races in new places. Saving my runDisney race fees should help me get there. Good luck on the Marine Corps Marathon!

  3. While I am running Dopey this year, I do have to agree with you that it is VERY expensive, and it was kinda fun that it was "unofficial" in the past.. I love the runDisney races, and I hope to eventually do each one at least once, but I also I really want to do other races and see other places.

    Wanting to run a Disney race is one of the reasons I started running and I've met a lot of really great people so I'll definitely still do them (especially b/c I'd be planning a trip to Disney anyways, why not plan it around a race!). But I also want to make it a point to do 1 or 2 non-Disney bucket lists races a year - this year I did the Falmouth Road Race and I'm doing Marine Corp!