Archive for Goofy / Dopey 2015

3.1 miles today to finish out Dopey Challenge taper. Unless I decide to run tomorrow to cut the nerves a bit…

So I did a 3.1 mile run on Saturday and another today. Just plugging away at the last few miles of taper, trying to keep the legs stretched out and not do anything silly (like try to get one last speed run in).

Saturday’s run was 3.1 miles in 25:20 and today’s was 3.1 miles in 27:30. No real drama with either run – just smooth and easy with little to no pace changes. Just running steady.

I might still do another short run tomorrow night to stretch out the legs one last time before getting on the plane dark and early Wednesday morning. That will really depend on how well packing goes today and tomorrow and how much time I need to spend running around to get last minute items.

At this point I am feeling good and looking forward to the races!

Things I want to do at Disney World during the Disney World Marathon weekend, besides run!

With less than a week to go before I make it to Disney World for the 2015 Walt Disney World marathon and the Dopey Challenge, I thought it would be a good time to sit down and think about what I want to do there (besides run the races and spend tons of money at the expo of course).

Doing the Dopey Challenge, I will need to conserve some energy and hitting every ride at every park is probably not going to be the smartest thing to do for the legs. That means I need to determine what my “Must Do’s” are for this trip. If just to make sure I get best Disney vibe for my money while I am there.

The past few months have been quite hectic and stressful at work and I have put in significant miles running besides. Throw in the holidays and I am looking for peace. So a peaceful and quiet atmosphere is going to be the major theme for the list with some new things thrown in that I haven’t had a chance to do or see before.

So on with the list:


  1. 7 Dwarfs Mine Train – the ride wasn’t open yet the last time I was at Magic Kingdom so I want to see this ride


  1. Festival of Fantasy Parade – I have to see that steampunk fire breathing dragon up close!


  1. Sticking at the Magic Kingdom – the People Mover – not an exciting ride but this one fits the peaceful criteria for me – I love to ride it and people watch Tomorrowland.


  1. Monorail – I enjoy the ride between Magic Kingdom and Epcot and it is a uniquely Disney experience


  1. Epcot in general – it is our family’s favorite park and I just love the feel of the various areas. I enjoy just finding a bench and sitting and watching people or the fountains in different areas.


  1. If I can do that sitting and watching in Epcot with a beer in hand it will be even better – don’t get the chance to sit out and have a drink in the fresh air much in winter here in Winnipeg and it would feel really good.


  1. Spaceship Earth – there is just something so comfortable and relaxing about this ride – love it!


  1. Illuminations – it is a tough call but I think Illuminations is my favorite fireworks show at Disney World.


  1. International Gateway – my whole family loves this back entrance to Epcot and World Showcase. It is a great place to sit and relax or just to pick up the peaceful vibe.


  1. That then leads out to the Beach and Yacht Club and Boardwalk areas – I love the Beach and Yacht areas and we have so many good memories of the trips when we have stayed in this area. I always feel good walking around there. (Kind of nice that my happy place happens to be at about the 24.5 mile point in the Disney World Marathon – nice little mental mood boost right when it is needed most!)

There are obviously many, many more things I will be looking at doing but this is the short list of things I am truly looking forward to for this trip. Beside the running, of course!

2012 versus 2013 versus 2014 mileage and run comparison

As I have now completed my miles for 2014 (and Dopey Challenge 2015 taper is in effect), I wanted to review my mileage from this year versus last year’s and see what kind of progress I have made.

Quick highlights for 2014 are:

Goofy Challenge #4 completed in January.

Winnipeg Police Service Half Marathon (WPS Half) – completed in May with a time of 1:46:00 breaking my old PR of 1:46:11 set in 2002.

Manitoba Marathon completed in June with a time of 4:09:44 breaking my old PR of 4:15:01 set in 2005.

Fort Garry Rotary Half Marathon run in mid-September. (My wife Heather ran this one too)

Followed 2 weeks later by the 12 Hour Lemming Loop Ultra Marathon (49.2785 miles in 12 hours).

And then the WFPS Half (Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Services) 2 weeks after that.

I had 3 months with greater than 200 miles run.

Total year mileage was 1971 miles – a 571 mile increase over 2013. The first 6 months of the year I did 900 miles and then 1071 miles in the last half.


Now onto the real comparison…

Total volume of mileage doesn’t tell the whole story so I picked a few specific data points to compare year over year to give a better sense of how different parts of my training have gone.

As I defined what those data points would be I got to wondering as well how far I have come since I decided to get serious about getting back in shape and losing weight back in Sept 2012. Since September through December covers my Goofy Challenge / Dopey Challenge training periods, I figured it would be interesting to also look at how each of the training periods for 2012, 2013 and 2014 compare.

So with that in mind, I came up with 2 major comparisons to do – all of 2013 versus all of 2014 and September through December for 2012 versus the same periods for 2013 and 2014.

The data points / metrics I wanted to look at were:

  1. Total mileage for the period (to see just how much work I put in)
  2. Highest mileage month in the period (to see where I peaked for mileage in the training period)
  3. Fastest run in the period (to see how much quicker I was getting period to period)
  4. Longest run in the period (to show endurance)
  5. # of runs 13.1 miles or greater in length (to show how much of the training time was put into doing long runs)
  6. # of days where I did more than 1 run to get a total of 13.1 miles or greater
  7. # of runs over 13.1 miles (to help show the number of very long runs done in the period as an endurance indicator) (for the September to December comparisons I did this as runs greater than 15 miles to show just the number of long slow runs I did)
  8. # of days where I did more than 1 run to get a total daily mileage greater than 13.1
  9. # of races run in the period (just for interest sake)

2013 versus 2014 full year comparison:

Metric 2013 2014
Total mileage 1400 1971
Highest mileage month December November
Highest month mileage 191.19 201.8
Fastest run (by average mph) 8.32 mph average 4.16 miles in 30 min 9.0 mph average 5 miles in 33:20
longest run (miles) 26.2 49.2785
# runs 13.1 or greater 28 36
Days with total mileage 13.1 or greater with 2 or more runs in a day 0 4
Total days with 13.1 or more (sum) 28 40
# runs greater than 13.1 13 20
Days with total mileage greater than 13.1 with 2 or more runs in a day 0 3
Totals days with mileage greater than 13.1 miles 13 23
# of races and types 5 half marathons, 2 full marathons 4 half marathons, 2 full marathons, 1 x 12 hour (49.2785 miles)

Some quick conclusions here – I trained faster and I did a lot more high mileage training. Both of these showed dividends by breaker half and full distance PRs this year and by completing my first ever ultra marathon.

September through December Goofy Challenge / Dopey Challenge training cycle comparison:

Metric 2012 2013 2014
Total mileage 471.87 649.65 683.0185
Highest mileage month December December November
Highest month mileage 166.88 191.19 201.8
Fastest run (by average mph) 6.99 mph average 5 miles in 42:55 8.32 mph average 4.16 miles in 30 min 8.83 mph average 5 miles in 33:58
longest run (miles) 20 20 49.2785
# runs 13.1 or greater 6 15 12
Days with 2 runs equaling 13.1 miles or greater 0 0 2
# days with total mileage  13.1 miles or greater 6 15 14
# runs 15 miles or greater 5 5 7
# of races and types 0 3 half marathons 2 half marathons, 1 x 12 hour (49.2785 miles)

Quick thoughts – Significant improvements in 2013 versus 2012 – followed very similar plans for training but I did additional training in the summer of 2013 that put me a better spot going into the training that year. 2014 total mileage is not much higher that 2013 and 2013 shows more runs at 13.1 miles or greater (1 more in 2013 shown – weather and treadmill issues played a factor here though). But 2014 had more runs at greater than 15 miles – so I did more long slow training runs in the 2014 training period. This makes sense to be ready for the Dopey Challenge but also the 12 Hour Lemming Loop ultra.


From September 1, 2012 through December 31st 2012, I lost 22.5 pounds. Through all of 2013 I lost a further 15 pounds. For 2014, my weight has been static within 5 pounds either way of 219.5. All races run in 2014 were run with my weight between 219 and 222 pounds.


Looking through all the numbers, it becomes pretty apparent that I peaked in September 2014 in terms of motivation, speed and proper focus. After having completed the 12 hour race (the Lemming Loop) in early October I was probably a bit tired and burnt out and that showed in my performance at the WFPS Half Marathon in later October.

With weather turning in Winnipeg making outdoor running a slower process than it was before and the treadmill crapping out, speed work went out the window. I had a very impressive mileage month in November but without the speed work to add some excitement it just felt like I was phoning it in – there was no spark there, just a continuous push. December was a slower month as well for the same reasons plus my one knee was aching a bit and it had to be babied for a while.

What this all comes out to, is that I am ready for the Dopey Challenge and I am in better shape going into this challenge than I have ever been for any of the 4 Goofy Challenges I have done. But I definitely could have been in even better shape if either the weather or the treadmill had cooperated a bit more. That is the nature of the game though when you are training for a January race and live in Winnipeg.

Part of me is a bit upset that I didn’t get more speed work in but for the most part I am happy with how I have done and how far I have come. Basically I have laid the foundation for my goal of being able to do the Dopey Challenge and actually enjoy it!

Running update for the past week

I haven’t done a site running post since the 23rd! I have run in that period and tweeted about the runs but haven’t put anything up here on the site. Time to rectify that!

On the 24th (Christmas Eve), I did a late morning run of 6.37 miles – I had planned to do 10 or maybe even 13.1 but it was very slippery and in the end I cut the run short. I could feel the extra pressure the uneven slippery surfaces were putting on my right knee (which I had trouble with a week or so ago). I decided it was better to avoid an injury than do those few extra miles. That was a tough decision though as the weather was very nice temperature wise and I knew the cold was coming back – it would have been nice to get that one more decent outdoor run in. But that didn’t pan out.

On Christmas Day I did a quick 2.25 mile run on the treadmill to help work through the turkey calories and stretch out the legs a bit. It was a decent run and my knee felt good so it reinforced that shortening the run the day before was the right thing to do.

On the 27th, I went out for a run in my Hoka One One Cliftons – I got in 2 steady paced laps around the neighborhood for a total of 8.85 miles. The times to complete each lap were within 5 seconds of each other – definitely evenly paced. It was pretty cold but not too bad all things considered. I could have gone longer but had to force myself to respect the taper.

On the 28th (today), I did another 2 lap run around the neighborhood this morning for 8.85 miles. I saw my tracks in a few places from yesterday’s run and it was interesting to see that my footprints in the snow from each lap lined up really well – not only was my pacing solid for each lap but so was my stride length. Pretty cool to see. And speaking of cool…holy crap it was cold today! Approx -36 C (-33 F) with the windchill – I had multiple layers on but I could tell that I probably should have one more layer on my thigh and knee areas – the cold was biting there. All in all it was a solid run despite the cold and I could have kept going but after my right eyelashes froze together (and limiting my vision on my right side) I figured that it was probably smarter to call it and get inside and warmed up. (I am writing this about an hour after I finished and I still am having a few shivering episodes).

After the run was completed I realized that I had crossed the 1960 mile point for the year (1960.709) – last year I did 1400 miles so today’s run brings me to the point where I have had a 40% increase in mileage this year over last. Nice! …no wonder I’m tired.

It is 10 days today until my travel day for the Dopey Challenge and from the looks of my schedule I have 5 runs left in the taper – all of them pretty easy runs that will happen on the treadmill. So that means today marks my last outdoor run before Dopey Challenge. Which means I can do laundry and start packing!…might be a bit too soon but I don’t care.

Dopey Challenge packing list / to take list posted #dopeychallenge

With about a week and a half to go before I get on a plane to Orlando for the 2015 Disney World Marathon and Dopey Challenge I figured I should review what I need to take with me! If I need to rush out and buy anything it would be good to do that now instead of say just before I get on the plane…

I am posting the list here but also over on it’s own “to take list for Dopey Challenge” page so it is easier to find through the site’s pull down menus at the top of the site header.

A few years back I made up a packing list for the Goofy Challenge but as I have started thinking about what I will need for the Dopey Challenge I have realized that that original list needs to be expanded.

(If you like you can also check out my list of Top 5 things to NOT do at the Walt Disney World Marathon for additional ideas.

I still think the Goofy Challenge list is solid for what it is – covering 2 days of running back to back. But with the Dopey Challenge’s 4 days straight of running, more gear will be required. Beyond the obvious things like needing gear for 4 days there is the fact that the Florida weather can change quickly and runners will need to be ready for cold weather, hot weather, rain, fog, sun, etc – this means I am going to need to pack a big variety of items to cover all contingencies.

I have managed to do a Goofy Challenge trip with only carry on bags – that is not going to happen for the Dopey Challenge (at least not for me – if you can pull it off, let me know how because the physics of that must be incredible). I will need to check a bag if just because this trip requires me to be at Disney World 2 days longer than that previous trip did.

So with that in mind this packing list will include items specifically required for the runs, recovery and making it through package pickup.

Let’s start with package pickup:

  1. You are going to require your passport or some form of government photo ID to get your bibs.
  1. You also need your signed waiver available off of the runDisney / Track Shack sites (2015 Walt Disney World Marathon waiver / bib # look up) – you can also print a copy at the race expo but that cuts into shopping and exploring time.
  1. Currency – lots of shopping to do at the race expo – I believe last year the runDisney areas would take the magic bands to charge to your room but the other vendors aren’t likely to. So have some cash or credit card available for the expo.

Now for the races a lot of what will be required will heavily depend on the weather. I did my first Goofy Challenge during the infamous freeze out of 2010 (it snowed the morning of the half that year and it was actually warmer in Winnipeg that day) but I also did 2013 where many runners dropped out of the full due to the heat and humidity. You can get sun, you can get clouds, you can get fog, you can get rain – and you really don’t want to be spending time the day before the race running around trying to find what you need for the next day. I go into these races with more than I probably need but I like not having to scramble to find stuff (it takes away one of the stressors of the races).

I could reduce the list below by planning on doing laundry during the trip but I would rather go to a park instead…

So on to the list for the races:

  1. Disney Pieces of Magic – these are basically tokens I take with me on every race to help remind me of my family and why I am out there running. Not everyone will have this kind of a thing but they are important to me.
  1.  GPS watch – Garmin Forerunner 201 – a little old but still works well.
  1. Smart phone and headphones – Samsung S4 – music and gps apps as well as photos, Twitter, etc. If things go to hell I also have a run/walk interval timer app installed to get me through the full. I will have the phone in an armored case and on a belt clip. I will most likely have a spare battery with me on the full as well.
  1. Point and shoot camera and case – Canon 300HS – a nice little camera that is easy to handle and can take a bit of a beating. I could use the phone for photos but in the environment of the races it will be nice to have an independent camera.
  1. 4-5 pairs of running shorts – one for each day of racing – I prefer ones with pockets for carrying a variety of items within easy reach (like Kleenex or a bag of candy)
  1. 4-5 pairs of running underwear
  1. 4-5 pairs of running socks
  1. 3-4 pairs of running shoes – I will be bringing a fairly new pair of Nike Pegasus 30s that I will use for the 5k and 10k for sure and maybe the half marathon. I will also have some well used but still good Hoka One One Cliftons for full marathon (and maybe the half). Beyond that I also will be bringing a set pf well used but still solid set of Nike Pegasus 30 LE’s as a backup pair in case there is an issue with one of the other pairs or they get wet, etc
  1. 2 thermal running undershirts – to only be used if it is quite cold out – if the weather forecast looks to be cold before I leave home I could pack more
  1. 4-5 short or long sleeve running shirts – a mix of short and long sleeves and the actual numbers of each will depend on the weather forecast. You could supplement or reduce the number by using the race shirts you will get at the expo but there are couple problems there. First some old school runners get pissy if they see someone using the race shirt before it has been “earned” – that falls back to when the race shirts were given out after the race was done and they were specifically “finisher” shirts. Now the shirts are for “participants” so that argument seems to fall more along the lines of either elitism or superstition. But there is a more practical reason to not wear the race shirts on the day of the race and that falls to the old mistake of using something new on race day – the race shirts could chafe or bind where you aren’t expecting and could really wreck the experience. It really is best to used tried and true gear on race day if you can.
  1. Running hat – humidity during the races can be wicked and even if the sun doesn’t make it up until after you are done racing you will most likely be thankful to have something wicking moisture away from your eyes.
  1. Arm sleeves – I only have one set and I will be bringing them but will most likely only wear them if it is going to be cool. Basically I will use them as an extra layer of warmth if required.
  1. Calf sleeves – I will be bringing the 3 pairs I have – I don’t tend to use them on shorter runs so I intend to use 1 pair on the half marathon, another on the full and the last one will be used for recovery after both of those races
  1. Leggings / running pants – I will be bringing 2 pairs of these but with the same proviso as the thermal under shirts – I will only use them if it is cool enough.
  1. Running gloves – I will be bringing a couple pairs in case it is cold
  1. Toque / knitted hat / balaclava – I will be bringing one or 2 in case it is cold but it will have to be near 2010 temperatures before I will use them.
  1. Nipple protectors / anti chafing stuff – bleeding nipples suck and will ruin your day.
  1. Running bib belt – I got into using one of these last year and I find it much more convenient to use than the safety pins. You do have to be careful with it to ensure your number is visible for photographers but that is a minor inconvenience for me compared to trying like 3 or 4 times to get a bib pinned on a shirt correctly. With having 2 bibs for the Dopey Challenge, with each one needing to be used for 2 races, the bib belt makes even more sense since you don’t have to move the bib from shirt to shirt.
  1. Water bottle belt and bottle – I use this as something to clip my phone on, to hook my camera pouch to, to store some of the stuff I carry with me like wipes and Kleenex…and to carry a water bottle. For the 5k and 10k I will most likely just have plain old water in this but will have a glucose drink of some sort in there for the half marathon.
  1. Hydration backpack – I will use this on the full. I have lots of tummy troubles when I drink Gatorade or PowerAde in races so I need to carry my own fuel and I have had good success with the hydration backpack on several of my long training runs. Mine holds 2 liters of liquid and in this case I will essentially be drinking flat Coke for the full race. I had good success with that on the 12 hour run (Lemming Loop – I completed 49.2785 miles) I did back in early October.
  1. Wipes – happy bum = happy runner – not sure who first said that but it is a valid statement! Several in a small ziplock sandwich bag for easy transport.
  1. Kleenex – several in a small ziplock for easy transport – I have used them for everything from cleaning my sunglasses to covering a chafing area to actually blowing my nose…
  1. Spirulina algae – lots of runners swear by EnergyBits when running but I have never had a chance to try them. I have however tried and have had success with other name brand spirulina algae tablets (the same ingredient as in the EnergyBits) in some races and on many long training runs. Gels disagree with me the same way Gatorade does so I need another method of fueling on longer runs and the algae tablets seem to be working for me. If you don’t use these kinds of things then substitute the fuel you are used to. Don’t count on finding anything you specifically want at the expo – bring it with you so you have it!
  1. Large black garbage bags / thermal emergency blankets – to stay warm before the races – it can get chilly waiting around in the staging areas and the corrals and these help you retain body heat. A bonus with the garbage bags is that they can also be used if it is rainy.
  1. Toss away warm up sweaters – for the same reason as the item above – if it gets cool, that Florida humidity will sink in and really make you feel cold. This is something even runners from northern climates need to watch for – a temperature that looks like it would have been fine at home can quickly feel very cold because the humidity makes it feel even colder. Remember we are talking potentially hours of standing / sitting around between when you get to the staging area before you get to actually run.
  1. Sunglasses – The timing of the 5k and 10k is probably such that sunglasses aren’t needed for those races but if it is sunny then you will definitely want them for the full and the half (unless you are super speedy). I am also bringing some different lenses to try out on a pair of sunglasses I have, a clear (no tinting) set of lenses that would cut wind to the eyes if it is really windy and a blue set that could be useful on hazy days to get better visibility (and probably improve my mood).
  1. Blister kit / bandages – might not bring this on the actual runs but good to have with you in the room to take care of any blisters or hiccups from the various races
  1. Painkillers – Tylenol – they hand these out at a few of the medical tents but it might be good to have some in the hotel room. Ibuprofen would be good to have as well but do some hunting around the net to see when it is safe to have in conjunction with running.

I think that is about all of it but if I think of anything else I will add it. Also check out the Goofy Challenge to take list for other ideas and more explanations of why I bring what I do.

It is also good to note that over time I have changed what I bring with me to these races – as I do more races and continue to learn what works best for me I will continue to adapt the list.