12 Months of Medals: My 2015 (And Beyond!) Running Challenge


Run Nick Run
Feb 17, 2015
I posted this on the Disneyland Half thread, but I think I have my Disneybounding outfits on lock - what do y'all think?
even though I'm a dude im still amazed at what people come up with for disneybounding (heck I even following the disneybounding instagram) my wife would approve of your choices, and I approve whole heartedly with your footwear, Im actually doing a pseudo costume/disneybound for my marathon attire as ill be running as my avatar over there (green shorts, green running shirt with an eyeball affixed to it, and blue monsters U hat)


The Official Keels of RunDisney
Feb 27, 2008
I'm pretty sure I just figured out my "costume" for the Full marathon leg of Dopey ... Joy from "Inside Out". #HolyUglyCryBatman

  • Keels

    The Official Keels of RunDisney
    Feb 27, 2008
    Training Talk: DLH Week 8, W&D Week -3ish, Dopey Week -2ish
    Weekly guide to my training!

    The Countdown: 72 Days until Disneyland; 136 Days until Wine & Dine; 197 Days until Dopey

    This Week's Training Plan:
    While I'm technically training and prepping to train for both the Disneyland Half and the Wine & Dine Half, the ultimate goal is Dopey. Each week, I will post my scheduled training as dictated by a hybrid Dopey Training schedule I've created combining elements of Hal Higdon's Dopey Training and Jeff Galloway's Dopey Plan.
    Monday: 3 miles
    Tuesday: 5 miles
    Wednesday: Rest
    Thursday: 3 miles (+3 miles)
    Friday: 4 miles
    Saturday: Rest
    Sunday: 4 miles
    Notes: Couple of factors to the light run week this week. I want to keep my mileage up, but also give my body time to recover after Sunday's half marathon. Also, I'm in Boston and New Hampshire from early early Wednesday until Monday for a wedding, so I needed to re-arrange run days to accommodate my travel schedule (ie. a 6 a.m. flight on Wednesday morning), and all-day wedding related funness on Saturday. I'm OK with doing this this week because I know I'll put in a significant amount of walking time in Boston Wednesday through Friday to keep my total mileage up.

    Recipe of the Week:
    During the week, the husband and I try to eat lean protein and vegetables, with a minimal amount of carbs and little-to-no processed food. Each week, I'll highlight a recipe that I made and enjoyed that meets that criteria.

    Vegetable Stir-Fry
    We eat A LOT of stir fry at my house. Why? It's easy, for one thing, but it's also a great way to really up the servings of vegetables AND help clear out that veggie drawer. When you cook for two, you're faced with a double-edged sword: having too many leftovers or having too many unused ingredients. I try to shop smart because there is NOTHING I hate more than throwing away wilted vegetables. So, we usually have stir fry at least once a week. I'm a sucker for chinese food - give me all the noodles and salt, please! - so this is a nice way to cut that craving, use up all my veggies AND control the salt and fat content of the sauce by making it myself.

    This week's stir-fry was a mish-mash of vegetable goodness: baby carrots, broccoli, snap peas, baby bella mushrooms, spinach, green bell pepper, onion and ... diced sweet potatoes as "protein". I also add an egg, because that's how I roll!

    Keels' Stir-Fry Sauce Recipe:
    This is what I prefer to do for a stir-fry sauce (instead of something prepared and purchased in a bottle. BUT! There ARE nice, healthy options for bottled sauce - just watch the salt and fat content). If you like potstickers, this also makes for a yummy potsticker sauce!
    1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
    2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon sesame oil
    1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce
    1/2 teaspoon ginger

    For the stir-fry itself, I start with 2-3 tablespoons of either coconut or grapeseed oil in a wok until it gets hot, on medium-high
    Add 2 tablespoons chopped garlic, and cook about 30 seconds.
    Add in 2 eggs, whisked (optional), and cook until scrambled.
    Begin adding vegetables, beginning with the densest (onions, bell peppers, carrots, broccoli) and cook 3-5 minutes until soft, stirring often to keep from burning.
    Add in second batch of vegetables (mushrooms, snap peas, spinach) and cook another 2 minutes.
    Add in sauce and toss through thoroughly.
    IF you're using sweet potatoes, I recommend slightly steaming them in the microwave after you chop them up but before you put them in the stir-fry. This will make them much easier to cook.
    Add sweet potatoes, reduce heat to medium and allow stir-fry to finish cooking for about 5 minutes until all vegetables are cooked through.

    I like my stir fry over brown rice!

    What's New?
    I've got roughly two weeks until my "Official Dopey Training Plan by Keels" kicks off, so I plan to spend this time building mileage and focusing on the mental aspect of this challenge. I have a definitive goal in mind for my August half marathon/Disneyland - it's a lofty one for sure, but one that is definitely reachable if I just set my mind to it - and one that will ultimately get me into the projected Dopey corral group I would like to be in. I would like to hit this mark in the August half marathon so that I can enjoy Disneyland, but we shall see. I have two shots scheduled right now, with a possibility for a third at hitting the PoT I want. I shaved 12 minutes off my half marathon time from April on Sunday, and it could have been even more except I dropped about four minutes during the last two miles because I tripped in a hole, nearly fell down and then got really flustered.

    What has helped immensely has been the speed work I've been doing (when I can get outside and run, of course!). It's not fun AT ALL, and most days I feel like I'm going to die afterwards. But it's been really helpful for me acclimating to the heat and humidity of a sweet Texas summer. I was worried I would struggle with breathing during the Jalapeno Half, and that was not a problem at all - and I credit that all to speed work.

    So, I think going forward, my short runs (ie. 3 mile runs), will largely be made up of speed work on the track down the street in units that add up to that distance, combined with an extra .50 mile warm up/cool down jog from my house to the track and back. The straightaway on my track is 400 meters, so that means roughly 12 sprint runs of that distance with about a :30 second breather in between.

    This Week's Motivation/Inspiration:
    Flashback to this past weekend's half: I'm closing in on mile 5 and the leaders of the half have already made the turn at mile 6.5 and are headed back to the start/finish line.

    The leader (and eventual winner) passes me at a blazing speed. Then a minute or so behind him comes the second guy. Then the third guy, but he does something I've never seen before from a pack-leader: he sticks out his hand to high-five me and yells that I'm "doing a great job". This is a guy who is going to win his age group and finish in the top 3 finishers of the entire half, and he's telling me that I'm doing great?

    It certainly gave me a little extra boost I needed at that point in my run.

    This Week's Question:
    What's your favorite post-race treat?


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 26, 2015
    I love that story about the guy giving you a high five!

    I don't have a lot to go off of for your question of the day. But I did enjoy the animal crackers meant for my daughter that I snuck to eat myself. That plus water.
  • girliea

    Jul 17, 2014
    Lessee ...

    I've got the Jalapeno Half Marathon this weekend, then I don't have another run until the middle of July. It's a 5K "Color Run" for the All-Star Game in Cincinnati, and I'm still not sure if I'm going to do that.

    After that, in August, I have the Hottest Half in Dallas and then the Brewstock Challenge (5K + 10K) here in Fort Worth.

    Then it's Disneyland in September, training only in October, Wine & Dine and Fort Worth Thanksgiving Day half in November and Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio full marathon in early December before Dopey in January.


    The Official Keels of RunDisney
    Feb 27, 2008
    Jalapeno Half Marathon: Highest of Highs, Lowest of Lows

    Goal: Finish and not get hurt

    Registering for this half marathon was questionable at best on my part. I hadn't really been able to run outdoors much, and after my performance during the super-hot Joe's Run 10K two weeks prior, I was pretty concerned. Add to that the fact that the day before the race was a big birthday party day for one of my closest girlfriends - that meant mani/pedi time (and wine), big dinner at a local gastro-pub (and more wine), concert by an up-and-coming superstar at a really intimate jazz venue (and more drinks). Oh, and on top of that - the whole crew wanted to ride bikes the entire day!

    I kept my day-before hydration in mind. And, luckily enough, after returning to our bikes after the concert (and before the rest of the crew planned to ride 4 miles home and then hit the pub by our house), one member of our group noticed his bike had a flat tire. I offered him my bike to ride home and then called myself an Uber. I was home, in bed and asleep by 11 - which turned out to be a very important accomplishment heading in to the run.

    The Run:

    The early-morning wake-up call came, and I was ready and out the door in about 20 minutes. It's a lot easier to get ready and leave for a race when it's just you, I've noticed. I don't drink coffee or really eat anything before I run. I try to drink 16 ounces of water and maybe shove some SportsBeans or something down my throat, but I really struggle with eating before I run AND eating right after I wake up.

    But the best thing to happen upon arrival at the start line? The weather! I was worried it was going to be surface of the sun hot again - but I still wanted to wear my Dopey shirt - so I had my hydration belt with four bottles, I wore the shortest pair of running shorts I have and no compression socks. Man, talk about overkill.

    The entire race the weather was in the 70s, with a "chilly" breeze blowing every so often at up to 15 mph. It was overcast. It was not humid until the last two miles or so.

    Sure, it rained on me for about 15 minutes at mile 7, but at that point, it was a very welcome rain.

    The ups of the race SURE weathered the downs, that for sure. I've mentioned it before, but I beat my previous best by 12 minutes - and that's even after I tripped in a hole, stumbled and nearly fell down. I took the last two miles pretty slow after that because the last thing I need now is an injury keeping me from ANY of the races and training I have planned.

    My Thoughts:

    I thought about posting this over on the 2016 Princess Marathon thread here on W.I.S.H., or even on one of the groups I belong to on Facebook for rD events. But after thinking it over, I figured it's best if I just put my thoughts out here, get it off my chest and out of my mind, close the book on the whole thing and move along.

    I am VERY proud of my fellow/future runDisney runners. The companionship I feel already amongst this group of people - from newbies to elites - is just one of those special things that you can only come across in certain situations. I'm also incredibly proud and (hopefully) supportive of my rD people who are taking leaps and training for things that are way out of their comfort zone, but they put their best foot forward every day to try to reach that goal - it's one of the things that I think makes rD so awesome and inspiring, and worthy of all the stress and associated cost it takes to be a part of these events.

    And I LOVE seeing fellow trainees at local races, wearing gear about training for certain rD milestones - they'll always get an extra high-five or thumbs up from me.

    But I'm sure what I experienced on Sunday is not limited to just rD trainees.

    Prior to the race, I saw a gal wearing a custom hot pink "2016 Princess in Training" top - it was super cute, with all the words in the shape of the castle and everything. She was fully decked out, just like she was ready to be running at Disney - custom top, sparkle head band, black Sparkle Athletic skirt, the works!

    I generally head towards the very back on races like this, because it takes me a while to get going. So, I didn't see her again until around mile 3.5 - she was working her race-walk thing and doing good. I gave her a thumbs-up as I passed and then kept on going my way.

    The course (like most of our races here on the trail) was an out-and-back with the turnaround point at roughly mile 6.5. There were hydration stops nearly every 1-1.5 miles (which was awesome!), but other than that, very few other volunteers along the course directing the root or anything else. Not like there needed to be, because it was a pretty basic out-and-back route.

    My mile times started speeding up around that point - and after looking back at my Garmin watch, miles 8, 9 and 10 were my fastest by nearly two minutes compared to my starting time, so obviously I was really in a groove.

    I round a bend heading towards the mile 10 marker ... and who do I come up right behind? The same walker in the hot pink shirt and the black sparkly skirt. My heart just sank - not because she was ahead of me, but because there was really only one logical way she could be ahead of me again at this point.

    But, running is about you - not everyone else, and I certainly wasn't going to be winning my age group that day - so I just settled back in and kept going.

    And then I tripped in a hole and nearly fell down. These two incidents are completely unrelated, obviously.

    I was enjoying my post-race beverage and doing some stretching when I saw her cross the finish line, about 10 minutes before the official close of the course.

    She got her medal and everything because, just like the rest of us, she paid $85 to run this race and she crossed the finish line.

    But I think it just makes me disheartened, or even sad, because really, in the end, she's just cheating herself when it comes to training. I guarantee you, every race I've done I've thought about how easy it would be to turn around and get that better PoT to get me into a better corral. But I don't. Because, it's not really the point of the race - or even the journey, is it?

    At the end of the day, the goal for each of us is to reach our final distance - be it 3 miles, 6 miles, 13 miles, 26 miles or even the combined 48 miles. To me, it shouldn't be about the t-shirt, or the costume you wear, or even the bling ... it should be about challenging yourself, going for something you have never done before and training to make that dream and achievement.

    I have a lot more thoughts about the whole thing, but it's probably better that I just end this here. I hope the lady can continue training to accomplish her goal, to complete the 13.1 miles under the 16:00/mm requirement. I wish her luck in her training and getting a PoT, but I just hope it comes honestly.

    Anyway. That's all from me for today! Off to run some errands before my trip (and hopefully get my legs to loosen up and bit in the process), before I hit the streets for a shorty run tonight!


    DIS Veteran
    Dec 28, 2009
    Oh, well, if you're going to make us actually think about the question, I'll amend my answer to include a nap. Naps are great at anytime, but after cleaning up from a race, there's something to be said for a nice cozy couch or bed to snooze on.


    Jul 17, 2014
    I am VERY proud of my fellow/future runDisney runners. The companionship I feel already amongst this group of people - from newbies to elites - is just one of those special things that you can only come across in certain situations. I'm also incredibly proud and (hopefully) supportive of my rD people who are taking leaps and training for things that are way out of their comfort zone, but they put their best foot forward every day to try to reach that goal - it's one of the things that I think makes rD so awesome and inspiring, and worthy of all the stress and associated cost it takes to be a part of these events.
    Wow...would you get out of my head Keels! I haven't made the jump or commitment to do a post like you have but there is not a day when I am in the gym or running that I don't think about all of you guys on these boards. You, John, Ariel, DisYoda, Neo, Roxymama, ZellyB...and so many others have touched me in ways I can't even express. And I have never met any of you!

    So when I am running or working out, I always try to smile or give an encouraging look to those around me also out there busting it....it just makes it so much better knowing that we are all in this together.

    Love your posts!!


    DIS Veteran
    Dec 27, 2011
    @Keels - that is INSANE. I just read an article about cheaters on RunnersWorld...like you, I'd be lying if I said it hadn't occurred to me to cut a race short, but I'd never ACTUALLY do it. Some people...

    @girliea - I'm going to be so bold as to assume that I'm the "Ariel" you mentioned above. You are very sweet! :)


    The Official Keels of RunDisney
    Feb 27, 2008
    @Keels - that is INSANE. I just read an article about cheaters on RunnersWorld...like you, I'd be lying if I said it hadn't occurred to me to cut a race short, but I'd never ACTUALLY do it. Some people...
    This is going to be my last bit on this topic and then I'm going to move on.

    I read a lot of blogs, magazines, websites, message boards, you name it on a daily basis about training. I talk to a lot of people, including close friends, about running Disney races. I know that what we view as positives - the experience and atmosphere, the characters, the costumes, etc., - may seem silly to others. There's a pretty large misconception that because it's a rD event means it's not for serious runners. I think the challenges that rD offers really help events look "legitimate" in non-rDers eyes.

    But then something like this happens, and it's VERY noticeable. And it just perpetuates the myth that running rD is more about wearing a costume and getting a medal than it is about the actual run itself.

    There were multiple members of the local group I run with that noticed this particular runner, so it's not that she was being inconspicuous either.

    Best we can guess, she cut about 5 miles off her half yesterday and still finished at a 15:44/mile, and in 3:44.

    There were two other rDers using that as a training run/PoT race yesterday and they rocked it, every last sequined-skirted mile. And I hate that this gal's performance really takes the shine off the other ladies' effort just because of what the goal they're trying to accomplish.

    Anyway. That's all I have to say on this. It made me sad to see it happen, and honestly, I hope the runner isn't a part of this group - because it would really make me sad.
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