Transitioning the Focus to Walt Disney World Marathon

Last week was a week of transition. For the previous 18 weeks, I was focused on a plan to get ready for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend and Dumbo Double Dare. Once that was finished, I entered into a week of transitioning my focus. It was a week filled with reading and writing recaps of the Disneyland races. The Team Run Disney Facebook group I’m apart of has provided me with enough reading material and photos to keep the Disney magic flowing all week-long. One of the members, Marc Acosta, asked members to send some of our pictures from the weekend and put together the following video from those pictures.

If that video doesn’t inspire you to participate in a runDisney race, I don’t know what will.

You would think with all that Disney magic flowing all week-long, I wouldn’t miss a single workout. Right? Well, I missed two gym workouts, but made all of the run workouts. The heat wave in Southern California has continued on past the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend right into the start of fall. It was so hot outside, that I decided to run only 3.1 miles on Tuesday (instead of 4). Then, on Thursday, it was even hotter. So, I took my run to the gym and did my run/walk intervals on the treadmill for 4 miles. I was really proud of that treadmill run because I increased the speed on the treadmill for the first time in a while. Truth be told, I haven’t run on a treadmill since March or April. Back then, I found a happy pace for both my run and walk intervals. However, on Thursday, those speeds just felt too slow. So, I upped the speed for the last two miles of my time on the treadmill and felt amazing afterwards! Too bad I didn’t increase the speed earlier.


In spite of those training runs, my mind was still reminiscing about Disneyland. So, even though, I was going through week 1 of my training for the Walt Disney World Marathon, my mind just wasn’t into it. The transition did start as I got two planning logistics out-of-the-way over the week. First up, on Wednesday, I booked my airplane ticket for Orlando! I’m pleased to say that I will be flying on Virgin America Airlines nonstop from LAX to Orlando on January 7th and returning January 14th! I’ve been waiting to book these tickets since I registered with runDisney for the marathon.


When I decided to sign up, I had to first come up with a budget for the trip to see if it was at all doable. After all, if there was no way I could think up that my wife and I could come up with the money to get out to Orlando, all the training in the world wouldn’t get me out there to run the race. As I researched airfare, I came across Virgin America and saw that their prices were comparable to other airlines. As I read more about them, I got really excited over the possibility of trying out a new airline. Check out what flying Virgin America offers on their website, here. I loved the WiFi offered, that there are plugs in the seat to keep your electronics charged and the entertainment options! As I read the reviews for the airline by others who have flown with them, I was sold. Now, I just had to wait for them to open up flights for when we wanted to fly. As the months went by, I was growing weary of waiting for the regular coach ticket price to open up. In July, they began selling their first class and refundable coach tickets…way too pricey for this legal secretary. A co-worker suggested that I sign up with Airfare Watchdog earlier this summer. That was great advice! When I got their email on Wednesday, I saw Virgin America and clicked on the link. Sure enough, they had finally opened up the pricing I had been waiting for!


Feeling good about getting the airline ticket purchased, I finally called to finalize my WDW resort reservation. Right after signing up for the Walt Disney World Marathon, I called the Disney Cast Member phone number to ask about reservations. Initially, I was bummed to find out that they didn’t offer a cast member rate for the Art of Animation Resort’s regular rooms (the Little Mermaid section) and only offered it for the suites (every other section). After some discussion with the very helpful agent, we set up my wife and I up for a stay in the All Star Movies Resort. Back then, they hadn’t opened up 2014 pricing. So, I put down a deposit based on what the room was going for in 2013 and was told to call back when they opened up 2014 Cast Member pricing. The agent thought this would be around July. At the beginning of July, I didn’t see cast member rates up for 2014. By the end of July, when I finally saw them, I was also getting ready for a trip with my wife to San Francisco. Life got busier since then. So, I just didn’t get around to it. Well, inspired to get the logistics taken care of with my airline ticket, I decided to take care of the resort reservation as well on Thursday. So, I placed a call to get my reservation changed to a cast member rate last Thursday and was told that they didn’t have that rate available for the All Star Movies. So, we looked into my options. The best option was to change the reservation to the All Star Sports. Yay! I now have that reservation set in stone and know what my remaining balance is for the room we will stay in.


With all of that planning, it still wasn’t until Sunday that I felt like I had finally begun my training for the Walt Disney World Marathon officially. Saturday was another missed workout, but with good reason. My wife and I are certified to adopt. In order to maintain that certification, we have to do a certain amount of training hours. Saturday was 6 hours of training. Don’t get me wrong, we learned some awesome stuff. It was just that the 6 hours was draining. So, working out at the gym, like planned, didn’t happen. I mention this because the feelings from Saturday carried over on Sunday morning. I really didn’t want to get out of bed at 6am to go run 11 miles. When the alarm went off, I dragged myself out of bed and started getting ready. However, I really didn’t want to do it. After eating something, I was still convinced that I was just going to have to miss this run. I was tired and not ready. As I sat on the couch deliberating on this, I eventually decided that I just had to get out there and try. The idea that I was going to have to be ready to run 26.2 miles by January was what got me out the door.

Ready to start my 11 mile run!
Ready to start my 11 mile run!

As I was planning my long runs, I knew that I was going back to Santa Monica Beach for this 11 mile run. After all, this is where I did my 11 mile training run for the Disneyland Half Marathon. Plus, it’s hotter than blazes in Southern California. So, I needed to be in the coolest spot possible…the beach. As I drove to Santa Monica, I told myself to just do the best I could. My 11 miles at Santa Monica previously, was a pretty good training run (that I blogged about here.). If I didn’t do as well, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I just needed to try. I’m so glad that I did! My run on Sunday was one of the best feeling runs I’ve ever done! Not only did I set a new 10K PR and finish nearly 5 minutes quicker, but I felt strong in doing so!


Here’s how my week looked:

Monday – Much needed rest day after finishing the Dumbo Double Dare

Tuesday – Ran 3.10 miles

Wednesday – unplanned day off

Thursday – Ran 4 miles on the treadmill

Friday – Rest Day

Saturday – unplanned rest day

Sunday – Ran 11 glorious miles at Santa Monica Beach!

While I’m sure that the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend race recaps will continue through this week from others (and I will continue to read and be inspired by them), my focus is now on the Walt Disney World Marathon January 12, 2014. Week 1 in preparing for that race is in the books. Bring on week 2!

3 thoughts on “Transitioning the Focus to Walt Disney World Marathon

  1. It’s always nice to finish one races and go right into training for another. Surely helps cure those post-race blues. Not sure if you’ve stayed at All Star Sports before, but my advice would be to try to get a room away from the pool. Lots of groups of kids in January and it makes for some noisy nights.

    1. Thank you for the advice! I’ve only been to Walt Disney World twice. The first time, I stayed off property. Then, on my honeymoon, my wife and I stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside and the Caribbean Beach Resort. My wife wanted to do something different this time. So, we’re at an All Star Resort. We have a “preferred” room at the All Star Sports. Not sure what that means. However, I just went with where I could get my Disney Cast Member discount.

      In planning this trip, I will need all the advice I can get. I’ve never done a true “race-cation” before. This is different from planning the honeymoon.

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