Week 14 of WDW Marathon Training, We have a Problem

So, training for the Walt Disney World Marathon was going pretty well. Then, the holiday season began…

This past week was a complete disaster as far as training goes. I only got 1 run in for the week. That’s right…only ONE. So, Houston, we have a problem indeed. It’s called the Holiday Season. I completely overscheduled myself this past week and my training for the Walt Disney World Marathon took a hit….big time. So, like a newbie runner, I need to take this as a learning lesson and never let it happen again. I feel like I need to find that balance between feeling just awful that I let this happen and realizing that it’s a new week and I can totally make up for this missed week. If I don’t let myself be bummed about letting this kind of week happen, I don’t think I’ll learn. If I get too down on myself, it could start a chain reaction of missed workouts/runs. So, I need a little of both. I need to remember how it feels to have missed this week, learn from it, and take steps to not let this happen again. I am still training for a marathon. That’s 26.2 miles and I have every intention of finishing. So, why did I have a week of missed opportunities?


It started with Candlelight. Well, not really. Monday was a planned rest day. I used that evening to create a Christmas running playlist (which I have yet to actually get on my phone to use). Tuesday, I ended up running 6 miles on the treadmill! I went to the gym for two reasons…it was cold outside and there was a hint of rain on my way home from work. So, since I don’t have rain gear, I headed to the gym. It was different running on the treadmill and I almost felt bad about taking up over an hour on the treadmill. However, since there was always at least 1 treadmill open, I kept going. The part I didn’t enjoy was having to restart the treadmill after an hour because it wouldn’t let me go longer than 1 hour at a time. Oh well. I was feeling pretty good about myself for making it.

Then, Wednesday hit. I felt exhausted after work. Then, the excuses started. I probably could have battled through it and made it to the scheduled gym workout. However, I thought, at least I still can make all 3 of my runs. So, it was okay to take the gym workout off…bad decision number 1. Thursday, I knew I wasn’t going to run or go to the gym. My Thursday started off at work. Then, I had to take a 2 hour car ride down to Disneyland for the Candlelight Processional dress rehearsal. Yes, 2 hours from Burbank to Anaheim. Talk about not fun. The dress rehearsal was fun, as it always is. After all, it’s just the Disney Cast Choir, a full orchestra, 8 herald trumpeters, the hand bell choir, and the voice of Disneyland narrating. The dress rehearsal was a lot of hurry up and wait. I arrived just after 7pm and just missed the cutoff to get into the park before they shut off backstage for the fireworks. Darn! That meant the only thing I’d eat between lunch and midnight was a granola bar and a drink. Call time was 8pm behind the Lincoln Theatre on Main Street U.S.A. So, once the fireworks were over, I had to make my way as quickly as possible from Toontown to Main Street with guests still in the park. Everything worked out okay. I got checked in, then the wait came. We’d eventually line up show by show and practice getting on and off the tree. After the second show Sunday was on the tree, the rest of the choir filled in as much as we could of the risers. Shortly after 11pm, the dress rehearsal started. I love this rehearsal because we can really enjoy everything Candlelight is. We can turn and look up at the herald trumpeters on top of the train station. We can gaze down Main Street all lit up for the holidays. My favorite moment of the night was during Silent Night. The way the lights were on the Castle seemed perfectly in synch with the song. It was breathtaking! It was a great rehearsal and so much fun (even in the cold)! We were finished a little after midnight. Then, we walked back to the cars. I love this walk. We’re in the park without guests. Every year, I have to get this picture…


It’s a Small World Holiday without any guests in front! Of course, I had to try a selfie.


Fun times! One more from a different angle…


What can I say? It’s Disney magic at its best. I got back to my car around 12:30am Friday morning and headed to Denny’s for dinner. I guess that wasn’t the best decision as it really turned out to throw me off. I arrived home at around 2am Friday morning and slept until a little after 9am. On the agenda for Friday (a day I took off from work) was to see Thor: The Dark World, finish laundry, practice my trumpet for my Sunday orchestra gig, and squeeze a 6 mile run into the schedule. Well, I got all but the run. In retrospect, I should have just cancelled seeing Thor. However, attending a showing of this movie has become a real quest for me. I’ve had 2 failed attempts in the past to see it. Also, if I didn’t see it on Friday, I would not have been able to see it at all in the theatres. Priorities are not always fun to sort out. The marathon training should have reigned in this situation. Hindsight is always 20/20. When I scheduled my Friday, I thought there would be time for everything on this list. However, by 7pm, I had just finished dinner and still needed to practice my trumpet for the orchestra gig. After all, I had a dress rehearsal at 9am Saturday. Yikes. So, I chose to practice rather than run.


Saturday morning started off with a dress rehearsal in Long Beach for the Christmas concert I’d be playing in the orchestra for on Sunday evening. The rehearsal went from 9am – just after noon. Then, it was off to lunch. I had enough time to enjoy a relaxing lunch before heading off to Disneyland for our 2:30pm call time. The rehearsal at Disneyland started promptly at 3pm and lasted until around 4:30. Then, because I wasn’t in the first show of the Candlelight Processional, I got to have some dinner at the Plaza Inn on Main Street and watch the first show!


I know it’s a little blurry, but here is the stage just before everything began from where I watched. Before I knew it, the time had come for the processional!


I’ll do a more thorough review of the Candlelight Processional later this week. For now, let’s just say, I had fun watching the 5:30 show! It’s cool to get the audience perspective to remember what I’ve been working so hard towards. The choir sounded fantastic! At times, it sounded like a recording! Blair Underwood was a fantastic narrator! I had no expectations for how he’d do and he blew me away with how good he did! I watched almost the entire show. During the Hallelujah Chorus, I took off backstage to wait for the person whose spot I’d be singing in for the second show. As for the show I sang in…I thought it went really well. For my part, it was the best I’ve felt during any Candlelight performance I’ve done! Last year, I finally broke through the mental barrier of worrying about passing out on the risers. I don’t know why it took me so long. However, ever since, I’ve really just enjoyed my part in this wonderful show! Saturday night was no exception.


After my performance, I got to go play in Disneyland. Since my wife and I are planning on seeing the World of Color: Winter Dreams when we go to Disneyland on December 22nd, I decided to go do things I won’t get to do that night. So, I saw the fireworks and went on It’s A Small World. By the way, if you ever have the chance, watching the fireworks from around It’s A Small World is AMAZING! Fireworks are shot off from being Toontown and also somewhere by the castle. So, at times you had fireworks being shot off from all around you! Totally fun!

IMG_20131207_214820_966 IMG_20131207_215030_281 IMG_20131207_215617_214 IMG_20131207_215630_916 IMG_20131207_215657_923 IMG_20131207_215729_365 IMG_20131207_215832_715 IMG_20131207_215914_521 IMG_20131207_215944_933

Of course, there’s also the obligatory castle pictures…


First, the selfie and then these two came out really great…


From the side…


Then, in front. A little later, I got this shot with the Partners statue…


Since we won’t be seeing Fantasmic on December 22nd, I took in the 10:30pm show. If you ever go to see Fantasmic at Disneyland, you absolutely should see the second show of the night. The crowds are lighter. So, you get better seating. Here are a couple of pics that turned out okay.


One thing that makes the Disneyland version of Fantasmic better than the Disney’s Hollywood Studios version…the Peter Pan scene!


Peter dueling it out with Captain Hook.


Beauty and the Beast…


Snow White and her Prince. Sorry about the polls and speaker. I wish I had a better picture of them.


Another reason the Disneyland version is better? We have the cooler dragon.


Also, the Mark Twain trumps the river boat they have at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.


After a fun night, I saw Mickey on my way out. So, even though it was after 11pm, I had to stop and wait my turn in line. It was a great way to end this very fun, but long, day!

By Sunday morning, I was completely wiped out. I didn’t arrive home until just after midnight from Candlelight. So, another late night really threw me off. I had planned on running 6 miles Sunday morning. However, I was just too tired and my wife and I still had to go grocery shopping for the week. Also, I had to leave around 1:30pm for my concerts that night. So, there was not a lot of time for me to do anything on Sunday. I had a 2:30 call time for the concerts I’d be involved with Sunday evening. 2 concerts with a dinner in between later, I found myself at home around 10pm. Exhausting weekend for sure.

Lessons learned…

  1. When you have the time to do a workout and schedule to have one, make every effort to keep them. You may think that every other day you have scheduled will work for you. However, they might not. So, take advantage of the time you do have when you have it.
  2. I really need to think about my schedule for the rest of the year and make the marathon training a priority. Since it’s unlikely that I’ll be running at the Walt Disney World Marathon every year (mostly do to cost), it’s okay to miss some things this holiday season. I can always get to them next year.
  3. Building new habits are hard. I’ve worked so hard this year to build them. However, the holiday season is an entirely new beast.

With this first crazy week of the Christmas season out-of-the-way, it’s time to put it behind me and focus on the new week. Much like last week, there is plenty to keep me busy. I’m attending a screening of Saving Mr. Banks this Wednesday (love the perks of working at Disney). Then, on Saturday, the wife and I are planning on heading over to Universal Studios to check out their Grinchmas celebration. So it should be a fun week. Speaking of Saving Mr. Banks…they are having the Premiere of the movie on the Studio Lot tonight. I snapped a few pics of the red carpet and me on the red carpet that I’ll post this Thursday when I give a brief review of the film. Since I’m not sure about what I can and cannot post the day of the Premiere, I’ll save those pictures. One thing I love about working at the Studio is you never know what you’ll see at work on any given day.

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