Planning the Final Big Run before the Walt Disney World Marathon

Tomorrow is the day I’ve been dreading ever since I first came up with how on earth I was going to prepare to run in BOTH the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge at Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Marathon. On the training plan is 26 MILES! Yikes! What was I thinking? As the year has progressed, I’ve learned that running more than 20 miles in training for a full marathon is not a requirement to be prepared to run the full 26.2 miles. Many training plans take you up to 20 miles and no further. However, the Jeff Galloway plan for finishing in the upright position takes you up to 26 miles. So, tomorrow, December 21, 2013, I’ll be up really early and run an unofficial marathon.

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When I trained for the Dumbo Double Dare, I decided to take my 12.5 mile training run and make it a dress rehearsal for the Disneyland Half Marathon. You can read about that training run here. That training run course turned out to be a great idea. I ran over much of the same course I’d be running at the Disneyland Half Marathon. Of course, since I couldn’t just run through a theme park and backstage at the Disneyland Resort, I did make some alterations. However, going over those roads was awesome! So, as I thought about where on earth I would take my 26 mile training run, it was this experience that came to mind. Unlike that 12.5 mile run, I will not be covering any of the roads I’ll get to run at Walt Disney World. If only I had unlimited resources and unlimited sources of money, I’d take a flight to Florida and go run around the Walt Disney World Resort. Since I don’t have that, the Disneyland Resort and the streets of Anaheim and surrounding cities will have to do. Like my 12.5 mile run, I will go up this hill/overpass…

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I’ll make my way to the Honda Center

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I’ll go to the river trail and head towards Angel Stadium

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I’ll go back down Katella Avenue and pass by the back side of Disney California Adventure and the Anaheim Convention Center

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I’ll go past the Disneyland Resort area on Katella and find my way to Knott’s Berry Farm

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Then, I’ll head over to Medieval Times

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Eventually, I’ll make my way back to the Disneyland Resort…

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If all goes well, it will be an epic journey. Now, I know that there are some of you who are going to have your own really long training runs tomorrow and/or Sunday. However, if you’re not one of those people or would just like to follow along, I’m planning on live tweeting during the run. After all, this is supposed to be a dress rehearsal. I’ve heard from so many people that the best time to test out various race strategies is during those long runs. So, after following a friend of mine along on her and her husband’s first full marathon (The Honolulu Marathon), I thought it would be interesting to do what they did. They took pics along the race route (mostly mile markers) and posted them as they were on the route. So, here’s my plan for tomorrow. I’ll be tweeting around 1 picture every mile beginning around 6am PDT. Since I think my corral at the Walt Disney World Marathon will go around that time, I’m going to do my best to start my 26 mile training run at 6am out here on the West Coast. If I get to the end of 26 miles before noon and am feeling it, I might even add the 0.2 miles needed to make it a full marathon. Now, if you do choose to follow any portion of my 26 mile journey on Twitter, feel free to send along any encouraging tweets my way. Those tweets can be like the signs that we all see along the race courses. 26 miles is a long distance to cover by yourself. I know that anything you all would have to say as I’m on this journey will help. Please don’t be offended if I don’t respond to your tweet right away. Training and tweeting at the same time is a new experience for me. I will respond at some point.

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In addition to live tweeting my long run, I’ll also be tweeting from Disneyland/Disney California Adventure on Sunday (although not nearly as often). I am a little nervous about tomorrow’s long run. However, I realize that the main goal is simply to finish the entire distance. It would be great to finish in 5-6 hours. However, if it takes longer, that will be fine. I sort of expect the last few miles to be really hard and really slow. That’s the way my training has gone. I realize that the time I finish in tomorrow doesn’t mean that will be the time I finish in at Walt Disney World on January 12th. Each training run has taught me something and I expect tomorrow will be no different. It’s been a long journey to get to this point. The 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon will be here before I know it!


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