Where I Stay For WDW Marathon Weekend and Why!

This one is from that time I ran the marathon and the next day participated in the American Idol Experience and one my round and made it to finals. I say this because I bring it up whenever possible.

I was trying to add up how many Run Disney Walt Disney World Marathon Weekends I’ve participated in and I THINK it’s 6. I’ve missed the last two and have felt serious FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). So much so, that just today I pulled the trigger on my early entry option through Disney Vacation Club and signed up for next year’s race!

With regular registration next week, and Disney hotels getting booked earlier then ever for this kind of thing, I thought I might discuss where I like to stay for Marathon Weekend and WHY! Keep in mind, you’ll want to make sure your hotel is a “host” hotel (Disney will have a list) although for marathon weekend I’m fairly sure they all are. That means you’ll have guaranteed free transportation to the Expo and to all the race weekend events right from your hotel!

I have 3 faves and I’ll start with my 3rd favorite and work down from there.

3. Old Key West

Transportation here is not the best ¬†UNLESS you’re in a “Near Hospitality House” villa which is what we always get (it’s an actual DVC category – doesn’t cost more points but you do specify if that’s what you want). The villas are HUGE and there are always tons of runners staying there. Also love that I have a kitchen (1 bedroom or larger) or at least a kitchenette (studio) because I like to have some of my own food for marathon weekend. The down side? It can take FREAKING FOREVER to get back there after the race. Although that can be true for all locations (except my Number 1)

2. Port Orleans, French Quarter

Small, happy, economical (by Disney standard;) and BEIGNETS. I stayed here a couple years ago and fell in love with it. The grounds are awesome, the food court is VERY good, and the small size means you’re not putting 2 – 3 EXTRA miles on your already marathon (see what I did there) day just getting to your room. Love. If I’m not staying on points, this is where you’ll find me.

  1. Boardwalk!!!!!!!

    Scott was running the full and I was cheering for him. That’s the Boardwalk Villas Pool building on my left and the marathon course on my right. You’re literally RIGHT THERE.

If you’re cheering for the full (which I will be doing this year) this place is THE BOMB as you can literally walk out the door to your room and find a perfect place to cheer (the full goes right along the canal that borders BW). Also, when running the half or the full, you can walk back to your room from the finish line at Epcot (assuming you have park admission) so no waiting forever for a bus. I actually like taking a recovery walk after running so this doesn’t bother me (be prepared for the walk to be leisurely as the race will most likely still be going on). I also love it here because Epcot is my FAVORITE place to recover and to visit so the short walk there is DREAMY.

I’ve never stayed off property for marathon weekend and I don’t think I would want to. There are just so many people and crowds and traffic stress me out. I want my stress to be about my race, NOT about getting to and from everything.

I hope I’ll see you there! It really is my FAVORITE Run Disney weekend!

Running and Burnout At The End of A Training Cycle

On the Facebook page yesterday, I asked what I should write about this weekend. I wanted it to be running related, but wasn’t sure what direction to go. Laura (hi, Laura!) asked if I would write about burnout at the end of a long training cycle. Since I get this EVERY TIME I train for a race, seemed appropriate!

Last year’s #RunDisney Star Wars Half, The Dark Side. I’m training for this year’s race right now!

For those of you new to training for races, the buildup is gradual and in the beginning, can feel pretty doable. Your mileage creeps up slowly (or at least it SHOULD if you’re following a quality plan) and you get stronger and your body will respond appropriately.

But somewhere around 3/4 of the way there, it suddenly gets impossibly hard. It’s the same thing that happens when I do speed work (not often enough) where the first 2, 400 repeats are easy, the last one is fun, and the third on is A LIVING HELL OF TORTURE ON EARTH.

This is what happens for me typically around the 8-9 mile run for a half marathon, and at the 17-18 mile run for a full marathon.

I just don’t WANT TO any more.

I don’t want to run, I don’t want to talk about running, I don’t want to put on running clothes or listen to running podcasts or read running blog posts.

In fact, around this time I often think I should become a swimmer instead. Or maybe a competitive chess player.

It’s NORMAL and I have some ways you can overcome it. These will be deep and profound, as are all of my tips. I kid.

  • Consider a week off – I know, it’s crazy, but unless you’ve been sick or had some other serious set back, missing one long run will actually not RUIN your race, and if you’re feeling really burned out it might help you (because you may actually be over-training a tad). And as my friends from the Another Mother Runner podcast are fond of saying, you’re better showing up under-trained than over-trained come race day. Under training may make you slower than you wanted, but over-training can lead to serious injury and that old side effect, I NEVER WANT TO RUN AGAIN.
  • Mix it up. If you normally run alone, run with a group. If you normally run with a group, run alone. If you listen to music, spend some time in silence. If you listen to podcasts, listen to music.¬†The change of scenery or pace or entertainment or company will make it feel different then all the other runs. Variety, as they say, is the spice of long runs;).
  • Consider running a local race that’s close to the mileage you need to cover. So maybe a 15K or, if you’re training for a full, a half marathon. Do NOT really “race”, though, or you might get hurt. But running the same mileage but with other people and cheering spectators and water stops can be really fun! Especially if the t-shirt is cool and they have bling.
  • Consider a two a day if you’re feeling REALLY burned out. If you have 10 miles on the schedule, you actually can run 5 in the morning and 5 at night and get the same benefit. You’ll be able to put a check in that box and still be on track for your training.
  • Remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Remembering how difficult that first 5 miler was can go a LONG WAY towards getting you through your 9 miler. Since I started running late in life, I always stop and remind myself how hard it was the first time I ran ONE MILE. It was hard. Really hard. That memory always puts a smile on my face and gets me through the mileage!

Training for a distance race is HARD. If it wasn’t, we would call it Watching 4 Episodes in a row of The Crown. You are doing something worthwhile and I am very proud of you. And I’m proud of me – I’m up for 8 miles today and really need to get my act together and get out on that trail. Because those miles aren’t going to run themselves.

Happy Running!