Disney, Disneyland Paris, Run Disney

Road to Run Disney 2018 – Part 4: I am a Dope

Hey everyone!

It’s been a while, and I have a lot to catch up on.  We’re now in the last straight before the Disneyland Paris run weekend – in fact in 3 weeks I’ll hopefully have finished the 36k challenge and my first Run Disney weekend.  Scary and exciting all at the same time, but overall I think its shaping up to be a really fun experience.

I’ll start off with the biggest news, something I teased a lot in the last few updates.  Yes, I’ve signed up to do the Dopey challenge at the Walt Disney World marathon weekend in January.  For those of you don’t know what the Dopey challenge is, it involves doing a 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon in consecutive days.  I’m sure your initial reaction is the same as mine would have been a few years ago.

This is also a question I’ve asked myself more than once since I signed up!  I had a few reasons for going for it though – I’ll already be well into a semi-intense training routine for the Paris weekend so marathon training will be a continuation of that, I’m at a point in my life where doing these weekends is possible without too much disruption to my regular life, and I want all of the bling.  The focus of these blogs is still going to be on the Paris weekend until that is over but I’ve decided to rename the series “Road to Run Disney” as it’ll now go all the way through the Dopey challenge in January.

Signing up for this massive challenge made me realise that I needed to get a new structured and focused training plan.  I had a look online and found one that had a half marathon pencilled in for the Paris weekend and finished around the time of the Walt Disney World marathon weekend.  As I write this I’ve finished up to the end of week 4 of the plan.  Below you can see the different runs I’ve done with the mileage, time and for each week a few other metrics that show how I’m progressing:

There’s a couple of things to note.  I am actually supposed to do 4 runs every week, but unfortunately life gets in the way sometimes and its just not possible.  I try to compensate with slightly longer runs elsewhere to get as close to the weekly mileage target as possible.  As you can see the mileage has gone up every week – from 15 miles in week 1 to just over 21 miles this week.  As that has happened though the average pace has gone down – that makes sense though, there’s no way I can do 6 miles and 12 miles at the same pace right now.  The most important thing for me at the moment is pushing on with increasing the distances and I’m happy that I’m doing that.

Some highlights from the last month:

RunThrough Chase the Sun Victoria Park – 10k

My 10k personal best at the MENCAP race in Greenwich didn’t last long.  I did this one in 56 minutes and 45 seconds which remains my best 10k time.  If you’re looking to get a new PB this is a good and flat, albeit slightly boring and repetitive, course!

RunThrough Chase the Sun Hyde Park – 5k

At this one I decided to follow my plan and just do the midweek 5k, rather than pushing myself for the 10k.  At the time I set a new best outdoor 5k time of 25 minutes and 15 seconds – I’d previously done a 24:58 on the treadmill at the gym.  These were both beaten the next week though when I pushed myself and managed a 24.55 on a random midweek 5k!

RunThrough VeloPark – 10 miles

This is my longest non-stop course run, and is currently the one I’m most proud of.  I was nervous about a few things before this race – the general distance and the potential repetitiveness of 10 identical laps being the main ones.  Shockingly I actually found this race to be pretty ok – the course wasn’t too punishing, the weather was nice and I managed to keep a nice even pace.  Extrapolating that time out would give me a half marathon time of around 2 hours.  If I felt as good as I did that day I really feel like I could come in under the 2 hour mark.

Side note, I enjoy the journey my hair is going on through these pictures.  Had a haircut before this last one though – combo breaker!

RunThrough Brixton 10k

This one actually happened today and calling it a 10k is a little misleading.  My training plan called for a 12 mile run on this day, so I ran the 6 miles from my house to the event village and then another 6 miles on the race.  My final time was a bit slower overall than I was hoping for, mostly due to the stop start nature of the run there (some really busy junctions between my house and Brixton which means a lot of slowing down and getting going again), the really hilly 10k course and just covering more distance then I have before.  I found this a bit of a struggle, particularly towards the end, but I got over the finishing line and I’m incredibly happy I did!

That pretty much covers all the major things that have happened since my last update.  I expect my training to be pretty boring between now and the Paris run weekend so this may be my last post before then.  Thank you for reading as always and I look forward to blogging all my adventures in a few weeks time!

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