What’s a “Challenge?”
First off, a “challenge” is a series of races, usually completed back-to-back. I am mostly familiar with the runDisney challenges, twice completing the Glass Slipper Challenge during Princess Half Marathon Weekend. That’s a 10K (6.1 miles) the first day and a 13.1 miler the next.
I admit, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be capable of doing a challenge. But, with a little pre-planning, some hard work, and a sprinkle of pixie dust (for real), I did it! And you can, too! Here are some tips to get you there.
This first tip does not involve running. It involves saving. As in your hard earned cash. These races ain’t cheap. The Glass Slipper Challenge will put you back about $300. And that is just for the races. I would love to run more runsDisney races, but due to budget and vacation time restraints, I choose my races wisely. Registration for this race is normally in June or July. I finally have the Christmas bills paid off, so it works for me. As DVC members, our accommodations are not an issue. If you are not DVC, you can usually find a good deal on resort and park ticket packages from authorized Disney travel agents. Some even have special race packages that include the registration.
Here’s a special tip that will help you save for any trip to Disney. I purchase a small Disney gift card from Kroger every pay day. I can’t spend it anywhere else. And I get fuel points (bonus!). Let’s do the math. If I buy $50 in gift cards a month, for, say nine months, I have $450 to spend at the World!
This is easier said than done. True confession: I often find myself feeling as though I haven’t trained enough for the Glass Slipper Challenge. I usually stress the week before, often thinking “What am I doing?!” I try to start seriously training in late December. And it helps that my training group for the Country Music Half Marathon begins the first Saturday in January. I have found that if I can build up to at least a 10 mile run before a half marathon, I am usually good-to-go. A training tip that I follow for the GSC: beginning in January, I run both weekend days. I usually do a long run on Saturday with my training group (depending on the mileage that week) and a shorter run on Sunday. Either way, my body gets used to running both days. Makes the PHM weekend easier.
My final tip is to ENJOY yourself during the big race weekend. You are at Walt Disney World, after all. I have only traveled with my sister and sister-in-law for the PHM weekend. In other words: no kids! So we avoid the parks, which is a good thing. We do get some walking in at the expo and Downtown Disney, but most of the weekend is spent in the pool and hot tub. And eating and drinking! (Beer is a carb, right?!) Seriously, I usually hop between the cooler pool and the hot tub after both races. The combination of cool and hot water helps my legs recover faster.
So that’s it. I love Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is pretty special, too. One day, I hope to do the Coast to Coast Challenge (completing two major runDisney races on both coasts) and complete the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.
Have you participated in a runDisney race? Have you conquered a challenge? Do you want to someday? Let me know in the comments below.