Dumbo Double Dare – There are more than a medals and PR

Dumbo Double Dare Challenge

Dumbo Double Dare Challenge

What in the world is Dumbo Double Dare, you might ask…

It’s a mini Goofy.  Ha.

Remember back in January when I did the Goofy Challenge?   Well Dumbo Double Dare is a similar challenge, but it’s a wee bit shorter distance.  10K and Half Marathon (13.1M), back to back in one weekend at Disneyland.

This was my fourth 10k and my seventh half-marathon since I started my running journey a little over 2 years ago, but this time I had a different goal.   No, not that I want to finish in a certain time or break any records.   My goal for this race, especially the half, involved another runner.  A very good friend of mine, Rebekah.   Rebekah never had run anything more than 5k before.  She completed a sprint triathlon a few years ago, but she’s not sure about the ‘running’ part.   She told me that it would be impossible for her to be able to complete half marathon.   Ha, I said.  Challenge accepted.

When I started my running journey, I remember saying the very same thing to my friend Karen.  In fact, I owe it to her to push me and build confidence in me that I could actually do this and now I want to pay it forward.   I started to talk Rebekah about a different approach to running, about the Galloway method and how that allows ordinary people, like me, to be able to complete an endurance race, such as a half marathon or even full marathon (or both and call it a Goofy.)   She was hesitant, but agreed to give it a try.

I never forgot our first training run.   We did 2-1 run/walk and by the time we were done, I asked her if she knew how far we ran.  She said.. maybe a mile or so?  I smiled and told her that we just did 5k and she was beside herself!   She didn’t hate it, she wasn’t struggling, she was… feeling okay the entire time!    I sent her a Galloway training plan and told her to follow it and promised that I would be there for her during training for questions and encouragement as well as run beside her through the entire half-marathon.   From start to finish.    She reluctantly agreed.    I registered her for the half, and we were all set.

That first 5k turned into 5 miles, then 7 miles then 9 miles and her longest run was 10 miles.    She struggled, but she kept going. She had a lot of doubt, but she kept on going.   It was an incredible joy for me to watch her progressing.    Oh, just to clarify, I’m not a coach in any means.   However, I am lucky to be part of Team In Training and have their wonderful coaches as well as Coach Tony at my disposal for questions and running tips/tricks and I relayed relevant information to her every chance I got.

Long story short, we did it!   I completed both a 10k and half marathon and Rebekah completed her first half marathon!   I was delighted and it turns out — there are more than the medals and personal records on this race.   The reward and satisfaction of knowing that you encouraged someone else and inspired them to make a posative change in their life and complete something that was once unthinkable — waaaaay more worth it than the medals or personal record.    I urge you to do the same.   Find someone that you can motivate, inspire, and encourage and help them achieve something that they thought impossible, even if it takes a dare….  I dare you to try!

Pay it forward.  It’s so rewarding.  You’ll see what I mean.

Disneyland 10k

Alice in the Wonderland (or french maid?)

Alice in the Wonderland (or french maid?)

The husband woke me up at 4am (what an awesome husband, he is).   I was cranky.   I have never been a morning person or morning runner, and to be up at 4am to run, definitely NOT my cup of tea.   A few of us agreed to meet at the lobby at 5:15am so I reluctantly moved my behind and get myself ready.    We walked to our corral and the first clue of trouble arose.     It was a warm 81 degrees outside according to my weather app.   It was humid as well.

Armando decided to pull back from his corral A and hung out with me.    I reminded him that I was waaaaaay slower than him and he gave me the ‘girlfriend, I’m running with you today — so shush‘ look.    Alright, I think.   Gun went off and before I knew it — our corral moved.   I started a bit slower but then I settled to my normal pace.   I decided to skip the first walk break, and second and third and finally decided to run the whole thing and not take a walk break at all.    It was so hot and humid, and I didn’t have my fuel belt with me since I was going to just rely on the water stop.  Big mistake.

First one was around mile 1, then there was none until mile 4.    That 3 miles in between water stops turned into a miserable run as I was very thirsty.   Lesson learned here — ALWAYS rely on your own hydration/fuel.    We ran through both parks and I actually really like the 10k course as we spent very little time on the road and mostly in both parks as well as downtown Disney (I got to see my girls who waited for me on the balcony of our room!).

I crossed the finish line feeling great even though I sweat so much from the heat.   My Garmin recorded 7.1 miles run with 11:25 pace (not sure why it’s a mile longer) but official time recorded me with 11:51 pace.   Oh well.

Awesome Armando and I.  And our bling!

Awesome Armando and I. And our bling!

Disneyland Half

Rapuzel.  Happy Rapunzel

Rapuzel. Happy Rapunzel

I was even crankier on this day.  The husband woke me up at THREE in the MORNING.   Gah!  I grumbled and mumbled but managed to get myself ready and met Rebekah, Karen and Armando at the lobby.   We walked to our corral and wowza, it was already warm and humid out.

RunDisney tweet said there were 17,800 runners for the half marathon, divvy up by 7 corrals.   It was so crowded and the corral was overflowing.   We waited around for 30 minutes and before we knew it — our corral was up.   Rebekah and I agreed to use 3-1 ratio and started SLOW.  We did really well and we stopped at every water station to take water and Powerade on every other station.   First hour went by quick, then the sun was up.   It was really, really hot and humid and that really put a damper on the experience.   Rebekah stopped and took pictures with a few characters and we hummed along, one mile at the time.   I was SO proud of her because she was doing really awesome.   We didn’t skip our run part (other than when we walked through the water stop) and kept our ratio throughout.   We even did some silly jump in front of photographer!



Mile 10 came around and Rebekah started to struggle.   Her longest run before this was 10 miles so I believe it played with her mind a lot, but she was such a trooper.   We chatted and listened to our respective music/audiobooks and I told her how much it meant to me to be able to run.   It’s a constant reminder to have gratitude for me, the ability to run and do endurance activities because there was time, not too long ago, that I could not do that even if I wanted it.   I cherished (well, okay — sometimes grumbled) every aches as a result of running and I never take it for granted.

Shortly after mile 13, a few hundreds yards to the finish — I heard someone called my name and there it was — the husband and my girls, as well as Rebekah’s husband and all three of her kiddos, cheering us from the side lines.   We held hands, raised it up in the air and cross the finish line together.

We did it.   I was so overwhelmed with emotions more than because I did it, but because she did it!    The joy on her face, the sense of accomplishment that she experienced showed loud and clear and that gave me the such a joy.    On top of that, the fact that I just completed my seventh half-marathon only a little over two years since I started running really overwhelmed me.

Despite the heat and humidity, the average of 10 miles a day of park hopping and walking that I did for 4 days in a row and a 10k race the day before — I completed another half-marathon with Rebekah!   It was such a success because my goal was to get her across the finish line with me, upright and smiling and I think the picture speak for itself!

Upright AND smiling!

Upright AND smiling!

What’s next

Well, I have Portland Marathon in 5 weeks (October 6), followed by San Francisco Nike Women Half Marathon (October 20) and end this year with Seattle Half Marathon (Dec 1).   I believe that’s what I have for the rest of the year (don’t hold me to it, I might sneak in a local race here and there if my coach lets me or just doesn’t notice and read this far in the blog…)


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