Marathon Recovery and Upcoming Races

Hey, all! Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. :)

So now that I’ve survived marathon #2, I thought I’d drop in and share some post-marathon recovery updates with you and fill you in on my upcoming races for 2014 — and ask for opinions on some other half/full marathons I’m considering for this year!

I know it’s already the end of March, but I feel like I’m just now getting a chance to breathe and think about my future running-related plans…thus far, my life in 2014 has been completely absorbed in running my first marathon as part of the Dopey Challenge, and then taking on the Glass Slipper Challenge, and then my drama-filled training for the Rock N’ Roll USA Marathon, and now I feel like I can finally relax a little bit and start running FOR FUN again. And, of course, that means starting to finalize my race calendar for the rest of this year.


In two weeks, Todd and I will be running the April Fools Half Marathon in Atlantic City. I love the beach, and I know it won’t be quite warm enough to lounge around on the sand in swimsuits just yet (and with the way temperatures have been here, it could be 20 degrees that day for all I know), but I’m definitely looking forward to a weekend trip down the shore and running (and playing) in AC!


We’ll then be running the Unite Half Marathon at Rutgers University. Todd actually went to Rutgers, so I know he’s especially excited for this race and to show me around the campus afterwards.

Then we’ll be taking on the Superhero Half Marathon in Morristown in May. I ran the race last year, but it was a disgusting, miserable rainy day and the course was a KILLER — a double loop with an insane hill. But this year they’ve apparently changed the course completely, so I’m hoping for a better experience this time around. Especially since I’ll have my partner-in-crime to run it with this year, and you know I just want any excuse to wear matching costumes… :)


I know that’s a lot of races to run in such a short period of time, so I’m not going into any of these with big hopes for a PR. Bottom line: these are “for fun” races, and I’m going to enjoy the experience and have a good time and, hopefully, reignite my passion for running again. Truth be told, I’m still TIRED, and I’m definitely still feeling a little burnt out. It seems to be getting better now that the weight of running my second marathon is no longer on my shoulders, and I’m now 99.9% sure that was the cause of all my anxiety and the drama and the reason I was struggling so much to get back into the swing of things after Dopey.

There is a part of me that is disappointed that my half marathon PR is STILL from a race that happened a year ago, and that I didn’t end up running “for time” at either of the marathons I ran this year, but I know it’s probably to be expected that I can’t always perform the way I want to when I’m running half marathons every five minutes and completing back-to-back race “challenges” constantly and not giving my legs and my body any time to recover.

I’m definitely not back to a point where I’m looking forward to going for a run, and I know I need a bit more recovery time. Todd and I attempted 3 miles this weekend — our first run since the marathon last weekend — and let’s just say that it turned into more of a leisurely afternoon stroll than anything else. I’m giving myself a training plan break and just taking it one day at a time, and if I want to run, then I will…and if I don’t, then I’ll do something else. I’m making a concentrated effort to make it to either Thai Kickboxing or Taekwondo at least 3-4 times a week, and I’m going to start sparring — it took me forever, but I finally bought all my gear. And if the weather ever warms up, I look forward to doing some cycling again.

Over the summer, I’m going to scale my running quite a bit. I know I’ll need to train for my next big destination race — our trip to California for Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend (I’m doing the Dumbo Double Dare, and Todd is running the half) — but since I always run Disney races for fun, and I’ve already conquered this particular challenge, I’m not looking to put in any hardcore training for this one. I HATE running in the summer, so I’ll get my long runs in and a shorter weekly run or two, and just focus on having fun and taking another trip to Disneyland.


I’ll also do some other local 5Ks and shorter races in the late spring and summer, like the Westfield Pizza 5K and Firecracker 4-Miler that I do every year, but no other major races are on the schedule!


As far as fall races, I’m happy to announce that I officially signed up for the runDisney Tower of Terror 10-Miler (shortly before it sold out) which I will be running with…my sister!


Photo credit: runDisney

Mind you, I know that a large part of the reason that she agreed to run this race with me is because I promised her that we could take a detour to see the new goings-on at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal, but I’m still excited that she has officially agreed to take on yet another big race. I’m still hoping she ends up being bitten by the running bug. :)


Also in October, Todd and I plan to run the Hershey Half Marathon. I wanted to run it last year but waited too long and it ended up selling out. I love Hersheypark (‘cuz, um, I really like chocolate…) so I know this will be a blast!


As far as committing to any fall marathons, the jury is still out. I entered my name into the lottery for the New York City Marathon on the first day it opened back in December, and we’re supposed to hear back with the drawing results this Wednesday. I know the chances of me getting in are slim to nil, but I’d do ANYTHING to run this race and would be over-the-moon excited if by some chance I’m selected.

Honestly, I can’t seem to set my heart on running any other fall marathon at the moment. Now that I know just what a physical and mental toll the marathon training process took on me, when I DO train for another marathon, I feel strongly that it should be a race that I really want to do.

Todd is considering running the Philadelphia Marathon in November — although I know he is also not quite ready mentally to sign on for another 26.2, haha — but I’m not 100 percent sure I’d want to run that particular race. I’d really like to sign up for a marathon and train my butt off and run it for time, so it’s just a matter of finding the right race for me.

But, most importantly, the last and biggest piece of news is that we are also both strongly considering returning to The World to run the WDW Marathon — TOGETHER — in 2015! That is, of course, also a “for fun” race, so while I hesitate to make the mistake of signing up for two marathons so close together again, the fact that it would be a Disney race would mean that I could, theoretically, take on another 26.2 in the fall and then look forward to running Disney again without the pressure of any time goals in January. There are no words to describe how much I would love running this race together, so, if all goes well then I’ll be back for Marathon Weekend next year! :)


So, do any of you guys have suggestions for other fall half or full marathons for me?!

What races are you most looking forward to running in 2014?




  1. So exciting that your sister is going to do Tower of Terror with you, that’s great!

    You can always come to Cape Cod and run Zooma with me in September! I’m pretty sure I remember that you did the Hartford half last year, would you consider their full marathon? I’m thinking about doing that if I decide not to fundraise to do NYC this year. There’s also a full on Cape Cod in October, but I think it’s pretty small.

    I’m also considering doing the NYC Runs half in Brooklyn on April 26th…I feel like I need a rematch against that Channukah Chalf course!

    • Jennifer says:

      I know! I’m super excited! :)

      Oh, man, I’ll bet that’s an awesome race. I’d love to do that one! Will definitely keep it in mind. :)

      Yup, we did the Hartford Half last year. It was a fun race, but I didn’t love the course all that much (although the finish line/festival is AWESOME). It’s definitely an option, but I know we’re both looking for races/locations we haven’t done yet…which is kind of why I’m also not sold on Philly, because I know part of the course is very similar to the RnR we did last year, haha. It seems like Disney is the only race location where I’m more than willing to run the same course over and over again… ;)

      I’ve heard the Brooklyn Half is fun, and, yeah, I know what you mean by wanting a rematch on the Chanukah Chalf! I’ll bet it’s gorgeous to run there when you’re not being pelted by icy chunks of water in 12-degree weather… ;)

  2. 1. LOVE your blog – you are so inspiring :)
    2. I am contemplating doing the Goofy Challenge for 2015. I saw that you did the Dopey challenge and it was your first marathon – were you able to physically enjoy the parks afterwards? It would be my first trip to Disneyworld and I have never done a marathon before [completed a bunch of halves!], so I am nervous about signing up for it and then getting wrecked immediate afterwards. Any tips? Suggestions? Warning signs? I would love to pick your brain :)
    3. I am also doing Dumbo Double Dare [I live in CA] – I can’t wait to see what creative costume you come up with! I am still trying to decide.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Alycia! Appreciate it. :)

      So, as far as making the Goofy your first marathon…personally, I say go for it. Everyone and their mother told me I was crazy for signing on for Dopey as my first, and while I’m sure I was a tad bit crazy, it was an absolutely INCREDIBLE experience to get to celebrate all of my months of training over the course of this exciting racing weekend. If it helps at all, I wrote a post that answers some of your questions here:

      You’re going to love WDW! All I can say is that while my legs/feet were definitely sore after so much running that weekend, I think staying in motion actually helped a lot — it was only when I sat down for an extended period of time (to have dinner, watch a show, etc.) that I really felt the agony! Haha. My only concern would be that since this is your first trip to The World, you might want to enjoy as much of it as possible, and if you take on Goofy then you might have to tour the parks at a slower pace, the parks might be crowded/longer lines, etc. Also, just walking around the parks in the days before the races can be a killer on your legs, so maybe if you stuck around for a few days after the races to see the sights and visit the parks? It’s a great time of year to visit and the parks calm down quite a bit after the day of the marathon, so that would be my $0.02. But I think as long as you train properly for the challenge and are in good shape, and be sure to take the half marathon SLOW and not kill your legs for the full the next day, then there’s no reason why you can’t do Goofy and have an awesome time enjoying WDW. :)

      AWESOME! Maybe I’ll see you in DL this summer. Believe it or not, I still have NO idea on costumes just yet, but you know I’ll keep you guys posted when we decide. :)

  3. Once again I love this post! You are doing so many cool races and many that I will be at as well! I am scheduled to be at the April fools race weekend in AC as well. Since I am injured I am going to drop down to the 7K and walk most of it. So with that being the case I won’t be staying for the half on Sunday, although I would have liked to cheer people on. I will also be doing TOT in October and the Hershey half has been on my list for while. I wanted to do it last year but it was the same weekend as the Runner’s World. We’ll have to keep an eye out for eachother. Also, thank you for your kind comments on our blog today!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Meranda! That’s great that you’ll be doing the 7K! I’ll still keep an eye out for you that weekend, anyway, would love to meet you “in real life!” :)

      Awesome — I’m excited for TOT! I’ve heard so many good things it. That’s funny; when Hershey sold out, that’s when we decided to do RW last year. :)

      Of course! Thank YOU — you’ve shared so many helpful tips/advice/words of encouragement with me here and I really appreciate it! :)

  4. Whoah-take it easy, girl! You are a beast! Give yourself a break :)
    I ran the Atlantic City half and the Rutgers marathon last year. AC is nice and flat, though a bit windy. Rutgers has a killer hill at the end, but its a great course. You even get to run through the same park as Miles for Music!

    • Jennifer says:

      HAHAHA, it’s funny because I feel like all I keep saying is “I want a running break,” and now I’m over here saying, “oooh, this race looks fun, let’s do this one, and this one, and this one…” LOL

      Always love to hear the words “nice and flat!” I’m looking forward to Rutgers — should be fun. That’s great; I did like the park we ran through for Miles for Music, I just didn’t love the double-loop! :)

  5. WOW!! That is a lot of racing!!! So cool that y’all run together – that makes it very nice!!

    • Jennifer says:

      Haha, yeah, I’ve noticed that since I have someone to run with, my race calendar just keeps getting crazier and crazier. But we’re having fun, that’s all that counts, right? :-D

  6. YAY that is so exciting that your sister is going to a run the TOT 10-miler with you!! That race is SO much fun, y’all are seriously gonna have a blast. The WWoHP is going to be awesome by then too with all the new additions. I can’t wait to see the new stuff in November! Yes, I am an HP obsessed nerd. :0)

    I really hope you and Todd end up at the WDW marathon next year – I would love to meet up!! Btw, I love the photo of you two with the beach in the background. Such a cute couple!

    The Hershey half sounds like so much fun – it’s definitely on my race bucket list! I hope that all the fun races you are signed up for really re-ignites that passion for running for you!

    • Jennifer says:

      I KNOW! I’m super excited. She is a huge HP nerd (no offense, I’m just not into it, haha) so she’s dying to go check out the new additions. And she made me watch ALL of the movies, so at least I’ll know what I’m looking at. Haha.

      I hope we do the WDW Marathon, too, and we’ll definitely have to meet up! Aw, thanks! Good lord do I miss the beach! :)

      I’m sure Hershey will be a blast. I’ve heard the course is kind of tough (hilly) but if there’s chocolate waiting for me at the finish line then I guess that’ll be enough motivation to get me through? :) I figure/hope that if I do a whole lot of races that are fun and lively it’ll help me get excited for training again.

  7. I have no idea when I’ll be back in Orlando, but I do want to visit Harry Potter. All of it would be new to me, but what additions are they putting in now? Enjoy your running break and rest up.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Lesley! So I’m not all that into Harry Potter, but apparently they’ve built a train that connects the two theme parks, and there’s going to be new HP-related attractions in Universal (not just Islands of Adventure) so my sister is going crazy over it. Haha.

  8. That is a LOT of races! I was debating the Superhero Half Marathon, but with the Brooklyn Half the day before, I decided against it…and signed up for the Avengers Half in Disneyland instead (you should do that too! lol). Atlantic City also has a full and a half in October, but I forget what weekend. I was debating doing the half for that one, but the Hershey Park one sounds pretty good too! Plus I would definitely take Danielle up on the Cape Cod one! It sounds amazing.

    Btw, great job on getting your sister to run with you. I keep trying to convince my sister to do ANY run with me, but she’s not budging…literally lol

    • Jennifer says:

      Haha, I know — funny how I’ve (once again) let myself get carried away. I’ve heard good things about the Brooklyn Half!

      You know I’d totally sign up for Avengers, but I’m committed to Dumbo and since I’m going back to WDW for TOT it doesn’t look like it’s in the cards this year. So the AC full/half is the same weekend as Hershey, so we had to make a bit of a tough choice, there…it’s why we opted for April Fools, instead. Oh, I bet running in Cape Cod is gorgeous, I’m totally tempted! :)

      Haha, I know — it’s hard to convince someone else to get started! I’m thrilled that she signed on for this, and I never would have expected her to agree to it, so…keep trying with your sister. You never know! ;)

  9. That sounds like an awesome list of runs! Good luck with them all and I can’t wait to read about your adventures!! If you’re ever reaching for future blogging topics, I would love a rundown of your favorite gear/equipment/brands. I’ve only just gotten into running in the last few months, and bought my first Garmin when I realized RunKeeper (awesome as it is) was just destroying my monthly data. And I spent just hours and hours online researching which was best for my needs etc. I even came here to your blog, poking around to see which you liked! So, running guru as you are, I’m sure you’ve got the scoop on what’s good :) I’ll be at the Disneyland Half too (this will be my second half marathon, as in a whim of crazy I signed up for the San Diego Rock & Roll half)! Good luck with your runs, and I look forward to reading about them!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Morgan! I’m glad you found me!

      So I wrote a post sort of along these lines awhile ago, but I definitely have a ton of updates since then, so this is a great idea — thanks! Will do. I’m always happy to talk gear/brands, since you know I pretty much have it all now, haha. I can’t survive without my Garmin! :)

      Oh, that’s awesome — you’ll love the DL Half! I’ll bet San Diego will be a blast, too. Good luck to you, too! Keep me posted on how everything goes, and hope to see you in DL! :)

  10. I will be at April Fool’s and Superhero, hoping for flat dry races!!!! I will look for you, although since they are Jersey races, we probably won’t see each other lol

    • Jennifer says:

      YAY! Fingers crossed for good weather those weekends! I will definitely be looking for you. Hahaha, it will be freakin’ hilarious if we can’t find each other at either race because we’ll be in Jersey. ;-D

  11. That’s a lot of races! Good for you! The only official race on my schedule right now is the Rock n’ Roll half marathon in Chicago in July. I’m debating on signing up for a charity team to run the NYC marathon.

    • Jennifer says:

      That’s awesome! I’ll bet the RnR Chicago is fabulous. I would absolutely sign on to run the NYC Marathon with a charity team, so that’s definitely an option for me, too!

  12. LOVE that you and your sis are going to do TOT together! So awesome that she likes running now too!

    You and Todd plan so many great races together! Adam hates running and I usually have to drag him tooth and nail just to run a 5K with me … and then he zooms ahead at an 8 min pace leaving me in the dust haha

    • Jennifer says:

      I know! It’s going to be fun. She’s still sort of fighting me on the whole “you should get obsessed with running now” thing, but, I know in time I’ll bring her to the dark side… ;)

      Boo. You’ll have to keep working on Adam. Maybe he’ll cave eventually and agree to do a half with you. :)

  13. Love following your blog! That’s an impressive race line-up you have planned. My husband and I currently have the Bay to Breakers planned along with the DDD and Avengers. Although, I did see you mention the Hershey 1/2 and we are pretty intrigued by that now. My family is from PA and we spent summers in Hershey so the 1/2 there would be so fun to do. Thanks for an awesome blog. Hope to see you on the course at a future rD event.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Kelly! Haha, you can definitely say that…we tend to go a bit overboard when planning races…

      Sounds like you have some fun races coming up, too! I’ve heard good things about the Hershey Half — what could be bad about running through the land of chocolate, right? We’ll totally have to try to catch up at Dumbo! :)

  14. So many races! Hersey is on my list but I think it’s going to have to wait another year. It’s crazy that 2 park tickets are included in the registration.

    • Jennifer says:

      AGREED! I’m so used to things, you know, not being included in the race registration (ahem, Disney, haha). It does look like a fun race!

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