Training For Dopey Challenge 2021 Part 1: Mobility

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65Today, May 7 is the rescheduled early registration for the Walt Disney World Marathon 2021. Although registration had been pushed back. Official training for my 4th full marathon and somewhere in the teens half marathon has already begun.

I ran my first marathon at 28. I am now 36 and am preparing to run my 4th and final full marathon and then some. I began training for this 48.6 mile, four day event officially on May 1.

If you are not familiar with the Dopey Challenge, it is a challenge that is part of the Walt Disney World Marathon. All four races that are part of the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend; the 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon.

I am planning on registering for the challenge but participants can register for each race individually or a combination of any of the races.

This will be my final full marathon. I suffer from intense knee pain as a result of rheumatoid arthritis in both of my knees as well as severe back pain resulting from a torn psoas several years back.

61I live with chronic pain but it doesn’t stop me from Crossfit, running and Orange Theory. I workout typically one to two times a day, every single day. Fitness is who I am and I will not let my pain define me.

Because I suffer from chronic pain and the pain affects other areas of my body and cause additional pain, it is necessary for me to incorporporate a number of proactive and reactive stretches, yoga and targeted mobility in order to maintain my body enough to train at this level.

I am not a doctor. I am not a health or wellness coach and I have no certifications related to health and fitness. This is my own journey and the things that I do during training that are suggestions for you if you are looking for mobility exercises and stretching to help with your training and your journey.

Here are the mobility exercises that I incorporate into my training.

Yoga for Piriformis

58I have a very tight piriformis. This initially started after I healed from a torn psoas muscle. Your piriformis is essentially, in layman’s terms, your side butt. Running can cause a tight piriformis and running can aggravate the piriformis after an injury. Injuries to the lower back, knees and hamstrings can all lead to a recurring tight piriformis.

After I tore my psoas, my hamstrings and piriformis became easily aggravated. Besides the yoga, when I am able to, I regularly get stretched and cupped to reduce inflammation and increase blood flow. If you feel your piriformis tightening, it is important to begin and stick with regular mobility exercises such as the yoga practice I linked above and then also looking into regular cupping and fascial stretching because a tight piriformis can lead to more worrisome injuries and pain such as piriformis syndrome, that could result in the end of your running career.

Banded Stretches

62I use Bear Komplex resistance bands to stretch everyday. The ones I find most useful are the red and the black and then I use the hip igniter as well. I use them to stretch both my upper and lower body. There are a number of amazing exercises that can be incorporated both pre and post workout. Bands can be used for both stretching and resistance workouts. Here are some of my favorite videos highlighting the best uses for resistance bands.

10 Minute Full Body Resistance Band Stretches

20 Minute Deep Stretch with Resistance Bands

10 Best Knee Strengthening Exercises

11 Knee Rehab Exercises

Lower Back and Hip Stretches

Post run, within 15 minutes of finishing a run, I take about 10 minutes to stretch out my lower back and hips. It is important to stretch within about 15 minutes of completing your workout so that your muscles don’t tighten and get cold. This is the best time to get in and increase your mobility and help protect your muscles and joints from injury.

These are my post run stretches.

Iron Cross

Cobra Stretch

Straight Leg Hamstring Stretch

Couch Stretch

Runners Lunge

60Those are some of the things that I do to increase my mobility and stave off additional injuries while training. I hope some of these work for you to help with chronic pain or injuries that you may suffer in these areas.

I am beyond excited to be taking on Dopey Challenge 2021. 48.6 miles, 4 days and I am proud and honored to be running as a member of the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) to honor my Mother-In-Law who is surviving and fighting M.S.

My goal is to raise $3,225 dollars for MSAA and I would appreciate your financial support. Please visit my fundraising page to read more about MSAA, why I’m running and to donate. Every dollar counts and makes a difference. You can make a difference for those suffering with M.S.

Stay tuned for more information on my RunDisney journey including my training plan and more.

Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.




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