Welcome to our monthly check-in with three fortunate BAMRbassadors that are chasing (or chased!) big athletic goals in 2023. Two of the three gals are doing the Dopey Challenge next month at Walt Disney World.

P.S. Try Topo Athletic running shoes for yourself: Use code TOPOAMRSMR to save 15%. Code expires on December 31, 2023. (Regular priced items only.)

BAMRBassador #1: Nicole Albright; Shippensburg, PA

Remind us what you are training for.
Crossing off a few more states in the 50-state marathon quest—and running the Dopey Challenge in Disney World with my sister to celebrate her 40th birthday.

With your stacked-race weekend next month at Disney World, you must be putting in some big mileage this month. How are you approaching the training challenges?
One consideration I have been trying to work through is the weather. In Pennyslvania right now, morning temps range from 24-54 degrees. To simulate Orlando weather in January, I have chosen to run outside on the warmer mornings (the photo, above, is me running in the rain in 52-degree temps), and sprinkle in treadmill runs while wearing pants.

Anything you are fine-tuning in preparation for your race? 
Marathon fueling is a puzzle that I am still piecing together. I was fortunate to be on an Another Mother Runner podcast about habits, and I felt pretty proud of my fueling program. After some gentle questions from Sarah, I began to consider that perhaps my fueling plan wasn’t actually providing the proper amount of nutrition needed. I’ve since adjusted my fuel plan: I found that by adding more calories and carbs to the equation I have felt stronger throughout long runs during this training cycle!

Do you have any running-related holiday traditions?
Since 2015, I have completed the Runner’s World holiday run-streak. This means I run at least 1 mile every day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. I really contemplated whether I should complete it this year while training for a race (usually my race calendar is clear this time of year), and I decided I would run “just” 1 mile on my off days, and subtract them from my other runs to keep my weekly mileage the same.

BAMRBassador #2: Laurel Short; Leawood, KS

What’s going on in the workout-realm of your world?
I had a platelet procedure (PRP) in mid-November for a hamstring tendon tear and won’t resuming running until at least January. My recovery is going well so far, and I was happy to start physical therapy recently with a therapeutic exercise plan. There have been some emotional days related to not feeling fully “me” without triathlon training, but resuming easy swims and spending time with our new puppy, Hazel, has boosted my mood!

But right before your procedure, you pushed yourself in a race. Tell us about that. 
I decided to time myself power-walking the quarter marathon at the AMR Hilton Head Retreat. My endurance athlete nature was excited to see an average of 14:25 per mile at the finish!

Do you feel exercise becomes more critical during the hectic holidays? If so, any “tricks” for getting in your workouts?
My best tip is to take a few minutes each weekend to map out where you will fit exercise sessions in: These workouts can be as short or long as you can manage! Keeping workout gear in the car can be helpful for getting in a run before kid pick-up or making it to the gym between activities. Planning workout dates with a friend or family member is also a great tool for keeping the holiday chaos under control.

Any new music getting you moving these days? 
Being in Kansas City, we have lots of Taylor Swift excitement around here! I have been enjoying the set list from her Eras Tour.

BAMRBassador #3: Rebecca Atkinson; Easley, SC

Remind us what races you are/were training for.
This fall, I ticked off my first 30K trail race and did two half marathons. Now I’m aiming for the Dopey Challenge (5K, 10K, half marathon, + marathon) at Disney World in January.

Been running anywhere fun lately in your Topo Athletic Atmos shoes?
This week, I did a 7-mile city-touring run in Washington, D.C.! (See photo.) I had finished up a conference and got a run in before heading out of town. I ran along the National Mall, Capitol Building, Washington Monument, White House, and many other national treasures! I am originally from the D.C. area, and I always love coming home to this region!

With the Dopey Challenge next month, this is a high-mileage month for you. How are you approaching the training challenges?
One run at a time. Last week I had a 4-miler, a 9-miler, and a 19-miler, three days in a row. I only worried about each run as the days came up. This is odd for me because I usually stress the days leading up to the longest run. I’m working on my run/walk strategy to use on the big day.

Do you have any running-related holiday traditions? 
I LOVE running on the holiday-day! There is just something special about getting out there knowing other folks are inside, just sitting around. It usually isn’t a different run, but just knowing the meaning of the day is different, the workout is better than, say, just a random Monday run.