Archive for September 2013

Posted a vid to youtube – running down Main St at Magic Kingdom during 2013 Disney World Marathon –

Finally got around to posting a vid to YouTube that I took during the 2013 Disney World half marathon (as part of the Goofy).  Gives you a bit of an idea of the crowding that coral E had to deal with last year.  Here’s hoping that the changes made by Disney help alleviate the problems in 2014!


Why do I run? #rundisney #wdwmarathon #goofychallenge

On the runDisney site they have a place where you can tell them why you run and maybe they will tell your inspirational story on their site or on facebook or twitter ( .  It is an interesting thing to think about – for many runners that have done more than one marathon I get the feeling it is a question they don’t ask themselves very often – they just run, it is part of who they are.  For first time long distance runners this is maybe more clear as they had to have a reason to start training for one of these events and that reason will be more in the front of their minds.

So I thought about why I run – I have completed 7 full marathons at this point – 4 of them at Disney World with 3 of those as part of a Goofy Race and a Half Challenge and when I tried to come up with why I have done what I have and why I continue to run I couldn’t come up with a quick off the cuff answer that really seemed right.  I knew at that point that I had to sit down and write out my thoughts and try to really understand my motivation – going into a 4th Goofy Race and a Half Challenge I am going to want to know the answer to this question when I am getting out of bed at 6am on a Sunday to go run in the cold and the snow for another training run.

In the end what I wrote was too long for the character limitations of the form on the runDisney site so I shortened it quite a bit for them and I would think it lost some of its depth and maybe impact as well.  Because of that I thought I would post the full extent of what I originally wrote in hopes that maybe someone will read it and get something out of it.


Why do I run?

That is a good question – it is one I have tried to answer for myself before (like while standing, freezing on the highway in snow and freezing rain waiting for the 2010 Donald Half Marathon to start), but the answers I have come up with before always seem to be missing something.

Some of the recurring answers that always pop to mind are things like:

Lose weight / get in better shape – that is one of the reasons I did originally start running several years ago, to augment the weight lifting I was doing, but it really doesn’t explain why I keep doing marathons and Goofy Challenges.

The competition – I do find I run faster on race day for sure, but I learned long ago that with weight training and long distance running, it isn’t about what the other guy can do but what you did this week, versus the last.

Goal setting and finishing what I started – there is something there – I am a bit of a planner and I love seeing the plan through and making it happen but I could get that same satisfaction out of planning and executing things that take less time and effort as well.

Because it surprises people or they don’t think I can do it – I don’t like to be underestimated so I am sure there is ego that plays into this.  And frankly my running does surprise people – 6’2” and anywhere between 215 and 260 pounds depending on what marathon or race I was running at the time.  But again there are easier ways to surprise people than running marathons and the desire to surprise someone isn’t likely to drive you to run 26.2 or 39.3 miles more than once.

To see how much better I can get –  This will be in there for sure but I don’t think that truly captures where I am mentally when I run or when I am getting myself psyched up to do a long training session.

Family – the extra energy I have now that I have lost around 40 pounds and showing the kids a better role model and showing the importance of exercise is massive but is it what drives me?  It isn’t why I got into running in the first place as I hadn’t even met my wife when I started training for my first race but it is part of what keeps me going now.  But I’m not sure just showing the significant benefits of exercise to the family is the whole picture either.

Don’t limit yourselfthis is huge – and it’s not just an ego thing like just seeing how much better I can be or if I did better than person X, this is something internal.  Most of us have some kind of limits placed on us whether it is by our jobs or other people but I think I have finally come to understand that the worst limits placed on us we put on ourselves.  And I want to bust through those mental barriers.

I have battled a weight problem on and off for years and had it mostly tackled a few years back before I met my wife and we had kids but as time progressed and the lack of sleep accumulated the weight issue came back.  I kept running trying to get the weight to come off and in that period I ran the Disney World full marathon in 2008 and the Goofy Challenge in 2010 and 2012 but never really accomplished my goals with those races.  That is the training never really led to weight loss and I was very frustrated with my lack of progress.

So when my wife and I finally decided I should try the 2013 Goofy Challenge I knew something had to change.  So I looked again at everything I had been doing and realized that I was just going through the motions – I wasn’t properly training or really focusing on what I should be doing and just in general not respecting the distance or myself the way I should.

This is when it finally clicked for me that I was the one placing the limits on the running and progress I should have been making.  At that point the marathon training really started to click and the weight loss started to occur.  And I have been able to continue that – since the 2013 Goofy Challenge I have continued to improve and gotten my half and full marathon times (and weight too) down to the rough neighborhood of where they were about a decade ago.  At this point I think most would wind down and not keep putting themselves through the training but I keep going because stopping feels like I would be limiting myself (not that I’m not tempted some days).

I was hesitant about doing the 2014 Goofy Challenge as well as it might have been a bit better financially to take a year break from it but that also felt like I would be limiting myself – mostly because it would be almost a year between full marathons (last was Manitoba Marathon in June 2013 and next planned would be June 2014)and it would be too easy to get complacent and limit myself again.

So if you combine all the above, what I get is a way to show my kids, even though I have never won a race in my life and I am unlikely to ever do so, I still keep going because quite frankly I want to and I won’t let my ego or internal doubt tell me I shouldn’t.

And I think that is why I started blogging about my training and weight loss at here – I wanted to remind myself of how far I have come, how I have gotten past barriers that I had placed before and that I have goals I am shooting for.  The blog then becomes a way for me to show my kids that I do what I do for a reason and that if they work hard and keep their goals in mind they can too and that sometimes to reach your goals it takes time.  In the end, the blog also allows me to share that thought and my progress with others and if anyone hits my site looking for some inspiration to break out of a rut maybe they will find it and break through their own barriers.

So with just a bit less than 4 months to go to the next Goofy Challenge I am down 35-40 pounds from my weight for the 2012 Goofy Challenge and my full marathon time is down about an hour and half as well.

Looking forward to see what barriers I breach for the 2014 Goofy Challenge.

Fort Garry Rotary Club half marathon tomorrow – thoughts…

Well tomorrow is the Fort Garry Rotary Club half marathon – just thought I would put up some thoughts on where I am and what my game plan is for tomorrow.

It looks like I will go into the race tomorrow about 4-5 pounds lighter than I was for the Run for Diabetes Research on Sept 2nd – this should help – depending on what web site you believe this should shave off 1-2 minutes for my time.  Every little bit helps but we will see.

I have been training harder and faster on the treadmill and getting in my miles outside too – for the 3 weeks between the 2 races I show that I have done about 20 miles more than scheduled where as for the 3 weeks prior to the September 2nd race I was actually just about 7 miles short with both periods having similar miles scheduled.  So I am definitely trained more solidly and consistently than with the last race but that also raises the chance that I am over-trained and could be fatigued.  I feel pretty good right now but how I crashed last night and this morning potentially raises a warning flag.  (see here for more details)  My records show that in the compared 3 weeks periods my pace on both the treadmill and outdoor runs went up around 0.1 mph – not a huge change but could be a factor considering I am only 3:43 off of my personal best right now.  Once again I won’t know for sure until tomorrow.

One interesting thing is that this race indicates that they have mile markers every mile (along with a few km markers) – with the last race they were reversed with km markers and the occasional mile marker (but I didn’t see any of the mile markers).  Since I train and use miles for my pace and distance measurements this will help me know if my Garmin is off on the miles.  On the Run for Diabetes my Garmin indicated 13.4 miles at the end instead of 13.1 and with how I was pacing the extra 0.3 miles would have almost been enough to catch my personal best and if I had known that my watch appeared to be off I might have pushed harder to make that happen.  So with this one I hope that having the constant mile markers to look at and confirm that I will be able to push harder – hope so anyway…

Weather should almost be identical between the 2 weekends so that shouldn’t be a factor.

With the last race I had a lot of nervous energy at the start and I let that out at the beginning and then dug deep and kept pushing after the initial surge was gone.  This is kind of backwards in comparison to the way you should race – by holding something back at the start so you have extra drive at the end.  So I want to say that I will hold back a little tomorrow at the start and then push harder after but I suspect that I will push too hard at the start again and drag at the end – it is a bit of a habit at this point.  If I am able to hold back a bit then go harder in the second half of the race this could be a factor.  Tomorrow we will see.

Confidence – I did not know what to expect in the Run for Diabetes research so breaking under 1:50 and getting so close to my personal best was a major surprise – I finished that feeling well, so if you throw that knowledge into the mix I should have the confidence to push harder.  There are a couple risks with that though – I could push too hard and hurt myself or drain too early and get a worse time that I should or I could get cocky and not push hard enough.  I guess I’m waiting to see on this one.

The course is a bit of mystery to me as well – I haven’t done this race or most of the roads involved before so they will be a bit of a surprise too.

This is only the second running of this race too so there is the potential for some organizational issues to be dealt with which could factor in – the race packet pickup was relatively smooth for me but there did seem to be quite a bit of delay between when they said they would get the packet pickup info out to when it actually did (didn’t get actual packet pick up info until last week).  I don’t know if that bodes ill or not though.

So not a lot of certainty here and when you are playing with such a relatively small amount of time over such a long distance something like even a loose shoe lace could blow my chances at a personal best on this race.

On the positive side I am hydrated well and well fueled right now without any ongoing aches or pains that I am worried about.  My legs feel great and on my short run this morning my hips felt a bit stiff at the start but they loosened up quickly and don’t show a problem.

Basically, on paper at least, I should be going into this race with the potential to catch to my personal best of 1:46:11 – conditions and conditioning should be right.  But there are so many loose factors and any combination of them going slightly off kilter would probably blow my shot for that race.

There is the temptation that I maybe don’t need to push as hard this race and save my personal best record breaking attempt until the Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Services half marathon on October 19th – but I have to fight that temptation.  With the Goofy Challenge a known thing now that I need to train for I will want to make sure I am not skipping longer training runs to concentrate on speed work for the shorter runs.  Plus there is the thought that if I can just beat my personal best on this one…what could I do in another 4 weeks if I can keep the weight loss occurring?  The what if’s are going to keep me going here.

Wow – just broke over 1000 words – must be nervous or something – thanks for sticking with me until the end of this one…

#trainingrun – 2.08 miles in 18:33 outside – dipped below freezing – quick, cold and dark run – Sept 21, 2013 (Saturday)

219 this morning when I woke up – didn’t bother to weigh myself after the short training run

I was surprised that my weight wasn’t higher this morning – we ended up having a late supper after the kids’ swimming lessons last night and we ate out just out of convenience – but looks like no damage done and probably means I have a bit more fuel in the system going into the half marathon race tomorrow.

Had a bit of a rough night last night though – got home from swimming lessons for the kids and supper – got the kids to bed and I fell asleep on the couch by 9pm!  Got up and got to bed at 10 and was right back out.  Woke up at 4:30 and couldn’t fall back to sleep so got up had a small breakfast and did some stuff online before heading out around 6 am for the quick run.  Did the run and had a shower and then had a massive headache out of nowhere (which was strange because felt fine otherwise).  Took a tylenol and lay down on the couch to let it kick in….and woke up again a couple hours later.  So definitely got quite a bit of sleep last night but hopefully the headache this morning and the crash out last night aren’t a warning sign that I was training too hard or that I am going to have a rough race tomorrow morning.  Oh well – won’t know until tomorrow at this point.

Run this morning was quick, cold and dark.  There is probably a joke in there but I think I will leave it be.  The run definitely felt solid though and the time for the distance was not too bad as didn’t bring my Garmin (tracked distance and time on my Samsung Galaxy S4 using My Tracks app) so I wasn’t watching my speed – definitely was in a good place after I got my wind a couple minutes in – no aches or pains or anything like that.  Definitely not ready to be running in the colder weather though – I trained for Goofy last year in much colder weather but wasn’t happy about the cold this morning though – going to have to suck it up and deal with it though – if you are going to live in Winnipeg you are not allowed to complain about the cold!  (not that most people don’t break that rule)

#trainingrun – 3.81 miles in 30 min at 1% incline – took it easy tonight – Sept 19, 2013 (Thursday)

216.5 when I woke up this morning and 219.5 after evening run

So it was nice that my weight was back down to the new low achieved last week even after the drama earlier in the week but I’m not exactly sure why I had a bit of a jump today but it should settle back out tomorrow.

Got started late on the treadmill for my run tonight and I didn’t want to go too hard and keep the kids up – plus this is the last real training run before the Fort Garry Rotary Club half marathon on Sunday (I will have a short run on Saturday but this is the last training run) and I didn’t want to risk any injuries or anything like that.  Beyond that I wanted to push a strong steady pace closer to the hoped for race pace that I could sustain without doing run/walk cycles or cycling high and low speed runs.

In the end I did a quick warm up of 0.16 miles in 2.5 minutes at a 5% incline before I got started on the run.  I pushed 7.7 mph for 20 minutes, walked a minute and then I started the last 9 minutes with a minute at 9 mph, several minutes at 7.7, a few minutes at 7.5 and then finished off with a minute at 9 mph.  Total of 3.81 miles in 30 minutes at 1% incline.  Not a bad run – definitely felt pretty decent – I’m not exactly sure how that will translate into pavement miles on Sunday but I think I am in a good spot to do well.