Archive for December 2015

5.22 miles tonight takes me to 1171 for the year – 800 less than last year. Ouch. Year recap in the post.

The 5.22 miles I ran on the treadmill tonight takes me to a total of 1171 miles in 2015 – 800 less than last year. With a combo of illness, injury, tanked motivation and flat out laziness I certainly got a lot less miles in this year.

I had indicated at the end of last year that I wanted to back off a bit and run a bit smarter – but I didn’t intend to do that the way it happened! And I don’t think I could consider the way I backed off as running “smarter”.

That being said I did have some great events and got to do some pretty cool things this year:

There were 2 very important running events for me this year – the Dopey Challenge in January and the 12 Hour Lemming Loop in October. I feel great about both of those events. I met and broke all my timing goals at Dopey Challenge and had a blast. And at the 12 Hour Lemming Loop I was able to break 50 miles (50.33) – not too shabby for a guy at around 230 pounds!

I also feel pretty impressed with myself with how I did during the Hypothermic Half marathon in February – it was bloody cold for that one (so cold that they did an emergency course change to reduce the safety risk to the runners) and even though I wanted to quit and walk off, I still managed to finish strong.

Other than that the other races for the year were pretty awful. Between illness and minimal training my race times took a beating. I am frankly surprised that I was able to finish my last half marathon of the year at the end of October in under 2 hours.

All in all, the year was definitely not a write off but it was certainly a major step back from last year. Look for a post on the blog tomorrow where I lay out my goals and plans for 2016…redemption will be mine!

Happy New Year everyone!

Top 5 things NOT to do during the Walt Disney World Marathon #wdwmarathon #goofychallenge #dopeychallenge

The Walt Disney World Marathon weekend is coming up in about a month and my jealousy has been building since I am not running it after a 4 year streak. That has gotten me reminiscing about the races and I have a lot of great memories, but I also have realized that I made many mistakes as well.

 

With that in mind, I figured some lucky runners that are doing the races this year would maybe benefit from hearing about these mistakes so they can avoid them. Or at least laugh at my idiocy.

 

So, without further ado, here is my list of 5 (hopefully vaguely humorous) things not to do during the Walt Disney World Marathon (or Goofy Challenge or Dopey Challenge for that matter):

 

  1. Don’t forget to update your music list prior to the race.

 

So – true story…My first ever Disney World Marathon – in the ancient times of 2008. MP3 players really didn’t have very much storage back then and I tended to have to load the player for weight lifting and then reload it with different music for running…and I forgot to do this before I left home to travel to Florida for the race. Listening to the harder / angrier weight lifting music was ok for the first part of the race but by the time I hit Magic Kingdom I was finding the music exhausting. But I still needed something so I stuck with it. (back then Magic Kingdom was closer to the half way point of the marathon than it is now with the current route)

 

But then the Manowar song “The Blood of the Kings” came on as I was running through Cinderella’s castle – for those who don’t know the song, it contains the lyrics “’till the blood on your hands is the blood of a king”.

 

“’till the blood on your hands is the blood of king”, growling in my ears as I was going through Cinderella’s castle – not a song truly fitting with the nature of the place.

I was definitely not in the right mindset at that point – it is pretty funny now but at that point I had to stop and figure out what hell else I had on the MP3 player to save my sanity.

 

I spent the rest of the race listening to Weird Al.

 

I love Weird Al, but there is only so much polka music you can listen to during a marathon. So I reiterate: don’t forget to update your music player.

 

  1. Don’t forget to scope out where the full bathrooms are along the route and take advantage of the 2nd or 3rd one in the park (the 1st is always crowded)

 

Take it from someone who has spent way too much time in porta potties on Disney property (and at many races) being able to use the full bathrooms is truly an amazing perk.

 

  1. Don’t beat yourself up about race finish times and about doing all the right race things before the races.

 

Have a few drinks, burn out the legs a bit in the parks, go for a swim.

 

I have done a total of 6 Walt Disney World full marathons (5 as part of Goofy Challenges and 1 of those a Dopey Challenge) and my favorite was the one I didn’t worry about time and just had fun before, during, and after the race. That was part of my Dopey Challenge and I tried to follow that philosophy that whole trip and it may actually be the only marathon I have smiled during.

 

Disney and the WDW Marathon are about fun – make sure to have some.

 

  1. For men – Don’t wear compression running shorts without other loose fitting shorts over top.

 

The first races I ever did using compression running shorts I didn’t wear other shorts over top – this was during my second Goofy Challenge…the pictures are not a pleasant experience to view….

 

At the WDW Marathon there a huge number of photographers to take advantage of all the iconic picture opportunities for the runners, and most of them are lower down taking shots up at the runners as they pass.

Let’s just say most of my pictures from that race are not suitable for mixed company.

 

I hereby apologize to all the other racers from that year.

 

  1. Don’t forget to pay attention to the weather reports.

 

For my first Goofy Challenge back in 2010, I was seeing weather reports that had Florida being cold, like very cold. I didn’t really believe the reports and didn’t pack my winter running gear.

 

It freaking snowed.

 

I will always remember standing in the starting corrals, getting snowed on and my 6. 2″ height and wide shoulders providing a wind break for teams of smaller runners standing leeward of me. It stayed around freezing that whole weekend and I didn’t have the right gear with me.

 

Don’t believe me about the cold? Check out Lee Hoedl’s video on YouTube for the half marathon. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMjpeCSFErU) (edit – apparently the video won’t play on some mobile devices but does work via a desktop or laptop – not sure why – the link is good but it has something to do with how YouTube has this video set up.)

Then, I believe in 2013, the forecast was for it to be ok in the morning but get hot later in the day. I didn’t really believe it and I wore a compression running base layer shirt. It got very hot (something like 20% of those set to race did not finish and heat was a major factor in that) and the thermal nature of that base layer shirt was not a good thing that day!

 

I pay more attention to weather forecasts now.

I hope you enjoyed the list and if you are running at Disney in January – good luck and have fun!

Let me know in the comments if I missed anything.