Archive for January 2017

Goofy Challenge 2017 race trip report – Day 1 – travel day and meeting some cool folks

Well, this is my third time starting to write up a race trip report for this past weekend’s Goofy Challenge / Walt Disney World Marathon trip and I think I might finally have figured it out! 

Let’s start of with saying that this trip was unique and full of firsts and cool events. I didn’t have a great race but the trip reinforced to me the strength and awesomeness of the runDisney community!

I met some cool runners on the trip starting even before I made it down to Orlando. 

In Toronto, during my layover, I had a runner (Mike) come up to me recognizing the Goofy Challenge shirt that I was wearing and we started chatting about the races coming up. He was also on his way down to do the Goofy Challenge. As we chatted, it came out that he had read my packing list posts (which turned out to be prophetic considering how cold the marathon was on Sunday, but more on that later). That was pretty cool – the blog doesn’t get a huge amount of traffic so anytime I run into someone who has read some part of the blog it is pretty amazing to me. He had a pretty powerful story too about having part of one of his lungs removed in Dec 2015 and trained through 2016, running 3 half marathons all culminating for a celebratory Goofy Challenge. Fantastic and very inspiring! Cool start to the weekend meeting someone like that! I didn’t run into him again after we got off the plane in Orlando but if you are reading this, I have got to say, it is a very inspiring story man, and I hope you had a good set of runs over the weekend! Cheers to you!!

Also in Toronto, we chatted with another runner going down and she was running for Team Diabetes. 

So many cool, inspiring stories and I haven’t even made it out of the country yet! 

On the plane, I sat next to a family from Ontario heading down to cheer their daughter on who was running the marathon. Again, very cool. And it just shows the variety of people that go to the runDisney racing events. 

Once down in Orlando, I hopped on the Magical Express and got the ride to the resort. And after taking care of a quick stop to sort out my park tickets, I got on the event bus to go get my race package from the race expo. 

runDisney had tweaked the race expo since the last time I was there and I’m not sure it was really an improvement but it worked well enough. Although, I have to say the routing of the runners who had pre-ordered merchandise was very strange and did not seem efficient at all. But I got my stuff, so how bad could it be? Before leaving the expo I caught a few minutes of Olympian and runDisney legend Jeff Galloway’s presentation. 

At the expo I picked up a few things like a new running hat and a new set of shoes that were a pretty good deal even after US to Canadian exchange. 

After that it was back to the hotel before heading into Epcot to wander around (and have a beer and a pretzel the size of my head). And then I did a wander around the Boardwalk area before heading back to the room to turn in for the night. 

Next up Day 2 – spectating the Minnie 10k and some bad news about the half marathon

2017 plans. A return to form and a push to Dopey Challenge 2018!?!

With a new year we get a chance to reflect on things both good and bad from the past year and make plans for the future. What do we want to change? What should we keep doing? What can we do (or not do) to build ourselves and others up?

For the coming year there are a few things I know I need to change both running wise and just for life in general.

I don’t like to make resolutions since they usually get broken pretty damned quick – instead I am going to make a few commitments to myself.

 

First Commitment:

2018 Dopey Challenge – I am just days away from heading down to Orlando / Disney World for the 2017 Goofy Challenge but I am committing to running the 2018 Dopey Challenge now and doing it well. I want a better overall time than I got when I ran it in 2015. I was very happy with my overall time and strength that year and if I want to better that time, then I need to start work now and build through the year. I did 1971 miles in 2014 leading up to the 2015 Dopey Challenge so I will be trying to beat those numbers for 2017. I also set my PRs in the half and full marathons in 2014, so I will have some work to do to rebuild here.

In 2018 the race will be the 5th anniversary of the Dopey Challenge, the 5th anniversary of the Minnie 10k and the 25th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon. That is a party I want to be involved with! I suspect there will be many who feel the same way so hopefully I can get in through the early entry with my annual pass!

My wife and I want to bring the kids down for this one too. I am doing Goofy Challenge this year and Heather is doing the Glass Slipper Challenge in February. We both have fallen in love with runDisney races and we really want to share that with the kids and get them more active at the same time. So we intend to do the 5k with them and see where else we end up. Our son is old enough to do the 10k so we will see if we can get him interested in that too. We are going to start building them up to this with the Pro Bowl 5k on January 28th – they will get a taste of a race through Epcot and hopefully they will catch the bug too!

Basically, all my running this year must lead toward this goal.

 

Second Commitment:

Spruce Woods Ultra – I let myself down on this one in 2016. I didn’t run my own race and it cost me. I know I could have completed this race and it eats at me a bit that I messed it up. So this year I will do it again and do it properly (properly for me – RUN MY OWN RACE). The only thing here is that I will have to decide what distance – 50k, 50 miles or 100k (smart enough to know I will not be ready for a 100 miler any time soon). Completing the race will be rebuilding my confidence so I need to figure out if I will feel better running a very strong 50k or if going well beyond 50k will work better.

The decision here will depend on how well my Achilles tendon continues to recover. I also don’t want to jeopardize 2018 Dopey Challenge with a big injury during the year. I realize you risk injury on every run and you can’t let that hold you back from reaching your goals…but there is a big difference between taking chances and deliberately flitting with disaster.

This race is in May, so I have some time to decide how things are going before I finalize my plans.

 

Third Commitment:

24 hour Lemming Loop – considering I really had no idea what I was getting into and my Achilles tendon didn’t cooperate  at all, I am a fairly happy with what I accomplished at the 2016 Lemming Loop…but I know I can do better.

I want to do this one again when I am stronger and healthier and just see what I can do. I have always thought my strength as a runner was more about endurance and quick recovery and this event lends itself to those traits. And I want to know what I am capable of here.

 

Other things:

These aren’t quite the same as the commitments above but they are things that will either need to happen or I want to happen over the year.

 

Lose weight…this one starts to sound a bit like a New Years resolution but it really isn’t. With my reduced mileage and injuries, my weight has crept up over the past year and a half and I have probably gained back 20 of the pounds I had previously lost. This needs to be rectified to achieve my goals above. I know how to do it and this will happen.

 

Marathon Maniacs – there are about 4 marathons run near(ish) to where I live and either combined with each other or with the ultras listed above I should be able to get Marathon Maniac status this year. I think this is something that would be pretty cool – but I am not going to commit to it as being healthy for the above races will take precedent as will various family commitments through the year.

 

Half Marathons – there are a few I like to do every year and I will most likely do so again with the goal of getting some speed back. My half PR is 1:46:00 and getting back there this year might be difficult but I think I can get back down to sub 1:50 and I would be quite happy with that.

 

Stress reduction – Over the past year or so I have been dealing with some big stressors that have been impacting my running motivation. I need to find a way to deal with those. At this point I suspect doing additional writing on the blog will help. I have been a bit lax over the past year on the blog but I will be picking it up and posting more. I find the writing helps focus my brain and lets me come up with solid plans better…so let’s do that.

 

As a conclusion, I have to say I am fairly excited about the upcoming year of running and looking forward to see where I end up!

Good luck to everyone in 2017!!