Archive for Goals

My initial thoughts for 2016 – run streak and a shot at Goofy Challenge 2017?

So I have been thinking for a while about what my goals and plans for 2016 should be. While I did have some great events, overall my running did not go very well in 2015. My mileage and speed are way down and the weight I previously lost is coming too far back – not good things.

I had indicated at the start of last year that I wanted to back off a bit because I felt I was putting too much time into the running and maybe falling down in other areas – family, hobbies, etc.

But the way I backed off wasn’t the way I would have wanted it to happen. There were some legitimate illness and injuries that had an impact but a big part of the issue was a loss of motivation and energy. Running used to be a habit but that fell off – meaning that I used to run out of habit even if I was tired or not motivated and I have lost that.

So that is the first thing I need to fix this year and to do that I am going to run streak.

Now I have tried run streaking before and it did not go well. But I did it differently during that attempt than what I plan to do it this time. When I did it before, I did it including double run days – I would do my normal 5 days a week training plan but would also add in a couple mile morning run every day before work – giving me up to 10 runs in a week. I did not adapt to the change in the sleep cycle well and I maybe lasted 9 or 10 days before I fell apart on a 2 mile run.

So I won’t do it that way this time. Instead I will ramp up to doing the 5 days a week run schedule and will do a single mile on the rest days. I am hoping this will get me to the point where, even if I am tired or unmotivated, I will run no matter what.

How long a streak though? It is a leap year and I love the idea of run streaking the whole 366 days. Granted I also ran Dec 31st so it would be 367 days. That is a bit of a daunting task considering how little I have been running, so I will start with setting the first goal as run streaking January. Once that is achieved I will break it down to run streak each month until the year is done.

That should make take care of getting back in the habit of running all the time, but how do I get myself back into running long distances? I did pull off 50+ miles in the 12 Hour Lemming Loop back in early October but that was more about experience and shear pig-headedness than about any sort of conditioning really. As I think about it, about the only thing that has made me truly commit to training has been the Goofy Challenge and the Dopey Challenge. So I am going to lay it out there that I am going to train to do the Goofy Challenge in January 2017. I don’t know yet if I can make that work financially but I am going to mentally commit to it – I have done 5 and want to do a 6th. That means everything I do through 2016 is going to be as part of a training plan for January 2017. Usually a marathon training plan comes in around 18 weeks but I am giving myself 50+ weeks so I will need to have several milestone races / runs along the way that will break the period down into more manageable chunks.

I don’t have that fully worked out yet but I have a few races running through my mind:

  1. Hypothermic Half marathon on Feb 21st – this one probably won’t work as we are vacation until the 20th and I don’t know if I would be able to hit package pickup or not. I will be investigating further.
  2. WPS Half marathon on May 1st – this race is where I hold my half PR (1:46:00 – 2014) but was about 10 minutes slower in 2015 due to illness. I will be looking for redemption on this race – maybe not a PR but back to sub 1:50 would be the goal) This means lots of speed work through March and April.
  3. Spruce Woods Ultra marathon event – the weekend after the WPS Half marathon – they trail marathon, 50k, 50 mile, 100k and 100 mile options all with decently generous time limits – so maybe, just maybe I might do something that will scare the hell out me here…
  4. Fargo Marathon – May 21st – just a bit of a drive away from Winnipeg but it is a flat course and the weather seems to average better than the Manitoba Marathon a month later which is a positive for someone coming off of several months of winter running. This one gives me a better shot at getting back to the low 4 hour range, possibly even PR or finally breaking below 4 hours.
  5. Manitoba Marathon – June 19 – If I have been training well and consistently at this point then hammering out a new full marathon PR would be the goal (currently 4:09:44 in 2014) – my marathon PR is for this race but my history with the weather on this one is not great (I have a tendency to get spanked by the heat or drenched).
  6. Treherne Marathon – Sept 11 – I haven’t done this one before and it is only a bit of a drive from home. It is done mostly on back country unpaved roads and I have, up to this point, ruled out doing this race because I keep getting an image of it raining and making the roads a mess. But this one may help me stay motivated through the summer.
  7. Fort Garry Rotary Half Marathon – not sure the date yet but is usually a couple weeks after Treherne Marathon. This can be a good race to show off summer conditioning as we head into the fall.
  8. Lemming Loop – Sept 30 / Oct 1 – I have done the 12 hour event 2 years in a row and I am thinking of doing the unthinkable and moving up to the 24 hour event.
  9. WFPS Half Marathon – October 16 – only a couple weeks after the 12 or 24 hour Lemming Loop and I could be exhausted for this race. But I have done this one several years in a row and it is a tradition at this point.
  10. Wine and Dine Half Marathon – my wife and I thought about doing this one for our 10th anniversary last year but it didn’t work out. So maybe this year as a couple’s trip?

So I don’t know what I will do for sure but those are the races I am currently pondering.

One other major motivation idea I am looking at is tracking my yearly mileage as the miles I would need to get to Disney World from my house. Google Maps lists this as 1928.75 miles – I did 1971 in 2014 so it is possible. I will call this personal mission the “Run to the Goofy Challenge”. The bonus with this challenge is that if I start seeing myself getting close to that number later in the year it might drive me to go further – maybe beat the 1971 to have my highest mileage year ever or maybe even beat 2000 or 2016 miles?

To ensure I hit any of these milestones I will definitely need to tackle the sleep and weight issues I have been having but I have done it before and can do it again.

Basically I will need to break things down into more manageable chunks with sub goals to achieve and celebrate along the way. I’m not exactly sure what that looks like yet but I know I will have the ramp the mileage up slowly as I try to rebuild – so January won’t be 200 miles but maybe closer to the 130-150 range, but by the end of the year I should be hitting 200 mile months at least a few times.

A slow, strong, steady progression is key here.

Lots of work to do – but I will make sure to blog about it more frequently to help keep me honest and motivated.

Cheers to strong 2016!

Ok – I think I finally have a plan to start training properly for the 12 Hour Lemming Loop in October. Now to make it happen!

I had planned on trying for an 18-20 mile run yesterday that didn’t happen in the end – lack of sleep kicked me in the teeth again and the heat/humidity would have been pretty brutal anyway. My backup plan was to run this morning instead – I was certainly up early enough (4am? Why?!!) but had a vicious headache that didn’t clear up until almost 7 – and it required Advil (which is not a wise thing to take prior, during or right after really long runs). (also discovered a worm issue that the pups have unfortunately – going to have to take them into the vet this afternoon to get that sorted – should be a straightforward fix but it takes time)

So after getting some productive stuff done earlier this morning, I have been sitting here beating myself up and getting frustrated that I am not getting in the mileage I want to. I figure I need to come up with a plan – otherwise I am going to keep struggling and remain unfocussed. I need to fix this.

Time to get creative – coffee and the laptop on the balcony and enjoying some cooler weather and brainstorming ideas on how to ramp up the training and motivation so that I can do well at the 12 hour Lemming Loop the first weekend of October. I just missed 50 miles last October and want to beat that this year. So I am starting with determining my goals, figuring out what is in my way and finding a path forward.

Goals – I want to break 50 miles and preferably break 52.4 (double marathon) – and 60 would of course be awesome.

So how do I get there without throwing all my time at running. I want to enjoy the running and not grow to resent the time it means I will be spending away from the family.

I am currently finding it hard to train 5 days a week while thinking about spending 5-7 hours a weekend running. It wouldn’t be too bad if I could feel energized enough to run when I let the dogs out in the morning – but unfortunately I am getting less than 5 hours sleep a night at this point and that is impacting all areas of my life – running, diet, work, everything.

So there are the obstacles – lack of sleep, I’m not enjoying running as much right now and I am resenting the time I am running as something that is taking me away from my family (and hobbies I have let slide too for that matter – look at this way – I have essentially been trying to maintain and train for almost 3 years straight now – time to shake things up!).

So first off I need to get sleep. I have to find a plan to get that done. I’m not sure the path forward on this yet but I may have to start going to bed an hour or 2 earlier than I do now – probably a good start. Plus I have 2 weeks of vacation coming up at the end of July…there will be napping…there will be much napping.

I also want to find a way to back off to 4 days of running a week while still training the long distance endurance. This would give me more time with the family and for doing other hobby stuff. Both of which should give me more energy all around. There is always talk about work / life balance but if you are constantly training for long distance running events you need to find a run / life balance as well.

But how to make 4 days of running a week work? From what I have seen that would most likely mean dropping speed work – or at least dedicated speed work days. The best I can tell is that many ultra runners don’t spend a lot of time on speed work. The long runs are key.

With that in mind my general game plan is going to be to stop doing dedicated speed work for now but add some speed intervals into other runs.

Roughly I am figuring for July:

Monday – rest day – swimming

Tuesday – medium distance on the treadmill – 10 miles done at a strong pace and with speed intervals

Wednesday – rest day – swimming

Thursday – medium distance on the treadmill – 10 miles done at a strong pace and with speed intervals

Friday – rest day – swimming

Saturday – medium long distance outside – 13.1 miles with some speed push

Sunday – 3-5 hours running outside at a slow pace with practice for run/walk intervals – 18 – 30 miles.

This gives a total of approx. 51-63 miles a week over 4 days – I am hoping this is sustainable even if I don’t get the sleep sorted out.

 

If I do manage to get some sleep (and consequently some energy) then I will be looking at adding more mileage in August. This would most likely consist of adding morning runs before heading to work on Wednesdays and Fridays for sure and potentially Mondays. There is the potential there to drive me up to 7 days a week which might be overtraining so I will have to watch that and adjust accordingly.

For August I would like to try to get in one training run of about 6 hours in length – I’m not sure if I will do that outside or break it up into a few chunks with some time outside and some time on the treadmill.

The rest of the August runs should follow the basic cycle laid out for July but with an attempt to complete them a bit faster and recover a bit quicker.

September is a bit up on the air so far.

If all goes well in July and August I will be looking at whether or not I should do the Treherne marathon at the beginning of September. I would like a little bit of revalidation after the Manitoba Marathon and this could be the race to do it. I will need a long run that weekend anyway as part of training and I can maybe use this race as that training run. I kind of swore that I wasn’t going to do this race though as the majority of it is run on country back roads and if it rains it could suck pretty heavily. I will be looking closer at that race in August.

Two weeks after the Treherne marathon there is a half marathon here in Winnipeg that I have done the last 2 years running (Fort Garry Rotary Half) and I will be tempted to do this race as well to get a better half time than I did on the WPS Half Marathon back in early May. But it is also only 2 weeks out from the 12 Hour Lemming Loop at that point and I’m not sure I want to do a race that close and risk injury or burning out. Also, if I’m not doing speed work then it it is a bit of an unknown on if I could beat my WPS Half time or not anyway. Plus I might want that day as my last long training run before the Lemming Loop.

Lots of decisions to make – if everything goes really well I might do both of those races but if I find I am struggling with the distances I need to run I will concentrate on training for the Lemming Loop instead. Those decisions will come in August. Until then I need to ramp up the longer runs while staying healthy and motivated…and getting sleep.

To help energize myself more for running I need to get back in touch with other hobbies so that it doesn’t seem that all I am doing is running and working. So I am going to start playing with writing and photography more. Also, more playing with the kids, more time with my wife, more training the dogs, more time doing other stuff besides obsessing about running.

Ok – I think I found the path forward – now to make it happen!

Finally sorted out my 2015 goals…

I have been thinking for a while now about what my goals should be for 2015. I didn’t want to lock myself down to anything until after the Dopey Challenge was completed and I saw if I met my goals there or not.

With the Dopey Challenge now complete and those goals met, I have now had a chance to sit down and really think about what I want to do with my running and fitness in 2015. But I also thought about what else I want to do this year beyond the running stuff…you know…like other hobbies? I vaguely remember having hobbies…

Where I am coming from here is that I put in some major milestones with running in 2014 (and early 2015 so far) but those milestones came with a time cost. It meant spending less time with my family than I would like (don’t get me wrong – they were very understanding and never complained about the amount of time I was putting in) and it meant sacrificing other hobbies, etc as the time needed to run had to be balanced out.

As a bit of a recap for 2014 and early 2015:

  • 1971 miles for the year – my highest mileage year ever
  • 3 months where mileage was 200 miles or greater
  • set a new half marathon PR (1:46:00)
  • set a new full marathon PR (4:09:44)
  • ran my first ever ultramarathon – 12 hour run totaling 49.2785 miles
  • completed the 2015 Dopey Challenge while hitting a significant number of photo stops
  • As part of the Dopey Challenge I also completed my 5th Goofy Challenge, 10th marathon and 15th half marathon

 

So all told the last 13 months have been significant and filled with many phenomenal milestones! I am proud of what I accomplished in this time period.

So with all that in mind here are some of my thoughts on what my running goals will be for the rest of 2015:

 

  • Run less – stick with me here…I hit 1971 miles in 2014 and invested significant time in the training but by the end of the year I just felt like I was putting in time. It was not focused. I put in mile after mile but most of it was at easy speeds due to weather and treadmill issues – I never felt like I was pushing myself. I want to focus and get more out of every mile I train. I then also want to get more time with the family. This means I want to do more speed work, more hill work and reduce the number of long runs on the weekends. I want to get energized about running again.
  • So what does this look like? Probably something like 1400 miles this year – significant drop from the 2014 year but still quite good.
    • My basic schedule will have approximately 30 minutes on the treadmill Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I say approx 30 minutes because I will probably try to do these as 5 mile runs and that should be in the 35-40 minute range. These weekday runs will be done involving lots of speed and some hills. This speed work is the reason we got a new robust treadmill.
    • I will then back off my weekend runs from 2 long runs (10 miles Saturday and 13-20 miles Sunday currently) to only one medium to long run – that is, I will most likely run 13.1 miles every Saturday and take Sunday off as a family day. I don’t want to completely lose the endurance I have built up so I also intend to make one of these Saturday runs a 3 hour run once a month. This should equate to a 18-20 mile run once a month with three 13.1s.
    • So I will be backing off from an average of 40-50+ miles a week to around 30-35.
  • The only race I am currently putting on my calendar for 2015 is the Winnipeg Police Service Half (WPS Half marathon) in May. My intention is to PR this race (this is the reason for all the speed work).
  • After that in June the Manitoba Marathon comes up on Father’s Day. I suspect I will run this race but I don’t know yet if I will do the half or the full. I will make the final decision on that based upon how the WPS Half goes. If I break my half PR there I will run the full here. If I don’t make the half PR then I will run the half here and try again.
  • I might do a couple of the half marathons in the fall I have done the past couple years but I will decide that this summer.
  • I also keep thinking about the 12 hour Lemming Loop again – I didn’t quite make 50 miles and I would like to break that milestone but the race is in October and I’m not sure I want to put in the many long hours of training required to get ready for this race though the summer. It would mean giving many hours of my summer weekends to training and I’m not sure if I will be willing to do that again. I’m putting this one as a maybe at this point.
  • runDisney races – I will be taking a break from the Walt Disney World Marathon races for 2016 from what I can tell at this point. I love the races but I have done it several years in a row now and it may be time to back off for a bit.

 

Some other non-running fitness themed goals for 2015:

  • Lose some more weight – I am currently down 35-40 pounds from what I consider my starting point in September 2012 or about 50 down from my worst point. But I have been in the same 5 pound range for about a year now and it is time to get things moving down again. I’m hoping the extra intensity from doing more speed and hill work will help here, but I also need to re-evaluate my diet at this point as well.
    • short term goal is to get to 210 pounds by the end of April
    • longer term goal is to get to 207 (with increased muscle mass) prior to September (3 years since I started trying to get back in shape) equaling a 50 pound loss since my start point.
  • Increase strength training – I want to refine my body shape by losing more fat and adding more muscle:
    • I already do daily chin ups, pull ups and push ups but want to increase the number done in each set by the end of the year by 100%. I also want to change up to doing this twice daily – so in the morning as I do now and in the evening as well.
    • Start back on some free weights at home – arms, shoulders and legs. 2-4 days a week for 15-20 minutes per day. I’m not going to go back to doing hours of weight lifting every week like I used to but I do want some muscle back.
  • Get more sleep! I may be the only person that actually got more sleep during the Dopey Challenge than I normally do – I really need to focus on getting to bed at a decent time on weekdays!

 

I also have some more general goals to be happier, healthier and more productive:

  • Spend more time with the kids and my wife – this is really the big goal for the year. It means doing more healthy and active things together but also more quiet time.
  • Get back into some of my other hobbies – photography (I’m not any good but I enjoy the process), writing, doodling, playing video games, reading, walking
  • Be more present – less screen time! This means less smart phone, computer, tv, etc and more actually being there mentally.
  • Play music around the house more – there always seems to be a tv on for background noise in our house, music would be a better choice all around.
  • Do more stuff with my hands – building things, drawing, crafty things, etc – this will include doing more stuff like when I built my own standing desk out of copper tubing.

 

So that is an overview of where I want to go in 2015 and at this point I am only going to truly focus on the shorter term goals of the weight loss and the WPS Half Marathon in May. I am keeping myself open to re-evaluate in May once that race is done and I am willing to change my goals at that point once I see where I get to in the next 4 months.

 

Stick around and let’s see where we end up!

My rough game plan for the Dopey Challenge…

Alrighty – so I took today off work so I could sleep in and then get my final organization done for the Dopey Challenge before I leave tomorrow morning. And of course I end up waking up an hour before my alarm would normally go off on a work day…and I couldn’t get back to sleep.

I kept running through my head what my game plan was for each day of the challenge and finally I decided I might as well get up and put it down in writing so I could think about something else for a while!

 

Wednesday the 7th:

First flight is at 5:15 am – so not really just doing 4 early mornings, I am doing 5! Will probably have to get up around the same time I will for the 10k, half and full days so that I can get to the airport and check in on time. Flying through Toronto which can be fun but I have plenty of time to clear US customs and make the connecting flight without rushing, but not so much time that it will feel like I am stuck in the airport forever. I will be meeting up with my brother at the Toronto airport and we will be traveling together from there.

We should get into Orlando at around 1:30 pm – grab the Magical Express and off to the hotel from there. Hopefully should then be at the hotel and checked in well before 3:30 pm (would prefer a bit earlier but this still gives plenty of time).

From the hotel, we will hit the shuttle bus to the Expo (with photo ID and race waivers in hand) and grab the race kits…and buy lots of stuff. I am hoping we will be at the Expo before 4:00 pm, this would give lots of time to do the Expo thoroughly in one go.

Then off to find supper…not sure where this will take us yet, potentially Epcot unless we are just too tired.

 

Thursday the 8th:

5k! Strangely this will be my first ever timed 5k run…I have done 14 halfs and 9 fulls at this point but have not run a timed race shorter than that. So I guess a guaranteed PR there?

I’m not sure what corral I will be in for this one but based on my corral placement of D for the other races it should be A or B for the 5k.

Plan for this one is just to take it easy – I just want to wander around Epcot in the dark. I love the atmosphere of Epcot and I want to enjoy every second of it. That being said I also don’t want to walk the race – so I will go for sub 30 minutes, maybe 27 minutes? That should be a relatively easy leg stretch to work out some of the kinks.

After the race, back to the hotel, grab my brother (who is doing Goofy) and off to a park. Perhaps Magic Kingdom? I have set up some fastpasses there for Thursday but may change them based on our moods that day.

Early to bed after Skyping my wife and kids!

 

Friday the 9th:

10k…same as the 5k here, I have never done a timed 10k. A double PR weekend!

The 10k runs through Epcot and the Boardwalk / Yacht Club / Beach Club areas and those all fall in my list of happy places (especially the Beach Club area) – so I will be taking it easy here as well. I want to just absorb the atmosphere and the vibe.

I assume I will be shooting for under an hour but might walk a bit to take pictures and absorb.

Once the race is done then it will be park time again! Still not sure which park – maybe Epcot but perhaps Animal Kingdom. Just staying flexible there.

Then again off to bed early after Skyping the family back home.

 

Saturday the 10th:

Half marathon! I think this is the race I am most looking forward to out of all 4 in the challenge. This is the one race that I expect to try to achieve some speed on. Basically the fastest I have done the half course at the Disney World Marathon weekend is about 2:20. I did a few Goofy Challenges when I really wasn’t ready and took the halfs slow to save myself for the fulls, so my times have never been up there as being that quick. I have also gotten trapped in slow corrals before and also run with others giving me a slower time than I would like to put up.

Now, I’m not going to shoot for my half PR of 1:46:00 but I would like to push a bit. I’m not planning on taking pictures or just wandering around on this one – I want to run strong without hurting myself for the full. That means sub 2 hours but if I am really feeling it sub 1:50. But that will really depend on how beat up my legs feel. So not a PR but a personal course record is the goal.

I will be strapping on my Hoka’s for this race, so that should help protect my legs a bit for the full.

After the race the plan will be to avoid further damage! Ice bath once back at the hotel and compression gear for the rest of the day.

I will probably also hit a park but one without a lot of walking. I will want a bit of walking to help stretch out the legs and work the lactic acid through the system but also don’t want to feel like my legs are wood the next day.

Early, early, early to bed! After a quick Skype to the family.

 

Sunday the 11th:

The full! It all comes down to this race in the end! My stated goal for this one was that I want to enjoy it – that means I will be doing picture stops and taking it easy. Weather forecast for Sunday (so far) is hot and extremely humid right from the beginning so I will definitely be trying to not push too hard.

So yeah, character picture stops – I have never done that before on a Disney race (which seems odd now that I think about it) so it will be something new to me and the lower corral placement should mean shorter wait times for the characters.

I’m not sure I really have a goal time on this one but I think a personal course record should be quite achievable even with character photo stops, if I am focused. The fastest I have done the full course at Disney World is about 4:40 which I did during last year’s Goofy Challenge (marathon PR of 4:09:44 with a bad knee and in a downpour). I am in better shape for the Dopey Challenge this year and have been training for these back to back to back to back scenarios so hopefully my legs should be good when I toe the start line! If the legs are feeling strong then a personal course record should be more than possible even with the character photo stops.

I will also be using the Hokas for this race and that should help. I ran my Hokas on the 12 hour race (49.2785 miles) I did back in early October (the Lemming Loop) and when I finished I was still able to climb stairs and was quite functional the next day. Since I trained to do a 50k and did damned near 50 miles, the condition I was in after had a lot to do with the Hoka cushioning and I will be looking to use that to my advantage during the Dopey Challenge!

I have a history with the portapotties during the full marathon at Disney World that I am trying to avoid on this trip. The biggest downfall for me seems to be Poweraid on course – my system can’t seem to handle it. To combat that issue then I will be bringing my hydration backpack (which carries 2 liters of liquid) onto the course with my fuel of choice (flat Coke). With the heat and humidity forecast I will supplement on course with water but not Poweraid.

After the race is done and I have purchased and drank the obligatory finish line beer (hopefully Disney does that again this year), I will head back to the hotel. How long I hang out at the finish line will depend on where my brother is on the race and who I run into from the Twittersphere!

Then an ice bath and more compression gear. What happens next depends on how my brother is doing and what he is up for. I am hoping that I am solid and functional because I would love to hit a park (or 2) after the race is done.

Today I go as long as my body and mind will let me!

 

Monday the 12th:

Returning home today – at least I got a direct flight back to Winnipeg – it isn’t until late evening and the Magical Express probably won’t take me to the airport until sometime around supper so I am hoping to spend some time at Downtown Disney but again that will depend on how my legs are doing!

 

Tuesday the 13th:

Home…sleep. If I wake up…do laundry.

Things I want to do at Disney World during the Disney World Marathon weekend, besides run!

With less than a week to go before I make it to Disney World for the 2015 Walt Disney World marathon and the Dopey Challenge, I thought it would be a good time to sit down and think about what I want to do there (besides run the races and spend tons of money at the expo of course).

Doing the Dopey Challenge, I will need to conserve some energy and hitting every ride at every park is probably not going to be the smartest thing to do for the legs. That means I need to determine what my “Must Do’s” are for this trip. If just to make sure I get best Disney vibe for my money while I am there.

The past few months have been quite hectic and stressful at work and I have put in significant miles running besides. Throw in the holidays and I am looking for peace. So a peaceful and quiet atmosphere is going to be the major theme for the list with some new things thrown in that I haven’t had a chance to do or see before.

So on with the list:

 

  1. 7 Dwarfs Mine Train – the ride wasn’t open yet the last time I was at Magic Kingdom so I want to see this ride

 

  1. Festival of Fantasy Parade – I have to see that steampunk fire breathing dragon up close!

 

  1. Sticking at the Magic Kingdom – the People Mover – not an exciting ride but this one fits the peaceful criteria for me – I love to ride it and people watch Tomorrowland.

 

  1. Monorail – I enjoy the ride between Magic Kingdom and Epcot and it is a uniquely Disney experience

 

  1. Epcot in general – it is our family’s favorite park and I just love the feel of the various areas. I enjoy just finding a bench and sitting and watching people or the fountains in different areas.

 

  1. If I can do that sitting and watching in Epcot with a beer in hand it will be even better – don’t get the chance to sit out and have a drink in the fresh air much in winter here in Winnipeg and it would feel really good.

 

  1. Spaceship Earth – there is just something so comfortable and relaxing about this ride – love it!

 

  1. Illuminations – it is a tough call but I think Illuminations is my favorite fireworks show at Disney World.

 

  1. International Gateway – my whole family loves this back entrance to Epcot and World Showcase. It is a great place to sit and relax or just to pick up the peaceful vibe.

 

  1. That then leads out to the Beach and Yacht Club and Boardwalk areas – I love the Beach and Yacht areas and we have so many good memories of the trips when we have stayed in this area. I always feel good walking around there. (Kind of nice that my happy place happens to be at about the 24.5 mile point in the Disney World Marathon – nice little mental mood boost right when it is needed most!)

There are obviously many, many more things I will be looking at doing but this is the short list of things I am truly looking forward to for this trip. Beside the running, of course!