Tag Archive for disney world marathon

OK – got the site back up…maybe I should write something? Status report

Alrighty – the site is back up and running after some issues with the hosting…so maybe I should actually use the site?

Brief synopsis:

 

Where do I stand running wise?

Not good – I feel like I am pretty much back at square one. I did a decent 5 mile run tonight so it probably isn’t as doom and gloom as I think in my head but it still isn’t great. This means I am basically going to do my standard 18 week training program for the Dopey Challenge in January. Nothing fancy – just do the miles, follow the program, and train myself to make running a habit again.

 

Where do I stand weight wise?

Heavy – I stand heavy. With my running not happening and lots and lots of stress my weight has gone from a slow climb to deciding to take the elevator. I bloody gained 5 pounds on a 4 day road trip to see the total eclipse for crying out loud and that trip included lots of walking.

I have started to make headway on bringing it back down but it is going to take time and commitment.

 

So what the heck is the problem?

Stress mostly. In a moment stress can be a good motivator but steady constant stress will kill you.

I know running can help but grabbing that life line has been tough over the past 6 months or so. Which is part of the reason I need to make it a habit again, so I don’t even think about it and convince myself to not run.

Shoes appear to have been an issue too. I have been feeling beat up after every run and that was pretty demoralizing too. But I think I have the shoes figure out now and I can run without my joints (especially my Achilles tendon) feeling destroyed.

 

Rough game plan to stop being a slug and get back to where I want to be?

  • Follow the 18 week plan.
  • Get strict on my diet again.
  • Pay close attention to my gear and make sure to make changes as soon as necessary. Trust my body.
  • Write / blog – vent my frustration and brag my accomplishments – get the good and the bad out there so that I don’t dwell too much on the negative.
  • Train with my son (doing the 10k with him for Dopey Challenge in January as well as the 5k with the whole family)
  • Resistance training

 

More dedicate posts will come out getting into more detail but I wanted to get something out to avoid the procrastination.

 

Anyway, I will cut this one off here and talk to you folks later. Happy running!

2017 Goofy Challenge trip / race report – Day 5 – checkout, 2 parks and flight home

I was up relatively early today for my last day at Disney World (I had wanted to sleep in but that didn’t happen) before catching a flight in the evening back home to wintry Winnipeg. The temperatures in Disney World were already starting to recover from the cold Sunday marathon and that made it extra hard to want to go home to the -30C (-22F) and colder with the wind chill temperatures.

After a quick room scour to make sure I hadn’t missed anything, I did the wander down to Bell Services to hold my bags until Magical Express would pick me up just after 4pm.

I decided to have a quick breakfast at the Artist’s Palette at Saratoga Springs next which was very good and then I took a bus to Animal Kingdom. Animal Kingdom was the one park that I had not yet ridden a ride at on this trip and I wanted to rectify that. The My Disney Experience app was saying the wait times were pretty good there too so I might be able to do a bunch of stuff.

When I got there, there were large groups of people streaming into the park – I suspected that the light wait times were going to change quickly. So I did a fast walk over to Expedition Everest and was through the single rider line in under 5 minutes. Mission accomplished! At least one ride at each of the 4 parks!

I then did a bit of a wander around the park with the intention of trying Kilimanjaro Safari ride next but once I got over there the sign said there was a 45 minute wait but people were line up outside the line que area so I suspected it was actually a much longer wait than that. Sure enough a couple minutes later the wait time updated to 75 minutes…ok, Magic Kingdom wait times look better.  So off to Magic Kingdom I go. It hadn’t been my intention to do anything besides a quick run through Animal Kingdom but I ended up with way more free time than I expected.

It is nice that Disney has busses that run directly between the parks – it is a pain to go through security each time though so I might have to look at the new express service they have introduced when I am down with the family. It looks like (for a fee) you will get on a bus at a special location within the park and then get dropped at a special location at the next park and you don’t have to go through security again. Sounds interesting!

By the time I get to Magic Kingdom that park is getting busy too! Wait times have spiked all over but I took the opportunity to ride People Mover again and then wander all over the park just absorbing the feel of everything. I didn’t end up doing any more rides before I took the bus back over to Saratoga Springs.

I had a bit of time before my Magical Express bus came so I took the opportunity to rearrange some stuff in my bags before we were off to the airport. This included making sure I had my warmest jacket available in an easy to grab spot for as soon as I was off the plane!

It was nice that our bus only had the one hotel stop – sometimes Magical Express stops at multiple resorts to pick up people going back to the airport so it was quicker to not to have to do that.

Strangely the bus only stopped at one of the airport terminals – normally they will hit both and you get off on whichever side you need to get to your airline but this time the driver didn’t do that. Not sure if this was a policy change or the bus driver decision. Either way it meant a hike across the airport for me with all my bags. Not a big deal but it was a surprise.

After checking in with the airline and dropping my checked bag it was off to the long security line – it surprisingly didn’t take too long to get through but it certainly looked like chaos at first.

Through security – the quick monorail ride out to my terminal and had a sit, did some reading and had a light snack before getting on the plane about 30 minutes late for the 4hr plus flight home. There were some concerns there as there was significant snow fall occurring back home and it could have meant even more delays. But the flight was uneventful besides the short delay though which is always good.

Then through Canadian customs, pick up my bag and do the trek through the near -40C temperatures to my truck (which started easily and quickly warmed up, luckily). Then a 20 minute ride home through the fresh 3-4 inches of snow that had fallen in the past couple hours.

But I made it home safe and sound around 1 am. Finally got to bed around 2:30 so I could get 4 hours of sleep before getting up for work in the morning! Whoohoo!

It was nice the next morning that the kids got up to see me off to work as I hadn’t seen them since I tucked them in Wednesday night.

And that ended another Goofy Challenge / Disney World Marathon weekend trip…besides all the typing!

 

Hope you enjoyed following along!

2017 Goofy Challenge race / trip report – Day 4 part 2 – Epcot evening after race fun

See here for Day 4 part 1 describing the actual Disney World Marathon portion of the day.

After making it back to the hotel room and having a much needed warm shower, I sorted out a bunch of my gear and ate a sandwich that I had waiting ready in the room’s fridge. I also made my way through the rest of the runDisney snack box. 

At this point the early mornings caught up with me and I decided to lay down and have a nap so I could do my planned late night in Epcot that night. 

I set my alarm to wake me up at 3pm and I woke up feeling pretty good. Then I blinked and lost a half hour…ok, so up at 3:30 then. 

I got dressed up nice and warm and headed to Epcot wearing my Goofy Challenge medal. 

Interesting observation though – I saw very few other Goofy Challenge medals but several Dopey Challenge and stand alone Walt Disney World Marathon medals around the park. Why so few Goofy Challenge medals? Were there actually that few Goofy Challenge runners by percentage or did many of the Goofy Challenge runners decide they hadn’t earned that medal since the half marathon was cancelled and decided to wear the full marathon medal instead? I’m not sure frankly. Either way I felt I had earned the Goofy Challenge medal and displayed it proudly. 

I did a bunch of wandering around Epcot through the late afternoon and evening as the temperature got steadily cooler. At one point I hopped into the France pavilion to watch “Impressions of France” to get a half hour out of the cold. 

The cold didn’t stop me from wandering around with a cold beer in my hand though… 

I had a light supper in there at some point – most years I end up getting a reservation for one of the table service restaurants to celebrate but since I was on my own this year I hadn’t bothered. So instead I hit Electric Umbrella quick service instead and sat where I had a view of Fountain of Nations – not the fanciest of places but it holds good memories of eating here with my family on previous trips that makes it kind of special. 

I then hit a few rides – Frozen Ever After and Little Nemo – before wandering over to watch Illuminations – I picked up a hot coffee and a pastry to enjoy the show as well. It has become tradition for me to catch Illuminations on the last night of the Disney World Marathon weekend trips, it always feels like a great end to an epic weekend. 

It wasn’t exactly the end though. The park closed to standard guests after Illuminations but resort guests enjoyed a couple extra “Magic Hours” and I took advantage of that to get on Soarin’ and Spaceship Earth with very little to no wait. 

I then had to head into the Mouse Gears shop to pick up another piece of luggage – I had been given a shopping list of stuff to get by my wife and between that and my Goofy Challenge swag, I needed more carrying capacity. 

I found something at Mouse Gears that was big enough to carry what I needed while still counting as a carry on bag so I wouldn’t need to check another piece of luggage. It was not a cheap solution but it was well built and I will be able to take advantage of it on future trips with the family for sure which lessens the per use cost. 

At this point there was still a half hour until the Magic Hours were over but I was burnt out and still needed to get back to the room to pack! 

A relatively short bus ride later I was back at the hotel packing and luckily the new bag was a great size for what I needed. Yay! 

And shortly after midnight I was able to crash out and get some sleep! 

Next up Day 5 – hotel checkout, 2 parks and catching a plane home.

2017 Goofy Challenge trip / race report – Day 4 part 1 – a chilly marathon!

Ok – alarm went off at 2:30 and I started the layering process. It was super cold out (for Orlando) and with a sharp wind it was going to be chilly standing at the start line waiting for the chance to run!

(I haven’t added many race pics to this post but one quick note on the race pictures – the on course photographers are now Disney’s Photopass folks and you get your pictures through purchasing Memory Maker or by purchasing the individual pics you want. As an annual passholder I got the Memory Maker included so this was perfect for me. The photos looks pretty good too – well they look well composed, since I am in the contents they don’t look that good…)

Luckily (?) I had experienced cold before and my packing list (goofy challenge packing list) included cold weather running gear. I ended up with thermal leggings under running shorts, a thermal long sleeve shirt and my Nike Elements jacket. I also wore a thermal cap bought from the race expo on Thursday (I had brought one with me too but the runDisney one actually fit better). I also put on my running gloves and then loaded up my hydration backpack, grabbed one of the big black garbage bags I had brought and I was ready to go!

I got to the bus after a short walk and after they filled it up we were off. The drive to Epcot was uneventful (the driver didn’t get lost or anything like I have seen in the past). I did the wander through the security bag check and I was in with the crowd ready to race. Well, more like ready to snug together, any place out of the wind had large groups of people crowded together trying to stay warm.

Very shortly after I got there they were calling for some of the lower corrals (I was in E) to head through the bag drop off area and get ready to head out to the race corrals. So I did that and had a bit of a wait on the other side before they opened up the gates to let everyone do the long walk out to the corrals.

The walk was a bit different this year as they are doing construction on some of the roads near the start line. So instead of splitting the corrals early they all followed one path to a final split point where there were 3 different ways to go. This actually worked really well. There seemed to be less crowding this year which is always a good thing.

I made my way to corral E after a quick pit stop and then proceeded to chill…and get cold. The gear I was wearing has kept me warm down to -20C (-4F) and colder and I was still starting to shiver a bit. It must be something to do with the humidity because it wasn’t even below freezing. In Winnipeg when it gets cold the humidity is very low but I think the wind and the humidity gave the cold more bite than you would expect.

So at this point I broke out the black garbage bag and put it on as an extra wind break – much better immediately.

It seemed like no time at all before it was our time to go and corral E was off.

I kept a slow and steady pace through the first 4 miles or so until just past the Ticket and Transportation Center. At this point I was getting too warm in my gear. So I did a quick stop, popped off my hydration backpack and my Nike jacket. The jacket was too expensive to abandon so it got tied around my waist for the rest of the race.

At this point my guess from the first time I looked at my bib was confirmed. The holes were too close to the edge of the bib – I ripped one of holes out! I use a bib belt so I only use the top 2 holes and now one of them was buggered. But had listened to my intuition the night before and put some safety pins in my hydration backpack. One quick pin of the damaged corner to the bib belt and I was ready to move again. But probably lost a good 5 minutes or more here.

From there it was a short run into Magic Kingdom and that awesome turn around the corner to see the castle all lit up and glowing. Always a cool thing to see.

Then through Magic Kingdom and a quick stop to take a picture of Maleficent in her steampunk dragon form from the Festival of Fantasy parade (add picture). And then back out and keep on moving toward cone alley.

Steampunk Maleficent

 

For whatever reason cone alley didn’t seem as crowded this year – that was actually a theme for this race, the crowds weren’t too bad. This was a surprise since they also allowed an extra 2500 half marathon folks from the day before to move up to the marathon.

At this point I was approaching the Grand Floridian Resort. Mark Daniel (@lof4life2 on twitter) was one of the groomsmen cast members set up to greet the runners there. Mark is one of the presenters that Disney has been tapping to host various live streaming events from around the parks over the past year. He has a great energy and charisma on the screen! During the New Years Eve fireworks presentation live stream this year I had followed Mark on twitter and ended up being his 1000th follower. He had direct messaged me the next day or so thanking me for the follow and joked that next time I was in Disney World he would get me a Dole whip. I laughed and indicated that I would be down for the Goofy Challenge in just a few days. That was when he indicated that he would be one of the groomsmen on course. Pretty funny stuff.

So I needed to make sure I introduced myself, so around the Grand Floridian I started watching the sidelines very closely to see where they were set up and I quickly found them. I went up quickly and introduced myself to Mark before continuing on my way. Super cool.

I’m not exactly sure how I have lucked out on my twitter account the way I have, because in addition to chatting with Mark, I have also interacted with Steve Miller (@samhowzit) from Disney Parks blog and Stacey J Aswad (@staceyjaswad) from the Must Do Disney shows that play at all the Disney resorts at Disney World. One year, I even had Stacey give me a “run like the wind Ted” tweet! Disney nerd heaven there.

 Ok – back at it.

After mile 9, I noticed an older gentleman doing run/walk/run cycles – he would run in a diagonal pattern across the road and then do a little walk and then diagonal pattern back across the road in the other direction. Kind of interesting and it made me notice him amongst the other runners. I also noticed that he appeared to have a coke bottle hanging off of each hip and I figured this is my kind of runner!

I then started wondering if it was Olympian / runDisney legend Jeff Galloway (@JeffGalloway) – but I wasn’t sure and as I was trying to figure it out I lost track of where he was. I figured out later on twitter that it was actually him. Damn – missed opportunity to say hi to the legend.

Running continued without much event and we then did the tour around Animal Kingdom. This year the half way point was actually in Animal Kingdom which was a cool change. Interestingly they also had a big sign indicating where 13.1 was and there was a cast member there and it seemed about 5 or 6 people standing to the side who looked like they had been running but had now stopped. It made me wonder if they allowed the half marathon folks who managed to get one of the bump up to full spots to check out at that point. It would be a cool thing for runDisney to do but I don’t know if they did or not.

Again a fairly drama free run from the Animal Kingdom on for a while. Although I did have to take my phone out of my carrying belt as it started to do the volume dance that it did the day before on the half marathon run – I ended up reseating the headphones in the jack and it worked well for the rest of the race. I did hold my phone in my hand the rest of the race just in case it did it again though.

I took another pit stop and ripped my bib again – yay! A quick fix and off again.

And then into ESPN – I think they added even more looping around ESPN World of Sports this year – it was cool and all but a little frustrating. After the cool run through the stadium I had to stop to take the rocks out of my shoes – happens to me every time! I don’t see other people impacted so it has to be the way I run. At this point it is part of my Walt Disney World Marathon race plan.

Back out on the highways for the run toward Hollywood Studios – I was definitely doing run/walk/run cycles by this point but at irregular times as my app on my phone decided to only occasionally give me the audibles to run or walk when it was time. I was tired at this point but not really feeling beat up – that was a nice surprise.

Shortly before making the exit toward Hollywood Studios there was an ambulance and they were loading a runner in. Hopefully he is ok. It does serve as a reminder that even though you are at Disney World a marathon is no joke.

Now Hollywood Studios – with all the construction going on there they changed the path through that park and unfortunately it was much shorter than the old path. But we did get to see different back stage areas which I always find fascinating and we got to run down Hollywood Boulevard which was not done before – so that was a definite positive.

Out of the park quickly and at my happy place. I have so many good memories with the family on the path between Hollywood Studios and Epcot and all the beautiful scenery as you pass the various resorts (especially the Yacht and Beach Clubs for me). I always get a spring in my step here. Frankly if runDisney were to ever remove this section of the marathon, I might stop going – this section is that important to me.

After the truly fun mile it was into Epcot for the final stretch. Through World Showcase and on toward Spaceship Earth. I love running up that stretch too – the fountains and the music and atmosphere. I take my headphones out here usually to get the full impact.

And then a quick cut past the bathrooms to the mile 26 marker and the gospel choir. Just 0.2 to go!

Just a quick steady pace down the homestretch and the oddest Goofy Challenge ever was done. #6 in the bag.

It wasn’t a fast time for me but I enjoyed myself and took it easy and I had zero issues with my Achilles tendon so this was a huge mark in the win column for me.

Marathon medal obtained as well as a runDisney mylar blanket to wrap in and grabbed a bottle of water walking toward the tent to get the Goofy Challenge medal.

First person asked if I had my Half Marathon medal yet – Nope – here you go – thanks. And then the next person gave me the Goofy Challenge medal – whoohoo!

Grabbed a quick picture with the medals and picked up the runDisney snack box before running out to the meeting area. I did a short wander around there but decided to head back out to the buses fairly quickly.

Back at the hotel, on the walk back to the room, I had a quick chat with a family whose daughter had run the full and they asked about the Goofy and what training for that is like and wondered why I was walking faster than they were. I do walk quickly but I found early on that if I do a lot of walking after a long run I recover so much faster, so the fast walk was part of my recovery plan.

Then back in the room, shower and a nap! I did a whole bunch of stuff in Epcot later in the day as well that I will put in another post so that should be come out either later today or tomorrow.

Next up – wandering Epcot in the cold and hitting two parks the next day before getting on the plane home!

Updated Goofy Challenge Packing List – Carry on only

A few years back, I put up a packing list for the Goofy Challenge and then added another packing list specifically for the Dopey Challenge. But, both of those assumed I would be checking a bag with the airline to fly down, which is what I would normally do. However, this year I am hoping to get away with just carry on bags.

 

Why?

 

For this trip, I am flying from Winnipeg to Toronto and then from Toronto down to Florida with a couple hour layover between flights. This means I will need to do US Customs in Toronto. That’s not a big deal but it means I have to collect my checked bags at a special luggage conveyor in the Toronto airport before I go to the US entry area. I have never had a lost bag here or missed a flight but it is a frustrating thing, standing there wait for your bags as you watch the US entry area get fuller and more backed up and your flight time gets closer and closer. Frankly it is a frustration I would rather avoid this trip and it should be doable if I plan well.

 

To achieve it, I have to be more focused on what I really need to bring and what I can do without. I may also have to commit to doing laundry on the Sunday after the marathon but I will have a better idea on that as I start to pack and see what will actually fit in my bags.

 

On the bag side, I will be using a luggage piece that fits the airline’s size restriction for carry on. The trick is determining what the additional “personal item” will be and how much I can fit in it. Usually I bring a padded camera backpack into the cabin area and I might do that this time but it would be nice if I could get away with a simple messenger bag instead. Again, I won’t be able to fully decide that until I get actually packing.

 

As I split the stuff up between bags I will need to keep in mind that I might get stuck having to gate check a bag, meaning there will be stuff I want to make absolutely sure is in the “personal item” bag, just in case of issues with the gate checked bag. This means electronics and at least one running gear set in the “personal item” bag.

 

I will also try to save some space in the bags by wearing layers of clothes onto the plane. Frankly I would probably have to do this anyway. It will most likely be parka weather in Winnipeg as I head to the airport and I will not want to bring the parka with me to Orlando. So that means I will layer on clothes so I don’t become an icicle getting to the plane but I will be able to get comfortable once I am in warmer air again.

 

Wear:

 

  • Standard jeans, socks, etc (for staying warm – not much I can do here for efficiency)
  • Long sleeve running tech shirt – could be used to run if required (some efficiency here)
  • Sweater / light jacket – layering in action – but can also be used to run if the race mornings are cool
  • Nike Elements running jacket – this thing can keep me warm in damned cold weather but is still light enough to use if it is only cool out – again can be used for running or just wearing if it is cool as I am wandering a park or something
  • Shoes – I will wear my planned running pair on the plane – going to make sure I have that pair of shoes with me
  • Running gloves
  • Running hat
  • Garmin running watch (Garmin Vivoactive)
  • Cell phone in armor case and holster and a set of headphones

 

 

“Personal Item” – backpack or messenger bag

 

  • Passport
  • Race waiver!
  • Travel documents including Disney receipts for tickets to pick up, etc
  • Chargers and charger cables galore – watch, phone, laptop, etc
  • Portable battery bank (fits in my running belt and in my pockets, keep the phone charged)
  • Laptop (Surface 3 tablet actually with keyboard and hard case to keep it protected) and connectors to read camera memory card, etc
  • Headphones – I will probably have a pair in a pocket of the jacket I am wearing but I will bring a spare pair
  • Sunglasses – I would just wear them but my first flight leaves at 5 am – the sun will still be asleep
  • 1 set running clothes – shirt, shorts, underwear and socks
  • Running belt and bib belt
  • DSLR camera + one lens – I would normally take 2 lenses and a point and shoot camera but will cut that back this trip to save space
  • Kindle – I could read on my phone or Surface while flying but I prefer the feel of the Kindle and it is an easy carry so I will bring it.
  • Minor toiletries – won’t bring much since you can bring much liquid through security but I won’t need much while I am down there and things like shampoo, etc will be supplied by the hotel anyway.
  • Disney Pieces of Magic – mementos that I carry on every run to remind me of my family and have them with me on the run.
  • Electrolyte drink tablets
  • Bottle opener – for beer.
  • Magic band – being Canadian, Disney won’t have mailed out my new band for this stay but I will bring an older one to have options (plus it makes getting on Magical Express a bit quicker)
  • Nipple protectors – because otherwise, ouch. 

 

 

Luggage

  • Normal clothes – jeans, shirts, socks, etc – number of full sets will depend on room – if I can avoid having to do laundry that would be good but lounging in the pool while doing laundry after the marathon is done doesn’t seem that bad a thing either…
  • Additional running gear full set – possibly 2 to give options with a warmer weather set and colder weather set. Disney World Marathon weekend weather can be odd – I have had blistering heat warnings…and snow (curse you 2010!).
  • Running shoes – 1 pair – back up pair / walking around pair to use instead of the race pair I will be wearing on the plane
  • Space – going to have souvenirs and race items to bring home and will need that room. I expect I will check the bag on the way home so having the luggage fit the carry on size requirements but still be expandable would be good.
  • Ziplock bags – good to have to carry stuff on the race that want to protect
  • Water bottles for the electrolyte drink tabs
  • Running backpack – I carry way too much stuff on marathons but I also can’t handle PowerAde so I need to bring my own liquid fuel for the race – I find the 2 liters in the backpack gets me through a full marathon.
  • Couple of big garbage bags – easily disposable rain barrier if needed
  • Knee and ankle braces – have had issues in the past and they are easy to pack as a just in case
  • Swimsuit
  • Wipes – easy pack for GI issues on the race and a nice quick clean up after the race
  • Grooming / blister kit – bandages, nail clippers, etc – I will have to double check here exactly what I can bring in carry on bags – this may have to be modified.

 

Let me know if I missed anything!