Saturday, January 26, 2008

Running Adventures Episode 11 - More Running Adventures

Sandhill Cranes

Welcome to another episode of Running Adventures!

Episode 11 of Running Adventures begins with a walk with my younger daughter who helps us understand that everyday is Christmas. I have an opportunity to help the local Sandhill Cranes, and my older daughter takes on Adam Tinkoff's challenge and shares three people facts.

Since I haven't been publishing podcasts in awhile (but have continued to record with my iRiver) some of the recordings are a little dated. This episode references the Great Dolphin Run, my running of the OUC Half Marathon and features my first run after completing the Disney Marathon.

Featured music this week from the Podshow Podsafe Music Network was "Convertable" by Michael Mucklow

The opening music is "Super Soul" by 4saizons and the closing music is from "Adventures of a Deaf Dreamer" by Josh Woodward.

Have a great adventure in the coming week!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Spirit of the Marathon

Judging from a number of blog posts, it seems many of us went to see this movie last night. I was fortunate enough to meet up with Maddy. Joining us was my husband, the newest marathoner. We had a great pre-movie meal at the Cheesecake Factory, then enjoyed some running inspiration. It was interesting to enter a theater full of runners.....not so many buckets of popcorn and a very low audience obesity rate.

I especially liked hearing the story of the elite runners as well as the "everyday" kind of runner.

If you haven't run a marathon (and are considering it) you should go see this movie. Or if you have run a marathon and want to sympathize with other folks and their training challenges, you should see it.

Best part of all was seeing Maddy and meeting fellow runner David.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Some Marathon Pics

I have been taking a little time off...and getting caught up. I am going to copy Maddy and do the picture / story post! :-)

Running through Epcot around mile 3

The infamous castle shot around mile 10.5. Still feeling pretty good!

About halfway through the race and still doing ok!

Giving "five" to Stitch near the finish line

Crossing the finish line!

With our special Mickey Medals!

Running a marathon is an incredible journey. Being able to do it with your best that is a great experience :-)

Getting Goofy for 2009!

Monday, January 14, 2008

2008 Disney World Marathon Race Report Part B: The Rest of the Story

(Make sure you read Part A first)

The early miles of the race went ok. I wasn't very pleased with my heart rate, which seemed to climb pretty quickly into the 160's. Since that happened with MCM, I tried to brush it off - believing that I had more gas than I thought. However, our early mile splits were right on pace for a 5 hour finish, and I felt that I didn't have the gas to keep the pace up for the entire race. We would play it by ear. At the 5 mile split, we were on pace but by 10 miles we were behind about a min or so. At about 6 or 7 miles into the race, we spotted the 5 hour pace group, just up ahead of us, but we just couldn't catch them. So we let them go and decided to settle for a 5:10 or 5:15 finish.

Shortly after the 10 mile mat is where the race enters the Magic Kingdom and goes down Main Street USA. This is my favorite part of the race and always makes me want to cry that I am really running. The street is packed with a very supportive crowd! There is no way I walk down that stretch, even if it was time for a walk break!

We made our way around Tomorrowland and through Fantasyland - back toward the castle where we were greeted by antiphonal trumpets and lots of Disney royalty. As we ran through the castle and out the other side, there were the usual set of photographers, ready to get a picture of runners with the castle in the background. We made sure we got in a good shot with at least two of the photographers. We hit mile 11 in Frontierland and as we headed out past the old steam engine to the train that goes around the Magic Kingdom, a couple dressed as Mr. and Mrs Incredible were posing as if they were pushing the train back. There were so many of the Disney characters throughout all of the parks. Lots of marathoners bring cameras and will even wait in line to have their picture taken with them during the race. Many dress up in a variety of outfits ranging from mouse ears to Goofy hats and Winnie the Pooh outfits. I think I saw the same guy that Maddy did, dressed as a Spartan. He must have been doing the "Goofy" (more on the Goofy in another post).

At this point in the race, my husband's knee started to bother him. This knee had not bothered him during his marathon training, but DID get him when we ran the Disney half a few years ago. We concluded that running on those sloped off ramps between the parks irritated the knee. He toughed it out, but as time went on, it became more painful for him to run. We took more walking breaks and I tried "rubber banding", with him running faster to gain a bit on me, then walking while I caught up with him.

We entered Animal Kingdom shortly after mile 16. Maddy was going to meet us here but her daughter got sick on the way to the park so they had to head home. Still, the signs she made were great and I very much enjoyed them :-). There were lots of native drums playing in Animal Kingdom as we ran through the Asia area, past Everest and through Dinoland - past the big yellow Dinosaur.

As is true with any marathon, things got tougher as the miles went on. The rain did not come but the humidity stayed. Then around mile 19, the sun broke through the clouds and the temperature rose. Between here and mile 23, we are on a long trek toward Disney's Wide World of Sports with a 2 mile out and back loop. There is no shade on this stretch, just one water stop and runners coming from the opposite direction - and a timing mat at the end to ensure no one cheats and crosses over early. You know, for the possibility of saving maybe 1 mile, I am not sure who would even consider doing that.

My husband's knee is really bothering him now. We stopped several times to stretch and he begins to walk more than run. He has long legs and is a fast walker, so I told him to just walk fast and I would jog beside him. We ran, walked, stretched our way into MGM studios. As we approached the big Mickey Hat, the 5:30 pace group ran by us, singing loudly as they went. It was disappointing - we wanted to at least beat the 5:30 group - and we were just 3-4 miles from the finish. We ran out of MGM, past the Swan and Dolphin hotels and around the boardwalk. As we went, an ambulance was taking a runner away. We are not sure if he was felled by the heat and humidity or something else. It is tough to see the race end that way for anyone, especially 24 miles in.

We entered Epcot - where we had been running just over 5 hours ago. We passed the 25 mile marker just outside of the French pavilion and made our way all the way around the world showcase. By now the park was officially open to visitors who joined other spectators in cheering the runners on: "You are less than a mile a way", "You look great, you've done it." After passing Spaceship Earth one more time, seeing the finish line, my husband and I joined hands and he RAN in with me across the finish line. We put on a big smile for the finish line cameras, then after crossing the mats we stopped off to the side and gave each other a big kiss. WE HAD DONE IT! The clock read 5:37. Our net time was 5:35:16.

Today we are both a little stiff but recovering well. We just signed up for the 2009 Goofy Race and a Half (more on that in my next blog entry).

“Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhileration of victory.” Unknown

2008 Disney World Marathon Race Report Part A: Pre-race and the Start

Eighteen years ago, my husband Jim and I made the decision that we would spend the rest of our lives together, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, all the way to the "finish line" of our lives. This week, we celebrated with a 26.2 mile journey together through the magical world of Disney!

In the week leading up to the race, we took the typical precautions - making sure that we ate the right foods, got plenty of rest, and making sure our bodies "felt" right. My husband has been suffering through some foot and shin issues through his training, making his preparation less than ideal. His longest long run was 18 miles, run back in November. Since then he maxed at about 12 miles. But he was mentally ready, and in his mind had already completed the race. For me, I was concerned about the tiredness and lack of energy on recent long (and short runs). My last few runs were encouraging, but my heart rate readings were indicating that I was using up "gas" much sooner than I would like. The weather report had some rain in the forecast but before going to bed on Saturday night, it appeared we may not have rain - or if we did the chances were low. We brought gear in case it rained before the race - but figured once we started it didn't matter so much.

We decided to not get a room at Disney and to make the morning 50 minute commute to Epcot. As is my custom on "absolutely must get up" mornings, I set 3 alarms. I got up on the first alarm which went off at 2:30 am. We had breakfast and got ourselves ready and out the door by 3:15 am. By about 4:25 am we had reached the pre-race staging area where we checked our bags and found a port-o-potty before we were led to the starting corrals at 4:45 am. It is about a 15-20 minute walk to the starting corrals. We were in our Corral (Corral E) at about 5 am - waiting for the 6 am starting gun. It was about 60 degrees with fairly heavy fog - making the moist air feel a bit cool. I donned my rain poncho to keep warm since I was wearing a singlet and shorts for the race. I did feel that it was a bit more fashionable than the traditional garbage bags - and at $.88, not a bad deal. Hubby wore a short sleeve tech shirt and shorts. Our only other race gear was our fuel belts complete with Clif Shots. I also carried a cell phone in case Maddy was going to make it to cheer us on and for coordination with family when we finished.

We looked to see where the 5 hour pace group was going to line up - but they were no where to be found in our corral. Then I saw the 5:30 pace leader line up in the corral in FRONT of us! Where was the 5 hour pace leader and why was the 5:30 leader in front of us? We found out that the 5 hour pace leader was in Corral C, which was lined up behind A and B over on the other side of the roadway. We were in Corral E, behind Corral D (Corrals F, G and H were behind us). These two groups enter Epcot in two different areas and merge at about mile 4. We could only hope to find the 5 hour pace group. I wasn't completely dismayed. Being in corral E with only one corral in front of us meant we would cross the starting mat fairly quickly - with few folks in front of us, we could keep pace until we ran into the 5 hour pace group. That was the plan anyway.

Because of the 15th running of the race, we counted down from 15 with Mickey and Minnie before the fireworks went off, lighting up the sky and starting off the race. We crossed the starting mat 2 minutes into the race. We were on our way!

We all ran through the night, heading down the first stretch of highway, then after a couple of miles entering our first (and last park), Epcot. Epcot was ablaze with light - all the torches around the world showcase were lit as well as the countries and the World ball thing in the middle of the lagoon. The music was upbeat and inspirational. We ran by Spaceship Earth (the ball thing) and around the world showcase before exiting Epcot and joining with the other half of the marathoners who started on the other side of the road. We circled back toward the starting area and passed the starting line at about mile 4 of the race. The early morning starting line race supporters were there cheering on the runners on their second pass of the morning and sent us all on our way to the Magic Kingdom.

Before the race started, Jeff Galloway himself made a few remarks and indicated he would be running 1 min and walking 1 min. He planned to finish in about 4:45. We figured we would never get to see him. As we ran along past the 4 mile mark, we noticed a familiar face who was in the middle of a walking break. As we ran by my husband asked, "Isn't that Jeff Galloway?" A lady near him (his wife) replied, "Yes, it is." That was so cool! Then I had a thought...could we run walk with them and finish in 4:45???? When they started running and moved quickly by us, and I realized that we probably couldn't. But we did run near them for quite a while, then lost them in the crowd.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Preliminary Report - We finished!

Check out the super secret 15th anniversary hardware....

My husband and I finished the marathon together in 5:35:16. More details later but some factors in race finish:

1 - Weather - very humid throughout and later warm - some folks believed it felt warmer than last year. No rain (I would have liked a shower or two).

2 - I lost steam fairly early - well before mile 10.

3 - Husband began having knee troubles around mile 8, started to get worse around 11. He pushed through and survived - walking much of the last 2 miles. Right now he has it on ice.

Thank you everyone for your incredible support!!!! It WAS a magical day! More details (read that as "really long") race report later.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Marathon Expo - Packet Pickup

This evening my entire family went to Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex to pick up our race packets for Sunday's Marathon. Maddy and I were going to try to hook up, but we were in and out before she was able to get over there. I had some Genetics and other 7th grade science concepts to study with my older daughter for her big test tomorrow.

We were thinking Thursday would be the least crowded night (since folks from out of town were probably arriving on Friday). Still it was quite crowded as you can see from the picture!

We got right down to picking up our stuff, I bought a new fuel belt, the new Helium.

I also picked up a couple of shirts. I am especially a fan of the Life is Good brand.

I am starting to get excited. I am making my list and checking it twice!!

Oh - had a really relaxed 3 mile run today...3.05 miles in 32:26. I am so ready!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

One More Week!

Just one more week until my husband and I run Disney! Training lately has been tough but it went much better this past week. After a tough 16 miler that left me drained on the 22nd of Dec, a difficult 5 miler the following week, and an even harder 12.5 miler last weekend - I was worried that I just didn't have the energy anymore and the race was going to be a bust.

But I regained some confidence with my past 2 runs. On Thursday evening my husband and I ran 5 miles in 44 degree and 11 mph winds(translate that as 38 deg wind chill....cold for us Floridians). The chill felt great and we had a wonderful run - finishing at a 10:42 min/mi pace (with 5 min run and 1 min walk). Yesterday late afternoon (probably around 70 deg) we ran 10.2 miles in 1 hour 55 min - an 11:17 min/mi pace - again using the run 5 min walk 1 min approach.

I feels great to see my running times return to the "normal range." The focus in the coming week is to do a few easy short runs - get plenty of rest and eat well. I think I will leave the iRiver and iPod home. I will have the cell phone so I can always use Jott to record anything I want to say. Jott let's me do Twitter on the fly as well - if desired.

I am beginning to get excited. The extended forecast has been a mixed bag, depending on which website I pay attention to. Accuweather says cloudy and nice with temps ranging from upper 40's to around 70 degrees. is calling for some rain with highs around 80. Cooler will be better but you know how it goes - you get what you get. Let's hope Accuweather has it right!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year!!

It has been a busy much has been going on! Here are the highlights:

1. Walt Disney World Runner Tracking: Once again Disney is going to allow you to track runners. In the past this has not always worked so well with delivery of the emails coming hours later. But if you want to give it a go you can sign up to track me at this link. If you don't know my full name, email me and I will send it to you.

2. Taper Madness: Yes I have been going through this a bit. After an exhausting 16 miler a couple of weeks ago and a difficult 5 miler after that, I had an incredibly tough 12.5 miler on Sunday. I had to walk nearly the entire last 2 miles and my heart rate was hitting the 90% at around 6 miles (and I was trying to run slow). Tomorrow I am going to brave the Florida "cold" and try for a shorter run. Hopefully I won't feel like I am going to die like I have lately.

3. Marathon goals: For Disney my goals are a bit different from what I have been thinking: a) Finish the marathon with my husband b) Beat 5 hours 30 min.
Dream goal: Beat 5 hours. Given the way I have been running lately - I am thinking I may not make the 5 hour goal time. But who knows....I may have a lucky day. I am trying to rest up and eat well.

4. 2008 Goals: Well, I have to put thought into that....I shall post some goals this weekend. Most of my thoughts have been get through Disney, rest up, then move forward with a plan :-)

5. Happy New Year: We hosted a very fun party at our place on New Year's Eve (following 3 days of preparation). We didn't have the crowd we hoped for but the fireworks were great. You can check it out below. I made the clip using my new digital camera and edited using Windows Movie Maker.

Happy New Year Everyone! Here's to great running in 2008!