Posts Tagged With: disney marathon

Whether to Weather the Weather and Run

Talk about a tail tale of two runs.  This past weekend, I was going to go for a 10 mile run.  It was harsh.  This morning I was going for a 4 mile run.  It was radical.

I know there are a ton of factors that go into a good/bad run.  But I’m giving the edge in these ones to the weather.

The other day it was windy, humid and near 90 degrees.  This morning it was windy, humid and 54 degrees! Thank you cold chilly front!

The other day I got my ten miles in, but it was sweaty and laborious.  This morning I got my four miles in and it was less sweaty and glorious.  I only wish it wasn’t a school day so that I could have kept running!

I know there’s nothing you can do about the weather – you gotta run anyways.  And they don’t often cancel races for the conditions (unless it’s extreme).

In fact, at the 2012 Disney Marathon, they had a warm hot front come through and so they had to put up these signs everywhere…

But runDisney, I wanted to PR!

Awww, but runDisney, I wanted to PR!

The heat and humidity of that race caused me to finish about 45 minutes slower than I wanted to.  I was bummed.  I felt like I had done all that training for not knot naught.

Despite my finger I didn't actually finish in first place.

Despite my finger I didn’t actually finish in first place.  Yes, I was a bit sweaty.

I was so bummed that while drowning in a post race celebratory beer (oxymoron?), I tweeted to Actor, Runner, Hobbit – Sean Astin asking for advice.  To my surprise, he tweeted back.

Puts it in perspective.

Puts it in perspective.

I realized he was right.  I got to run a marathon.  I got to do it outside.  It’s a good thing.  So now I always try to remember that when ever the conditions don’t cooperate – it’s still a good thing what I’m doing.  Just hope that the next time it will be better.

And for now I’m going to hope this little freaky fall-in-spring weather we got today will stick around…at least long enough for my run tomorrow.

How bout you?  How do you handle changing weather conditions (weird fact, I tend to get random bloody noses when the seasons change – attractive, huh?)?  Any celeb twitter interactions recently? 

-Scott

ps. looking back, this post may have been partially inspired by Salt.  She’s freaking out about her upcoming race.  She’s got nothing to fear tho!

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Post Dopey Challenge Festivities

If you missed any of my recaps of the Dopey Challenge, you can see them here:  5k, 10k, 13.1, 26.2.

After we finished the Dopey Challenge, it was time to celebrate.  I learned a few years back to book a few days AFTER a destination race to do the sightseeing (not before!).

It's official - I'm Dopey and Goofy.

It’s official – I’m Dopey and Goofy.

And props to the boy for putting up with being in Orland for 4 days without visiting a theme park!  Now he was to get his long awaited reward!

He was all smiles by now (and stole my sister's hat).

He was all smiles by now (and stole my sister’s hat).

Immediately after the final race (26.2), which ended at Epcot, we went ahead into the park.  They have a few fun rides there, though most of em aren’t all that exciting (the boy likes them though).  A lot of people visit for the different countries (some like to drink around the world).  There’s a pub there where we had a celebratory Guinness or two.  Then we ate some tacos in Mexico.  To be honest, after running four races through Epcot, I was ready for a change of scenery.

After four days of running through Epcot, it was time to wave goodbye.

After four days of running through Epcot, it was time to wave goodbye.

The next day my mom, sis, the boy and I hit up the Magic Kingdom.  It was fun to be there without having to run through it like we had in the previous days!

We chose an unique location for a photo.  OK, everyone who visits takes the same snapshot.

We chose an unique location for a photo. OK, everyone who visits takes the same snapshot.

Yes, we wore our Dopey medals – When else would we get a chance?  It’s also a great conversation starter with other runners, and non runners alike.  The amount of “Congrats!” we got was unbelievable…especially from the “cast members” (Disney employees).

On the Buzz Lightyear ride with the boy.  It was very exciting (it's always good to know where the cameras are).

On the Buzz Lightyear ride with the boy. It was very exciting (it’s always good to know where the cameras are).

I’ve always loved the Magic Kingdom.  I’m constantly amazed by their attention to detail and cleanliness.  And this visit, we got a rare treat.  They are redesigning Fantasyland and as part of that the Beauty and the Beast portion has a new castle restaurant.  It’s a 6 month wait for reservations, but we were able to snag one that day!  LUCKY!

Just a couple o' sad gargoyles outside the castle entrance.

Just a couple o’ sad gargoyles outside the castle entrance.

And while you can have an adult bevie at other Disney parks, never ever could you at Magic Kingdom (unless you sneak it in, I suppose, like a teenager injecting vodka into oranges, and then eating the oranges in the park).  But now at dinner service only, you can order a drinky poo.  My sis and I had some wine.

We so fancy.

We so fancy.

And remember the attention to detail I mentioned…even the napkins were folded like the Beast’s enchanted rose.

We had until the last petal fell off to find true love.  Or until we finished eating at least.

We had until the last petal fell off to find true love. Or until we finished eating at least.

The "real" rose.

The “real” rose.

We went ahead and made this our celebratory meal.  Though I didn’t pig out on fatty food like we’re supposed to post big races.  They had some wild Scottish salmon that I had to get.

I know I kind of ruined the presentation when I added the broccoli (that the boy didn't want to eat).

I know I kind of ruined the presentation when I added the broccoli (that the boy didn’t want to eat).

I also actually had a desert.  I never have dessert.  No real sweet tooth in my mouth.

We like to hug before dessert.

We like to hug before dessert.

After we ate, we had an audience with the host of our meal.

He was very gracious and did NOT smell of fermented meats.

He was very gracious and has the most stunning blue eyes.

We spent the rest of the day riding rides (of course I had to go on Pirates of the Caribbean)!

Capt. Grif didn't like the flash on my phone.

Capt. Grif didn’t like the flash on my phone.

It was another great visit to Magic Kingdom!

The same castle as earlier, but at night.

The same castle as earlier, but at night.

The next day we hit up Universal Studios.  I love their theme parks!!!  No, they aren’t as clean, classy, and family oriented as Disney, but they have some really extreme and fun rides!  This time around we hit up the new Simpsons Springfield.

We got a Duff beer at Moe's Tavern!

We got a Duff beer at Moe’s Tavern!

I ran into a bit of trouble with the chief.

But then I had a misunderstanding with the chief.

One of the coolest new rides was the Transformers one.  And outside they had Bumblebee.  This was an actual moving character, not a statue….

I guess that's my "Transformers" pose.

I guess that’s my “Transformers” pose.

And of course we had to stop by Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville.  I am a huuuge Parrothead, so this is always a must!

Booze in the blender...

Booze in the blender…

The next day, we hit up one more park – Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM).  Again, it was fun to be there leisurely and not all sweaty like when we ran though it for the marathon.

Big wizard hat.

Big wizard hat.

The highlight here was for the boy.  He had been waiting a year to be chosen to fight Darth Vader at the Star Wars part of the park.  This year he made it in got some light saber training from his Jedi master.

Like a choreographed dance they were.

Like a choreographed dance they were.

Then he got to fight the dark lord himself!

Attack the dark side!

Attack the dark side!

Then we took a ride on one of those things they rode in one of those movies.

Look out for that tree!

Look out for that tree!

And we were able to meet up with the man mouse himself, Mickey!

He hadn't had time to change out of his robe yet.

He hadn’t had time to change out of his robe yet.

And thus concluded our Disney adventure.  I must say we had a lot of fun and I tip my hat to them!

See what I did there?

See what I did there?

So there it is!

How bout you?  Do you plan vacations around races?  Do you sight see before or after?  What’s your fave Orlando attraction?

Categories: Life Times, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Disney Marathon Recap – Dopey Challenge Day 4

This is it.  The last race of four on consecutive days.  If you missed my recaps of the earlier races, you can see them here: 5k then 10k then 13.1 half marathon.

Now we have the 26.2 full marathon to complete the Goofy and Dopey Challenges.  I had stuck to my plan of running personal worsts (PW) for the first three races.  Now I wanted to go for it in the final race.

Ready to go 26.2 rounds with Mr. Mile.

Ready to go 26.2 rounds with Mr. Mile.

My “A” goal was to break 4 hours (9:10 per mile).  Considering my pace at shorter distances, I should be able to shatter 4 hours, but I have yet to do it.  My “B” goal was to PR (PB).  I would accomplish one of the two goals.

Traditional pre-race family photo.

Traditional pre-race family photo.

We got a gift this day from the Weather Channel gods.  The temps went from hot and humid the day before at the half, to chilly (and a little humid) for the full!!!  It was in the 50’s (American) at the start!

With Sis on way to the corral!

With Sis on way to the corral!

Even thought it was chilly, I knew my body temp would warm up once we started running, so I wore light clothes – including a new Ohio University tech tee that the wife got me for Christmas!

Ain't I purdy?

Ain’t I purdy?

I also carried the GoPro camera with me.  Looking back, it probably was a bad decision considering I was going for a PR.  It definitely took energy and brain power (I don’t have much to spare) to use it throughout the course.  But I decided to take it anyway, and I don’t really regret that.  We did pass some cool attractions along the way.

Mid race selfie vision.

Mid race selfie vision.

The edited down video is a bit blair-witchy, but I think it shows the race experience.  It’s funny to watch how I go from cracking jokes and getting somewhat stable shots, to gradually having zero sense of humor nor the energy to hold my arm out straight!  Haha!

The night before the full I spoke via phone with my “coach” – My good friend (and awesome endurance athlete) Rexy.  We actually have history of sports at Disney World.  In college, we were cheerleaders and competed in the National Championships there my senior year.

Rexy is

Rexy is 3rd from left in front.  I’m 2nd from right in back.

Anyway, she gave me a pep talk and helped work out the race strategy.  She said to stick to exactly 4 hr pace for the first half.  Then evaluate how I felt and pick up the pace if I could for the next 7 miles.  Then let it all hang out the last 6.2.  She told me to leave it on the course, and that if I crash, it’s better to do so the last few miles knowing that at least I tried.

Peace homey.

Peace homey.

Again, we had a 2am wake up call.  And the race started at 5:30am.  The course began and ended at Epcot.  It immediately went from there to the Magic Kingdom.

26.2 magical miles.  Or so they claim... :)

26.2 magical miles. Click to enlarge.

The first few miles were a bit crowded.  I wasn’t able to go my normal pace, and I had to do some weaving.  By the time we got to Magic Kingdom, I knew from the clock that I was going too slow.  But I also knew I had time to correct that.  5 Mile in 47:39 – 9:32 per mile.

Runnin Down Main St USA!

Runnin Down Main St, USA!

We got into the park – which is the highlight for me.  It’s still dark out, and the whole park is lit up.  Main St. is lined with tons of cheering spectators.  And Cinderella’s Castle is all lit up!  We get to run right through the castle, which is neat.  The MarathonFoto folks had some pictures of me at the castle, but they lost them.  I had even stopped for the official Castle photo – like I took with my sis during the Half the day before…

They did NOT light up the castle for the half.  I wish I had the pretty lit up one to share with y'all.

They did NOT light up the castle for the half. I wish I had the pretty lit up one to share with y’all.

…But they lost that one too.  Bummer.  If they find them later, I will share.  They did have these though…

Still in the park.

Still in the park.

Feelin the love.

Feelin the love.

In Magic Kingdom!

Feelin a little fuzzy in Magic Kingdom!

After we left the Magic Kingdom, we then headed past the Polynesian Resort and the golf course.  There was a glow in the East and I knew the sun would be rising soon.  The weather was still cool, and I felt GREAT!  I was actually smiling and having a really good time.  My pace was steadily fastening.

Suns comin up. Right on my forehead.

Suns comin up. Right on my forehead.

Then we headed into the Speedway – their race car track.  We did the mile lap, and there were a ton of classic cars out.  A childhood fave – Herbie the Love Bug – was there, but for some reason the characters from the movie Cars weren’t out this year.  Where’s Lightning McQueen???

I think running on this race track is a pretty unique experience though – how many people get to do that?  Again tho, the MarathonFoto folks couldn’t find my photos from that locale.  Sorry dude.

(photo missing)

Then it was on toward Animal Kingdom.  Still feeling great.  Still picking up steam.  10 Mile in 1:32:49 – 9:17 per mile.

*Side note.  My sis works at AK, so I happen to know a few other of the zoo keepers there.  I was glad to see some of them at the entrance to the park.  They were there to cheer for us, very cool!

Hello.

Feelin fine.

AK also had some animals and characters out.  And some marathoners would stop to ride the roller coaster, but I didn’t have time for that.

I'm ahead of the guy that thought he could fly.

I’m ahead of the guy that thought he could fly.

Once we left the park, we reached the halfway point.  I was almost EXACTLY at 4 hour pace.  Right at 2:00:06 for 13.1 miles – 9:10 per mile.  I had made up the time I lost due to the slow start.

B.O. check.

B.O. check.

Now was time to reevaluate.  I still felt good, so kept picking up the pace.  We were on the way to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  There we got to run through the sports fields, along with a lap on the track where we had been before for the Kids Race.

hi

Unidentified location.

The highlight here is getting to run a lap on the baseball field.  This is where the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball do their spring training.  It’s a really cool experience, especially with people in the stands cheering!  It was in WWOS that I had my fastest mile, but that would soon change.

I already got to first base, now I'm going for home.

I already got to first base, now I’m going for home.

Looking back, I think all the energy I spent trying to make up the time took it’s toll.  I started to feel it around this point.  But at mile 20, I was still on pace to break 4 hours.  3:02:30 – 9:07 per mile.

An angel in the outfield.

An angel in the outfield.

From there we headed toward Hollywood Studios.  Getting closer to home, but like they say, the real marathon starts at mile 20.  I was really feeling it and took short walk breaks at the drink stations to grab a little powerade (and one port-a-potty stop to get rid of the old powerade).

The tower of terror ain't got nothin on my towering form.

The tower of terror ain’t got nothin on my towering form.

But then I felt doing that worked and I got a second wind!  Awesome!!!  But then at mile 21 I think I made a bad choice.  Instead of continuing on with my new energy, I decided to stick to my recent pattern and grab a quick drink at the drink station.  After that brief walk, I never recovered.  I should’ve just kept running past it.

Keeping a brave face.

Putting on a brave face.

Also at this point, I think the cumulative miles from the previous 3 races started to kick in.  My legs started to cramp.  Every step I could feel my quads tense, and when I pulled over to try and stretch them, my hammies cramped into a giant ball.  OUCH!

Still going...

You lookin at me?

My pace slowed considerably as I tried to deal with the cramping.  Kept running, but had to take a few walk breaks.  Mostly at drink stations, but also on a hill or two.  Speaking of which….

…This is supposed to be a flat course.  It is decidedly not!  Sure, it’s not super hilly, but it does have it’s fair share of long steady inclines and declines.  Mostly from the bridges and overpasses we had to traverse.

That's a big wizard hat.  Where's the wizard sleeve?

That’s a big wizard hat. Where’s the wizard sleeve?

Anyway, at this point I could see my “A” goal slipping away.  It was frustrating, and I felt like I was letting people down who I knew were following along with the auto text/facebook/twitter updates runDisney was sending of my splits.  I also felt like I was wasting a great opportunity because of the weather and all the training I had put into it.  But I couldn’t control the leg cramps.  Maybe I wasn’t mentally tough enough to fight through it this time.  Ahh, the stuff we think when we look back.

Goodbye Hollywood.

Goodbye Hollywood.

By now the sun was up and the parks were open, so there were lots of people there.  I’m sure they were annoyed that they had to wait behind a rope for us to pass before they could get to the churro stand, but many of them still cheered, and I appreciated that.  And I had made it through the Studios.

I almost wore the same outfit as that chick, that would've been embarrassing for her.

I almost wore the same outfit as that chick…that would’ve been embarrassing for her.

We then made our way to the Boardwalk Resort.  I know that we’re close to finishing, as it borders Epcot.  I was slowing even more, but still going.

Somewhere in Disney World.

Somewhere in Disney World.

Finally we enter Epcot.  You’d think we’d be right at the finish, but get this – we still have 1.2 miles to go before getting to the parking lot finish.  That’s how big those theme parks are!!!

The big spiky golf ball means we're in Epcot.

The big spiky golf ball means we’re in Epcot.

Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament.

Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament.

By now I knew my “A” goal was gone.  And when I saw some characters with virtually line (queue), I decided to take the opportunity to stop for a photo – especially with DOPEY!!!!

I cannot explain the Dopey expression on my face, other than we were 47.6 miles into the Challenge.

I cannot explain the Dopey expression on my face, other than we were 47.6 miles into the Challenge.

Disney puts characters ALL along the course, but this is the first time I’ve ever stopped for a photo.  Then I got a second one with one of my Asian wife’s fave movie characters – Mulan!

I want a funny pet dragon.

I want a funny pet dragon.

One of the highlights, right before you leave Epcot, hidden from the general public, is a gospel choir.  When I ran past them, I turned to look at them and had one final big full body CRAMP!  I stopped in my tracks and doubled over in pain.  A race attendant asked if I needed the medics.  I shook her off, sucked it up and ran toward the finish!

Waving to my fans.

Waving to my fans.

About 100 meters to go and I see my boy!  My sister’s roommate and her boyfriend graciously agreed to babysit him while we ran, and they made it just in time to the race to see me finish!  That was the final boost I needed to finish strong!

Waving at the boy.  Pretty cool pic!

Waving at the boy. Pretty cool pic!

Past the bleachers of cheering spectators, I ran to the finish, and high fived Donald Duck (why wouldn’t I?)…

That guy quacks me up.

That guy quacks me up.

His hands were downy soft.

His hands were downy soft.

And finished with a defiant fist pump!

I will punch you air!

I will punch you air, in your face’s mouth!

Yes, I was disappointed that I didn’t break 4 hours, but I still PR’d!  I broke my previous personal best by 2+ minutes to finish at 4:07:47 – 9:28 per mile.

Yay for me!

Yay for me!

They said there were somewhere between 25,000 – 30,000 people in the marathon.  In the end, only around 19,000+ of them finished.

We did it!

We did it!

Overall Place: 2249/19,225.  Division Place: 344/1602.

Can I stop running now?

Can I stop running now?

It’s too bad, I had a nice negative split going on until I bonked.  But hey, at least I finished the challenge!  Next time I run a Full Marathon however, I will NOT run 3 races in the days leading up to it!

Pace getting gradually faster.

Pace getting gradually faster…

...and then the wheels fell off.

…and then the wheels fell off.

After we crossed the line, I collected my Mickey medal for the full.  Then on to the Goofy station to get that medal.  Then finally to the Dopey station to get that medal.

Finally our blingy reward!

Finally our blingy reward!

It’s funny, as soon as they put that medal on my neck, I felt real emotional.  Instantaneously.  I guess it finally kicked in all those months and months of training, all the early hours, all the miles and miles, all the preparation.  But sadly, the Disney folks don’t let you stop and enjoy the moment.  They.keep.you.moving.  “You can’t stop here.  You can’t stretch here.  Keep walking.  Keep moving.”  If only I had the energy to tell them that I can’t walk right now.  My legs are a ball of lactic buildup!

I'm screaming in triumph, or pain, either or.

I’m screaming in triumph, or pain, either or.

Funny story after I collected the medals and walked past the medical tent, a medical person started screaming – the other medics all thought someone was really hurt, but it turns out she went to Ohio University too.  You have no idea how many “Go Ohio!” and “Go ‘Cats” I got on the course.  Such great support!

After a chat with her, I then retrieved my gear bag, which had the other medals ready for their photo op!

Finally they are all got!

Finally, they are all got!

Later on after all our friends and family members finished, we wore our 6 medals into Epcot to cheer on the later finishers and to ride some rides and get some Guinness and grub.  People commented that we sounded like robots with all the clinking that accompanied each step.

It really was kind of heavy.

It really was kind of heavy.  The weight we Dopes carry is indeed a heavy burden of joy.

So there it is: 48.6 miles done.  It was a fun challenge, and I’m glad I did it.  It’s always a treat to run through all the parks that we would visit as kids.  And they do a good job of having characters and volunteers along the way to keep your spirits up!  Also, I’m glad I followed my “coach’s” plan the best I could, and even though I crashed toward the end, at least I left it all on the course.

Rumors confirmed - I am dopey.

Rumors confirmed – I am dopey.

In the future I’m not sure if I’ll do it again.  But I would like to do another full with this same training.  I think if I put in the same mileage, but with only one race as the goal, then I can slap that timing clock around!

I will say this though, the thing I’m most proud of is that while I was doing the Dopey Challenge, and posting about it on Twitter and Instagram and such.  That I had people message me that I had inspired them to get out and run themselves!  That’s probably the best result of this whole thing!

Did I leave anything out?  Any questions about the inaugural Dopey Challenge?  You have any desire to do it?  What’s up?

 

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10k Recap – Disney Dopey Challenge Day 2

Day 2 of the inaugural Dopey Challenge was the inaugural Minnie Mouse 10k.  Day 1 was the 5k Family Fun Run.  This race was warm and humid.  And still early.  Yet another 2 am wake up call for a 5:30 am start.  It was also much more packed and energetic than the 5k.  There were a lot more people this morning.  A lot more buzz.

My best Mickey pose

My best Mickey pose

For this race, I was again rockin’ an Ohio University shirt.  My costume consisted of my over-sized Disney cartoon gloves, and my customized Mickey Mouse ears.

Sis, Mom, Me B4 da race.

Sis, Mom, Me B4 da race.

To help keep the ears on, I wore the GoPro camera on my head with a head strap that held the hat in place.  The only issue was that it was hard to tell if the camera was recording or not.  The solution was to hold my hand in front of it to see if I saw the reflection of the red blinking light…or ask one of the volunteers if it was blinking.

Hitting record on the GoPro.

Hitting record on the GoPro.

Same corral as the 5k —> A.  The course once again started and ended in the Epcot parking lot.  Truth be told, the first few miles were kind of boring.  Actually, a lot boring.  It immediately took us out on the roads that link the parks within Disney World.  Dark.  Quiet.  Sure, there were a few attractions (characters, deejays, etc.) placed along this stretch, but not much.

The 10k is the RED line.

The 10k is the RED line.

Plus, I got to see first hand the corral start separation that everyone was complaining about after day 1.  I got to see it because the course started with about a mile out and back on the road.  I kept watching the road on the way back looking for corral B.  It never seemed to come.  Not sure why they held them so long.  There was plenty of room on the roads.  As you can see from the highlights from my head mounted video camera:

Anyway, once the course finally got us into Epcot, it livened up.  It also took us around the Boardwalk Resort.  That was pretty cool too.  It’s so weird being there so early in the morning, and I’m sure we woke up a few tourists staying in the hotels there, but it was eerily cool.

Running and waving. Talented.

Running and waving and sweating. Talented.

The final stretch took us back through Epcot before finishing back at the parking lot near where we started.

Running.

Running and smiling.

Once again, I tried to take it easy.  My last 10k I finished in 46:23.  This one I came across in 1:04:28.  Once again, I reached my goal of finishing with a personal worst (PW)!!!  Mission “Take It Easy Races 1 Thru 3” successful so far!

I have weird running form.

I have weird running form.

Again, I ran the entire way, as I wanted to complete the Dopey Challenge by actually running all 4 races – no matter how slow I took the first few.

I really need to stop running like that.

I really need to stop running like that.

Again, I was trying to relax, enjoy the run, and not exert myself too much.  This was all in design to be able to have something in the tank for the 26.2 in just a couple days.

Moments before I pounced on Snow White.

Moments before I pounced on Snow White.

At the finish, I decided to do something other than just run over it – so I did a little heel click hop!

Heel click wide shot.

Heel click wide shot.

Heel click close up.

Heel click close up.

The Minnie medal was pretty cool too. I do love getting new hardware!  Bling Bling Race Bling!

Yup yup.

Medal 2 of 6 got son!

And now we were done with 2/4 races.  9.3 miles down, 39.3 to go!  The 39.3 is the Half and Full marathons back to back – they call that the Goofy Challenge.  So all that’s left for me to get Dopey is to be Goofy.

Next up I’ll recap the Half Marathon.  If you missed my recaps of the Expo and/or 5k,  you can see them HERE and HERE respectively.

How bout you?  How was your last 10k run or race?  Ever run with a camera?  Ever do anything special at a finish line?

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5k Recap – Disney Dopey Challenge Day 1

Day 1 of 4 of the inaugural Dopey Challenge.  This was the 5k Family Fun Run.  It was chilly, but humid.  I was there with my mom and sis.  It was early.  The 2 am alarm clock did not allow for much sleep – especially since I kept tossing and turning afraid we’d miss the alarm.  I also couldn’t shut my mind off while struggling to figure out which outfit to wear for this race (a manly problem, I know).

Sis, mom, me.  Before the race.

Sis, mom, me. Before the race.

My goal for the first 3 races was to finish with a PW (personal worst).  I wanted to save my legs for the finale of 26.2 miles in just a few days.  To remind myself to take it easy, I had brought a few outfits to wear.  You can’t take a race too seriously if you’re wearing something silly.  I decided on an old Goofy hat that I own, along with giant Disney cartoon gloves.  And of course, I had to represent my Ohio Bobcats!

The theme of the race was Pluto, but Goofy's a dog too...isn't he?

The theme of the race was Pluto, but Goofy’s a dog too…isn’t he?

I also carried a GoPro video camera to capture some of the highlights.  If you have a couple minutes, and don’t mind Blair Witch style cinematography, then you can watch the video here:

And while I wanted to get a PW, I still wanted to RUN all 4 races.  I figured part of the Challenge is to actually run, and not walk.  Save for a few photo ops.  Not that I have anything against walk/runners, but for me personally, I wanted to complete what I took to be part of the challenge – running the races.

Yes, I started and finished the race before the sun came up.

Yes, I started and finished the race before the sun came up.

The 5k started in the Epcot parking lot, and finished there too.  Basically the course took us on a lap of the park.

The warm-up runs.

The warm-up runs.

I was a tad disappointed with the lack of characters out.  They’re were a few – but the line to get a pic with Dopey was insane!!!  Luckily I got to meet up with him later on (stay tuned for that pic)!

Judging from the photos, I ran the whole race with my arms in the air...like I don't have a care.

Judging from the photos, I ran the whole race with my arms in the air…like I don’t have a care.

I was also a tad disappointed that they didn’t have all the Disney flair going on – Like lighting up the giant torches.  This was done for a later race, however.

At the finish, next to a lady with a glorious lion mane of hair!

At the finish, next to a lady with a glorious lion mane of hair!

I was lucky to start in Corral A.  From the peeps I talked to who were in the later corrals (through E), it took a long time before they got started.  In fact, I talked to some who said people were finishing the race before they even started!  Apparently the gap between corral starts were kind of lengthy.

Bird's eye view of the finish.  Hands still in the air.

Bird’s eye view of the finish. Hands still in the air.

In the end, I reached my goal of getting a PW by about 10 minutes – 35:26.  Considering my last two 5k’s I finished right at 21:50, I’d say this result is a good job of taking it easy!!!

All smiles at the finish photo line!

All smiles at the finish photo line!

Race 1 done, 3 more to come!  3.1 miles over, 45.5 to go!  And a fun finisher’s medallion to boot!

Medal 1/6 gotten!

Medal 1/6 gotten!

This race was over quick.  Like I said, it was still dark out at the finish.  And it was good to get the race jitters out of the way.  It was weird to line up for a race that I wasn’t “racing”, but like I said – I had a plan and stuck to it!

So there you go, Dopey Challenge Race 1 Recap!  Next up will be the race 2 recap – the inaugural Minnie Mouse 10k!  If you missed my recap of the Expo, you can read it HERE.

How bout you?  Ever ran a race that you didn’t “race”?  What do you think of the Disney 5k?  Holla at me!

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Dopey Challenge Training Done & A Look Back!

I can’t believe the training is finally finished!  I basically started back in the late spring.  Then in the dead of summer the real training began.  I followed the Hal Higdon plan as closely as I could.  Except for a couple weeks when my knee was achy and so I had to swim instead of run.  And a few days when we were under a coat of ice and I had to run on the treadmill instead of outdoors.  I hope that means I’m ready!

20140107-164322.jpg

Hundreds and hundreds of miles done!  I added up the entire past year and I ran somewhere between 1050 – 1100.  Pretty good!

But as I prepare to get Dopey, I realized I never did a race recap of last year’s Disney Marathon.  Oops, my bad.  To be honest, I didn’t have too much drive to write it because I didn’t have a great performance.

Me and my sis running this past year's Disney Marathon.  4 miles and and doing OK.

Me and my sis running this past year’s Disney Marathon. 4 miles and and doing OK.

While the race experience was wonderful, the weather was not.  It was so fargin hot and humid, that it was a real struggle to keep moving.  In fact, I didn’t even look at the race photos until last night…

Check the Sweat!  I was drenched!

Somewhere near mile 18, not doing OK.  Check the Sweat! I was drenched!

I’ve bought my share of Disney race photos before, but I didn’t have any good ones this time around.  Although this one gave me a chuckle…

I don't know who that guy is, but it looks like we planned to wear university shirts.  haha!

I don’t know who that guy is, but it looks like we planned to wear green university shirts. His was a little generic.  haha!

I eventually did finish, but my time was waaay off my goal.  I was pretty bummed, and was mad at the weather, and even tweeted about it.  But then a cool thing happened.  Sean Astin – famous actor dude, lover of running, and sometimes Hobbit responded to my tweet.

Puts it in perspective.

Puts it in perspective.

Yes, it was hot, but we still had a great time.  Can’t do anything about it, so just enjoy the experience.

Medals dang near big as yo head!

Medals dang near big as yo head!

Anyway, I hope to get better actual race photos this  year, in fact I already scouted out the photographers’ locations Here, Here & Here.  Hahaha!

Next up is travel and Expo!  So close!  If you’re running at Disney this week, best of luck!  If you see me, please say, “Hi.”  You can recognize me because I look like the guy in the photos above.^^^^^^^^^^

To everyone else, what do you do to get a good race photo?  How would you handle running in that heat?  Tell me something good!

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Disney Dopey Challenge Week is HERE!

In just a couple days we’ll be in sunny Florida for the Disney Dopey Challenge – 5k, 10k, 13., 26.2.  This weekend’s training called for 8 miles on Saturday and cross training on Sunday.  Done and done (Sunday was a really tough yoga class).  All that’s left is 2 miles (+ weights) on Tuesday.  Then the training is done!

Let's get doped up.

Let’s get doped up.

Some exciting news – they released the official design of the race shirts…well, 4 of the 6 anyway…

I'm guessing the Dopey and Goofy shirts will have Dopey and Goofy on them, respectively.  Yup, I'm smart.

I’m guessing the Dopey and Goofy shirts will have Dopey and Goofy on them, respectively. Yup, I’m smart.

It’s time to make final preparations.  Thanks to everyone who gave me costume ideas.  I found a couple gems in my box of Halloween past.  They aren’t too exciting, as I want to keep it functional and also light, as the weather may be warm.  I’ll be sure to post photos at the race!  Be sure to check my Instagram and Twitter!

My standard Disney statue and castle photo op.

My standard Disney statue and castle photo op.

Even if you’re not going to this race, here’s a tip – DO NOT PACK YOUR RACE SHOES IN YOUR LUGGAGE! Last year, an American airline (which shall remain nameless, ha!) lost my bag for a MONTH.  Luckily it was on the way home from a race and not on the way to a race!  Keep them on with you, like they’re your little shoe babies!

My precious Brooks (and heart shaped butt sweat)

My precious Brooks (and heart shaped butt sweat), can’t run without em!

I’ll also be sure to leave room in my carry-on for all the bling!  My eyes are already looking like this…

Dopey in the sky with diamonds.

Dopey in the sky with diamonds.

Because these will be some of our rewards…

I hope to have the energy to carry these!

I hope to have the energy to carry these!

Anyway, my brain is kind of skattered trying to get everything ready.  I’m itching and ready to race!

If you care to follow my progress in real time during the races, then either follow my Twitter, or sign up for Runner Tracking through Disney – HERE.  Just enter my name – Scott Evans, and choose how you want to follow my progress.

How bout yous?  Any last minute personal tips you want to share?  How do you get ready for a destination race? 

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Taper Run & Taper Tacos

My Disney Dopey Challenge training is finally in Taper mode.  This weekend only called for a 12 mile run on Sat and cross training on Sun.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

The 12 miles was a little challenging, but I wanted it that way.  I don’t know if it’s smart, but I figured that since I’m only doing 12, that I should add some hill work.  I picked a particularly hilly part of town to run in.  They did their job.  Add to that the 20 mph winds, and I got a pretty good workout in!

Afterwards I got my reward – Tacos!  I went to a local Texas BBQ joint (slash gas station) and got some BBQ breakfast tacos.  I don’t really eat meat at all, so mine had mostly eggs, potatoes, and smokey beans.  I also know that flour tortillas aren’t good for you, so I ate their innards with a spoon.  (I know I’m mostly defeating the purpose of a cheat meal, sorry).

Rudy Rudy Rudy...

Rudy Rudy Rudy…

For my cross training I went to yoga class.  The instructor I see never does the same routine twice.  He does NOT take it easy on us.  This ain’t yo mama’s soothey-stretchy yoga!  I’m feeling it a day after, and that’s a good thing!

Afterwards I took the rug rats and rug dogs for a walk.  Before hand though, the girl tried to figure out a magnifying glass.  She pretty much nailed it…

Just like Inspector Clouseau.

Just like Inspector Clouseau.

I can’t believe that tomorrow’s run will be the last one of the year (2013).  We’re so close to getting Dopey.  Just gotta stay focused a little while longer!

Questions:  Do you have any good restaurants/gas stations? (we have several in Texas).  What kind of yoga do you do – does it have you shaking and sweating and questioning why?  Any good weekend workouts?

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Disney Marathon 2014 – New Corrals

It’s only a few more sleeps until the Disney Dopey Challenge!  And the other day I shared some tips for running at Disney World.  Today I have some new info about the updated corral system.

Coming soon...

Coming soon…

Over on the RunDisney Facebook page, I noticed some trolls have been trolling.  I’m not used to runners behaving that way because when you exercise you release endorphins, which make you happy, and happy people don’t troll people.

They’re complaining about their new corral placement.  But like most people on the internet, they are making much ado about nothing, because they failed to edumacate themselves before spouting off.

As you may know, corrals are set up for your race pace.  The closer your corral is to the start line, the faster a runner you are.  This is a very good thing for races to do.  Imagine if it were reversed and walkers were at the front, there would be a lot of collisions from the faster runners trying to get around people.

In previous years the Disney Marathon only had like 7 or 8 corrals.  Which meant that there were thousands of people in each and every one.  I have always been in Corral B.  But this year I’m in Corral F.  Here’s the corrals for the Marathon…

Revised corrals with corresponding marathon pace.

Revised corrals with corresponding marathon pace. Click to enlarge.

Now if you’re like me, and used to being in the 2nd corral, at first glance it’s tempting to get upset at suddenly being in corral 6.  Hence the trolling.

But if they took the time to look, they’d see they are still in a corral with their pace peers.  They’d also see that the corrals are MUCH smaller this year.  Some have less than 100 people in them!!!!

I feel bad for the volunteers at the Expo, I know they’re going to get unedumacated people complaining about their corral placement.  And the website says there will be NO corral changes at the Expo!!!

I couldn’t find how long the start delays are for each corral, but I’m guessing it’s not more than a minute or two.

In years past they’ve shot off fireworks for each corral start, I’m curious to see if they’ll do that again this year!  That’s a buttload of fireworks they’ll be shooting for all those corrals!

Kaboomo!

Kaboomo!

If you’re running Disney this year, don’t be dismayed by the new corrals.  It’s all for the best!

How bout you?  Ever been in a big race with no corrals?  Ever had to change corrals.  Have you ever been a troll?

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Holiday Recap: Runnin & Funnin

One year ago, I went out on Christmas Eve to do some last minute shopping.  It was awful – the crowds, the traffic, etc.  This year I did the same thing.  Apparently I’m not smart enough to learn from my mistakes.

The Murrayest time of year!

The Murrayest time of year!

But this year, it wasn’t so bad…I was much more calm this time around.  The hoards didn’t bother me.  In fact, I kind of liked all the people watching.  I even had my sense of humor intact, as you can see in this 6 second video I shot in the mall.

How was I able to cope?  I ran before hand, of course!

Following my Disney Dopey Challenge Hal Higdon training plan, I had 5 miles scheduled for Christmas Eve.  I felt pretty good on my run.  After a weekend that saw me run 38 slow miles, it felt good to do a fast five!!!  I really believe that starting the day with a run really helped me cope with the holiday shoppers.  Though it would come back to haunt me later…

My wife’s family always celebrates Christmas right when the clock strikes midnight.  It’s always a night of fun and food, but these days I’m not much of a night owl.  Since I get up so early to run most days, and since I’m always a little tired from said runs, I can’t hang like I used to.  Once again this year, I had to be woken up at midnight to join the celebration.  So I slept at a party, that’s the price runners pay, right?

The little girl was not a fan of the fat man.

The little girl was not a fan of the fat man.

On Christmas Day we had a small gift opening party with our immediate family.  Naturally, I got some running gear.   I always like to wear an Ohio University shirt at big races, as you can see…

Disney Marathon 2012

Disney Marathon 2012

Then it was off to my parents house for a big get together of family and friends.  A highlight was a gag gift exchange.  I originally won this weird Russian box of chocolates, and my fake smile serves to contain my excitement…

If I ate that box, along with that bacon chocolate = me fat indeed!

If I ate that box, along with that bacon chocolate = me fat indeed!

All in all it was a pretty good holiday!  Oh, and the little girl did get into the spirit once away from Santa…

The Santa must've smelled like beef and cheese.

The other Santa must’ve smelled like beef and cheese.

Back to training today.  A short 4 miler plus weights.  Almost time to get Dopey!

Did you have a Murray Christmas?  Get any good gear?  Does Santa make you cry too?  Do you have any go-to race shirts?

Categories: Life Times, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

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