Posts Tagged With: expo

Chicago Marathon Pt. 1 – Lost Wallet & Expo, No Flat Runners & We Bean Runnin!

So the trip got off to a rocky road start. As in my ride to the airport arrived at 5 a.m. (thanks for the ride dad!) and as I was walking out the door, I realized I didn’t have my wallet. It was nowhere to be found. It was frustrating. It was stressful. It caused me and my friend to miss our flight. I felt awful about that. And any hope to getting to the Expo early was dashed.

Please don't make me go in there.

Too many people. Too much stimulation. Please don’t make me go in there.

Luckily I’m one of the few Americans who actually has a passport. I grabbed it. My pops let me borrow his credit card. I thanked him. Finally got to the airport and sweated out the standby process.

Three happy people. One miserable one.

Three happy people. One miserable one.

Luckily there was a loooooong security line that caused many a people to miss their flights. Thanks TSA. But their loss, my gain. I took one of those poor suckers seats on the next flight. Standby success!

Next stop, Chi-Town!

First sight off the L train.

First sight off the L train. A sign that we were in the right spot.

Then it was off to the Expo. Luckily there was a shuttle from our hotel. And by shuttle, I mean a real live school bus. Okie dokie.

Snapchat fun: @piratebobcat

Snapchat fun: @piratebobcat

I personally don’t like expos much. Too overwhelming for me. But I sucked it up and tried to enjoy it. Luckily they had free beer to help endure it.

We found the beer bus!

We found the beer bus!

That looks like a long way to run.

Do we really have to run that far?

Bibs got.

Bibs got.

Hoping I will be like the sign says.

Hoping I will be like the sign says.

You hear that Chicago? I own you!

You see that Chicago? I own you!

With the expo out of the way, we were free to do a bit of light sight seeing.

We're not tourists.

Who us? No, we’re not tourists.

Heck of a town.

Heck of a town.

I see you, camera person.

I see you, camera person.

And of course, we ate. A lot. We ate a lot. Ate a lot, we did.

Homemade past? Yes. Wine? Double yes.

Homemade past? Yes. Wine? Double yes.

And did I mention I was running this race for charity? I had raised funds for Alzheimers, and the group was cool enough give us a pre race dinner! They rule!

And it was all purple.

And it was all purple.

But the best part of the pre race shenanigans was meeting up with my old college buddy, Rexy. We were on the cheerleading team at Ohio University and have remained close ever since. She’s the bomb biggie…and one heck of a runner. We met up with her for a two+ mile shakeout run the day before the race.

Lisa Lisa, why ya buggin?

Lisa Lisa, why ya buggin?

Where did we run? To the Bean of course! And we weren’t the only ones with that idea. I think every other shakeout runner was there too.

Have you ever 'bean' to Chicago?

Have you ever ‘bean’ to Chicago?

That’s always a good spot for pictures, and I’m glad we got it out of the way early as it would be packed later on in the weekend.

Just hanging around.

Just hanging around.

And since I refuse to take a #flatrunner picture the night before a race…all that was left was to wait for the 3 a.m. alarm to go off. While I did, I went back and read all the supportive comments you bloggers have been making on my posts the past few weeks (I still promise to respond to each of them). I also checked out all the supportive messages on the Facebook as well as the kind texts I received. Thanks again urrbody!

Time to sleep. Months and months of preparation was over. In the morning we race 26.2 miles across CHI.

Good night, sweet city.

One heck of a town.

One heck of a town.

Come Monday I will post my recap of the race. Stay tuned folks! Spoiler alert – I ran a PR!!!!

How bout you? What’s your pre-race ritual? Do you like expos? Ever bean to Chicago?

-Scott

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Categories: chicago marathon, expo, Fuel (food), Life Times, marathon, Race Recaps, run, runner, Running, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Rock n Roll Dallas Half Marathon Recap – New PR & I Beat Deena Kastor!

Yay, we did it!

We did it, you guys!

Yes, I set another PR, but I’ll get to that. First, let me start at the beginning ~

Like a lot of big races, this one had an expo where we have to go to pick up our bibs. So that’s what I did.

A pretend finish line at a real expo.

A pretend finish line at a real expo.

I saw a lotta friends there, which was good. Tho some of them didn’t notice me at first…

Photobombing like a BOSS!

Photobombing like a BOSS!

But I gotta say, the RnRDal expo has gotten really small over the years. There were not a lot of vendors. I wonder what’s going on there???

Anyway, the next morning some friends met up earrrrrrly to carpool down.

The carpool gang.

The carpool gang. We hang out under bridges and terrorize the city folk.

Since the race route had separate start & end points, we parked near the finish and then had to heel-toe it across town to the start.

The carpool gang roaming the foggy streets of Dallas.

The carpool gang roaming the foggy streets of Dallas.

When we got there, we were waaay early. So we did like a buttload of other runners and kept warm (and off our feet) inside the Omni Hotel.

Chilaxing wide shot.

Chilaxing wide shot.

It’s nice of the hotel to let us destroy their restrooms politely sit on their floors like that. Shout out to Omni!

Chilaxing close up.

Chilaxing close up.

After a while, it was finally time to race! So we shed extra layers, dropped off our gear bags, then went to the corrals. I was in corral 1 – yippee! The horn sounded, and we were off!

Here we come!

Here we come! Lots of interesting outfits here.

The weather was decent. In the 50’s, and somewhat humid. But the rain had stopped a few hours before the race, and it felt cool.

I will rise above, thanks street artist.

I will rise above, thanks street artist.

I had a ton of friends not only running this race, but also cheering and volunteering at aid stations. So great to see so many peeps along the course!

Hey, my form looks pretty good here. I'll take it!

Hey, my form looks pretty good here. I’ll take it!

A bonus of having friends along the course is they were able to take some of the pics you see here. Tho sometimes they didn’t see me until I was going past.

I swear I was waving at my friend and not flipping the bird.

I swear I was waving at my friend and not flipping the bird.

Warning ~ Mild Rant Here

The course itself was just ok with me. I do not understand local race directors obsession with having us run through West Dallas. I know they think it’s cool to have us cross some of the bridges over the Trinity River, but it comes at a cost of us passing MANY bail bond shops, car impound lots, etc. Not the best way to show off Dallas.

I boycotted this race last year because they had dropped their charity and were strictly for-profit. That, and I thought the quality had gone downhill year after year. Part of that quality is the on-course entertainment. There was not a lot of crowd support. And for a race that bills itself as “Rock n Roll”, there were hardly any bands along the course. Speaking of which, why is it they always seem to be taking a break when you run past?

And I already mentioned the disappointing expo, but people were also disappointed with the medals. They were very small and kind of uninspired. What gives RnRDAL?

Warning ~ Mild Rant Over

Runnin over a bridge.

Runnin over a bridge.

Other than that, the course was nice….except for the hills! They threw in a few doozies. Especially towards the end.

Ugh.

Ugh.

I felt pretty good during this race. I never even wanted to stop and walk (well, I might have wanted to on that last hill – but didn’t!), I never drank anything at the aid stations, & I didn’t even eat my Gu. I was never completely uncomfortable during this race. That’s good, because it means I can go faster!

rnrd7

Proof that I ran the race.

I don’t know why I felt so good. Could be that everything just fell into place. However, I did do one thing different that morning…I drank UCAN.

My new BFF.

Just a couple of BFF’s.

They are one of Meb’s sponsors. When I met him back in December, they gave us a free sample. I decided to try it before this race. I need to do more experimenting to see if it really works that well for me, or if it was a fluke!

Back to the race ~

It finished outside American Airlines Center, which is where the Mavericks & Stars play. If you’ll recall, I ran a fun 5k at the same spot back in the fall. Here’s the recap.

rnrd5

Flying to the finish.

Finally, I passed by the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders who were dancing near the end and finished the race! New PR! WooHoo!

The stats.

The stats.

This was my first race since turning 40 earlier in the week. I was probably the youngest in my age group. Hahaha, I guess it’s not any easier than the 35-39 age group. I was in the top 6% overall, but only top 13% in my division. Ahh well.

Oh, and one cool feather in my cap is now I can officially say I beat Deena Kastor in a race. She was there pacing the 1:45 group. But officially, it will go down in the record books as me finishing ahead of her. Hahaha!

Anywhoodle, at the finish area I saw a bunch more friends!

Some friends.

Some friends.

And then it was time for the post-race party. I was excited because Eric Hutchinson was the headliner. I actually like some of his music.

The party was ok. They gave us one free Mich Ultra beer. To me, MU is like drinking water. Not much flava. And if you wanted more than one, then you had to shell out $6 a piece. HAHAHAHAHAHA…No thanks!

Our one free beer.

Our one free beer. Celebrating the many PR’s set this day by the members of the Carpool Gang.

So we left to go get brunch and margaritas at a TexMex joint. But before we did, I got in one last 6 second video of the party.

So there it is, another half marathon in the books. And yay for the PR!!!

How bout you? Ever raced without stopping or drinking/eating anything along the way? Are you scared of the Carpool Gang? Did you race this weekend?

-Scott

Categories: expo, fitfluetial, Life Times, Race Recaps, run, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Hot Chocolate 15k Race Preview & Expo Recap

This Saturday is the Hot Chocolate 5k & 15k in Dallas. I’m running the 15k. I’ve never run this race series before, but I hope it will be fun!

Since the race is on a Saturday, they had the expo on Thurs-Fri. Not very convenient since I typically work on those days. Not to mention it was a pretty long drive from the burbs to the expo site. And get this…they charged us for parking. What the frisbee?!?

But, of course I still had some fun with it…

Me n my new bestie - Marsha M. And look, I got a free hat!

Me n my new bestie – Marsha M. And look, I got a free hat!

I didn’t realize how big this race is – they say there’s 13,000 runners running! So I went on the first day of the expo to avoid the crowds.

I got my swag bag and bib and then tried to take another silly selfie with an inflatable, but some gal ran up to me and insisted on taking the pic for me. It totally threw me off my goof game…

I was too shocked to do anything but give the shaka sign.

I was too shocked to do anything but give the shaka sign.

For such a big race, the expo itself was pretty small. Maybe 15-20 vendors, I think. But they tried to fun it up with a DJ, bounce houses, and chocolate. I made a quick 6 second video to try and capture the moment.

Anyway, as for the race itself, it starts/ends at Fair Park in Dallas. It’s a historical part of town, home to the Cotton Bowl, concerts, State Fair, performances, festivals and such. It’s not located in the best part of town, but I do enjoy going there. I’ve actually done several races in that area.

After the race with some friends and a giant ferris buehler wheel.

After a race in Fair Park with some friends and a giant ferris buehler wheel.

I’ve taken a look at the course and I’m familiar with a few of the sections. One stretch that sticks out to me is Gaston Rd. We ran that same road during the Mich Ultra 13.1 back in October. It stood out because of the long rolling hills. Hopefully it’s gotten flatter since then.

Stay the course, my friends.

Stay the course, my friends.

And while I haven’t run this race before, plenty of friends have. I was glad to get the scoop from them about the driving/parking/traffic nightmare that it is. I guess 13,000 folks can block up the roads. So some friends and I are going to take the train down. Choo Choo Chew Chocolate.

I’m in corral “I”. Usually I’m in corral 1 or 2. But they told me how it works is the 5k is A-H, and they start first. Corral I is actually the first corral for the 15k. Whew, I didn’t want to be doing too much dodging and weaving!

Once the race starts, I’m not really sure how to pace it. I’ve only done one other 15k – like a year and a half ago. All I remember is that I went out too fast, and that it was wicked hot/humid. You can read the recap HERE.

The only pic I took that day. Say ahhhhhh!

The only pic I took that day. Say ahhhhhh!

Anyway, I look forward to the race! I hope it all goes smoothly and we have some fun! And I can’t wait to get this medal around my neck!

It's a metal chocolate bar. That's one way to get iron in your system.

It’s a metal chocolate bar. That’s one way to get iron in your system.

If you want to follow along during the race, my Twitter is set up for runner tracking to post my splits. You can follow me HERE.

Come back in a few days for the race recap!!!

How bout you? Ever run a Hot Chocolate race? Anyone running this race with me that I should look for? Ever run a 15k before?

-Scott

Categories: expo, fitfluetial, run, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Key West Half Marathon Recap

It's a two sided medal, it's a wine stopper, it's fun and functional.

It’s a two sided medal, it’s a wine stopper, it’s fun and functional.

Ahh, the Florida Keys. Who doesn’t love em? Key West in particular, has always been a magnet to the funky-fresh folks.

Closer to Havana than to Miami.

Closer to Havana than to Miami.

If you haven’t been, well, it’s kind of like a tropical and clean New Orleans. If you haven’t been to New Orleans, well, it’s kind of like an anything-goes sort of haven – full of good food, strong drink, history, openness, tolerance, and zero inhibitions. Both cities were home to pirates, poets, performers, and parties. Needless to say, I love it!!!

Two similar cities. Only separated by 600 miles.

Two similar cities. Only separated by 630 miles.

In case you get lost.

In case you get lost.

And I’m glad to report that the Key West Half Marathon & 5k had the same feel to it that the island has – laid back, scenic, inclusive & fun! Peeps could even register under a “walker division” – can’t get more inclusive than that.

The fun feel starts at the race expo, which was held at a seaside bar and oyster joint…DUH!

Ain't I purdy?

Ain’t I purdy?

I was so excited at the expo, because it meant we got our race shirts! They are so over-the-top amazesauce!!!

The shirts....I heart them!

The shirts….I heart them! And check out those bibs!

And if you’re so inclined, there are plenty of shops next door to load up on souvenirs.

Yeeeeah buoy!

Yeeeeah buoy!

From there, there were plenty of good joints on the island to get your carbo-load on.

Sushi grade raw tuna "nachos"

My sis with our sushi grade raw tuna “nachos”

The eggs in the restaurants were very fresh.

The eggs in the restaurants were very fresh.

The artwork in the eateries was very high brow, as my sis and her bae recognized.

The artwork in the eateries was very high brow, as my sis and her bae recognized.

My sis with some key lime pie, natch.

My sis with some key lime pie, natch.

The whole pie.

The whole pie.

And of course, there were good bevvies to wash it down with…

Key West beer, why not?

Key West beer, why not?

My sis and a Moscow Mule at Louie's Backyard.

My sis and a Moscow Mule at Louie’s Backyard.

Hog's breath is better than no breath at all. So they say.

Hog’s breath is better than no breath at all. So they say.

Anyway, on to the race! It started at 7am over by the boat docks. Very laid back – no formal corrals, no pre-race formalities…

Can you spot me?

Can you spot me? Hint – white Ohio University shirt. Photo courtesy of http://www.fotobyfreas.com

I was a little worried going into the race. I was in good shape, but I’d been training in Dallas in 20-30 degree temps. Race morning it was in the 70’s with 90% humidity – 90%!!!!!!!!! OUCH!

IMG_2804But it was time to race, and hahaha, there wasn’t even a race starting horn – Someone must’ve said, “Go.” cause all the sudden, we were off!

I started my gps about a 1/4 mile into the race. My bad.

I started my gps about a 1/4 mile into the race. My bad.

The course took us down famous Duval St., past the Southernmost Point marker, then an out and back along the beach.

Our friend Carrie caught me on the course. Throwin Dueces!

Our friend Carrie caught me on the course. Throwin Dueces! Or maybe quotation marks cause I was feeling “great” in the humidity.

I crossed the 10k mark at 48:34, but it was all I could do to maintain that pace in that humidity. Shortly after, the wheels fell off. I was taking walk breaks to dump cold water on my head at each aid station.

Anyway, on the way back we went past the Hemingway house, the lighthouse, the A1A Mile Marker 0, and through Mallory Square (where everyone goes to watch the sunsets).

Photo I took of one of their famous sunsets.

Photo I took of one of their famous sunsets.

The race eventually ended at the boat docks. But I was really hurting in the humidity. However, I sucked it up the last couple miles to finish at 1:50:00. A full 5 minutes slower than the Dallas Half last month.

At the finish, smiling on the inside.

At the finish, smiling on the inside. Photo courtesy from video from http://www.wildsideonline.com

I was hoping to break 1:40 at this race, but with the humidity, it wasn’t meant to be. I really did push hard though – so much so that I was very sore the next day.

That said, it was the same for everybody out there, and so I was still able to finish 27th in my age group and 201st overall (out of 3-4000 runners)!!!

See, I told you the race ended at the boat docks.

See, I told you the race ended at the boat docks. Sweat much?

Even though I didn’t have the race I hoped for, I still had an absolute BLAST! It was so SCENIC! The volunteers were WONDERFUL! And the post race party was OFF THE CHAIN!

Before we could really get turnt up, I had some other friends and family finishing the race that I went back to root for!

Some friends.

Some friends.

Some family - my ma.

Some family – my ma.

Sister's bae.

Sister’s bae.

My dad's first half marathon!

My dad’s first half marathon!

My sis also ran, but I didn’t get a pic of her finishing. But we did get a selfie with the race announcer. This guy was THE.BEST.MC.EVAH! He was cracking us up with gems like, “This is the best day of our lives!” And I think he called me “dude” when I crossed the finish line.

Michael the Boston radio DJ. Solid dude.

Michael the Boston radio DJ. Solid dude. Perfect match for the Key West laid back attitude.

With everyone finished, it was time to party!!!

We had fun.

We had fun.

Da Key West crew.

Da Key West crew.

The post race concert was Howard Livingston & the Mile Marker 24 Band. I’ve heard him before on Jimmy Buffett’s Radio Margaritaville. Such a great performer!!! He even made us margaritas with a modified boat-motor-blender at one point.

Howard on stage.

Howard on stage.

Did I mention all the beer was FREE?!?! That probably led to us making some new friends. Like when I photobombed some stranger’s selfie because Howard had jumped off stage to be in it!!!

Selfie stick, Howard Livingston, Photobomb.

Selfie stick, Howard Livingston, PirateBobcat Photobomb. Love this pic! Thanks to Elizabeth T.F. for sending it my way.

Hahahaha, the race photog actually got a pic of us taking a pic of ourselves.

Hahahaha, the race photog actually got a pic of us taking a pic of ourselves.

From there it was on to Duval St. where we could proudly display our medals and shirts.

Da Key West Crew all cleaned up.

Da Key West Crew all cleaned up.

Yet another patio bar to celebrate on.

Yet another patio bar to celebrate on. I figured I’d wear loud shorts with my screaming shirt.

The patio drinks led to even more selfies. Well, that and narcissism.

Look, a coconut tree and a coconut head.

Look, a coconut tree and a coconut head.

And I even tried my best to copy RunColbyRun and her high angle, partially-obstructed-face selfies, but I couldn’t master the master.

So sexy.

So sexy.

So to sum up, it was a blasty blast!!! If you are ever thinking of running the Key West Half Marathon, I say DO IT!!!!

And besides, you can’t run all the miles until you run the first one…

Mile Marker 0. Yes, I was in Birkenstocks.

Mile Marker 0. Yes, I was in Birkenstocks.

Good times people, good times all around!

How bout you? Ever run Key West…or do you want to? What do you think of the swag? Ever go on a runcation?

-Scott

Categories: Concerts, expo, fitfluetial, Fuel (food), Life Times, marathon, Race Recaps, run, Running, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 80 Comments

Disney Marathon Weekend – Complete Guide from Expo to All Races (incl. Kids’ & Dopey)

This weekend is the Disney Marathon Weekend. I have run the 26.2 magical miles x’s 4. And last year I ran the inaugural Dopey Challenge – 4 straight days, 4 straight races – Thurs 5k, Fri 10k, Sat 13.1, Sun 26.2. For all those running any of the events this weekend, or thinking about running in the future, here’s my official guide.

BE SURE TO CLICK ON THE RECAP LINKS BELOW FOR TONS OF PICS/VIDS/INSIGHT!!!!

The 6 Dopey Challenge Medals.

The 6 Dopey Challenge Medals.

1. The Expo!

Yup, that's an expo.

Yup, that’s an expo.

The Expo is Huuuuuuge. It’s takes over three buildings at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. You pick up your race packets, you get to see famous expert speakers, and you shop. You can shop for miles. It can be pretty overwhelming, but luckily there is a bar on hand where you can relax with a cold one, if you so desire.

To read my full in depth Expo recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

2. The Kids’ Races

Medals for everyone!

Medals for everyone!

Our boy has run the Kids’ Race x’s 3. The races also take place at the ESPN sports complex. Distances depend on age and desire, from the 100 to a mile. And yes, parents can run with their kids. And yes, it can be pretty chaotic. The start times, corrals, etc. can AND DO change at the drop of a hat. My advice: Be early, be ready, be flexible. They are a lot of fun though, and it’s great to get kids involved in the marathon weekend.

To read my full in depth Kids’ Races recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

3. The 5k (or Day 1 of the Dopey Challenge)!

All smiles at the finish photo line!

All smiles at the finish photo line!

The 5k takes place on Thursday at the parking lot of Epcot. The race itself basically takes you in and around the theme park. It’s actually kind of neat to be in the park before it’s open. They still have characters you can take pictures with, and tons of volunteers to cheer for you. And just like that, it’s over. A quick 3.1 miles through Epcot.

To read my full in depth 5k recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

4. The 10k (or Day 2 of Dopey)!

Don't really need gloves in Florida heat, but ya know...

Don’t really need gloves in Florida heat, but ya know…

2014 was the also the inaugural 10k. I gotta say, this was probably the least exciting of all the races. Again, you start/end at Epcot, but the first 3 miles you are on the dark roads outside the park. There’s a little entertainment, but mostly it’s silent. The second 3 miles you do run through a resort before entering Epcot to the finish – that part is fun!

To read my full in depth 10k recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

5. The Half Marathon (or Day 3 of Dopey & Day 1 of The Goofy Challenge)

Yes, I wore a child's Snow White apron.

Yes, I wore a child’s Snow White apron.

The half marathon again starts/ends at Epcot. The difference is here that you do an out and back from the park to Magic Kingdom and back. The highlight is running through Magic Kingdom (and thru Cinderella’s Castle), but in between the two parks, again you’re just running on roads. Of course, they do have people cheering, characters, entertainment, and there’s more to see (resorts, etc.). And this race can be a lot of fun.

To read my full in depth Half Marathon recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

6. The Marathon (or Day 4 of Dopey & Day 2 of Goofy)

Medals 6/6 (includes Dopey & Goofy bonus medals)

Medals 6/6 (includes Dopey & Goofy bonus medals)

The marathon is the shining jewel of the whole weekend. The granddaddy. The big kahuna. And it’s my favorite as well. Over the course of 26.2 miles, you go through all the theme parks (Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios) as well as through several resorts and also a lap on the race car track and a jaunt through the ESPN sports complex (incl. a lap on the track & baseball stadium). There is excellent support along the course & tons of entertainment. This is Disney at it’s best. They pull out all the bells & whistles. Really a magical marathon.

To read my full in depth Marathon recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

7. Disney Meet-Ups!

We had to refill our carb levels somehow.

We had to refill our carb levels somehow.

Of course, Disney is a big draw. Not only for tourists, but for runners as well. I’m really happy that at the Disney races I’ve run, I’ve been able to meet-up with so many long lost (and new) friends. At the Dopey Challenge, I couldn’t believe how many old friends, fellow bloggers, etc. that I had the fortune to meet up with.

To see my in-depth Meet-Up recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

8. After the Races – Time to Celebrate!

At Magic Kingdom with our medals.

At Magic Kingdom with our medals.

Of course, Orlando is a huge tourist destination. There’s tons to do and see there. Disney World has so much to offer. But so do others, such as Universal. So many rides, foods, drinks, good times.

To see my in depth recap of how we celebrated CLICK HERE NOW!

9. Finally, Be Thankful!

I just said something hilarious, I'm sure.

I just said something hilarious, I’m sure.

Anyone who runs, knows it takes a lot of support. Months and months of early morning miles can’t happen without the support of family, friends, social media pals, etc. This was not lost on me when I was Dopey last year. And so I made sure to thank everyone – from fellow runners to fellow bloggers to the fams.

To read my in depth thankful recap, CLICK HERE NOW!

Rumors confirmed - I am dopey.

Rumors confirmed – I am dopey.

So to all you who are running in any or all of the races this Disney Marathon Weekend, I wish you the bestest of luck! Whether you’re running or not, or just thinking about running this event in the future – hit me up with any questions you have! I’ll try to help! Soooooo……

Today’s Question: What Disney Marathon Weekend questions do you have for me?

-Scott

Categories: disney, fitfluetial, marathon, Race Recaps, run, Running, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Dallas Half Marathon Recap (or…That Time I High Fived Meb)

This past weekend was the Dallas Marathon, Half, & Relay. This was a big one. A sold out event. Live TV coverage. Huge city. Running royalty like Meb, Deena Kastor, Ryan & Sara Hall.

I ran the half. I was hoping to PR, and maybe break 1:40, but it wasn’t in the cards. I still had a decent race and a great time!

Big state, little medal...It's all good in da hood.

Big state, little medal…It’s all good in da hood.

It all started the day before at the Expo. I had carpooled down with three female friends…Mistake!!! They treated it like a shopping outing, hahahaha! We were there for hours. At least it gave me plenty of time for red carpet photos.

White sunglasses.

White sunglasses.

Red sunglasses.

Red sunglasses.

After that, it was time to rest up for the race! But like most pre-race nights, I didn’t get much sleep (kept thinking I’d miss the 4 am alarm). But luckily I made it up early to carpool down with another friend. I was glad we were there early to avoid the stress of running late. We chilled for a while before heading to the corrals.

On the way I bumped into Meb! The Meb! But I let him alone so he could focus on his race. I’d see him again later…

I also ran into a bunch of non-Olympians…

Some runner friends before the race.

Some runner friends before the race.

When I got to corral A, I ran into a bunch of members of the WRRC who I trained with most of the summer/fall.

I thought we were supposed to wear our grey shirts that day.

I thought we were supposed to wear our grey t-shirts that day.

Then it was time to race! After some fireworks and confetti, we were off!

The elites at the starting line.

The elites waiting at the starting line.

There was about a 15 mph wind, and it was in the 60’s and like 90% humidity. There was mist in the air and the streets were wet with slickness. The first 9 miles were generally a long steady incline.

Da course & elevation

Da course & elevation

Conditions weren’t great for a PR, but I gave it a go anyway:

5k ~ 25:08 ~ 8:06 per mile

10k ~ 49:15 ~ 7:46 per mile

Halfway and so far so good. But then the humidity and hills took its toll. I started to slow.

15k ~ 1:14:12 ~ 8:04 per mile.

Finish ~ 1:45:01 ~ 8:01 per mile.

Final Results ~ 501/8441 Overall & 75/510 Division

I was hoping to break the PR I set in October, but wasn’t happening. I was still happy because this was my 2nd fastest half to date!

On da course.

On da course.

I haven’t always viewed this race in the best light. But I gotta say, the changes they made this year were great! Except for a few bail bond and pawn shops, the course was pretty scenic. I like how we went through many Dallas landmark neighborhoods.

And the energy was terrific! In particular the crowd support was AWESOME! And it was great to see so many friendly faces along the way, like my pal Tory who went all out with his cheer station…

Tory the sign master.

Tory, the sign master.

There was definitely a lot of creativity by the spectators.

My pal David and his malfunctioning umbrella.

After the race with my pal David, and his malfunctioning umbrella.

It was also cool during and after the race, where I can’t even count how many racing friends I ran into…

My friend Sylvia..I'm pretty sure that was her first half!!!

My friend Sylvia..I’m pretty sure that was her first half!!!

Another cool thing was my local elite friends had a good showing too. Our friend Brent got 7th place overall in the marathon! And my buddy Logan came in first place overall in the half, with a time of 1:08:20!!!

Logan at the finish!

Logan at the finish!

After the race, it was time to celebrate!

Group shot 1.

Group shot 1.

We had a rotating group of some really strong runners join us for some craft brews.

Group shot 2.

Group shot 2.

But I gotta say, the COOLEST thing that happened that day was Meb giving me a high five! He was running the first leg of the relay. After he passed the baton, he hung around to support the runners. When I saw him, I made a detour to hit that opportunity (literally)! So cool! And what’s even cooler, later on I got to meet him formally!!!!

Me & Meb. Like peas and carrots. Or something like that.

Me & Meb. Like peas and carrots…or maybe tortoise and hare.

All in all it was quite a whirlwind. I’m still processing it all. I was really surprised with how much I enjoyed this race. I may have to sign up for next year already!!!

How bout you? Did anyone else race Dallas? Hang out with any Boston Marathon champs recently? Seen any creative race supporters lately?

-Scott

Categories: fitfluetial, marathon, Race Recaps, run, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Dallas Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon Tips (& why I ain’t runnin it)

This weekend is the 5th annual Dallas Rock n Roll Half Marathon.  I have run the previous 4, but not this year.  Here’s are the 3 top reasons why:

1) They no longer support a charity.  They decided a couple years ago to be a purely for-profit race.

2) They have always been expensive, and now even more so.  Sorry, I ain’t payin $150 to run a half marathon in my back yard.

3) The entertainment has gotten weak.

My sis and I running the race a few years ago. I'm the one on the right.

My sis and I running the race a few years ago. I’m the one on the right.

It’s too bad.  When the race first started, it was a lot of fun.  The course was lined with high-energy bands and supporters.  The post race party included a a cool headliner concert and some free beers and grub.

My sis and me.

My sis and me and a lost man behind us.

In my opinion, it’s not like that anymore.  The race just seemed to lose it’s buzz over the years.  For example, the post race concert went from acts like Better Than Ezra and Bret Michaels, to (and this is no joke) some random 4th place finisher from American Idol from a few years ago.  Who?!?!

He spells his first name with only 1 "T".  Maybe I should go by Scot?

Bret spells his first name with only 1 “t”. Maybe I should go by Scot?

So in the end, I decided to skip this year and instead look for more locally-run, charity supporting races.  Funny thing, RnR sent me an email trying to entice me to become a 5-timer in this race.  What was the incentive they offered, you ask? Answer:  A key chain bottle opener!!!!  WOW!!!!!  A key chain!!!!! What an amazing offer!!!!!  How could I resist!?!?!  Sawwy RnR organizers, you’ll have to step up your game more than that.

One of the 4 medals I currently own from this event.

One of the 4 medals I currently own from this event.

That said, I have a ton of friends running this race.  And since I’ve run it 4 times already, here’s my tips:

1) Don’t pay for Expo parking.  They want like 15 bucks or so.  Park on the street instead.  You should be able to find a metered spot just as close, and it may be free (or just a couple bucks).

At the expo.  I got several compliments on "my style", so I'm never going to change outfits again.

At the expo. I got several compliments on “my style”, so I’m never going to change outfits again.

2) Race day – get there EARLY!!!  The start and finish are two locations, and they are not close.  If you are parking at the finish and taking the shuttle over to the start, you’re gonna need extra time (they have had severe issues with the shuttle system in the past).  If you can, have someone drop you off at the start, that’s the best option.

Another of the medals.  And some tin foil.

Another of the medals. And some tin foil.

3) Since you’ll be there early, you’ll need to find a place to hang out until the race starts.  If you’re lucky, you can sneak into the convention center – it’s shelter and they have potties.  Last year we went to the Omni hotel.  They were nice to let all the runners chill.  They also have potties and shelter.  And I believe they had a Starbucks.

4) The race doesn’t start until 8 am for some reason.  The sun will be up.  If it’s a warm day, you will be blasted by the sun from the back and the front as it reflects off the Omni hotel.  Have sunblock and your shades ready!

Some years it's hawt, some years its cowd.

Some years it’s hawt, some years its cowd.

5) There are a lot of first timers at this event.  Resist the urge to go out sprinting at the start (like they will be).  Keep it in check.  Remind yourself that you’ll see them later (when you pass them).

The ferris wheel on the medal wasn't to scale.

The ferris wheel on the medal wasn’t to scale.

6) The first 8-9 miles are a general slow incline.  Conserve your energy.  Don’t burn out getting up the hill.  Leave something in the tank for the down hill.

Who doesn't love a 9 mile incline?

Who doesn’t love a 9 mile incline?

7) Yes, what goes up, must come down.  The last 3-4 miles are mostly downhill.  Enjoy it.  Hopefully you didn’t burn the tank to get there.

8) Finish strong!

9) Find your friends and celebrate with the cooler of adult bevvies you had stashed in the trunk of your car, which was waiting at the finish area.  You did pack a cooler, didn’t you?

After the race with some friends and a giant ferris bueller wheel.

After the race with some friends and a giant ferris bueller wheel.

So there you go.  I wish all my friends running this race the best of luck!  And I wish all my running strangers luck too!  If it’s your fist 13.1, I send you congrats in advance!

Anyone else have any tips?  Who would you like to see in concert after a race?  Sup?

-Scott

Categories: Race Recaps, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Expo Recap – Disney Dopey Challenge

Since the Dopey Challenge was four days of races, I figured I’d break up the recaps so I don’t bore you with one big huge one.

Anyway, the first day started with an early morning rise to get to the airport.  I was traveling with my mom and my almost five year old.

On dee plane.  He's a good flier, or is it flyer?

On dee plane. He’s a good flier, or is it flyer?

We got in to Orlando where my sis picked us up and went straight to the Expo.  Both of them were doing the Dopey too!  Crazy cause my moms hadn’t ever run a full marathon before, but she wanted in on the action!

With my sis and mom and dwarf.

With my sis and mom and dwarf.

The Expo takes place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.  That’s where they have all their soccer, baseball, and football fields, along with a track and some field houses.

The Expo was divided into three buildings.  The first one is the main baseball stadium where we had to pick up the boy’s kid’s race packet.  While we did, we took a chance to preview a portion of the marathon course that runs there on the Atlanta Braves baseball spring training field.

Diggin' the dugout.

Diggin’ the dugout.

The other two Expo buildings housed all the usual stuff that you usually see at an expo.

Yup, that's an expo.

Yup, that’s an expo.

I’m not big into expos, I prefer to get my stuff and get out of the crowds.  But I did have to take a closer look at some of the bling we were shooting for!

My precious is so close.

My precious is so close.

I wish that was the end of the story, but it wasn’t.  The big thing this year was the RunDisney New Balance designed running shoes.  There were lines down the street, and people were buying them even if they didn’t have their size!  Turns out a lot of them were turning around and selling them on Ebay for like $700.  Crazy!  That said, my mom and sis wanted some, so we went back to the Expo a few more times the next few days until they were able to get them.

They were all the rage.

They were all the rage.

It wasn’t all bad though, as they had a bar there for me to play at.  And one booth had a Wii for the boy to play with.  And I got to see some of the speakers.  And my mom bought me some new running shades.  And we got stickers for the cars – you know, the kind that say 48.6.  Hayup.

Anyway, we got through the Expo, got some dinner, and went to the hotel to sleep (or at least try to) because the 2 am wake-up call was looming.

My Dopey Game Face.

My Dopey Game Face.

So there you have it, the Disney Dopey Challenge Race Expo Recap (from my perspective).

How about you?  If you were there, do you have any opinions on the Expo?  Either way, how do you feel about Expos –  Do you like all the crowds and merch?  Or are you like me and want to get your race stuff and go because you prefer to buy things on your own terms?

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Rock N Roll Dallas Half Marathon Prep #RnRDal

Yo yo, it’s almost time to go!  Just a couple days till the Rock n Roll Dallas Half Marathon, and I’ve got some tips for you.  I have run this race each year of it’s existence – and this will be the 4th time.  Since I have experience, I have some advice to offer – especially if you haven’t run it before.  So here they are in no order that makes any sense.

1.)  Get there EARLY!  Traffic will be a PAIN.  Transportation to the start will be a hassle.  There will be tons of people all with the same goal, so get there before them to avoid as much hassle as possible.

2.)  Find the best way for you to get to the race start.  If you drive yourself, see 1.).  If you take the DART, see 1.).  If you have someone drop you off – that’s a pretty good way to go.  If you get a local hotel next to the start, then you can sleep in later than the rest of us.

3.)  At the Expo, do not park in the parking garage.  They charge a butt ton of money to park, but if you park on the street you can find metered spots.  And I don’t believe you have to pay for the metered spots on Saturday.

4.)  If you need to change corrals, they have a booth for it at the Expo.  Just ask them and they will do it, no questions asked.

5.)  Visit the crazy Brooks exhibit at the Expo.  I’m partial to Brooks products, but that’s not why I recommend it.  They do this crazy huge set up with lots of chances to win free stuff.  Check it.

6.)  This is a late start for this distance.  8am I believe.  Last year that meant the sun was up and it was hot!

9.)  Keep in mind that the start and finish are not close to each other.  That will affect your race day planning.

10.)  If you, or family or friends, drive and park at the finish area, be sure to bring bevvies for post race tailgating.  I think they give you a free MGD 64 or Ultra or something, but come on, those aren’t real drinks.

11.)  During the race itself, I cannot stress enough that you should start out slower than you think you should.  I know that it’s easy to get caught up on the excitement at the start and adrenaline wants to take over, but let your mind take over instead.  Trust me, once the adrenaline wears off and you hit the meat of the race, you’ll wish you hadn’t wasted so much energy at the first few miles.  Try and keep it in check and go for a negative split!

12.)  Along the same lines as 11.), keep in mind that the first like 8 or so miles of the course are generally on a steady incline.  Don’t waste all your energy getting up the hill!  Try to keep some reserves for the last several miles which are mostly downhill!

13.)  The weather.  It can be hot or cold.  Changes year to year.  This year they say it will be cold, somewhat humid, and windy.  But like I said, I am writing this a few days before the race.  And as my dad always says, “The weatherman couldn’t predict a bowel movement, let alone the weather.”  It’s true, generally they can only be truly accurate about 15 minutes before or after, not a week out.  I don’t mind the cold so much for running, seems to be easier than in the heat, but if it’s windy, look out.  It’s been so windy in North Texas the past several months, like ridiculously so.  My friend is an avid skydiver, but hasn’t been able to go in two months cause of the wind.  Let’s hope for calm weather on race day!

14.)  Try to enjoy the bands we pass on the course.  I know we only hear them for about 30 seconds, but they’re still trying to entertain us.  Also, I have a fact for you – cheerleading teams on the course love high fives…Give em frequently.

15.)  Keep an eye out for funny race signs, then tell me about them.  I’m always on the lookout for a laugh on the course.

16.)  Relax.  When things get tough, just keep reminding yourself that it’s only one more step to go.

17.)  If it’s super cold, bring throw-away clothes to wear until you’re warmed up.  That may be after a good warm up before the race, or if you let the first couple miles be your warm up.

18.)  Bring a warm change of clothes for after the race.  It’s always good to get out of the sweaty clothes.  And if it happens to rain, you’ll be wanting some dry duds to don.

19.)  After you finish, go back with the spectators and cheer others on – especially if you have any friends or family on the course.

20.)  Stick around and celebrate after the race.  The temptation is to jump in your car and go, but part of the high price of the RnR races is the post race concert.  We have some dude named Andy Grammer this year.  I don’t know him, but I hear he’s good, and his music is positive.  I’ll give him a chance.  Why not, it’s already paid for and you’ve got the tailgating bevvies from tip 10.).

That’s all I’ve got right now.  Oh wait, one more – if you need to potty before the race, try to sneak into the convention center.  They have indoor plumbing and a central heating unit.  Now, that’s all I’ve got.  Good luck, can’t wait to see you out there!  Can’t wait to hear how your race goes!  Can’t wait for us to get that medal around our necks!

-Me

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