Posts Tagged With: map

Bloomin’ 4-Mile Race Recap – I Almost Puked, But Then Ate Tater Tacos

The Bloomin’ 4-Mile was a tough race. Mainly because it was so so hot. Hot and humid. Sun a-blazin! I really struggled (as did we all), but was able to push through for a new PR*!

*This was my first 4 mile race, so automatic PR anyway.

*This was my first 4 mile race, so automatic PR anyway.

The race was at White Rock Lake in Dallas. I always love running there. I had a couple friends also going down from the burbs, so we carpooled together.

Hamming it up in a field of wildflowers.

Hamming it up for the race photographer in a field of wildflowers.

This was part of the Dallas Running Club’s race series. It’s a pretty sweet deal – $30 for a year membership to the club and you get to run 8 races for free!!!

Before the race with my run buds.

Before the race with my run buds…and a photobombing tree.

The course was a 2 mile out and back. I run around this lake often, so I knew what was coming – a nice little hill for us to climb once on the way out, and once on the way back. The second one especially hurt.

The red (slow) part was the hill.

The red (slow) part near the turn around was the hill.

It was really hot, you guys. I really wanted to stop and take a puke walk break, but I pushed on. Thankfully I did, cause it meant I was done sooner. I was pleasantly surprised at my results, considering how I felt during the race.

Never so happy to see a finish line.

Never so happy to see a finish line.

Official Results:

29:01, 7:15 per mile, 5th in Age Group, 41/440 Overall

And while I missed out on a medal, some of my friends managed to place. Big ups to them!!!

After the race, trying to muster the energy to smile.

Someone in this pic got a medal, someone else missed getting one by 4 seconds. That’s gotta hurt.

Another advantage of running around WRL are the nearby craft taco joints. They are a must after a run! Run, eat tacos, watch friends play on their phones, repeat.

So all in all, a painful, but successful day!

How bout you? Ever run a 4 mile race? Any hot races lately? Ever had mashed taters in your tacos?

-Scott

Categories: fitfluetial, Fuel (food), Race Recaps, run, runner, Running, taco | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Rock the Block 10k Recap – Running in Soup & Winning Medals!

I did just run the Rock the Block 10k over the Memorial Day weekend. It was a tough day, but good news is that I was still able to manage my way to a medal!

I wish in college I had learned how to make a proper collage.

I wish in college I had learned how to make a proper collage.

As I mentioned in my preview, I was not looking forward to running this race course. I’d run it before and wasn’t a huge fan. Well, be careful what you wish for. Due to all the crazy stormy floody weather we’ve been having in Texas, the course was part underwater. But rather than cancel, the organizers scrambled to get a new certified course.

rtb map

Look closely folks, the 10k is a two lap course.

First off, kudos to the race for not cancelling, and finding an alternate route. But unfortunately the new route was a 5k distance that we had to run twice. There’s nothing more demoralizing than crossing the finish line and realizing you’re only halfway done. And on the 2nd lap of the race, we hit all the people still trying to finish the 5k. That meant a lot of weaving and missing out on tangents. Throw in a few hills and 180 degree turns, and it was a bit challenging.

Before the race with two normal sized ladies and one miniature sized.

Before the race with two normal sized friends and a miniature sized one.

The weather was also a factor. 97% humidity. Ugh. It was like running through pea green soup. Legs felt heavy and when the breeze was at our backs, it was hard to breathe. I saw one guy puking about a mile in. And through a middle section of the race it started to rain on us which made the roads a bit slick.

That all said, I was able to push through and finish 3rd in my age group and 14th overall!

Official stats.

Official stats.

I was hoping to break my PR of 46:00 that I set one year ago, but it wasn’t meant to be. I finished in 46:32, or 7:29 per mile. And I was proud of myself for actually rocking a negative split (I lost those stats doe).

I'll get you next time, two guys I don't know!

I’ll get you next time, two guys I don’t know!

Not only that, but my peeps from WRRC and TNSR also received age group awards!

Bringing home da bling.

Bringing home da bling.

So despite the tough conditions, we had a great time. And they raised a lot of fundage for a good cause.

And best of all, we all went for breakfast tacos after the race!

Racing, medals & tacos…I’ll take it anytime!

How bout you? Race this weekend? Your tips for humidity running? It’s been so long, can anyone tell me what the sun looks like?

-Scott

Categories: chicago marathon, fitfluetial, Fuel (food), marathon, Race Recaps, run, runner, Running, taco | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Race Discount for YOU, Check My Flow, & It’s (hopefully) Race Day!

It’s been a good week of runs for me, I think even Kanye would agree…

Josh is excellent at photoshop.

Josh is excellent at photoshop.

A TNSR run is always fun.

Rhyme 1.

Trying a new running form.

Tho the day before’s run on the track was whack.

Rhyme 2.

The clouds and the noises they made were scary, but I got the run dun before they cried on me.

But the day before that was pretty phat.

asdfasd

A baby run and a papa run.

OK, that’s enough freestylin. I gotta focus on this weekend – RACE TIME! Well, I hope. My last two races have been cancelled due to massive Texas storms. And as I write this it is storming again. Hopefully it will clear up before the race.

I was lucky enough to get a free entry to this race – Rock the Block 10k. That said, I’m dreading it a little. I ran this race last year and wasn’t a fan of the course.

Click to enlarge (that's what she said).

Last year’s poster. The route hasn’t changed. Who likes an out and back – I mean, honestly?

But at least I know what to expect since I’m familiar with the route.

And we're off!  -Photo from Dallasnews.com

And we’re off! -Photo from Dallasnews.com

And hopefully the rain clouds will help keep it kewl this year – last year it was friggin hawt!!!! But I still ran a PR (with a horrible positive split) of 46:00.

Just a bit sweaty at the end.

Just a bit sweaty at the end.

I’m going for a negative split and another PR, so come back in a couple days for the recap!!!

Other than that, the fine folks at Spartan Race have sent me a discount code to share with you:

Email-Module-580x580_Memorial-DayThey do these obstacle races all over the USA (and I think internationally too), and they have different distances you can choose from…

Email-Header_Memorial-DayBut hurry up and use the code MEMORIAL because I believe it expires pretty soon!

Twitter-Post_880x440_Memorial-DaySo there ya go, kiddo. A week that was pretty on fleek. And now I best be goin cause my rhyme is done flowin.

How bout you? Running this holiday (US) weekend? Ever run a Spartan Race…or going to? Do you have any race predictions?

-Scott

Categories: chicago marathon, fitfluetial, marathon, run, runner, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

My Last Race Ever!!!*

Yup, it’s true. This weekend is my I’ll be running my last.race.evah.*

*In my current age group.

Yup, I have a birthday coming up, which is going to catapult me into a brand spankin new age group. So this weekend’s race will be my last in the 35-39 division. Hopefully I can go out with a bang!

Sadly tho, I won’t be running any of the St. Patrick’s Day themed races in Dallas. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some St. Patty’s Day fun, but me no likey the huge crowds at those races.

I'd be a giant in leprechaun village.

I’d be a giant in leprechaun village.

Instead I’m running the Chain Reaction 5k.

10854179_979430118753212_1007218552155927931_oI chose this race for a few reasons: 1. I live nearby. 2. Registration was affordable. 3. All proceeds go to a good charity. 4. A couple times per week I run the trails this race is utilizing, so I’m familiar. 5. It looks to be a small race.**

**With small races, odds go up of placing…even in my super competitive current age group!

That all said, even though I run in this park all the time, I’m not sure how they’re going to host a 5k there. I know for a fact that the main trail is only about 1 mile around. I reached out to them for the course map, which they very kindly sent me. But to be honest, the map cornfuses me.

I can't make heads or tails of this route.

I can’t make heads or tails of this route.

They say it’s a two lap race, but I don’t get which directions it goes. And also, the map clearly shows that we go off pavement to dirt mud trails for a section. That’s not good because it’s been raining non-stop here in North Texas.

This is what I kept telling myself all week.

This is what I kept telling myself all week.

I again reached out to the race folks, who assured me the race is all on pavement. If that’s the case, then the map is wrong, so I’m even more cornfused.

Anyways, I’m probably over-thinking it. I need to just go to the race and have fun trying to run fast. But what would runners do if we weren’t obsessing over running details. Am I right?

And those who know me know I also obsess over tacos. So now I’m off for some pre-race veggie ones!

This will help me run fast, right?

This will help me run fast, right?

Stay tuned for the recap where all the mysteries will be solved!

How bout you? Can you figure out that course map? Are you celebrating St. Pat’s? Do you have a prediction for my performance?

-Scott

Categories: fitfluetial, Fuel (food), run, Running, taco | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

The 9 Mile Lake Loop Run & Taco Reward

I’ve written about it before, but White Rock Lake in Dallas is an extremely popular spot for area runners – as well as bikers, walkers, fishers, kayakers, unicyclers, etc.

The main trail around the lake is pretty much exactly 9 miles. There are also connecting trails and secret little side trails if you want to add more mileage. When in marathon training, this is where I usually go for my really long runs – especially if I need to run 20+ miles.

Running Shoes, meet Lake.  Lake, meet Running Shoes.

Running Shoes, meet Lake. Lake, meet Running Shoes.

Since I finished the Dopey Challenge in Janurary, I hadn’t been down to WRL to run. But as our week of record low temps for North Texas in July kept on keepin on, I decided I better take advantage, and so I went to loop the lake.  The temps were awesome, but it was still 95% humidity – It never quite rained, but it did mist at times.  But the cloud cover was very welcome indeed.

Panorama mode

Panorama mode

One always see a lot of weird interesting things around the lake – elites training, an episode of Cheaters being shot, coyotes, Dallas Cowboys taking photos of a horse, a dead body, a marriage proposal – seriously, you knever know.

This time around, I ran into crossed paths with a couple runner friends who were doing their own loops…Like my buddy Lindsay over at Marathonstateofmind .  It’s funny though how none of us ever seem to stop and say our hellos – nobody wants to interfere with the others’ workout – we just wave and shout a passing, “Heeyyyyyy!”  Haha – though immediately afterwards we all contacted each other to make plans to catch up.

boom

You might want to avert your eyes at the Pump House ~ brown chicken brown cow!!

Anyways, for my run I decided to keep my pace comfortable and not look at my watch the whole way. Just wanted to enjoy it. I don’t know if it was the weather, but I think this may be the first time I’ve looped the lake without taking any quick breaks (to refill my water bottle or use the loo). I just kept going – one foot after another until I made it all the way around.

When I finished, I looked at my watch and was pleasantly surprised. I had ran the whole way with an average pace of 8:10 per mile! Not bad (for me) for a ‘long’ ‘comfortable’ solo run. I’ve run one 10 mile race as well as a few half marathons at an 8:13-15 pace which felt like tuff exertion.  So I’m anxious to see how my next race at those distances goes! Looks like my speed work is working.

The tale of one man and his trek around a city lake.

And so ends the tale of one brave man and his trek around a city lake.

Another bonus to running there is the proximity to some good taco joints. Of course that is exactly where I went after I was done to get some breakfast tacos…

Boom.  Tacos.  Boom.

Boom. Tacos. Boom.

All in all, a purdy good lil Saturday morning there.  It made me really look forward to the fall (not a literal fall, like falling down, but like the Autumn kind ~ ya dig).

How bout you?  Any special go to run spots?  Seen any odd interesting things on a run recently?  Who wants tacos?

-Scott

Categories: Fuel (food), run, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 53 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?

 

Categories: Race Recaps | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 70 Comments

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!

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Dopey Challenge Race Courses Revealed!

As many of you know, I’ve spent the past several months training for the Disney Dopey Challenge.  It’s 4 straight days of racing.  Thurs: 5k, Fri: 10k, Sat: 13.1, Sun: 26.2.  I’ve been waiting patiently for them to release the course maps…they finally have!

**CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO SEE AN ENLARGED VERSION**

Here’s the 5k and 10k routes…

The warm-up runs.

The warm-up runs.

The first few miles of the 10k ain’t all that exciting, but I’m glad that at least both races follow somewhat different routes (in the same area).  I love variety in my running!  I’m also happy that the start and finish are near each other.  That way any spectators we have can at least see us twice!

Next up is the half marathon…

Half of the most magical place on Earth.

Half of the most magical place on Earth.

Basically a jaunt up to the Magic Kingdom and back from EPCOT.  Only thing that concerns me is the round-a-bout at mile 10.  I’ve been there before and it is a man made hill.  It’s a swirly overpass of road, and it. is. very. angled.  You can’t take two even steps because of the slant.  I’ve had several friends get injured at that overpass.  At least I know what to expect and can try to be safe there.

Finally is the main event, the full marathon…

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

26.2 magical miles. Or so they claim… 🙂

I really like this course.  You get to see most of the main attractions of Disney World.  I only wish there was a way they could mix in Downtown Disney.

As you can see, they take us through all 4 major parks – EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, & Hollywood Studios.  In addition, we also get to do a lap on their race car track (1 mile around) and through their Boardwalk resort.

In between we pass by various other “attractions”.  Running past the golf course is cool, but in years past running past the waste water management plant didn’t smell too pleasant.  But I guess you gotta take the good with the not so good, right?

I also really like how that now have us going through the Sports Complex.  There we get to run through the training soccer and football and baseball fields.  We also get to do a lap on the track!  And the highlight is running thru the baseball field where the Atlanta Braves do their spring training.  Last year, that was coolio because there was a big crowd in the stands cheering for us (and they had cameras putting us on the big screen on the outfield wall).

It all ends up back at EPCOT.  Which, if you look at the map, is over a mile in itself.  That just goes to show you how big the parks actually are.  I can say this from experience:  there’s not much more deflating than entering the final park, thinking you’re almost done, then turning a corner and seeing the “mile 25 marker”.  Ugh, another 1.2 to go, all in the same theme park!!!

But it’s all good.  I’ve done the Disney Marathon 3 times now, and I know how the game is played.  In the coming weeks I’ll offer my tips from experience for anyone else who happens to be running at Disney Marathon Weekend.

What about you?  Do you obsess over course maps before a race, or do you care?  Have you run at Disney?  Any tips?  What do you think of the courses?

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