Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Disneyland 1/2 marathon

On Sunday Sept 5th I ran the Disneyland 1/2 marathon. It was the second time I have run this race. We flew to California on the 1st. We wanted time to hang out in the parks before the race. We stayed at the Grand Californian. Wow, what a fabulous hotel. Spent lots of time in Disneyland & California Adventure.

On Saturday the 4th we attended a Team AllEars meetup at the the Paradise Pier hotel. Got to meet and talk with Deb Wills, the founder of and some other team AllEars teammates.

Race day we got up at 4:30AM got dressed & ate some breakfast. Once we were ready to go we walked from the hotel to the starting corrals. There were runners & walkers every where. I went to my corral & Pam went to her corral. The race started at 6am. By about 6:15 I was crossing the start line. First couple of miles I ran at an easy warm up pace as we ran through backstage California adventure. One we crossed over to Disneyland I was good and loose and picked up my speed some. My goal was to run miles 3 through 9 at 9:00 to 9:30 pace.

Miles 1 through 4 took you through both theme parks and then it was on to the streets of Anaheim. We ran through the industrial area of the city. At mile 8 we ran by the Honda center (where the Mighty Ducks play) and then on to the Sana Anna trail headed towards the big "A" where the Angels play. It was a blast getting to run in the ballpark. Once out of the ballpark, we got to mile 10. I wanted to run the last 4 miles sub 9:00. Near the finish we went ran back into the California adventure (backstage) headed for the finish line. We left DCA, ran around the Paradise Pier hotel turned up Disneyland drive and I could see the finish line. I crossed the line with a time of 2:02:39. This was a 12 minute PR for me. I was pretty jazzed & pumped up over how well the run went. I crossed the line got my medal & then found the Coast to Coast medal stop, picked that up and went back to the finish area to wait for Pam to complete her first 1/2 marathon.

It was real neat seeing her come aroound the corner after she finished knowing she had completed the race with time to spare. We walked to the medal stop & Pam got her medal.

We got in line to have our picture taken together with our medals and then headed for the food line. We found a spot where we could take our pictures with the 5th anniversary backdrop and snapped a couple of pictures with our bling.

This is the 2nd time I have gone to Disneyland for the Coast to Coast medal. Will I do it a 3rd time, absolutely. We had just as much fun this year as last and we are already looking forward to doing it again next year.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time, run strong & enjoy the moment

Sunday, August 29, 2010

California here we come

We are less than a week away from the Disneyland 1/2 marathon. Our training is just about over & it's time to go run!!! During this past training cycle I have done a variety of different types of training runs. Everything from easy runs, tempo runs, progression runs, heart rate training & of course hill work. My goal is to set a PR. If it happens that would be great, but if not that's OK also. After all we are running at The Happiest Place on Earth.

I am most of all excited for Pam, who will be doing her very first 1/2 marathon. She is going to walk it. Let me tell ya, she has worked every bit as hard as me in her training. She is a little nervous & anxious. I have told her that is normal. I still get that way myself.

More than anything we are ready for a vacation. We have not been anywhere this summer. What we have done, is work on the house all summer. We are both very excited to "just get out of town" and relax at Disneyland. We are flying to So Cal on Wednesday, that gives us four days to just hang out before the race on Sunday morning. We have made a couple of dining reservations, but other than that just going to wing it.

Can't wait to see Pam cross that finish line and have that medal hung around her neck. Hope to get a picture of the two of us with our medals. Oh yeah, I'm going after another Coast to Coast medal. After this race, Wine & Dine is next up & then the Goofy challenge in January.

Well, all that is left to do is go ruuunnnn!!!

Thanks for reading.

Til next time, run strong & enjoy the moment

Sunday, August 22, 2010

2 weeks to go

Two weeks from today is the Disneyland 1/2 marathon. I believe I am ready. I have most certainly put in the training miles. I have done progression runs, tempo runs, hill work & lots of HR zone training runs. You know, a PR would be nice, but I really just want to have fun running through the parks.

Last year I stopped and took some pictures. I had decided I was not going to do that this year & try to PR. The more I think about it, I don't really care much about a PR and I think I will carry a camera and stop and take pictures again this year. Hey it's Disneyland & I only get there once a year, so I want to soak it all in and just have a great time running the race.

Pam is doing her first 1/2 marathon this year. I am excited for her. She has put in all of the training also. Yesterday she walked an amazing 11 miles. I think that will be her longest walk prior to the race. She has told me she is anxious, nervous & excited about doing the race. I have told her that all of those emotions are normal. I still get that way before a race. Can't wait to see the 5th anniversary medal hanging around her neck.

In October we are going to WDW to participate in the first annual Wine & Dine 1/2 marathon. We are going to do the relay. Pam will walk/run the first 4.8 miles & I am going to run the last 8.3 miles. This race starts at 10pm & finishes in Epcot with a party for the race finishers. I do think it will be really cool to run the parks at night with all the lights on.

Next race after this one is the big one, the Goofy challenge in January. This race is the reason I have worked so hard this year putting in the miles. Once we get done with Wine & Dine it will be time to start marathon training again. I am averaging over 100 miles per month right now in running alone. In addition I am cycling about 15 to 20 miles per week. It has been super hot & humid this summer making it tough sometimes to get the runs done. It should be a lot cooler when I start the marathon training again after Wine & Dine.

My goal was to run a 1000 miles this year. As I write this I am sittinig at 802. Looks like I will reach and exceed my goal if an can stay healthy and injury free. Speaking of health, my doctor has allowed me to go off BP meds. I went to see him 6 weeks ago and we talked about going off the meds. This past Monday I went back to see him and my BP was right where it should have been, so no more meds for me. I was pretty excited about this. Now the goal is stay off them forever. Looks like tthe running, cycling & healthier eating is paying off.

As the blog title says, I run because I can. This is something I want to be able to do for many many years to come.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time run strong & enjoy the moment.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Been Awhile

Yup, it has been awhile since I posted. Just been doing maintenance running logging base miles. I have only run one race since the Illinois marathon on May 1st. On June 12th I ran a 5K. It was the State Farm Live Well Be Well 5K. The race started at 8am. The temp was 75F & the humidity was 96%. I did manage to PR in 24:51. First time I can remember running a sub 25 5K. I was pretty excited with the time & also wondered what I could have done if the humidity had been lower.

We decided to not go on a vacation this summer in lieu of working on some remodeling projects. There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow though. On September 5th Pam & I both are going to run the Disneyland 1/2 in California. 6 days at Disneyland, can't wait. Then less than a month later we are going to run the inaugural Wine & Dine 1/2 marathon relay on Oct 2nd at WDW. Wow, 2 trips to Disney parks in a month's time, I will be in Disney heaven.

Today registration opened for the Princess 1/2 marathon. Do I dare ask Pam if she wants to run it? I am registered for the Dopey challenge (all 3 races) during marathon weekend in January.

I am currently averaging 25 to 30 miles per week. I wanted to keep the fitness level up after the marathon, so I just kept running. I am hoping by doing this, it won't take as long to get trained up for marathon weekend.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time run strong & enjoy the moment.
Goofy 57 runner signing off

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Catchin Up

Been over a month since my last post. Thought it was time to catch up a little. Doing mostly maintenance running right now. Still keeping the mileage up some, don't want to lose the fitness I had for the marathon.

Just got back a week ago from the annual fishing trip to Canada with Dad & friends. As usual we had a great time and brought home our limit in Walleye. We had to work to catch the fish this, they were biting slooowww.

Have a 5K next Saturday morning. Going to try and set a PR in it. My current best is 26:16. Not really shooting for a specific time, just something lower than 26:16.

All of the reservations are made for Disneyland in September. Both Pam & I are running there. Looking forward to it.

Our big news is we are going to do the Wine & Dine 1/2 marathon relay in October at WDW. Pam will run/walk the 1st 4.8 miles & I will run the final 8.3 miles. This will be a blast. This is the inaugural Wine & Dine race and coincides with the Food & Wine festival at Epcot. The race starts at 10pm in the WWOS and finishes in world showcase with a post race party. We have attended food & wine a couple of times before and had lots of fun. October is a great time of the year to be at the world.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time run strong & enjoy the moment.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I am a Marathoner

This past Saturday, May 1st, I ran my first full marathon. Wow, what an experience I will never forget. It started with a 4:30am wake up. Got up, ate breakfast (cereal, bagel & banana), then started to get dressed. My wife also got up with me at 4:30. At about 5:oo the rest of my support team (daughter & son in law) got up. Once everybody was sort of awake, I took this picture of my team, which was aptly named the Goofy57 team. These three very important people in my life have supported me from the very beginning of my training until the race was over. I can not thank all of them enough!!!

We left home about 5:30 and drove to Champaign, which is about 40 miles east of where I live in Bloomington. The weather was overcast & it was misting a little rain. The temp was 61 degrees and it was really humid also. We got to Champaign around 6:20 or so and by the time we got parked it was 6:40. The race started at 7:30, which was good for me, I did not have a lot of time to kill before the gun went off.

I got all of my gear ready and put it on and we all walked towards the start line, with me making a pit stop at the porta potties. Said goodbye to my team and then walked to my corral. The corrals were set up as estimated finish times instead of A,B,C,D, etc. I got in the 4:45 corral and listened to my ipod and chatted with the people around me waiting for the gun to go ff.

I never did hear the gun go off, but I crossed the start line about 15 minutes after the clock started. Just past the start line on my left stood my team cheering me on. This picture was snapped of me as I passed them.

This was the view in front of me as I passed the start line. Wow there were lots of runners.
I started off nice and slow sticking with my pace plan which was written by my good friend Gordon from Run to Disney fame. Several months ago I asked Gordon to write me a training plan & pace plan for this race and he was gracious enough to have said yes he would do it. I spoke with Gordon before the race started and I think he was a s nervous as I was about the race.

The first 3 miles went by in a flash. I had to stop at a porta potty and get rid of some nervous energy I guess. Seemed like I stood in line forever. Finished up there and it was back at it. I checked in with Pam on the phone a couple of times to let her know where I was and how I was feeling. It wasn't long and I was at the 13.1 mark, half done half to go. I was still feeling really strong. I got to see my team also. I waved as I went by them headed for the back half of the race.

All was going really well at this point. I was staying hydrated, taking my gels at the right time & staying with my pace plan. It all changed in mile 17. I just started slowing down, not keeping with my plan. I think the humidity was beginning to work on me. I had not done any training for this race in any humidity at all. Most of my training was done in cold weather or cool temps. I stuck with it and just ran at a slower pace until mile 23.

Mile 23 is where I started doing a run/walk combo. Not a Galloway run/walk, just ran when I felt like it and walked when I felt like it. I would not say I was struggling, I was just taking my time so I could finish the race. I had a goal of 4:45, but I knew I would not make that so I just kept plugging along.

It was a great sight when I saw Memorial Stadium come into view. I knew I was close and was gonna make it. I ran down the ramp, into the stadium and the first thing I saw was my cheer team screaming and hollering at me that I had done it.

I crossed the finish line and was handed my medal. At that point I became a Marathoner!! I made my way over to my team and hugged everybody and thought to myself, I have done it, I really have. The next thing I asked for was my chocolate milk. I had started drinking it after all of my long runs and I am now a firm believer that is speeds recovery. Two great friends Mike & Jan were there to cheer me on and Mike asked me if I would run another full & I told him absolutely I would.

Reflecting back on this day, it was a fantastic day for me. I accomplished something I was not sure I could do, but knew I had to try. I proved to myself that I could do it. My finish time was just over 5 hours by my Garmin and now I have a PR to shoot for in the next one. I do know this, when training for a long distance event it involves your entire family not just yourself. I again want to thank Pam, Abby & Andy for their encouragement & support. I also want to thank my coach, yes I said coach, Gordon for taking lots of time out of his days & nights to get me to the finish line.

Next up, I am looking for a 1/2 to run between now and Sept to run. I do not want to just do maintenance running until the Disneyland 1/2 in September.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time run strong & enjoy the moment!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kentucky Derby mini marathon

This past Saturday I ran the mini marathon in Louisville again. As last year I had good time again this year. I got up at 4:30 ate breakfast (Banana, bagel & cereal) and then got dressed. It was 61 degrees so I wore a short sleeve tech shirts & shorts. My son in law Andy, took me to downtown Louisville to catch the shuttle to the start line. It was lightly raining at the time.

I got to the start area about 6:15 and checked out where my corral was. And I put on the garbage bag I took with me because it was raining a little harder. I walked around a bit and then went to the porta potty line. By the time I got through the line, the race had started. It was no big deal because there were 15,000 people at the start line. I took off the garbage bag and jumped in with the mass of people making their way forward and crossed the start line about 15 minutes after the gun had gone off.

I started the race by listening to my ipod, but by about 2 miles into the race it was raining pretty hard so I put it in a plastic bag and stuck it in my pocket. So it was just me talking to myself the rest of the way. Miles 2 thru 5 were in a city park and it was pretty hilly. No big deal I have been running hills in training. It had pretty much stopped raining by the time we exited the park.

The next few miles were on a nice flat roadway. We were making our way to Churchill Downs. Entered it at about mile 8. It was just as cool this year as last, getting to watch the horses run on the fabled track as we were running on the infield. Had to run through 2 different tunnels to get in and out of it. Once out of Churchill we made a left turn and headed for downtown Louisville.

At mile 12 the mini (1/2) runners turned left & the full marathoners turned right. I had been watching my pace on my Garmin for the entire race and I was pretty pleased with the way I was moving. The crowds of people on the sidewalks were getting bigger as we got closer to downtown. I passed several live bands and lost of people holding signs and cheering for their runner.

Once we got to downtown we made several turns and I could see the finish line. The last 2 miles I gave it pretty much all I had. I did mile 12 in 9:20 & mile 13 in 8:35. I finished in 2 hours, 14 minutes & 28 seconds by my Garmin. Later when I check the Derby website, it showed my chip time as exactly 3 minutes slower than my Garmin. I started my Garmin as soon as I stepped on the first timing mat, so I don't what caused the 3 minute difference. I'm going with my Garmin time, as it is a new PR for me. Hey, I can do that right?

I had a great cheering section near the finish line. I looked to my right and there were Pam & Abby jumping up and down cheering for me, how cool is that!!! Andy was on my left side, I did not see him until after I crossed the finish line. He had my chocolate milk for me. I have found that drinking the chocolate milk after long runs has really shortened the recovery times.

Pam & Abby had to make there way to Waterfront Park where the after race festivities were being held. Once we all joined some pictures were taken and the we hiked back to the car and home.

Will I do this race a third time, absolutely. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Hey, maybe next year sign up for the full marathon. Full marathon, I have my first one this coming Saturday. I am really pumped and ready to do it. Talk to ya later!!
Thanks for reading.
Til next time run strong & enjoy the moment.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Less than 2 weeks away!!!

Yep, it's less than two weeks away. But first I have a 1/2 marathon this weekend in Louisville. Actually I'm pretty pumped up about both races. Looking forward to running through Churchill Downs again. I have been told the weather might not be the most agreeable, but I will still be running.

Last week I ran a total of 23 miles as I taper down for May 1st. My long run was 10 miles on Saturday with specific goals for the final 5 miles. I did meet my goals. This week I have two short easy runs, a tempo run of 50 minutes and then the 1/2 marathon. Wow it is almost here. I really think I am ready to do this thing.

Did I tell ya I'm ready to go back to a Disney theme park. Looking forward to our September trip to Disneyland to run and enjoy the parks. Gonna stay at the Grand Californian again. We really loved it last year.

Okay tell me where the above picture was taken. Hint, it is in California.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time run strong and enjoy the moment.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Less than 3 weeks away

May 1st, that's the date. Less than 3 short weeks away until I run my first full marathon. I am excited, anxious & nervous all at the same time. The past 2 weeks of I have run 33 miles & 24 miles respectively. This past Saturday I ran 20 miles in 3 hours & 30 minutes. It was agreat run. This week I start tapering.

The week before my marathon I am running the mini marathon in Louisville again. I would love to try and set a PR, but my coach Gordon, said nope, treat it as an LSD run. So that's what I'm gonna do.

It looks like I will have a cheering section on marathon day. Pam, Abby, Andy, Jan & Mike will be there to cheer me on as I slog through 26.2 miles. I really appreciate there encouragement & support.

Just yesterday I got an email from the folks at Disney about free quick service dining if I book a trip for summer. It is so tempting to do it. I'm ready to go back. We'll see what happens :)

Thanks for reading.

Til next time run strong & enjoy the moment.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

5 weeks away

Only 5 weeks away. It does not seem possible. 5 weeks til my first full marathon. I am excited and looking forward to running it. Nice flat course. A good choice for my first full, I think.

This past week I ran a total of 34 miles. My long run, yep I mean long, was 21 miles on Saturday. It took me 3 hours & 55 minutes to do it. I felt better after this run than I did the week before on the 18 mile run. Last weekend the wind was not nearly as strong as the weekend before, hence the reason I felt better after 21 miles than the 18 miler. This should be the most miles I will run in a week during this training cycle.

Won't be long I start to taper as it gets closer. My last long taper run will be the Kentucky Derby mini marathon the week before the full. Had a good time running that one last year & looking forward to running it again.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time, run strong & enjoy the moment.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

6 short weeks away

The photo above is from Spectromagic, my favorite Disney parade at WDW. It's going away in June as the Main Street Electrical parade returns for a summer engagement. I truly hope Spectro comes back sometime in the future. The lights and music are fantastic in this parade. I listen to the soundtrack all the time on my Ipod while running.

This past week I run a total of 32 miles. A couple of easy runs, a hill run (not hill repeats) & my long run which was 18 miles. The temp was 35 degrees with NNE wind of 20 to 25 mph. I did really well the first 14 miles. I was doing a pretty good job with my pacing & doing OK with my hydration and nutrition. The WIND finally got me. I finished the last 3 miles by doing a run/walk combination, but I did complete 18 miles in 3 hours and 19 minutes.

Next week will be my longest LSD run prior to the marathon. 21 miles is on the schedule. After that tapering will begin. I sometimes forget that I am running the Kentucky Derby mini marathon a week before the Illinois marathon. The Derby run will be a good taper/training run. I'm really getting excited about running a full marathon. Of course, all of this in preparation for the 2011 WDW Goofy challenge.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time, run strong & enjoy the moment.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

7 weeks to go

I ran a total of 30 miles this week. Had to change up my schedule for this week, being we were not going to be home this weekend. On Monday I did an easy 5 mile recovery run in 50 minutes. Tuesday I ran 6 miles in 1 hour and 3 minutes. Did a progressive run. Started with a mile w/u at 11:05 & finished the last 2 miles at 10:08 & 10:02 respectively. I had some tired legs when I was finished.

On Thursday I did a real easy 3 miles in 31 minutes. I moved my long run up to Friday. I ran 16 miles in 2 hours and 52 minutes. My average pace was 10:45 for the entire run. I was tired at the end of the run, but happy as I set another milestone for myself. Next week I have 32 total miles on my schedule with a long run of 18 miles. Kinda glad I will have had had two days to rest & recover before I get going again on Monday.

Disney announced a new a type of annual pass this week. The pass is good for one year for Disneyland & WDW. As much as we get to go to Disney we are considering buying the pass for at least one year. We have to do some price comparing to see if we would get our money's worth before buying it. We have the Disneyland 1/2 trip in Sept, the WDW 2011 marathon trip & maybe a Christmas trip this year. I guess we need to figure out how many totals days we would be in a Disney park and go from there. Sounds exciting to have a pass that is good for both parks.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time run strong & enjoy the moment.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

8 weeks to go

This past week of training was a pull back week. I only ran 26 miles. My long run on Saturday was 12 miles which I ran in 2 hours & 3 minutes. I ran it progression style. Started out with 2 w/u miles at an 11:00 minute pace. Miles 3-5 10:30 to 11:00 minute pace. Miles 6-10 10:00 to 10:15 pace. Mile 11 I ran at a 9:32 pace and mile 12 I pushed it and ran it at an 8:44 pace. Was a little tired at the end but felt pretty good.

The rest of the week went like this: Monday 5 miles, Wednesday a 50 minute tempo run covering 5 miles & Thursday an easy 4 miler. I know this coming week I will be upping the mileage. My date with the marathon is only 8 short weeks away.
One of my favorite attractions at Disneyland. What is it?

We are celebrating 3 family birthdays this week starting with my granddaughter's today. Also this week is my wife and daughters b'days. Happy Birthday to the three favorite girls in my life!!!

Thanks for reading.

Til next time, run strong & enjoy the moment.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Only 9 weeks to go

This past week I ran a total of 29 miles. Monday was 4 mile easy recovery run. On Tuesday I did hill repeats for a total of 5 miles. Thursday was an easy 4 mile run. On Saturday I ran 15 miles, yes I said 15 miles. That was a first for me in my running life. Prior to Saturday the furthest I had ever run was 13.1 miles half marathon distance. I did a progression run. Started out with a slow pace and finished by run running miles 14 & 15 at a 10:02 pace & 9:32 pace respectively. I was really happy with the run when I finished. Actually felt like I could have gone a little further. I am beginning to believe I can run a full marathon. 9 weeks from yesterday is the big day.

Last Wednesday I registered for the Disneyland 1/2 marathon in Septemeber. Going Coast to Coast again this year. Hope to meet up with my W.I.S.H. buddies from the Dis Boards while in SO Cal.

The picture above is my wife and I with Goofy last Septmeber in Disneyland. Good times & good memories.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time run strong & enjoy the ,moment.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

One more week complete

I finished another week of marathon training yesterday. Ran a total of 27 miles for the week. My long run was 12 miles. Ran it in 2 hours & 5 minutes. The weather really has not improved much around here yet. Still cold, windy and lots of sloppy streets to run on. The important thing is, I'm still out there putting in the miles no matter what the weather has thrown at me. Race day is May 1st. I'm excited and yes a little nervous. I am just about to the point where I will be running further than I ever have. I know I can do it. Mind over matter right.

I know it's only been about 2 months months since I have been to a Disney park, but I want to go back!!! Next time will be Disneyland in September for the 1/2 marathon. My wife and I counted up not to long ago and we think we have been to WDW 20 times. The Disneyland trip will be our third. Can't wait.

Just a couple good memories above to share with all. Yea I know, I'm a Disney fanatic.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time run strong & enjoy the moment.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Another Week of training in the bank

I ran a total of 26 miles for this week of training. Monday I did 5 miles in 51:32. The temp was 22 degrees and it was snowing lightly. Wednesday was a treadmill day. To cold to run outside. I did 6 miles in 58:36. On Thursday I was able to get back outside and run. Did 4 miles in 40:43.

Today I ran 11 miles in 1 hour and 50 minutes. Average pace was 10:04 for the run. I ran the last two miles in 9:35 & 9:20. Today was a great run. The temp was 15 degrees, but the wind was very light unlike last week. Sun was out ad it felt good on my face. My marathon is about ten weeks away. I'm already excited about running it. I will update next week.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time run strong & enjoy the moment.

PS Happy Valentines day all.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Marathon training week #3 complete

I ran a total of 23 miles last week preparing for my May 1st marathon. I ran 4 miles on Monday in 40:18. It was a nice slow recovery run. Wednesday I did hill repeats for the first time. Wow, my legs were pretty tired by the time I got down with the workout.

On Thursday I ran 6 miles in 1 hour. Legs were still a little tired, not sore, from the hill repeats the day before. On Saturday I ran 9 miles. What a grueling run. The temp was 26 degrees, wind chill was 10 degrees and the wind was blowing 20mph out of the NNE. The wind was a constant for the entire run. I was worn out when I got done. Another week of training is in the bank.

Thanks for reading

Til next time, run strong & enjoy the moment.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Marathon training week #2 complete

I ran a total of 22 miles this week. 4 miles on Monday, 6 on Wednesday, 4 on Thursday & 8 on Saturday. All but the Thursday run were done outside. On Thursday the temp was -14 wind chill, so I opted for the treadmill. On my 6 miler on Wednesday, my water bottles froze up, but it was still a good run.

I had a fantastic run on Saturday. Did 8 miles in 1:15:47. The last 2 miles were done in 8:58 & 8:46. This is a first for me, sub 9 minutes miles on a long run. I was pumped when I got done and still had some gas left in the tank. I can't wait for next week's training. I have to thank Gordon from Run to Disney. He has agreed to be my "cruise director" as I train for my first marathon. The schedule for this past week was put together by him. Thank You Gordon!!!

Thanks for reading.

Til next time, run strong & enjoy the moment.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Marathon training week #1 complete

Today I completed the first week of my marathon training by running a total of 19 miles for the week. I used the Higdon novice schedule. I began with week #4 of the schedule because of having just finished the 1/2 marathon at Disney two weeks ago.

Today's 9 mile run was the best run I have had since running at Disney. Yesterday I bought an Asics storm shelter jacket at my local running store. I wore it today on the run, man it felt fantastic. Here's a couple of pictures of the jacket, one of them with me wearing it.


I wish I would have bought a jacket like this along time ago. I only had to wear one shirt under it and I was plenty warm. It did a great job blocking the strong southeast wind I was running into.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time, run strong & enjoy the moment.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Donald Part 4

While I was crossing the start line, I did stop and take a couple of pictures of Mickey, Minnie & my main dog Goofy. Running from the start to World Drive was pretty uneventful except for the sleet that was falling. Yep, I said sleet, just like we get here in good ole central Illinois. It sleeted off and on for the first three miles. The first three miles were kinda slow due to all of us runners bunched together. Once I made it through the tight exit ramp on to World Drive I could pretty much run at the pace I wanted to. While running I was checking my Garmin, and I was running between a 9.45 to 10.15 pace. I was Okay with that considering how crappy the weather was.

I stopped at the welcome to the Magic Kingdom sign to snap a few photos and then kept on trucking. It was pretty dark and you really could not see much. Ran around the speedway, through the TTC, under the sevens seas lagoon bridge, passed the Contemporary and then is was backstage at the Kingdom. My wife who was part of chEAR squad was waiting for me on Main St. I stopped long enough for her to take a picture & give her a kiss then I was off again.

I ran through tomorrow land, fantasy land out through Cinderella's castle on the it was off to frontier land with a dash through Liberty Square. We went backstage again, got to see Captain Jack Sparrow & his henchmen, but did not stop for an photo ops. Once we left backstage it was back towards spaceship Earth. Mind you, there were several miles to go at this point. Running by the Grand Floridian we got to see Mary Poppins & Bert. Also got to see, I think the guy was impersonating Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin. Anyway he was belting out tunes.

Got to about the #9 mile marker and there's just not much to look at for a couple of miles. Just after mile 10 you turn and go up the ramp to cross over World Drive on your way back to Epcot. The view from the bridge is amazing. You look out on both sides of the bridge and you can see hundreds of runners that are behind you and lots still in front of you. I took a couple of pictures of all the runners.

Miles 10 & 11 cover several ups and downs, literally, with the overpasses you run up and down. I saw the #12 mile marker and knew I was almost there, The Finish. We came in backstage at Epcot, ran out into Future World, ran to where World Showcase begins, made a loop back into Future World and then went backstage again to finish the race. All the cast members were hollering you are almost there, keep going you got it made. I will tell you this, the last mile seems a lot longer than a mile. Yea, I felt the same last year. I knew once I ran past the gospel choir, which is really really cool, I would be able to see the finish line. I crossed it in 2 hours 18 minutes and 31 seconds. I had completed my 2nd WDW 1/2 marathon.

I crossed the line, got my mylar blanket, man did that feel good, got my Donald medal and headed for the food stations. By now it was raining and I was pretty soaked from the run and the rain. I did not take me long to get cold. Got some food and then got in the back check line to retrieve my goody bag. It took almost 35 minutes to get the dang thing. Once I got it, I got out of there, found Pam and put on my dry coat and gloves. By the way I was still freezing.

I went with Pam & Mike to the chEAR squad section to wait for Jan to finish. There were some portable heaters set up and they felt pretty darn good. Mike was talking to Jan on the phone, so we had a good idea when she would get to the finish line. We were there to chear her on and see her cross the line. Once she made it through the gantlet we got in line to get on the bus to head back to POFQ. It really felt good on that warm bus. We got back to the hotel, ate breakfast, I showered then we headed of to the MK for the afternoon.

Final thoughts about the race: I had just as much fun as last year even though it was about 30 degrees colder. I had packed all of my cold weather running gear and I wore just about everything I took with me. The on course entertainment was just as fabulous as last year even with the weather being as nasty as it was. Will I do it again, absolutely, I have already registered to do the GOOFY challenge in 2011. WDW is a fantastic place to run a race and I hope to be able to run many many more there.

This coming week I start training for my first marathon which is on May 1st. Wish me luck...

Thanks for reading.

Til next time run strong & enjoy the moment.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Donald Part 3

Saturday morning (01/09) 3am wake up call. That is what the alarm was set for as well, but I was awake at 2:45. Got up and ate my breakfast and then started dressing for the race. Let's see, layer one was tights and compression shirt. Layer two, long sleeve dry fit shirt and running pants. On top of that a sweatshirt and my running jacket. The temp was in the low 30's.

We left the hotel at 3:45 to walk to the bus. Saw lots of people bundled up headed for the buses. We arrived at Epcot shortly after 4 and made the long walk to the runners area. I checked my bag (with dry jacket & gloves) and then we stood and waited to go to the corrals. Saw several people dressed as characters ,but not as many as last year. Everyone was just trying to stay warm. Of course I had to visit a porta potty prior to walking to the corrals. Shortly after 5 it was off to the corrals. Many folks were standing under the portable lights on the walk to corrals trying to get warm.

As we got to the corral staging area, yep I had to go again, so I got in a porta potty line & man it was a long one. Took care of business and found my corral. I had gotten moved up to the "D" corral from G which was cool. While waiting for the starting gun it SNOWED, yes I said SNOW in Florida. It was just flurries, but it was snow. I'm thinking, I run in snow at home, shouldn't have to do that in Florida. The gun & fireworks went off at 6am and we were off. I crossed the start line about 6:15.

Stay tuned for part 4 (I promise it will be the final part) Thanks for reading.

Til next time, run strong & enjoy the moment.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Donald Part 2

We ended day one with dinner at the Big River grill & micro brewery on the Boardwalk. Wow, great burgers & the atmosphere was really charged in the place. Numerous runners in there, all talking about the weekend races coming up. After dinner it was back to Epcot to watch Illuminations. The illuminations soundtrack is my absolute favorite of them all. I listen to it all the time when running. We were off to the hotel and bed once the show was over.

We had decided Friday was going to be an easy day to rest our legs. We walked to the food court at PO Riverside to eat. What a ZOO it was in there. Finally found a table, got our food and ate breakfast. We decided to go back to the expo. I bought a couple of shirts that did not fit (silly me thinking medium shirts would fit) that had to be exchanged. The other couple with me (Mike & Jan) wanted to pick up a couple of more things. The expo was a mad house just as we expected it would be. We stood in line forever just to pay for the items we selected. By the time we got done, we were all thirsty, so we went next door to the All Star again for a drink. We took a bus back to the hotel, dropped our stuff off and headed for Hollywood Studios. We rode several rides, ate dinner at the Back lot Express and went back to the hotel to wait the arrival of Pam. She got there about 9pm. I sure was glad to see her. I was pretty close to turning in for the night, had an early Saturday wake up call you know, so we headed to the room and bed.

Stay tuned for part 3, thanks for reading.

Til next time, run strong & enjoy the moment.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Donald Part 1

My wife and & got up at 3am on Thursday the 7th so we could be at the airport by shortly after 4 for a 5:50am flight. When we got up there was already 6 to 7 inches of snow on the ground and it was still snowing. So we shoveled lots of snow before leaving for the airport. Why do I tell you all of this, because I thought there was no way the flight to Orlando would leave on time. We did board on time, pushed back from the gate and sat for an hour. During that hour the plane was de-iced not once, not twice but three times. We did eventually take off and fly to Atlanta where we had to make a connecting flight to Orlando. There were probably fifteen to twenty people on the flight who had the same connecting flight to Orlando as we did. We left Bloomington one hour late, so obviously that meant we would miss the connector in Atlanta. Not so, Air Tran held our connecting flight in Atlanta. When we got to Atlanta we walked off the plane walked down a couple of gates and walked right on the connecting flight. We arrived in Orlando about 20 minutes late from our original arrival time. I don't think that is too bad considering the way the weather was that morning.

Once we arrived in Orlando we took Disney's magical express to our hotel, Port Orleans french quarter. We got checked in, our rooms were ready, so we took the luggage to the rooms and then headed to the Expo for bib number & goody bag pickup. We went to the milk house first to turn in our waivers and pick up our bibs. I also picked up my wife's goody bag for the chEAR squad.

Next stop was the expo in the Jostens center. We picked up our goody bags & shirts and started shopping. I bought several Disney related running shirts, one of them being a training for the 2011 Goofy challenge shirt. I also bought a waist strap for my bib, some Balega running socks and some gel packs for the race. We spent several hours at the expo. By the time we were finished giving Disney more money we were really hungry, so we went next door to the All Star Cafe for a late lunch.

After lunch I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow runner from Minnesota in person. I had spoken with Dom via email and through Twitter but not in person so it was really cool to get to chat in person. We probaly visited for 30 to 40 minutes. Dom is running the Goofy in 2011 as is another online friend Gordon from Run to Disney, so I will have company. You can read Dom's blog at

Stay tuned for part 2. Thanks for reading.

Til next time run strong & enjoy the moment.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's Here

We leave tomorrow morning for marathon weekend. Yea!!! The current forecast as I write this is calling for 2 to 4 inches of snow tonight and additional 1 to 3 tomorrow. Our flight is supposed to leave at 5:50AM. Just have to wait and see what happens. We will get to Orlando sometime tomorrow.

Even with the potential weather snafu, I am really pumped up about running again at WDW. I hope to meet some folks I have been tweeting with & emailing. I will write a race/trip report when I return home.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time, run strong & enjoy the moment.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

9 Weeks down 1 to go

This past week I only ran 16 miles. Ran 3 on Monday the 28th. Got to run outside. The temp was 26 degrees with a 10 degree wind chill. Not to bad. On Wednesday the 30th did 4 miles outside. The temp was 26 degrees with a 15 degree wind chill.

On new years day I had to run inside. Did 3 miles on the treadmill. The outside temp was 2 degrees with -14 wind chill. It was even worse on Saturday the 2nd. The temp was -5 with a -18 wind chill. So needless to say I was on the treadmill again for 6 miles. Have I said before, I hate running on a treadmill. It was just way , way to cold to be outside running. I was more worried about frostbite than anything.

Only two more short runs before the Donald next weekend. Looks like I will be running them inside with what the weather forecast looks like. It also looks like it could be a chilly run at WDW. I guess I will have to pack all my running attire, so I will have the right stuff for what ever the weather is down there.

It's almost here, and I'm excited and ready to run at the World.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time, run strong & enjoy the moment.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year & looking ahead

Happy New Year to all!!! I hope the coming year is good to you in your personal & running life. Looking back to 2009, I had a great year running. I ran and completed my 1st three 1/2 marathons. I ran a total of 840 miles. Along the way I picked up a Coast to Coast medal. I have some new running goals for 2010:

WDW Marathon weekend 2010: Run the Donald again. Complete it with a better time than 2009.

Kentucky Derby mini marathon in April: Run the mini again.

Illinois marathon in May: Run and complete my 1st marathon on May 1st.

Disneyland half marathon in September: Complete my 2nd 1/2 at Disneyland and pick up another Coast to Coast medal.

Throw in some 5k's for good measure.

Run over 1,000 miles for the year.

My ultimate goal is the BIG one. Run and complete the GOOFY during marathon weekend at WDW in 2011.

I am really looking forward to what this year holds for me with my running. I know it will not be easy training and preparing for running a marathon, but I know I CAN DO IT. My goal is to have run a marathon before I run the GOOFY in 2011.

I hope everyone succeeds in achieving their running goals for 2010.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time run strong @ enjoy the moment.