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.