Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I bundled up like I was going to be out there forever and did the neighborhood loop. 1 mile in 8:27…I’m starting to think that I run much better in the cold!!!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
We made out way south on Newman and then turned back once we hit Spring. The girls were really fast this morning…I looked down a few times at my GPS to see 8:10 pace…WAY TO FAST for me!
I fell back but kept a great pace. We finished our 5 mile run in 43:46 or an 8:44 pace.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
I felt great and found my self running up with Kristen and Jodi. I maintained a great 9:14 pace for the first 5k so I knew that today was going to be a good day. On the way back to Panera we were running dead into the wind, which I love if it is not too cold.
By the time I was done I had completed my second 5k with a 9:01 pace!! I was on fire. I felt great.
Total for the day was 6.3 miles at a 9:07 pace
Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
There were 13 of us brave (or dumb) enough to endure the -15 degree windchill and stil manage to put 4.9 miles on the feet!! We all went out to coffee and David regaled us with his trip to Phoenix and we told the Goofy stories all over hot coffee!!!
Friday, January 18, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
So last night I was in bed by 7:00 PM…and asleep by 7:30 just so I could be functional at 3:00 AM. When the alarms went off I was up and getting ready.
Day 2 and I still hate this early morning c&@%!! Again I set everything out the night before so that I would easily be able to get ready and not have to worry about anything other than the race. After yesterday’s race I suffered from a bit of chafing so thankfully Kristin and Rich were able to spare some Vaseline so I could lube up the legs this morning before the run.
Met everyone for the bus this morning and we were all accounted for before the bus took off. One less thing to worry about today, hurray!
We got the bus drop off just as we did yesterday and made the long walk to the runner’s area. Today we quickly dispatched our bags and visited the porta-potties. Then we waited.
Last night it rained so the ground was wet and the humidity was at 100%...I was only hoping that it would rain during the race to cool things off but I wasn’t going to be that lucky.
Once they announced that we were ready to start walking to the starting area we all needed to use the restroom again! Ultimately I ended up using another bush but this time it was before the race started so I didn’t have to suffer losing any time.
The starting area was just as packed as it was yesterday. Thousands of people milling around with nervous energy just waiting for the day to be done and I was right there with them. I just wanted the day to be over and this whole event to be behind me. I trained really well for this day and I knew that I would easily be able to finish but I was equally hoping that I would have a great time.
As we got into our respective corrals I realized once again that I was way too close to the starting line. I kept wondering; what did I put down as my finishing time because I didn’t think I should be this close to the start line! It was a heck of a view though. The big screen was pumping out the tunes and videos while I could see all the action on the main stage as well. At one point during a video I noticed that the camera was on a person with Tiger ears and that the person next to the Tiger ears was wearing bright yellow…oh wait “that’s us!” We all turned as waved to the camera…how fun was that!?!
Just like the day before the wheel chair racers took off 2 minutes before us and then our count down began. I thought we had some cool fireworks the day before but todays were even better! When the gun went off and the big fireworks were launched, the Starting Line Sign began to shoot fire from 4 flame throwers atop the sign!! They would alternate which ones would fire but the heat could be felt from them over 10 yards away! It was a very cool way to start off the race.
The corrals were broken into 2 groups that would not meet up until after we exited Epcot so I settled into a good pace and found a decent clearing and made a line. I thought that if I was able to maintain a similar pace as I had yesterday I would be in great shape but the humidity at 6:00 AM was still too high so I began to slow the pace slightly.
We entered Epcot from the front. The side walk outside of Innovations was sparkling…way too cool. They had all kinds of colored spotlights scanning the slightly hazy sky which took on a very surreal effect. I was amazed to see all of the employees out waving to us as we passed. I kept thinking “isn’t it too early for these people to be here?” Maybe it was because of us but that thought never crossed my mind at the time.
Upon exiting Epcot we began making the same long trek to the Magic Kingdom that we did the day before. Luckily there was some new music to listen to but the same old roads.
Upon making the big turn toward the Magic Kingdom I took my first Hammer Gel. It was going to be a hot humid day so taking in the calories was going to be a high priority for me and at 6 miles things were still looking pretty good.
The water stops were fantastic, the volunteers were great, helpful, and plentiful, and the music was nearly non-stop. I was happy to see the steel drum band again…the music just reminds me of a tropical paradise…even though I’ve never seen them when we have been in a tropical region…strange.
As I approached Magic Kingdom and the “musical” choice portion of the race I had to make a mandatory stop…the gel went right through me…or maybe it was the banana…either way the stop was made and it took 10 minutes longer than I had hoped at this point in the race. The musical choice today was not the same as it was yesterday so I had to make a quick course correction because I was headed to the “Disco” today only to find out it had been changed to “County” I opted in stead to do the “short route” again and listen to “80’s music.”
The Magic Kingdom was a bit busier this morning since we were about an hour later than the day before and was much more colorful in the daylight! The course though the Kingdom was the same and I at least have one photo with the Castle this time, so I’m happy.
The road out of the Magic Kingdom marked the 12 mile mark and time for another Hammer Gel. This one didn’t go down as nicely and made me gag a little…I drank a bit more water than I wanted too so I was a little sloshy for the next mile. As we made our way past the golf course again I thought that it was odd that now for the second day there was no one to be seen on the course…I wonder why? It looks beautiful, the weather was spectacular, and so it must be the greens fees!! Oh well back to the race.
As I hit the half way point the 5 hour pace group passes me…a little depressing so I try to stay with them and manage to for the next mile but soon I drift off to the back never to see them again.
The road we are heading down looks like it is not for general traffic but they have speakers all along the road with tunes just pumping out of them. The CD that was playing was a “best of” pick a year. So in the next 2 miles or so I was able to hear music from 1995 through 2007! It was quite a treat. It would only play about 20-40 seconds of a song and then move on to another from the same year. I was in short attention span heaven.
When we got close to Animal Kingdom we went past the facility they use to dispose of the animal waste…yes it smelled as good as it sounds! That is one place I would not like to go back to, but it really wasn’t any worse than going by the treatment plant on the south side of Racine during the summer.
Upon entering the employee area of Animal Kingdom we were greeted by a few of the employees and their animals…All I saw was a few goats but I had heard that there was a bird or two with a trainer, I just never saw that. There were drums being played when we got to the main park. I’ll be honest when my wife and I went back the next day I remember being there but I really didn’t look around too much while running though here. I do remember Everest though…I think they did a really good job making that thing look like a real mountain and I was a little awe struck by it.
We exited the park the same type of way we had for all the others, though an employee area, but what I wasn’t expecting was to end up in the parking lot of the park! These parking lots are huge!! We ran around the edge of the lot and the route took us right past the front gate where there were thousands of people trying to get in the park and there to cheer us on. It was quite a scene!
From here we made our way out to the highway where in a few miles I would get to see my wife at around mile 19. She was waiting there with Melissa’s husband. She said I was looking good…she said it as though she was surprised, hmm…and asked if I wanted my fresh socks. Considering my socks had not been dry since mile 3 I said yes. A quick change, a thank you, a kiss, and I told her I’d see her at the finish line.
After another few miles of highway we made our way toward the next park, Hollywood Disney. The highway leading to this park was all backed up due to the roads being closed for us runners…I’m sure I heard a few choice words from those cars.
Hollywood Disney seemed very short. We got into the employee area and went through a candy stop….mmmm, chocolate…made our way past the costume making area, out onto the Downtown street, out to Mickey’s Sorcerers Hat and out the front gate. Maybe it was because there were so many people in the park that things just went by so fast but wow!
I knew at this point I was in the final stretch. All that was left was a run around one of the Disney resort areas and on to Epcot. The Boardwalk around the resorts was gorgeous. I felt like I was just out for my Saturday run along the lake. The trail was clear of everything but runners the breeze was nice in this area, and the view of all of the resorts was beautiful. I think there were a few people confused as to what was really going on because you saw them looking at the pylons and looking at the runners very oddly.
When I heard “Last Water Stop” my heart jumped. This was it I was about to complete this journey and people would really be able to call me “Goofy.” Just past the water stop we go through this huge wooden gate and there is the Epcot. What a sight…all the countries right before me and I know that that shinning ball is right near the finish line.
It was a bit more of a struggle here than I would have thought. There weren’t as many people in the park and that ball seemed much farther away than I first hoped. I plodded on. People were becoming more plentiful the closer I got to the front of the park…this propelled me. Once we were in front of the ball we headed right for it. This part was the same as the day before…run to the ball and exit through the employee area where we would see the choir...but today there were a lot more people I had to run. I ran until I got into the employee area where I walked a little…I noticed that I wasn’t the only person to do this so I had a little laugh. The choir was different but still very good!
Exit Epcot and enter the final 100 yards. The stands were overflowing today. There were people everywhere. I was focused on that clock and the finish line. This was it. I was about to complete a marathon the day after completing a half marathon.
I pushed my legs and we ran those last 100 yards. I gave a high five to a Chipmunk…you will have to ask my wife if it was Chip or Dale because I still don’t remember which is which but mine had a black nose…and got across the line in 5:37.
The marathon medal was a secret since this was the marathon’s 15th anniversary so I was happy to see that the medal was big and truly identifiable! I headed to the Goofy tent to get what I had trained for…my Goofy Medal. I was not disappointed.
I completed the 13.1 mile course in 2:17 on Saturday.
I completed the 26.2 mile course in 5:37 on Sunday.
I did it.
I’m a “Goofy.”
Saturday, January 12, 2008
This whole idea came up over a year ago when I heard about the Goofy Challenge. I needed to get a Florida marathon still and I had heard from a couple of people in our running group that the Disney World Marathon was a blast. Upon doing the research for the race I found out that they hold the Half on Saturday and the Whole on Sunday and that the Goofy “Race and a Half” Challenge was to complete them both, so I thought that I would try it…I recruited a few of my fellow runners…although their story sounds a lot like I really pressured them but in the end we all signed up for the event.
I really hate getting up early in the morning and for both the half and the full it was required that we be on a bus no later than 4 AM. This meant that I was up and getting ready by 2:55 AM on Saturday morning…this was nuts!!
Thankfully we had prepared a lot the night before so I had everything laid out that I needed. The resort we were staying at (Disney’s All Star Movies) had prepared runners boxes that we purchased the night before so that I would have a good breakfast before the run. I donned my shorts, socks, shoes and shirt. I ate my banana and bagel and washed it down with half a Powerade. Grabbed my water, granola bar, and drop bag, kissed my wife good bye and headed out to meet the group.
My wife and I had talked at length about how we were going to handle this race and we decided that there was really no place for her to meet me along the course so I would just catch up with her when everything was done and over.
We planned to meet in the lobby of our hotel at 3:30 and get on the 3:45 bus, but at 3:40 we were missing one…Kristen, Rich, Bill, Andy, Melissa…’where is Jodi?’ Kristen called Jodi’s husband who said that he dropped her off at 3:15. We were perplexed but we got on the 3:45 bus and decided to look for her at the bag drop.
The bus ride was rather quite and only half full. The bus took us straight to the drop off area at Epcot. There were so many lights that it was nearly daylight. Like sheep, or moths to a flame, all of us on the bus, as well as all the other buses walked toward the light and the runner’s area.
As we entered into the runners area we started to realize that finding Jodi in this mass of people was going to be an achievement and virtually impossible!! We slowly started to walk to the bag drop area and we all kept a close eye out for our friend in hope of catching her. We got all the way down to the end and realized that this might take quite a while. We devised a plan…we would walk back toward the front gate one last time and them make our way back to drop our bags.
We slowly walked and as we approached the gate I hear “BILL!!!” I look toward the yell and there was Jodi…she looked like she was about to cry. I called the rest of the group over and we found out that her husband had indeed dropped her off at 3:15 but at the All Star MUSIC resort. By the time she realized the error she figured we would have already headed to the start and she had hoped that she would find us. Thankfully I always try to wear a bright shirt and she said it made it easy to spot me.
With all of us together we headed to the bag drop and the restroom. The first was rather quick the second not so much so. The line for the porta-potty was huge…but I stuck my head through the other side of the bag drop tent and noticed that the ‘runner’s area’ had nearly 4 times as many porta-potties as the meeting side. I did my business without having to wait in line and then headed back to the group…all of them were waiting in this line that looked like it would take hours to go through so I told them about the other side and they all took off!
After a little time of lingering around the bag drop area we started following the crowd to the starting line. What a walk?!?! It literally took us a good 15-20 minutes of walking to get to the starting area. We of course stopped again to use the rest room but quickly moved along and found our respective corrals.
Rich and Andy were a few corrals back and I was somehow in the same corral with Kristen and Jodi…I kept thinking that there must have been some mistake but there wasn’t. Melissa dropped back a corral to start with us.
The action at the starting line was amazing. They had a huge screen so that everyone could see what was going on stage. They had tons of music with video to keep us entertained while we waited for the gun. As the start time approached Mickey, Minney, Donald, and Goofy got on stage and with a 10 second count down we saw the wheelchair racers head off. 2 minutes later we were doing our 10 second count down…this one came with bursts of fireworks with each number and a big burst of color for the ‘GO!’
We wished each other well and headed off into the darkness that was the early morning of January 12th. I really had to go to the bathroom again and decided I would stop at the first porta-potty but it looks like 100’s of runners had the same idea so I waited until I was a mile down the road and I ducked off the road and head for the trees. I wasn’t the only one here either.
I quickly took care of business and headed back for the road only to find a number of not so kind runners just feet off the road doing what I was doing in the trees…I had to be fleet of foot and watch where I was heading otherwise I might have ended up with a wet leg!
Back on the road I was greeted with the sounds of a huge marching band. I was happy to hear the up beat music and it kept me moving. The music on the course was fantastic. We had marching bands, DJ’s, a steel drum band, the music of Disney, and a choir! I was very happy to have the distractions when they came and the tempo was great.
If I have one complaint about either race it would be the condition of the roads. This is a flat race for the most part but there are areas especially on the on and off ramps to the highways that could use some help…there are pot holes but the biggest issue for me was that that road was not level. It slopped sometimes as much as 20 degrees and caused me a bit of discomfort.
On the main highway to the Magic Kingdom I passed Melissa and Jodi when they stopped to use the rest room. I was happy to see that I was not that far behind them and that I was feeling really good. I continued on. When we neared the Magic Kingdom the race directors had a little fun with the route and allowed us to choose which way we wanted to go in the parking lot. To the left you would get to listen to Disco and to the right Heavy Metal…I loved the idea…but it would have been a good idea for them to tell the runners about this because I saw a lot of confused people when they saw the split! BTW…I went the Heavy Metal route…only because it looked shorter!!
We entered Magic Kingdom from a side employee entrance but once in the park we ran right up Main Street and turned toward Future Land. The streets were lined with people, characters, and employees all cheering us on. We entered the Castle with a bit of fanfare and exited the Castle with pictures being taken…unfortunately none of mine must have turned out since I don’t have any from this spot on the course.
We wind our way through the rest of Magic Kingdom and exit through another employee area. We end up on one of the major roads that connect the hotels and find a beautiful golf course…that sport is so easy in comparison to this!! These roads lead us right back to the main highway where we start heading back toward Epcot.
Along the roadway back I noticed some signs off to the side…now I told you that there was a lot of music along the route but as time went by it became a bit of noise to me so I needed something to distract me, these signs were just the thing. Sharpe was one of the sponsors and the signs were theirs…they contained useless facts such as “285 times: is the number of times that Kramer entered Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment.” They kept me entertained the rest of the race.
We entered Epcot and did a simple “out and back” where we ran to the lake made a u-turn and ran right back toward the front gate…where once again we were ushered out an employee gate. Around the corner there was a full gospel choir!! It was fantastic! Upbeat, loud, and inspirational for the final stretch, we turned to go out another gate and saw the crowd for the finish line. The stands were packed with people and the volume was high. We had to run about 100 yard to the finish line with people all around screaming and cheering. WOW, what a feeling.
I made sure to take my time and save some energy for Sunday but I still was able to run a fantastic race: 13.1 miles in 2:17 (chip time)!!
Made my way to get my medal and have my wristband swapped out for tomorrow’s race. Sat in the sun with the other finishers and waited for the rest of the group to come in. We all finished so we are all ready for tomorrow!!
Friday, January 11, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Monday, January 7, 2008
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Saturday, January 5, 2008
About 3 miles into the run I realized that the ground meat I had last night was not sitting well (note to self: Do not eat hamburgers, chili, or anything with lots of ground beef before a run!) so I managed to make it, barely, back to Dunn Brothers to use the restroom.
Once I was finished I came out of the coffee shop just in time to catch the running group start their run. I waited for the end of the group…which took a little time since we had 24 runners this week…and started to slowly make my way back up to the front of the group.
I caught up with Andy and harassed him for not meeting me this morning and managed to keep a decent pace. I passed Andy and made a move to catch Greg, who had by this point managed to gain about 0.5 miles on me. I never did catch him but I got the lead down to 0.25 so I was happy.
Finished the day with 10 miles at a sub 10 minute pace.
Friday, January 4, 2008
Thursday, January 3, 2008
I ran 2 miles at a sub 9:00 pace (if only by 1 second…it’s still sub 9.)