Friday, August 31, 2012

Race Ethics: Medals

So I was skimming some of the disney boards and reading about the races coming up when I found an interesting thread.  It was all about being swept and getting a medal even if you didn't finish the race.

Now there was nothing that was concrete for recent runDisney races although it did sound like if you're swept they give you a medal anyway, they want to make everyone happy.  I understand Disney's point of view in doing so, but I also understand the issues coming from runners who have and have not finished.  One runner who was swept from the marathon part of the goofy race said she was offered the Mickey medal, but not the Goofy one even though she had completed the half the day before.

Personally, for Disney, I wish they would have some sort of participant medal and then a finisher medal.  Heck, in all honest I think the participant medal should be more like the 5k ones than the half/full marathon medals.  That way everyone gets something, but you distinguish between those who finished and those who didn't.  Kind of like when you're younger and everyone gets a participant ribbon, but those who win get place ribbons.

I am happy to see that relay participants are getting different medals for their efforts.  For me, that would be along the same lines as getting swept considering together the relayers finish the race, but individually they only run half.  They definitely deserve medals, just not the full marathon medal.

Now I know Disney has had issues with medals being swiped in the past and then sold on ebay.  One person had like 6 or 7 Princess medals a few years back and claimed none of their friends wanted them so they were selling them all.  They disappeared right after someone mentioned they notified Disney.  Apparently Disney lawyers scare people?  I understand some people might buy unwanted medals (although who doesn't want their medal?) for shadow boxes and what not, but to put it on a place where anyone can just buy it... that just seems wrong.

And the people who are buying medals that haven't actually run the race or were swept before the half way mark... well, I just know I would never be able to.

Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule.  If something happens and an injury occurs (happens more often than we would all like), well depending on where participant or finisher medals will definitely be needed.  This case was highlighted during and well after my first Half Marathon in 2010. I'm not going to ruin the story, just watch a youtube video here of the event.

On that note, I have less than a month now until the Tower of Terror race and I'm getting excited!  I have yet to really see any medal concepts or designs for the race, but considering they've revamped the whole thing... I'm just excited to see what they have in store for us!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Quickie, But A Goodie

My plan was to get a nice kickboxing workout in this morning and then relax till this evening when I have a Fantasy Football draft.  But alas, I ended up doing more.  I got a nice little 2 mile run in before kickboxing.

It was just enough to get warmed up and get any lactic acid or tightness in my legs to loosen up.  In all honesty, it's been one of my best feeling runs recently.  I think my newest shoes are finally on the verge of being completely broken in and I'm just feeling stronger.

It's also nice that the weather is finally cooling down.  I was able to wear my capris running pants and it wasn't too hot.  It was still early, but it would have already been hot and humid at that time a month ago.  I love my winter running gear so that's just exciting for me. 

So now I'm feeling good, ready to rest up and be prepared for this fantasy football draft tonight!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Running In A Hurricane

Ok, well it is still technically a Tropical Storm, but still TS Isaac is attempting to throw my running routine off balance.  Luckily for me, it's my conditioning week (3x 4 mile runs essentially), so I'm not super worried.  If I don't get out and run today, well there's always tomorrow which can fit into my schedule just fine.

I'm tempted to run this afternoon, when things will start to calm down just to say I ran in the storm.  I don't know why, but I've been having fun running in storms this summer.  So far there haven't been any close lightening storms while I've been running, but they're fun to watch and it gets your mind off your distance for a while.

This storm is apparently only bringing us winds that would rival the Santa Ana winds I grew up with (and swam/ran with growing up).  I know I could get some sort of a run in them.  Then you add the rain and I'll consider putting on some of my winter running gear...

I have all day to wait and think about it.  I'm just happy Isaac isn't hitting us during one of my long run weeks or days.  Running 11+ miles in a hurricane, ya I'll avoid that one.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Determination... I finally found it.

My days have been up and down recently, but one constant I've had is looking forward to the 9 mile run I had scheduled for today.  It was a mixture of excitement and nerves because I wasn't sure if I was completely ready for it, but it was also my first true run on the Galloway plan.

Overall, the run went well.  Around mile 6 I started to die, but I just kept pushing.  Yes I walked a bit more than the Galloway plan instructed, but I just wanted to get to mile 9.  I had decided that no matter what, no matter if I had to walk to the 9 mile mark or not, I was going to finish.  In 1 hour and 33 minutes I was able to finish the 9 miles and I felt pretty decent about the time.

Was I completely prepared?  No.  But that's where determination came into it.  I might not have been in the best endurance shape for the run, but I wasn't going to let that throw me off my training plan.  Plus now, I have a nice week of conditioning.  I'm anxious for the rest of the training and the marathon in general, but I think part of it is also nerves from knowing that this is going to be one of the hardest training plans I've ever taken on...

After a run that I thought would have me confined to the couch or bed today, I actually got to the store (preparing for TS Isaac), and made lunch (Chicken curry sandwich), made dinner (Tortilla soup), and made cupcakes (Chocolate Strawberry cupcakes to be exact).  I got laundry done and cleaned the kitchen multiple times so I'm saying that today was a pretty good day.

Now, I just need to find people to eat these cupcakes...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

GPS Watches

I've been looking ahead at my training schedule and I've realized that I'm pretty sure my iphone isn't going to last some of these longer runs.  It barely lasts to 12 miles in the half marathons, but then again I'm usually texting, changing songs, and using a ton of apps at the same time.  Still, I've decided to start looking at some GPS enabled watches to use on my longer runs.

I've been surfing the web and looking at reviews, but the problem with reviews is you get a mix of good and bad and it always seems like the reviews are so mixed that it might as well be a toss up.  Maybe I'll get a great watch that will work wonderfully, maybe I'll get a shitty watch that I'll be constantly fighting with.

I had the good and the bad in one of my old watches, a Polar (can't remember the model number).  The heart rate monitor aspect was great.  The timing aspect was great (when are they not?), but the GPS unit was blocky and never calibrated correctly.  It was a pain in the ass pretty much.  I think it told me I ran 3 miles when I really ran 1 mile once... That threw up the red flag.

I've been leaning toward the Nike+ considering I already use the Nike+ app on my cell phone.  I am tracking the year's mileage on an excel sheet, but I have over 500 miles logged on Nike+.  In fact, in the next 70 or so miles I'll finally be leveling up!  So as you can see it's hard for me to completely let it go.  Still, I've seen spectacular reviews and then I've seen reviews where people have returned multiple devices so I'm just not sure.

It does get frustrating looking through reviews and I'm at that point where I'm just not sure where to turn.  I've reached out to some fellow runners, one of whom I really respect, and I'm hoping to get some suggestions from then.  I'm also reaching out to you guys... do any of you have any suggestions about watches?  Not looking for anything super fancy and I would love to keep it on the more financially reasonable side.

Yup, It's Still Hot

I made the mistake of taking my time before heading out on my run this morning and I paid for it within my first few steps.  I felt lethargic and hot and just not good.  I hate to admit it, but I almost immediately started to talk myself into cutting my run short.

If I stopped at 2 miles I'd run another two this evening or I'd run 4 tomorrow... If I do 3 miles then I'll just run tomorrow after work...  However, I had 2 things helping me get to the 4.25 miles I needed to run today.

First, I had the Galloway plan.  I used his run/walk plan and it really helped me make sure I never became super fatigued.  It also gave me some rest to look forward to and my running pace managed to stay around the same.

Second, I had my handy dandy Nike+ app going on my phone.  I had set a 4 mile goal so my phone kept helping my count down.  I was definitely considering stopping just after mile 3, but when that monotone robotic voice came on to tell me "1 More Mile Left", well I knew I could do it so I kept on running, instead of heading home.

Now 4 miles is usually my first wall.  It's where I finally get really warmed up and I start feeling better after 4 miles.  I get into my groove I guess you could say.  The last .25 felt pretty good and I even turned around and had a nice walk to cool down after the run.

It's funny how some runs can start off terrible and end up pretty nice.  I guess it's really true that I would have regretted it if I had stopped earlier than I had planned on (and I'll totally admit to the fact I more than likely wouldn't have run tonight or tomorrow) and I'm happy I did get through the complete run.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

20th Anniversary Marathon Medal Revealed

Donald couldn't run forever (although it seems like some of us can) and he was eventually caught by Mickey, Goofy, the runDisney team and fans.  First, they revealed his half marathon medal, which made Donald happy so he gave back the plans for Mickey's medal.

So what am I running for?  What are some of you running for?


I liked this picture of the medal because the quote also really resonates with me.  It all started with a dream, then you add some hard work, and eventually you can reach any goal.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Another Hard Run... Totally My Fault

This morning I hit the road again, not quite sure how far I was really going to go.  As much as I would love to say it was a great run, it definitely was not.  My shins hurt, my knees hurt, and I just felt like crap.

Now where the physical pains are coming from, who knows, but probably the fact I've switched completely over to my new shoes.  Hopefully they'll be gone soon enough.

However, my energy level was low and I take full responsibility for that.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the best lunch at work yesterday and it didn't make me feel well the rest of the day.  Since my stomach wasn't settling, I didn't really have dinner (Ok I didn't have dinner, I had green tea and banana chips).  Thus, this morning I had less energy than usual.

I know nutrition is important.  I know water is important.  Yet, I always find myself falling back into my same old patterns.  While generally my diet and habits are better, every once in a while I fall and it's almost immediately I'm reminded why I have to continue eating and drinking right.

So hopefully next week I'll start feeling better and I'll be able to get some more great runs in...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

In That Mood

I'm in that mood that we all know of and tend to look forward to.  The mood where you can go out and get a decent run in and then you still want to work out.

In all honesty, I started today with a plan, but when do plans ever work out?  It's unfortunately too true with my life.  I was going to run and then spend the day with a friend who is moving soon.  Then yesterday I found out I had to get some stuff done with my car early this morning.  I thought I was going to have to cut my run short, but luckily I was able to get a nice 5 mile run in.

Then I was supposed to spend the rest of the day with my friend, ya, that's not happening now either.  In fact, I'm thinking a nap very soon sounds like an excellent plan.  Then I'm thinking about doing another 20min circuit workout like the one I did yesterday.  

Other than my knee being super tight (which it has been all week), today has felt good and I can't believe I'm seriously considering working out again.  I guess we can say, I'm feeling inspired. I'm going to use this time to my advantage.  I know the time will come where I don't want to do anything and that time is probably coming faster than I'd like to admit.