Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Quick Update

Ran 7 miles in 1:01:26 yesterday. Not too bad. The run went much better than the 6-miler last week. I plan do an 8 mile run this weekend, then take next week fairly easy in preparation for the relay next Saturday.

Any Team Voicers heading to WDW for TFFKAMF (the festivities formerly known as Mouse Fest) the weekend of Dec 12? Leave a comment if you will be there. I'd like to try to meet up with people. I'll be arriving late on the 10th and leaving in the evening on the 14th.

We're heading to the Christmas Carol Train Tour tonight in Cleveland. I'll update the blog with pictures this weekend.

I figured that "Now is the time" to do another podcast segment. So "There's a great big beautiful" DSI on WDW Radio this week. Be sure to check it out.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Champions


We had two 5K's this weekend. Yesterday was the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. This is our third year running this event and there were definitely some positives and negatives compared to previous years.

On the positive side, this was the first year it wasn't raining for the event. It was in the mid-sixties and mostly sunny at race time. They seem to change the course every year and this year was by far the easiest. It was much flatter than in years past, but still had the rough hill at the end that we get every year. The hill was the same as two years ago, though, and not the total killer hill of last year. And it wasn't right at the end but came before the mile 3 marker.

On the negative side, this is the first year they did chip timing (but only if you paid extra for it). The problem is that they didn't do a good job of communicating that they were going to start the timed runners before the non-timed runners. As we waited for the race start, they kept announcing, "5k runners - those with the blue bib - will start in five minutes. 5k walkers - those with the white bib - will start in 20 minutes." There were many people, like us, who looked down and thought...I'm running and have a white bib. Guess I'll just go with the runners. But that wasn't what was intended. Luckily it didn't affect us at all, but looking back the announcement should have said "5k walkers and runners with white bibs will start later." Hopefully none us white-bib people held up the blue bib runners.

I paced very well. My mile splits were 8:08 and 16:06, with an overall time of 24:56 -- my second best race ever. Kristin finished right at the 34 minute mark.

Overall, this is a great event every year. I look forward to going back next year.

Today's race was the Buckeye 5K at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. There were both a 5k and a half marathon. It is a small event, and many more people run the half than the 5k. Results are not posted online yet, so I'm not sure how many actually participated.

The course was a great 5k course. Not totally flat but all the hills were nice rolling rises and falls. Nothing steep. It was an out-and-back which is not my favorite, but it was still really good. The weather was in the mid-fifties, mostly sunny.

I felt terrible as the race started. I'm not accustomed to running two days in a row, so I was very tight. The first mile was very rough. Finishing mile 2, I felt better, but just didn't have any steam. I felt I was getting slower and slower as the race went on.

Finishing the race involved turning off the road and into a park. You couldn't see the finish line until there was less than a tenth of a mile left. When I rounded the corner, I expected to see the clock at 25 or 26 minutes. But it was at 23. I shook my head, looked again, then finally believed my eyes. I was on the verge of a new personal best -- at least as long as it wasn't about to flip to 24. But it was just past 23. At that point, I wanted to cross ahead of 23:30, so I turned on the speed and got across at 23:27. A new personal best.

Kristin had met up with a coworker there (plus there were some friends of ours and a coworker of mine running the half). This was her coworker's first race. She was nervous about her pacing and worried she wouldn't do well since she normally runs about 11 minute pace around her neighborhood. After I had passed the loop, I passed Chris and Kristin running pretty close together. I was nearing the 2 mile mark and they were past the one mile mark.

After I finished I was anxiously awaiting them. Chris finished at about 28:30. I turned to watch for Kristin and she came around the corner just past 29. I know she's been hoping for a sub-30 5k and all I could do was clench my fists, start at the clock nervously, and cheer her on as she approached the finish. She finished at 29:56. A personal best for her.

At the awards ceremony, Kristin got second in her division (25-29) of about six girls. Chris got first in hers (which was either the 30 or 35 division -- I forget which). And I was the only competitor in mine, so I got first. But there were about 8 runners between 19 and 34, and I got second among them. We all were surprised to get our trophies. It was such fun. Maybe the secret to success is to have less competition...

On the training front, I was supposed to put in a 7-mile run this weekend in preparation for the Akron Marathon Relay. I am running the 7.9 mile leg. But with the two 5k's that didn't happen. The plan is to get the 7-miler on Tuesday, a short run Thursday, then an 8-miler on the weekend. I am way behind in training. I am only going to get the one 8-miler in before the race which is now less than two weeks away.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Speed

OK...Craig Speed isn't quite as good as MikeSpeed. But I'll take it.

Today was not summer. It was more like a fall day. High temp around 65, but a bit humid. We went out to play disc golf. I haven't played in over a month. My buddy Nino and I have a running feud at the game. I've won the past couple times, but I guess it was his turn today. He was ahead most of the front nine, but I pulled to a tie at the 7th hole and was eventually ahead by one stroke. But he took the lead back on the 16th. I'll get him next time.

Went for a run tonight. The goal was a strong 5k and I did better than expected... 24:37. This was my second best 5k ever (my best was in a race). I was not expecting to do quite that well. Mile 1 was about 7:50. 8:10 for mile 2 -- which has the big hill. Finished with 7:56 total pace. Next run will be a five miler, most likely on Tuesday. The Akron Marathon relay is fast approaching and I am not ready. Need to keep on task to not let my team down.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Improving

It's amazing what just two weeks on a running schedule can do. I still have a lot of work to do to get up to the 7.9 mile run that I'll be doing in late September, but it is encouraging that I am getting my stamina and pace back. Sunday was 4 miles in 34 minutes. Today I did 3 miles in 26.5 minutes.

Now off to eat some dinner and then preparing to record with Lou tonight.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Out of Shape

I have really learned lately that I have let myself get way too out of shape. I have still not been able to get in a good rhythm for a running schedule. It seems that every time I have a plan, something comes up. The plan was Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday this week. I got my Tuesday in, but shortened it because Thursday most likely won't happen due to a schedule change that moved a commitment from Wednesday to Thursday. So now I'm running two days in a row which I usually don't do. I'm still keeping decent pace on my runs, just not doing well with distance.

We had a great time in New Orleans. We did a swamp tour and toured the Oak Alley Plantation. We also visited one of the cemeteries. This was my fifth trip to NOLA and the first time I got out of the French Quarter for anything touristy. It was great fun. My first visit to the French Quarter made me realize the Port Orleans French Quarter was greatly themed. And now that I've done the swamp and plantation, I have more appreciation for Riverside (though I do think that FQ better lives its theme).

Magic Meets was great fun again this year. Over $26,000 dollars was raised for the Dream Team and quite a bit was raised for Deb Wills' Avon Walk.

We hit Cedar Point with my niece and nephew on Sunday. It was HOT and there were no clouds or breeze until the afternoon. But luckily crowds were very manageable and we rode all the headliners (some multiple times) and were out of the park two hours before closing. The food there is so expensive though. $8.50 for a burger and fries. $3.69 for a 21 oz soda. It makes WDW counter service look like a bargain.

Looks like I'm heading to San Francisco for work in October. My plan is to check out the Walt Disney Family Museum. I am so excited about that one.

I'll be in the World for Tower of Terror and for the non-MouseFest weekend in December. Let me know if you will be around for either of those weekends.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Humidity Sux

Current Akron weather: 70 degrees, 89% humidity.

I just ran three miles and was sweating like a hog less than a mile in.

So I've been gone for a while. I've been a bad blogger. I haven't commented much on others' blogs. I've been a bad friend/Team Voicer. I'm going to try hard to get back on track.

My running has been terrible lately. I've averaged less than one run a week. But at least the diet has been going well. I'm starting to take off the weight that I put on since January. I think we have a 5k coming up soon in Cleveland. I'm signed up for the 7.6 mile leg of the Akron Marathon Relay in late September; Kristin is running the half marathon. And we are signed up for the Tower of Terror 13k in October.

We went and saw Mary Poppins in Cleveland a couple weeks ago. What a phenomenal show! I love that they incorporated other stories from the books that did not make the film. The new music fit in so well with the original Sherman Brothers' pieces. And the actors were great. Sometimes children in shows can be questionable, but Jane and Michael both did a great job. And Gavin Lee who played Bert was born for the role. I can't imagine anyone doing a better job. He originated the role in both London and Brodway.

I'm off to be productive now. We are heading to New Orleans on Friday and I have a lot to get done before we leave. I have to be there Monday through Thursday for work. Kristin and I are flying down Friday for a couple days vacation. She is flying home Tuesday morning, and I Thursday night. Then driving to PA for Magic Meets next weekend.

While we're down there, we are doing tours of a plantation and cemetary, plus an airboat swamp tour. Should be loads of fun. This is my fifth trip down for work and it will be Kristin's first time there. I've only explored the French Quarter, so it will be fun to see more of NOLA.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Disaster

Saturday was the Run Wild for a Cure 5k at the Cleveland Zoo. We ran this race last year and it was quite good, though a bit odd that miles 1 and 3 took place on the same paths in the park. This year was the same thing, except part of the zoo was closed off due to construction, so the mile 2 route was to be different from last year. It is still a very challenging course as there is little flat ground and a hill which is nearly 100 foot elevation change.

The race, however, ended up being a disaster. The course should have been as follows...
Mile 1 - Run through the bear section
Mile 2 - Run up and back down the big hill
Mile 3 - Run through the bear section again

Rather than letting runners continue to the second mile hill, for the first several minutes of the race they routed runners back to the bears. To further complicate the problem, at a different intersection they were directing runners toward the finish line who had only run about a mile.

Kristin ran pretty close to a 5k. She got sent back to the bears too soon, but within about 50 yards of turning around found out she shouldn't have. She got back on track and ran the proper course from there on. She ended up finishing right about 32 minutes...which is her best 5k time ever and she did it on a very challenging course. Great job!

I didn't fare too well. Things went well the first mile -- which I completed in 7:35. I was in a group that was directed back around to the bears shortly after mile one. As I was approaching them the second time, another set of volunteers tried to direct me toward the start/finish line. But at the same time the runners who were errantly sent to the finish line were coming back to the main path and warning me and other runners not to go that way.

I ran the bear section again, then up and down the big hill. When I got back to the intersection with the start/finish leg, the volunteers tried to route me through the bears a third time, but I refused and headed toward the finish line, knowing I had run more than 5k, but hoping that I could get a fairly accurate time. I crossed the line at 28:03. With the help of MapMyRun.com, it looks like I ran about 3.4-3.5 miles, which means my pace would have put me right around a 25 minute 5k (which would have been my second best ever).

I wish we would have gone to the awards ceremony. I can't imagine they actually gave prizes since the fastest runners were the ones that got screwed up the most. The slower runners would have run a perfect 5k course.

Talking to people afterwards, we had a guy tell us that his Garmin recorded a run of 4.6 miles (likely what I would have run had I ran the bear section a third time). No race results were posted online -- just an apology and a statement that we would get free registration at next year's event.

Here's hoping that next year works out better...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Update (great post title, huh?)

Just wanted to throw a few words out there...

Looks like we will indeed be able to make it to the World for a few days in late October and we will be running the Tower of Terror 13k. More details to follow as we actually start making some plans.

Zoo race is tomorrow. I ran 2.9 miles yesterday in 25:30, which including a bit of walking warm up at the start. I haven't really timed myself since the half marathon, so wasn't too sure how I was holding up pace-wise. I should be good to go for our race at the zoo on Saturday. This was my worst 5k last year at about 26.5 minutes. It is a crazy tough course, so I will be happy with a similar time again this year.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lapu Lapu

What better way to cool off after a run than a nice, refreshing adult beverage served in a pineapple?

I have no idea what goes into a real Lapu Lapu, but this concoction was a blend of dark rum, pineapple rum, coconut rum, triple sec, fresh pineapple juice, fresh pineapple, and a splash of orange juice.

I must say that prepping the pineapple was a pain in the butt! I wonder how Disney does it. My guess is that they scoop it out rather than cut it out and then use the scooped pineapple in other menu items where the pineapple will be blended/cooked in rather than used in chunks (pineapple bread, anyone?).

On an even happier note (yes there are things happier than adult beverages served in pineapples), I think we will be going back to the World this year. AND -- yes there's more -- running the Tower of Terror 13k! Kristin's sister is getting married on a cruise ship stop at St. Thomas. We are joining them for the cruise and wedding. I had the brilliant idea of visiting WDW for a couple days upon return to land, only to discover (thank you, Lori!) that the day we would arrive would be the day of the race. Things are still in the planning stages, so nothing definite yet, but the excitement is mounting.

Anyone else planning to be there?

Additionally, we are signed up for the Cleveland Zoo race that we ran last year. Tough, tough, hilly course. The worst I've ever ran. But the whole course is in the zoo so you get to see the animals as you run by. Plus admission to the zoo and rainforest is included in the cost.

We also have plans for the Akron marathon. At this point, Kristin plans to run the half. I am working to get a relay team together at work. We are one person short...still have a 10k leg to fill. My leg will be the longest one -- 12.25k. This is the leg that Kristin ran last year.

Monday, March 30, 2009

D23 - a complaint

So here we are just a couple weeks into existence of D23 and I have a complaint. The magazine is awesome. The charter member lithograph is beautiful (and huge).

But I just hate Spam. You heard me right...a big pile of Spam.

As soon as I signed up for D23, I begen receiving multiple e-mails per week from Disney Shopping. My instinct is to just unsubscribe, but the following tag is in the e-mail...

If you decide to unsubscribe from this communication, you will also be unsubscribed from D23 member communications, which include announcements about D23 special events and promotional codes that are only available via D23 email communications. To unsubscribe from all types of future commercial email from Disney Shopping, Inc. regarding its products and services, and from all types of future D23 communications click here.

So they are forcing us into Disney Shopping Spam if we want to receive any relevant, membership-related communication from D23.

I am not a fan of this.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm 23

I haven't posted in a while and I've decided that I need to get back to some regularity here. I'm going to try for at least once a week.

Thought I'd share the good news. My D23 membership card arrived today. I'm 23. Are you 23?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Getting in My Head

January 10, 2009...

3:30 am: I'm nervous. I'm excited. Did we forget anything? I'm nervous. I'm excited.

4:15 am: It is cold out here.

4:30 am: Nerves are calming. Excitement mounting. It's great seeing everyone before the race. Chris is in my corral...it will be nice having someone to start with.

5:00 am: Time to walk to the corral. Anticipation is creeping in. The next 45 minutes are going to be so slow. How long will this race take me? I have to get under 2:10. I need to do it for myself and for Dave's Challenge. I would love to be closer to two hours flat...but realistically I've never held that pace in any of my 10+ mile runs.

5:45 am: Shouldn't we be starting? That announcer needs to quit gabbing and let us run. Chris has finished two half marathons in the past -- both in 1:56. His goal today is loftier than that. My running pace is about the same as his, but I'll need to slow down occasionally. I've never run more than five miles without a short walk break. I should be able to keep pace with him for a few miles.

5:55 am: Here we go. Look I'm up on the big screen! Here comes the start line.

Through Mile 1: This is a lot of people running. I wish I didn't have to keep running on the grass to get around people. Hey SpeedWalker: How did you get into wave 1?

Mile 2: I'm starting to settle into my pace. Thank goodness I have Chris to run with. Time is flying by having someone to chat with.

Mile 3: We need to quit gabbing and get running. We've been over 9 minute pace the first two miles.

Mile 4: I'm feeling great today. What a day for a run. The cheering crowd is awesome. "Git 'r done!" Someone just yelled "Go Craig!" Oooh...she's cute. I think Chris is jealous.

Mile 5: I'll probably need to slow down soon. I've never tried to run farther than 5 miles without a break. Oh no...we're about to run under water. This is going to be steep...wait...that wasn't as bad as I thought. Hold on a sec...I always pictured running through the Magic Kingdom in daylight. It's still dark out. This is going to be awesome.

Mile 6: We're backstage. The best part is about to come. The lights are on down Main St. Look at all the people. The castle is lit in purple. It looks awesome. This is going to pass too quick. I think I'm running too fast. But I'm too excited to get back on pace. "Now approaching Rocket Tower Plaza." There's Alice. High-five, Piglet! Check it out, the rides are all spinning. Look at that girl running in the grass skirt ahead of me...that has to itch real bad. I hear trumpets sounding. They're up in the castle! The view back down Main St. is great. Oops...sorry Chris....didn't realize you were that close...didn't mean to cut you off in front of the cameraman. It's western Donald, Mickey, and Goofy...and there's Big Al.

Mile 7: So long Magic Kingdom, but hello Captain Jack. Awesome pirate ship. Whoa...what happened to the course? This road is much too narrow for all these people. Guess I'll run in the grass some more.

Mile 8: There's Mary Poppins and Bert. And there's still a lot more road ahead of me...I'm getting a bit tired. I've never run this far before without a break.

Mile 9: I can see the food station ahead. I better hurry up and eat these Clif Blocks so I can wash them down up there. Maybe Chris wants the second dose. What? No drinks at the food station? Maybe I shouldn't have eaten those yet.

Mile 10: Where'd Chris go? I would have taken a break miles ago if I hadn't had him to run with. What a motivator it has been to run with someone who had a faster goal time than me. I'm lucky to have started with him. Oh good...he's still really close, just 20 yards behind me. Ahh...there's my water. But, I still have four miles left to run. Maybe I should take a walk break starting at this water stop? I really am pushing my body harder than I ever have before. No...You can't stop. You've done so well. You are doing fine physically, it's just mental strain at this point. OK OK. I'll try to keep going. Now my left ankle feels a bit weird. There's nothing to look at. I've still got to run for half an hour!

Mile 11: Only.....5.....k....left.....to.....go. You can do this. Don't stop. Think of your training, three miles is a walk in the park. Just keep it up. Need to stop. Just keep running. Need to stop. Just keep running. There's been nothing cool to look at this mile or the last one -- Boring! Just keep running.

Mile 12: Two miles left. This really is a breeze from here on out. Think of it. You're about to finish. Finish strong. Confidence builds. Excitement mounts. Two miles is nothing. Hard right turn. Here comes that big ramp I've heard people complain about. This thing is sloped oddly to the side...nowhere near flat. OUCH!!! Sharp pain in my left ankle, shooting up through my calf. I've never had pain like this before while running. It must be the slope. Just slow down. Get to the outside, it looks flatter over there. I don't want to have to walk the last mile and a half. But can I still run? Not if this pain persists. Just try. OK...here goes. Very stiff, but manageable. Just try not to think about it.

Mile 13: Did my eyes deceive me? The Mile-12 marker had a time of 1:49:00 when I passed it. I'm going to finish in under two hours! I have 13 minutes to run 1.1 miles. That's plenty of time. Head high...you are crushing your goal. Into Epcot. Around the fountain, then looking over at the other path to find Chris. He had to have caught up when I slowed down back there. But I don't see him. I guess I'm going to finish alone.

The Finish: Look at all the characters and the gospel choir. I'm so close to the end. I see the clock. 1:58. What about Dave's Challenge. Think...what was the time for the under 9 minute pace? Crossing at 1:58:20. I think it was after two minutes on the clock when I crossed the start. That means I finished under 1:56! I beat my goal by 15 minutes! I snuck into the next rung on the Challenge ladder! I can't believe I ran this whole thing!

The Aftermath: Medal? Check! Picture? Check! Drink? Check! Food? Check! People to celebrate with? No check. Let's go find people. There's Mike and Chris. Mike smoked us all. Chris finished only a minute behind me. Talk about being consistent. Good ol' Mr. One-Fifty-Six. New goals: Congratulate the team, find Kristin, give her a big hug, hit the hot tub :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Disney World!

It's Disney World day. Today we put our mileage over the edge and we have finally reached Walt Disney World. We also had a mad dash of last minute to-do's and packing because we are leaving in the morning.

Here's what our schedule looks like right now:

Saturday: Check in to Port Orleans French Quarter. Going to Magic Kingdom. It is the only day that Splash Mountain will be open. Will end the night at MK or the Studios.

Sunday: Going to Animal Kingdom to catch the last performance of the Jingle Jungle parade. Then off to either MK or DHS, whichever we didn't go to the night before. This is also the last day for Osbourne lights.

Monday: Might go to Blizzard Beach, otherwise, don't know. Dinner at Ohana with a coworker and his family.

Tuesday: Our third anniversary. Going to Jiko for dinner.

Wednesday: Backstage Magic Tour. Wedding rehearsal at the Grand Floridian. Then possibly hanging out with friends afterwards.

Thursday: I'm in a wedding. Don't know what the plans are after the wedding.

Friday: Relax day. Pickup our race packets. Maybe go to the grocery store to refill the food or do some laundry (sounds like fun, eh?).

Saturday: Half Marathon at 6:00. Lou's meet at 2:00. Illuminations meet at 8:00. I have heard talk of Jellyrolls after, but we'll have to see how tired we are. (I had to cancel my Le Cellier reservation to go to Lou's meet <sniff, sniff>).

Sunday: Dole Whip meet at 3:00. Otherwise no plans.

Monday: No plans. Will end the night at either MK or DHS, whichever we did not do on the first Saturday. These are likely the only two nights we will be able to catch Wishes and Fantasmic.

Tuesday: No morning plans. Lunch at Yak & Yeti, then hanging out at Animal Kingdom for evening EMH.

Wednesday: Fly home :(

I can't wait to meet everyone. We will see you on Saturday if not before!