Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

Here’s a short review of our trip…
We left Athens at 4AM on Friday morning, the day before the race. We got to Disney World a little before 12PM. We went straight to Disney’s Wide World of Sports for the Expo. You have to go there before 8PM on Friday night to pick up your bib, shoe sensor and race packet. There were literally thousands of people there. It was unbelievable. They actually did a really good job managing that size of crowd. After wondering around a while, we finally found where we were supposed to go first. When we got up there, the lines were about 50 people long. Fortunately, they were divided up by number, and our number had three people in line. It was awesome. We walked right up and got our packet within 5 minutes.
From there, we went over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to eat at one of our favorite restaurants on property, Mama Melrose’s. We had a little bit of time before our 5PM reservation, so we rode the Tower of Terror, Rockin’ Roller Coaster and saw the Beauty and the Beast stage show. We showed up at 4:30PM for our reservation, and they sat us right away. As always, the food was great. We filled up on carbs with breads and pastas and and our way back to the condo we were renting off property. Since we got up at 4AM, we were tired and were actually in bed and asleep by 8PM (with a little help from some NyQuil).
The three alarms I set all went off at 3AM. Since we got to bed so early, we got a full night’s sleep and felt pretty good. We got up, and made it to the Epcot parking lot a little after 4AM. Again, we could not believe the amount of people running this thing. I’ve heard that 16,000 people where participating. Then the waiting began. They herded us from location to location until the 6AM start time. All in all it was about 2 miles worth of walking just to get to the start line. At 6 AM, the first set of fireworks went off and wave 1 started the race. We were in wave 3, so our fireworks went off at 6:30AM, and we crossed the start line a little after that.
Like I wrote in the previous post, it was very crowded. We definitely had to run slower than we wanted to because of the amount of people and all the walkers. I found out later that when you register for the race, the time you say you think you will finish in in the wave they put you in. When I registered, I wasn’t running at all, so I just put 3 hrs. This put us with all the walkers. I won’t do that again.
I felt really good after the race. We ran at a slow pace, and it was fun running around Disney World. Jackie felt OK, but her knees were really bothering her. We went back to the condo, and she rested the rest of the day. I went back to the parks and just took it all in that afternoon. For the rest of the trip, we just slept in and enjoyed walking around the parks, seeing attractions and eating together. It was a really nice trip without the boys. We concluded that Disney World is funner with kids, but it is much more relaxing without them.
There were 2 highlights of our time together after the marathon. On Sunday night, we ate dinner at the Kona Cafe at The Polynesian Resort. The dinner was very good, and aftewards, we walked out on their beach and watched the Wishes fireworks show over the castle at the Magic Kingdom. They even pipe in the audio there in the beach it was very cool. The second highlight of our trip was Tuesday night. We went to Epcot and ate dinner at Le Cellier Steakhouse. It is by far our favorite restaurant on property. They have an awesome cheddar cheese soup, the steaks are great, and they have a smores dessert that we both love. After the meal, we walked right out the door and watched Illuminations together over World Showcase. It was a great end to our trip.
On Wednesday, we headed home. I’m not sure if I’m going to run another race at Disney World, but I definitely want to run a full marathon soon. I’m going to do some research and see if there’s a good one close that I can run.

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We did it! It was a lot of fun, and it felt good to accomplish our goal. There were A LOT of people there, so it made it hard to keep a steady pace. We even had to wait in line to use the bathroom during the race. Overall, though, it was a good first race for us. I’ll write more details later, but for now, here are some pictures of us.

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It’s here


Well, back in April of 2007 Jackie and I decided that we would run the Disney World Half Marathon in 2008. It’s hard to believe it is finally here. We will be leaving early Friday morning to run the race- it begins at 6AM on Saturday morning. We have worked very hard to train for it, and I think we are ready. It’s going to be a lot of fun to do this together.

The race begins in the Epcot parking lot, goes up World Drive, through the Magic Kingdom and back to Epcot. You can view the race map here.

They recently sent out the marathon guide which I didn’t get for some reason, so I have just been looking at the online version. It looks like a very well organized event.

I’m sure I will have some posts about our experiences when we get back.

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Training for a race


Hal Higdon is amazing, and his web site (though not well designed) is very helpful. It has training plans for all different distances and levels. I’m using his “novice” half marathon training plan right now, and it is going great. If you are looking for some guidance on how to train for a race you are interested in, this is a great resource.

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My Newest Toy



As you probably know, Jackie and I are training to run a half marathon in January. About a month ago, I purchased a new toy that has been helping me train. It is the Nike+ running kit. I really love it. As you run, a voice tells you your distance, pace, time and calories burned. Here’s a blurb from how Apples describes it…

“See the minutes tick by. Watch the miles unfold. Hear real-time feedback. All to your favorite music–including the one song that always gets you through the home stretch. As your run or walk, the sensor sends information to your iPod nano, tracking your time, distance, pace, and calories burned. If you choose, real-time, spoken feedback can even alert you to milestones throughout your workout.”

One of the coolest features to me is that after your workout, you sync with iTunes and it uploads your workout data to the Nike+ servers. It keeps track of all your runs over time, charts them out for you, keeps track of all your best performances and let’s you set goals for yourself. At the top of this post, you can see a screen shot of my run graph so far. Another feature is that it let’s you challenge other runners. Bryson, one of the guys I work with, has a sensor too, and he just sent me a challenge to see who can run 50 miles first. It keeps a running chart of your challenges when you log in too. All of these features are free to use when you own a sensor.

So, the next question you have is, what does it cost? The first thing I purchased was some good running shoes. I actually needed some anyway, so it was good timing. The recommended way to use the product is to buy a Nike shoe that says Nike+ somewhere on the shoe. This means that it was designed to work with the running kit. Nike+ shoes range from $50-$150. Next, you buy the running kit. It costs $30. The kit includes a sensor that you put in the sole of your shoe. Here’s what it looks like…



The other part of the kit is a small plastic electronic chip that plugs into the bottom of your ipod. It’s important to note that this is only compatible with the ipod nano. Apple says that they do not encourage people to run with video ipods because they have a hard drive in them and are prone to skip. The nano has a flash drive that works well for running. So, I guess rather than deal with a lot of skipping music complaints, Apple just decided to not make it work with the video ipod. Here is what the chip looks like…


To round out your purchases, you have to have some way to attach it to your body while you are running. As you can see, the chip extends the length of the ipod quite a bit. Because of this, most ipod nano armbands will not work with it plugged in. Knowing this, Apple and Nike made one to fit it, and they charge $30 for it. To me, this is the most overpriced piece of the puzzle. I’m not sure why another company hasn’t made one that’s cheaper, but I haven’t been able to find one. Currently, there are two styles: one with a window to see the screen and one without. Here are some pictures of them…



So, if you own a ipod nano, you can get everything you need for about $120-$200 depending on which shoes you buy.

There may be a way to do it more cheaply, though. There is a company that is now making a pouch that attaches to your shoelaces and holds the sensor. The company is called Marware, and they say that it works well. It sells for $10 and looks like this…



I’m not sure if it works or not, but if it does, than you would not have to buy the special Nike shoes. You could spen about $70 getting the pouch, running kit and armband. Here’s a link to their site…


If you do not own an ipod Nano, you can search Google for refurbished 1st generation nanos. Right now, they are selling for around $100.

I have really enjoyed using this product. It has been well worth the money for me. I have been running so much with it that I pushed myself too hard and got a little stress fracture in my right foot. I took a 3 week break from running, and I think it is healed now. So, I’m back on track and taking a little more conservative approach to my training. If you are a runner or want to take up running, I highly recommend using the Nike+ kit. It makes running really fun, and it keeps track of your progress automatically. It’s been a really good way for me to train.


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Free Workout Music



I have been running a lot lately, and have been getting really tired of the music that I own.  It gets really old listening to the same songs everyday.  So, I had two options: buy more music or find some free stuff.  Luckily, I stumbled across a really good free option.  It’s called podrunner.  It is a weekly podcast produced by a DJ in Los Angeles, CA.  He releases weekly  1 hr. long mixes that are designed for running, walking, cycling, etc.  It is all face paced techno style music with very few words.  It is just fast beats that are designed to keep you moving.  I’ve really enjoyed it.  It is a great way to get free workout music that changes every week.  You can check it our here…


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Half Marathon



Well, we have been talking about it for a while, and we have finally made it official. Jackie and I have registered to run a half marathon on January 12, 2008. And where else would I choose to run it? Disney World. That weekend is marathon weekend at the parks. Apparently it’s a pretty big deal. People come from all over the world to participate. There is a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday. They also do a thing called Goofy’s race and a half challenge where you run both. The race goes around Disney World property and you actually run through the parks, so that’s pretty cool. Here is the web page with all the details:

2008 Walt Disney World Half Marathon

I have been running lately, so I am on my way in my training for it. We have 8 months to train, so we should be in good shape to do it. I’ve lost some weight, but my goal is to lose 15 more pounds over the next couple of months. If I do that, I think it will be less difficult for me. Right now, I can run 3 miles in a half hour pretty easily. Trainers recommend that you just gradually increase your running, so I’ll take it slow since I have so long to prepare. This is a big step for me in trying to live more healthily. Since the beginning of this year, I have been doing pretty good about eating right and exercising regularly. Hopefully, this will be a further motivation to make it a lifelong lifestyle change for me.

As a reward for all of our hard work, we will be staying at the parks for a few days after the race. It will be just Jackie and me, so it should be a lot of fun. How could I be at Walt Disney World and not go to the parks? I’ll keep you updated in my training. I’d appreciate any encouragement you could throw my way!

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