2017 Training Stats

Miles Completed = 29.01
(Run/Walked = 29.01, Biked = 0.0, Elliptical = 0.0)

Countdowns!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Review/2016 Preview

I don't expect this to be very long as the year wasn't as great as I would have liked, but I feel it's good to put in to writing the things that happened and what I'd like to happen in the year to come.

2015
January
1st - New Year's Day 5K 
A great way to start the year.  I did an old favorite of mine.  As I was waiting to start I couldn't decide what I wanted to do - run, walk, run/walk.  When the race started I ended up running the full 5K, something I haven't done in many year, and I felt good the whole time.  I finished in 40:21 and was very pleased with this.

8th - Walt Disney World Family Fun Run 5K
It was so cold and windy for this one.  I was dressed as a dalmatian and I had a lot of fun with the announcers at the start and finish of the race.  The race went well and I felt pretty good after it was over.  I finished in 47:22 and was okay with this time.

9th - Walt Disney World 10K
Another cold day.  I was dressed as Eeyore today and it was fun.  I managed to finish the race and I think I pushed a bit too hard because I didn't have my interval timer so I just sort of went with it, but that's not necessarily a good thing to do.  I finished this one in 1:36:10 which was faster than I meant to go.

10th - Walt Disney World Half Marathon
I decided against the costume on this one since it just didn't come together, but I still had fun bright colors.  The race went really well, I did the first four miles or so by myself and caught up with Matt and we were together through mile ten and then again at the end.  It was a perfect weather day for me and I felt good and strong the entire race.  I finished in 3:30:07 and was thrilled with this time.

11th - Walt Disney World Full Marathon
When I got up this morning I could hardly put any weight on my foot.  My Achilles tendinitis was in bad shape.  I got myself ready to go and knew I was going to be in trouble for this one.  Once we finally got going I was having a lot of pain and it was throwing every part of my body off.  I managed to get through 14 miles and pulled myself off the course as I was with the balloon ladies and I just didn't want to cause myself permanent damage - especially knowing I had races the following weekend.

16th - Star Wars 5K
I didn't have any real expectations for this race and I just took my time and enjoyed it.  I had a lot of fun being in Corral B where there was less crowding.  It was fun to watch the different costumes go by.  I finished this one in 47:59 - a nice easy pace.

17th - Star Wars 10K
The sinus infection was causing me some issues so I walked this one with De'Dee.  We just kept a nice steady pace and enjoyed all the Star Wars madness around us, it was a great course.  I finished this one in 1:37:10, one minute slower than last week's race.

18th - Star Wars Half Marathon
The first part of this race was a bit crowded so I ended up walking the majority of the first 5 miles or so.  This worked well as I was with De'Dee and this took us through the parks.  It was a lot of fun being with her.  Once we hit the roads I was feeling strong and ready to go so I ended up picking up my run/walk intervals and mentally I found I was able to push myself on the intervals a bit more than I have in a long time.  I finished this one in 3:09:34 - the fastest half marathon I have done in quite a few years.  It felt really good.

February
15th - Lost Dutchman Half Marathon
This was my first time doing the half marathon, normally I do the 8K trail run.  I wasn't super familiar with the course so I ended up going out way to fast and I was dead by the time mile 6 came.  I had to drag myself through the rest of the miles, but I finished.  In fact, I finished in 3:22:38 - slower than I hoped, but at least I finished.

March
7th - Run For Ryan House Half Marathon
Things just went wrong from the very beginning of this one.  It was very windy and we had to run in to the wind uphill for a long part of this course.  At mile 10 or so, I found myself unable to keep walking and just wanting to sit down.  Through a comedy of issues, I did end up finishing - it was my first dead last finish.  I finished in 3:38:38 - which was pretty impressive since I actually stopped for several minutes when I decided to pull out of the race.  The support of strangers helped get me through this tough race and it was certainly a learning experience.

April 
25th - Pat's Run 4.2 Miler
Walked this one with a friend.  We didn't try to hurry, we just took our time and had fun.  I finished in 1:16:55 - super slow I know.

May
8th - Never Land 5K
It was chilly and rained for the last two thirds of the race, but this suited me just fine.  Just took my time, walked and took pictures.  I finished in 51:37 - I know slow, but considering I haven't been training I'll take it.

9th - Tinker Bell 10K
Getting ready for this race I ended up pinching a nerve in my shoulder - it only hurt when I moved or took a breath.  During this race, De'Dee tripped over a cone and fell - I was so worried about her, but she got up and kept going - she is so strong and such an inspiration.  We just walked and took our time and tried to enjoy the race.  I finished this on in 1:50:12.

10th - Tinker Bell Half Marathon
Still dealing with the pinched nerve in my shoulder and my heel is super sore.  Thank goodness for De'Dee - we walked the whole race together and I know that she slowed down for me.  I was feeling pretty bad after the race, but we still managed to finish and I kept my legacy status for this race.  I finished this one in 3:48 - ouch.

June - August
Things went from bad to worse.  I didn't train one day during this time period.  I continued to eat poorly and continued to gain weight.  I've done so much damage to myself over these few months that it's really embarrassing.

September
4th - Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K
I held up pretty well for this race by walking slowly.  I was worried about this race, but it went pretty well.  I finished in 51:52 - yes, I know how slow that is.

5th - Disneyland 10K
I enjoyed the villains theme of this race.  It was fun to walk along and take pictures the whole time.  I would have liked more villains on the course though.  Still, I kept my pain to a minimum and enjoyed myself.  I finished this one in 1:48:13 - this time worries me about the half.

6th - Disneyland Half Marathon
I'm not sure I've ever had a worse race.  I was feeling pretty good while waiting for the race.  I knew I was going to be slow, but I figured I'd at least enjoy it.  Turns out I was wrong on all accounts.  As soon as the race started, my lower back seized up and I couldn't get it to loosen.  All I wanted to do was quit the whole time.  I trudged on for 13.1 miles and then I thought I'd die.  It took my over an hour to get back to my hotel room because I was in so much pain I had to keep stopping.  I finished this one in 3:59:34 - close to my slowest ever.

October
My back is not healing.  I still can't stand for more than a couple of minutes without it aching.  Then in my stupidity, I stepped off a low wall and jammed my right knee severely.  This month saw me doing no training again.  I am in pain a lot of the time and the extra weight I've piled on just makes it work.  I'm afraid to do anything.

November
7th - Jingle Jungle 5K
I flew in to Orlando to do the Wine and Dine weekend.  I did the Jingle Jungle 5K and decided to skip the half after experiencing some pain during the 5K.  The 5K is one of the better ones and I enjoyed walking along taking pictures.  I finished this one in 57:48 - no I couldn't have given much more than this.

December
Still fighting pain in my back.  My knee is doing better, but I still have days where it pops out three or fours times and then takes a few days to heal back up again.  I am afraid to walk, I am afraid to run and for the first time in eight years I have no confidence and I'm afraid to start a race.  Physically I am at the worst I've ever been.  I am also at my heaviest.  All of this has taken a toll on my in all ways.  Sadly, I can't blame anyone but me for the state I'm in.

In Review
This year was not my best.  It started out at a pretty high point for me.  I had lost some weight, I was feeling good physically and I was controlling my mental state pretty well.  Self sabotage settled in early in the year after I had a couple of rough races and all of a sudden I caught myself wondering what I was doing this for.  I just fell further and further from where I wanted to be with each day that passed.  Getting out of the funk just got even harder once I found myself with injuries I hadn't had before.  

Despite all the negatives, there were a few positive milestones this year:
I have now participated in races during 35 runDisney race weekends
I have completed 75 runDisney races - 34 5K, 9 10K, 1 15K, 3 10MI, 25 Half, 3 Full
I have completed 7 coast to coast challenges
I completed my 32 half marathons

2016
January
I am signed up for the Dopey Challenge.  I am hoping I can finish the 5K and 10K.  I will start the Half and Full, but I will not finish these races - I know that I am not capable physically.  I just want to at least start them.  

April
I am signed up for the Star Wars Dark Side races.  I am hoping that by this time I will be in a little better shape and able to enjoy these races.

May
I am signed up for the Tinker Bell races.  This is the 5th anniversary for the Tinker Bell half and if I can finish this one I will be perfectly Tink!

October
I am taking a non-running Disney vacation.  This is something that I haven't done since 2009.  I am looking forward to enjoying the parks, restaurants and activities without the stress of running any races.

I may try to pickup another half marathon or two during the year.  I want to work on building my mileage and get back to a place that I can do the Dopey without killing myself - I know that I can do it if I can apply myself again.

In addition to this I will have to work on my nutrition.  This will mean learning to redirect my stress eating to something else and just managing my mental state in general.  It's time to get rid of my self doubt, self loathing, and self sabotaging ways and get back to a happier, healthier me.  I know I can do it and I just have to remember that it is going to take time to get there.

If I can do all of these things I am hoping that it will lead me to a fantastic runDisney year in 2017 where I can do a few more races again!

Friday, December 11, 2015

2015 Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5K (Wine and Dine Half Weekend)

Prior to leaving on the trip to Walt Disney World, runDisney sent a card with the $15 gift card for participants of the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.
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Front of card that came with the gift card
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The inside of the card with the gift card attached
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The other side of the inside of the card
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$15 Gift Card

I seriously considered not even going to this race weekend. My back is still experiencing issues when I walk and it worries me. A couple of weeks before this race I was at a local 5K and I stepped down off a low wall, well, I thought it was a low wall until I stepped down with all my weight on my right leg and immediately felt pain shoot from my knee all the way down to my ankle. I had jammed my knee and it hurt - I still did the 5K and later that day I ended up going bowling and that was not a smart idea. I was still trying to get the swelling to go down and my knee cap stopped tracking correctly and was popping out several times a day - this is not new to me as I have knee issues, but it still concerns me when it happens. Still, I had paid for the races and I figured I could use a break from work and headed to Walt Disney World any way.

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Wine & Dine After Party Wristband
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Official Race Weekend Program
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2015 Jingle Jungle 5K Bib
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2015 Jingle Jungle 5K Participant T-Shirt
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Jingle Jungle 5K Car Magnet
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5K Commemorative Pin
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2015 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Bib with Drink Voucher attached
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2015 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Participant Tech Shirt
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Wine & Dine Half Marathon Bondi Band
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Half Marathon Commemorative Pin
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Half Marathon Medal Replica Pin
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Wine & Dine Half Marathon Commemorative Necklace

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Even though I wasn't on the first bus to the race, I was still there plenty early and there weren't too many people yet
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The snow machines were cranked up to high this morning..as you can see there's even accumulation. I can guarantee you that it wasn't because it was cold...In fact, it was super warm and so humid. I stopped for a bio break and no joke, the toilet paper was damp, almost to the point of being considered wet - blech.

I got in my corral as soon as it opened up so I was pretty close to the front (as usual) and all of a sudden a guy on the outside of the fence says, "Hey, it's you." I was stumped for a second and then he said, "from the Disneyland Half." Then it clicked it was one of the guys that I had talked to for a couple of hours while waiting for the half to start. His wife was doing the 5K and he was going to be doing the half later. We chatted for quite a while about runDisney, DVC, and just life in general - such a nice couple. It made the time go faster for sure.
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The guy on the left behind me is the one that recognized me from the Disneyland Half
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Fancy electronic signage for this race
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Rudy, Mickey and Minnie - I think they were all melting this morning it was too hot for winter clothes
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And we're off...
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Looking across the Animal Kingdom parking lot towards the park
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Mile Marker One and we're heading in to the park
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The Tree of Life is beautiful this morning
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Rafiki and Timon at the entrance to Africa
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Too early in the race to look this bad
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Baloo and King Louis
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Expedition Everest in the early morning light
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Walking along enjoying the ground to make sure I don't trip
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Looking across the water from Asia
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You'd be right if you think it was hot and humid
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Heading back out of the park
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Going backstage
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Chip and Dale
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Pluto
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Watch out for crocodiles!
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Goofy and Donald are looking festive in their holiday wear
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Headed back out the way we came in
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Goofy and Donald from the other direction
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Pluto from the other side
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Mile Marker Three
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The finish line stretch
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Headed to the finish line

It was so hot out that they were handing out wet Dr Cool towels at the end.  This was the first time I've ever received a cool towel after a runDisney 5K - you know the weather is bad for them to do that!
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Got my medal and I'm smiling, but doesn't the guy behind me look super happy?
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Official Finisher Photo
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2015 Jingle Jungle 5K Medal
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2015 Jingle Jungle 5K Lanyard

I did okay during the 5K, but my back and knee were still pretty sore by the end.  I thought I'd rest and see if I was going to be up to the half marathon or not.  After resting, I knew I would struggle to finish the half marathon so I decided to sit this one out.

I thought about heading over to the staging area, but decided to skip that and head straight to Epcot instead.  On the way to the bus stop I saw some lightning in the distance, but it looked like it was off a little ways.  I figured I would catch a couple of attractions and then find a good place to watch the race and that's exactly what I did.

I found a spot to watch the runners right by the Guest Relations area across from Spaceship Earth.  This put me close to where the runners would head backstage and out to the finish.  As I was waiting a guy stood next to me, he was spectating his daughter.  It seemed like it was getting late and it was - that's when I started checking social media.  The runners were evacuated from the fields at Wide World of Sports due to a storm that came roaring through.  This delayed the start of the race by just over an hour.  In addition, the half was no longer 13.1 miles, instead it was just around 7 miles.  The course was shortened and skipped Animal Kingdom altogether since the storm was dropping a lot of rain and there was a lot of lightning.

Finally, the wheelchair participants came through, followed by the elites and then the rest of the pack came through.  I stayed to watch every runner go by.  It was a long time standing and I was feeling it by the end, but it is always enjoyable to spectate.  The interesting part to me was that the runners didn't look like the race had been shortened.  You would have thought that they were coming up on mile 13 not mile seven - yes, the weather was that bad, hot and humid.

I have to say that if I would have known the race was going to be shortened I absolutely would have done it.  I am pretty sure I could have completed the shortened distance and it seemed like they were being pretty generous with the timing since the race was so much shorter.  Still, I am glad that I opted out and got to watch everyone go by!

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