Thursday, May 30, 2013

Nike Free

For years (years!) I ran in the same New Balance sneakers.  When a pair got old, I would buy a new pair of the exact same model.  Over and over and over.  I found the New Balances after getting my feet and gate analyzed at a local running store.  At one point, I bought a different brand and after running for a week, my ankles, knees, hips, you name it, hurt - so I went back to the tried and true New Balances.

When I signed up for the Princess Half, I decided that I had to dress up.  I thought about being a Princess, but wasn't sure I could pull it off, so I settled on Mickey Mouse.  This meant that I needed a black top, red shorts and yellow shoes.

My New Balances were not yellow!  So I went to Zappos and bought the yellow-ist sneakers I could find - the Nike Free 3.

Given my history with non-New Balance sneakers, I was a little nervous - but the costume really required them.  I started running in the Nikes in December and quickly fell in love with them!  They are lightweight and very flexible.  I've put in over 300 miles on them and my joints feel fine.  Plus, look at them!  Bright yellow!  So after several months (and hundreds of miles) I think I am an official convert to the Nike Free brand.  I went out today in my new pair.

PLUS . . . as I start thinking about costumes for January (I'll need FOUR of them), Nike lets you customize these sneakers, which opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

Four miles on these new ones; going to try to get another 5 or 6 in tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I have participated in three runDisney events over the years.  I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon in January 2005 as part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training.  That run was, for all intents and purposes, an excuse to get back to Walt Disney World.  The plan didn't really work out as I had hoped, as we were only in Florida for three days; only got to visit one park (Epcot); and road only two rides (TestTrack and Mission Space) before running 26.6 miles and flying home.  It was, in short, a whirlwind trip.

My two more recent runDisney trips have been much more enjoyable.

In January 2011, my sisters (that's another post all together) and I ran the Walt Disney World Half Marathon together.  Having learned my lesson in 2005, we extended our stay a bit.  We all arrived in Orlando mid-day on Thursday.  We rented a car (a first for me at WDW) and went straight to packet pick-up and then to our hotel (Port Orleans Riverside).
Oh my!

We were pretty lazy that first afternoon and then hit the California Grill that night.  We spent Friday at the Magic Kingdom, hitting all the classic rides and some new classics.

We ended the day at Epcot and Via Napoli for some carbo-loading before an early bedtime and an even earlier wake-up call. 

3 AM Baby!

And off the the races!   The race was the race.  It was hot.  We were cranky.  We were slow.  We finished.  Nuff said.  We spent the rest of the day lounging around Port Orleans, Downtown Disney, Epcot (and a quick sprint over the Hollywood Studios to ride Rockin' Rollercoaster).  We had an awesome dinner in Mexico.

Viva Mexico! (I'm the fat on on the bottom left)

Everyone else headed home on Sunday, but I moved over to the Marriott for a conference and was able to visit the parks a few more nights.  All in all, it was a great trip, with much more time in the parks.

This past February, one of my sisters and I (and our spouses) went back to run the Princess.  The spouses weren't running and, as it turned out, neither was my sister - who backed out at the last minute.  This trip was  the perfect length.  We all flew down together on Friday; arrived in Orlando mid-day; rented a car and went to the hotel (Pop Century); before I headed over to the Expo.

Pop Century

  We laid around by the pool all afternoon and then went to Downtown Disney for dinner.  I was up at 3:30 and on a bus to the start.  It was hot again (and humid), but i finished and I was back in my room by 8:30.

Mile 12

The ONE picture I took during the race - the finish! My adoring fans!

 After a quick nap and some lunch, we went off to the Magic Kingdom for the afternoon/evening (with dinner at Narcoossee's - yummy).

Magic Kingdom Topiaries

We spent Sunday at Epcot, where we tried (extremely unsuccessfully) to drink our way around the world (I am embarrassed to admit how far we didn't get).  

I'm seeing a theme here ...

Dinner in Mexico; Illuminations and Beaches and Cream topped off the night.  Monday, we hit Hollywood Studios in the rain before heading to the airport.  It was a quick visit, but we got a lot in and I think this will be the model for future runDisney halfs in the future.

Our plans for this January are still up in the air.  We will probably arrive mid-afternoon on Wednesday so I can get my packet.  This trip is going to involve 4 early mornings (3:30 AM!) and a lot of running, so I don't think I am going to spend much time in the parks, with the possible exception of Thursday after the 5k and Friday after the 10k.  I have to think that from Friday evening to Sunday will all be about self-preservation (translation: laying by or in the pool).  Plus, we're going to Disney World as a family in the Fall, so this trip can be more about the running . . . we'll see . . . 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bowels of Gillette Stadium

Run Walk Run Update

Well we tried the RWR method on our 8 mile run this morning and it went well. I think I'm coming down with something AND it was rainy, so the conditions were not great, but the run was decent and I felt strong at the end. We finished in 1:14 and we've been averaging 1:09 so it was a bit slower but I can't maintain such a fast pace for longer distances. In fact, I think I need to really make an effort to slow down on some of these longer runs - it's just not sustainable. 

So the run walk run method survives - we'll continue to use it on our long runs and I think it will allow me to finish in a decent time and still able to walk. 

Off to plant veggies in the rain and then off to Foxboro for the Revolutions game )also probably in the rain).  Thinking of doing a slow short run tomorrow - maybe with the boys. 


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Run Walk Run???

As it really starts to sink in that I am going to be asking my 42 year old body to run for 48.6 miles over four days, I am starting to think about just how I am going to survive!  So I decided to look into the Jeff Galloway Run-Walk-Run approach.  Having run in several runDisney events, I was (am) a little hesitant to adopt this approach if for no other reason than having people in front of me just stop running every now and then and start walking - I always seem to be directly behind these folks (who tend to dominate runDisney events) and am always having to skirt around them.

But 48.6 miles is a lot and I am starting to freak out, so I bought Galloway's book and read it the other night.  At some level he certainly knows what he's doing as he starts right off by dealing head-on with all of my issues with the Run-Walk-Run approach - that it is not really running and that it slows you down.  He correctly points out that there is no running rule book that says you have to run the entire race to be considered a runner.  Plus, in the two other marathons I've done, I walked most of miles 21 through 26 - I might actually walk less using this approach, who knows!  Galloway also claims that his Run-Walk-Run approach leads to quicker overall times because your body will let you run faster when it knows that it only has to run for a few minutes at a time.  I'm still not sure about this claim, but I am willing to test it.

I went on a three mile run this morning and used the Run-Walk-Run method, where I ran for 4 minutes and then walked for 1 minute; rinse and repeat.  I suspect that 3 miles is too short a distance to test the speed thing - I can report that I felt great after the run, but my time was, in fact, a little slower that the last time I ran the same three mile course.

Today's time - 28:01 (9:21 pace)
May 15th time - 27:27 (9:09 pace)

Like I said, I think three miles is just too short a distance to get a good gauge of things.  This weekend, I am hoping to run an 8 mile course I last did on May 4th to see what my time looks like.  I am still noodling whether I should use this Run-Walk-Run method (and if I do, if I should have some warning on my back warning about "frequent stops"), but I am intrigued.  Most of the training schedules I've seen start in mid to late June, so I have some time and my current weekly mileage puts me ahead of the game vis-a-vis those schedules, so I am feeling like I am in a good spot.

No news to report on the fundraising side.  I am almost half-way to my goal of raising $5,000.  Since I don't want to bug people and have some time, my plan is to lay low; train hard; and follow-up with folks at the end of the summer for that final push to $5,000.

That's all for now . . . gotta run!

Monday, May 20, 2013


So here we are.  Let's start with a little background - I am not a runner.  I plod.  I shuffle.  I am not fast.  I don't necessarily enjoy running.  I do enjoy ice cream, beer and pizza (not always in that order) and, as such, need to exercise in a never-ending attempt to stay just "husky" and not downright obese.  I started running (jogging really) in 2004 when I signed up to run the 2005 Walt Disney Marathon as part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program.  It was the first time I had ever run more than 5 miles.  I trained for moths, flew to Orlando and participated (and finished) the race.  NOTE: I never claimed to have "run" the race - I ran a lot of it, but I walked a good bit as well.  Since I had done all that training, I figured I should "participate" in another marathon while I was still in decent running shape so I signed up for the 2005 Marine Corps Marathon.  As I crossed the 14th Street Bridge (at Mile 21) and I thought my thighs were going to rip off the bone, I swore that I would never run another marathon again.  NEVER.

Over the past eight years, my commitment to running has ebbed and flowed.  Since 2005, I've done several 10k's, two 10 milers and 5 half marathons (including 2 at Disney World).  My favorite training distance is 8 miles and my favorite race distance is 10 miles.

So with this background, why did I jump at the opportunity to run (or participate) in the inaugural Dopey Challenge, which consists of a 5k on Thursday, a 10k on Firday, a half on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday???

My younger son, Teddy, has Tourettes Syndrome - a neurobiological disorder characterized by involuntary sudden movements and vocalizations, known as tics.  Teddy has been pretty lucky to date in that his tics are not too disruptive and he is accepted and well-liked at school.  That is not always the case and, frankly, I worry about middle school in a few years.  When I heard about the Dopey Challenge and that the Tourettes Society has a fundraising effort similar to Team in Training, I figured I had to do it. So here I am - 233 days from the 5k (and 236 days from the marathon) raising money (Donate Here); raising awareness (I hope); and training like the dickens.  I'm not sure how technology works, but I was able to get my Runkeeper app and twitter to communicate with one another - you can follow the training at either (or both) places.

Follow me on Twitter

I hope to post a few times per week on my training and fundraising efforts.

Thanks!  Got to run . . .