Even if you're not a gym rat or into personal fitness, you've no doubt heard about Tough Mudder. Not just because your favorite site was invited to their race earlier this year, but because the races are held everywhere. That doesn't mean that they're easy, though, as you can see in the above episode of MTV's True Life: I'm Doing A Tough Mudder…
We are exactly one month out from the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon! And the festivities around the entire weekend start even earlier than that, especially for those runners completing the Dopey or Goofy Challenges. A few weeks ago, Susan and I received a package in the mail that was a reminder to customize our magic bands and yesterday we actually received our magic bands. The idea behind the magic bands is great, and I am very curious about how they will work once we are in the parks. But besides getting our magic bands, yesterday also provided several more exciting developments about the racecation.
Disney released corral information, course maps, iGift bags, and runner tracking information for the events over WDW Marathon Weekend. Bib numbers were released last week, click here to find yours, but nothing about corrals were released until yesterday, Of course, once I got my bib number, I referenced last year’s corral information to get an estimate of where I would be running this year. My estimation was I would be in Corral C! This was exciting, even if the race is a chip timed event, being closer to the front than the back will help with the frustration of people walking early in the race and I would not be waiting in my corral forever. So, I must admit yesterday when I looked up my corral placement, I was shocked to see Corral H! Last year, Corral H was the very last corral. I immediately thought that must be some mistake until I looked a little closer. Last year, the corrals were Elite, then A-H. This year, the corrals are Elite, then A-P. This means that corrals are much smaller this year for the race. I have never ran in a runDisney event before, but I am curious what everyone thinks about this change. Personally, I think it sounds great and will help with congestion along the course, but that is just my speculation.
This is just a quick post about the Disney info, but once I finish my last paper of the semester (later this day), I am planning on doing a post about running in a canceled event (St. Jude Half Marathon), my birthday, a potential giveaway, and few other subjects.
Earlier today there was a report that the Dallas Marathon was canceled and at that point I knew that the St. Jude Marathon would also be canceled. Honestly, this sucks, but I get it. The 20,000+ runners put quite a bit of work into training for this event and I really feel sorry for those people whose first race was going to be tomorrow. But us runners were not going to be the only people out there, and considerations for the spectators, race officials, and volunteers must also accounted for as well. The wind chill tomorrow at the race start is supposed to be 7 degrees, and there is potential for dangerous road conditions for people traveling to the race. I will say though, the weather was not nearly as bad as projected, but safety does come first. Too bad there is not an alternate weekend that they could hold the event. Anyway, the following is what the St. Jude Marathon website has to say about the cancellation:
2013 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend canceled
updated December 6, 6:34 p.m.
The safety of race participants, volunteers and spectators is and always has been our top priority. After careful consideration with race officials, City of Memphis and Office of Emergency Management officials, and the Memphis Police Department, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel this year’s St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend due to weather conditions. As a result, we are providing registered participants in the 2013 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend races with multiple options to accommodate this unfortunate turn of events. Participants may choose from one of the following options:
- St. Jude will apply their registration to one of these upcoming events:
- P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon and Half-Marathon (January 19, 2014)
- Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon and Half-Marathon (February 2, 2014)
- St. Jude Country Music Marathon and Half-Marathon (April 26, 2014).
NOTE:St. Jude will not cover any expenses other than the application of the registration fee, subject to race availability.
- Receive a refund of your registration fee for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend or allow your registration fee to be donated to St. Jude.
Finally, registered participants in the 2013 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend will have the first opportunity to sign up for the 2014 event during a special registration window to be announced later. In the very near future we will communicate to 2013 participants in more detail. We want to express our deepest thanks to all of the participants, volunteers and spectators who have long trained, worked and traveled to support the patients and families of St. Jude through this amazing annual event. We hope everyone will come back to support the 2014 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend. The money raised at events like the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend are critical to our ability treat kids with cancer and ensure no family ever pays St. Jude for anything.
This is very disappointing news, but it was probably the correct call. This race is, after all, for the kids, and the money raised goes to a great cause. I am proud of the $734.77 that I raised for St. Jude as a Hero and I cannot wait until next year’s event! Maybe I will take them up on their offer to transfer my registration to the Country Music Half Marathon.
I have three papers due next week, but I am in a holding pattern with all three for various reasons so I decided to take a small diversion from them to do a quick update. This Saturday is the St. Jude Marathon and Half Marathon here in Memphis. It is the biggest running event of the year here with over 20,000 participants in the various events. It raises a significant amount of money for St. Jude and it is always a fun event. The problem is that Memphis has quite unpredictable weather, and this will certainly be reflected in the three years that I have run in this event. The average high is 58, low 38, and the mean 46, but these numbers are not often the actuality. My first event in 2011, the morning started off brutally cold, but the temperature rose quickly and was in the 60′s by the time I crossed the finish line. Last year it was warm and humid, with the temperature well into the 70′s. This year, the weather forecast is brutal. The expected high is 34, expected low 28 with wind in the 13-15 MPH range. This comes the day after the expectation of 1/4″ of ice from a winter storm. We do not see must ice and snow in Memphis, so even small amounts cripple this town. Needless to say, this week has been full crisis mode for most Memphis runners!
I heard someone on the elevator at work today say that the prediction for this weekend is a worse storm than the one in 1994. In 1994, over 6 inches of ice accumulated in the area, effectively shutting down everything for weeks. There was widespread damage, almost everyone in the regions was without power, schools were shut down for basically the entire month of February. It was a big deal and a natural disaster. Now, every time there is a projection of ice or snow, some yahoo invokes the tired, “This is going to be worse than the storm of ’94!” Only, most people say this with a little bit more of a southern drawl and worse grammar. I am going on the record and refuting this notion that this weekend will be anywhere near the level that 1994 was. It is going to be cold, there will be some ice, but 6 inches is extreme.
The good news for runners is that as of this morning, the race is still all systems go and the original forecast of freezing rain during the event has been moved to Friday morning and midday, as well as Saturday night into Sunday morning. The bad news is that is still going to be cold and windy, and there might be some ice patches along the way. Susan is already on record that if there is ice, she does not want me to run. I tend to be somewhat of a klutz and if I get hurt, she will not be happy. Especially if it jeopardizes the WDW Marathon in five weeks. The worst news for runners is that in the infinite wisdom that incorporates this town, the Memphis Tigers play a game at 12:00 pm and the Memphis Grizzlies play a game at 7:00 pm on Saturday. Both games are at the FedExForum, which happens to be in the middle of the race course. And since the race begins at 8:00 am, there is going to be some over lapping of the events. Traffic and parking are going to be a nightmare even without any ice, so fellow runners, you have been made aware.
I tend to follow MemphisWeather.net for a more accurate view of the weather than I can get from the app on my iPhone or the local stations. The guy behind the site does the weather projections for FedEx, so it is paramount that he be right. You can view his blog post about this weekend here. Also, here is the St. Jude Marathon blog post about this weekend.
UPDATE: Official word from the St. Jude Marathon Weekend is that a decision will be made by 5:00 am CST on Saturday, December 7, on whether the race is going to be canceled or not.
UPDATE #2: Apparently, there is no official statement from the powers that be at this point about any decisions about the plan for the race.
I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving went well and anything that you ate was worth the extra calories. I know that everything I had been worth it. It has been awhile since I have posted and this will be more of a catchall post to encompass as much of what has happened for me over the last couple of weeks.
November marked the first time in my running history that I eclipsed 100 miles ran in a single month. It was not necessarily my goal, but with my race and training schedule, it happened to work out that way. I am not sure if I will repeat the same performance this month, but we shall see. It is amazing how far I have come since beginning my running journey.
I decided to join the Half Fanatics two weeks ago as well. My three half marathons in 63 days qualified me for the club, so I decided to give it a shot. I am not sure what, if any perks come from the club, but it is something that I earned, so I am going to give it a shot. I am Fanatic #5670.
As previously stated, I set my PR for distance twice this month, and I am building a great base for the WDW Marathon in January. I have now officially ran over 20 miles in a single run!
I neglected to mention this in October, but I was able to register for the 2014 Oak Barrel 13.1 in April. It is a smaller race in Lynchburg, TN and from the reports that I have seen, it is an event with a very loyal following. Participation was capped at 1,400, and that number was reached in under a month. Race medals are made from oak barrels, which is fitting for the home of Jack Daniels. I am really eager to see what all of the buzz about this event is about.
This Saturday marks my third consecutive St. Jude Half Marathon to participate in, and I cannot wait. This was my first two half marathons and will always be a race that I try to incorporate into my schedule. This year’s race is going to add a new challenge since the projected weather is going to be quite cold. The high is 36 degrees, so I guess my cold runs over the past couple of weeks will be beneficial for this race. I just shivered thinking about it! Also, I was able to raise over $700 for the children of St. Jude in association with this event as a St. Jude Hero, which is always a good feeling.
Originally, the St. Jude Half Marathon was supposed to be my last race of 2013, but now I think that I am going to run in the Starry 4K at Shelby Farms here in Memphis. The race takes place at Starry Nights, an outdoor light display at Shelby Farms and participants run through the lights that normally you drive through. Seems like a fun run and the proceeds go to the park, which is a great resource here in Memphis.
Need For Improvement:
I have fallen back into the habit of focusing on my running miles only. I need to force myself to do more cross training, both for the improved effect on my running that will be the result as well as my overall health and performance. The Spartan Race is coming awfully soon, and as it stands today, I am looking at completing several burpees at the event since the Spartan Race gives 30 burpees as a penalty for failing to complete an obstacle.
I am not sure how often I will post over the next nine days or so since I have two 15 page papers, one 12 page paper, and a final exam due during that time frame. It is definitely crunch time!
I have been given a copy of Magical Miles: The Runner’s Guide to WDW to review for my blog and a copy to giveaway as well. I have looked through the book a little bit, and it is quite thorough. I cannot wait to dive in for my full review in the next couple of weeks.
My WDW Marathon training saw my training reach new heights this week when I eclipsed the 20 mile barrier for the first time! This really should have occurred a couple of weeks ago, but I was ill-prepared for my run that faithful day and I had to settle for a 16+ mile long. I am following Jeff Galloway’s marathon training plan, which offers plenty of recovery runs and not too many long runs to prepare runners for a marathon. This week’s long run was supposed to be 23 miles and next week, but with the St. Jude Half Marathon in two weeks, I decided to push up the run a week. I will likely do the same for my next long run, 26 miles, but I will wait and see on that. Also, I decided to go for 21 instead of 23 since it was the median between 16 and 26. I felt that splitting the difference was a more prudent move. I hope that I was right!
It was colder than the norm here in Memphis and I do not have much experience with running in the cold. Usually I have a lull in my running schedule after the St. Jude Half and the runs I do complete are of a shorter variety so I can work them in on the warmer days of the week. I know that several of my readers live in colder environments than what I experienced, but a wind chill of 14 is nearly crippling to a southerner like myself. But I sucked it up and I got out there to complete my run. I really do not have the proper attire for weather this cold, but I made do with a tech tee, half-zip jacket, and an Under Armour skull-cap. I do not have any long pants that I can run in and this is a problem that I need to rectify before my next cold run. In fact, it was so cold that ice was forming from the condensation and sweat on my Camelbak. That was certainly a first for me!
The run went about as well as I could have hoped by going into uncharted waters. My pace was about what I expected and hoped for during a training run, even if I started to tail off after mile 16 or so. I decided to use a run/walk ratio of 3:1 after mile 17 and while this helped with my training, it did not help combat the cold! Actually, the Galloway plan calls for run/walk ratios for training runs, especially the long ones, but this is the first time I experimented with a true run/walk ratio. Come January 12, if I start to struggle, this 3:1 ratio will be how I complete the race, so getting familiar with how I would do that process is helpful.
Another takeaway from my long run is that I was starving by the end. Before half marathons, I typically have a banana and some peanut butter, but this was not sufficient for 20 miles or more, even with some race fuel. I also did not carb load prior to the run like I would an actual race, but I certainly will do that for future long runs of this distance.
Throughout each day I browse the internet because I am bored, addicted to the internet, and looking for a minor diversion from school and work. This browsing leads me to read quite a bit about sports, television, the latest craziness in the world and fellow bloggers’ accomplishments. I tweet or share in Facebook the articles that interest me the most. So on this Friday morning I thought I would share five of the articles I read this week that might interest fellow runners.
- ”Batkid Day Was Awesome: Here Are My Pictures” – Filmdrunk (OK this was last week, but was very awesome and should be shared as much as possible.
- “A Pair of Helping Hands Under the Golden Gate Bridge” – Runner’s World – add this to the list of things I want to see and do in San Francisco
- “Five Better Names for a Half Marathon” – The Clymb – the author makes some valid points about the name and #2 is certainly my favorite.
- “5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time” – Daily Burn – stuff that you have probably seen before, but it is still good to think about again
- “Out There: Into the Light” – Competitor Running – an amazing look at the psyche of a competitor