Monday Motivation: Jeff Galloway Edition

Standard

Galloway

I am a part of a blogger program through Jeff Galloway in which he provides some tips and insights for sharing with my readers. Today is the first one of those posts. So, without interruption, the following are a few tips on running from Mr. Galloway:

When paced correctly, running delivers the best attitude boost you can get. Sustain this by pacing yourself gently during the first mile or three.

A well-paced run enhances vitality for the rest of the day.  Start each run at least 30 seconds a mile slower than you will run at the end.

If you have a Run Walk Run strategy that is right for you on that day, it’s possible to feel good after every run-even the marathon.

Running is the best stress reliever I’ve found. Research shows that running tends to activate the conscious brain which over-rides the emotional subconscious brain and manages the negative and anxiety hormones during and after the run.

Research shows that as runners get faster, their stride length shortens.  A quicker cadence is the mechanical key to faster running.

The finishing of a run that is longer than you’ve run in the last 3 weeks can bestow a sense of achievement that is unique and empowering-due to positive brain circuits that are turned on.

You can’t run a long run too slowly or take too many walk breaks.  You’ll get the same endurance based upon the distance covered.

Of course Galloway is known for his run, walk, run programs and his association with runDisney. I have never tried his run, walk, run program, but I am considering it for a future event just to see how it goes for me.

2014 Year in Running Review

Standard

2014 proves to be a very busy year in my running journey. I was able to maintain my minimum of one race per month for the entire year, which pushes my monthly race streak to 26 months and counting, with races scheduled for the first 4 months of 2015 as well. I eclipsed 1,000 miles (actually 1,001.69 miles) for the first time in my life, and racked up quite a bit of race swag. I completed my first ever (maybe last, maybe not) marathon to launch the year, and double the amount of my lifetime half marathon races this year alone. I established and broke a PR in 7 races this year, and managed to finish in the top 3 in my age group at 3 different races. I also completed the Coast to Coast Challenge by Disney and my first Spartan Race.

2014 in race shirts

2014 in race shirts

2014 Stats: 1,001.69 Miles, 1 Marathon, 10 Half Marathons, 1 Nautical 10 Miler, 2 10 Milers, 3 10K’s, 2 5 Milers, 1 6K, 10 5K’s, 1 Spartan Race, 7 PR’s, 3 AG Finishes

2014 WDW Marathon Medal

2014 WDW Marathon Medal

January: 97.22 Miles – 1 race, 1 PR, the WDW Marathon, which was my first ever marathon, which meant automatic PR!

High fiving Mickey at the finish line - this is such a great feeling

High fiving Mickey at the finish line – this is such a great feeling

February: 59.20 Miles – 1 race, the Special Ops Spartan Sprint in Tampa, FL.

Both of the Spartan Race medals

Both of the Spartan Race medals

March: 69.15 Miles – 3 races, Germantown Half Marathon, Race for Recovery and the Glo Run 5K’s.

Very nice looking medal

Very nice looking medal

April: 76.75 Miles – 3 half marathons, Oak Barrel 13.1, Doc Rock Hal, and Country Music Half Marathon.

My awesome race medal!

My awesome race medal!

This medal is good, can't compete with Germantown or Oak Barrel

This medal is good, can’t compete with Germantown or Oak Barrel

Country Music Half Marathon Finisher's Medal

Country Music Half Marathon Finisher’s Medal

May: 89.52 Miles – 2 races, 1 PR, 1 Age Group Top 3 Finish, Running of the Rams 5K (PR, 3rd in my AG) and the West Tennessee Warrior Half Marathon.

3rd Place Male 30-34 Medal!

3rd Place Male 30-34 Medal!

West Tennessee Warrior Run Medal

West Tennessee Warrior Run Medal

June: 66.75 Miles – 1 race, 1 PR, the Navy Ten Nautical Miler, which was another PR by virtue of a new distance!

10NMMedal
July: 86.08 Miles – 2 races, both of the MRTC Road Race Series 5K’s, I also joined the USMC Fitness Boot Camp for cross training and fitness purposes.

USMC Fitness Boot Camp
August: 98.71 Miles – 7 races, 1 PR, both 5 Milers in the MRTC RRS (PR set via new distance), Elvis Presley 5K, Breakaway Bardog 5K, Hit and Run 5K, Disneyland 10K, Disneyland Half Marathon, thus completing the Coast to Coast and Dumbo Challenges!

Elvis Presley 5K Finisher's Medal

Elvis Presley 5K Finisher’s Medal

Disneyland 10K Medal

Disneyland 10K Medal

Disneyland Half Marathon Medal

Disneyland Half Marathon Medal

Dumbo Double Dare Medal

Dumbo Double Dare Medal

2014 Coast to Coast Medal

2014 Coast to Coast Medal

September: 54.73 Miles – 2 races, both the 10K’s for the MRTC RRS.
October: 104.44 Miles – 3 races, 1 PR, both the 10 Milers for the MRTC RRS (New distance = new PR), and the Greenline Half Marathon.

Finisher's medal for the 2014 Greenline Half Marathon

Finisher’s medal for the 2014 Greenline Half Marathon

November: 97.03 Miles – 4 races, 2 PR’s, 1 AG Finish, 1 Road Warrior Status, both Half Marathons in the MRTC RRS (thus achieving Road Warrior Status, True Blue 5K (another PR at this course), and Heroes in Recovery 6K (PR and 2nd in my AG).

AG Award and Medal

AG Award and Medal

December: 102.11 Miles – 2 races, 1 AG Finish, St. Jude Half Marathon, Run Run Rudolph 5K (3rd in my AG).

Far and away the best medal that the event has ever offered.

Far and away the best medal that the event has ever offered.

3rd Place AG Award

3rd Place AG Award

It was a very productive, and healthy 2014 for me, and I hope to be able to build upon it in 2015. All race recaps have been linked on my 2014 Page if you want to find out anything further about these events and my experiences.

I hope everyone has a happy and healthy New Year’s celebration!

 

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Medals Revealed

Image

Over the weekend, runners at the Wine and Dine Half Marathon festivities were treated to the first look at the Star Wars Weekend medals. Today, runDisney officially released the images of the medals for all the races for the weekend. And they are awesome!

2015 runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Medals

2015 runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Medals

It has been well established on this blog that I am a nerd. I am not ashamed of this. When both the Avengers and Star Wars Half Marathons were announced, I was beyond excited, even though I knew that I would be unable to run in either event. And then the Avengers race medals were released, and I was honestly underwhelmed by them. I guess I built them up too much in my mind. This is not the case with the Star Wars medals. RunDisney knocked it out of the park with these medals, and now I really wish I was able to be in California in January for these events. Good luck to all of you that will be running in these events and have fun!

Disneyland Half Marathon Recap

Standard

Sunday was the 9th annual Disneyland Half Marathon.  The race marked my completion of the Dumbo Double Dare as well as the Coast to Coast Challenge.  It was my fourth state to ever run a half marathon in as well as my sixth half this year and eleventh overall. It will be several months before I even have an opportunity to cross off another state, so at least I made this one count!

Disneyland Half Marathon Post Race Pic

Disneyland Half Marathon Post Race Pic

I arrived to Anaheim on Friday afternoon and was a little worried about tackling the expo.  I had heard horror stories from last year’s expo and no one wants to be stressed too much from an expo.  I am happy to report that this year’s expo was very easy to navigate and the crowds were no worse than any other large event that I have attended in the past.  If you entered from the main parking lot for the Disneyland Hotel, there were plenty of signs to show you where to go and I did not have to wait long for my race materials.  I browsed some of the vendors, but actually did not purchase anything.  Susan, who did not make the trip with me, did purchase some items for me online because she felt that I needed something to celebrate my finishes beyond the medals.  I ate lunch at the Tangaroa Terrace and I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of options that the quick service place had.  I enjoyed a teriyaki chicken sandwich and some sweet potato fires.   After the expo, I went to my hotel to rest and wait to head over the Angels Stadium for the game, but I will post separately about that event.

I previously posted about the Disneyland 10K from Saturday, and after a morning of resting, I headed over to Downtown Disney to walk around and eat.  I decided to go to a movie at the AMC theater there, and realized that I must not be the only person there for the race weekend that decided not to buy park tickets.  Finding a place to eat was next to impossible, and while I waited, I was very happy that I had snacked at Wetzels Pretzels earlier in the day.  I finally was able to have dinner at Earl of Sandwich, which was another excellent quick service option.  The chipotle chicken avocado sandwich and mac ‘n cheese were excellent pre-race carbs and I was very happy that I was able to abstain from sampling some of the excellent looking sweets. After dinner, I returned to my hotel to relax and watch some football, and hopefully cool off.

Race morning was another 3:30 am wake-up call.  My hotel was about a mile from the start line and this walk to start provided ample opportunity to get loose for the race.  Surprisingly, once I arrived at the starting area, there still were no lines for the port-a-potties! No lines are always a welcomed sight!  I was in corral F, which meant that I was expecting to start a little after 6:00 am.  Thankfully, they were releasing corrals two at a time and I was on the course just after 5:45 am.  The half marathon course was certainly more congested than the 10K course, but again, not as bad as I was mentally preparing for.  It was another hot and humid (by California standards) morning. I was sweating early, but I was not as uncomfortable as I would have been if the event was held here in Memphis.

Disneyland Half Marathon posing with Walt and Mickey

Disneyland Half Marathon posing with Walt and Mickey

The course had some highlights, but by mile 4, you are outside of the park, and when you return around mile 12, you are running on the outskirts of the parks and not near any attractions.  They did do a great job of providing photo opportunities in the park miles.  I took my photo with the Walt and Mickey statue in front of the castle as well as with Paradise Pier behind me.  The one character stop that I really wanted to get a picture at was with Darth Vader and a couple of Storm Troopers.  The line was insanely long and I skipped it.  I immediately regretted this decision.  Outside of the park, there were several marching bands and dance groups for entertainment.  There were also over 350 classic cars around mile 7 that provided a nice change of scenery from the road course. Mile 9 had us running through Angels Stadium, which was awesome.  Sadly, my hands and phone were not cooperating due to sweat, so I was unable to get any pictures on the field.  The finish was hectic and was probably the narrowest portion of the course.  The awarding of the finisher’s medals was very organized and there were no issues getting each of my three medals.

Course: A: The park portion was great, and the inclusion of Angels Stadium helped salvage the rest of the course.  You also run by the Honda Center, but you do not go in it, so it is more just a building than an awesome landmark.  It was very flat, and in better weather conditions, I imagine that the course is very fast as well.  In fact, before the race started, the announcers were talking about how this course was the fastest of the runDisney half marathon courses and I believe it.

Disneyland Half Marathon Medal

Disneyland Half Marathon Medal

Swag: A: The Disneyland Half medal has changed very little over the past few years, and I am perfectly fine with that.  The script D and castle look great as a medal.  I enjoyed the retro look of the shirt and ribbon as well.  The post race refreshments were exactly the same as the 10K the previous day.  I guess they had a large food box packing party the week preceding the events.

Disneyland Half Marathon Swag

Disneyland Half Marathon Swag

Overall: A: I enjoyed this race, and did not find that the crowds were too overwhelming.  The only issue that I had was with my timing chip.  For some reason, it stopped working after the 5K split of the half.  I have emailed track shack and they are in the process of updating my race time, so sometime next week, I should have an official finishing time.  This is the second timing chip issue that I have had during a half marathon and I need to figure out why, I suppose.

Dumbo Double Dare Medal

Dumbo Double Dare Medal

Dumbo Swag: A: The shirt is better than the medal, but both are very good.  The medal has a lot of detail and is thinner than other medals that I have. That is the trade-off for the colors and details, I guess.

Dumbo Double Dare Swag

Dumbo Double Dare Swag

Coast to Coast Swag: A+: Medal only, but it is an awesome medal.  It is very heavy and has great detail. I know that it does not really change from year to year, but it is one of my favorite medals, and definitely the best of the weekend to me.  It is the medal that I chose to wear around the most after the event.  I wore all my medals briefly after the event, but the clanging around scratched up my half marathon medal somewhat, so I stuck to one medal.

2014 Coast to Coast Medal

2014 Coast to Coast Medal

After the race, I had to get cleaned up and head to the airport.  Since this was a solo trip, I decided to fly back the day of the race rather than laying around in a hotel for another night.  I did, however, hit a Southern California landmark that could not be missed on any trip out west, In-N-Out Burger!  After 19.3 miles, I think that I earned that greasy goodness, and I enjoyed every last bite, as well as my Neapolitan milkshake! It was a great way to cap off my weekend.

You just finished 19.3 miles, now what are you going to do? I'm going to In-N-Out Burger!

You just finished 19.3 miles, now what are you going to do? I’m going to In-N-Out Burger!

I had a great experience at this race weekend, and would do it again.  Maybe next time I will be able to run in the Avengers or Star Wars Half race weekend, with a celebratory In-N-Out trip, of course.

Disneyland 10K Recap

Standard

Saturday was the Disneyland 10K as part of the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.  I ran the event as a part of the Dumbo Double Dare. Surprisingly, this was just my second ever 10K, and being that it was proceeding a half marathon, I was not even going to attempt to a PR.  And since the weather was warmer and much more humid than expected, it was great that I was not looking to PR.  I did, however, run the race a little faster than expected.  I wanted to take it somewhat easy, but I felt great throughout, and just coasted along.  I could have shaved a couple of minutes off of the final number, but I am glad that I did not with the half looming the following morning.

Course: A: My first thought about the race upon looking at the course map was that it was going to be the most enjoyable race of the weekend.  It was a flat course that despite the large number of runners, seemed to have room to accommodate the majority of us.  And while the course was primarily through Disney’s California Adventure and Disneyland, the amount of photo opportunities were lacking.  Most Disney races have several places for photos, but there were not that many throughout the course.  There were two in Cars Land, which may or may not have just been a part of the park normally, and towards the end there was a Lilo and Stitch character meet.  Some people saw Chip and Dale, but most did not see both on the course.  

Disneyland 10K Swag

Disneyland 10K Swag

Swag: A-: Disney is know for their medals and other race swag.  Of course, you pay a premium for these, but some races charge a large amount and you get inferior medals.  This is not the case with runDisney.  The medal for the 10K was great, especially if you are a huge Lilo and Stitch fan.  I have never seen the movie, so I was indifferent about the character, but the medal does look great.  The race shirt also came out very well, and seemed to be the best received shirt of all of the weekend’s events.  I love the runDisney shirts because they are roomy tech shirts and as a large runner, roomy shirts are always appreciated.  

Disneyland 10K Medal

Disneyland 10K Medal

The downside of runDisney events is the post race spread.  There is no beer (understandable) and the prepackaged boxes of food are kinda meh.  There is a science behind them apparently and with the amount of runners, there has to be a way to ration out the refreshments.  A prepackaged box of crackers and one banana is underwhelming. 

Overall: A: I really enjoyed this race. A 10K is not a distance that is overwhelming and with the limited amount of space at the California Disney parks, it utilizes the space very well.  Since the 10K was not the main event of the weekend, the crowds were much easier to navigate before, during, and after the race.  With the 5:30 am start, and the shorter distance, the majority of runners could be finished with the race, showered, and at the parks by the time they opened in the morning.

I really enjoyed the race, and I would do it again, but next time I participate in a Disney race in California, I hope it is the Avengers or Star Wars events, simply because I am a nerd and the weather will be even better. 

Wordless Wednesday: Disneyland Half Weekend Preview

Standard

I leave for Anaheim in 9 days, and at the end of my 3 days there, I expect to experience as much goodness as the area can provide.  All of the following should be in my future:

Double Double goodness

Double Double goodness

High fiving Mickey at the finish line - this is such a great feeling

High fiving Mickey at the finish line – this is such a great feeling

Another stadium marked off my 30 MLB park tour

Another stadium marked off my 30 MLB park tour

2014 Disneyland Half Weekend Medals

2014 Disneyland Half Weekend Medals

One of these is hopefully in my future!

Disney Coast to Coast Medal

Avengers Half Weekend Medals Revealed

Standard

Several months ago when the Avengers Super Heroes Half Weekend was announced, I was excited and sad at the same time.  I was excited because, as a nerd, this is a great theme.  I was sad because I had already registered for the Disneyland Half Weekend races, and there was absolutely no way that I could afford two trips out west for the races.  There were rumors of an Avengers themed race at Disneyland, but most thought that it would be in January (the spot has since been filled by a Star Wars themed race weekend), and I decided to get my Coast to Coast medal this year, and signed up for the Dumbo Double Dare.  If I would have know that the Avengers were coming in November, that is the race I would have targeted.  Oh well.

And ever since the announcement, I have wondered what the medal would look like.  As of this morning, the wait is over since the medals have been revealed!

Medals for the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend

Medals for the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend

Disney is known for their medals, and it seems that each year they seem to top themselves.  Prior to the announcement, the event was teased with #SmashTheHalf, which led me (and others) to believe that the medal would be based on the Hulk this year, with possibly each Avenger getting a medal in subsequent years. Wrong.  Honestly, I am a little underwhelmed by the medals.  My biggest fear was that the medals would be so awesome that I would take a scorch the earth approach to my finances to find a way there in November.  Now, that fear is unfounded. I can simply regret the race announcement not coming sooner, and focus on more important things.

Update: As soon as I posted this, I saw a closer look at the front and the back of the half medal.  So, here you go.

Front of Avengers Half Medal

Front of Avengers Half Medal

Back of Avengers Half Medal

Back of Avengers Half Medal