Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2014

I've been very behind in my blogging, but running in the Dopey Challenge at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend provided me with a ton of excitement and energy that I have not had in quite a while.  I'm going to work to keep this little blog up to date and keep track of this running journey that I have undertaken.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Partners for Life - Police Appreciation 10k Run 5-5-2013

On May 5th Jenny and I ran the Partners for Life 10k run in St. Petersburg.  This race is in memory of St. Petersburg K-9 Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz.  We got to Downtown St. Petersburg in time to walk over to the park where the race started.  We walked around a little and prepared ourselves to run.  I had already planned to run with Jenny instead of going on ahead in hopes of getting her a PR. 
We lined up for the race and took off.  We had reviewed the course map for the race and expected to run on the St. Petersburg Pier towards the second half of the race, but we actually started running the Pier in the first mile.  We thought it was odd, but we went with it.  We then ran the rest of the course, but saw that the mile markers were backwards and showing the wrong distances.  We didn't think much of it though.

Since this race was in honor of a police office we took the time to thank the officers that were working on the course and they all seemed genuinely happy and appreciated the thanks we all gave them.  

The course was pretty flat and the hardest part of the course was running on the brick road which was definitely not easy on the feet and legs since it was not really level to step on, but other than that the course was great to run on.  

We finished the race in 1:23:01 which was slightly slower than we wanted, but we had a great time and we will probably run this again next year.  After the race they told us that the lead cyclist had actually led u backwards around much of the course, so that explained why we saw the backs of the mile marker signs!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Time to get my Blogging back on Track

I think its time to get my Blogging back on track.  Since my last post I have run two races and been running pretty steadily.  Jenny and I have also registered for several more races.  I'll try to get caught up on my race reviews and such over the next week or so.  I'm also going to update the race results page and my upcoming races too!  Hopefully by the end of July I'll be back up to date again.

Right now we've been spending time training for the Dumbo Double Dare in Disneyland on August 31st and September 1st.  We're trying to get our miles up to a reasonable amount as well as starting the push toward the Dopey Challenge in January as well.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lake Minneola Half Marathon April 20, 2013

Oh boy, this is not going to be the most positive post I've ever done.  To say this was an enjoyable race would be a lie.  I think a subtitle of this post would be "How NOT to organize a race".

Jenny and I decided to run the Lake Minneola Race Around the Lake back in December.  This race was put on by Sommer Sports, who run many Triathlons throughout the region.  They had a choice of a Half Marathon, 12k or 5k race.  We decided to run the Half Marathon because they advertised it as a "Fast Flat Course" and we thought it would be a good last Half to run this spring.

About a month or so before the race we were checking the Sommer Sports Website for more information about the race.  They hadn't released a race map or packet pickup location yet.  We also were checking the Facebook page about the race.  Other people were also asking for this information on Facebook, but we were getting no response from Sommer Sports.  Finally on the Wednesday before the race they announced that the race map was available and on Thursday before the race they sent an email out with details about packet pick up details.

We drove from Clearwater to Clermont, FL on Friday evening to pick up out packets and "Tech" shirts.  The shirts we received were 70% cotton shirts.  Not exactly what I call a tech shirt, but at least the logo was cool.  We then drove to Orlando where we were staying for a couple of nights at the Grande Villas Resort which we got for a great price with a Groupon.  The drive to the race was only going to be about 35 minutes so we planned to be there by 6AM on race day.

On Saturday morning we got up and got to Clermont at about 6:05 and found a decent parking spot about a half mile from the start line.  We went over to the bathrooms and got in line.  After about 40 minutes we both  made it out of the bathroom and found out the start line was bout 1/4 mile away.  we jogged there and got in place at about 6:55 for the 7:00 start time.

Once we got in line we stretched a little and kept watching the time.  We were still waiting to start at 7:05 and nobody told us why we hadn't started.  At about 7:15 a guy with a bullhorn said we'd be getting underway "shortly" and they were waiting for the course to be secured.  At 7:25, he said we're going to do something "fun" and have a moment of silence for Boston, and then the race would start.  I don't consider a moment of silence to be much fun and I don't think most people heard him anyway.  We had the moment of silence and then rather than a National Anthem the bullhorn guy suggested we recite the Pledge of Allegiance, which was done in a half-hearted manner.

Finally, at about 7:35 or so we actually started the race.  I had a race plan and a hope to PR based on the idea that this was a flat course.  I went out pretty well at the pace I wanted and then we took our first turn, straight up a steep hill...  I made it up the hill and then it flattened for a moment.  During this time we knew there was another road we needed to turn back down to complete the first of the two spurs before we ran around the lake.  Since I was back in the back I followed everyone in front of me.  I never saw anyone directing the runners on the corners.

We looped back past the start line where the 12k runners were waiting to start.  I was far enough in the pack that was able to get past the 12k runners before they started, but Jenny was caught in the 12k runners as they started. which made it difficult for her to maneuver through then and the faster 12k runners had to maneuver around her and other Half Marathon runners...  Not good organization preparing for this.

After looping past the start line we had to take another spur before running around the lake.  There was nobody directing people where to go for this spur, but since I had studied the course map I was able to determine where to go.  This was an out and back before looping onto the main trail.  I went out and we came across an UNMANNED water station.  We had to pull out a cup and dip it in the bucket to get water.    They didn't even bother to have water already in cups for us.  I then finished the out portion and came back down the trail.  There were several intersections with no police stopping the cars, and no volunteers telling runners where to go.  Several runners took wrong turns and ended up running too short including the "Winner" of the race.

I then started on the loop around the lake.  Thankfully this was somewhat flat.  This loop started at about mile 6.  At about mile 8 I was partway around the lake and facing traffic coming from both directions, which was quite uncomfortable since we were told the road would be closed.

I will give the race credit for having great volunteers for the water stops.  They had enough water stops and with the exception of the unmanned one they were all well staffed and the volunteers were very encouraging. The big problem was that other than at the water stops there was no other support on the course.  There were a few police officers around that were supposed to be securing the course and keeping traffic under control, but they apparently weren't doing a good job because there were too many vehicles and bicycles going by us very closely.

I finished the race and the announcer was calling names out.  I finished in 2:26:17, which was my slowest Half Marathon yet.  I got my medal at the end and went up to where the food was located.  They had a good spread out so I grabbed a couple cookies, a banana and a hot dog.  I then went down the course a bit to cheer Jenny on when she came in.

When Jenny finished they were no longer announcing people crossing the finish line and she came into the finisher's area to find out that they had run out of medals.  This was quite discouraging.  We then went to go and get some food and found that all they had left were some cookies and hot dogs.  They were out of everything else.

All in all I would not run this race again.  Sommer Sports mis-managed the race pretty badly and I would avoid races through them at all costs.

For me the only positives of the race were that the volunteers were very good, and the medals were actually quite nice for the people that received them.

As another note to the race the person who crossed the finish line first was disqualified because they didn't run the course properly.  He was following the bicycle pacer and the pacer took a wrong turn at one of the many unmarked  and unmanned intersections and he was consequently disqualified.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Florida Beach Halfathon 3-17-2013

On St. Patrick's Day Jenny and I ran in the 4th annual Florida Beach Halfathon.

This was my 4th half marathon and it was Jenny's first half marathon.  The race was held at Fort DeSoto park which is about a 45 minute drive from our house.  We arrived about an hour before the race and found parking close to the starting line.
We waited around for the start of the race and found the spots we wanted to start.  We had a really nice version of the anthem and then we were off.  I knew the course was really flat so I knew I didn't need to worry about any hills.  I wanted to start at about a pace of 10:15 for the first few miles and then work my way up to the 9:40s for the least 4-5 miles with a goal of a 10:00 pace.
I started pretty well with a pace of 10:26 for the first mile.  From there I got caught up with some faster runners and my pace continued to get faster.  I felt really good so I kept going at the faster pace. I wanted a new PR so I decided to really go for it.
At about mile seven I realized I should have kept to my original plan.  I started to hit the wall hard.  By mile ten my pace had fallen to 10:46 and it got worse from there.  I ended up with a time of 2:17:18 and an average pace of 10:27.  I still felt good about my finish even though it was not my best time.
After I finished the race I grabbed my camera to cheer Jenny on to the finish.  I waited at about the last 1/2 mile.  I was able to see her and cheer for her and then I saw her at the finish as she crossed the line for her first half marathon.

After the race we had some food and drink and since it was St. Patty's day I had to have a glass of green beer.  We also did a little browsing at the vendors at the race and Jenny got a few 13.1 items to celebrate her first Half Marathon.

miPace (min/mi)Elevation (ft)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Eagle Lake Classic 5k

The eagle Lake Classic was held on March 10th.  Jenny and I registered for this race a few weeks ago.  It was relatively inexpensive and it ran through a beautiful park so we decided to run it.  We picked up our race shirts, bibs and goodie bag on Friday night for Sunday's race.

Sunday was the day of the time change so we had one hour less to sleep, but thankfully they started the race at 9AM which allowed us to have a little more sleep.  Unfortunately I forgot my phone which I use for musing and timing, so I was effectively blind for pacing.

The race was well organized.  Since I didn't have my phone I knew I would have to really rely on how I felt, but I really wanted to PR this race.  Since it was a small race I placed myself about three rows back from the front of the pack at the start line.  We were at the starting line in time and we were off right at 9AM.  I started out at what I considered a hard but comfortable pace.  Some of the kids in the race were a little out of control and cutting people off, but I managed to avoid them for the most part.

I felt good through the first mile.  There was a lot of support on the course and people were at every turn and mile marker. When I passed mile one I was informed that the clock was 8:08.  This was a little faster than my planned pace, but it was well ahead of my PR time and I felt good so I decided to keep pushing.

The second mile was a little harder.  I still felt strong, but I was really starting to feel the burn.  I think the volunteer at mile two said the time was sixteen minutes and 24 seconds which meant I hadn't really slowed down much.  I really wanted to beat my PR by a good amount so I wanted to keep my pace up.

The third mile was painful.  I was trying to keep pace with someone who was running about 40 feet in front of me the whole race, but I was pretty spent. I took a fifteen second walk break and then powered through to the end.  I crossed the line in 26:39, which was a 1 minute and 26 second improvement on my PR!

Jenny also set a PR in this race.  She came in fifth in her age group and only missed third by 40 seconds or so.

There were only about 150 runners in this race, but it was well organized and well staffed with volunteers.  I would definitely run this event next year simply because f the organization, but the course is so great that makes it wort it as well.

Monday, March 4, 2013

February in Review

February was a tale of two months for me.  I ran two races and got a PR in both of them, but my overall mileage was way down for the month.

I started off the month with the Best Damn Race and snagged a new half Marathon PR.  I had an official time of 2:11:48, which was an improvement of more than five minutes over my old PR.

The next weekend I ran in the St. Pete Rock N' Roll Mini Marathon, which is a 5k. I completed this in 28:05, which bested my previous 5K PR by 40 seconds!

The rest of the month I didn't run nearly as much.  I celebrated my 37th birthday during the month and scaled back on my running quite a bit.  I'm trying to hit at least 65 miles a month, but in February I only reached 42. 8 miles.  I intend to improve on this in March.

Coming up in March I have two races scheduled.  I am running a 5K and a Half Marathon.  I'm hoping to continue to PR each race, but I also am going to continue to enjoy each run.

February Miles - 42.8
Annual Goal - 800
Remaining Miles - 686.2