Dark Side of the Force 2017 courses revealed! New Half course!

Dark Side graphic.jpg

I just got an email with the new Dark Side courses!  The 5K is, as expected, at EPCOT.  The 10K starts at the Transportation and Ticket Center parking lot and heads through Hollywood Studios, the Boardwalk before finishing at EPCOT. The coolest change, however, is the Half.  It too starts at the TTC, but heads to Animal Kingdom before taking the runners through Hollywood Studios, the Boardwalk and through EPCOT. The best part? The EPCOT finish is through the parade of nations, just like the full marathon.  Awesome!  Check it out: Half Marathon Course

You looking forward to this? Running? Leave a comment below!

Heading to Disney... to Run... Disney...

Howdy y'all and Happy New Year!

I'm currently cruising across the country, via Jet Blue, en route to Orlando to run the Disney World Marathon on Sunday!

Keep an eye here for a review of the expo and the run itself.  The weather looks like its going to be great and I can hardly wait to get started.

Drop a comment below if you're running the House of the Mouse this weekend!



Out of the doldrums...

So, I've not been updating lately.  Well, I guess I really haven't been updating regularly for a few months now.  Life happens and I got distracted.

So, what have I been up to lately?

April -- Ran the Disney Dark Side of the Force Challenge (10K + half-marathon) -- was awesome. Check it out for next year.  The registration will open sometime next year.  Head over the RunDisney website to join their mailing list and get notified.

May & June -- Running doldrums.  Hard.  I didn't stop running, but I did find more excuses NOT to run.  My mileage dropped, which was probably a good thing.  I knew what was coming -- San Antonio summer.  Running here in the summer just isn't nearly as nice as, say, any other time of year.  It's hot.  Like 78 degrees at 5am and 90% humidity hot.

However, it wasn't just the weather.  I'd finished a marathon, did a half and was struggling with ideas on what to aim for next.  Another marathon?  Which one?  I have a colleague who tried to convince me that an Ironman was a good idea.  Not sure I have time for that unless I quit my job.  As my running dropped, my diet drifted. A couple weeks ago I stepped on the scale and had added 10 pounds. 

So, after chatting with my coach, I've decided to make a few changes:

1. Gotta get a clean diet. I do great during the day, but the wheels fall off in the evening.  This is especially problematic when I get off of work some nights after midnight.  I'm exhausted and I just go carb-salt crazy (read: tortilla chips and salsa).  What to do?  I stopped buying the chips.  If they aren't in the house, I won't eat them.  My coach suggested apples or zucchini slices with guacamole if I'm jonesing for something spicy.  It would probably work with salsa too. 

2. Gotta run.  Period. My weekly mileage is WAY down from November.  It'll start to climb again, but I'm doing more speed work -- however I still struggle. It isn't about "having time" it's about making it a priority.  Time to bump running up the list.

3.  Gotta do races.  I've only run one organized run since my marathon.  I probably need to do one every month or two. Plus my wife likes to run with me.  Maybe do some speed work during those runs.  We'll see.

4.  Set new goal.  Done that.  I'm running the Disney Marathon on January 8th. My goal this time? Make it suck less. My first marathon was done on a bit of a shoestring.  I didn't really know what I was doing.  This time, I'm going to have a better nutrition plan, more base miles and better experience.  It's interesting: my first half-marathon was pretty tough.  Since then, I've run at least a dozen in training and the like.  13 miles is nothing.  I'd love to make 26 feel the same way.

5.  Post to this blog.  I really do like writing about my running discoveries. I've got a few posts stored in my noggin so I need to put fingers to keyboard and knock them out.  This is where you can help:  read my stuff, share it, ask questions, make requests.

So stay tuned and let me know what you want to see.

Been a long time....

Wow, it's been over three months since my last entry. What happened? The typical:  life.  I won't bore you with the details, but work, family, travel, sleep, etc.

I'm getting ready to run the Star Wars Half-Marathon: The Dark Side at WDW in a couple weeks and am busy training for it.  I've been building a list of articles I should write -- hopefully I will actually get them done this time.

In the meantime, if you're heading to WDW to run the Darkside, let me know below!

Needling Toward Recovery: My Experience with Acupuncture

Needling Toward Recovery:  My Experience with Acupuncture

As I mentioned in my last article, I developed significant achilles tendonitis around the time of my marathon.  My running coach suggested I try acupuncture.

Now, I’m a Western physician.  I have very little experience with acupuncture, but I’ve ready about its use in the treatment of chronic headaches and chronic pain and as a adjunctive therapy in injured athletes. I figured I’d give it a stab.

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Airrosti: How It Helped Me Finish My Marathon

Airrosti:  How It Helped Me Finish My Marathon

The morning after the Battle of Leon Creek run, my achilles tendons were on fire.  Walking down stairs was uniquely uncomfortable.  My first stop was with my local Airrosti provider, Dr. Jason DeRoche.  I’ve had experiences with Airrosti before.  I was referred there a few years ago by my primary care physician (PCP) after wrestling with a chronic hip flexor issue.  Jason and his team made a huge difference in my hip flexor in a week, so I figured I’d give them a chance with my Achilles.

Read More

Running with the "Marathon Man"

Around mile 11 of my recent San Antonio Rock ’N’ Roll Marathon, I started to think it would be nice to chat with someone for a few miles.  Right as the half marathoners turned left, and we full folks kept heading south, I started to slowly pass a fellow runner in a Superman-esque costume with “Marathon Man” emblazoned across the cape.  As I went by, I noticed an Australian flag on his sleeve.  Now, we don’t see a whole lot of Aussies down here in San Antonio, so I struck up a conversation.

Turns out, I was chatting with Trent Morrow, the Marathon Man.  As we passed the next couple miles, Trent told me his story.  He originally hails from Sydney, but now resides on the US East Coast.  A few years ago, he was an accomplished runner and received word that his stepmother was dying from lung cancer.  He set out to pay tribute to both her and his mother, who had also died from cancer many years prior.  Over the course of that year, he ran 160 marathons, including at least one on each of the seven continents. He is the current world record holder for that feat. However, once he made the record, he kept going and actually completed 200 marathons in a 16 month period!  And I was running my first…

For you math-types, that's a bit more than three marathons a week for 60 weeks.  Since we were running in San Antonio, Trent told me how on the weekend in 2013 when he was in San Antonio to run the Rock ’N’ Roll, he started by running a marathon in Charlotte, NC on Saturday and flew to San Antonio, got to the hotel by midnight, started the San Antonio marathon at 7am on Sunday.  After completing the San Antonio run, he changed clothes in his car, drove to the airport and flew to Las Vegas to run the Rock ’N’ Roll there that same night.  

As I write this, I’m about four days out from my first marathon experience and am only starting to accept that one day, perhaps in several months, I may run another.  160 in one year?  Wow.  Hopefully, the next time I'm out for a marathon, I'll have a chance to run with him again.  The next time you are out on the course, look for the chap in the superhero costume.

Check out the full story and peruse the marathons he completed at marathonman.com.au

I did it! Plus: the musings of a first-time marathoner

Well, I did it.  I finished my very first marathon!  Training, tendonitis and lots of stinky running clothes.  I managed to meet my primary goal of finishing in less than 5 hours (finished in 4:57).  I can’t say it was easy, but it wasn’t terrible either.  Interestingly, I found this to be a journey of discovery and I learned quite a bit about running.  A few thoughts:

  1. A marathon isn’t just two half-marathons bolted together:  I’ve run about, including my training runs, eight half-marathons this year.  Most since September.  They’ve all been pretty good (with one notable exception in 85 degree heat).  I also ran a 22 miler a few weeks ago and felt pretty good about it — although I was a little short on gas towards the end.  I figured with my relative ease surrounding a half, the full would be twice as difficult.  Not true. Which brings me to…
  2. I started my marathon too fast:  Back when I ran my first half marathon, I was very conservative. Starting at about mile 2, I would run a mile, walk for one minute and repeat.  I had a lot left in the tank at the end and finished the last two miles without stopping.  During my marathon, I figured since I had run 18 miles without stopping, I could / should do the same.  I didn’t walk until mile 19, and then I walked.  A lot. I ran the first 10K at 10:05 (my fastest) and was on a 4:30 pace at the halfway mark and a 4:40 at the 20 mile mark.  I then proceeded to drop 17 minutes off my pace over the next six miles.  I failed to recognize that walking isn’t about resting, it’s about controlling your pace in an exciting event.
  3. A cold water bath really helps:  My legs were in bad shape after the marathon.  I went to my hotel room and sat in a bath of cold water for about 15 minutes.  After overcoming the initial temperature shock, my legs really did feel a lot better after the soak.  Think this will become more routine for me.
  4. I don’t think I want to do another one… or maybe I do:  I’ve heard marathon runners tend to develop amnesia regarding the pain of their event. Yesterday, I couldn’t comprehend doing another marathon.  Today, I’m open to considering it.  I’ll likely do another one — just not this week.

Rock 'n' Roll, Marathon Man and Barefeet -- all coming to a blog near you...

Hello gentle readers,

I'm sorry I haven't been updating the ol' blog in a while.  Been busy with work and training for my first marathon (finished it!).  Coming next is my run report on that run.

Other content coming soon:

1.  Met "Marathon Man" during my run and had a chance to interview him.  Very interesting... more to follow.

2.  The next installment in my series on running barefoot, a "why" article outlining my reasoning for pursuing the barefoot / minimalist running lifestyle.

3.  I managed to get achilles tendonitis a few weeks ago and used a variety of modalities to assist in healing.  Look for an article detailing my experiences with both Airrosti and acupuncture.

Let me know if there is anything you'd like to hear about in the comments below!

Need running shirts? Check this GREAT deal out for men and women!

I'm a new, but big fan, of Champion Athletic Shirts.  Specifically, I love their PowerTrain PowerFlex shirts.  They fit well, come in a variety of colors, are well made and have a longer tail for tall people like me (I'm 6'4" / 194cm) so we don't have to bear our bellies while we run.

The quick-dry fabric is very thin and sheds sweat easily.  This is a great shirt for hot climates.  

They are on sale at the Champion Athletic site for $6.99!  Check it out here.

The women's version is $7.99 here.  The women's tank is $6.99 here.

This is a heck of a deal, so check it out.

Two of my five Champion running shirts.

Two of my five Champion running shirts.