29 January 2009

Changing a Tire

Last night, I headed home and was working on trying to find the motivation to get on the bike and do my workout. I was hungry and just feeling lazy. I finally through on my cycling gear and headed into the living room to set up the bike/trainer and realized I had a flat tire. What?!? How do you get a flat tire in the winter sitting on a coffee table? I happened to be talking to my mom on the phone and I said, "Well, I guess I won't be riding tonight..."

I considered just putting on my pajamas and ignoring the flat tire. I was a little hopeful that maybe it was just low on air. However, I decided that I needed to just go ahead and change the blasted thing and get it over with. Now, I've changed two bike tires ever in my life. One was a mountain bike tire and I had some help with that. The other was at tri camp last spring and I also had alot of help and supervision with that. I've only ever changed the front tire and of course, this was a rear flat. Great...that's just great.

Somehow, I'm not sure where it came from, I decided to try and pump up the tire and hop on the trainer. I pumped up the tire and it seemed to be holding air, so I decided to go ahead and start the workout. I hopped on the trainer and was riding in my big gear for a couple of minutes and was surprised at how easy it was. I looked down and saw that my tire was completely flat. Grr... I guess I have to change it.

I pulled out my tools (yes, I actually have tools) and my extra tube (note to self: buy a replacement tube) and laid the bike on the floor. I wasn't quite sure how to approach the whole chain/derailleur thing, so I just decided to wing it. I got the wheel off, and then started to work on the tire. When I changed the tire at tri camp, I was told that I have a really tough bead, which just means that it's hard to get the tire on and off. So, I worked on the tire and worked on the tire and gashed my hand open and was sweating and finally got the dumb thing off. Then, I got the tube out, which was trickier than expected. I checked the tube for the hole and it was huge. It looked like someone stuck a nail through the tube! Once again, how does this happen in the winter when the bike is sitting on a coffee table? I remembered to check my tire for any sort of junk that could have caused the puncture and I even remembered to leave my tube in the same position on the tire so I would know where to check for the junk. (Thanks Chris and Chris and Andy!)

Now it was time to put the new tube in, which actually went fairly smoothly. Then came the hard part, which required more blood and sweat. No tears, but maybe some adult language. I fiddled around with it for awhile and then finally remembered an easier way to do it. I'm such a dork sometimes... Then I had the whole tire on except for about 6 inches. Here was the tough part. I couldn't get the bloody bead into the wheel. I tried everything. I even pulled out my book from tri camp thinking it might have some tips. It did, but those didn't work. I called my dad. He wasn't home. I considered throwing the wheel, but decided that would probably just make me have to start over. Finally, after much frustration, I figured out how to get the rest of the tire on! Hooray! I'm doing the happy dance. I changed the tire! I even managed to figure out how to get the wheel back on which included messing with the chain/derailleur again.

It was time for the test. Will the tube hold air? I tried really hard to keep the tube out of the way of tire so I wouldn't pinch the tube. Apparently it worked. After huffing and puffing and sitting on the pump, I finally got the tire pumped up. I listened carefully for any sort of hissing air and didn't hear anything. So far so good... I was very pleased with myself. Like still doing the happy dance pleased with myself.

When I looked at the time, I realized that it had taken me at least 45 minutes to go through this whole process. Wow...I'm really really slow at changing a tire. I hope that I never get a flat in a race because wow...I'm really slow. However, I changed a tire all by myself. I rode this morning and the tire was still full of air. I'm even still doing the happy dance, but mostly in my head. So, I guess that's my proud moment for the week.

26 January 2009

Week 2 Training - Boise 1/2IM

January 26, 2009 - SWIM
2000 yds. Sprint work
I loved this workout. It was so fun to go fast and or at least, pretend to go fast. I finished it in 47:55, which is faster than last week, but only because it was more swimming and less drilling.

January 27, 2009 - REST

January 28, 2009 - BIKE
I actually had to change a tire tonight, but I'll write more about that later.

January 29, 2009 - BIKE
55 min. VO2 max progression - I did this workout this morning and LOVED it. I listened to my ipod and enjoyed the intervals and remembered that I really like to workout in the morning. I need to keep doing that.

January 30, 2009 - SWIM
2300 yds. short and long sets - I think this workout ended up being 3100 yds. I finished it in 1:03, but it was a long, tiring workout. Although, it was fun to go fast.

January 31, 2009 - RUN + BIKE
60 min. flat to rolling course - I ended up running this with the team. It was cold, but I finished and felt pretty good...although it did take awhile to warm up.
80 min. big gear work - I loved this workout.

February 1, 2009 - RUN
60 min. tempo - Decided to rest since my legs were feeling like toast.

Chilly Chili Run Race Report

I have heard of the Chilly Chili Run, but finally decided to go ahead and do it this year to add one more race to my list. I think I also wanted to mentally know that I could run in the freezing cold. So, I had big plans to run, but was having second thoughts on Friday night. It was supposed to be COLD on Saturday. I decided to text Katie and see if she wanted to run and she did. She also invited a few others, so now I was committed.

On Saturday, I headed over to pick Katie up. We met Betsy, Mike and his fiancee Erica and the drove over to Green Gables. Now, I have to tell you that I only know how to get to Green Gables on my bike, but I wasn't completely sure how to drive there, so I pulled out the Lola the Garmin. After a few wrong turns, I yelled at Lola and put her back in the glove compartment. We arrived (I actually did know where I was going), got registered and waited for the start. I should mention that when I left my house it was a balmy -5 with the windchill. I was struggling with the decision of what to wear, but ended up in my Nike jacket which was toasty warm.

The race started at 1pm and we headed off. There were some guys running in their underwear! Really!?! Apparently, the sweatshirt that I bought for $20 is worth running in your underwear for. The race course was 4.37 miles, sunny, and actually the wind wasn't too bad. Mike headed out to the front. Katie and Betsy were just ahead of me. I had to pee before the race started, but the line was too long, so I got to run the entire race with that "gotta go" feeling.

At some point, I caught up with Katie and we ran the rest of the race together. We passed the water stop that was serving spam and beans (I threw up in my mouth a little), as well as beer and a random variety of other stuff. We also passed a porta potty, but I didn't want to freeze to seat or drop my pants so we kept going. The hills were glorious and I really think I need to run out there more often.

We crossed the finish line in 46:19, which I was okay with. Mike finished in 6th place and Betsy finished a few minutes ahead of us. Erica was the smart one who stayed in the bar until we got back. I changed my wet clothes and finally got to pee. (Women take forever in the bathroom!) We all talked about the race and ordered the famous Green Gables cheeseburgers. Mine was delicious. After the yummy lunch, we headed back home. I was freezing, so I grabbed a hot shower, put on my new red sweatshirt, and curled up under a blanket. I checked the temperature and it was a balmy 10 degrees with a 0 windchill. It took me about 3+ hours before I felt sort of warm.

I'm fairly certain that I've never run when its been so cold, so I'm kinda proud of myself for getting out there and getting a good run done. I'm also really glad that my students were out there racing. It's alot of fun for me to see them complete their races. They asked me to let them know when the next race is, so we'll definitely be running together again. Next time, I'll have to remember the camera.

21 January 2009

Changing Habits

I subscribe to Mark Allen's newsletter which comes out about once a month. It always has some tidbit of info that I can use in life or in triathlon. This month, he wrote an article about change. He discussed, by using a simple example, how difficult it is to change habits. I really liked it so I thought I would post it here. I hope its as thought provoking for you all as it was for me.


AsicsWe all have our ladders to climb that reach for the sky. Many times we make it to the top but sometimes we don't. And even when we do, it can take longer than we hope. But hope we must, as this is the fuel that propels us forward even in moments of doubt. Fulfilling dreams is rarely a predictable process, and certainly there may be a few personality hiccups in our character that make the road bumpier than is really necessary.

We are at the beginning of a New Year, which is always a point of reflection and a time when we muster up new hope and dedicate ourselves to the things that have purpose in life. Most of us strive to change patterns that have held us back from achieving our dreams. But how does change come about? Do we just say "I will change" and voila we are a different person without the old habits? Rarely.

Changing negative patterns is usually like dying a small death. Procrastination, impatience, overeating, undersleeping- whatever it is that you want to transform and improve on for the year ahead will most likely take some very conscious effort. I know this personally, and want to share a journey of change that I just traveled. The story is simple, but the lesson is big.

It started at my outside shed where I store some of my most valuable and of course oversized items-my sporting gear. I have enough bikes to outfit a team and a quiver of surfboards that will work in every size wave from small to tall. This treasure trove is guarded by a deadbolt that a few months ago had an internal tumbler that got out of place and caused the lock to be impossible to open. I managed to get the deadbolt unlocked one last time and then it was time for CHANGE! Instead of using the same lock that I had for ten years, I now had to use the lock on the doorknob itself.

This seems like a very simple change right? WRONG. Here is how it went:

Week One: Every single time I went to unlock my shed I put the key into the deadbolt (old pattern that has not begun to change even though I knew I needed to change it). It was not until I tried to turn the lock that I would immediately realize that, woops, I put the key in the old lock, but needed to use the doorknob now.

Week Two: Things got a little better. I still put the key in the deadbolt but remembered this was not the right place BEFORE I turned it to no avail.

Week Three: I found myself splitting things between actually putting the key in the correct lock first and then, yes, still putting it into the wrong one. Tough to teach old dogs new tricks I suppose.

Week Four: it was about 75/25 with 75 being the percent of times that I got it right. Close but still no cigar.

Week Five: I only saw the key go into the old lock once, even though I will admit I started to reached for it a couple of times before I caught myself.

Week Six: Finally success! No false starts. I got the right lock first time every time.

It's now a couple of weeks since then and I have on occasion still reached for the wrong lock, but caught myself before the key came in contact with it. If a simple thing like using a different lock on the same door was so tough, how will the big and certainly more important patterns ever get changed? Well, maybe we need to be more aggressive in helping ourselves avoid the old lock (the old patterns). In my case, I could have put a piece of duct tape across the old lock and the old pattern as a stern reminder: "Don't go there".

So I pose the question to you. How will you place a piece of "duct tape " across the pattern that you are trying to change this year? If you can't figure out a way to do that, what will remind you that you have once again reached for the old lock rather than opening the door to your future with the new one? My lock didn't turn, so it was a very quick slap on the hand that told me, "you are in the wrong place, buddy." What will your reminder be that you have once again used the old pattern rather than changed and used a new one? What can you do to stop your old pattern in its tracks every time you do insert the key in the wrong place?

What will keep you working until you do change your old patterns? I needed to get into that shed just about every day, and with the old lock I had no choice but to change. I couldn't give up. It took me six weeks, but I finally succeeded. What will force you to keep working on change until it indeed comes about, until you also reach for the right lock to open your shed of good fortune and joy?

We have a new president who's mantra is "Change". Our economy needs change, the world needs change. As Brant Secunda whom I have studies shamanism with for nearly twenty years always says, "Change starts with you". All of us at MarkAllenOnline send our best wishes that the change you want and need comes about, and that it is a joyous year filled with lots of good moments and of course, great races!

20 January 2009

Week 1 Training - Boise 1/2IM

January 19 - BIKE
60 min ride on the trainer, form work. I was supposed to do this workout on Saturday, but since the pool was closed yesterday, I subbed it in and will do the pool workout later this week. My average HR was 134 and I burned 888 calories. I learned that I'm going to have to build my callouses on my sit bones back up. I learned that I'm a terrible one legged peddler.

January 20 - RUN
Negative split 1 hour run. I ran out of daylight to do this run last night. I was thinking I could do it on Wednesday morning, but I figured 3 workouts in 1 day wasn't a great idea. I may have to see if the Chilly Chili Run will fulfill this workout.

January 21 - SWIM + BIKE
Swim 1700 yds. I just finished this workout and I was surprised at how well I remember how to swim. I haven't been in the pool for quite awhile, so I wasn't sure how it would go. It went fine. I got the yards done in 38:26. I also enjoyed the drills and remembered how much I love being in the water. The worst part was the 4 foot high shower afterwards...that's what happens when you swim at an elementary school I guess. ***I went back and checked my times from last year. I am slower, but not as slow as I was at the beginning of March, so I'm sure over time, I'll get my speed back.***
Bike - 60 min. form work. I completed this workout last night before Lost came on. It was difficult to want to do a bike workout because I was feeling kind of tired. Plus, when I got on the bike my butt was sore from riding on Monday. I really do have to get my callouses built back up. I did the workout, but I will admit, I hopped off the bike about 6 minutes early because I had to take some fresh baked bread out of the oven and I really didn't want to to get back on. So, while it was not my finest workout, I did get it done. Oh, and I did much better on the one legged pedaling!

January 22 - REST

January 23 - SWIM
2000 yds. I just finished this workout. I was a little disappointed in my time (48:48), but there were alot of drills and I took my time doing those. My next swim is Monday, so I should have plenty of time to recover.

January 24 - BIKE + RUN
1:30-1:45 ride while watching a movie - I had grand intentions of waking up early to do this on Saturday morning. Instead, I woke up in the middle of the night and didn't fall back to sleep until around 5:30am (there are weird informercials on in the middle of the night). By the time I woke up it was 10am, so no ride.
Chilly Chili Run - 4 miles + Green Gable Cheeseburger - Did it! See above race report.

January 25 - REST
Thought about fitting in my long ride, but had stomach issues and decided to just bag it for the week.

12 January 2009

Walt Disney World Marathon Non-Race Report

After the 1/2 marathon, my feet were very torn up. When I finally took my shoes off, I was greeted by two very large, very painful blisters. When I got back to the Princess condo, I debated on how to take care of them. I couldn't really walk since the blisters were on the balls of my feet close to my toes. I gimped around and after my shower started doctoring them. Much to my dismay, nothing I did worked. Saturday evening, I ended up in Walmart, buying corn pads and waterproof tape thinking maybe, if I made some donuts, I would be able to relieve some of the pressure and be able to do a marathon the next day. I even tried popping them (gross, I know) but that didn't work.

On Sunday morning, I tried out my experiment. It actually worked on the right foot, but the left foot was even more painful. My parents and I headed out to the car and while I was hobbling down the stairs I kept thinking a variety of thoughts. Thoughts like... How am I going to do this? Can I do this? Will I be able to maintain a 16 min/mile pace? Should I go to the start? Will I even make it to the start? Is a DNS really worse than a DNF? What's the worse thing that could happen? Are the Mickey and Goofy medals worth this pain? It's just a blister. I can be tough and handle the pain of a blister. I'm not a quitter, how could this be happening?

When we arrived, our car was parked three giant Disney parking lots away from the runners area. I'd already taken my socks off because that felt better on my feet. My mom and I hopped out of the car and left my dad snoozing in the car. I started gimping along with my mom and was really struggling with the decision of what to do. My heart really wanted to race. I wanted to do the marathon. My feet were saying, "Hello...this hurts." My brain knew it would be impossible for me to keep a 16 min/mile pace. I'm not even sure I could walk a 20 min. mile. So, I stopped my mom and said, "I can't do this." She hurried off to the start and I trudged back to the car to hang out with my dad.

I'll admit that I was feeling like a total weenie. Who skips a race because of a blister? How could I be such a wuss? It's just a couple of blisters. My dad was actually very cool. Usually he's not so good with the comforting/sympathy thing, but he said, "You can only do what you can do. If you can't do it, you can't do it." So, instead of running or walking the marathon, I got to be a spectator.

It was really hard to watch and not be out on the course. It was especially hard to watch the finishers and see the medals. I was sad and frustrated and I couldn't believe that I couldn't suck up the blister pain long enough to just be out there. So, I did not start the marathon. I did not get my two medals. I didn't complete my 3rd Goofy Challenge. It sucks...but I guess that's life.

Walt Disney World 1/2 Marathon Race Report

Back in January 2008, my dad signed up for the Walt Disney World 1/2 marathon. He had the intention of walking it and he actually signed up before my my mom registered for her 2nd Goofy Challenge. Fast forward to last Saturday...the day of the 1/2 marathon arrived and its my job to tell the story of my dad's first 1/2 marathon.

The alarm went off at 4am (have you noticed a trend of waking up WAY too early) and I was the first one up. I got dressed, brushed my teeth and started getting ready for the day. My parents were right behind me. The night before, we got everything ready, so there really wasn't too much thought involved other than getting dressed. My parents had some breakfast (I forgot my poptarts) and then we drove to Epcot. We arrived right around 5am and I dropped off the gear check bag and we went to stand in the porta potty lines. We also bumped into Coach Terry. My dad was completely baffled by the lines and kept shaking his head. He kept asking, "Why don't these people just go at home?" After the pit stop, we started the long walk to the start. We tried to warn my dad, but I guess he wasn't listening (selective deafness), so he kept saying, "Where in the world are we going?" We finally arrived at the corrals, made one more pit stop at the porta potties and then waited for our wave to start.

We were in wave three and started about 20 minutes after the wheelchairs. Since we were walking, we were towards the back which was a good thing. I have absolutely no problem with walkers. I think its fantastic when they're out there doing marathons. But, it drives me crazy when the walkers are in front of the runners. We were in the perfect place. I think my mom was a little worried about the pace because she was totally clipping along. My dad and I were just cruising and enjoying the day. I'll put the mile splits at the end of the report, but I will say that we were very consistent.

The first few miles are pretty boring. You're basically walking along the road to Magic Kingdom. Also, its pretty congested, so it sort of seemed like maybe we weren't moving too well. I was reminding my dad to eat something every 20 minutes and he and my mom were drinking at the water stops. I wasn't too thirsty, so I actually skipped a few spots. Somewhere, before Magic Kingdom, my dad and I had to pee, so we found a clump of trees and headed to opposite ends. I found another woman squatting, asked if I could join her and then declined her very kind offer of sharing some tissue. I would rather drip dry than carry my wiper tissue around with me.

We entered Magic Kingdom on a glorious downhill. I should mention that my dad has a bum ankle and knee. He's actually having knee surgery next week. The downhill incline was pretty painful for him, but he toughed it out, with the help of some Tylenol. The run through Magic Kingdom was quite nice. There was music playing with a great techno beat. We stopped an used the nice flushing toilets and then ran through the castle, which is always cool. I told my parents they should kiss, but they didn't like that idea. Futureland was also fun because the energy was high. While we were running down Main Street, a woman said to my dad, "Well hello there tall dark and handsome." I think that may have been the highlight of his race.

I should probably mention that around mile 3, a hot spot started on the ball of my left foot. I knew it was going to be a problem, but I also knew there wasn't much I could do about it, so I kept going. Around mile 7 or 8, I noticed another hot spot on my right the same place that I got the blister in the St. George marathon. So, my feet felt like they were on fire. No worries though, because we were right on pace and we were just walking. How bad could it be to walk 13.1 miles with blisters?

After Magic Kingdom, we turned around and headed back to Epcot. Around mile 8, my dad started struggling. His legs were killing him, but he's a trooper and her kept going. At mile 9 he got all excited because we were done with the single digit miles. At some point, he got some good turbo rocket power going, which was good for him, but not so good for the people behind us. Miles 11-12 were tough because of the banking on the curves of the overpasses as well as the up and down. We finally arrived at Epcot and the energy levels were high.

The last mile was fun. Once again, there was some good techno music going and the volunteers were awesome. My dad was hanging in there and my mom was totally cruising. My feet felt like raw hamburger and I just wanted to be done. We made it passed the gospel choir behind the big silver ball and then we were in the finishing chute. We all crossed the finish line together and I have to say that it was pretty cool. how many people get the opportunity to do a 1/2 marathon with both of their parents? We made our way through the finishers area and grabbed our medals and snacks and stuff. I considered going to the medical tent, but decided that I didn't want to deal with the hassle. Besides, I'm an athletic trainer...I think I can handle blister care.

So, that was our 1/2 marathon. My dad and I were the walking wounded. Apparently, he had a HUGE blood blister on the ball of his foot. My feet each had blisters on them that were bigger than quarters. My mom was totally good to go. We finished in 3:24:10. We were actually pretty consistent and finished under the 3 1/2 hour cutoff. Here's the best dad said that he would do another race, but only after he get his leg fixed.

Mile 1 - 15:49
Mile 2 - 15:53
Mile 3 - 14:55
Mile 4 - 15:32
Mile 5 - 15:11
Mile 6 - 15:35
Mile 7 - 17:22 (Pit stop in Magic Kingdom)
Mile 8 - 15:01
Mile 9 - 15:08
Mile 10 - 15:29
Mile 11 - 15:36
Mile 12 - 15:50
Mile 13 - 15:10

Walt Disney World Circle of Life 5K Race Report

Last year was my fist year doing the 5k through Animal Kingdom. It was alot of fun and was a good warm up for the Goofy Challenge. Also, the medal and t-shirt were awesome. It may have been my favorite race of the weekend, so when registration opened up, I registered right away.

On Friday morning, the alarm went off bright and early at 4:30am. I woke up, threw on my race clothes and was ready to go. Surprisingly, both of my parents decided to go, so we left the Princess condo and headed over to Animal Kingdom. It was chilly (around 47F) so mom and dad decided to stay in the car to be warm and I walked over to the start. The first thing I noticed was the lack of costumes. Usually, there are all sorts of costumes, but this year I don't remember seeing any. However, the tall people from Africa were there which was really cool.

The race started at 7am and we made our way around the parking lots and into Animal Kingdom. This was the only race I was planning on running, so I started off nice and slow. While I was running the first mile, I remembered that the last time I ran was in October at the Race the Dead 5k. I was surprised at how good I felt, especially after spending the entire day before on my feet at Epcot. My first mile was 11:28, which wasn't surprising considering the crowd and I was totally okay with it.

Mile two goes through the actual park (instead of the parking lot) and I actually don't remember much except running across the bridge and seeing lots of white birds in the trees over the river. I was feeling good wand was very pleasantly surprised to see my split at 10:20.

The third mile runs past Everest and the dinosaurs and I honestly wasn't paying very close attention to the park. I was remembering how fun it was to run and how nice a 5k is. I was still feeling good and smiling and was truly happy to be there. Again, I was pleasantly surprised to see my split at mile three because I ran a 10:15 mile. I couldn't believe that I ran negative splits!

The final stretch to the finish had lots of spectators but not alot of noise, which was kind of okay since I was in a zone. I stretched out and strided or strode (however you say it) and crossed the line. I never ran at puke pace which was a nice change from my usual 5k. My final time was 32:57 which was not even close to a PR, but like I said before I was pleasantly surprised at my fitness, especially since I haven't run in over two months.

I'm trying to think of the best part of this race and I think that maybe it was doing a fun race with fun people in a fun place and running negative splits. The t-shirt is cool and the medal is awesome. I'm not sure if we're going to Florida next year (we're actually considering Phoenix), but I will definitely do this race again.

Walt Disney World 2009

My big goal for this Walt Disney World marathon weekend was to enjoy some of the parks, especially since I've only been to one of them the last two times that we've been in Orlando. My parents and I arrived at the Princess condo on Wednesday evening. We grabbed some dinner at Red Lobster, grabbed some groceries at Target, and then headed to bed. I was sleeping on a pull out couch, but when I laid down it folded up, so I ended up on an air mattress which was very comfy and did not fold up.

Thursday morning, we slept in, which was quite nice. After breakfast we decided to head over to Wide World of Sports to pick up our race packets. We arrived a bit early and ended up standing in line for an hour, but it turned out to be a good thing since we were able to get in and out of packet pick up very rapidly. It was sort of funny because we all had packets to pick up, so we each went our separate ways and then met back up to head over to the expo.

I had no plans to buy anything at the expo, but I ended up with a new pair of sunglasses to replace my favorite broken ones. We checked out the official merchandise area and ended up with lots of Disney stuff. My dad got a hat and a t-shirt, my mom got lots of stuff and I grabbed a t-shirt, visor and water bottle. Because we bought so much stuff, we got a Disney gift card...yeah, we spent alot.

After the expo, we headed over to Epcot and ended up staying there until after the fireworks. We had fish and chips in the United Kingdom, rode lots of rides, and watched the Celtic bagpipe rock band. We walked all over the park and really didn't have to wait in too many lines. My dad and I got to pick dinner, so we ended up at a Japanese restaurant with some delicious sushi. My mom actually tried it, which was a total shocker. After dinner, we walked around some more and watched the fireworks and then headed back to the Princess condo.

Friday morning, I ran the Circle of Life 5k at Animal Kingdom. After that, it was off to spend the day at Magic Kingdom. We hit lots of rides and then had lunch at a yummy barbecue place in Frontierland. We thought it would be fun to check out the Haunted Mansion, but that turned out to be not such a great idea because all of us ended up in one car and all of us do not fit into one car. My dad had most of the seat. My mom had half a bum cheek on the seat and I was basically hanging on to the bar. After that wonderful family bonding togetherness time, we headed over to Space Mountain, which may have been my favorite ride. We spent the afternoon riding rides and eating delicious Dole Whip Pineapple ice cream. Dinner that night was Outback and then it was off to bed to wake up for the big race.

Saturday morning the alarm went off at 4am and we all got up and headed back to Epcot. It was interesting because my dad was kind of excited for his first race. I'll give you lots more details about the race in my race report, but for now, we all finished and we all had a great time. My dad even said he would do another race, which was quite a surprise.

After the race, my parents went out to lunch with some friends from Florida. I camped out on the couch and relaxed. We had planned on going to a park, but my dad and I weren't walking too well (more about that in the race report), so we ended up wandering around an outlet mall very slowly. We grabbed some dinner (cheeseburgers) and then headed to bed for another early morning wakeup.

Sunday morning was another bright and early rise and shine at 4am. I did some surgery on my feet and tried to convince myself I could do a marathon. We drove back to Epcot and after much traffic, arrived at our parking spot, which was three parking lots away from the entrance to the start. I hopped out of the car with my mom and started hobbling (literally). We made it through one parking lot before I finally accepted that I would not be racing. I said, "I can't do this. This is as fast as I can walk and I'm not going to be able to keep the pace." My mom said okay and trotted off to the start. I, on the other hand, fought back tears and headed back to the car to hang out with my dad. (I'll write more about this in my marathon non-race report.)

My dad and I talked for a bit and then headed over to mile 4 to cheer the runners on. We spent the next 6+ hours cheering and I learned that spectators really don't know how to cheer and only really look for their runners. I actually know how to cheer for runners, so I was yelling and clapping and cheering until the people standing around me were completely annoyed. Having run several races, I've learned that cheering spectators really provide lots of energy and since I wasn't running, I figured I could at least do that. My dad and I say my mom and friends at mile 4, 9, and 12.5 as well as the finish, so it worked out well.

After the race, it was back to the Princess condo for showers, snacks, and then lunch. My mom was actually the most mobile out of the three of us and she worked the hardest. My dad and I were both struggling to get around. After lunch, it was back to the condo to watch the Xterra US Championship. My dad was totally impressed with Jamie Whitmore's story and said he would rather do an Xterra race than a marathon. Perhaps there's another triathlete in the family?!? Anyways, my parents dropped me off at the airport and I headed back to real life which included 1/2 inch of ice on my car.

So, that was our annual trip to Walt Disney World. We had fun. My dad completed his first 1/2 marathon. My mom completed her 2nd Goofy Challenge. I ran for the first time since Halloween and we went to the parks. Oh, and the weather was fantastic. Hopefully, it will keep me going until I head back to Orlando in March.

06 January 2009

The Annual Trip to Walt Disney World

Tomorrow morning, I fly out for what has become the annual trip to Orlando, Florida for Walt Disney World Marathon weekend. This will be my third trip in a row and I think I might be more excited for this trip than any other one. For the first time, I have no worries or concerns or expectations about the races. This is sort of a new thing for me, but I'm thinking it might make for a very fun weekend.

I'm registered for all 3 races. I'm only planning on running the Circle of Life 5k that runs through Animal Kingdom. I honestly don't remember the last time I ran, but I'll be fine for the 5k. I'm not shooting for any PRs and all I really want is the really great medal.

On Saturday, my parents and I are going to be walking the 1/2 marathon. Last January, I signed up for Goofy again because I'm a big Dumbo. However, after volunteering for both the 1/2 and the full marathons, my dad decided that he wanted to join the party. He signed up to walk the 1/2 marathon. This will be his first race ever, so I figured I might as well walk too. My mom also signed up for the Goofy Challenge and she will be joining us. I've never walked a 1/2 marathon, but I'm really excited because this time, I get to stop and take pictures with the characters and hang out with my parents, who happen to be quite fun.

On Sunday, my friend Julie, my mom and I will be walking the full marathon. I've never walked a full marathon, although St. George did include alot of walking. My friend Julie is the Disney Diva so walking with her will definitely be fun. I'm also planning on stopping to take pictures with all of the characters on the course. Oh, and I will be sporting my Minnie ears because hey it's Disney.

While the races will be fun, I'm really looking forward to hitting the parks. I've only been to Animal Kingdom and I want to actually see Disney World. We have three days to visit the parks, so it should be fun. Oh, and did I mention that it will be in the 70s and sunny? Did I mention that I get to be outside in only 1 layer of clothes and sandals? Did I mention that this may be one of the funnest Disney trips yet?

So, yeah, that's how I'm spending my weekend. Life is pretty good.

01 January 2009

Goals for 2009

Because I've talked so much about goal setting in the last week or so, I want to post my goals in order to be transparent. It's certainly not fair for me to talk about goal setting and excellence if I'm not willing to participate in the process. So, here's my kind of big goal for 2009.

~I will place in the top 50% of my age group at the Boise Ironman 70.3.~

There it is...out there for the world to see. I checked out the results from last year and in order for me to do this, I will need to 6:23. That will mean taking off 42 minutes from my 1/2 IM last year, but I know that it's totally doable. In fact, I feel like it's actually quite realistic. This goal will definitely require several smaller goals to be achieved before this one happens. I won't get into all of the gritty details, but since I did talk about putting together a playbook, here's a short list of things that need to happen in order to be successful at the 1/2IM distance.

~Follow my training plan. I'm going to be working with Chris Sweet and his new coaching company Revolution Multisport to develop a personalized training plan that will work for me.

~Get back down to my racing weight. I'm working on developing a nutrition plan that will fuel my body for my training, but will also put me in a caloric deficit so that I'm losing fat and building muscle.

~Focus on building mental toughness. This plan is still a bit sketchy, but I want to improve my inner monologues and visualization, which I know will help me be successful. This will probably require talking to one of my colleagues in sports psych, as well as revisiting my masters degree.

There you have big goal for 2009. I feel like it is definitely specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. I know that I can do it and I'm really looking forward to seeing it all happen. You'll get to read about it happening too.

~Happy New Year~

It's the first day of 2009. For the past few weeks, I've been spending alot of time pondering my goals for this year. Usually, I take some time to re-evaluate my goals from last year and see how I did. That didn't take very long because in 2008, I only achieved 1 of my goals...out of about 8. That never happens with fact, when I mentioned it to my mom, she didn't believe me. However, it's true. So, after that very fine moment of realizing that I did really poorly on my goal setting last year, I decided that I needed some new goals for 2009 and I needed to be tremendously more successful on those new goals.

I started thinking and wondering and pondering and thinking and wondering and you get the picture? I couldn't come up with any goals, not because I think I'm perfect, because I'm so far from that, but because all of the goals that I was coming up with myself seemed particularly challenging. In fact, they seemed almost impossible, like I was setting myself up for failure. I kept thinking and thinking and started getting incredibly frustrated...there were even tears. How could I not come up with any goals that were achievable, doable, challenging, etc?

In fact, yesterday, I decided I wasn't going to set any new year's resolutions because I did so poorly last year and because I couldn't seem to come up with any for this year. Furthermore, I read a few articles on why it's dumb to set new year's resolutions because only 1 in 10 people actually keep them. There's a pleasant thought... I tried to be with that whole reality for a day and that didn't work so well for me. I've been setting goals for myself since I was 5 years old. How could I not have some new goals? That would be like completely violating one of my core values.

So, after more thought, during a really great basketball game (Go Aggies!) I came up with a goal. I'll write more about this goal in another post, but I do have a goal. I'm much more at peace with being me because now I have something to work on. Maybe today, while I'm hanging out with my cute nephew and niece and playing games with my family and eating the best dessert ever, I'll come up with some more goals, but we'll see. For now, I'll just be happy that it's the start of a new year and that is always a good thing.