Tag Archives: rundisney

Dumbo Double Dare Recap


After waiting since we signed up at Marathon Weekend in Walt Disney World in January, we finally got to experience the Dumbo Double Dare over Labor Day weekend.  By the end, we earned 4 medals: Disneyland 10K, Disneyland Half Marathon, Dumbo Double Dare, and Coast to Coast.  I could start this recap discussing the horrendous lines at the bib pickup and the madness at the expo surrounding the RunDisney merchandise, but I decided to leave that out.  The people we got to see and meet, and the surroundings of Disneyland, outweighed the temporary frustration that marked the start of the weekend.  And hey, I got some cool new RunDisney New Balance shoes!

The race weekend started with the Disneyland 10K, which followed the 5k by about 45 minutes, which made getting to the corrals another experience in poor cattle herding.  Still, the course through California Adventure and the Magic Kingdom was great.  Having a course that was contained mostly in the parks made it a really cool race with lots of opportunities for character pictures.  You can see a few of our pictures here.  We took it easy on the 10k, thinking we would save a bit for the half marathon the next day, and the heat was not our friend.

A few of our friends waiting to start

For the half, we woke up and made our way toward the corrals at about 4:30.  This was about an hour and a half later than we get up at the Walt Disney World Races.  After making it to the corrals, the typical RunDisney energy was in the air.

And we're off!

And we’re off!

World of Color

Cars Land

Phineas and Ferb!

We headed out past the Grand Californian Hotel and around the back of California Adventure. Those first few miles took us through California Adventure and the Magic Kingdom.   The cast members, even the custodial team, were there to cheer the runners on as always.  This really helps make for a great experience.

Into Disneyland

Now we’ve run through both Castles!

Afte exiting the Magic Kingdom, we were on to the streets of Anaheim, headed out to the Honda Center and Angel Stadium.  On the way, we were treated to hundreds of classic cars, hula dancers, dance teams, bands, and cheerleaders.  It made the trip much more enjoyable, despite the heat.  Angels stadium was much better than I had expected.  The hundreds of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were very supportive and made for a great atmosphere in the stadium.

Angels Stadium was at Mile 9 mark, and we passed on the iced donuts being handed out on the way in.  After running around home plate, it was back toward Disneyland.  We ran through the backstage area of California Adventure, around the back of the Disneyland Hotel, past Downtown Disney and through the finish line.  All along the way, we had cheer groups helping us along.  I also saw my favorite sign of the whole event (but did not get a picture):  “$175 for a half marathon — only $37.50 to go!”

Loved the Corvettes!

Honda Center

Into The Sun

Into Angel Stadium

Great View!

Almost Done!

One of the coolest parts of the race for me was getting to meet Joe Taricani of The Marathon Show. I asked for a picture with him, and ended up being interviewed!  I got to talk a little Boilermakers with him.  Not only did I get a picture out of it, that photo also made it into his video recap of the race.

With Joe of The Marathon Show!

You know you are a real runner when you get one or two of these . . . not the medals.

You know you are a real runner when you get one or two of these . . . not the medals.

I end the post with that video from the Marathon Show.  I think it gives a great recap of the race, and I really like Joe’s thoughts on the race and RunDisney at the end.  I am honored to be in the picture at the 7:25 mark.  Be sure to visit Joe and The Marathon Show at http://www.TheMarathonShow.com.

Until next time.  Only 4 more to go this fall!

I hated running. . .

Bighit4Boy did I.  When I was in high school, there were very few things I despised more than running.  I played football and golf.  In football, at that time, running was punishment.  The last thing you wanted to do in golf was run.  Heck, that’s why I played golf.  Track & cross-country:  running.  Baseball:  Running (albeit short bursts).  In college, a couple dozen pounds ago, I was a diver:  No running.

Not until the last year or so have I come around to running.  Prior to that, I was still firmly on the side of “running sucks.”  I still thought of running as punishment.  Why do that to yourself?  Eventually, the scale, and my wife, got to me.  I started swimming, and went through a 5 week jury trial.  That combination led to a 30 lb weight loss.  But it was hard to get back into the swing of swimming after the trial, and the gym membership was killing me.  Then my wife wanted to do a half marathon, and the rest is history.  Running was essentially free, except for the cool shoes, “must have” gadgets, the treadmill, and the race entry fees. 

Either way, once I started running, I stopped seeing it as punishment.  I am not saying I love every minute of it.  I always have thoughts of something else I could be doing.  I often fight those rationalizations and excuses in my head for not running.  During a run, I have those moments where I question why I am doing this to myself.  However, I have not had a time that I remember where I finished a run and was sorry I did it, even after this year’s Walt Disney World Marathon where I hit the wall at mile 17.  I still was glad I did it.  

In fact, I am really excited about our next half-marathon, the Run The Bluegrass Half.  It is called “One of America’s Prettiest Half Marathons.”  All of the comments I have read about it mention the hills:  “For the hardcore hill chasers,” “hilly but gorgeous,” “the hills come early and don’t let up.”  Some may see this as punishment, but I am really looking forward to running through the beautiful hills of horse country.  Things have really changed.  I am fairly certain they have changed for the better, but check with me after March 30 to see if I feel the same way.

Rural Running

skunkOur long run this weekend took us to our hometown, which is where we like to do our long runs.  Our families are there, and we still have a place there.  It is mostly rural, with lots of farms, forests, and fields.  Most importantly for us runners, it has a lot of long, straight, low-traffic roads.  My mid-week training runs are usually from subdivision to subdivision, dodging cars on the road between them.  I enjoy these runs, but they do not compare to the beauty of our long runs in the country.

The scenery is gorgeous.  The drivers in the cars that do pass, do so with a wave and a smile.  On this particular run, we saw cows, horses, a muskrat, Canadian geese, sandhill cranes, and two dead skunks (luckily, they had been there a while).  The cows seemed every bit as interested in us as we were in them as they came to the fence to check us out.  The horses just looked at us like we were crazy.  We passed rustic old barns and gleaming new ones, and were able to take in the fresh country air.  Just like the roadtrip games in the car such as sign alphabet, and I spy, rural running presents the opportunity to play games to pass the time while on a long run: What’s that animal?  What’s that smell? What’s that sound?

About those skunks.  We met the first one about 1 mile in, and the second one was at about mile 8.  They got me thinking, what do you do if meet a live one or fresh one?  Honestly, I had no idea what I would do.  You can’t exactly go to a nearby house and ask for help.  First, there aren’t too many close by.  Second, who wants someone stinking like skunk showing up at their house?  My only conclusion was that if I had such an encounter, I would have to turn around or tough out the rest of the run.  It would certainly be a PR for whatever distance that would entail.  I will just have to hope I don’t meet the critter halfway through the run.

But just in case, I now have a de-skunking recipe (albeit one designed for dogs – but if you are in a situation where you need it, who really cares?).  I share it below for anyone interested.  I bet the ladies running the RunDisney Princess 1/2 Marathon didn’t have to worry about that this weekend.  Still, the scenery along our run was every bit as gorgeous as the scenery at Walt Disney World, and I felt even more blessed to be there.


(Adapted from Humane Society of The United States)

Mix together:

1 quart of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide (available at your local pharmacy)
1/4 cup baking soda
1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap
DO NOT get the solution in the eyes. (If you don’t have peroxide, baking soda, and liquid soap on hand, use vinegar diluted with water.)

Caution: Do NOT save this mixture or make it ahead of time, as the mixture could explode if left in a bottle.

Scrub, Clean, and Rinse
Don’t leave it on too long (peroxide can bleach). Rinse thoroughly.

Next, wash with shampoo and rinse thoroughly.

You can rid your clothes of the smell by using regular laundry detergent mixed with a half-cup of baking soda.

Just Be Awesome. . .

AwesomeI saw this quote recently, and for some reason it turned out to be my motivation for the day.  In fact, I told my son this today when he was nervous about his presentation at school.  It seems so simple – just be awesome.

When I first saw this quote, I thought of the Nike slogan – “Just Do It.”   That slogan was very successful, and served as motivation for countless people.  However, I think it could use some improvement.  Just doing it is a start.  Getting out the door is a start.   Getting moving is a start.  That first mile, 5k, 10k, or half marathon is a start.  However, I have found that once you “do it,” you want to do it better.  That’s where “Just Be Awesome” comes in.

To me, “Just Be Awesome” doesn’t mean I have to be the best or the fastest.  If it did, I might as well find another hobby.  I am never going to be mistaken for a top flight, or even a very good runner.  It means doing it right.  It means having fun while doing it.  It means not taking shortcuts.  It means enjoying it.   “Awesome” has many meanings:  magnificent, fun, surprising, inspiring, beautiful, wonderful. . .(Really, it does. I looked in the Thesaurus).

So, my goal is to make that next run Awesome, no matter when it is or where it is.  It may not be a PR, but it will be awesome.  If I can meet this goal, I cannot imagine how great I might feel.  Luckily, this year looks to have a lot of potential for Awesome in it:  WDW Marathon, Run The Bluegrass, Derby Festival Mini Marathon, Bay To Breakers, Dumbo Double Dare – and whatever other cool runs we can find.  And from the way our boys are talking about wanting to run a bit themselves, they are in for some Awesome as well.  Can’t wait. . .

Getting Back On The Horse. . .



Well, its been two weeks since the Walt Disney World Marathon.  Things have been a bit hectic around here, so there has not been a lot of time to get those runs in.  Rationalizing not running has been easy:  “Too Busy,” “Next Race Isn’t Until March,” “Rest & Recovery,” etc.  Well, now is time to get back on the horse.  The sunshine today actually makes it easier to find the motivation to get back into the swing of things.  When I ran across the motivational photo you see here, all those excuses seemed to fade away.

It reminded me about what I thought when I started with running in the first place, after my wife signed us up for a half marathon:  Just go.  Just go, and see what happens.  When you are sitting in your comfortable chair, or lying on the couch, it is easy to come up with excuses for not getting moving.  But it never fails.  No matter how much I don’t want to run, no matter how much I just want to sit around, I always feel good when I just go. Early into the run I cannot imagine why I didn’t want to run.  When I am done with run, I always feel better about myself.  Even knowing all that, it is still hard to take that first step, especially after a layoff.  However, it is taking that step that makes all the difference.  In running or otherwise, that step, and the courage to take it, is what separates those that do, and those that don’t; those that can, and those that can’t.

There have been a lot of times in my life when I have not taken that step.  However, every time I have managed to summon the strength to take it, it has led to good things.

I just have to keep reminding myself of that. . .

Well, here goes nothing. . .

I have been joking with my wife a lot lately and “threatening” to start a blog.  She called my bluff, and here I am.  In the summer of 2011, my wife said she wanted to run a half marathon by the time we turned 40.  I called her bluff, and less than 6 months later, we were running the Walt Disney World Half Marathon.  We ended up running 4 more half marathons last year, and even completed the Walt Disney World Marathon a little more than a week ago.  We have grand plans for the rest of this year as well, including the Bay To Breakers and The Dumbo Double Dare.  My boys also have seemed to get the running bug, which is encouraging.  And we still haven’t hit 40.

I am the LAST person I ever thought would enjoy running.  I have spent most of my life living by the mantra of “God only gives us so many steps on this earth, why rush through them?”  However, I have found that with running, I seem to enjoy those steps more.  I have goals to work toward, I have an outlet for my competitive side, and I have a way to get back into better shape.  Almost as important, as my interest in running, and RunDisney has grown, I have discovered that there is a vast running community out there, not only locally, but also in the blogosphere.  Reading other people’s stories has been inspiring and encouraging.

The best part of it all, however, has been the opportunity to spend a lot more quality time with my wife.  We enjoy running together, and that hour or two on a long run presents a great chance for us to talk and connect.

I am not sure what I will do on this blog, but as it says above, I expect it to include a lot of random thoughts from an average guy trying to run.  I am sure I will talk a lot about RunDisney and Disney-related travel, as well as our adventures in running.   Hopefully it will be entertaining.  If not, at least I can say I gave it a good shot, much like my attempts at running. . .

Thanks for stopping by.

We did it!  Walt Disney World Marathon 2013

We did it! Walt Disney World Marathon 2013