So it’s no secret I’m a Disney fan. Seven years ago one of the biggest motivators in my even considering a half marathon was a newspaper ad announcing the Inaugural Disneyland Half Marathon. The medal was so shiny:
I was way too scared/lazy/out of shape to even make an attempt at that first event. In fact it was five years before I crossed the finish line and earned a medal. I have a blog of my experience HERE.
But Disney races are like Doritos, you can never be happy with just one. And this year? Disney announced a new challenge:
Dumbo consists of a 10K (6.2 miles) on Saturday followed by a half marathon (13.1 miles) on Sunday. So you get a medal for each race and a bonus medal for finishing both the same weekend. Three medals in two days. Woohoo!
Today Disney released the Jeff Galloway Dumbo training plan. I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet but it’s linked HERE.
If you are interested in other Disney training plans click HERE.
I have a countdown on the top right of this blog. Dumbo is Labor Day. I always said I’d enjoy running right around the time elephants could fly. I never figured Disney into that equation. LOL!
I have this habit of thinking about blog posts in such a way that I’m certain I must have typed them. Then I look at my post history and oops…no I didn’t. Like my post explaining how Dietbet works. Nope. Or the one explaining how I did and how a bet ends. Nope. Granted the events in Boston clearly shook me up a bit but talk about flaky! There were also a bunch of posts I’d intended to publish about upcoming races, a couple on previous races and advice for running newbies. Do you see any of those posts? Of course not.
I know, it’s just embarrassing at this point. So many more posts are coming. I’ll just apologize for the flood in advance.
But then I thought about things I’ve read and seen online so I’m including them too.
Running is a tight-knit community. And you don’t have to really be a “runner” as I am mostly a walker but they claim me anyway. As I said in yesterday’s blog, this incident felt like a personal attack. All my running friends felt the same so we started thinking about how we could show support. Other then the obvious eff you to the bomber(s?). We all plan to run races in the future and guard our loved ones on the sidelines to the best of our abilities so that goes without saying.
There had to be something else though.
One person suggested wearing a race shirt, any races shirt on Tuesday.
Another person suggested running 4.09 miles for the exact time the first bomb went off. Or run 2.62 miles for the marathon so many people couldn’t finish.
I did the 4.09 quietly and wore a race shirt from Surf City (my most recent)
Then a runner named Sam posted this on Facebook and the San Francisco Marathon page caught it.
It’s a screenshot from a smartphone app. Please note Sam is fast compared to me 6.78 miles in an hour and one minute is light speed for me but what a neat idea!
People continue to come up with ways to show support like donating blood
Ed “The Jester” Ettinghausen
It’s amazing how people come together.
But if you live near Sam Shah give him/her a high five from me.
My plan this morning was to weigh-in and blog about the end of my first Dietbet. I’d planned to type while watching the end of the Boston Marathon via live feed. You see while Boston is geographically 3,000 miles from California, it felt a closer this morning.
Boston is an elite race, you either have to qualify by running an incredibly fast time (based on your age and gender) or you have to raise a significant amount of money for a charity partner. My family has roots in the city and my desire to run it one day is one of my life goals. I could certainly run it as a charity runner, it’s a lot of money but we’re talking once in a lifetime. As someone who knows first hand that Cancer SUCKS, I would happily bug/annoy/torment/harass all my friends and family out just once so I could hand Dana-Farber Cancer Institute a bunch of money. But deep inside me there is a flame of determination and a cold hard voice insists that I fight as hard as I can to qualify before I go charity. I need to lose weight and train my ass off for it. I haven’t done that yet. Boston is special because Boston is home but most importantly Boston is earned.
Coincidentally this morning was the end of my first Dietbet. I lost TEN pound in 28 days which was more then the bet required but I had an awesome month. I sat down to breakfast proud of myself for the first time in a long time knowing I am a step closer to Boston. I was so excited. And then I turned on my phone and the world changed.
I know runners can be hard to understand. It wasn’t very long ago when I was thinking why the hell would anyone do that for fun? But we do. And somehow in the middle of all the racing and training runs and questions gear and fuel and hydration I’ve joined a family. And that feeling? It goes beyond nationality, ethnicity, gender or religion. I can’t begin to list the number of total strangers I’ve accepted food, drinks, hugs and cheers from on a race course. And I’ve given just as much as I’ve gotten. So this tragedy? It was a horrible thing that happened 3,000 miles away but I’m taking it personally because some psycho messed with my racing family.
This is an image of the finish line before the start of the race. The flags are for each country represented in the race. It always makes me so proud when I see things like this. To me it means even in messed up world there are some things that unite people and running is one of them.
Boston Marathon Finish Line Flags before bombing- photo credit R. Couto
Here it is a couple hours later.
Photo credit: Getty Images via Yahoo
What better proof could there be of this global running village then this official breakdown of participants from the Boston Marathon page:
2013 Boston Marathon Geographic Breakdown
96 countries and 56 states and territories represented. But those are just numbers. And numbers are just a small part of the whole. Running isn’t just about numbers, it’s about people. These are my people:
Here is a 78 year old man who felt the blast, was knocked down but still got up and finished. I wish I was half as awesome as that guy.
I also read some individual thoughts that echo my feelings exactly.
The BEST response, the most powerful statement I’ve read thus far has come from a comedian named Patton Oswalt:
Boston. Fucking horrible.
I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”
But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.
But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”
Today I am 10 pounds lighter then I was a month ago and that much closer to Boston. If anything, today’s events have fueled me. One day I will run this race and in order to prepare for it I will run many others. I’ll show up to starting line and will proudly cross each finish line come hell or high water. As for today’s terrorist(s):
My favorite photo of the day. Origin unknown (unfortunately)
I have one week left in my 28 day Dietbet and I’ve reached the point where the novelty of eating clean has worn off a bit. I need to lose two more pounds in the next 7 days, which is reasonable but I’m sitting on a pretty big plateau I’ve been fighting off and on for awhile. It probably doesn’t help that I keep ending up in challenging situations.
I’ve been to two birthday parties in the last week. Eating out was challenging enough but I managed it. The worst part was saying no to dessert. I survived brunch at the Cheesecake Factory, barely. And what was I thinking going to the grocery store the day after Easter candy got marked down? I almost started fantasizing about Cadbury Mini Eggs. Damn hormones.
Don’t get me wrong I know this isn’t sustainable. I don’t even really need it to be, I am capable of making good food choices and not indulging too much but I’ve reached the Dietbet homestretch for my first bet and I’ve got at $25 buy-in into a $63,000 pot riding on this. I’m not losing this bet.
Apparently HZ and I share a brain though because I decided to surf healthy desserts on Pinterest too. Is this a great solution to my dessert problem or what. I LOVE fruit. I’m sure you can all guess what I’ll be bringing to potlucks this summer.
Okay I should call today “Off the Wagon” because I’m pretty sure I ate everything that wasn’t nailed down. Or at least it seemed like it considering how well I’ve been doing. I’ll report back later today to see what the damage was but I’ll deal with whatever happens. I really need to learn how to handle change better. When I am in a routine it’s easy to stick with safe snacks and healthy meals, the challenge comes with unexpected changes you aren’t prepared for. Basically I need to prepare for the unexpected so that’ll be my challenge for Wednesday. Figuring out portable snacks and maybe creating a car kit with handy grab-and-go options. I’ve been doing so well I can’t complain but I am a little disappointed at myself. There is nothing with cheating a little. This wasn’t a little.
Running and fitness sure seems to involve a lot of stuff.
As a kid my two favorite things were pockets in my clothes and cubby holes for stuff. THIS is my fantasy apartment so as you can imagine I have been trying to figure out how best to organize my fitness gear for a long time. I finally came up with a two-step organizational system. I’ve actually been using if for awhile so it definitely works well for me but the topic keeps coming up so I figured I’d blog about it. It’s a two-part organizational system for running/workout necessities. I find when all my stuff is together I don’t make excuses and stick to my workout plan.
This sits on top of my dresser. It’s a Plano tackle box I bought at Walmart for around $9.
The top tray is gels: little pouches of sugar and carbs I take every 45 minutes or so during a race or training if I’m going for longer then an hour. These gels are all from Gu Energy but there are many other manufacturers out there.
Duct Tape- this is a huge roll, I usually grab a half-used roll and pull out the middle cardboard section
Chapstick with SPF
Body Glide- prevents chafing
Headlamp- for night running
Extra batteries for the headlamp
The convenient thing about having everything in a portable container is that I can pull it out and throw it in my car trunk when I go for long runs. Since I tend to run alone if I have to go any farther then about 3 miles I park my car somewhere central and do three mile loops around it. If anything comes up like blisters, spots that seem “hot” and prone to chafing (particularly around my sportsbra) I can always pull over and adjust. My goal for races is to finish, my goal for individual runs is to work hard but still set myself up well so I can run another day. Blisters and chafe spots can really affect that.
You’re probably thinking this can’t possibly be everything. It’s not. For one thing I hoard sunblock like I’m preparing for the end of the world so this is just stuff I replenish from a Rubbermaid bin I keep inside my closet on the floor.
As for clothes, I have a pretty big drawer full of workout clothes. When the drawer starts overflowing I take that as a sign and start donating to charity.
When I first started running it REALLY sucked. I was conscious of every fat cell, every ounce of extra weight on my body and exercising in public was pretty miserable for me. So you can imagine how much my gut clenched when I saw the title of this blog written by an ultrarunner.
Ultrarunners are people who routinely run well beyond the marathon distance of 26.2 miles. They run 50 milers and 100 milers in under 30 hours in rain and extreme heat, they just keep going. To me they have always been inhuman (and crazy. LOL.).
There is nothing worse then feeling huge and awkward in front of fast skinny people right? This is what one skinny guy thinks: