Only Different In Your Mind: 2019 Giant Race San Francisco Recap!

Sleepless Knight

Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
May 15, 2008
Those are good. I actually saw somebody run the 10K in a Chewbacca costume. And somebody in the corrals for the 1/2 dressed as Jabba the Hutt (think gigantic slug if you haven't seen Return of the Jedi) before runDisney tweaked the race costume rules. I wouldn't want to be the person washing those costumes after anybody walked a 5K in them, let alone a 10K or a 1/2.

Don't get me wrong as I'm all for running in costume and have done so at least twice. I just believe that if you're going to run in costume, you should either have trained extensively in the costume (like the man who ran the London Marathon in Stormtrooper armor) so you know what you're getting yourself into or your costume should be normal running gear tweaked to resemble the character you're running as.

Sleepless Knight

Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
May 15, 2008
Time for a true update instead of comments.

Last week's results.

1. Monday: Ran 45 minutes at 15:22 per mile. Also lifted weights.
2. Wednesday: Ran 45 minutes at 15:22 per mile after weight lifting.
3. Thursday: Instead of driving to my brothers to babysit and my nephews and niece I chose to walk there. It's about a 10 minute walk one way, but it's active instead of passive.
4. Saturday: Ran 4 miles at 15:22 per mile. Based on my improving stamina and no longer having to push myself to go those last 15 minutes or so, it's time to increase speed.

This week's results:

1. Monday: After weight lifting I ran 45 minutes at 15 minutes per mile. Felt a little bit of pain in my ankles during the start of the run, but that pain went away before too long so that's good. The run wasn't too bad even with the increased speed so I feel good about that.

The rest of the week is in a little bit of flux right now. I may be getting my miles in by walking around Disneyland this weekend!

The minor aches and pains I dealt with during Monday's run have me remembering why I've never really tried to train faster than 15 minutes per mile. However, that pain subsided quickly and has not returned, so we'll see how the next 2-3 weeks go. For whatever reason, my body may simply break down on me if I run too fast. However as I get more experience, I see where that physical pain may have stemmed more from trying to do too much too quickly instead of allowing my body to adjust and recover. So far, adjust and recover has made for a more enjoyable running experience. In the past, I often tried to do too much too soon and usually wound up excessively sore early on thus resulting in fewer runs since I was still hurting too much.

In addition to the not running problem of this equation, this also means that I wind up taking longer to build up that early endurance so the early part of training becomes a negative cycle where I overtrain early in the week, don't train in the middle of the week, and wind up getting back to square one at the start of the next week. Whereas when I build up to a specific speed, I often find that the first couple of days are challenging, but not too much so. When it seems easy to quit after 30 minutes or so of the run, I tell myself that it's race day and I have one mile left to go. For me, the 45 minute maintenance runs under the Galloway plan work much better than the 30 minute maintenance runs did. The consistency of the extra 15 minutes winds up paying off down the road. Long runs are never easy, but they're suddenly more doable than before.


DIS Veteran
Feb 26, 2015
I can't help with the pain part, but I like when it's set up so that I start the week with my shortest easiest run first. I don't like skipping it because I like my easy short runs. The hardest for me is my tempo workout and its later in the week. I'm more motivated to do it after I've already done my easy day.
Maybe you can start your weeks with something very easy just to get a base in and then save your harder stuff for later in the week.
Just an idea (I'm still learning, so not an expert)
  • Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    May 15, 2008
    Honestly, the pain wasn't all that bad. A better description would probably be a small hurt that I was able to work through pretty easily. I've heard Jeff Galloway talk about the monkey brain when running. Sometimes when part of our brain doesn't want to do something, it will try to convince the rest of the brain that we shouldn't continue to do that thing. So we have to learn to shut off the monkey brain.

    Let me be clear here. I'm not talking about running through injury. Pain is something that you must consider when running. If you continue to run and it goes away, then it's probably not a problem. But if pain persists or gets worse, then you need to examine what you're doing and either cut the run short or reduce speed.

    Now for a training update from last week. Last week ended up being really rough on the work front, so that impacted the rest of the week on a personal front. However, the good news is that it while it hurt my cross training, it did not hurt my race training.

    Monday: 45 minutes running at 15 minutes per mile plus weight training.

    Wednesday: 45 minutes running at 15 minutes per mile plus weight training.

    Saturday: 5 mile run at 15 minutes per mile plus weight training. I feel really good about this distance run. I wasn't sure how it would go since it was only my 3rd day of running at 15 minutes per mile. The first 4 miles were completely normal and only in the last mile did I start to feel a bit tired, but pushed through it.

    Getting the weekend runs in is always something I struggle with early on, so I feel good that I'm starting to see some consistency in that area. The Rebel Challenge training plan starts very soon, so I'm feeling good about where I'm at right now. Still a lot of work to come, but persistence leads to goals accomplished.

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    May 15, 2008
    *In best C-3PO voice* "You know sometimes I just don't understand running at all." Or last week as a case in point. Tuesday's run was brutal. My side began to hurt roughly 10 minutes into the run and that never subsided for the duration of my run. I was feeling it at the end of the run. For the moment, I think it stemmed from not drinking enough water in the afternoon leading to the run.

    Thursdays's run was only slightly better and felt as if Tuesday's problems were still carrying over. I made sure to drink more water, but I wonder if it really helped all that much. My plans for cross training went by the wayside Friday night due to a last minute speaking assignment in Church this past Sunday so I spent the evening preparing a brief sermon for Sunday.

    I wasn't sure what to expect Saturday morning. Given how difficult the earlier runs last week were, I seriously wondered how Saturday's run would go since it came at the end of a long week and after a mentally exhausting Friday evening since it took about 4 hours to prepare my sermon for Sunday. In a theoretical world, I would exercise almost every day doing legs on one day and upper body the next. However, given how last week unfolded the way it did, I opted to do both leg work and upper body lifting before my 3 mile run on Saturday. While that demands more of me, I have also found that doing some weightlifting helps me as a runner. It doesn't make me dramatically faster, although I think it helps me endurance wise because I'm pushing more on shorter runs after weightlifting.

    Well, wouldn't you know it but Saturday morning's run went great. I felt much stronger at the conclusion of that run. Go figure.

    Week of September 5, 2016 recap:

    Tuesday: 45 minutes of running at 15 minutes per mile plus weightlifting.

    Thursday: 45 minutes of running at 15 minutes per mile plus weightlifting.

    Saturday: 3 miles of running at 15 minutes per mile plus weightlifting.

    So what did I learn from training last week? First off, be sure to drink plenty of water. I was certainly not dangerously dehydrated, but that's an important lesson to learn and not repeat. Second, I see again and again how much of a mental exercise running is. Your attitude going into the run means a lot. I think I wasn't in a great mood Tuesday afternoon and everything went downhill from there. Thursday was full of concern over how that day's run would go and I think the fear contributed to a less than great run. What happened Saturday? I think it partially stems from me viewing that run as a respite. It was in some ways a break from a very busy and stressful weekend so it became a time that I didn't have to worry about a sermon in Church the next morning or the rivalry football game that afternoon. My team losing that game was bitterly disappointing.

    What's on tap for this week? Big news is that I'm now officially in training for the 2017 Kessel Run. The Rebel Challenge training plan starts this week and when I finish the Rebel Challenge, I will transition over to the Dark Side Challenge immediately afterwards. No more excuses to slack off although that's been pretty good as of late. However, this week presents a couple of challenges. I'd like to start cross training and do some weightlifting and non running cardio on my non run days. I also have to juggle a big work deadline this week and a church training meeting one evening during the week as well. Work also will start to get very busy really soon and I may have to start working later nights and Saturdays as well.

    As crazy as it sounds, sometimes the best way to motivate myself in training is to think of how it will feel to cross the finish line knowing I've achieved a goal (and earned that Millennium Falcon medal). It will be great fun showing that off to Chewbacca. :chewy:

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    May 15, 2008
    Time for a long overdue update. For the week of September 12th, I had my first "failure." While getting in my normal maintenance runs, on Saturday I noticed a tightness in my calf muscles while running some errands before my planned 3 mile run. In light of that tightness, I decided to skip the 3 mile run and not risk making something worse. Had it been a longer run, I probably would have tried to get it in.

    This week went better. My normal training runs during the week and a 4 mile run today.

    The fun part of training now is having to schedule my Saturday runs around college sporting events. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    May 15, 2008
    *best Obi-Wan Kenobi voice* I don't seem to recall having a training journal. At least I haven't updated it since oh, before @DopeyBadger ran a full marathon, set a PR, injured himself, took 2 weeks off running altogether, and starting running again before I updated this training journal.

    But I digress. Actually, there's a very good reason at least in my mind for having such a long period between updates. Professionally, I am a tax accountant. So of all those people that were scrambling to get their tax returns filed this past Monday if they extended in April, a few of them were coming to me to get their returns. So between working late and trying to fit in BYU college football games in what spare time I did have, my training journal fell by the wayside.

    However, the good news is that while my training journal paid the price for more hours put in at work, my training did not. In fact, my training, like Luke Skywalker flying his X-Wing down the trench in Star Wars, "stay(ed) on target."

    So here's an update for the week beginning September 26th.

    9/26/16 3.45 miles mostly at 15 minutes per mile
    9/28/16 3.21 miles mostly at 15 minutes per mile

    9/30/16 5.45 miles at 15 minutes per mile. This was an interesting run for me and in many ways validates my decision to train for 45 minutes in my maintenance runs. I use the Galloway training plans from runDisney. For all challenge events, he recommends 2 runs of 30-45 minutes each during the week with the long run on Saturday. Before signing up for my first Rebel Challenge in 2015, I had always ran for 30 minutes on those maintenance runs. However, acknowledging the addition endurance required by a multi race event, I decided to increase to 45 minutes running. For a while now, I've felt that the extra 15 minutes helped me, but I really feel like I saw it on this run.

    Frankly, this run did not start very well. Maybe it was because there were other things I wanted to do more than run. Maybe it was because I knew I had to make the run a priority over the other fun things because I knew that the next day would be spent at work. Whatever the reason was, this run was a slog for quite a while. Like the first 35 minutes or so. But around that time, it's as if a second wind finally kicked in and I finished the run easily instead of arguing with myself over why I should do other "more fun" things.

    Simply put, this is why I run. For years I had a gym membership. I went on occasion, but not as often as I "wanted to" and certainly not often enough to make a difference. There were many months and even years where I never set foot inside that gym. But the dues were very low, and I always threatened to go again, so I held onto it. Then I signed up for a race and that forced me to actually use that gym membership. For me, having some sort of final exam to see if I prepared properly for said exam does the trick. When I'm training for a race, every argument to not exercise and trains falls to the idea of what will happen if I don't train? Or what will happen if I throw in the towel early because "running is hard" and I would rather be sitting on the couch watching the football game or a movie?

    The reality is that running has not taken those fun things away from me. Rather it causes me to evaluate my time and determine which football game is most important (hint, it's always BYU for me) and what other activities are either shortened or given up in the pursuit of something better. Jeffrey R. Holland is a former President of BYU and is now a leader for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (sometimes called the Mormons). He said something that applies wonderfully to so many aspects of our lives, not just running. "You can have what you want. Or you can have something better."

    September miles: 45.91 miles all at my accepted race pace of 15 minutes per mile which means fast enough to finish, which is always my end goal. This is the first time I've actually kept a mileage log. I find that it helps me quite a bit. It's a way to force more accountability out of myself instead of writing down exercise on my list of daily goals and either checking off yes or checking off no. It also helps me see where I'm at and where I'm going.

    Week of October 3rd:

    In years past, I always used the excuse of the October work deadline as a reason to take running off or seriously cut down on it. I even did this in 2012 with the Wine & Dine a little over a month away. I've always paid the price for that time off when I resume training and this year, using last April as an example did not use extra work as an excuse not to run. Run later in the day, yes. Maybe cut back on the weight lifting a little bit, yes. But cut back on the runs? No. The challenges associated with the extra work means I had to do some back to back runs on a couple of consecutive days, but I also view this as baby steps toward the back to back runs that begin in earnest come November.

    10/4/16: 3.45 miles at 15 minutes per mile
    10/5/16: 3.45 miles at 15 minutes per mile
    10/7/16: 3.45 miles at 15 minutes per mile

    The last run marked something of a motivational triumph. When I went to start my run, I discovered that my gym bag was not in my car. I left it at home in the morning. So I had to go back home to get it. But instead of chalking up a missed run to forgetfulness, I refused to let that inconvenience derail my training. Incomplete, my training will not be. No excuses.

    Week of October 10th:

    10/11/16: 3.45 miles at 15 minutes per mile
    10/12/16: 3.45 miles at 15 minutes per mile
    10/14/16: 6.96 miles at 15 minutes per mile

    This last run followed a similar pattern as my 5 mile run two weeks prior. But I refused to give in to the reasons not to run. Sometimes, I'm tempted to buy the "Destroy Excuses" Nike shirt. I wound up leaving work about 30-45 minutes later than I wanted. There was a BYU game on Friday night. But I don't want to make excuses now. So I missed the first half of the BYU game and got my run in. Like my 5 mile run a couple of weeks earlier, this one started off more difficult. But I just kept going. And around 35-40 minutes the second wind kicked in once again and everything went fine from there on out and I finished out strong.

    The other big event of last week came when I finally wore my little sister down and persuaded her to sign up for the 1/2. When I ran my first Disneyland 1/2 in 2011, it was this same little sister that persuaded me to stop making excuses and sign up. Both of us ran that first race and she has expressed interest in running a full marathon or maybe even the Goofy someday. She often calls me crazy for signing up for the Rebel Challenge and rightly blames me for her love of Ewoks and decision to attend BYU. Now I have a training partner to keep me motivated. I fully expect her to run substantially faster than me on race day. But I'm okay with that. For me, this journey is about finishing what I began. My lack of speed is not about accepting that I'm slow so much as it is about doing what pushing my limits to see what I'm capable of.
  • DopeyBadger

    Oct 15, 2015
    At least I haven't updated it since oh, before @DopeyBadger ran a full marathon, set a PR, injured himself, took 2 weeks off running altogether, and starting running again before I updated this training journal.
    Well, when you put it that way, I guess it's been a long time ago, in an (internet) galaxy far far away... Maybe... Maybe... :darth:

    So I missed the first half of the BYU game and got my run in.
    Personally I find this to be the watershed moment. When you're willing to give up something you love, but don't have to do, it means you are willing to go that extra step in training. Sounds like your priorities are switching. Well done!

    And around 35-40 minutes the second wind kicked in once again and everything went fine from there on out and I finished out strong.
    I often find this to be true of myself as well. It's like our physical system needs to be primed before we're ready to go. So once we get past the priming phase, things suddenly change and feel easier.

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    May 15, 2008
    Personally I find this to be the watershed moment. When you're willing to give up something you love, but don't have to do, it means you are willing to go that extra step in training. Sounds like your priorities are switching. Well done!
    We'll see how they hold up if I have to miss more than the 1st half, but at this point, I can now schedule my runs around the game since I made it through the busiest part of Light Side training. Dark Side training on the other hand will be interesting. I'm not sure yet how I'm going to fit in a 14 mile during a time of year when I literally do not have the 3.5 hours or so needed to get that kind of run in.

    Also wanted to note a brief potential milestone of sorts today. For the first time ever in all my years of training for 1/2 marathons, I ran an entire training run faster than 15 minute per mile. I ran 45 minutes today at a pace of 14:37 per mile. In years past whenever I tried to increase my speed past 15 minutes per mile I met with extreme resistance from my body to the point where I had to actually cut the run short. So I wasn't sure how today was going to go. Granted we'll see how I feel tomorrow, but this is still something I haven't done before at least in training.

    I often find this to be true of myself as well. It's like our physical system needs to be primed before we're ready to go. So once we get past the priming phase, things suddenly change and feel easier.
    The more experience I get the more I believe this to be one of the most important keys to success as a runner and in life overall. Just keep going. When facing a long run, keep your eyes on the prize as it were. What am I working towards? Why am I doing this?

    As much as it sounds silly, while training for my first 1/2 I visualized myself walking around Disneyland after the race happily wearing my medal. At that point, the goal was to finish. I suppose it still is, but I also see the benefits of consistent exercise now that over the course of the past year, I've only taken one month off of running for laziness reasons. That's a substantial improvement over the past.
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    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    May 15, 2008
    "I'm not afraid of the long runs. Hmmmmmm. You will be. You will be. . ." I'm now at that point where training gets serious. The long weekend runs are now actually time consuming and at the point where between my speed and desire to sleep in on Saturdays, they take a big bite out of my day. At least I'm clear of the busy season at work so I don't feel like training is taking as much of my time.

    Week of 10/17/2016:

    10/18/2016: 3.45 miles at 15 minutes per mile. This run is a small victory. Coming off an increase in workload, I wasn't sure how this one would feel just one day clear of the work deadline. In years past, that day after the deadline has been a battle just to stay awake at work. But on this day, I got my run in after work so that's a good thing.

    10/20/2016: 3.51 miles at 14:37 minutes per mile. As I mentioned above, this is a bigger victory for me. It marks the first time in years that I've been able to complete a normal training run at a pace faster than 15 minutes per mile. The first time I tried to run this fast in training, I hurt so badly that I had to cut my run by about 20 minutes even after slowing down and skip another run because I was so sore. And when this step back occurred 3 weeks before my first 1/2, I was pretty spooked. Suffice it to say, even with 4 successful 1/2 marathons since then, I haven't wanted to risk anything.

    But as I've examined my runs, I've felt like the 15 minutes per mile pace has become easy as it were. While that's not a bad thing, I'd still love to be faster so on this day I decided to, in the words of legendary achiever George Costanza "That's it! I'm taking it up a notch!" The purpose was simple: To see how my body and stamina will react to a faster speed that in the past I've only achieved on race day. Will the soreness that plagued me years ago return with a vengeance? How long can I sustain the increased speed?

    Very early on in the run, I could tell that something was different. The speed wasn't too much at the beginning. Around the 11 minute mark of my first mile, my legs began to hurt more than normal, but I decided to monitor this. Is this a mental pain that I can run through or will I need to slow down? After a few minutes I began to feel like I could certainly run through it. Around 38 minutes into the run, I began to feel the increased speed in my side, but was close enough to the end that I wanted to power through it, which I did.

    10/22/2016: 4.24 miles at 14:37 minutes per mile. Football coaches often talk about how you can learn from a loss, but how much easier it is to learn from a win. That describes how I felt after this run. As I've increased speed during this training season, I've done so with at least 2 weeks before a longer run. But this time, I would be attempting a longer run just 2 days after increasing my speed. No time to ease into that as it were. Given that I'm still very much in monitor how my body reacts to this mode, I wasn't sure how long I could sustain this pace and if I would need to slow down, especially given that the last 5 minutes of the prior run were a bit more challenging. But like the first day at the faster speed I started off well and successfully powered through to the end.

    This run was also monumental because I started it about an hour later than I planned to. On a whim, I logged onto My Disney Experience and discovered that my 180 day ADR calculator was off by one and I could sign up for ADRs today. After a moment's panic hoping I didn't miss out any important ones, I was off and registering.

    I'm looking for feedback if any of my choices need to be tweaked. While I have preface meals at Disneyland down pat, Disney World is still very much a learning experience.

    Friday night before the 10K: I arrive the night before and the only thing on the plan for this day is the Expo probably in the morning and Ohana around 4:45pm. While I'd like to keep this ADR, it's not a big deal if I have to lose it. Chicken sounds good before the race and I love pineapple so the pineapple bread sounds really good. My concern is speed of Disney transportation getting me back to Port Orleans Riverside. I'd love to be back in my room no later than 7 or even 8 to get ready for the 10K. So please give me honest feedback. Is Ohana a bad choice for a pre 10K meal? Will it take too long to get back to my room?

    Saturday day of the 10K and day before the 1/2: Obviously, this day is completely determined by proper race rest. It's another early dinner at Chefs de France in Epcot. The macaroni sounds like great pasta before the 1/2 and I like the relaxed atmosphere of Chefs de France. In the debate about pre race park touring, I've figured out the following. The best way for me to deal with post race soreness is light touring. Nothing too crazy here as I need to save my legs, but there's a risk to spending the day in my hotel room. In that respect, Epcot is the perfect park for me to tour leisurely. It has quite a few lengthy attractions that involve lengthy periods of sitting down and take place with indoor queues. In 2012, when I realized that I would go stir crazy if I stayed in my room all day the day of the Wine & Dine 1/2 (then held at night), I spent a relaxing afternoon in Epcot. I felt like I was doing something, but not overdoing anything.

    Sunday day of the 1/2: The big one here is a lunch ADR at Be Our Guest around 2:00pm. I figure this is long enough after the 1/2 that I should be okay to make it there. Dinner is at Le Cellier in Epcot that evening. I decided to do my favorite WDW restaurant for after the race. In 2012, I could only get Le Cellier in the night before the 1/2 so I had no other option. But it worked out fine.

    Week of 10/24/2016:

    10/25/2016: 3.52 miles at 14:37 minutes per mile. I'm definitely adjusting just fine to the new speed.

    10/26/2016: Semi successful cross training day. I've been wanting to also get exercise in on my non running days and today was semi successful. I got the weight lifting in and decided to try the stationary bike. After a few minutes, my legs really began to hurt. Perhaps this is working different muscles and I have to adjust to it, but I didn't like how sore my legs were so I abandoned the bike and went for a light walk for 15 minutes on the treadmill. I could have gone longer, but since the purpose of cross training is to improve my fitness level without destroying my training, I decided to end it. Maybe this week I'll give the bike another try.

    10/27/16: 3.52 miles at 14:37 minutes per mile. Doing just fine, but the first major test of my increase in speed is looming. Briefly entertained signing up for the Avengers 1/2 marathon in a few weeks since I saw bibs on sale for $100, but the sale had ended by the time I began to seriously consider this. Which is just fine with me. I'm supposed to be saving up for Disney World anyways.

    10/29/16: 8.24 miles at 14:37 minutes per mile. I passed the first major test of my increased speed without having to slow down so I'm feeling good about that. Upon realizing just how sore I was after the run, I decided it's a good thing I'm not running the Avengers 1/2 in 2 weeks. I'm not sure if I actually want to make that big a jump in miles in just 2 weeks time. I believe that I could, but I also don't want to risk anything that could derail the Kessel Run in 2017. Besides that I don't want to have to go and buy a Batman tech shirt for the Avengers 1/2.

    2 big things going on this coming week. First off is the beginning of back to back training sessions on the weekend. Second is a BYU Women's Volleyball match near home, so I'm going to have to make sure that I wake up early Saturday morning to get my 7 mile run in before heading out to the volleyball match.

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    May 15, 2008
    More so than normal, I knew that this week just past would present more challenges/excuses to getting in the necessary training. But happily training went better than I anticipated.

    Week of October 31, 2016:

    10/31/2016: 3.52 miles at 14:37 per training mile. No weight lifting, but with Halloween something had to give and it wasn't going to be my running.

    11/1/2016: Cross training on a stationary bike for 20 minutes. I have to figure something out for cross training. I've found that I feel better fitness wise, but the stationary bike and I do not agree on how long I can do it for. Normal weight lifting so that's good.

    11/2/2016: 3.52 miles at 14:37 per training mile. Lifted as well.

    11/3/2016: Maybe I'm figuring out an agreement with the bike. 10 minutes on one bike and switching to another bike for another 20 minutes. This seems to alleviate the problem.

    11/4/2016: Get used to about 5 months worth of back to back runs every other weekend because that's the price to pay given what I want to do. But day 1 is a success. 1.52 miles at 14:37 pace per 1 mile run. The remainder is the cool down period.

    11/5/2016: This was going to be the tough run. Not so much because of the 7 mile distance, but more so because of everything else going on today. In fact so much was going on, that I had to make decisions about what to do and what to skip. Suffice it to say, the run was not one of the good things that I had to skip. I got my 7 miles in and it was then off to a college volleyball match involving BYU. This match was the biggest challenge to my planned run, so it felt great to have both of them in. It also meant that I could more fully enjoy the match knowing that I got my run in already. Throw in a win and I'm feeling good.

    This brings me to another running lesson that I took way too long to learn. And that would be the importance of light physical activity later in the day after the run. Honestly, for years I completely ignored this counsel. While it's easy to to go to Disneyland after a 1/2 marathon, that concept just did not carry over to training days. In my mind I told myself I just ran x amount of miles so why in the world would I want to spend more time on my feet later on that day. But here's what I've learned. Light physical activity later in the day works wonders to help keep me from tightening up too much. I'm seeing today how much it also helps out with how I feel the next day when I see that I'm a lot less sore.

    So in the end, it was 7.52 miles at a 14:37 pace per the 7 miles run. Am I ready to try increasing speed again? Not quite yet. There's been some tightness in my knee that I'm aware of. It's certainly not a problem, but I also don't want to make it one. We'll have to see how my body responds to it.

    In the end, so far so good.
  • Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    May 15, 2008
    Often during training, I remember this exchange from Star Wars Episode II and apply it to running.

    However it is too late for me to go home and rethink my decision to running 1/2 marathons. So remembering Yoda's question to Obi-Wan about Luke in The Empire Strikes Back is better.

    "Will he finish what he begins?"

    And so far I'm on track. Life got in the way of updates, but training continues.

    11/7/2016 3.52 miles at 14:37 per mile
    11/10/2016 3.52 miles at 14:37 per mile
    11/12/2016 3.52 miles at 14:37 per mile
    11/14/2016 3.52 miles at 14:37 per mile
    11/16/2016 3.52 miles at 14:37 per mile
    11/18/2016 2.44 miles at 15:44 per mile slowed down due to a bit of pain for leg 1 of the back to back sessions
    11/19/206 9.96 miles at 14:37 per mile
    11/21/2016 3.52 miles at 14:37 per mile
    11/23/2016 3.52 miles at 14:37 per mile
    11/26/2016 4.24 miles at 14:37 per mile
    11/28/2016 3.52 miles at 14:37 per mile
    11/30/2016 3.41 miles at varied paces, but no slower than 15:46 per mile

    Total November miles of 61.59 miles. Like October, all November training runs were met.

    12/2/2016 3.46 miles at varied paces, but no slower than 15:46 per mile. slowed down to conserve for back to back
    12/3/2016 11.37 miles at 14:37 per mile
    12/6/2016 3.52 miles at 14:37 per mile
    12/7/2016 3.52 miles at 14:37 per mile

    And then a very serious challenge to training got in my way. I came down with a cold. However, for a very long time I've read about people saying you can continue to train with a cold provided certain conditions are in play. Realizing that I did not have chest problems, I decided to soldier on. Here is what I learned.

    12/10/2016 4.24 miles at 14:37 per mile. This is my 1st day of running with a cold. Looking back, I should have monitored my heart rate a little bit better. For the first time since getting my FitBit, I had some training in peak heart rate instead of cardio or fat burn zones. Nevertheless, I completed the run successfully. This run also featured a successful test of my new Nike BYU hyperwarm long sleeve shirt for race day. I believe that the warmer I am before the race, the better I'll feel during and after it.

    12/12/2016 3.43 miles at no slower than 15:46 per mile. This time I paid more attention to my heart rate. Now I understand why moderate exercise with a cold helps you feel a little bit better. It does. Not as much as I would like obviously, but I'm certainly seeing the benefits of regular exercise. The cold doesn't wipe me out as much as it normally does.

    12/14/2016 3.46 miles at no slower than 15:46 per mile. More variance of speed, but again important to minimize peak training with a cold especially with tomorrow's huge event.

    12/15/2016 No training. A little movie called Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opened at my theater, so I was there in my Jedi robes. And no, I'm not going to wear them during the race. That's a very uncomfortable run waiting to happen. I can't begin to imagine how heavy sweat soaked Jedi robes would be.

    12/16/2016 4.46 miles at 14:37 per mile. Able to go normal speed without trouble. A good sign for tomorrow's 12.5 mile run.

    12/17/2016 Woke up feeling really exhausted. Gave long consideration to the 12.5 mile run and concluded that while moderate exercise is good for helping with a cold, it may not be such a good idea to engage in 12.5 mile run training run with that cold. I reluctantly decided to delay the 12.5 mile run and slept some more.

    12/20/2016 3.52 miles at 14:37 per mile. Definitely starting to see substantial improvement in how I feel. In fact, if all goes well, I think I'm going to attempt that 12.5 mile in a couple days.

    12/22/2016 12.96 miles at 14:37 per mile. This was successful for a few reasons. 1. I forgot my race gels at home and had to go without them. Still made it through the run without trouble, but they definitely help me. 2. After getting a cold while training for the 2016 Rebel Challenge, my 12.5 mile run was absolutely miserable. In hindsight, I should have done that run slower. As it was, I had to cut it short a little bit because I was too exhausted to continue. Well, this 12.5 mile run was fine. Difficult yes, especially at the end, but still successfully finished with my heart rate remaining in fat burn zone for almost all of the run and what wasn't in fat burn was well within cardio.

    While I felt some burn out a couple of weeks ago, I think my cold helped me stop worrying about the burnout. There's a lot of running left to go with the Dark Side Challenge training ramping up after the Rebel Challenge.

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    May 15, 2008
    Yesterday I found my new training mantra. One of my heroes was BYU's legendary football coach LaVell Edwards. He passed away yesterday and I found this quote in an address he gave at BYU a few months after he retired. It reminds me what the foundation to any success I have in finishing these races.

    "To me, preparation is the key to success in any endeavor. I have often heard the phrase “He [or she] has a great will to win.” What it should say is, “He [or she] has a great will to prepare.” The greatest athletes are not always the fastest, strongest, or most gifted athletically. The greatest players are those who have the ability to recognize their potential and prepare themselves to meet that potential.

    On a Saturday afternoon in the filled stadium with the excitement of the band, the cheerleaders, and the crowd, a player can have all the desire or will to win in the world, but it will be for naught if he hasn’t prepared. The same is true in our personal lives. We can have the desire to do something well, . . ., but it will be for naught if we are not willing to work, study, and prepare. Every one of us has the potential to successfully achieve our goals in life, but most goals won’t be realized without effort on our part."

    LaVell Edwards 1930-2016

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    May 15, 2008
    "I am one with the Force and the Force is with me. I am one with the Force and the Force is with me. I am one with the Force and the Force is with me."

    Last week of 2016 went mostly according to plan. I decided to test a 2 back to back run week as preparation for Dark Side Training in late March and April given how I'll be working 6 days a week for almost all of Dark Side training.

    After getting the training in I reached a couple of conclusions.

    1. I'm not one who should run every day. I had knee pain this week which is highly unusual for me. However, I should note that the knee pain was fairly minor and actually stopped bothering during both my 5 mile run on Friday and the 14 mile run on Saturday. December has also seen a marked improvement in my efforts to cross train, so I think I'll continue to cross train. Provides a nice break from running, but still gives me the benefits of exercise.

    2. Barring something along the lines of signing up for a full marathon guaranteeing me a very small part in a Star Wars movie, I'm not signing up for a full marathon. Periodically, I give it brief consideration. And then I put in a 14 mile run. Given my speed or really almost complete lack thereof, I don't want to invest the hours necessary to train for and eventually run a full marathon. So I'm sticking with a 1/2. Ultimately, I really love the 10K distance, but the allure of what runDisney does for a 1/2 provides sufficient motivation.

    12/27/16 3.52 miles at 14:37 per mile. Definitely feeling better.

    12/28/16 3.52 miles at 14:37 per mile.

    12/30/16 5.45 miles at 14:37 per mile. A bit of a victory here. For quite a few round 1 of back to back training runs, I opted to slow down because of random aches and pains and I wanted to preserve my strength for the big run.

    12/31/16 14.42 miles at 14:37 per mile. Learned a very important lesson here. The run went fine. Had its challenges as is normal during a long run, but I recited my new Star Wars race mantra I am one with the Force and the Force is with me a few times and that distracted me sufficiently to just keep pressing forward. Also thought about the importance of preparation being a key to success for this and powered through the run.

    My mistake came after. Almost immediately after finishing the run and an 8 minute cool down, I stopped and leaned over to pick up a dropped water bottle. Very bad idea. I immediately felt extremely light headed and very dizzy. I wondered for a few minutes if I was going to faint. After siting down for a couple of minutes, I could tell that I would be fine and was able to resume with no more problems. I had never had this happen before after a long run.

    When I got home I did some research and attribute the problem to leaning over and essentially stopping immediately after finishing the run. It also would have been better to continue my cool down for a little bit longer, but I believe the main culprit was the immediate stopping and bending down to pick up my water bottle.

    Also had one final lesson reinforced. This is the tremendous value of easy walking for a period of 20-30 minutes later in the day after a long run. Obviously, after my run I felt really sore in my legs. But knowing how crucial it is to keep moving, I forced myself to get up and opted to go to the bookstore to get a 2017 calendar. I noticed yesterday how beneficial that was because the soreness in my legs from Saturday's 14 mile run as virtually nonexistent.

    December total miles: 80.85.

    Now the taper begins. Next long run is the Star Wars 10K followed by the Star Wars 1/2 Marathon. Here come I, Rebel Challenge!

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    May 15, 2008
    With the final long run out of the way, the taper began. While I didn't do the taper wrong per se, I probably could have eased up a bit during my taper.

    1/3 3.52 miles at 14:37 per mile

    1/5 3.52 miles at 14:37 per mile

    1/7 4.24 miles at 14:37 per mile

    1/9 3.52 miles at 14:37 per mile

    1/12 3.3 miles at 15:46 per mile. Better late than never I decided to read up on how to taper for a 1/2 marathon. In the past I've been so terrified about screwing up my training that I haven't dared train slower. This time around, I have more confidence and experience and have learned that training slower during the taper isn't going to wipe everything out. Even so I always train at the slowest minimum pace as a reminder.

    I've been thinking a lot about DopeyBadger's comments about running by feel. I suppose training on a treadmill makes this more difficult, but I could always put a towel over the clock and see how things go so I'm not always thinking how many more minutes I have to run.

    But up next is Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland. It's about to get real.

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    May 15, 2008
    Begun the race report has. Up first: Star Wars 1/2 Marathon Expo!

    January 13, 2017:

    Got to the Expo around 2:00pm. Headed to the merchandise area because I knew that bibs would still be there, but who knows about race merchandise. And since I’m making the Kessel Run this year, I may well get the I Did It shirt for both the Rebel and Dark Side challenges. And this is the 40th anniversary of Star Wars.

    As expected there was a line to get into the Expo, but it moved quickly. I also spoke with a runner who ran Dark Side last year. The more I go to these events the more I enjoy camaraderie with the runDisney community at large. I learn so many useful things from fellow runners about how to handle various aspects of Disney races and get a lot of fun ideas from them, which we’ll see later on.

    As always, the official race merchandise involves arguing about what I want vs what I should get. If I’m not careful I could easily drop a $1,000 at these. Easily. Alas, the runDisney ornament I had been considering was long sold out, but I wasn’t expecting it. I was incredibly tempted by the 10K I did it shirt because I thought the design was so cool. But I came to my senses as it were and passed. The I Did It challenge shirt was an easy decision and after a few minutes of back and forth debate about the 1/2 marathon weekend shirt, I decided to get it. I would have preferred a darker purple color than the one they went with, but the use of the Rebel Alliance star bird, the iconic image of Luke holding his lightsaber up in the air and the quote from Maz Kanata in The Force Awakens was too cool to resist. Also got the weekend water bottle because it’s nice and it has a 40 anniversary logo on it.

    Debated magnets, but decided to pass on them. Almost bought the I Run Solo shirt, but decided that it will probably be at Dark Side and I’m supposed to behave myself on merchandise right now with Dark Side looming in April. Could not escape the backpack though since I can see many uses for it. Is it technically even possible to resist an R2-D2 backpack? I say no.

    There is a 97.4% chance of failure. If you didn't train.

    "Who's scruffy lookin?!?!"

    A long time ago in a corral far, far away. . . .

    “R2-D2! It is you! It is you!!”

    I was a bit surprised by the complete lack of a speaker series. Is this a new thing for runDisney? Stopped by the runDisney booths to check out the medals. Seeing the Rebel Challenge medal up close sadly reaffirmed how disappointing this medal is. No detail whatsoever on it, when you can argue that is should be the nicest medal of the weekend. Very happy with the Dark Side medals and seeing the 2017 Coast to Coast. The Kylo Ren 1/2 medal, which I always liked, looks even more impressive in person. I’m also really excited about the Kessel Run medal. Tough to go wrong with the Millennium Falcon. A runDisney rep told me that Kessel Run will also earn the regular Coast to Coast. I had hoped that would be the case since that seemed to match what their website says, but now we have confirmation.

    It’s a map!

    The lure of the Space Mountain shoes was too much and I soon found myself trying them on. They looked even sweeter than I imagined. They were also a very tight fit in my size. The sales rep was very helpful and essentially discouraged me from getting the shoes as it could lead to injury. It didn’t take much discouragement, but I really appreciated it. She was more concerned about what was best for me as a runner than making the sale. This also confirmed to me that Nike really is best for me. The fit has always been perfect.

    We can’t repel distances of this magnitude without training.

    Also decided to check out The Stick. I’ve actually been thinking about this for a year now, but wasn’t going to pass on it this time. After a few minutes working my calves over with it, I was sold. I felt so much better. I even bought two trigger wheels to use on my shoulders. One for home and one for the office. There are many times in the office when I think it will come in very handy to help relieve headaches. And those are coming in the days, weeks, and months leading up to Dark Side.

    After that it was off to check into the hotel, unpack, head over to Earl of Sandwich for dinner and back to the hotel. I briefly toyed with venturing into Disneyland for a ride or two, but decided to minimize the pounding I would subject myself to this weekend.

    “Chewie, get us out of here!”

    “No more training do you require. Complete the 10K and the 1/2. Only then will you finish the Rebel Challenge.”



    Earning My Ears
    Jul 1, 2016
    I always enjoy reading race reports - thanks for posting. Looking forward to the next installment. I need to post a trip report of my own before it is too late ...


    DIS Veteran
    Dec 27, 2011
    Love this report so far! You're making me re-think how I do the expos - I normally just try to get in and out quickly, but that's so cool that you found all of these neat photo-ops! Makes me wonder what I have been missing! :)


    DIS Veteran
    Nov 3, 2012
    Love this report so far! You're making me re-think how I do the expos - I normally just try to get in and out quickly, but that's so cool that you found all of these neat photo-ops! Makes me wonder what I have been missing! :)
    I was just thinking that I never saw that castle photo op!


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