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

Sleepless Knight

Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
Joined
May 15, 2008
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 ...
It's never too late. You never know when your experience of documenting your successes and challenges will help inspire another runner.

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! :)
Sometimes we're in a hurry to get done with the Expo and back to playing in the parks or get into our rooms that we don't take time to fully explore the Expo. It really didn't take that long to find the different options either. The 2016 Star Wars Expo also had a digital photo op where they would send you a digital picture of you with BB-8 and they had lightsabers for anyone who wanted a prop.

I was just thinking that I never saw that castle photo op!
The race weekend character banners were on the way to the race shirt pickup area right after you leave bib pickup. The castle backrop was next to the stage where the speaker series usually takes place and right by the runDisney display medals and the photopass information area. The cockpit of the Millennium Falcon photo op was right outside the expo near the waiting area to get into the merchandise store.

I haven't ran a non Star Wars at Disneyland since the 2012 Half, but I'm reasonably certain they also had some photo stations at the Expo for that race as well. This year they didn't have the big black Star Wars 1/2 Marathon Weekend carpet on the way to bib pickup, but that may have been a function of all the rain in the area right before race weekend.
 

roxymama

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
That does sound cool. I'm still a bit of a Star Wars newbie, but I really like r2d2 and bb8. I may have to build a droid with my sis on our trip. I have to watch rogue once it goes to ondemand.

I just realized the Tink half is 5/14...so would it be appropriate to say "May the fourteenth be with you" to people?
 
  • Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    Joined
    May 15, 2008
    Wow, I didn't see any of those photo ops! Very cool!
    The irony is that I didn't really take photos at the non Star Wars race weekends I've participated in. Granted, those were back in 2011 and 2012, but still.

    That does sound cool. I'm still a bit of a Star Wars newbie, but I really like r2d2 and bb8. I may have to build a droid with my sis on our trip. I have to watch rogue once it goes to ondemand.

    I just realized the Tink half is 5/14...so would it be appropriate to say "May the fourteenth be with you" to people?
    Last year's Rebel Challenge medal had R2-D2 on it and this year's 10K medal was BB-8. I still remember the first time I saw R2-D2 in person at Star Wars Weekends in 2009. I'm not sure if I was quite jumping up and down with anticipation, but I remember smiling from ear to ear when I heard his iconic beeps. Building a droid is actually quite a bit of fun. You can customize your droid and they even give you an action figure pack and stickers to name your droid. Plus, at Disneyland they actually let you build a droid without buying the one you pay for.
     

    cavepig

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 7, 2001
    Great Expo pictures! Glad the Darkside medals looked great in person. I've tried to avoid looking at them closely online to be sort of surprised when we get them! Too bad the Rebel Challenge medal wasn't up to par.
     

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    Joined
    May 15, 2008
    Great Expo pictures! Glad the Darkside medals looked great in person. I've tried to avoid looking at them closely online to be sort of surprised when we get them! Too bad the Rebel Challenge medal wasn't up to par.
    I know some people don't like the design choice for the Dark Side 1/2 medal, but I always did. I think it looks even better in person.

    Hopefully, runDisney is monitoring reactions to the Rebel Challenge medal and makes improvements. I honestly don't care that they changed the medal design entirely. The design is not the problem. The shape is not the problem. Changing the medals up yearly is not a bad thing. The lack of detail is. They literally drew an outline of C-3PO, slightly raised it up from the rest of the medal, and filled it in with the same color. Had they put some detail into C-3PO like his face, body, etc. the medal would have been fine.
     

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    Joined
    May 15, 2008
    January 14, 2017 The Star Wars 10K

    A 4:15am wake up call. Definitely too late to rethink my life. I'm so sleepy that I almost forget my lightsaber after the security checkpoint. Fortunately, the security guard admonished me for forgetting my lightsaber. “This weapon is your life. So don’t leave it at the security table.” Padawan mistake. I know better. This isn’t my first runDisney race.



    Having made my way to a corral far, far away I began to wait. And wait. And wait.



    Eventually, my corral started. And like last year’s 10K, it was extremely congested right from the start. We’re talking walking congested. I trained at a 14:37 minute per mile pace and it took 20 minutes or so to complete my first mile because the course was so crowded.

    Carsland is absolutely beautiful to run through. I can’t wait to run through Star Wars Land in a few years.



    You know I could get through the course a lot faster if they let us use speeders. But couldn’t we all?



    One thing I love about the 10K is the mile marker signs. They’re each different and each Star Wars. Mile 1 was Rey, arguably my favorite new character from The Force Awakens. After mile 1 the course started to settle into a manageable level. I still walked more than I would have liked, but that was owing more to some areas that were a touch slippery. Take chances I will not.

    I’m not a fan of selfies, but I do take them during races when I don’t want to risk getting swept because I stopped for a photo.

    Actually these are droids I’m looking for. But I’m not looking for this line, so it’s time to move along.



    Another reason why I love running in Disney is the lack of crowds (relatively speaking) and the sights. Paradise Bay with the World of Color fountains going in the last gasp of night before the dawn is beautiful.





    One of the things I love about the 10Ks is that sometimes the backdrops have no characters, so they have much smaller lines and there are some great backdrop photos available.

    *Insert TIE Fighter noise here*



    “You can go about your run. Move along.”



    See my point about the unique mile marker signs for the 10K.





    Backstage had the castle turrets being refurbished so that was really cool to see.



    Soon I would see the stormtroopers causing trouble over by Star Wars Launch Bay. Apparently shouting “Long Live the Resistance” as I went by causes them to keep an eye on me.



    “That is one heck of a pilot!”



    Running over by Dumbo, I thought of my little 4 year old niece. Her favorite ride is Dumbo. She might ride it all day if we let her. Soon we were running through the castle. That’s always a thrill and it’s such a beautiful sight to see the early light of morning shine on Sleeping Beauty Castle.



    Rebel on base!



    “Is there s garbage chute nearby?” But how cool is it that they have Captain Phasma here?



    Here a runner was a bit miffed at people stopping to take pictures because they were taking photos and he wanted to cut through the small crowd. Seriously? You don’t go cutting through the small line of people taking photos of a photo op here. You just slow down, move around them, and deal with it. I know I’m not fast. But I also know that if I want to run a race where everyone is focused on the fastest time possible, Disneyland is definitely not the place to do it. So, think about where you’re running and why you’re running there. And don’t run through crowds. Okay, rant over.

    Next it was on to the esplanade where I saw my little sister, dressed in her ewok robe, and holding one of her stuffed ewoks cheering me on.

    Ewok Photo Bomb!



    One of the things I love about runDisney events is the creativity of the runners. In the corral in front of me was a group doing a Monsters Inc/Star Wars mashup. Sully Chewbacca. It was too dark and they were just far in front of me enough that I could see their costumes, but no photos would turn out.

    Many Bothans died waking up this early. This is way too true. Good thing I enjoy these events.



    Wookiees have been known to tear peoples arms off if they lose or if you mess with their friends.



    Rolling to the finish line. . . . An awesome mile marker especially with the 10K medal.



    6.2 down. 13.1 to go. By the clock, it’s my slowest 10K ever at 1:39 something. I hope they do something about the course crowding because it got worse from last year. That said, I’m over it now. Probably helps me take it slower like I should and conserves my legs for the 1/2. But that doesn’t mean I want to slowly walk the first mile.

    “You must feel the Force flow through you. Between you, the snow, the lightsaber. And the Ewok???”



    Really glad they moved this to after the race this year. No need to worry about the lines to get a really cool photo.

    The BB-8 medal celebration photo tour.







    I did make it back to continental breakfast in the hotel and a cold bath and hot shower. This always feels good after the race, but then it’s back into the parks. Made my 11:20 lunch at Carnation Cafe. I had hoped this would be a breakfast instead, but I waited too long to make my reservation and had to settle for lunch instead. This probably worked out for the better anyways given the time I spent doing photos after the 10K.

    I had intended to tell Cinderella that my 4 year old niece says hello. I never did get the chance because of what unfolded next. Upon seeing my medal, Cinderella asked me if I had run this morning and congratulated me. She then told me that she had only run once in her life. And while her experience with running from that ball wound up being a really good one, she still didn’t like running very much. This is why I wear my medals and take character photos. You never know when something like this is going to happen.





    Little bit nicer shot of the BB-8 medal.



    The park was really crowded, but I expected that. Between the post holiday cleanup, all the attractions down for Star Wars Land, and no parade, there were quite a few crowd eaters that were not available to eat the crowds. I toyed with waiting in line 60 minutes for Hyperspace Mountain, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. I am supposedly trying to conserve my legs for tomorrow. So I watched Path of the Jedi, including my now traditional post 10K John Williams power nap. This involves sitting in that theater with my eyes closed and just absorbing the John Williams music.

    I watched Jedi Training Trials of the Temple for the first time ever. Not bad. My lone issue is the 7th Sister coming out. I’ve got nothing against the character. But she’s not Darth Vader. She’s not Darth Maul. And having a friend whose son was all excited to fight Vader, but instead fought a random character he’d never even heard of drove the point home to me. I enjoy Star Wars Rebels. But not everyone watches it. So put Darth Maul back in the show. Rant aside the show really is well done. And Kylo Ren getting angry at the end is priceless.

    While in line for Pirates, I talked with a runner who completed the 10K that morning. He’s running Avengers in November with his daughter for his first 1/2 for the year he turns 50. Really inspiring and neat stuff to see. He told me how his friends are all encouraging him in training for the 1/2. I threw in my words of encouragement as well. There was a time when I thought I could never do this. That gave way to I want to do this, but will probably fail spectacularly. And now there’s confidence that I can do this because I have done this.

    “Twilight is upon me. And soon night must fall.”





    Because long before the rising of the dawn, the Star Wars 1/2 Marathon will begin. . . .
     
  • cavepig

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 7, 2001
    Great recap & pictures! I love that wampa picture, you are saving the Ewok:) The "many bothans died..." shirts are hilarious! Yeah, I don't get why people think they are more important in a crowded area and want to smash their way through. Seeing these pics makes me more excited for Darkside!
     

    Ariel484

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2011
    Wow, the course crowding sounds nuts! Glad you enjoyed the 10K though - I really love 10Ks at Disneyland. I haven't done this one but I did the one in September and Tink, and they sound similar to what you experienced - lots of park time and super awesome mile markers!

    So funny that the security guard reminded you about your lightsaber! Whew!!
    Here a runner was a bit miffed at people stopping to take pictures because they were taking photos and he wanted to cut through the small crowd. Seriously? You don’t go cutting through the small line of people taking photos of a photo op here. You just slow down, move around them, and deal with it. I know I’m not fast. But I also know that if I want to run a race where everyone is focused on the fastest time possible, Disneyland is definitely not the place to do it. So, think about where you’re running and why you’re running there. And don’t run through crowds. Okay, rant over.
    Ugh, rude! The guy seriously couldn't think of a better route to take there? I get that sometimes the big crowds are frustrating, but sometimes I don't think that they realize that them zipping around/through people can also be an issue!

    So cool that your sister came along to cheer you on! And I LOVE that BB-8 medal!! Looking forward to reading about the half! :)
     

    lovingeire

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 3, 2012
    I watched Jedi Training Trials of the Temple for the first time ever. Not bad. My lone issue is the 7th Sister coming out. I’ve got nothing against the character. But she’s not Darth Vader. She’s not Darth Maul. And having a friend whose son was all excited to fight Vader, but instead fought a random character he’d never even heard of drove the point home to me. I enjoy Star Wars Rebels. But not everyone watches it. So put Darth Maul back in the show. Rant aside the show really is well done. And Kylo Ren getting angry at the end is priceless.
    My son participated in Jedi Training at WDW with the Trials of the Temple. He was so excited to fight Vader, and was in the right line too, but kids were taking too long so they moved him down to 7th Sister. I was impressed that he didn't have a total meltdown over it. But at least he watches Rebels and knew who she was. I miss Maul! But other than that we enjoyed watching the show (and he watched at DL vs. participating) and he had a fun time in the show at WDW.
     

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    Joined
    May 15, 2008
    Great recap & pictures! I love that wampa picture, you are saving the Ewok:) The "many bothans died..." shirts are hilarious! Yeah, I don't get why people think they are more important in a crowded area and want to smash their way through. Seeing these pics makes me more excited for Darkside!
    Will Dark Side equal the greatness that is Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland? I'm excited to find out. I've been toying around with attempting a Prince Phillip Jedi Knight costume with some kind of line about fighting dragons is more effective wiht a lightsaber, but am just not going to have the time to do it before Dark Side. Maybe next year's Light Side. . .

    Wow, the course crowding sounds nuts! Glad you enjoyed the 10K though - I really love 10Ks at Disneyland. I haven't done this one but I did the one in September and Tink, and they sound similar to what you experienced - lots of park time and super awesome mile markers!

    So funny that the security guard reminded you about your lightsaber! Whew!!

    Ugh, rude! The guy seriously couldn't think of a better route to take there? I get that sometimes the big crowds are frustrating, but sometimes I don't think that they realize that them zipping around/through people can also be an issue!

    So cool that your sister came along to cheer you on! And I LOVE that BB-8 medal!! Looking forward to reading about the half! :)
    The irony is I would break the belt clip on my lightsaber later on in the race and had to buy a new one. My little sister ran the half the next day, so she'll sort of show up again. And with the recently announced BB-8 meet and greet coming to DHS, I'm definitely taking that medal to WDW for Dark Side. Does it mean I'm crazy if I "plan" out character photos for after a race?

    My son participated in Jedi Training at WDW with the Trials of the Temple. He was so excited to fight Vader, and was in the right line too, but kids were taking too long so they moved him down to 7th Sister. I was impressed that he didn't have a total meltdown over it. But at least he watches Rebels and knew who she was. I miss Maul! But other than that we enjoyed watching the show (and he watched at DL vs. participating) and he had a fun time in the show at WDW.
    I so wish I could do Jedi Training Academy. I guess I'll have to settle for that time when Darth Goofy struck me down with my own lightsaber when I was in my Jedi robes during the 24 hour party at Disneyland in 2014.
     
  • Ariel484

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2011
    The irony is I would break the belt clip on my lightsaber later on in the race and had to buy a new one. My little sister ran the half the next day, so she'll sort of show up again. And with the recently announced BB-8 meet and greet coming to DHS, I'm definitely taking that medal to WDW for Dark Side. Does it mean I'm crazy if I "plan" out character photos for after a race?
    No, of course not!...


    ...granted, I do the same thing, soooo...consider the source here! :rotfl2:
     

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    Joined
    May 15, 2008
    No, of course not!...


    ...granted, I do the same thing, soooo...consider the source here! :rotfl2:
    Oh good, that means we're all crazy. But many of my family members often tell me that I am crazy because I pay to run. Sometimes during my longer runs, I remind myself that it will feel really good to walk around Disneyland or Disney World with the medals after finishing and get those medal photos. I learned of a cool one that I'll share during the 1/2 report and will actually first get to try in Disney World. I had already left Disneyland when I discovered this.
     

    MommyLove

    A local now with APs for 2019
    Joined
    Jul 21, 2008
    What an awesome report! Thank you for taking the time to share it and the photos too. My first runDisney event will be Tinkerbell in May (DD17 and I doing the 10K) and I'm thinking about doing the SW Light Side in January (I can't believe sign ups are so early for it!) so it was great to read this and get a good feel for it.

    I remind myself that it will feel really good to walk around Disneyland or Disney World with the medals after finishing and get those medal photos. I learned of a cool one that I'll share during the 1/2 report and will actually first get to try in Disney World. I had already left Disneyland when I discovered this.
    We definitely plan to wear our medals in Disneyland after the race. Probably our running costumes too, lol. Watching your thread.
     

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    Joined
    May 15, 2008
    What an awesome report! Thank you for taking the time to share it and the photos too. My first runDisney event will be Tinkerbell in May (DD17 and I doing the 10K) and I'm thinking about doing the SW Light Side in January (I can't believe sign ups are so early for it!) so it was great to read this and get a good feel for it.



    We definitely plan to wear our medals in Disneyland after the race. Probably our running costumes too, lol. Watching your thread.
    Good luck on your upcoming 10K. And yes, wear your medals. I would never have signed up for this if not for other runners who wore their medals and then listened to my questions and reassured me that the required pace was possible.
     

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    Joined
    May 15, 2008
    A brief update of sorts from me. Professional life has taken its toll on my training journal, but the training has as planned. There will be a race report from the Star Wars Half The Light Side in May along with Dark Side reports as well. But now for the next great challenge my training faces. Thankfully, it's a question of not finding the time to get in a last long run before the race instead of injury or anything like that.

    So here's my question and I appreciate any advice and thoughts anyone wants to share.

    So here's my challenge. Beginning on Monday, I will be working at least 12 hours a day Monday through Saturday and this work schedule will continue through April 18th. Suffice it to say that makes fitting in the scheduled 14 mile run extremely difficult next week since Sunday does not work for me. Waking up really early also doesn't work because I need to be as rested as possible to handle the increased workload the next few weeks. The goal here is to finish. Time doesn't matter so long as it qualifies to complete the Kessel Run.

    For background purposes, I have not missed a single scheduled run since I resumed Dark Side training following a slightly relaxed schedule for 2 weeks following the Rebel Challenge. This includes all back to back training sessions outlined by the Galloway plan for the Dark Side Challenge. My last long run was 12.5 miles on March 25th. What I'm trying to determine is how many miles I need to run for the last long run before the taper begins to not compromise my ability to finish the Dark Side Challenge. I'm averaging roughly 14 minutes 16 seconds per mile consistently.

    Here are the options I'm considering that do not involve a 14 mile run next week. Please chime in with any thoughts as to what risk is entailed with these options. Also note that all the maintenance runs of 30-45 minutes recommended by Galloway will occur. I do not know if I will be able to get any runs in the week of the race due to my work schedule and travel to Orlando. But this doesn't worry me a whole lot since I would be tapering then anyways.
    1. Long run of 12.5 miles on March 25th will be my final long run before the Dark Side Half on April 23rd. How much distance capacity will I lose if my final long run is roughly one month before the half? While this option would be simplest for my life, I also don't want to risk putting all the time and effort I've put into training for this over the past 2 years to waste by skipping out on a long run.
    2. 5 mile run on Thursday April 6th and an 8 mile run on Friday April 7th. The benefit of this plan is that I keep some semblance of the back to back run, and have a more manageable distance in terms of how long it will take to run set against my substantially higher workload through April 18th.
    3. 5 mile run on Thursday April 6th and 10-12 mile run depending on Friday April 7th. This keeps me close to race distance 2 weeks before the race. Drawback is the time it takes to put in these miles.
    So if I run 8 miles 2 weeks before the race with a longest run of 12.5 miles a month before the race, what kind of negative impact will that have on the endurance I have built up to this point in my efforts to finish Dark Side? I appreciate any thoughts or alternative suggestions to my tenative plans.
     

    TCB in FLA

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 3, 2006
    I'm no expert by any stretch, but I would go with either option 2 or 3. I think at this point, it's about keeping the momentum of long runs every other week, esp the back-to-backs.
    I'm following the same training plan, ran a local half instead of the suggested 11 on 3/12, then had to cut a planned 10 to just 8.5 on 3/24 due to knee/hamstring issues. I'm hoping to do 5 / 8-10 combo next weekend, totally babying the injuries (no hills!). I'm also working with a running PT, who reminded me that I could do elliptical or spinning workouts as alternatives.
    Great job of keeping up with the training during the increased job load!
     

    DopeyBadger

    Imagathoner
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2015
    A brief update of sorts from me. Professional life has taken its toll on my training journal, but the training has as planned. There will be a race report from the Star Wars Half The Light Side in May along with Dark Side reports as well. But now for the next great challenge my training faces. Thankfully, it's a question of not finding the time to get in a last long run before the race instead of injury or anything like that.

    So here's my question and I appreciate any advice and thoughts anyone wants to share.

    So here's my challenge. Beginning on Monday, I will be working at least 12 hours a day Monday through Saturday and this work schedule will continue through April 18th. Suffice it to say that makes fitting in the scheduled 14 mile run extremely difficult next week since Sunday does not work for me. Waking up really early also doesn't work because I need to be as rested as possible to handle the increased workload the next few weeks. The goal here is to finish. Time doesn't matter so long as it qualifies to complete the Kessel Run.

    For background purposes, I have not missed a single scheduled run since I resumed Dark Side training following a slightly relaxed schedule for 2 weeks following the Rebel Challenge. This includes all back to back training sessions outlined by the Galloway plan for the Dark Side Challenge. My last long run was 12.5 miles on March 25th. What I'm trying to determine is how many miles I need to run for the last long run before the taper begins to not compromise my ability to finish the Dark Side Challenge. I'm averaging roughly 14 minutes 16 seconds per mile consistently.

    Here are the options I'm considering that do not involve a 14 mile run next week. Please chime in with any thoughts as to what risk is entailed with these options. Also note that all the maintenance runs of 30-45 minutes recommended by Galloway will occur. I do not know if I will be able to get any runs in the week of the race due to my work schedule and travel to Orlando. But this doesn't worry me a whole lot since I would be tapering then anyways.
    1. Long run of 12.5 miles on March 25th will be my final long run before the Dark Side Half on April 23rd. How much distance capacity will I lose if my final long run is roughly one month before the half? While this option would be simplest for my life, I also don't want to risk putting all the time and effort I've put into training for this over the past 2 years to waste by skipping out on a long run.
    2. 5 mile run on Thursday April 6th and an 8 mile run on Friday April 7th. The benefit of this plan is that I keep some semblance of the back to back run, and have a more manageable distance in terms of how long it will take to run set against my substantially higher workload through April 18th.
    3. 5 mile run on Thursday April 6th and 10-12 mile run depending on Friday April 7th. This keeps me close to race distance 2 weeks before the race. Drawback is the time it takes to put in these miles.
    So if I run 8 miles 2 weeks before the race with a longest run of 12.5 miles a month before the race, what kind of negative impact will that have on the endurance I have built up to this point in my efforts to finish Dark Side? I appreciate any thoughts or alternative suggestions to my tenative plans.
    I'd go with option 2 for sure. You aren't at risk for not finishing with a long run pace of 14 minutes. The movement of your long run from 14 miles to 8 miles will be negligible to your fitness. No one single run will make or break your endurance, rather it is the cumulative effect of the training. You could conceivably (not suggesting you do it) not run at all between now and Dark Side (~21 days) and would lose about 12% fitness (thus your 14:16 min/mile would be a 15:59 min/mile). Especially because of the extra work, extra stress (?), and maybe loss of some sleep (?) that choice 2 is the best.
     

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    Joined
    May 15, 2008
    I'm no expert by any stretch, but I would go with either option 2 or 3. I think at this point, it's about keeping the momentum of long runs every other week, esp the back-to-backs.
    I'm following the same training plan, ran a local half instead of the suggested 11 on 3/12, then had to cut a planned 10 to just 8.5 on 3/24 due to knee/hamstring issues. I'm hoping to do 5 / 8-10 combo next weekend, totally babying the injuries (no hills!). I'm also working with a running PT, who reminded me that I could do elliptical or spinning workouts as alternatives.
    Great job of keeping up with the training during the increased job load!
    I hope your recovery continues and that you're able to run your race as planned. In a sense I've been training for this very race for 2 years. Because of the fixed nature of the tax filing deadline and the announcement from runDisney that the 2017 Dark Side races would be immediately after this deadline instead of during it, I mock trained for it last year to see how I handled the challenge of training during this time of year especially the last few weeks of training set against the increased work of the deadline.

    I'd go with option 2 for sure. You aren't at risk for not finishing with a long run pace of 14 minutes. The movement of your long run from 14 miles to 8 miles will be negligible to your fitness. No one single run will make or break your endurance, rather it is the cumulative effect of the training. You could conceivably (not suggesting you do it) not run at all between now and Dark Side (~21 days) and would lose about 12% fitness (thus your 14:16 min/mile would be a 15:59 min/mile). Especially because of the extra work, extra stress (?), and maybe loss of some sleep (?) that choice 2 is the best.
    While you've told me what I wanted to hear, you've also explained why the idea that appealed most to me will work. Definitely not going to take running off these next 3 weeks. There's also a huge work deadline in October and in prior years, I actually took the two weeks off leading up to that deadline believing that there was enough time before the race to recover my fitness. While I have successfully completed the first long run back after the two weeks off, those were in many respects more difficult than the longest runs. While not ideal, I know that I can handle training and 12 hour work days. I will enjoy the races a lot more if they are the culmination of all the training instead of trying to survive after all the training.

    The 8 mile run appeals to me the most because it's the training distance that is long enough to be challenging, yet short enough to not require time that I simply do not have right now. It may even mean that I don't have to miss any work at all or an hour at worst.

    I really appreciate all the input I've received from others. I am a better runner and more confident because I've learned that even though I've never met so many on these boards in real life, so many have welcomed me into this community and offered their experiences and expertise. 6 years ago in the lead up to my very first half, I was actually terrified to share my struggles and failures at training because I feared that someone would tell me to expect the worst. Now I've come to understand that had I done so, I wouldn't have felt so alone and scared in those long months. Back then I used to half seriously quote Lt. Worf from Star Trek The Next Generation. "Today is a good day to die." Or train/run a half marathon. While I still may quote it occasionally to make me laugh, there's a lot more humor in it now. Besides that I've come to find that Admiral Ackbar is right. "It's a trap!!!" Because that first race, which less than one mile in was shaping up to be my last race ever instead turned into more races and multi race challenge events.
     

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    Joined
    May 15, 2008
    I promise I haven't forgotten about this. It's just that between settling back into real life and recovering from Disney World and working on getting my Memory Maker photos taken care of, my race report has taken a bit of a back seat. It will come.

    Meanwhile, I'm happy to report here that I did indeed successfully finish the Dark Side Challenge which also means the Kessel Run and 10th Anniversary Coast to Coast medal. My times were terrible. Technically, I finished the 10K just behind the balloon ladies and a bit over the 1:40 mark, but still well ahead of the sweep point. And for whatever reason, photo op lines were actually doable at Dark Side even for a slow runner like me so I got lots of photos that I'm still excited about and will share in my race report.

    The half also went great. I finished it in 3:27, which makes it my slowest half ever, but also I got a lot of photos that I didn't get the day before, so I'm happy about that. In some respects the slower my race, the more fun I had. While I felt the heat during the half, it was nowhere near as bad as I feared. Maybe I was expecting the oppressive temperatures that dominated the 2012 Tower of Terror 10 miler. It was certainly hot, but not close to what I feared.

    I took last week off altogether. I think my body needed some time off after the rigors of a challenge event followed by 5 days in the parks. I would likely take this week off too, but I have to go out of town for a work seminar next week so I may do some light walking just to keep a modicum of my fitness up before resuming in a couple of weeks.

    At this point, the big question I'm pondering in my running life comes from Tangled. What's my new dream? For 2 years, I've been preparing for this Kessel Run. And now it's over. The finality of it is almost depressing. At least I have the 2018 Star Wars Half Marathon weekend at Disneyland to look forward to. And honestly, I'm tempted to sign up for either the Disneyland Half or Superheroes Half. Part of me wants an excuse to wear a Coast to Coast medal around Disneyland when it's normal to do so. If I do sign up for one of those races, I think I'll skip the challenge element of it. While I enjoy the challenges, they really do alter and define a race weekend.

    The other possibility I'm giving serious consideration to is how to increase my speed and run more. In the past whenever I've tried to increase speed, I immediately felt pain from the increase in speed. Not wanting to risk the Kessel Run and knowing that my slow pace would be sufficient to finish, I didn't worry about it. But now, I have time to experiment with speed before race training resumes. Plus, if I can actually run faster and get into a better corral, that gives me more time to play at Star Wars races. My last 2 Star Wars races in Disneyland were just over 3:06 and that includes some photo stops. So under 3 just might be possible.
     


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