Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trip Report and Training Update

We went to WDW Oct. 11-17 and had a great time. I was able to do three 3-mile training runs with my good friend Gordon from Running to Disney. Both of our families were staying at Pop Century, so it was a cinch to get together and go for some quick runs. Of course, I needed to get up at 5:30 three mornings on my vacation, but well worth it. Good company and good conversation on a run make up for the early mornings. We were down during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, too, which is always a good time. I had heard a couple of reports on various podcasts about the food kiosks, so I knew what I wanted to try, both because I'd heard they had good food and because I'd heard the food was less than optimal (non pun intended, sometimes I'm a glutton for punishment!). The rice pancake at China was indeed not that great. The beef spareribs in mashed potatoes at France were awesome! We learned a few lessons on this trip, too.

First lesson, the days of not planning what we'll do on a given day are pretty much over. We found out we need to have at least a general idea of which parks we're going to and when we need to try to take a break. Our son is starting to want to ride certain rides at the parks and we have to make sure we're getting those parks in at least once during the trip. Also, the pool is popular with him, but we have to make sure we allow enough time before bedtime for him to be able to play long enough.

Second lesson, character meals are starting to be a favorite for our son (and his parents)! We did Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary for breakfast and it was a lot of fun. The characters interact very well (as expected) and the food is pretty darn good, too. We will probably make sure we do at least one character meal each trip now.

Third lesson, sometime our son needs to just play - anywhere that is practical. He likes to have time to play either with us or by himself, but with us in close proximity. I think we'll be okay in January, because for the last three years, we've let our son play while we went to packet pick-up at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex. There's plenty of space to run around and he should be fine. We'll still make time each day, but that play time at the expo and packet pick-up is really great.

Training update: I've been able to run outside more than once each week so far, much better than last year, when I was only doing the long run outside by now. I've felt faster and I've lost 10.5 pounds since late July. I'm also amazed how much of a difference not being stressed out by a job I didn't like or trying to find a job has made. I haven't even stressed about the weather on the long runs, which i've done the last three years. Of course, it's really helped that, so far, I've had great to decent weather for the long runs. I'm hoping to lose more weight and get a little faster so that come January, I'll feel really good about my preparation.

More to come as I try to get more regular with my posts.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Quick note before our trip

Ran 12 miles this morning, which isn’t bad anymore, but we had a light dusting of snow last night. It was a bit chilly this morning, the wind was just strong enough to provide somewhat of a wind chill. After four years of training for the WDW Marathon in the fall and winter, the weather was not a problem, especially since I saw the sun rise, which made the run that much nicer. I’ve been more free-form with my routes, too. The Garmin keeps me updated on my miles, so I don’t worry too much about where I’m going. I know the area I run in well enough to be able to change the route on the fly, which is definitely a nice change of scenery.

While I was running this morning, I listened my good friend Gordon Harvey’s
Running to Disney podcast. He has a new episode that he uploaded yesterday before hitting the road to go to WDW for the week. He had a great interview with Lou Mongello of WDWRadio fame and Gordon also kindly mentioned this blog (which is giving me the impetus I needed to post much more often now!). Gordon’s a great guy and I’m excited to have the opportunity to meet up with his family and him next week while my family is at WDW. In fact, Gordon and I are staying at Pop Century and are planning to go for a run around the resort one morning (early, I suspect, so we can get to the parks!). I hope to have a trip report when we get back and until then, thanks to everyone who reads this blog and, if this is your first time reading it, welcome!

Monday, October 5, 2009

October is a good month

Marathon training continues. I’ve been able to get outside more the last few weeks, which is always good. I’ve also started eating better again and I’ve lost 7 pounds since early August. Not great, but a steady loss is best for me so I don’t feel deprived and end up snacking or slipping backwards into bad eating habits. I have found I have gained speed (not much, but still an improvement) and I seem to be enjoying my training again. For a while it was not fun to run, but a duty, a chore to check off the to-do list. Now I get excited about running outside, even in the drizzle like last Saturday morning.

Next week we’ll be in WDW and I plan on running at least twice, if not three times, while we are down there. We’re staying at Pop Century and I’ve run there several times before. If you run around the outside of the resort, which is a loop of Memory Lane (the back walkway by Hourglass Lake), the outside of the parking lots and part of Century Drive, and then along the bus stop side of Classic Hall, it’s about 3.5 miles. I’ll do that loop twice two days we’re there and possibly once one other day. I’ll walk around the parks enough to be able to indulge a bit at the Food and Wine Festival booths at Epcot, so I’m not too worried about that. We’ll have a great time as usual.