Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Running at Walt Disney World

Last week, my wife, 5-year-old son, and I went to WDW for our annual October trip (this is obviously not the same trip at marathon weekend in January, so yes, we go twice a year). While we were there, my good friend Gordon and his family were there, too. Since we were staying at the same resort, Pop Century, we decided to go running a couple of mornings. So at 5:30 on Tuesday and Thursday, we set out on 8 mile runs. We ran around Pop Century and ventured out onto the access road to take a back way into the Caribbean Beach resort and ran around that huge resort a couple of times before heading back to Pop. Both runs were great, good paces for both of us. Gordon is training for a marathon in mid-November (as well as Goofy in January) and I didn't want to disrupt his training. He was able to do a recovery-type week of training, though, so a couple of runs would fit into our different pacing. I thought the runs would stretch me a bit, but oddly it didn't as much as I thought it would. To me that means one thing - I can go faster in training and in races, but I'm not. I'm not sure why I'm not pushing myself as much as I could. I certainly don't want to re-injure myself, but I feel I could go faster longer.

So I've decided to take a page from Gordon's training (with his approval, of course) and do workouts similar to his workouts, rather than the same basic training I've done the last four years for the Disney marathons. I can, and will, push harder. Carefully, to be sure, but still extending the comfort zone to become faster for longer distance, training to be able to dig deep for the reserves I'll build up when I need them coming out of Animal Kingdom and facing a 6-7 mile stretch of boring flat roads and two themes all compressed at the end of the marathon course.

Tempo, distance, endurance, speed all will be my focus for the next eleven weeks. Those ideas and core work, something I've sorely neglected in past years. With my weight loss (down to 179 lbs. last weight check before we left on vacation), I should be taking advantage of the opportunity to keep losing more weight and getting stronger at the same time. I can, and will do these things, as I have goals beyond the 2011 WDW Marathon weekend and they involve a little race in a town called Boston before I turn 50 years old. I've got 5 years, I can do it. I will do it.