2016 was a busy year - in total, I ran eight races. While four of them were all in one weekend for Disney’s Dopey Challenge, it was still a lot of early mornings for me. For 2017, I am going to scale things back a bit - which really just means removing the one racing weekend.
Posts in "Exactly One Hobby"
When you have children, you can have exactly one hobby. Anything else is an exercise in futility, self-deception, and ineffectiveness. Cooking healthy food is a hobby. Exercising is a hobby. Maintaining a website is a hobby. Writing a blog is a hobby. Bringing work home is a hobby.I wrote more about this in the post titled Exactly One Hobby, and all of my running posts are gathered under this category.
For the fourth year in a row, on Columbus Day weekend, I have completed the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Previous years have culminated in mixed results, both by the clock and in my own experience. 2013’s marathon was a disaster in both time and how I felt during the race, but provided me with invaluable experience and a drive to do better. By the time the 2014 Chicago Marathon came around, I had taken up speed training with Coach Leach, focussed a little more on my running form, and put together a strong showing at the 2014 F3 Half Marathon. However, during last year’s race, I had set unrealistic expectations, especially while trying to run with a sore back. 2015 was not a good year for me, overall - but I was determined to turn things around for 2016.
The Dopy Challenge is a four day event at Walt Disney World Resorts.
- Thursday - Pluto’s 5k
- Friday - Minnie’s 10k
- Saturday - Donald Duck’s Half Marathon
- Sunday - Mickey Mouse’s Marathon
In completing the Half Marathon and full Marathon, Dopey Challenge participants also satisfy the requirements for the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge. This results in six medals, six t-shirts, and four extremely early mornings. I had a lot of fun doing the events, but once is certainly enough for me. It was a unique tour of the parks, getting to run through two for the half marathon and all four for the full marathon; however, circling Epcot two additional times for the 5k and 10k made the final return trip at the end of the marathon torturous. Getting up at 3:45 for four mornings in a row put a huge damper on enjoying the rest of the trip. Combine that with the overall cost, and I cannot see myself doing the challenge again; however, I would consider doing the Goofy Challenge, again.
A friend forwarded me an article from Runner’s World (written by editors at Men’s Health) titled “8 True Tests of Your Overall Fitness”. The article describes the test, drones on about the author’s experiences, and then gives some helpful tips on how to meet the test objectives. I wanted a quick chart that I could easily reference, so I’ll just post it here. The 30 pound dumbbells and 315 pound deadlift assumes 200 pound body weight.
All of my other marathon posts seem to have the “three parts” theme going, so it probably fits for this writing. On the second of May, I ran the Wisconsin Marathon in Kenosha. It is combined with a half-marathon, and a delayed start 5k. I had a terrible experience, but I came away with some fantastic personal post-race analysis.
For any serious runner, looking through training plans inevitably leads to the discovery that they all want you to do hill repeats. Hal Higdon (basically the godfather of running in Chicago), recommends that hills be a quarter-mile or longer. If you have never been to Chicago, allow me to clue you in - the city is flat. The largest and longest “hills” we have are the on and off ramps for the expressways. Finding long stretches of elevation are difficult, and I cannot think of any that are a full quarter-mile long. However, here are a couple of spots that I have found that make for at least a somewhat noticeable incline.
It has been almost over ten years since I last bought a backpack1, and now I need a new one. My three primary use cases are while commuting on a Divvy bike, riding on my motorcycle, and generally walking around. It needs to be comfortable and secure in all three scenarios. Other requirements (in no particular order):
Initially, the following was the opening paragraph of this post - but I decided in editing that it really had no purpose for a reader coming into this post. But since I wrote it, I decided to leave it here in case someone actually cares why I need a new backpack._ ↩
About nine months ago, Divvy bike sharing program went live in Chicago. I was thrilled with the concept of it from the initial launch, and was excited to see it quickly expand throughout the city*. Over the winter, I learned of the corporate memberships that they offer. The simplest of which was a one-time $100 start-up fee, and all employees then received $10 off of annual memberships.
I crossed the start line. I crossed the finish line. 04:41:59 elapsed between those two.
Three Hours, Five Minutes, Zero Seconds or less. For a male, 34 years or younger on race day, 3:05:00 is the qualifying time to register for the Boston Marathon. In all practicality, it will probably take a sub-3 hour marathon to actually get to run the race. The more I read about the Chicago Marathon, the more I discovered all about the running community, worldwide events, legendary runners, support organizations, fundraising, charity drives, and the Marathon Majors. How wonderful would it be to run a marathon in Chicago, Berlin, Boston, London, New York, and Tokyo! That meant I had to qualify for Boston, which means a sub-3:00:00 marathon. That’s not going to happen my first time out, so I’m settling for sub-4:00:00 finish.
Everything in threes, but before the third comes the second and after one comes number two. As a logical extension to my first goal of crossing the start line, my second goal is to cross the finish line. It sounds like a simple goal, going hand in hand with the motto of “finish what you start.” However, a lot can happen in 26 miles and 385 yards.