Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ponderings on A Rainy 20 (plus) Miler

-by Patrick Alcasid

Last Saturday, while tens of thousands were preparing for the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon, I had my last long run before my taper, in preparation for the 2014 Philadelphia Marathon, which, at the time of this writing, is two short weeks away.  (wow!).

My plan had scheduled me for a 23 mile run last weekend.  But, there was one little uncontrollable detail about that Saturday --

It was raining. 
and wet.
and cold.
and it would not let up.

I have run in the rain before, I remember one of my first runs ever was a 2 miler along the Point Pleasant Beach Boardwalk, back when I was doing the Couch to 5K program. Back then I wore my mickey mouse anorak poncho jacket, gym shorts, and tennis shoes, and run-walking along out in the rain I felt "DEDICATED."  Flash forward three years later and I'm wearing a Nike Storm Fit hooded rain running jacket, running cap, dry fit shirt and shorts, Nike elite socks, and Hoka Conquest shoes, and ready to embark on a 4 hour long run in the soaking rain and I felt "CRAZY."

It was wet.  I hate the wet.  It was cold.  I hate the cold.  I was considering doing it all in the gym, but I sucked it up, told myself it would good for the experience and the training, and headed down to the Manasquan Reservoir and did a cold and wet (soaking to the underwear wet) 21 miler.

Along the way, I did have some observations about running in the rain.
In no particular order:

1. You WILL get wet -- so get over it.


Well, duh, it's raining, of course you're going to get wet.  No, I mean you are going to get soaked.  I don't know why I was in such denial about getting wet.  I read the tips about not overdressing (so you don't have too many soaking heavy clothes), and using dry fit wicking material for clothes.  Well, yeah, I did all that, but I didn't realize how wet I would be:

SOAKED.  hair soaked.  skin soaked.  underwear and socks soaked.  Yes even with my Nike Storm Fit jacket.

Now, it was a moderate rain, but continuous.  But even with a light rain, if you're out there for hours, prepare to feel like you jumped into a lake.   Interestingly, my Hoka Conquests boast some "water drainage system" or something or other in the sole to help with puddles and wet conditions.  ooohhhhkayyy ... but no.  I tried to avoid some puddles (don't do that by the way, it's no use), but within the first mile I was "squish squish" squishing with every step.  I HATE that.  But I got over it, and marched on, for the sake of training.   By the end I was actually embracing the puddles.

credit samwinebaum

2. You might slow down --  and that's ok.

The rain, the ducking down to get the water out of my eyes, the constantly adjusting my wet earbuds or hood ties, the wet ground, the futility of  trying to avoid puddle -- all slowed down my pace.  And that's ok.  After all, this was a long run that I was to do at conversational pace.  I tried to run "by feel," but it just felt wet.  So onward I went, and overall felt great afterwards, probably thanks to the slow easy pace.  Gave me a chance to think of this blog post anyway.

3. It will strengthen you mentally.

The hardest part of running is just getting out the door.

Running in the rain is no exception.  As the raindrops were beating down on my windshield on the drive down to the reservoir, I though seriously about turning around and just going to the gym, or going home. BUT NO.  But I forced myself to drive there, step out of the car, and run.

The Manasquan Reservoir is a 5.1 mile loop, after each loop I would go to my car, sit inside for a bit of shelter, and food, and drink.  Every time I did that I was tempted to drive away.  BUT NO, I forced myself to get out again and again to run.

On my final loop, more than once I thought about just turning around and getting into the car to go home.  "15 miles was enough, I can do another 5 or so later in the gym."  BUT NO, I forced myself to keep going. 

I'm hoping these mental challenges will make future ones easier, like when I'm at the half way point of the Philadelphia Marathon, where the half marathoners split off and finish, and where you start the out and back ... where you see the faster runners coming home, and you still have a long way to go.  
What doesn't kill you make you stronger.  (yes that's a Kelly Clarkson reference. :) )

4. You're not the only crazy one!

There were plenty of dry-fit, rain jacketed-hooded runners splashing around the loop and trails on that rainy day. Most, if not all, gave a wave a knowing smile.  Camaraderie means no judgments, because we're all crazy.

5. I hate the outdoors -- except when I'm running outside.

I'm not the camping type.  I'm not the fishing and hunting type.  I'll take a nice, sleek, luxury plush hotel over a tent.  I hate the rain, I hate having to run from the car to the door of the mall if it's raining.  But after running outside in the rain, I fooled my brain into enjoying it.  Kinda.  No really, I'm glad I did it.

6. Wet trails are a nice soft surface.

As many of you might know, I enduring multiple running-related injuries including stress fractures, due what we now found out was severe osteoporosis.  My impact-averse bones actually enjoy trails, and the mud just made it softer.  Again, the soft surface plus a slower pace made me feel quite comfortable at the end of the run.

7. Band Aid Waterproof Tough Strips are friggin awesome.

Without going into gory details, a few days before this long run my dermatologist took a skin biopsy from the bottom of the foot (perfect site while training for a marathon!).  Doctor said I could run on it if it wasn't draining, but it was sore and it felt weird.  Well, I put some Polysporin on it, slapped a band aid waterproof tough strip on it, and reinforced it was nexcare first aid tape (probably didn't need that).  At the end of the 21 mile run, after peeling my soaked clothes off, the square of skin that the bandaid was on (and the wound) was THE cleanest thing on my body.  no dirt, no mud, no scratches.  and the wound looked great.

8. Beer never tasted so good.

A couple of weeks before this run I deprived myself of a Troegs Perpetual IPA that my brother in law had.  I only had a sip because it was the night before I ran the 2014 Hershey Half Marathon (see my post!).  But finishing the wettest (and one of the coldest) runs I've ever done, getting home, and getting everything off me, doing a ice-cold recovery soak, then shower, and change into sweats, I got to enjoy a surprise gift from my brother in law:

Ahhh .... now this is one of my favorite beers.  Deeeelicious.

So there you have it.  My observations from running in the rain.  I can't believe I stayed out that long.  21.3 wet miles in 4 something hours.  I still hate the wet.  I still hate the cold.  But I'm so glad I did this run, and did this outside.  Would I do a run this long outside in a downpour again?  Ask me later. I'm in my taper now.  Don't want to think about "embracing" this again:

Friday, October 24, 2014

The 2014 Hershey HILLY Half Marathon

It has been a while since I've written here.  After completing the 2014 Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge, I feared that my enthusiasm for running would drop off.  For the most part, it didn't, as I want running healthy to be a lifelong goal and lifestyle.

I did run (run/walk) a few races since the Goofy Challenge:

2014 Atlantic City April Fools Half Marathon -- 2:14:41
Disney's Castaway Cay 5K -- click for my previous report
2014 Long Branch Half Marathon -- 2:13:00 PR!!

And this past weekend, on October 19, 2014:

The 2014 Hershey Half Marathon!  -- 2:15:57

I had planned this half marathon as part of my training toward the 2014 Philadelphia Marathon (about 5 weeks away, yikes!).  My training was going well, basically doing almost a minimalist training plan with only 2 short runs during the week, and one long run during the weekend (what I basically did for the Goofy), and wishful thinking of a ton of cross training.  Did I mention wishful thinking about the cross training?

There was a stretch of about two months that I got off course, and my overall motivation dipped a bit.  My family and I had gone to the Philippines for vacation ...

Mayon Volcano, at Cagsawa, Legaspi, Philippines

The Philippines was a supremely awesome time, but with all the visiting relatives, driving to see the sights, eating, drinking, and basically 90 degree humid weather, I didn't get much running in.
I tried running on the treadmill in the hotel (gotta convert km to miles!) but even the air conditioning there wasn't enough to keep me comfortable.

When we got back to good ol' New Jersey, I tried to jump start my training again with a 15 mile run around the Manasquan Reservoir, taking a 20 sec walk break after every mile:

credit to

credit to

credit to

The Manasquan Reservoir is a beautiful place, has a glorious 5.1 mile scenic easy trail loop, and is as of right now my favorite local place to run.

However, pain in my shins after the 15 mile run plus some loss of motivation led me to almost defer out of the Hershey Half Marathon.  But a couple of long runs later, the date crept up, and next thing we knew, my wife, my son, and I were packed up and were driving to Hershey, PA!

On the 3 hour drive there, my sister (also running the half) texted this pic:

Yup, that's a Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Martini!  We arrived, checked into the Hotel Hershey, dropped our bags in the room, and went over to the Harvest restaurant for said martini and some food ... I also had a delicious Troegs Hopknife (I didn't know Troegs was a Hershey-based brewery).

The next morning we headed to Hershey Arena for packet pickup and expo.
AT 10 minutes before 10am (the open of the arena), there was already a line outside the door waiting to get in.  Inside, the expo was small, with a few local vendors, the entire event sponsored by Capital Blue.  Plenty of free sample food, including bottles of iced tea, chocolate chip cookies, and sausage.

Packet pick up was smooth and straightforward, tables were clearly marked with letters corresponding to your last name.  After pickup there was a line to get a gear bag and to check your chip.  There was a separate section for Kids Fun Run registration.
Gear included a long sleeve tech shirt, and an average-quality drawstring bag with a few goodies and ads inside.

Afterwards we went on be tourists: chocolate world:

Hershey's Chocolate World was nice, "attractions" included a Disney-esque ride throught a "tour" of how chocolate was made, with a free KitKat at the end.  But basically a huge chocolate and souvenir shop (not that anything is wrong with that).
The best online review I read of chocolate world went something like ...

"Hundreds of people acting as if they've never bought candy before and will never have the chance again."


That evening was the Hershey's Kids Fun Run ...

Registration included a nice quality cotton T-shirt:

We expected some chaos for the kids fun run, but it was pretty well organized, as each age group was lined up along designated yard lines on the football field in Hersheypark Stadium and went off in waves towards a common finish line.

That night, we ate at Fenicci's of Hershey for some traditional night-before-the-race pasta loading. At the hotel I double and triple checked my gear, outfit, and pinned bib, and off to bed I went.

Couple gear notes:
Running in the Hoka Conquest.  I obsessed for a bit on what shoes to run in.  In training, I had used the Conquests for my long runs, and my Bondi B's for short runs.  But my long runs with the Conquests had been on trails, and my short runs with the B's were on road.  Now I was to run a long-run race on the road.  After realizing I was obsessing too much, I slapped myself and decided on the Conquest.
I was also wearing Zensah Ultra compression calf sleeves.  Wasn't a believer until probably a few weeks before the race when I tried them on for a long run and my shin pain was relieved.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Usual race-day excitement was my natural 4am alarm, and I fueled in stages.  Had a nature valley protein bar, banana, and water first.  Then after getting ready I had some Hawaiian sweet bread I picked up at Target (broke the rule of don't try anything new on race day, but it was goood), and some Belvita crackers (one of my new fave quick eats).  Took a swig of Gatorade, and I headed downstairs to meet my sister at the Cocoa Beanery.  (They have this Hershey's Cocoa Cafe -- you really can't go wrong with mixing hot chocolate and coffee).

We walked out the front door and the shuttle bus to the race was waiting.  I guess we could have technically walked as well, as the start was less than a mile away, but there was a bus.  Transportation was provided from The Hotel Hershey and The Hershey Lodge.  Parking is also free for runners and spectators. We were dropped off at Hersheypark stadium with maybe only about 6 other runners on the bus, but before 7am there were already thousands there.

Starting area:
The starting area was located in the parking lot outside the Hersheypark arena.  There was a designated and guarded "runners only" area, but the security was not at all as strict as the other races I've participated in, especially the Disney Races.

There was bag check if you needed.
There was pre-race water station or food station that I could see.
There were plenty of port-a-potties, enough for the amount of starters, but they were located in a weird area, lined up right along the starting corrals, so at the start the runners running and the runners still in line for the potties were bumping into each other!

TIP: to avoid port-a-potty congestion, go into the arena, there were PLENTY of public restrooms there, and very short lines for both men and women.

This was a "self-corral" race, with areas marked for expected pace, but no distinct lines/borders/fences between each.  My sister and I lined ourselves at the front of the "11/12/13 minute mile" corral, in time for the National Anthem.

Cloud, few drizzles at the start, 40sF.  Cold at the start, but I ditched my throwaway hoodie within the first minute of the start.

The Course:
Picturesque, countryside, "local" feel.  The first 5 miles or so took you around the Hersheypark Stadium and Arena areas and into and THROUGH Hersheypark.  I was really looking forward to this as it reminded me of running through the theme parks at Walt Disney World.

But after the park, you were on your own with the fields and countryside of Hershey, PA, for the rest of the race.

Honestly it was very pleasant.  We ran through and around The Milton Hershey School, the streets lined with groups of students for high fives.
We ran through a golf course, even ran on some grass for a bit.
But the star of the show was the HILLS.

Here's the course elevation chart:

There was some hype about the hills prerace, and yes they were definitely there, with relatively few flat areas in my memory, but overall the hills were enjoyable.  Even that stetch after mile 5-6 (see above), although a long hill, was manageable.  I took walk breaks, and tried to time my walks when going up hill, but nothing consistent.

Crowd/spectator support was good, and local, but not dense or crowded.  Less than Disney, much more than Atlantic City or Long Branch.

I saw my family at Mile 11 for some high fives, and shortly afterwards there was even a "Chocolate Station," where they handed out Hershey Chocolate Bars.  I was looking forward to it, but at mile 11 it wasn't pretty, my clumsy hands dropped the first bar when trying to unwrap it, and I was equally inept at stuffing a second bar into my mouth that I ended up coughing it out.

I wish there was a water station right after the chocolate station, but you still had to run a bit.

Volunteers and Water stops:
Excellent and plentiful.  There were plenty of volunteers directing runner traffic at turns.
There was a water and Gatorade stop every 2-3 miles.  When I heard about this I wasn't sure if it was going to be enough, but it was just fine.

Finish area:
Inside Hersheypark Stadium.  There was an expected crowd right after the finish line to pick up medals, heat sheets, and goodie bag, but at that point I felt great.

I ended up doing a negative split as planned:

First 5 miles at 11min or just below
Next 5 miles at 10:30 pace or below
Last 3.1 miles a 9:30 to below 10 min pace

Official time:  2:15:57.

Overall I'm happy and proud, given the dip of motivation and training, and the hills!
I felt great afterwords, and just stretch out on the 10 yard line waiting for my family.

Very good half marathon, I had lots of fun.  There were about 4,100 finishers, not too congested at all.  Support was good, the course was hilly but you get to run through Hersheypark!  And ... they give out chocolate!

Now, stay tuned, because my next goal is the Philadelphia Marathon!
credit runnerwithanappetite.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Running Outside -- running through my childhood

I love running outside! Today, after weeks and weeks or freezing cold Polar Vortex weather which forced me to run on treadmills, I ran outside today.  I ran around the Brick Reservoir, 9.41 miles at a nice 10:20 pace, and felt awesome.  I was reminded again of all my outside runs, and how much I love it.  

I took the above picture in December 2013, during one of my runs on the Wall Township Bike Path, which a nice 5 mile stretch of a traffic-free, mostly paved path from the historic and picturesque Allaire State Park and Village to Manasquan, where you can continue another 1.5 miles to Manasquan Beach.  (There are many more miles if you take the trails through Allaire Park and also a turn off in Wall Township to the Municipal Center).

I grew up about 3 miles from the beach.  Summers at the Jersey Shore (the rest of NJ says "down the shore," those of us actually on the shore don't) are busy and attract a lot of tourists -- and traffic.  So to get to the beach we would have to drive the 3 miles (occasionally bike), fight traffic, and then look for ever-elusive, impossible to find parking.  Winters were much better.  But I was always jealous of my friends and those I knew who lived right on the water, or at least walking distance to the beach, so they didn't have to deal with all of the to-do just to get there.

Enter my adult life, and running.  My wife, son, and I lived in a house 3 miles from the beach (not the exact house I grew up in, but close). Even from the beginning of my running days, I was so thrilled that I was finally able to run to the beach if I wanted to.  I would run to the beach and back as part of my regular route.  If my family wanted to go to the beach and boardwalk, we would still drive, but just knowing that I had the option to run there was great.

In the midst of my injury, we moved further away, but still close, 5 miles from the beach.  When I started to run again, the bike path was the site of my long runs.  What a beautiful path.  Not just for the nature, and the scenery, and serenity, and the lack of motor vehicles ... but it was actually a path through my childhood ...


(credit to pressofatlanticcity)

(credit to newjerseymemories)

(credit to allaire village)

Growing up, Allaire State Park and the Historic Allaire Village was one of the go-to class trip destinations.  It was also a great weekend or even afternoon retreat for our family.  You can walk through, have a picnic, explore the nature trails, see the preserved village, and even witness historical reenactments.  I remember specifically the blacksmith shop, and the general store.  I see the age, and some wear and tear, time has taken a toll on some of the buildings and foliage, but it's still beautiful, and a hidden gem.  And now I'm running through this village, a 40 year old man ... who's suddenly 8 years old again, running past the general store wondering what type of stick candy they have today.

(credit to fineartamerica)

A few miles later, through woods, and the field from the beginning of this post, with wildlife, including deer, you come to some civilization, the neighborhood of Allenwood.  The picture above is a historic picture of the Allenwood General Store, which is still there today, serving sandwiches, sodapop, and homemade ice cream.  I remember riding my bike here as a child with my friends, again getting candy.  And now, 30-something years later, as I run past it, I know I can always grab some hydration there during my long runs ...


(credit to main street gallery)

A few more miles, more woods, more neighborhoods, even passing behind Silton Swim School, a local institution where my dad, myself, and my son all learned how to swim ... then we hit the town of Manasquan.
Manasquan.  Ah, Manasquan.  Where to begin?  This is where I grew up.  This is my childhood.  Where I went to grade school, where I got skinned knees from riding my bike.  And this is Main Street, where I would skateboard with my friends when we thought we were cool.  It was your prototypical small town America.  Something we got to experience when we moved to the country from the city when I was 8 years old.  There was a time when our family knew pretty much everyone who owned every shop on Main Street, and I knew all the kids.  As I run through it now as an adult, I realize that the world has changed now, as has the town, but the Main Street Gallery above is owned by someone I graduated grade school with.


(credit to manasquan-nj)

So you run till you can't go anymore, and you have to turn around and go back -- when you hit Manasquan Beach, one of many beaches along the Jersey Shore ... but this one's another hidden gem.  No boardwalk, no rides, no vendors ... just locals, and local shops, and restaurants.  I run here now ... and realize ... as an adult, this is the site of my first official road race (since I enjoyed running), the 2012 Manasquan Midwinter Beach Run.  It is a small, local 2 mile run.  My first race.  But was my first step towards completing the 39.3 mile 2014 Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge.

And so we've come full circle.  When I run outside, I can run through my childhood, my past, and it helped me achieve my goals.  I love running outside!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

We are on the Everyday Runners Podcast!

I would like to sincerely thank Coach Matt Johnson, of Runner Academy for having me on the Everyday Runners podcast!

You can listen to it here:

I truly enjoyed our discussion, and I hope all of you do as well, as we recount our journey so far from couch to INJURY to recovery to completing the 2014 Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge!

Please check out Matt Johnson's website, Runner Academy as he's got two awesome podcasts with great running tips and stories, plus he's got a lot in store!

Thanks again!

Saturday, February 8, 2014


Coach Matt Johnson of Runner Academy (host of the Runner Academy podcast and Everday Runners podcast) asks,

"Everyone has their motivations for why they run, what gets you out the door?"

My answer is literally on the door.  My wife has a quote, looks like a cut out from a magazine, posted in this basket on the wall we see on the way out the door.
It says,

"Do something today that your future self will thank you for."

If you have trouble getting up in the morning to go for that run, just remember that you feeling you have after a run.  Keep that feeling of accomplishment in mind.  That awesome feeling you have after a run is much better than the feeling you have when you skip a run because you're so tired.

This applies to pretty much everything in life.

Go for that run today.  Your future self will thank you.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Thank you!

About one month ago at this time my family and I were getting ready to head down to Florida ... for the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon.  My son ran the 400m dash at the Disney Kids Races, my wife ran her first half, the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, and I achieved my goal of running the Goofy Challenge (half plus full marathon) after recovering from injuries, pretty much the point of this blog.

But this journey is by no means over!!

I was looking forward to recapping that whole weekend at some point here -- the Expo, the Kids Races, the Half Marathon, the Full Marathon, the rest of the magical vacation week with my big family.  I likely will someday.  But there is so much I want to say about it, and so much I want to relive, I may not be able to do the experience justice at this time.

For now I just want to say thank you.  Thank you for this experience.  Not just the training, and the race, the event, but for future experiences as well.  Thank you to my family for putting up with my weird schedules in "getting a run in" at odd times, time away from family.  Thank you for supporting me through my injuries as well.  I wasn't able to walk without assistance for over a year!!  Thank you to other runners -- other family members, cousins, friends, elites whom I have met and others whom I haven't --  who inspired me and kept me going, who, by accomplishing your own goals, motivated me to accomplish mine.  Thank you to my injuries -- yes, my injuries -- because of you, I learned about my osteoporosis, and allowed me to seek help from the talented physicians who put me on the right track to health.  Thank you to my naysayers, who told me, "you shouldn't run anymore" and "find another sport." -- you helped me prove you wrong. :)  Thank you for my patience, I did not know I had any, because of you I was able to realize that letting my body heal and not running for some time allowed me to run later, for longer.  Hopefully for life.  Thank you for my recovery.  You allowed me to train smart, and have a wonderful experience running that goal race.  Thank you for allowing me to swallow my pride and keep my ego in check, and accept that by running slower and running smarter, and yes, even walking, I could enjoy this pastime longer.  Thank you Walt Disney World.  It was because of you that I got into all of this!!

Thank you for now.  I am healthy now.  I have learned my lessons, and am continuing to learn.  And my journey -- and this blog -- is not complete.  This is a lifetime journey.  Every mile is magic.  Can't wait for my next run.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Here we go!

It hit me probably today.  In a few hours I'll be getting up to have pre-race nutrition, and with my family head to the start corrals so i can start the Goofy Challenge.  It really just hit me today that the time is now, and that i'm really here ... And it hasnt really hit me fully yet.  Past couple of days have been hectic -- and in a way, distracting -- so i haven't thought about it yet.  Packing, travelling, picking up our race packets, bibs, shirts, checking out the expo, meeting up with other family members who are running, awesome kids races today, eating, fueling ... Haven't had time to dwell on the actual running i'm about to do.

It's here.  The whole purpose and goal of this journey, is here.

Here we go.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


It's here.  After a few hours sleep, we'll be on our way to the airport then onto Orlando for the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.  Much of my family is there now.  I'm all packed, ready to go.

I can't wait.

In all the hustle and bustle and thinking about the running stuff -- expo, bibs, packets, waivers, buses, race, routes, recovery -- I pretty much overlooked the fact that we're going to Walt Disney World!  This is a vacation!!

Here we go.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

I can taste it ...

One week from this moment I will be with my friends and family, hopefully drinking a nice beer at Walt Disney World, celebrating the completion of the 2014 Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Obsessing, taper madness, and other stories

It's 2am, and I'm wide awake in my bed typing this.  Why am I awake?  Is it because it's snowing outside?  Well, snow is coming down, expected to accumulate up to 6 inches or more.  Cool how the snow just makes the night so bright ... even through the shades.  2am, I have to get up to go to work in 4 hours.  Nope, no snow day where I work.  So I should sleep.  I was hungry, so i had a 1am cup of Golden Grahams.

I am up because I am obsessing over next week's Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.  Tonight, I printed out my to-do list, made a couple last minute ADR's, and spent every minute after that checking the forums, the final race instructions, the course maps, the transportation maps, my schedule.  

Trying to decide about driving versus taking the bus to the star

We have to go early!! Would like to take the 3am bus to get there early and get settled, check bag, find port a pottie, find corral.  But my group suggested to drive so we can nap in the car.  Good idea, but there will be traffic, and detours, and road closures, and need to still walk to start, check bag, find port a pottie, find corral.  What about keeping bags in the car?  Well, we'll be finishing at different times, and who will carry that big ol' rental car key and keychain during the race??

We just have to get up at 2 am and leave by 3 to get to Epcot before the roads close and we hit traffic.

And my shin.  What's up with that?  Did an easy 5k yesterday and my shin's bothering me.  Paranoid!!!!  Then I read about taper madness.  Yup, I'm feeling it -- paranoia, obsession, phantom pains, rambling on and on in a blog!!

We still don't leave for another week.  Lots to do.  Work another week, for one. Haircut, pack, last minute shopping.  Figuring out how to get to the expo, hoping to get there in time to get our bibs and packets.  Wondering if we should have someone else pick them up just in case.  

Aaaaagh!! Is this really taper madness? Well, I was pacing more than usual in my office today.  Probably the back to back cups of coffee, plus that delicious cannoli cake the DME rep brought.

Oh geez 2:15am and I'm still --- nuts.


Friday -- work. Get in a 30-45 min run somewhere. Need a haircut.
Saturday -- my wife (doing the half) has to get a run in.  I should do laundry, and some forbidden last minute running gear shopping.  (Not supposed to get new gear for a race, but a sweatband or cap would be nice, preferable neon!  And my wife needs real shades.)
Sunday -- get my 7 mile run in.  And pack!
Monday -- work day plus night shift.
Tuesday -- work.  Finaliz stuff with my son's school about our vacation.  We should be fully packed by now except for last minute carryons and meds.  I should decide now if I should have someone pick up bibs! Check the weather forecast!!  Also i should decide about adding other drivers to my car rental.
Wednesday -- work and last minute stuff.  Check in for flight.
Thursday -- vacation baby!!  Now the marathon weekend stress really starts -- travel, expo, ... Would love to see Tara Gidus and Jeff Galloway speak ...

No really, in all this madness ... I step back ... And say thank you.  How grateful I am to be a part of this.  At some point this was hopeless; i was injured more than once, and running -- much less the Disney marathon -- was just a dream.  Now I am obsessing the minute details of running the 2014 Goofy Challenge.  It's coming.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!