Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wine&Dine Half Marathon Relay - Fun Run

At the end of the month I’ll be heading down to Walt Disney World for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon relay with my mom. It’s an annual tradition of ours to go to Disney World, and since 2007, we’ve been going over Marathon Weekend. My first half marathon was the ’07 race. The following year I completed the full. In 2009, I completed the Goofy Challenge and my mom completed her first half marathon there. We took 2010 off and returned last year to again do the half together. I walked the full marathon the next day with my friend Chris.

Because this year I will be coaching the West Side TNT group through the half, full and Goofy challenge races, my Mom and I decided to go for a shorter trip in Sept/Oct and do the relay together. With my lack of strict focus on running these days, and her busy work schedule, neither of us felt it necessary to run the whole 13.1. So we signed up for the relay on Sunday night, and I also signed up for the 5K on Saturday morning.

Halloween 5K Map

Half Marathon Relay

As you can see, the courses at Disney are full of magic – through the parks, past the attractions and among the cast of characters who line the streets to cheer you along. I love the Walt Disney World races in particular because they draw such a diverse crowd. Whereas in trail running, you get a lot of “runners” and “endurance junkies”, Disney races tend to bring together people who just want to have fun and enjoy the sport. The “third wave” of marathoners, as The Penguin calls it.

For years there has been controversy over whether a runner is truly “a runner” based on his or her time. There was even a New York Times article a couple years ago that chided anyone finished a marathon in 5hrs or more.

Having coached some amazing people who finish 26.2 in +5 hours, having run with my mother, who in her late 50s completed her first 13.1, and having refocused the philosophy of my life on “the discipline of slowing down” I think what Disney offers (for a price, no doubt), is a wonderful addition to the endurance world.

Suffice to say, I’m ready for this running vacation!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back to (Iron) Life

Over the course of next couple days, I'll recap where I've been and what I've been up to during my nine-month absence from the blogging world. Short story of it all is that I just had to scale back my focus on endurance, and channel that energy into focusing on the rest of my life - what it means to be balanced, happy and healthy.

I got a new job, moved to a very different part of Los Angeles, met a whole bunch of new people, and really focused on getting outside of my comfort zone and opening myself up to the world. It has been worth the effort. My time away from "competing" has sacrificed a couple seconds off my mile time. But it is worth the calm, serenity and spirituality I never thought I would find, but did.

But now I'm back!!! I'm coaching the 2011 Winter TNT season with a wonderful co-coach and two amazing assistants. We are training our participants for the 2011 Santa Barbara International Half Marathon, the Honolulu Full Marathon and the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend, including the half, full and Goofy races.

Personally, I've got a challenge on the books for next year. Only 348 days until IRONMAN CANADA.

I've signed up to do the race with the Greater LA IronTeam because, frankly, training for an Ironman alone was very tough on me. And I want to meet some new people. So why not spend 10-20 hours a week with some charitable crazies?

Training begins in November.