What can I say? I love to run. I've run 4 full marathons and 6 halfs. But I love God more and I'm determined to run this race of life for Him to receive the ultimate prize of Heaven. I'd like to share my thoughts with you. You can agree or disagree. Comment or don't. You can read or not read. But it's here if you want it. Enjoy! .

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Where Have I Been? WDW!!


I need to apologize to all my fans. Ok, to the few people that read this. Ok, ok, the one person that happened to stumble upon this blog. Sorry, dude. I know I haven’t written in a while. The end of the school year was absolutely crazy and I found myself with no spare time to sit down and type the last couple of weeks. Any time that I did have was at night and I was so tired. I found myself having to get up super early every morning and I was just too tired to write anything. Plus, to be honest, I didn’t relaly have anything worthwhile to say so I would’ve been just rambling about something unimportant. But now that summer is here…..I’ll still be busy. It’s a full one. BUT, I will try to find time to keep this thing updated at least once a week. And at this very moment, I have several things to write about, the big one being Disney. We just got back. Disney 2010 is officially over. What follows is the report. What we did. What we saw. Blah Blah Blah. If you’re not interested, skip to the last paragraph for some running news. But if you are interested in all that Disney stuff, here’s what went down.

Our flight left at 8:30 last Wednesday morning. We got to the airport and caught the bus to our hotel. We stayed once again at the Sports. We love our All Star Sports. We were meeting Susan’s parents this time. They were driving to Daytona anyways for their annual trip and we asked them to join us a couple of days in Disney. What’s funny is our bus arrived at our hotel and the exact time their car arrived. I mean we literally saw them getting out of their car as we pulled in. What are the odds? We didn’t plan it at all. We checked in and had great rooms. Close to the main building. First floor. We were there by 1:00 Wednesday afternoon and so we had the whole afternoon to do whatever. We swam in the pool for a couple of hours and then caught a bus to the Animal Kingdom Lodge (via the Animal Kingdom park). We had reservations at Boma in the lodge. We loved it so much last time, we wanted to go again and let Susan’s parents experience it. It was great again. We got there a little early so we went out back to see the animals and search for hidden Mickey’s. Loved doing that again this time. Found some I had been looking years for as well as some of the same old favorites. The boys really got into it too.

The next morning, we were up waiting at the bus stop at 6:40 to catch the first bus to the Magic Kingdom. We got there a little after 7:00 and were the first ones at the turnstiles. The park would open at 8 for resort guests. We had a great day at the MK. It was hot as it would be every day. We were worried about crowds for this time of year and they were worse than in October when we’ve been going, but it was still manageable. We followed our regular plan and never waited longer than 25 min. the entire trip. We rode everything there that we wanted to ride, several things more than once. I got an amazing score on Buzz Lightyear. Wish I knew how I did it. My score just kept going up but I’m not sure what I was shooting. We rode the “new” Space Mountain. Seemed the same to me. We ate at the Crystal Palace that night. Great meal but I was not super hungry. The rest of the family decided to leave around 8:00. I wanted to stay for the fireworks. I hadn’t seen “Wishes” in a long time. When they left, I decided to ride a couple of things that we don’t usually do. I did the “Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor” and “Stitches Great Escape.”. The laugh floor was good, pretty funny. Stitch was terrible as I expected it to me. There is just nothing to that “ride”. But I’m glad I got to try both. It started raining right before the fireworks were to start so they did an abbreviated show. Bummer. Tinkerbell didn’t fly and the show was obviously shorter. But it was good anyways. I got back to the hotel around 11:15 and went to bed knowing I would be getting up in just a few hours for Epcot.

Epcot wasn’t an extra hour morning so we didn’t have to catch the bus until 7:30!! Wow – got to sleep “late”. We were first in line once again at the turnstiles. There were a few people there when we got there but luckily, there were several turnstiles. When they dropped the rope at 9:00, we ran to Test Track and were the 2nd family on it. Always a fun ride. Then we ran over to Soarin’, got fastpasses, and rode it. This is when we waited about 25 min. – our longest line of the trip, but it really wasn’t too bad. We ended up riding Soarin’ later in the day as well and I’ve decided this is my favorite at Epcot and one of my favorites in all of WDW. I really love that ride. Definitely saw the hidden Mickey on the golf ball this time. We got to ride everything in Epcot and several things multiple times. We ate dinner at LeCellier – soooo good. I was so full when I left. I always eat too much at Disney. I’m afraid to get on the scale right now. I decided to leave when the family left around 8:30 and not stay for Illuminations. I just saw it in October and I was tired. Plus the next day was another early morning hour at the Studios.

Susan’s parents went ahead and left for Daytona the next day so they didn’t go to the Studios with us. I am very glad they went with us though. We enjoyed having them and I think they had a good time. It had been a while since they had done Disney and I don’t know if they’d ever stayed on property. We got to the Studios early for an 8:00 opening for resort guests. First again. We got to the rope ready for the most stressful part of the whole trip – TOY STORY!! Our plan is always for me to get fastpasses while Susan and the boys wait for me. We ride it immediately so we get at least 2 rides with the FP’s. It worked beautifully. I threw the stroller who knows where and walked around the crowd and was first at the fastpass booths. So important. By the time I got the 4 fastpasses, Susan and the boys were just going into the ride and I hopped the rope and joined them. It was perfect. We ended up getting FP’s one more time and so we got to ride 3 times that day. Fastpasses were gone by 10AM. Such a popular ride, but one of the best. We again got to ride everything we wanted and several things more than once. It was Star Wars weekend there which made the park crowded, but a lot were doing that and so the other rides weren’t bad. We didn’t care a thing about Star Wars – thank goodness. Susan got picked AGAIN for Indiana Jones, however, the show was cut short due to storms so she didn’t get to do much. Bummer. It did start raining on our way to dinner but it pretty much stopped once we came out so we didn’t get too wet. The best surprise of the trip was that they added Fantasmic back into the day. It wasn’t on the original schedule and I was upset b/c it’s my favorite show by far. But I guess b/c it was SW weekend and so crowded, they put it back in. We were afraid they might cancel with the rain but it stopped about an hour before and so the show went on as scheduled. It was great and the boys loved it too. It was the perfect end to our trip.

We didn’t do Animal Kingdom this time and while I missed it, it would’ve been hard to do a fourth day. Being the end of the school year, I was worn out before we started and Susan and I agreed that we’ll try to go a different time in the future. It’s hard at the end of the year b/c you are worn out plus it’s more crowded than we like. We may try February in the future.

Overall, it was a great trip. I’ll post some pictures and our video soon. Quick running news – one of my 2010 goals was to run at Disney. I learned that was a bad goal to make. I was way too tired to run any morning or night, but I didn’t want to back out on my goals so I ran 3 miles this morning before our flight home. It was hot but fine. I’m glad I did it. It got me thinking about the Goofy challenge in January and I cannot wait. Also, tomorrow morning, Carter and I are running in our next 5K here in Nashville. We haven’t trained as much as we did for the first so we’ll see how it goes. I’ll post about that this week at some point.

Sorry for the long post but it’s Disney you know. Hope everyone has a good week. I’m worn out and am going to bed early tonight. Yeah, right.

Keep runnin’,

Friday, May 14, 2010

2011 - Already!?!?


I just ran to my parents' house. I needed to borrow their truck and I hated to leave my car there so I just ran the 5.5 miles there and drove home. I didn't want to carry my liscense whilst I ran so I drove home without. Sorry. I know it's illegal. But I drove really slow and safe. I promise. I need to get some mulch tomorrow. That's why I borrowed the truck. I guess after I'm done I'll drive it back to them and run home. If I feel up to it. I hope I do.

It's almost Summer Time! I can't believe this school year is only one week from being finished. It has flown by. It's been a great one but I'm ready for a change. I am really looking forward to all the exciting things we have planned for the summer.

Speaking of time flying, I am already looking to 2011 and what races I'll run. You know if you run in these marathons that you have to plan early. I know I'm running Disney in early early 2011, but I need to soon plan out my other big races during next year. I am thinking towards a Spring Marathon and a Fall Marathon again. For the first time in 4 years, I don't think I'm going to do the Nashville marathon or half. I may volunteer. I'd love to do that. But here are my thoughts at this moment which are very subject to change:

1. Atlanta - during Spring Break so timing is good but I've heard the course is tough. Also, I have family there so that would make it easy.
2. St. Louis - this is one of my goal marathons. I would love to run it. It would be early April so the timing would be pretty good.
3. Little Rock - This is also on my to-do list but it's early March. Almost too early.
4. Cincinnati - I'm really leaning toward this one. It's the week after Country Music. Heard great things about this race and it's definitely on my goal list. However, it does conflict with our annual church retreat I think.

Not much thought here yet. It's quite a ways off. Maybe D.C. I would LOVE to do that one. Also Huntsville in December or Chickamauga in November. I'll think more about this one later.

That's all for now. It's past 10 and I'm tired. Hope everyone had a good week.

Keep runnin',

Friday, May 7, 2010

Was I Wrong?


So I co-hosted the "Runners Roundtable" podcast this week. I thoroughly enjoyed helping out for the third time. The topic as I mentioned in my last post was "Avoiding the Medical Tent". I, along with Steve Runner, told our stories of recent races where we both suffered medical-type issues. After telling our stories, we discussed what we did versus what we should have done as well as how to avoid it happening again. There was a lot said and I can't possibly sum it up here, but I thought Steve made a great point toward the end. He said we all know there is going to be pain in these long distance (and even short distance) races. That's part of running. And that's true. I love running, but I can't say it's pain free. I am always glad to be done with a workout. Sometimes when I'm done, I feel great and feel like I could keep going but other times, I can't wait to see my driveway. But it's never as comfortable a feeling as sitting on the couch relaxing or sleeping in my bed for that matter. I think we could all say that.

So when we run races, whatever distances, we are going to have pain or uncomfortableness. Is that a word? Anyways, these races are endurance events. If they were easy, everyone would do it. They are supposed to be a test of our endurance and strength. So I expect pain every time I race because I'm pushing myself. That's why the finish feels so good. Not just the sense of accomplishing the race, but the feeling of the pain going away. I think the feeling at the finish is one of the big reasons I keep doing the races.

So here's the big question: Where's that line between pain and danger? And we talked about that on the show and the fact that it's hard to see. At this most recent half marathon, I knew I was having pain pretty much the whole time. I could tell it was going to be a tough race and I wasn't going to feel as good as I have in other races, BUT I didn't know I was in TROUBLE until around mile 12. By then, I felt I was close enough to the finish line to keep going even though I knew I might be in danger. So I ask the question again:

Was I wrong??? Should I have stopped and at least walked or should I have done what I did and kept pushing to the finish knowing it was close and also knowing I had a chance at a PR? I think I made the right choice, but some might disagree. My plan is always to push myself to the limit until I physically can't go on. I was hurting but I could still go on so I did. I'm still not sure what exactly happened but that's another topic and this post is already too long.

I ran a mile last night with both boys. The 5 year old wanted to go too so we did. We all made it without stopping. Still looking toward the 5K on Memorial Day. Hoping they still have it despite the flood damage. I think they will. 2 more weeks of school!! Can Not Wait until Summer Vacation. I have a lot to do this summer but it will be a nice change. Plus - it means Disney is coming up. Yahoo! Have a good weekend and....

Keep runnin'

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What a Weekend!!

2:08 PM

It's been quite a weekend. One I will never forget. Granted this has nothing to do with running, but it's important enough to post. This weekend we experienced the biggest disaster that I ever remember Nashville having. The great flood of 2010. I was on a church retreat Saturday early morning when the rains began. We knew rain was coming but had no idea how much. The rain did not stop until Sunday night. Over 13 inches in Nashville. The retreat was in Kentucky but we got almost as much rain up there. We were packing up Sunday to leave when a fire truck and emergency management vehicle came roaring into our camp. They told us to stay put that the roads were impassable. Our leaders determined that if we couldn't leave before 5PM, we were going to stay another night so as not to risk driving at night. I called my boss and told him I might not be at work Monday. He said I wasn't the only one stuck. We finally did decide to leave around 2PM but it took an hour longer to get home than it did to get up there. We were diverted 3 times by police. We finally made it home only to see it get worse.

The videos and pictures I've seen on Facebook, internet, TV, and newspapers have been overwhelming, unbelievable, and devastating. So many homes and possessions destroyed. Some very close to home. People at our church and at the school where I teach. So hard to hear their stories. Thank God that we only got a little water in our garage but nothing serious. We were spared. But much prayer is needed and it will take months to clean up the mess. I put one of the most amazing videos below. This was just floating down the interstate. You don't see that everyday.

As far as running news - I didn't get to run from Friday-Sunday due to the rain and retreat. I finally ran 6 miles last night and 10 this morning. My first long run since the 1/2 marathon. My legs are sore today, but I'm glad I got the miles in. I'll try my normal 12 mile long run next Sunday morning as usual.

I will again be a co-host tonight on the Runners Roundtable podcast. We are discussing "How to Avoid the Medical Tent" which apparently I don't know how to do. I'm sure I'll be sharing my recent 1/2 marathon story (below). I think it will be a great topic and I look forward to talking with Mike and Lesley again. Steve Runner will also join us which is awesome. It begins at 7PM and you can listen here or download it later.

Sorry it's been over a week since I posted. I'll try to post again later this week. Hope everyone has a good one.

Keep runnin',