The race may have been back on November 10, 2016 but my age group award from the Doctor Strange 10K arrived in the mail last night! This race was a part of runDisney’s Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend. You can read my race recap here.
2017 is off to a quick start! It seems like January flew by. My goal for the month was inspired by Tracksmith’s No Days Off campaign. After finishing Cascade Crest 100 last year I needed some recovery time. Then the holidays hit and before I could realize it I had been spending more time on the couch than running. To get my motivation and consistency back I planned to streak January.
The month started off well and I had built a solid streak of 16 days in 2017, 22 total days going back to the day after Christmas. Then after my run on the 16th, my Piriformis flared up and I couldn’t stand up straight let alone run for two days. Luckily, I was able to hop on my stationary bike trainer and spin. Spinning actually helped to loosen up the muscles in my back and the Piriformis. I also stretched and foam rolled several times a day.
Aside from missing the two days due to my Piriformis, I also missed one more due to real life getting in the way. I still managed to spin that day so while I wasn’t able to complete my goal of “no days off” from running, I did fill my calendar with an activity each day.
Racking up 224 miles with 16,919 feet of vertical gain was enough to easily complete the standard monthly Strava challenges (distance, climbing, 10K, 1/2). On top of the standards, Lululemon sponsored their first challenge. At first glance, it was just your basic challenge. If you ran 40K from January 9th to the 22nd you got a badge. If you ran 80K you got a second badge. The big surprise came after the challenge was complete. Lululemon sent out emails letting everyone who finished the challenge know that you get a Metal Vent Tech Tee for finishing the 40K and a pair of Surge Shorts for completing 80K. Women get a Swiftly Tech Short Sleeve and Speed Shorts. It’s been a long time since we’ve been rewarded for completing a challenge and Lululemon provided the best reward yet! I’ve already run in my new clothes and they are incredibly comfortable.
Not running related, but she’s too cute not to share. We got a German Shepherd puppy this month! Meet Molly.
I’m excited to announce that I have been selected for the 2017 UltrAspire Immortal Ambassador Team! When I moved up to the 100 mile distance a few years ago I wasn’t happy with most of the hydration packs I had been using. They weren’t that comfortable and I knew comfort was going to be important, especially in the later miles of the race. Then I read about the Speedgoat waist pack. It was designed with input of ultra running legend Karl Meltzer. That was enough to pique my interest and give it try. After my first run with it I fell in love with the pack and became an UltrAspire fan.
These days I find myself using the Zygos race vest for my longer endeavors. It allows me to carry more water thanks to the reservoir and I can still carry a bottle in one of the front pockets with Tailwind in it for my electrolytes and calories. I still fall back to using the Speedgoat for shorter races when I don’t want to carry around the extra weight from a reservoir full of water.
I’m looking forward to representing UltrAspire in the coming year at races, in training and through my social media channels. It is a brand I use and a brand I trust.
With the Western States and Hardrock race lotteries complete (I didn’t get in), I have a pretty good picture of what my race calendar for 2017 will look like. I’ll be spending the first half of the year on the trails and the second half on the roads. Hopefully this is the year I can knock off two elusive goals.
Apr 9 – Woodside/Purisima Creek Crossover – 50K (Possible)
I’ve run a couple races in Woodside but I haven’t done a 50K there yet. This race fits nicely into the schedule and is close to home. Sounds like the perfect training race to use as a supported long training run.
May 13 – Quicksilver 100K
This race is close to home and I’ve had my eye on it for a couple years now. I would have pulled the trigger sooner but it hasn’t meshed well with my schedule. It has the added benefit of being a Western States qualifier so I’ll get that out of the way early this year. It will also be my first 100K! I’m pretty excited about this one. Worth noting is that this race has sold out in around 2 hours the past two years so if you want to run it in the future, sign up quick.
Jun 9 – San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Run
This will be my fourth 100 and hopefully the one I finally get the sub 24 hour monkey off my back at. I’ll be competing in the solo division which means I’ll be running sans crew and pacers. The big question here is how hot will it be?
Sept 2 & 3 – Disneyland Double Dare (10K + Half Marathon)
My family usually runs multiple runDisney events at Disneyland each year but this year we’ve cut back to just one. The prices for these events are a little steep and they’ve gotten a little repetitive. This one is the original Disneyland half and by far the best one.
Oct 22 – Morgan Hill Half Marathon
Signing up for this one has become automatic. This will be my eighth consecutive year running one of the events (7 half marathons and 1 marathon). The starting line is a mile away from my doorstep and I love supporting my hometown race.
I ran my first Boston qualifying time at CIM. This time I’m going back to knock off another goal. A sub three hour marathon.
I’m not sure what motivated me, but I decided to dust off the old blog and post a new entry. From November 10th through the 13th runDisney hosted their Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland. This time around I was only running the Doctor Strange 10K since I am still rebuilding after running the Cascade Crest 100 in late August.
My initial hope was to take a shot at the masters win but a few training set backs put that goal in doubt. I settled on goal to finish under 39 minutes which should at least land me in the age group awards. Given some of my training paces this should have been achievable, but again, some late training set backs may have made it an overly ambitious goal.
The first mile is mostly a straight shot down Disneyland Drive/West Street before turning left into the Anaheim Convention Center. I was slightly over goal pace clocking in at 6:18 and it didn’t feel as easy as it should have at this point. I was sitting in around 15th place overall and figured I needed to be top 10 for the masters win. At least I knew I could throw out my original goal at this point.
The second mile of the race weaves through the Anaheim Convention Center and its neighboring hotels before dumping out onto Harbor Boulevard and later a left hand turn on Disney Way which takes you backstage of Disney California Adventure. While running through the convention center I was still feeling decent but once on Harbor I could feel my pace slipping. I found a comfortably hard gear that I thought I could maintain and clicked off a 6:27 second mile. Not even close to goal pace.
The third mile took us through the wharf and into Radiator Spring’s back entrance by Radiator Springs Racers. We then ran through Bug’s Land, up the parade route, and started cruising around Paradise Pier. Thor was hanging out on the parade route by the main Cars Land entrance. My race performance was holding steady at this point. I wasn’t where I wanted to be but I was maintaining pace. Mile three was in 6:30.
Mile four is the last in DCA finishing off the pier, winding down Grizzly Peak Trail, past Soarin’, through Hollywood Land where Black Widow was hanging out and past what remains of the Hollywood Tower of Terror, and going through a stretch of backstage DCA. 6:35 for that mile and I got passed a few times. I was likely sitting in around 18th place at this point. At the rate I was slipping, age group awards may have been out of the question.
Mile five takes us through the service tunnel between DCA and Disneyland, through a long stretch of backstage Disneyland before entering Toon Town, and by “it’s a small world” which was decorated for the holidays. This mile was slow and miserable for me. It seemed like there were a lot of sharp turns that wreaked havoc on my pace. I don’t even recall if there were any characters stationed along this portion of the course. Mile five took 6:55 and I lost a few more spots. I think I was sitting around 22nd place at this point.
Mile six takes you by the front of the Matterhorn before heading into Tomorrowland. You exit by the hub and head towards Pixie Hollow and the back of the Matterhorn where Dr. Strange himself was waiting for runners. We took a quick jaunt through Fantasyland before darting through Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Finally we headed down Main Street, through the front gates, and started through Downtown Disney towards the finish. After a pitiful fifth mile I decided to make an effort on mile six. I ran it in 6:39 and even passed a runner.
The final two tenths takes you through the end of Downtown Disney and finishes by the Disneyland Hotel. I was able to pick off one more runner in this stretch who started his kick too early and finished in 20th place overall in a time of 40:24. Somehow that was good enough for an age group win.
While I was thrilled to get the age group win, I was pretty disappointed in my pace. Earlier this year I ran a half marathon at that same pace. I still have a bit of work to do to get myself back to where I was earlier this year before I got injured.
Last year I did the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Kickoff virtual run in order to enter a contest for a free race entry. While there is no mention an entry drawing this year I still entered. I was going to run anyways and I might as well get a free shirt out of it. All you have to do is run a 5K, submit a photo as proof, and fill out this form.
Tomorrow, April 2nd at 11:59pm is your last chance to enter.
My wait is finally over. After five weeks of waiting my second place trophy for the Princess Enchanted 10K arrived in the mail today. It’s prettier than I ever imagined it would be. You can read my race report here.