During this years Disney World Half Marathon there was a very special simultaneous event taking place half way around the world. Known as runDisney Heroes, the Victory Base complex in Baghdad, Iraq hosted their own Half Marathon. The race in Bagdad was sponsored by Disney and the almost 500 service men and women that participated were awarded the same medals that finishers received in Orlando.
The race was organized by Air Force Major Devin Traynor, who was to run the race in Bagdad while his wife ran the race with us in Orlando. Before our race started we were treated to a satellite link video where the Major was able to converse with his wife and young daughter here in Disney World. Quite a touching moment to see them so excited to see and hear each other live.
The Major and his wife both had the same Garmin watch so they were able to synchronize to the GPS satellites an run ‘with’ each other. That is pretty awesome, running with a loved one half way around the globe. Congratulations to all the men and women who competed this year in Orlando and half way around the world.
Disney World Half Marathon 2011
I also found this awesome video with snippets of the whole Half Marathon experience. Lee Hoedl produced and posted it so thanks so much Lee. It gives you a feeling for where we ran, what the atmosphere was like and even the progression from very early morning to bright shiny Disney World day.
All in all it was a successful and very enjoyable Marathon trip this year. I always enjoy my time with Matt and this year we did many attractions that we had never done together or done at all, so that made the trip special as well. He seemed to enjoy the time away very much and he had the added bonus of not have to get up and run the race this year. When it is just the two of us we can make decisions pretty quickly about where to go, what to see, what to eat, when to get up, etc. I always like having my wife and daughter with us but things can be a lot more streamlined when only two opinions are involved. I’m not sure who is coming down with me next year, but it may just be a two person event again.
As for the race, I learned a few things this year. First, I need to loose a few pounds. I was hovering around 199 at the time of the race, which is not huge, but I could definitely feel the extra weight on my knees by the time I crossed the finish line. I have been under 200 for going on 15 years now but my ideal weight would be around 180 so I have set a goal of 185 by the end of February. I would actually like to get down to 175 but I will probably put on 5 pounds or so of muscle with the weight program.
I plan on doing some calorie counting, which I have never done before and will enlist the help of the ‘MyFitnessPal’ application on my Android phone. I checked into a few apps including Calorie Counter from FatSecret (terrible name), but I liked the interface and more accurate barcode scanner of My Fitness Pal. I will do a review of my progress in the coming weeks.
The second thing I learned was I am not very good at pacing. I had planned on running with the Clif Bar pace group to hit my 2:15 goal and had stopped at their booth at the expo to meet then and confirm that there would be a group in my corral. They said there was and to look for the girl holding the stick with balloons and the 2:15 sign. I was all psyched to run with them since I was going solo this year, but when I got to the ‘C’ corral, there was no pace group. I spotted a two hour group in the ‘B’ corral but nothing in my area. So long story short, I went out way to fast and went off the pace at about mile 8. I know I can’t depend on others all the time so I need to get better at pacing myself and knowing how my body is doing even without a watch.
Speaking of a watch, my Garmin ForeRunner 305 was pretty much useless this year, which was a bit disappointing. I wanted to compare my three times (D-TAG which clips to your shoe, Runkeeper on my phone and the Garmin), but only the DTAG and my phone were accurate. The Garmin was telling me I had gone a mile when I still had about 100 yards to go. This my be my excuse to try the 310XT or to look for something completely different. I love RunKeeper, but the phone can be a bit heavy to lug around sometimes.
As painful as those races are, I can’t want to go down in 2012 and try for a new PR with whoever I can get to run with me. It was only about 3 hours after this years run that I decided I wanted to do it again next year. So if you are interested in joining me in the Magic Kingdom next year, leave me a comment and lets plan to race together.