This past week was summertime kind of hot y’all! Temps for most of the week were in the mid to upper 90’s. The hot temps, combined with a very busy week lead to bad week training wise. So, as I came to the end of my last week before the focus turns entirely on the Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland, I flopped. It was sort of fitting that this week would turn out this way. Ever since the Walt Disney World Marathon ended, it’s been a struggle. So, why should this week be different? Before recapping the week that has been, I do want to say that today I feel some relief because of the big gap between races. I don’t race again until Labor Day weekend and right now, that feels amazing!
Monday was the first official day of the Jeff Galloway designed Dumbo Double Dare Training Program. Because I had a half marathon scheduled for the end of this first week, I didn’t plan on following what Jeff Galloway had laid out. However, even I did, Monday was a scheduled rest day. So, I held to that. The dilemma I had in choosing to rest this day stemmed from a busy week. I knew that I could not train on Thursday because of a bible study, Friday, because I had to do laundry, Saturday because of heading to the OC Half Marathon Expo and a conference in the OC. So, I could have chosen to throw in a training run or workout. However, doing so meant that I would likely have trained from the Saturday before through Wednesday of this week. That meant 5 consecutive training days. That doesn’t work well for me. So, I took the planned rest day.
With only Tuesday and Wednesday available to train, I had to decide which day to do a gym workout and which one to run. Since I would not get another chance to run until the day of the OC Half Marathon, I decided to make that day Wednesday. That meant it was off to the gym I went on Tuesday evening. Success! It was good to get back to a mid-week gym workout. However, it’s just so crowded on the week nights that I prefer going on the weekends. It wasn’t too bad on Tuesday and I got through everything without having to wait. That is until the chin ups and dips. I do assisted chin ups and dips and the machine was busy with people every time I finished up with one station. So, by the time I got with everything else, I had to wait for around 10 minutes to get to use that machine. It sucks when three friends are all taking turns. The good news for the gym workout was that I successfully increased weight on the ab crunch machine and the leg press! On my workout the Sunday prior, I noticed that I was ready for the increase and it worked out nicely. In addition to the machines, I finished 27 minutes on the elliptical machine!
On Wednesday, I didn’t do this when I should have. As I mentioned earlier, we have had a record heat wave in the Los Angeles area this week. By the time I got home from work on Wednesday, it was still 89 degrees. Yep. At a little after 6:30pm, I was 89 degrees outside. I know that I should have just headed to the gym and run on the treadmill for 3 miles. However, the heat just felt too unbearable. So, took the night off instead. Bad choice, I know.
On Thursday, I had my Bible study. So, there was no time to run. I’m glad I went to the study because it was a good night with friends discussing Elijah and the battle of the gods showdown in the book of 1st Kings.
Friday night, was laundry night because that’s how the rock stars do it. Actually, it was the only time of the weekend that laundry fit into the schedule. So, instead of running or working out, the wife and I headed to the Laundromat and did our laundry.
Before moving on, I should mention that on Friday, they had some fun at the Walt Disney Studios Lot for the upcoming Star Wars day (which was yesterday). As you can see, we had Boba Fett and a Storm Trooper out to promote this unofficial holiday.
R2-D2 was also there. Although, he joined the other two after I got my picture. By then, the lines to get a picture was just too long for me to join in. The commissary joined in the fun and had a Star Wars themed menu. That means they just called the items on the menu with Star Wars titles. No crazy food from the cantina.
On Saturday morning, my wife and I headed to the OC Marathon/Half Marathon Health and Fitness Expo at the Orange County Fairgrounds. We arrived around the time that the kids races for the weekend were finishing. So, it was pretty busy. I’ll talk more about the Expo tomorrow. However, we were in and out of the expo in around an hour because….
Brooke and I went to the Choose Joy Event. What is the Choose Joy Event? Well, it’s a conference for those dealing with infertility issues and adoption. This isn’t an adoption oriented blog. However, my wife and I are currently waiting to start our family through adoption. We are among the few couples who have been told that we would need medical help in order to have children of our own. We looked into the various fertility helps and adoption options and chose to pursue a domestic infant adoption. Since this isn’t an adoption or infertility oriented blog, I don’t want to get into too many details about this part of my life. However, the scars of infertility will be apart of my life as long as I live. It’s a reality that I’m still learning how to embrace. My wife and I filled out a massive amount of paper work and jumped through all the hoops that the state of California requires for couples to become certified to adopt through Bethany Christian Services. We’ve been on the wait list for over 17 months now. The wait just plain sucks. Part of the reason I run is to give me something else to focus on. Running has helped me greatly in dealing with the wait. However, the simple fact that my wife and I are childless is always there and serves as a reminder of where our life is at.
We found out about this conference through one of the adoption training classes we attended at Bethany Christian Services earlier in the year. Since we didn’t know such things existed, we had to check it out. The day was an emotional day to say the least. I feel like I’m still trying to process everything. However, even with the strong emotions, it was fantastic to be around other couples who are going through this as well. The presenters were people who have been through the process themselves and lived to tell about it. Every adoption story is different, but there are some similarities in the experience as well. To hear from those who know our pain made it worth every penny we spent to attend (and more). As you can tell from the pictures, there were a lot more women at this conference than men. However, there were a lot of men there with their wives. There was even a break-away section just for the guys. This event is in its second year. Last year, there were only around 10 men at the conference. This year, there must have been at least 30 or more. The conference itself had more attendees this year as well. I think they said last year’s conference had 75 people in attendance. While no official numbers were announced, I would guess that there might have been around 200 or more this year. If you’d like to know more about the event, check out their website here. With the successful growth this year, I’m pretty sure it will happen again next year. While the event took place in Orange County, California this year, there were a lot of people who attended from other parts of California and other states as well.
With both the Choose Joy Event and the OC Marathon happening in Orange County, we decided to stay at one of the host hotels for the OC Marathon/Half Marathon Saturday evening. I’ll explain more about this tomorrow. However, staying at the host hotel, meant that I got a shuttle to the start line of the OC Half Marathon. The main event of this week was finishing my 6th half marathon over all (3rd this year) and the second race in the Beach Cities Challenge…the 2014 US Bank OC Half Marathon! The race was not a great race for me as I finished with my second slowest half marathon time yet. The only time I’ve been slower was my first half, the 2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon. On Wednesday this week, I’ll get into the details of this race. However, OC Half Marathon has been my least favorite running experience. It was a hot race (although not as hot as the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon) and the course was relatively hilly (including a hill in the 11th or 12th mile that was NOT fun at all). The race was mostly run through residential areas. So, it was kind of boring. However, no race is entirely bad. This course was the most diverse course I’ve raced on. Yes, it was mostly residential. However, there were also some amazing views along the way. Again, I’ll explain more in the race recap. However, poor training, a hilly, mostly boring course, and hot temps made for a not so much run race day. I did however, end up with a nice new medal. It is pretty cool. Isn’t it?
Even though the race didn’t go as planned or hoped for, I did finish! I learned along the way that scheduling a conference the day before a half marathon that will bring out a lot of emotions is not a good idea. Two half marathons in a row that I’ve learned how not to do a half marathon. So, with lessons learned, I decided to celebrate finishing everything with lunch at Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que. I’m not sure how far this chain reaches. However, they don’t have one around me. Whenever I’m in the OC, it’s always tempting to eat here. The food is amazing! That is, if you like BBQ. The portion sizes are large enough that you can make two meals out of the one you order! So, I’ve got another Lucille’s meal for this week!
With the OC Half Marathon now behind me, it’s time to focus my training entirely on the Dumbo Double Dare. Even though I’ll be doing the training for week 2 of the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge Training Plan, it’s week 1 for me. So, don’t get confused when I talk next week about my first week of Dumbo Double Dare training. Okay? I’m going to be numbering my weeks 1 week different from the plan. So, week 1 will actually be week 2 of the plan, week 2 for me will be week 3 of the plan, etc. Okay? As I’ve dealt with the disappointment of my performance at the OC Half Marathon, I also feel relief that there are no races on my calendar until the Disneyland 10K race on August 30th. For the first time since the Walt Disney World Marathon, I have time to breath. I have time to go back to the basics and rebuild what was lost. I’m thankful that my next training run of 10 miles or greater won’t happen until July 20th! So, for the next 2+ months, I’ll be running single digits and looking to re-build consistency, strength, and speed.
Three consecutive half marathons with slower times is not cool with me. I want to be primed and ready to go when the Disneyland Half Marathon comes around. I’m not sure of time goals yet for the race. However, I will be running that race for time. If I had finished better at the OC Half Marathon, I might have been content to run the Disneyland Half Marathon purely for fun. Now, I’m out for redemption. I’ll have my fun running the Disneyland 10K. I’ll take lots of pictures during that race. However, I’ll be more focused on getting a good finishing time at the Disneyland Half Marathon. My mileage will be going down for the short-term. However, it’s time to get ready for my next runDisney adventure. My journey to the Dumbo Double Dare officially starts tomorrow. With it, my journey towards my next marathon, the 2015 Los Angeles Marathon begins as well. Let’s do this!