As if you couldn’t tell from my New York City Marathon Trip posts, I had an amazing time in New York! Finishing the 2017 TCS NYC Marathon is far and away the highlight of the trip that had many legendary moments. It takes the prize as my top moment because that’s what I went to New York to do. It’s hard to figure out how to balance a race-cation. But, I think I felt like I did a good job of doing that.
Seeing the Statue of Liberty up close was probably second on my list of experiences that made this trip legendary.
The views from Top of the Rock….
and the Empire State Building were absolutely stunning. They also rank as the most surprisingly awesome parts of the trip. Why? Well, I generally have a slight fear of heights. So, when I scheduled these attractions, I did so with slight hesitation. After visiting the Top of the Rock, I knew I’d be fine on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. New York City is a stunning city and should be viewed from high above.
Visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum was the most sobering part of the trip. I knew it would be. That’s why I scheduled it for AFTER the marathon.
This trip is all about the marathon, however. I think that this marathon was everything it should have been for me. I had a training cycle for this marathon that has become rather typical for me. There were too many missed training runs and my longest training run was 20 miles. To be honest, I didn’t train well enough to have an expectation of a new marathon PR…and I didn’t. As I ran the race, I thought about a lot of things. Some of which I mentioned in the race recap. When I struggled going over the Queensboro Bridge, I thought a lot about how much I’ve struggled with various races. This wasn’t the first time I’ve struggled. Run/walking my way through 26.2 miles gave me a lot of time to think about all the other races I’ve done. I thought about my first marathon and what it was like to finish that race. I thought about how much the 2015 Los Angeles Marathon was the race I wish I could run again. I wish I could run that race with cooler temps because I had such a strong finish to my training. I will always wonder what my finish time could have been if the race had been run in 20 degrees cooler temps (the race temps got into the 90’s).
However, my struggles in the NYC Marathon mirrored that to the struggles I’ve had in almost every race since finishing my first marathon in 2014. My races have become about finishing instead of improving. At one time, I dreamed of running NYC in less than 6 hours…..even 5 and a half hours. The fact that my race got back to about merely finishing is exactly why I need to do what I’m going to do starting in 2018.
In spite of the struggles, this race was also one I’m quite proud of. After all, I ran all 26.2 miles without using any of my own music. That’s how great the crowd support was along the way. I didn’t need my music. I always run with music. In the past, I’ve run a few 5K’s or 10K’s without music. But 26.2 miles? I’m really surprised that I never felt the need to go to my own music. I didn’t realize that I hadn’t put on my own music until I was in mile 26. Can you believe it? In mile 26, as I started getting ready to finish is when I realized that I never put on my music.
The other thing I’m proud of for this marathon is that I was doing my run/walk intervals in miles 23 – 26! This is a first for me in my marathons. At WDW, I pretty much gave up the run/walk intervals in mile 18. In LA, I was sporadic on the intervals because of the extreme heat. However, in mile 19 is where I was pretty much brought to a walk the rest of the way. In Chicago, it was mile 22 when the blisters popped. So, as I was running my intervals in mile 23, I was super stoked. It felt amazing to know that I fought back from wanting to give up twice in the race and finished strong.
So, with the NYC Marathon now in my rear-view mirror, it’s time to start talking about what’s next. What’s next for me and this blog. I’ve already mentioned where I’m going next as a runner. I’ve been working on this plan to eventually attempt to run a qualifying marathon for the Boston Marathon.
Here are the qualifying times for the 2019 Boston Marathon. The 2018 Boston Marathon qualifiers have already been selected. For me to qualify for the Boston Marathon, I’ll need a time of at least 3 hours, 25 minutes or faster. From what I’ve read, most qualifiers are searching for a time that’s 5 – 10 minutes quicker than the official qualifying times. My NYC Marathon was run in 6 hours, 44 minutes, 22 seconds. So, as you can see, I’ve got quite a bit of time to make up. Most folks who run as slow as me aren’t even thinking (or dreaming) of Boston. I know I won’t get there in a year or two. Probably the best case scenario is that I get to that time in the next 3 years. A more realistic timeline is 4 years. So, maybe, if all goes well, I could target the 2022 or 2023 Boston Marathon as the one I’d run in.
With such a long goal and a crazy goal, I need to break things down to a few gates I need to get through. Before I can even dream of Boston, I need to get through these gates first…
- Run a 5K without any walk breaks
- Run a 5K in under 30 minutes
- Run a 10K without any walk breaks
- Run a 10K in under an hour.
- Run a Half Marathon in under 2 hours
Once I get through these 5 gates (plus loosing 70lbs), I’ll be in a good position to start dreaming of Boston. The thing is that I can’t move to the next gate until I get through the one ahead of it first. This makes planning difficult. Gates 1 and 3 are easier to plan out. However, I cannot predict how any of my races will turn out. So, timing of the goals will rest upon how long it takes me to get through each gate. Once I get through the 5th gate, I can then schedule my next full marathon.
So, 2018 is a year that will represent a fresh start to my running life. The 2017 TCS NYC Marathon was the closing of a chapter in my running career. I’m still working out some of the details for how I’m going to approach 2018. However, I’ve not only been thinking about where I want to go with my running life, but this blog as well. Since I’m starting a new chapter in my running, it seems like a good time to make some changes to this blog as well. Over the course of December, I’m not going to be blogging much. I’d love to get out one post per week before Christmas. However, that may not happen. Beginning on Christmas Day (or the day after), I’ll put out 2 or 3 posts setting up the new year and my plans for 2018. Until then, I ask for you to be a little patient. I want to make some changes to this blog that will take a little bit of time to accomplish. I’m looking into a fresh layout, starting a Facebook page for this blog, and trying my hand at Vlogging through my YouTube page.
This blog started as a way to track my progress from my first half marathon (2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon) to
finishing my first full marathon at Walt Disney World.
I had thought that, but the time I finished that first marathon, my wife and I would be chosen to be the adoptive parents of a little one. However, that didn’t happen until last year…finalizing the adoption of our boy in January of this year! Because it took longer, I kept running and the blog kept going.
Now that I’m a running dad and have proved to myself that I can still run…
runDisney 10K/Half Marathon Challenges…
Rock n Roll Remix Challenges (5K/Half Marathon)…
and now Full Marathons. So, I’ve done all various kinds of races that I did before becoming a daddy after becoming a daddy. So, as the next chapter unfolds, a new blog design and way of blogging will emerge. The current plan is to put up 2 blog posts per week in the month of January, expanding to 3 posts per week in February. Blogging takes time. I want to make sure that I give myself the best start to the new year with my new goals.
Along with new look for the blog is a new title. While the web site will remain “whyIrunDisney.com,” I’m going to be adding “from Disney to Boston” in the header. That’s how I’m going to be referring to this new chapter of my running life. The graphic above is a place holder for now. But, you’ll see a new header in the 2018 version of this blog.
If you’ve followed this blog long enough, you might have noticed I’ve already taken down a few of the pages whose links were below my current header. I’ve kept the “Home, About, Race Bling, Races and Results, Training Calendar, and Virtual Theme Parks.” However, I’ve taken down the page for my 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Trip, runDisney Race Courses (which were my posts exploring the half marathon courses at Disneyland), and running music. I’m most likely going to be taking down the Virtual Disney Theme Parks page in the 2018 version of this blog.
In addition to the “pages” being taken down, I’m also going to be looking over the archives and deleting some of the posts from the past. I won’t delete everything. However, there are posts that I don’t even have the chance to go back and read. I’m trying to come up with a way of both preserving the past postings while eliminating what I don’t need anymore. FYI, the race recaps aren’t going anywhere. So, those posts will remain. However, there will likely be a lot of my weekly recaps over the year’s that will go away.
Lastly, I updated my “About” page earlier in November. However, that page will also be retooled going forward. My “Race Bling” page is another one I’m trying to re-format. It worked great when I was starting out. However, with so many races finished now, that page could use some fine tuning.
With my time off from blogging this month, I’ll have the time to make look and format of this blog better than ever! So, hang with me. I would encourage you guys to utilize the “Follow Why I runDisney via Email” option to the right side to stay informed of my progress this month. It’s going to be a lean month for blog posts, but there will be a payoff.
I can’t wait to launch this new era for both my blog and my running life! 2018 is going to be LEGENDARY!