Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend merch and swag

We finally were able to go to the Tinker Bell Half Marathon expo in Saturday morning after the 10K. Held at the Disneyland Hotel, bib pickup is in one big room, while shirts, swag, and merch is in the hotel ballroom.

We made our way down the black carpet ramp (with the cute Tink logo on it) and found a relatively empty room. Of course, the kids races, 5K, and 10K bibs had all already been picked up!

We all got in our separate lines to get our bibs:

Then I headed over to the Commemoratives desk to pick up my pins and my necklace. I had honestly forgotten whether a 10K pin had been offered... But I knew if one was made, I would have bought it! The nice volunteers looked it up, and sure enough, there was, and I did:

Tinker Bell 10K pin

Of course, I also got the half marathon pin:

Tinker Bell Half Marathon pin

I admit that I am not crazy about this year's half marathon pin, but I applaud them for continuing to mix things up!

I also preordered this year's necklace:

I was a little surprised by the plasticky feel of the pendant... And the fact that mine was smeared with glue across the front. But the small silvery wings will be a nice addition to my running charm bracelet. The white pendant? Well, it might be nice in my scrapbook...

I often wonder if I need to preorder the necklace, given that you order it sight unseen, and that for the past two years it has been readily available at the expo. But if it's super cute, I can imagine that it will sell out before I might have a chance to get to the expo… and to be fair, I've liked the other necklaces (for Goofy, previous Tink, and Wine and Dine). So I'll probably just keep buying the dang things!

Then we headed back up the ramp and over to the merch room. First we picked up our 10K shirts and packets (again, thank you runDisney for making this possible):

Tinker Bell 10K shirt -- lovely in lilac!

Then we got our half marathon stuff. I was a little surprised that the half shirts were red (later revealed to actually be a nice dark raspberry color in natural light). 

Tinker Bell Half Marathon shirt -- that's a rich raspberry

As usual, not much else in the bags:

we got a Luna mini in each of the 4 bags

race program

None of us needed anything at expo, though I did want to pick up the "art card" that Lasting Commemoratives offered in the "virtual goody bag". I used the one from Wine and Dine in my scrapbook, and this one was actually nicer: 

art card -- thanks Lasting Commemoratives

Then we made our way over to the official merchandise area -- which looked like a supermarket before a blizzard. Lots of empty space on the walls from where things had sold out, and entire walls featuring just one white tech tee, apparently all in size M. 

The only thing I wanted -- which I didn't know for sure whether or not it existed -- was the half marathon medal pin. We wandered around and Wil spotted a man holding a small stack of them, which made me worry he was an ebayer... But when we asked him, he pointed us in their direction. Result! Wil and I bought a pair, and about 5 minutes later Suz bought one of the last two!

2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon medal pin
The only other thing I decided I needed was a pair of the Vinylmation figures for 2014. Sure, we aren't planning on running any other Disney races this year, but I did enjoy getting the wee medals in 2013, and we like vinyl toys, so...

2014 runDisney Vinylmation -- these come blind boxed, so we were pleased to get one of each color

Apparently there has been a lot of grousing by a lot of folks about the lack of selection, or about how quickly things sold out. Lots of "they know how many runners are coming; why didn't they make more stuff?" comments. But boy oh boy is it hard to get the product mix right at an expo!!! I do think that holding off selling "I did it!" merch until AFTER the race would be nice, but then there would be complaints from slower runners that they didn't have a chance. I could see limiting access to the merch store to registered runners until after the race. Of course, then I could imagine people just signing up for the race so they could buy merch to flip on eBay….

I keep trying to think of ways to make the merchandise easier -- any thoughts?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tinker Bell Half Marathon race report

3:45 came really early, despite the fact that we went to sleep relatively early. But with a 5am start, well, them's the breaks. Felt pretty sprightly after yesterday's Tinker Bell 10K -- no stiffness or soreness at all.

We met Suz by the pool and started our quiet trek across the park entrance plaza at 4. (Four!!!) Still, it's better than needing to be on a shuttle no later than 4 for a 6am start, I guess…

I do like the walk to the start -- seeing the other runners, getting a sense of occasion, looking at costumes. Disneyland is super quiet at this point, and most of the runners are quietly making their way to the starting areas. You can tell that a lot of people feel nervous, others resigned, others excited.

We had talked about walking the short way around the back of the corrals, but then fretted that maybe they wouldn't let us get in that way... besides, the dark march though Downtown Disney is a Disneyland race tradition!

Eventually we got to the first big group of porta potties and decided that we should part ways there. Wil had been assigned corral B (again, no boys in corral A, apparently, as I had been placed there), and Suz was in D so I jumped back to run with her. Took a quick pre-race photo with Wil -- this would be the first time we had run the same race but not together!

Team Wil-Sun before the race
 Suz and I continued on to the start village, where I grabbed a cup of water, smiled at another Cheshire Cat, and admired some other costumes. They were already sending people to the corrals, so we decided we might as well mosey that direction. Since Wil and I had both been in A the day before we didn't know how long the pauses were between waves, so we didn't want to linger too long.

Here's what's funny -- the chatter on Saturday was that we couldn't hear corral D from where we were in corral A. Well, in corral D we could only just barely hear the stage because we didn't have any speakers in our area. I'm guessing it was in deference to the guests of the hotel right there, but it definitely made me feel a little disconnected from the events. Basically, we only knew when the national anthem started (sung this time, not nearly as nice as the trumpet!) because there were fireworks to go along with it. Even then, most people chatted through about 75% of it because they couldn't hear. But eventually we heard Corral A start.

photo courtesy runDisney
Turns out the wait between corrals was 10 minutes, which meant we barely moved up for 20 minutes, and then started at 30 minutes or so after the main start. On weird little thing -- apparently Minnie and Daisy were on stage for the start of the first few corrals... but I only know that because I heard the announcers say, "Bye Minnie and Daisy! Thanks for joining us for the start!" as they walked off stage. And, no, no characters came to replace them. Boo.

We took a pre-race selfie as we moved forward… but a better shot was captured by the race photographers:

A little closer, when we were "on deck" to start.

Then, finally, we got to start! I like the first little stretch of the race, when you're on the outside roads, nice and broad, plenty of room to manoever. And there was a bit of manoevering to do, since the corrals are so big! And then it was fun to make the first turn into the tunnel across the front of the park -- and a little weird to realize that we had to stay to the right because they needed to keep the left side clear for the runners in the first corral who would be catching up relatively sharpish! I'm a little pleased to note that I don't think we actually got "lapped" by the leaders... though it wouldn't have been surprising to see them!

I wanted to keep Suz to a 15-minute/mile pace so that we could bank a little time and not worry about getting swept. For much of the race, we did! I had asked Suz before if there was a particular character she might want to get a photo with; she didn't want to take the time if lines were too long. Of course, I think we both know she would have stopped for Cruella if we had seen her!!!

Pics of us on the course:
on Hollywood Boulevard

not sure where we are, but it's early in the race (still dark)
(slight tangential aside -- a few miles later, after it was light, a man dressed as Wreck-it Ralph ran up to me and said, "I don't mean to be inappropriate, but that tail is MESMERIZING!")

Later on we crossed into Disneyland, where we stopped for a castle pic (okay, not that great a pic, but I'm not the official selfie photographer of Team Wil-Sun!):

really, that's the castle
(Yes, that's the castle behind us. I promise. I'm still always a little surprised at how modest the Disneyland castle is vs. Disney World..)

Another surprise: FINALLY Tinker Bell was on the course! Okay, she was on top of a float, but still. Yay for that!

photo courtesy runDisney
hello Tink!!! (photo by runDisney)

One of my favorite things is that the Lost Boys ride around and around on the Carousel. But when we got there they had been allowed to take a break and were standing posing for photos.

photo by runDisney
Of course, as at all runDisney events, you leave the parks too soon. We headed out through a quiet Anaheim neighborhood with cute houses and a slightly out-of-place Holiday Inn. I liked the signs that said, "Shhh… neighbors sleeping!", though some runners groused about them.

Then into downtown Anaheim, past the Ducks' practice rink and the very lovely Muzeo. At some point on this promenade, a Disney group (Mousechat? Am I making that up?) had a tent set up and were handing out orange wedges, pretzels, and Red Vines. I wish I had taken a moment to snap a picture of the sign that said, "TAKE CANDY FROM STRANGERS!" I took a couple of Red Vines -- my all-time favorite race food, and something I am already planning on bringing with me as a treat on the Inca Trail later this year…

One we went. I kept us moving at a pretty steady 15-minute/mile pace, sometimes gaining a few seconds, sometimes losing a few seconds. At mile 10 we spotted the sweeper buses -- still parked, but clearly waiting at mile 10. There was a lot of chatter around us about the hundreds of folks who got swept during the 10K the day before. I calculated that we had at least a 33-minute cushion at our pace (13 minutes, one per mile, plus 20 minutes for the additional two corrals), but I didn't want to let up yet. We were GOING to earn those wings, darn it!

We eventually came back into the park through the same tunnel before mile 12. Lots of grumbling about "all the hills" -- ha ha ha ha ha! (Really, folks, this is a very flat course, with a couple of inclines…)

Then we were on the long backstage road -- always fun to see the "backside" of the Cadillac Range in Cars Land! We had slowed down pretty significantly by this point -- 18 or so minutes per mile -- but I knew we were "safe" so I didn't push it. Suz got a bit nervous in the last half mile because there were lots of cyclists, but I explained that they were medical crew (red shirts) just making sure everyone was okay.

A couple of other on-course pics:

less than a mile to go!
turning out of the back road to head to the parking lot finish

We headed through the crowds of spectators in the finishing stretch. I kept encouraging Suz to run, but she was pretty much done. We crossed the finish line in 3:22:12.

One odd thing: we seemed to hit a bring clot of people just after crossing as people tried to capture photos. A lot of volunteers and race staff kept telling us to keep moving, not to stop, so we tried to keep herding the runners forward. But when looking at the "provisional assignments" (photos linked to us by finish time), there was a strange shot of a stretcher, some aid workers, and a line of volunteers with arms linked trying to make room for the fallen runner. If you look very carefully, you can just spot us in the top corner. (I decided not to include the pic in the blog so as to respect the privacy of the fallen runner -- I hope he or she is okay.)


We took a quick photo and picked up some liquids and our snacks. Wil had texted -- he'd finished an hour and a half or so before (starting 30 minutes before us, and then finishing in 2:17) and was back at the hotel. 

Suz went back to the hotel to get cleaned up and rest, but Wil and I decided to take advantage of the quiet morning to get our Disney on. It was lovely and quiet and actually absurdly funny to walk around the park in a fuchsia running tank and skirt plus a furry hat, tail, and pair of leg warmers. 

Some random memories:
- lots of great costumes, especially the Colette and Tiki headdresses we saw just before the finish!
- the amazing crowd of Red Hat Ladies along the course -- HUNDREDS of them! -- such a boost
- Vanellope and Wreck-it Ralph on the course
- "Your tail is MESMERIZING"
- "I've been chasing your tail for miles!" "All the girls tell me that!"

photo by runDisney
I admit that I was a little sad not to be running with Wil -- but I'm glad Suz got to experience this race and earn her wings! I'm already looking forward to the race in May 2015!

same nice spinner medal -- maybe they'll do something special for the fifth running?
2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon medal

Monday, January 20, 2014

Tinker Bell 10K race report

Got up bright and early -- well, maybe not bright, because we were up until 12:30am -- and made our way early to the start area so that we could pick up our bibs. I heard some other runners complaining because "the expo should stay open later" -- but, of course, the expo time is published months ahead of time… And, yes, they want you to pick up your bibs at expo … the sponsors and expo vendors pay good money to feature their products at the expo, so yes, please, stop by!

Anyway, the line to pick up our 10K bibs wasn't super long, and it moved quickly. So thanks to the RunDisney staff and volunteers for saving the day when Alaska Airlines messed up!!!
emergency bib pickup on race morning -- we would get our shirts later in the day at the expo
Yay to be fast enough (at this race, in this crowd) to be assigned to Corral A!

phew! bib!
I felt like I could totally relax at this point -- a quick 6.2 miles was nothing compared to the travel hassle of the day before!

This race had just 4 corrals -- A - D -- but like all RunDisney races, the corrals were large. I do think they would be better off with more, smaller corrals, and less time between waves.

pre-race pic… wow that Brooks logo is big and bright!

As we walked along the road to get to our corral, we passed this large display screen on the Downtown Disney "overpass", where the front of corral B was located. I managed to snap this pic just as the animation started -- I assure you it was prettier in person!

We entered corral A at the back edge and headed forward. We placed ourselves at the far right-hand side, about halfway back, where we could sip water and relax a little. At about 5:45, the RunDisney race announcers arrived and started chatting. The theme of the morning was that they were all "Fairy Trainers" (Fairy Coaches?) -- we would see additional "Trainers" dotted here and there along the course during the race, cheering the runners on. 

One fairy was "Fairy Jerry", who led us through some warmup exercises, told us about the fairies associated with each corral (we were Iridessa, who represents speed), and showed us a video about the Pixie Hollow Games. The other hosts encouraged each corral to cheer, but we could never hear corral D, which was slightly amusing. 

The national anthem was performed by a trumpeter -- a trumpeter!!! -- in a very handsome fairy costume, complete with some kick-ass wings. I only wish I had gotten a pic of him! We were encouraged to sing along, but most people didn't. 

Finally, it was time to go!

photo courtesy of RunDisney

photo courtesy of RunDisney

I LOVED this course!

It was nice to get into the park so quickly, rather than run a loop on the streets around the park. Lots of cool backstage areas I had never seen (or at least that I hadn't remembered!), plus a pretty thorough tour of both parks. The only sad bit? That the last 2.2 miles were essentially a tour of the streets around the park.

One minus: getting in to the parks early on meant we didn't have much time to spread out as a group. If we had run the outside streets first, we would have had more room on wider roads, to spread out, and then they could also have opened the streets back to traffic earlier.

We kept moving at a really good clip -- we felt good and comfortable right away, and we didn't have any need to stop. I did, however, pick up cups of water at the stops -- I figured I was pretty dehydrated.

We saw some interesting characters on the course -- ones we had never seen before, including Constance (the Haunted Mansion bride) and the tightrope walker from the stretching room. We also saw Daisy -- DAISY!!!! -- along with the laydee chipmunk; some of the Incredibles; Buzz Lightyear; and -- joy of joys, Mary Poppins and Bert in their jolly holiday outfits. But we didn't stop to see any of them, we just kept moving.

At some point Wil -- who was actually looking at the clock as we passed each of the kilometer markers -- sped up. I mean, it was pretty easy, because we were on broad city streets at this point. We hit the U-turn to the finish, sped down the chute holding hands.

They managed not to capture a picture of us as we crossed the line, but we did get some cute if long-range pics just after, including this one:

this pic shows why I LOVE running with Wil -- a smooch at the finish!
We made our way through the finish area, picking up our sweet medals, some mylar wraps (figured they would come in handy the next morning!), avoided the photography lines, and then slipped through and picked up Powerade, water, bananas, and our snack boxes. It was too early to go to the parks -- they wouldn't open for another couple of hours -- so we decided to just head back to the hotel for a shower.

My Maleficent costume -- okay, really just a hat and a raven on a stick -- attracted a lot of attention, and I got lots of nice shout-outs. The hat is absolutely one of the best costumes I have ever made. Totally comfy, easy to make, easy to run in, and gosh darn cute.

post-race medal pic!
We decided to walk back to our hotel following the course backwards rather than winding through Downtown Disney. This had the extra benefit of letting us cheer for the runners still on the course. We cheered and cheered, called out good costumes, told people how long to the finish, and got lots of love in return. We saw one woman running in a pair of fur pants as part of a Cheshire Cat costume… RESPECT, sister!

We loved this race -- nice and short, interesting course, lots of friendly faces. I do wish the race was part of a "challenge" (like Glass Slipper or Dumbo Double Dare) which could earn us a bonus medal. But I do like a bit of bling...

snack box -- AKA BREAKFAST
BTW, we added up the calories in the snack box -- 748 -- which is approximately how many calories we had just burned.

nice medal, very pretty ribbon
2014 Tinker Bell 10K medal

The next day we ran the Tinker Bell Half Marathon! See our race report.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend is finally here

The trip didn't get off to a great start. Both Wil and I had last-minute work stuff to deal with, but we very happily bundled out of the house when Suz arrived at 11:30. En route to the airport, while waiting for the bridge in Georgetown (ish?), I got a text: our 1:30 flight had been delayed til 2:30. Well, okay then. Guess we weren't in a hurry.
We grabbed some lunch, some sodas, made a toast to Betsy, and then waited. Then another message: 3:30. Suddenly, it seemed like we might not make it to the expo before it closed at 7.
I headed off to the customer service desk to see what was going on, or if there were other flights we could get on... and was told no, but that the incoming plane was "in the air" so we would be okay.
I called the nice folks at RunDisney, who told me that if we couldn't make it to the expo, we would be able to pick up our bibs in the morning and then get our shirts later in the day. (I suspected this: we'd seen posts on Facebook about the weather delays over WDW Marathon Weekend; I also know that other large races have this policy for emergency situataions.) But still...
My chronology gets fuzzy here. At some point we were told the flight had been delayed until 4-something... then 6:30. I then hurried over to the customer service desk to see if there was something else we could do... another flight, something. As I stood there, I got another text from Alaska -- our flight had been CANCELLED.
I called Wil and told him to grab Suz and bring the bags and come to the service desk where I was waiting with a bunch of other travelers. Meanwhile, I called Alaska to talk to a reservations agent... though when I got through, the woman told me that our flight hadn't actually been canceled yet. Chaos.
I could see that other passengers were being helped, put on other flights, even if just to LAX. So when we got to the counter we figured we might be okay. But somehow, though other people were being helped, our agent told us that we wouldn't be able to get to Long Beach until the next day. We kept saying, "How about Orange County? How about Burbank? How about LAX?" but he just kept saying that he could put us on a flight via PDX tomorrow. I said that that just wasn't possible.
Other passengers were being booked on other flights, told they would be able to take a shuttle from LAX to Long Beach, offered vouchers, etc. Our agent was just ... not helping. We even turned to the agent at the next station and asked if she could help us get on a flight. She just said, "I'm sure he's helping you." (May I point out that, by this time, she had helped two sets of travelers and we were still standing there?)
Finally we were given three "standby" placements on a flight to LAX that was leaving in a few hours. Better than nothing, I suppose. But we agreed that we should go directly to the gate and see if anything could be done. That's when we spotted the other Alaska customer service counter, with NO LINE. (Sigh.) We spoke to the agent there, who was pretty helpful, but she said that she wouldn't be able to move us to a competitor's airline b/c Suz had got her ticket with miles. (Ummm, doesn't that mean that she's a great, loyal customer???)
However, she did say we should go over to a different nearby gate to see if they might put us on their standby list. So we scurried over there and spoke to a very nice man named Austin. He said, "Well, this plane is on a mechanical delay, so you might not want to try for this one..." But when we mentioned that we were going to Disneyland for a race, he said, "Oh, the Tinker Bell one? That's cool." He shifted us to his standby list, where we were pleased to note that we were only 5, 6, and 7 on the standby list... and that the first 4 people had all been issued seat numbers.
We stood around nervously... they were going to make an announcement about the plane at 3:35, and it was 3:20... but I saw the crew getting on board, so things were looking good that the flight would leave, at least... whether or not we were on it.
Boarding continued, while the three of us tried to think happy thoughts and send positive vibes to Austin. At one point, he called "passenger Roman to the podium" and we all looked awkwardly at each other. We must have looked absolutely distraught, because we looked at him and he motioned all of us over. Even then I thought, well, he's just telling us to try our luck on the next flight... but then he asked for our IDs... and gave us seat assignments. HUZZAH!!!
I got teary eyed (yeah, no surprise there), we all did little dances, and like that we hurried down the gangway. We even managed to get our rollybags into the overhead ... with a little shuffling.
Sure, we'll get to LAX too late to even dream about getting to the expo yet. And I'm not sure what to do about getting from LAX to Long Beach or even just our hotel. Or what to tell Hertz (to be honest, I *really* don't want to drive out of LAX myself... and we're still flying home via Long Beach....)
But at least we are going to get to Disneyland tonight, and be able to race tomorrow morning. And for now, that's enough.
P.S. We arrived at LAX, went to the customer "service" desk to get a voucher for a taxi or shuttle to get us to Long Beach ... and encountered a supervisor who was extremely rude and unhelpful. After we did a lot of insisting, she reluctantly issued us a voucher for a Super Shuttle... which, when we took to the Super Shuttle area, they refused to accept. They also told us that if we wanted to pay for a Super Shuttle, it would take at least two hours to get to Long Beach. Well, that wasn't an option, because we were so late arriving in California. So we piled into a taxi and paid $130 -- yep, ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY DOLLARS to get from LAX to Anaheim. So, yes, thanks Alaska. I plan on submitting the receipt and am expecting to be reimbursed for that.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2013 Seattle Locks Fat Ass Half Marathon race report

Other than work stresses and general life busy-ness, I have no excuses for why this report is so late. But here goes.

Look, I was jonesing for a race. I mean, I LOVE a race. I just thought it would be nice to run one last half marathon in 2013. So -- since we ran this race in 2012 -- and since it was a few minutes'  drive from our house -- and since it was essentially free -- this was the obvious choice.

We arrived only about 15 minutes before the start of the race -- such a luxury! -- picked up our bibs (26 for me, 58 for Wil, and yes, I made the "oh, I got my age!" joke. Again.), and then just milled around for a few minutes.

Steve Walters (aka the Marathon Freak) puts on this race -- and I handful of others, I think -- because he loves racing. He's both a Marathon Maniac (#338) and Half Fanatic (#18!!!). It's a nice, very low key affair, with minimal frills other than a surprisingly lush spread at the finish. My one wish is that Steve had a megaphone, as it's sometimes difficult to hear him when he gives the course talk! That said, we knew the course, and it was well marked…

Bang on time at 9am, the race started, and we set off down the hill. It was a much larger group this time -- or maybe it just seemed that way? However, it was frustrating to see the runners darting across roads rather than just waiting for the lights to change -- especially in a large group, it causes chaos for drivers. I mean, it's not like we were all out there trying to qualify for Boston or something, right? Just relax, you're running for fun…

But we ran all the way down Stone (nice to overhear another runner saying, "that's going to be the Brooks headquarters!" when we were waiting to cross the street), onto the Burke-Gilman, and then on on on to the Ballard Locks. The weather was pretty okay -- a bit of drizzle, off and on, but nothing to complain about.

We helped ourselves to "ultra kibble" at the water stop and turnaround (oh, Red Vines, how I love thee?) and basically just kept going.

Of course, the fact that neither of us had run … essentially AT ALL … since the Wine & Dine Half Marathon some 6 weeks before was eventually going to be an issue. And given that we needed to run in Disneyland on back to back days three weeks after this race, well, it just seemed prudent to take it easy. How easy? We walked the last half of the race. Sometimes it's better to just take it easy…

We made our way back to the start, up the last big hill, and to the finish line, where one of the Maniacs took our timing "strip" off our bibs. I lunged forward so that I could "beat" Wil, which made the Maniac laugh. But it worked, I came in 80th to Wil's 81st. Of course, we did finish in a dead heat, tied at a leisurely 2:52:16.

Overall, a nice morning out. Some nice memories: the Maniacs (one with a poorly leg) moving along the course to appear at different spots to cheer -- "you guys keep moving so faaaaaast!"; RED VINES, Ruffles, and flat Coke at the water stop; seeing the updates to the "missing link" part of the trail; the runner with "check out this FAT ASS runner" painted on the back of her skirt; friendly volunteers; wrapping up the year with a final race.

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 running goals

New year, new goals. As I always say to the Brooks email subscribers, goals are better than resolutions. So without further ado, here are my running goals for 2014!

This year I am changing my focus a little bit. Rather than in recent years, when I've run lots of events (or lots of long runs, at least!), my goal will be to run more consistently.

1. Run 14 in '14

This is the key goal for the year -- everything else pales in comparison. I want to run at least 14 miles every week. Not walking, mind you. But every week, simply run 14 miles. I expect that some weeks I'll run more, but I do not want to run less. Weeks start on Mondays and finish on Sundays -- gives me a chance to do a long run to catch up if need be. Also, I'm going to be much choosier about the races I run -- I don't need to run a local half marathon if it isn't something very special. Do I get to run somewhere that I couldn't normally run? Will at least half the proceeds go to a charity I care about? Will I earn a new state? Unless the answer to at least one of these is yes, then I can save the money. ($85 including fees to run a small local race? No thanks.)

Current: 1/1

- 1 -
0 weeks
52 weeks

2. Run at least 700 miles.

The mathematical geniuses who read this blog will spot that this should be a gimme -- after all, if I'm running 14 miles per week, that works out to 728 miles, right? Well, I think of this as an "insurance" goal. Maybe I don't make 14 every single week. But if I do most of the time, and run longer some weeks, well, then I should be able to get 700 miles in 2014. It bears mentioning that this will be the most miles I have ever run in a year, so it's still a lofty goal. But this feels like the year to work on consistency and dedication. So here I go. By the way, week one only had 5 days… and both Wil and I hit 14 miles.

Current: 14.28 miles as of 1/5

0 miles
700 miles!

3. Run half marathons in three new states in 2014. 

Not sure I'll get as much traveling for work in this year, but I am hoping to pick up a new state or two after attending at least one conference, and I'm hoping to be able to travel to one of the Rock 'n' Roll events in the fall -- hello, Philly? I'm lookin' at you. And not just so I can get my "Rocky" on...

Current: 0 new states

0 out of 3
0 half marathons
3 half marathons

4. Set a PR in the 5K.

This was been a stretch goal for two years straight… though I didn't actually run any real 5Ks in 2013. At least any 5Ks where I didn't have to climb an obstacle crawl through mud, avoid zombies, or get doused in color. So this year I'm going to go for it. At least once.

5. Break 2:10 in the half.

Oh, and, well, I would still love to break 2:10 in the half. But I'm not sure that's a "goal" as much as a nice idea...

6. Blog!

I love writing this blog, even if hardly anyone reads it. But I want to keep writing and try to get more regular with my posting… if only because I love looking back over the blog to see how far I've come as a runner.

2013 wrap-up and running goals review

Having finally -- FINALLY -- submitted my annual review at work, I guess I can make the time to write my annual running review!

I didn't run nearly as much as I had hoped in 2013, though I ran 15 half marathons, a full marathon, and a bunch of weird little 5K and adventure races. As a reminder, here's my list of running goals in 2013.

1. Add five new states to my list. 

I am THRILLED to have picked up five new states, bringing my total to 22. It still feels like a very, very long way to go to hit 50! I ran in Virginia and West Virginia after attending the Bronto Summit in April, and then picked up Wisconsin and Illinois on the weekend before in September. I also had the chance to work the expo -- and run the half -- at Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis in October.

Current: 5 new states

- 5 -
0 states
5 states

2. Run 13 half marathons in 2013. 

Thirteen in 'Thirteen? Got it, and then some. And I do mean races rather than runs. I'd had hoped to get in a race every month, especially since we found a race in February, but it was difficult to find a non-trail race locally in August. Still, it wasn't pushing it to run 15 halfs by the end of the year.

Current: 15 races

15 out of 13
0 half marathons
13 half marathons

3. Run at least 600 miles.

This was a weird stretch goal for me -- even with all of the half marathons, I didn't hit 600 in 2012.  And I did't end up coming close in 2013, either. The delayed office move to Seattle didn't help -- but I haven't exactly been doing much other running. The eye surgeries... and broken finger... have kept me from running as much as I should have. Well, that and the general laziness!

Current: 386.699 miles as of 12/31

0 miles
600 miles!

4. Set a PR in the 5K.

This was the stretch goal. I managed not one but two half marathon PRs in 2012, but I'd like to see if I can't get faster at shorter distances. I suppose I would need to be RUNNING 5Ks in order to PR in a 5K. Harrumph. And I didn't actually run a 5K the entire year, though I did score a 5K PR in more than one of my half marathons (judging by my time at the 5K split). Still, that doesn't count, so let's call this a fail.

5. Break 2:10 in the half.

Oh, and, well, I would have loved to break 2:10 in the half. But I'm not sure that's a "goal" as much as a nice idea...

6. Pay it forward.

I wanted to volunteer at a race -- any distance, I don't care. AND I wanted to spend a morning cheering for strangers at a race that's at least a half marathon. I could use a bit more race karma, I think. Plus I think it will make me feel really happy afterward.

I volunteered at the Good Karma 5K as a course marshall (or whatever it is called when you point people in the right direction!). But I didn't manage to get out to any other half marathon to cheer. So I'll add that back to the list in 2014.