Friday, January 31, 2014

Marathonacation: Day Four

The Day After:
No I didn't sleep in. Maybe just a bit. Coffee in the morning was great, resting and now really no more "stressing". Preparing for the race can be stressing. Now the vacation really begins. It's Monday morning and everyone is working at the office. We both sit in bed and just chill for a while. It's now vacation time......well for as much as a self employed business owning architect possibly can......for me....not much. But I can pretend.

Today was all about relaxing. I was tired but not extremely. A little sore in places which was to be expected. We just really wanted to be peaceful and enjoy some time together. After taking care of any business at the office via internet......honestly there wasn't team really does a great job......we decided to go to City Walk.

We looked at the price of admissions for Islands of Adventure but I just think it is ridiculous to pay nearly a $100 for each of us for only a half a day. They were going to close at six too. So we just walked around and did some shopping. City Walk is really more exciting at night.....we knew that....just forgot.

We ate lunch at Bubba Gumps which I thought was appropriate since it was all about RUN FOREST RUN. Our waiter was really was slow this afternoon.....he quizzed us on the movie and surprisingly between both of us we knew all the questions. Hadn't seen that movie in a long time. Great lunch....great time.

 And then we got really silly by playing a round of putt putt golf. Two courses to was haunted and the other was SCI-FI. My wife chose the SCI-FI of course. Silly fun and silly pictures we took of ourselves enjoying our time together doing something that was absolutely no stress. Just what the doctor ordered.

We switched hotels since we didn't really want to stay in the Disney Resort the entire time. So we headed to check in and really just crashed that evening. We ate in the hotel restaurant and that was about it. Guess I was more tired than I thought. That's okay......sleep is what the doctor ordered too.

Tomorrow we planned on going to Magic Kingdom!

ET This I Believe
Eugene Thompson

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Marathonacation: Day Three

The day of the race. We had to wake up at 3:30 AM to catch the shuttle by 4. I had everything ready so it wasn't a problem but man is that early! We grab our stuff and a little breakfast food so I'm can get a little protein before the long race. Change in race shirts, it is colder than expected so I go with a short sleeve rather than the tank top. I am not a cold weather fan at all!

We finally get there. I think our bus driver didn't know where he was going.....great! The whole reason we stayed in a Disney Resort. Anyway, we join the gaggle of hoarding zombies walking towards the race location with just enough time for them to tell us that I needed to head to my corral. I had hoped that we could sit a bit before having to separate. Long line for the Port-a-potties but I knew I still had a long wait in the corral so I better stop now.

Found my spot and just sat on the roadway behind Epcot stretching out and trying to relax. I'm alone, it's dark and I am a bit anxious about my first marathon. There are 25,000 runners this morning....that is crazy. 5:30 gets here and you see the first set of fireworks go off signaling the start of the first wave. They are Corral A......I'm in Corral L. I have to wait another hour and fifteen minutes before I am expected to finally begin running.

We run through the entrance gate, around Disney Speedway, up towards Magic Kingdom, thru Cinderella's castle, on Main Street, back out on the highway to Animal Kingdom, next to the monkey cages, near Alpengeist and then back out on the highway again. Long way to Disney Wide World of Sports but we make it around the turning track, around the baseball practice fields and around the baseball stadium. Just before hitting the highway again I finally spot my wife cheering me on.....I needed that. My knee is hurting. Just six more miles. Down the last stretch and we see some funny signs posted. One said, " the last 100 are more impressive than the first 100" and also one that said, "Chuck Norris never ran a marathon,,,,,he walked it backwards to see what second place looked like." I laughed at that one.


We finally work our way through and around Epcot and by this time I am really tired and my knee is killing me. I have to run walk a bit. The best part as I count down each final mile marker, 24.   25.   26 and then into the final gate. Just like last time there is a gospel choir singing you in. Last time it was Get Right Church Come On Home......this time it was An Awesome God. I gave them a thumbs up and I picked up my final pace to push across the line.

Great motivation to have people along the side cheer you on and call your name out telling me I got this or it's not much further. I cross the line....arms in the air......triumphant.
I finished. Not what I wanted in time, but I still did it and I had a huge smile on my face.....a medal around my neck. And a first time experience that I will never forget.

I work my way through the bananas and snacks and space blankets being handed out and find my wife and gave her a hug. I am so glad to see her. I'm tired.

We head to the bus and get back to the resort. That is a tough walk....after some 69,168 steps. Stairs are not my friends right now. I'm covered in salt from the sweat that has poured out of my feels good. But now the not so good bath. I will probably be glad later but for now this is pure torture. Some food....I don't even remember what I ate......and sleep!

I wake up after a few hours to a ton of friends saying congratulations on my Facebook post. That is so cool. I have great friends. I put my race shirt on....the clean dry one....and my medal and we head out to Downtown Disney for the celebration. It started at 4 but I had slept a while. It is good for me to walk around, my legs are a bit sore but mostly my feet. Nothing real bad.

We choose The House of Blues for dinner and celebration. A nice meal and a bottle of wine finishes off the end of a great day. The first time on my Bucket List is now complete! I'm ready to tackle the next one.

Psalms 26:2
Examine me, O Lord, and prove me;
Try my mind and my heart.
ET This I Believe
Eugene Thompson

Marathonacation: Day Two

Saturday and on vacation in Florida. This just sounds awesome.....of course I can't sleep in on this day any better than any other day. At least we bought some extra coffee for the hotel room since they always leave just one regular coffee and a bunch of decaf.....really? Everything else was just trying to stay in my normal routine.

We did just lay in bed and relax a bit longer which was nice but finally I needed to get up and do a lot of stretching to stay loose. I wanted to run a little just to keep going. There was a 1.2 mile walk path around the complex that ran around the lake in the middle. Perfect for just a short run. I took the long route and tested out everything to make sure all was working as needed. Music, gps, new waistband, etc. It all just needed to be perfect. I'm a little bit of a freak when it comes to consistency on these things. After all, I don't want there to be any excuses why I can't run and for that matter any distractions preventing me form focusing. There were a few 'pieces' of sand around the run with lounge chairs and even hammocks that I thought would be great areas to hang out today. A bit warm but a nice run.

After we both ran, we headed in the dinning area for breakfast. A bit crazy because we were later than normal for breakfast but apparently just on time if you were on and everyone else waiting in line. Still a fun breakfast as we ate, relaxed and took care of whatever Internet business we needed. My wife certainly looked like she was playing the part of the pirate with her new headband, inscribed, "Run Like A Grandma" across the top. 

The intent of the rest of the day was to take it easy and relax before the race. We needed to go back to the expo to make sure we knew about the spectator spots and how my wife could watch the race in and around the Disney parks. Also there was a registration that allowed her to track me along the way to see my progress. That was pretty cool. Plus we saw some things we wanted to buy that we figured wouldn't be available after the marathon. 
Afterwards, we headed to Downtown Disney for a bit of shopping and lunch. There were a few new places since our last visit and some new construction taking place. I always like to see those! Can't help myself, I am always working. We couldn't really decide where we wanted to go. There was a fun place called Splitsville which was a bowling themed restaurant. It looked fun but maybe later. We finally set our minds on Wolfgang Puck. Food was good...service was poor. I finished my meal before my wife even got her food. That is bad. We decide that eating at vacation places are fun but we run the risk of not necessarily the best service always. It was okay. We were just chillin'

We thought about a movie but there just really wasn't enough time. I needed to keep things pretty tame since the race was so early in the morning. After a bit more shopping we headed over to Fulton's Crab House to join some friends that we knew from Allentown PA. It had been so long, probably 20 years! When we got together it was just like old times....picking up a conversation like we just left off. That was fun. 
Fulton's was like you were on a giant riverboat. Our waiter was named Darrel.....spelled just like me.....and of course we joked about him being my other brother Darrel.....where was Larry? Again the best of conversation between old friends until we finally had to leave. 

Time for bed......morning will come early......real early. I'm out pretty quick after sitting my gear out and packing everything I need.

ET This I Believe
Eugene Thompson

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Marathonacation Day One

We began our journey headed out of Norfolk on Southwest towards Orlando. For the life of me I don't understand why they board the plane the way they do.  You would think that lining up like kindergarten children to board the plane and trying to find a seat just might be somewhat chaos and unorganized. Oh well, we got to our destination......just not sitting together.

Nice and warm in Orlando on Friday afternoon. First thing is first....go get my registration for the race at Disney's Wide World of Sports.

There were just a few people waiting in line. Wow what a crowd. We decided to look around and do a little shopping after I picked up my race packet. Just about everything possible with running was in the building. We got a few energy chews, t-shirts and some souvenirs.

Then I went out a got my picture in front of the medal board......was hoping I wasn't going to jinx my race. There were four races but you could get a possible six medals. 5K Thursday, 10K Friday, 1/2 Marathon Saturday and Full Marathon Sunday.

After that it was time to check in to our Disney Resort. We stayed at the Caribbean Beach not too far from the race primarily because the shuttle buses would pick us up keeping us from having to drive in the traffic on race morning at 3:30AM. Good idea! The entire resort was like the islands and decked out to have a pirate theme. I was there for the run but my wife was there for some R&R so I hoped it was a bit remenescent of our Barbados trip. Our building was perhaps the furthest one from anything within the resort. Our bed was a pirate ship and the television was sitting on a dresser that looked like bunch of stacked crates. Hidden inside a wine barrel was the little refrigerator. It was older but nice enough. We didn't plan on hanging out there much.

A quick bite of lunch at the resort by the pool. Wasn't anything special, I just needed some food. After figuring our agenda and where we needed to be for the race, we took off to drive around and then to visit Disney's Boardwalk. Another resort and shopping area, but we hadn't been there before. The name described it perfectly. It looked like a New England boardwalk area. There were acts out on a wooden walk in front of shops and restaurants all lite up with strings of lights. Some nice architecture to study and take notes......I won't bore you with all those thoughts.

It was getting late on a Friday night so we figured we better hurry and eat. We weren't on any kind of schedule which was absolutely awesome. We could take our time and go and do what we wanted. That doesn't happen often. There were several restaurants in the area but we chose Big River Brewing Grille. It looked like a fun spot and unique. And as figured there was a long wait....unless you could find a seat at the we did. Great food and fun watching all the people hustle around.

That was all she wrote for the day. After flying in, getting our rental car, getting the registration, setting up in the room and dinner.....I was beat. No real big adventures or crazy stories. No late night for me either....and no excuses why I couldn't run on Sunday. Time to turn in.

That was the conclusion of our first day of the Marathonacation......say tuned for more my friends

Eugene Thompson 
ET This I Believe

Friday, January 17, 2014

Bucket List #5: Run a Marathon

Today a run because:
I'm a CHRISTIAN (1987)
I'm a HUSBAND (1988)
I'm a FATHER (d,g,c,a)
I'm a FATHER-IN-LAW (m,c,d,a)
I'm a GRANDFATHER (2013)
I'm a SON (1965)
(mom r.i.p 2013)
(dad r.i.p. 1985)
I'm a DIABETIC (2005)
I'm an ARCHITECT (1989)
I'm living the dream and success because I choose to be.

After race
inspiration wall

love you mom!

medal wall
the event!
The start of the Marathon
ice bath....cold!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014 Resolutions or Evolutions

I'm not sure I really have any true resolutions this year. To me it seems that resolutions are points in your life where you are going to do an about face.....180 degrees. I don't believe I have that this year. I do have a lot of continued progress or as I might call EVOLUTION......continued progress of the things I began in 2013.

Most of my evolutions are about fitness, business, renovations, travel and art. So here goes.

1. Run my first marathon
  A. 1st goal: Just finish
  B. 2nd goal: finish in under 5 hours
  C. 3rd goal: finish under 12 min/mile pace
2. Run six marathons throughout the year
3. Run six half marathons throughout the year
4. Prepare for Goofy medal in 2015 (half+full in two days)
5. Begin P90X....yet again.

1. Grow the business another 30%
2. Develop another project type portfolio
3. Send marketing cards six times throughout the year

1. Complete all IONIC renovations
2. Complete home renovations
  A. Kitchen expansion
  B. garage enclosure
  C. Master bedroom and bath renovations
  D. Design tower and back expansions
  E. Begin some exterior facade replacement
  F. Continue garden renovations and growth

1. Begin reusing Florida timeshare with family
2. Bartlesville 1984 class reunion
3. Visit kids in Texas
4. Visit kids in Colorado
5. Establish some weekend get a ways

2014 ART
1. Work on my weekly sketches (a much neglected desire)
2. Create some furniture art
3. Create some sculptures