Friday, January 23, 2015

GOOFY Vacation: Day Four

Dang, that alarm clock went off early. I slept pretty well. 3AM once again. Coffee once again. Slowly get dressed for battle once again. A bit of soreness here and there. Trying to stretch, worried about cramping up. This is crazy, running a full marathon after running a half the day before.

My wife is really sore. Her feet and legs are still in pain. Running isn't easy, no matter what the distance. For each person regardless of their ability or their experience it is always a great achievement. I was proud of her.

Heading out, same thing, same bus line, same crowd of cattle, same lines for security, same lines for the porta potty. Yep my nerves were there too. This time I had to go to the corral by myself. It pretty lonely by yourself.....even among 25,000 of your closest running friends.

So here is my goal. I burn out at mile 18 or 19 every time. I get to about that point in four hours but the rest of the race takes me two hours to cross the finish line. There just isn't any gas in the tank by the end. I worried I can even do this. Back to back. That is crazy. Now my hamstring hurts. Is it real or am I paranoid. Yesterday I did good with the run walk early on. I'm thinking of three miles running and then one mile of walking. 

I ended up walking half mile increments at first. Little by little I work my way down the course. The first half is pretty much the same as the half the day before. And I've run this entire course last year. My first marathon in 6:15......hey I finished. Just cannot go any faster. All my other runs were right at six hours. My second was the best at 5:50. Not sure how I did that.

I found my wife on Main Street Disney as I ran through and gave her a high glad to see her among the huge crowds.

Anyway, my Runkeeper as my mileage all wacky. At ten miles it has me a mile and a half faster. This means I cannot really judge my pace very well. Not helpful. I have to figure my time (which is accurate) and deduct that from the race clock shown at each mile marker.......math.....not a good thing when you are running a marathon.

Half way took tough.....still run walk method. Feeling tired but okay.....just pushing through. Cannot quit after posting everything on facebook, blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, website....etc. Just run!

On and on.....each mile I try to figure the math......something is funny. I seem really faster than expected. We get to ESPN and get to run around the track. I know my wife is waiting for me there. Can't wait to see her, she should be right after I leave the baseball stadium. I'm Goofy.....more than one way.....running around the outfield running track I started pretending I'm a broadcaster and rattle off out loud, "It's a hit deep into right center.....its could be a home, he catches it up at the top of the wall and he's out!" I yelling this as I go up against the the padded outfield wall and slam up against it pretending to catch the ball and keep it from going over the fence. The other just look at me a bit crazy........I just mumble....."guess I got just a little too much energy"

The others mumble back.....yes, you do!

My pace was better than ever before. Am I doing my math right? Can I really calculate in my head very well while running a marathon? Well the basic answer to this is NO! But regardless I know that in New York I was at mile 18 in four hours. Here I was at mile 20 and I wasn't quite at the four hour mark......was that for real?

I kept chugging along but certainly getting tired. With all the sweat I feel like I must have lost 10 pounds! My stomach is getting hungry but I know there is no way I'm eating the half bananas nor the tiny chocolate snacks they are handing out. It wouldn't sit well. 

I start grabbing a powerade and a water at the stops. The powerade is too strong but I mix the two together and water in down as I walk through the drink stop. Off and running again......just in time for the rain to begin. Yeah, just what I needed. Actually one stop was a cold wet wash cloth......those are awesome......really helped to cool down because the rain really isn't doing it. I'm soaked!

I apparently caught up with the 5:30 pace group now at mile 23......3 more miles to go. I'm really tired and catching up with them has drained me. I need to walk a little but don't want to let them get too far ahead. I stay with them until mile 24..... I see them pull away a little. Not sure where my time really stands because I probably started behind them......I might still be okay. Regardless my time seems like it will be my best.......after running a half marathon the day before.......that is crazy.

I push to finish. It is easier to run than walk. I feel the back of my ankle hurting. I think it is a blister or a cut where the tape is.......just run, forget about the pain. Pinky toe hurts too.......pinky toe always hurts. I'm sure it is a blister.......just run......I have another pinky toe.

I see the choir.....awesome finish line hymns to inspire that last little bit. Pose in front of the Epcot ball for pictures? You have got to be kidding......I'm not stopping at all! PUSH for the final few hundred yards. I turn the last corner with the crowds cheering me on.....I'm sure they are cheering everyone on. These last few miles a can hear a few people say, "You got this Eugene, keep going!" They can rad my bib......this is amazingly we go.....the finish......RUN RUN RUN. I sprint across the last fifty yards being careful because the rain is heavier and I certainly don't want to slip......not after 26.2 miles!

My best time.....5:33:50......Yeah me! Tired.....need food.....need my wife.....need a space blanket!

My wife was so proud and amazed at me regarding the finish time......but when I heard the exact time I was not as impressed. 3:50 slower than I should be.......I'm a butt sometimes.....never quite satisfied. I'm sorry, that's just me.

We caught the bus back to the resort, jumped in the ice bath and cleaned up. I was pretty tired, pretty sore, pretty much done for the day. I needed some food so we went over to Disney Boardwalk and returned to another favorite place, Big River. We had to wait a bit but finally got a table outside. Too bad because the football between the Packers and Cowboys was playing inside the bar area. We could hear the yells.

It is pretty neat to wear your metals and your race shirt afterwards. Everyone says congratulations and you get to do likewise. It is fun hearing about other people's successes as well as their challenges that they overcome. It nice to be an encourager. It reminds me of not too long ago when I struggled mightily.

Tasty food and then back to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. As we walked back in the lobby, we walked past a guy on the phone......I didn't pay attention but nearly walked right into him as he was on his cell phone. My wife goes, "Is that who I think it is?", I looked back and saw it was Sean Astin. You know, Rudy, Sam......the kid on Goonies! I was going to go over and say something but he was on his phone and he had his kids with him. He was getting ready to check out and I figured it was best if you let famous people be regular people sometimes. I respected his privacy. He had ran the Doopy Challenge. Pretty awesome. 

I tried to stay awake but I just couldn't. I was out by me Rip Van Winkle......I slept for 13 hours.

ET This I Believe
Eugene Thompson


Friday, January 16, 2015

GOOFY Vacation: Day Three

Our adventures running the Disney Goofy Races

The alarm is so painful at 3AM......especially if you have been waking up for every hour before hand and then every ten minutes of the last hour. Why do I do that?

We get up, have our morning coffee and begin getting prepared for battle. Well that's what is seems like. You put this on just wrinkles, you put that on.....don't roll the tape, you jelly this and jelly chaffing. Everything needs to be just right.......oh yeah, and it is 45 degrees outside. We forgot throw away clothes. I knew better!

Down stairs we go, hi ho, hi ho off to run we go. All of us boarding buses at 3:45. Marching like a bunch of cattle.....this seems familiar? We arrive at the park, head through the security, head through the lines of this and the lines of that......oh yeah, the lines to the port-a-potty.......thee had to be a gazillion of them. Standing in line doing the little shiver dance to keep warm. Time is up, let's head to the start line......or at least the corral. Talk about cattle! I'm in corral L but my wife is in N so I drop back with her. Waiting in the corral is the worst thing when you a by yourself. Besides, I had already decided that I was going to run part of the race with her. I didn't want to push too hard any way if I was going to run the full marathon tomorrow. 

We head to the corral and sit on the roadway......four lanes that regularly carry all the traffic into the parks. It was not too long before they started the silly dances out on the jumbo screens that were placed all over the parks. It was being broadcast on the local ESPN I believe. They had a few guys up on stage being silly like always and then they introduced one guy out there down in the corrals talking to people. He wasn't too far away from us.....I could see him and the camera crews. We continued to sit down on the road and stretch.

Okay, are you ready? The guy starts walking down the aisle and looks over at me sitting on the ground......I just smile......he walks past and then comes back to me and asks if I would do an interview. Sure! This is crazy. 25,000 people out here and we get picked. He asked my story and I told him my 2014 record and that I was planning on doing 14 in 2015 to raise awareness about diabetes.......HOW COOL IS THAT? Talks about publicity for my cause!

I hope to track the recording of it and post it here.
LOOK at 22:15

We had people coming up to us asking us questions and everything. There was my 15 minutes of fame......okay, maybe more like 15 seconds.

Finally the race begins and we start running. My wife had already planned to take it easy and do a run walk method. I was cool with that I wanted to support her. This was her first half in seven years......her first was right here on this course with me. We planned on running three miles and then walking one. Running three and walking one.

I do this for about six or seven miles and then decide to take off. Amazing how fast I seemed passing everyone. The course is very crowded with a lot of walkers so it isn't easy to do a great time. I wasn't keeping track and my Runkeeper had begun to goof up (no pun intended) it was rattling off every few minutes telling me crazy times. When it told me I was at mile fifteen (really mile eight) and doing a 1:47 minute pace.....I turn it off. That wasn't any help.

I run and actually feel pretty good. My ankle didn't hurt much at all. I wasn't sure of my time until much later. 2:47, and to think I was doggin it the first half. Feeling good sitting on the ground waiting for my wife to come across. She did a great time as well. Very proud of her. 

Off we go to grab our bus, I'm being silly running circles around my wife. She didn't appreciate that very much. We get back to the resort and I load the tub up full of ice. Yep, ice bath. Wife first, me next. Man is that cold.

Up and out, dressed and finally warm again. We head out to one of our favorite places that we tried last year....SEADOG! It was quiet on a Saturday afternoon but that was just fine. We ate a burger and headed back to the Lodge. We both took a short nap......oh that felt good.....didn't want to wake up. But we did. Same routine, got all of our gear together for the next morning. New running clothes. It is supposed to be warmer in the morning and a high of 72.......much better than 58 the day before. However it was supposed to rain later in the day. Question was......could I outrun it?

Off to sleep, I think I was out by 7:30. I was tired. Sunday was going to be something else. Hope I can do it.

Good night my friends. Sleep tight......I will.

ET This I Believe
Eugene Thompson

Thursday, January 15, 2015

GOOFY Vacation: Day Two

Our adventures of the Disney Goofy Race

We woke up pretty well rested for that Friday morning with no real plans. We had the day to estate and prepare ourselves before the run. There was the thought of going to a theme park but we were worried we might walk too much and wear ourselves out. Resting in bed was nice.

We stuck to our ordinary routine, coffee in bed, checking our emails, writing our blogs about the events etc. Again it was nice. However before too long we knew we needed to run some to stretch our legs. I wanted to get out and run around some trails near the resort. We got dressed and headed out one of the side doors. Unfortunately that wasn't an exit, it was a shelter for emergencies. Well we got to explore that area some. We headed back up to the main lobby to head out the front door. We figured we would find the trails somewhere near by. Hey, after all we are in Africa.....there has to be trails right? WRONG! No trails around this resort. We found that out after running through large parking lots and around the tennis courts until we ended up at a fitness center. The attendant said no trails around Animal Kingdom Lodge......Go Figure. So we did some miles on the treadmill. I hate the treadmill.

Afterwards we did a little stretching and headed to breakfast at the giant buffet. They had everything. I ate more than I should but still cautiously because I had worked so hard to loose weight before these races. Still it was delicious. A little more coffee and more relaxing and then we decided to head to Downtown Disney

It was a mess.....crazy construction everywhere. We had to park across the way and walk all the wY down. At that point I noticed my ankle was hurting a bit more when I leaned on one side. Was I really hurt or just paranoid? I don't know but it did concern me. We walked to a few of the normal shops and enjoyed oursleves. Nothing special, a few knick knacks and things that we could bring home. We decided to eat at the Irish place. It was okay......not really special. Fish and Chips just tasted.......well like fish and chips. I could have got them back home. Oh well.

We cut the afternoon short and headed back to the Lodge. I had a movie I had downloaded and we could watch that. The Fury.....looked like a Great War movie. We got our gear prepped like always the evening before the race. Race bib on shirt, all your gear laid out, all your pieces and parts ready to put on at 3:00 AM in the morning. Yes, you heard me right. We had to be on the buses before 4. Crazy right?

Gear set, ankles taped with KT Tape, that's a new thing. I taped my wife's ankles as well as. One that had been bothering me. We will see how that works. Movie time, wife fell asleep at 7.....except for when tank fire was making too much noise......oops sorry. I'm out by 9......asleep by maybe 10. Certainly not as early as I hoped but not a ending to an uneventful day.

3AM will come early. Real early! 

Good night my friends......tomorrow is the big day for the first race.
See you in the morning.

ET This I Believe
Eugene Thompson 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

GOOFY Vacation: Day One

Our adventure of the Disney Goofy Race

The beginning of another adventure. My wife and I seem to have those often. That's good though, keeps us young and always going. Today was pretty much a travel day with nothing really planned. Thankfully our flight was a direct flight with no layovers anyplace and it wasn't at the crack of dawn in the morning. 10AM flight on Southwest. Plenty of time to get up and do our final packing. Our daughter and grandson planned on dropping us off at the airport so we didn't have to pay for parking.

First hurdle, which actually isn't a hurdle.......let's call it my pet peeve. Pet Peeve #1: Had to stop and get gas in my wife's car.....why didn't she do that last night? That's okay.....not the pet peeve. Since we were really low on gas and I didn't want to play around with gas stations. I went to the closet one from the house which is a 7-11. I dislike buying gas from these convenience stores because they don't make it convenient. It never fails when I pump gas here that they don't have paper filled for the receipt. How can this just "happen" 80% of the time at 7-11 only? I can't recall it ever happening at WaWa. I think it happens because they want you to come into the store to get your receipt. If they get you in the store, to wait in line, you might buy something. HEY! I don't want to buy anything but gas! Refill the stinking paper! I have thought many times to finish pumping the gas and if there isn't any paper......I am going to lay the hose down on the ground! THERE! NOW YOU COME OUT AND PICK THAT UP!

Ok, my rant is over.

We get to the airport and check-in is simple and uncomplicated. Our single bag that we brought for both of us weighs exactly 50 pounds. Man, that was close. Good thing I packed my running shoes in my back-pack! Guess we now need to buy another bag if we bring back anything new. Bummer. Up the stairs and on towards security check. A little wait here but pretty much the normal routine here. If you have done it enough you probably have it down to a science. We do.

We are early enough for a sit down breakfast and to take a deep breath and exhale before our little excursion. The airport restaurant seemed like it was set up for lunch and dinner more than it was for breakfast. They brought us coffee refills in a wine decanter. Strange. Oh well, all else was good.

Getting ready to board the plane. Gone to the bathroom twice. Okay, ready for Pet Peeve #2: Southwest boarding system. This is just weird. Does this really save any time and effort? Or money? So yeah, it's great they don't charge for the first two bags. And yes it great that they don't charge any change fees. But lately they don't seem to be the least expensive. But here I stand, waiting to be called to my corral like a patient cattle knowing that I have a seat, just not where. Since, of course our flight reservations gave us the last corral, we are sure to get a seat squished in the middle seat and most likely not together. Yep, that want we got. I selected carefully from the last few seats to sit in between two skinney people. Yeah me!

Ok, my rant is over.

Flight was wonderful other than the boarding thing. We get into Orlando earlier than expected and head to grab our bag. Easy day. I made reservations for the car last night so Budget rental was the price war winner. No line, great. Okay, are you ready for Pet Peeve #3: Selling me the rental car options. All I want is the simple car. We are not driving all over and it is just the two of us. Nothing special is required. I don't mind the pleasantries to converse about but the explanation of questions and why I don't want them just get tiring. It's not like I haven't ever done this before. So here is the list:
1- No I don't want a bigger car, a convertible, a sports car an SUV......just the car I asked for.
2- No I don't want additional insurance, mine covers me and everything in the company....then I get its not your company's insurance it's your personal......I am the company ma'am.
3- No I don't need a GPS, every phone has one and I have been here a dozen times.
4- No I don't need Sirius radio the regular radio is fine.
5- No I don't need to repay the gas, I'll fill it up before I bring it my receipt for my gas that I bought it no further than five miles out? You have got to be freaken kidding me!
6- Finally if I can bring it back four hours earlier I can save one day's cost. Well thanks for the advise but I bought the rental for one entire week even though I'm only here for four days so I'm pretty sure that I won't get any money back and do you really think I want to extend my stay at the airport for an additional four hours making my current arrival of two hours ahead now a six hour wait?..........GIVE ME THE KEYS!

Sign a gazzillion times and initial next all the things I already said no to.

Ok, my rant is over.

Off we go towards ESPN Wide World of Sports to pick up our packets. I am also prepared for all the toll fees that are required. A bag of change in my backpack always ready for such a thing. Mostly a change dump before I go through security. Oops, drove through a toll. I wonder how much that will cost me going through the rental car?

Easy drive right to the ESPN and straight to pickup. Helps so much if you have done it before. Got our goodie bags, got bibs, got our for each race plus one for goofy. Walked through the area to buy stuff but didn't really see any shorts or things we wanted. Bought KT Tape because my ankle was bothering me. Also got more Time Relief creams for the race. We couldn't find ours before we left home.

One area had some speakers talking, when we went up there is was Sean Astin from Lord of the Rings, Rudy or Goonies......pretty cool. We is a marathon runner.....not fast....but still runs. Talking about his past runs and some of the things his has done. There were a few slides of his past events and he spoke very humbly about his experiences. Just seemed like an ordinary guy.

Done, Done and Done. Off to Animal Kingdom Lodge. Wasn't planning on staying at a fancier place because of cost but I delayed so long there wasn't many options. Beautiful place and really neat environment. As always the lobby was amazing......except for the giant renovation being done right in the middle. Everything looked peaceful......except for the giant sanding machine buzzing away on the flooring. Yeah.....can't even get a drink in the bar since it is all open to one another. Oh well.....chill and relax.

Our room is nice, nothing special other than the fact that it open up to the savannah set up outside with giraffes and zebras and stuff. Pretty cool. We clean up and then went down to the dining area to eat. We chose the Jiko which was awesome as we chatted with the others around us. A couple from Wisconsin who had a farm just outside Milwaukee. And a junior high teacher from LA here by herself for just a get a way. Good for her.

A nice evening and time for bed. Good night my friends.

ET This I Believe
Eugene Thompson

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

UPDATED Running Schedule.

I appreciate everyone's support of RUN EUGENE RUN. Please share my link with others and always look back here for updates and news regarding my success. Always success......never failures.


10 January   Disney 1/2 Marathon - Orlando Florida SIGNED UP
11 January   Disney Marathon - Orlando Florida SIGNED UP
25 January   Rock n Roll Marathon - New Orleans LA SIGNED UP
15 March     Newport News One Marathon - Newport News VA
21 March     Shamrock 8K - VA Beach VA SIGNED UP
22 March     Shamrock Marathon - VA Beach VA SIGNED UP
11 April        Swamp Stomp 1/2 Marathon - Chesapeake VA
12 April        Rock n Roll Marathon - Raleigh NC SIGNED UP
18 April        Flying Pirate 5K - OBX NC SIGNED UP
19 April        Flying Pirate 1/2 Marathon - OBX NC SIGNED UP
25 April        Rock n Roll Marathon - Nashville TN SIGNED UP
3 May           Kalamazoo Marathon - Kalamazoo MI
31 May         Rock n Roll Marathon - San Diego CA (under consideration)
6 Sept           Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon - VA Beach VA
3 Oct            Wineglass 5K - Corning NY
4 Oct            Wineglass Marathon - Corning NY
18 Oct          Rock n Roll Marathon - Denver CO
31 Oct          Wicked 10K - VA Beach VA
1 Nov           NYC Marathon - (entering the lottery)
7 Nov           Rock n Roll Marathon - Savannah GA
14 Nov         Anthem Marathon - Richmond VA
6 Dec           Rock n Roll Maration - San Antonio TX

If anyone knows any races that I should consider please send the information and link to me. Thanks again for all the encouragement!

Eugene Thompson

ET This I Believe

Monday, January 5, 2015

Giving Blood

I always give the doctor's office, at the endocrinologist's office and every morning when I have to poke my finger. Pretty used to it now and it isn't a big deal. The worst ever is when the doctor wants me to fast to do all my tests. Okay that part isn't so bad.....the bad part is when they can't get me in until 10:20 AM.

Okay so that might not sound so bad to some of you but try that if you are a diabetic. First I hate wasting my morning waiting around.....too much of a "got to do it" kinda person. Secondly, why would a doctor's office ever consider such a thing? Yes, I'm hungry but I can deal with that better than the wasted time. However it is 8:10 and I just took my blood sugar and it was 67.... Expect it to drop further in the next two hours.

Actually this has gotten worse/better recently with my new meds. My morning numbers are better than ever.....great news! No running this morning for fear it will drop further.

Watch your numbers my friends.

ETS This I Believe
Eugene Thompson

Run Eugene Run