Robin Williams: Rest in Peace, Funnyman

A preface: I’m not very good at writing about people. Normally, I prefer to write about my exploits as a runner or purveyor of life’s moments that I think need to be caught and held for posterity.  But, every once in awhile, I’ll try to put down some words for those who have had a deep and profound impact in my life. As news of Robin Williams’ death is still being sorted within my brain, my heart just kind of steered me here to a blank screen.

All I keep thinking is, “If there ever was a real-life Timekeeper, we need him now.“

Williams’ presence on screen was dynamic, almost manic. But, the love and attention he gave his characters was abundant. He poured into his roles and invited us a chance to go along with him, sometimes with blind faith, but never trepidation or uncertainty.

I didn’t know him personally, but like many of you, I was touched by his work and found great influence in his delivery and tone. I did have an encounter with him once. It was brief and I’m sure he had forgotten about it immediately after it happened, but it’s still one the best stories I tell to this day.

Back in late 1995, I was working at Epcot in my first attractions job, Journey into Imagination. Most of you probably have experienced Journey into Imagination countless times. But, for those who haven’t seen it, basically it’s the ride with creepy Dreamfinder and his purple monster (sorry, couldn’t resist), Figment. Back then, I was 18 and really didn’t have a care in the world. The job required very little effort, the majority of the day repeating, “How many in your party?” or “Please stand, watch your step.” Some days, I would be in the “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience” rotation, which required me to dole out 3D glasses by the gross and sit through numerous screenings of the film. But, the end of the day was just that; the end of the day. No need to take work home or worry about that creative pitch to the client on Monday.

To make the most of the job, I would amuse myself (and my castmember friends), by playing pranks on unsuspecting guests, other attractions and my fellow mates in rotation. Pranks like, wreaking havoc on the front greeter via numerous phony phone calls and voices, posing as an animatronic throughout the ride and other general debauchery in the Imageworks (I could write a whole book on that).

Other than that, the job itself, was pretty autonomous and I yearned for more. I had lobbied countlessly to my management for more responsibility; however, do to my age, experience, etc. I never seemed to get the chance to expand my stature. I guess it may have had to do with that time I sat up on the roof of the ride during Illuminations…

One day, I was feeling extra crabby from being stuck in rotation and finally had a chance to go on break. Being all of 18, I was stupid, of course and smoked cigarettes. So, I headed out the backstage gate between Image and The Land to the picnic table/smoking area. Behind that gate, there isn’t much but a few parking spots and a road that runs the perimeter of the park that allows delivery trucks/parade floats/etc. to reach sections of the park during business hours without interrupting the guest experience. It also allows VIP tour vans filled with famous park guests to navigate the park without being bombarded by your everyday park guest.

Back to the story.

There I was sitting on the picnic table with a buddy of mine who worked in Custodial, enjoying a fifteen-minute escape with my nicotine-filled cowboy killer. In and out of drags and puffs of our cigarettes, we talked as theme-park compatriots do, much about nothing. When all of a sudden; a white van pulls into view and parks near us. Looking into the window and seeing the well-known plaid vest on the driver, I knew immediately it was a VIP tour. Knowing that even backstage is “onstage” to VIP tours, I should have extinguished my cigarette. But, again I was 18 (and stupid) and was entitled to this brief respite from the monotony. The door opened and out popped a bubbly VIP guide, smiles and all. I can’t remember the conversation clearly, but she said something to her passengers along the likes of requesting they stay in the van for a moment while she goes to the nearby attractions to let them know someone important will be gracing their presence. Receiving confirmation from her passengers, she then passed near my buddy and I and gave us stern looks for smoking in the presence of a VIP tour. Surely, she would find our managers and give them a stern talking to, but I never heard anything after this encounter.

After what seemed to be a minute or two, the passenger door opened and out stepped a short, scruffy man. He made his way around the van to our picnic table and stopped a minute. Well, to my surprise it was none other than Robin Williams. I remember immediately thinking, “He’s hairier than I imagined.”  The encounter was very brief, but our exchange will never be forgotten. He looked at me, my cigarette and sheepishly said, “You know, those things will kill you.” Without any hesitation, and I mean damn near immediately, I retorted, “So will working here.” (again, I was young and dumb). But, what he said next still rings in my ears like I heard it yesterday. He looked at me and said (with almost a chuckle),

“That’s funny.”

As if almost on cue, the tour guide reappeared from behind the gate, gathered up Mr. Williams and his passengers and off they went into the park never to be seen again.

Robin Williams was an absolutely gifted and wonderful man. He improved the lives of millions of people through his craft, if even just for a few brief minutes on the screen. But, it seems to me the ones with the funniest faces sometimes have the heaviest hearts.

The world lost a wonderful soul yesterday. 

Robin Williams: 1951-2014

Robin Williams: 1951-2014

National Running Day: Doing More Than Just Miles

Fellow runners,

As you may know, tomorrow, June 4th, is National Running Day. To some, it's a holiday, however to most of us, it's just another day to log miles.

So, I'm going to do more.

A lot of you know, I am running the Chicago Marathon for Team PAWS, which supports PAWS Chicago, a no-kill shelter in Chicago. My fundraising has been going pretty well, and I'm appreciative for those who have already donated in service to my effort.

 Now, I plan to take it up a notch. So, here's what I'm proposing...

Tomorrow, I am going on a six mile run for National Running Day, and during that run I'm asking you to donate to my Team PAWS donation page. At the end of my run, whatever amount has been donated in that time, I will match (up to $300). So, you guys give $200, I'll throw in another $200 to the effort. 

Please help me help those who need it.

I will post on my Facebook/Twitter channels when I begin and finish my run, so you know when to donate. Below is a link to my Team PAWS page. 

Donation Page for Justin Stone

Can you really say no to this face?

Can you really say no to this face?



Supporting Our Furry Friends

I love running. I mean, I absolutely love it. There's no better feeling than hitting the road, slogging out the miles and clearing your head. But, equally as great is that feeling you get when you walk in the door and a cold little-nosed pup jumps in your lap.

Animals are the greatest kind of therapy. They listen to everything you say, never pass judgement and are truly happy that all you had to do was come home at the end of the day. Of course, a cookie now and then never hurt, either. But, really our little friends need love.

Unfortunately, there are people in this world who get a pet, only to find it's too great a responsibility. Some of these people won't even take on the responsibility to find the pet and home and abandon them. It's something we all know, but for the most part choose to overlook because it's too tough to stomach, myself included.

But, in this world, there are also people whose sole goal is to care for these poor creatures, fix them up, and find them suitable homes.

And, I've got their backs.

For this year's Chicago Marathon, I will be racing and raising for PAWS Chicago, Chicago's largest no-kill animal shelter. These guys are dedicated to keeping our four-legged friends alive until we can find them a suitable home. If you look on

Charity Navigator

you'll see these guys kick ass, with the majority of dollars dedicated to the animals.

It's up to us to take care of them.

It's up to us to take care of them.

DooDa says "Thank you!"

DooDa says "Thank you!"

Rylee says "C'mon. Help us out!"

Rylee says "C'mon. Help us out!"

Please Excuse The Dust - Site Redesign in Effect

Lately, I've felt this site hasn't added much value to the world. But, shit's about to change. In the coming weeks you'll find a completely redesigned Always Running Forward. The site will be reformatted to  provide a destination dedicated to bringing the running community together through race recaps, product reviews, training and other runner support. All, with just a touch of the wise ass.

Plans are rapidly moving forward, so check back in a few weeks to see the rich, gooey, running goodness.

The Elephant in the Room

The conversation goes like this:
Runner A: "I did the race in X amount of time, but it seems a runner I passed finished with a faster time."
Runner B: "How do you know?"
Runner A: "I noticed from the race results."
Runner B: "So, you are stalking runners?"
Runner A: "No, I was just trying to..."
Runner C: "Mind your own damn business!"
Runner D: "How dare you accuse someone of cheating!!!"
Runner E: "I think Runner A was just making note of an inconsistency."
Runners B,C,D: "Runners A and E are the axis of evil. Boo them!"
Runner F: "Guys, anyone selling a bib?"
Runner G: "Are you talking about me? I have proof I ran the whole race."
Runner H: "No. Runner A is talking about me."
Runner A: "Guys, I'm not talking about any of you."
Runner I: "grobble grobble grobble."
......end scene.

Sadly, this conversation has descended upon the running community like winter's black ice on the running path. And, this issue isn't isolated. I've seen it in numerous groups and circles. It seems each side of the coin is worth more than the other side. But is it?

 Let me break it down for you.
1) There are some runners who are questioning the results of those who ran around them.
2) There are some runners who are accusing runners of cheating.
3) There are some runners who feel they need to tell runners to mind their business.
4) There are some runners who cheat and hide in the shadows.
5) There are some runners who cheat and tell people to mind their own business.
6) All runners get tired of this conversation.

#6 is the clear point. Yet, it still happens. 

And no one wins. Ever.

Let me be clear, I like debate. Debate is good. It ensures everyone is heard. But this isn't debate. I'm not sure what it is, only to say the best way to describe it is to picture one of those old cartoonish fight sequences; where all you can see is a dust cloud of hands, feet, and lot of "#" and "@"s.

My take on the matter is what I said earlier, no one wins. Ever. Are the running communities really there to play judge, jury and executioner? For that matter, what good is it to tell someone to shut their yap? It's all noise that drowns out the good conversation and support that happens within a community.

Do I think cheating is wrong and reprehensible? Yes, I do. Do I need people to tell me they think someone cheated? No. Do I need someone to tell me to worry about myself? No. Do I need the support of my running friends when I'm having a bad day? Absolutely.

Let's use the running communities for they way they were intended. To inspire & motivate during challenges, and to celebrate & champion our accomplishments.

The rest is all crap.

Dopey Challenge: Have a Playlist or Two. Or, Five!

I've been a bit quiet on this front due to as of late, I've been dedicating my time to a real, honest-to-God, legit running article that is with my editor before being published in a national environment (heh, listen to me, "My editor." I'm like a regular Meyer Berger). It was tough to dedicate my time to that and to this, so this sat still while that was completed. Now that is done, this is this and that is that. Umm, err, yes. Quite.

I'm not going to go on about my love for music and running. I've done that enough in the past. The only thing that I will say is I need it to run and give my playlist a lot of thought. More uptempo, heavier, bouncier tracks for 5ks, since I need to sprint the whole time. Slower, more thought consuming, inspirational tracks for longer races so I can set in cruise control for awhile.

Music. My first love.

Music. My first love.

So, how to approach the Dopey Challenge? Well, for one thing, my regular 5k mix has too many uptempo tracks and would drain my energy, leaving nothing for the other three (and much longer) races. So, I needed to determine the right amount of inspiration but also tracks that would keep me on an even keel. The same would go for the 10k and half marathon. The marathon is a whole other story.

I also have to mention, some of the songs are pretty bubble-gummy and ones that aren't normally on my playlist. But, with the amount of running that I will endure over the weekend, anything with a beat will suffice.

Pre-race Mix: 

This is a mix I use when milling about on race morning/in the corrals. It keeps me calm and focused. Some uptempo stuff, but mostly chill.  In no particular order:

- Appalachian Morning: Aaron Copland (The Boston Pops Arrangement)

- A Tale (Chilluminati Mix): Cirque du Soleil (It's from La Nouba but remixed version on their Tapis Rouge album)

- Love: Delerium (featuring Zoe Johnston) From the Chillout 2003 Album (I lived off of this album while in Hong Kong in '03).

- Heart's Content: Brandi Carlile

- You Can Do It: No Doubt

- Right Here, Right Now: Fattboy Slim

- Howlin' for You: The Black Keys

- Under Pressure: David Bowie & Queen

- This Heart is a Stone: Acid House Kings

- Redford: Sufjan Stevens

- Mystery: Lake Heartbeat

- Aganju (The Latin Project Remix): Bebel Gilberto

- Olympic Fanfare & Theme: John Williams

5k Mix

I need to keep it low key to conserve energy for the next days' events. But, also add in a little something to keep my effort up.

- Lost My Way: Lecrae (I don't know who this is, but the beat is ridiculous).

- Rock with U: Janet Jackson

- Bezerk: Eninem

- We Will Become Silhouettes: The Postal Service

- Theme from Iron Will: Joel McNeely

- Rocket: Mae

- Reflections of Earth: Epcot Illuminations

- Magic to Do: Patina Miller & The Players (Pippin)

10k Mix

Same idea as the 5k, but a little more diverse music.

- Carry On Wayward Son: Kansas

- From the One 2: BEEF Wellington

- Drove Me Wild: Tegan and Sara

- Theme from Iron Will: Joel McNeely

- Go Kindergarten: The Lonely Island

- I Cry: Flo Rida

- My House: Matilda the Musical Original Cast

- Reflections of Earth: Epcot Illuminations

- When Can I See You Again: Owl City

- Wild Ones: Flo Rida

- The Last Starfighter (Theme): Craig Safan

- Rock With U: Janet Jackson

Half Marathon Mix

This one's tricky, since I will be rabbiting my wife for this, so it's really her race. I just need music to keep my pacing her properly.

- A Tribute to the Film Composer: John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013) 

- All I Do is Win: DJ Khaled

- Always on the Run: Lenny Kravitz

- Anything: Mae

- Berzerk: Eminem

- Bounce: Fatty Koo

- Carry On: Fun.

- Carry On Wayward Son: Kansas

- Cowboys Overture: John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013) 

- Don't Tell Me: Madonna

- Driving the Last Spike: Genesis

- Drove Me Wild: Tegan and Sara

- Drowned World/Substitute for Love: Madonna

- Face to Face: Armin van Buuren

- Far and Away Suite: John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013)

- Fireflies: Owl City

- Fix You: Coldplay

- Flying (Theme from Hook): John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013) 

- Forever: Drake

- Free Ride: Jefferson Airplane

- Give Life Back to Music: Daft Punk

- Good Life: Kanye West

- Higher Ground: Red Hot Chili Peppers

- Hollywood Nights: Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

- I Cry: Flo Rida

- Lights (Bassnectar Remix): Ellie Goulding

- Lost My Way: Lecrae

- Make Em Say Uh: Master P

- Mr. Brownstone: Guns 'n Roses

- New Map: M83

- Out of My League: Fitz & The Tantrums

- Reflections of Earth: Epcot Illuminations

- Rock with U: Janet Jackson

- Rocket: Mae

- Scream: Michael & Janet Jackson

- She Sells Sanctuary: The Cult

- Shine Sweet Free: Michael MacDonald

- Steps in Time Finale: Steps in Time (old California Adventure show)

- Test Track (2013 Theme): Test Track

- This is What It Feels Like: Armin van Buuren

- This is Your Life: Switchfoot

- The Wave: Randy Edelman (from Angels in the Outfield)

- Work Hard, Play Hard: Wiz Khalifa

Marathon Mix

Really hoping I'm still alive. This mix will be a mess of everything, but I will have a few power songs at the touch of a button if things get rough.

- A Tribute to the Film Composer: John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013)

- All I Do is Win: DJ Khaled

- Always on the Run: Lenny Kravitz

- Anything: Mae

- Back to the Future (Theme): Alan Silvestri

- Berzerk: Eminem

- Bounce: Fatty Koo

- Boys and Girls: BEEF Wellington

- Carry On: Fun.

- The Champ: Nelly

- Cowboys Overture: John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013)

- Don't Tell Me: Madonna

- Driving the Last Spike: Genesis

- Face to Face: Armin van Buuren

- Fix You: Coldplay

- Flying (Theme from Hook): John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013)

- Good Life: Kanye West

- Hall of Fame: The Script

- He Lives in You: Lebo M (Rhythm of the Pridelands)

- Hearts on Fire: Cut Copy

- I Cry: Flo Rida

- I Play Music: Rosie Thomas

- In Orbit: John Williams (from SpaceCamp)

- Kings and Queens: 30 Seconds to Mars

- Lights (Bassnectar Remix): Ellie Goulding

- Lost My Way: Lecrae

- My Body: Young the Giant

- My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark: Fall Out Boy

- New Map: M83

- Nutshell: Alice in Chains

- Party Rock Anthem: LMFAO

- Reflections of Earth: Epcot Illuminations

- Scream: Michael & Janet Jackson

- Shanti/Ashtangi: Madonna

- She Sells Sanctuary: The Cult

- Theme from Soarin': Jerry Goldsmith

- Someone to Call My Lover: Janet Jackson

- Sometimes I Can't Make It Alone: Mae

- SpaceCamp (Main Title): John Williams

- Tapestry of Nations: Epcot

- This is What It Feels Like: Armin van Buuren

- This is Your Life: Switchfoot

- To the World: Kanye West

- Wasted Years: Iron Maiden

- We Will Become Silhouettes: The Postal Service

- When Can I See You Again: Owl City

- Wild Ones: Flo Rida

- WKRP in Cincinnati (Extended Version): TV Theme

- Work Hard, Play Hard: Wiz Khalifa

- Yeah 3X: Chris Brown

What are your musical preferences for race weekend?

Giveaway Time!!! **UPDATE** We Have a Winner!

As promised, I said would give something away. Well, kids, here you go. 

Check out this delicious running goodness!

Right? RIGHT?

A grand gift that includes all of the following:
  • (2) Sweet, sweet New Balance water bottles
  • (1) Red flashy light thingy to help to you be seen in the dark
  • (1) Nubby ball for your aching feet. This thing is awesome!
  • (1) Totally, friggin' sweet New Balance backpack with more pockets than I can count!
So, here's what you need to do:
I'm not one for liking this and sharing that, blah, blah. That's all too much work. So, how about just leave a sweet comment below. Full disclosure: your answers won't influence the odds of winning (I already know you're awesome), but flattery never hurt either.

The serious stuff:
  • The chance to win ends Sunday, December 22, 2013 around noonish (EST).
  • Just one comment, please (so make it count).
  • By entering you fully agree to this giveaway being just for fun, meaning if you don't win, you can't get all uppity. Everyone has a sporting chance.
  • The products are all representative of their respective companies. By entering you fully agree to not come after me if you win and don't like the gifts. But, I really hope you like them.
  • Only U.S. entrants. Sorry, world.
  • The winner will be announced Sunday night most likely by Twitter.

Congratulations to Danielle, who's name came first out of the hat. Danielle, I sent you a DM on Twitter with the details.  Thanks, everyone for entering!!

2013 Running Year End Review

With Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon in my rearview mirror, my 2013 racing season has to come to a close. But, there’s little rest for the weary as I’m now turning my attention to the inaugural Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World in early January 2014. A bit of background for those who aren’t familiar, the Dopey Challenge is four straight days of running; starting with a 5k on Thursday, a 10k on Friday, a half marathon on Saturday and finally, a full marathon on Sunday. I have done a lot of questionable activities in my lifetime, but this may be the most questionable ever (definitely the most insane).  However, there is a place and time to discuss that undertaking and today is not that day.

What I’d like to share today is my 2013 year-end recap, where I recount my road races and significant running events that have impacted me throughout the past year. But giving a quick thought I could say my running performance in 2013 can be summarily expressed in one word.


2013 should really just be thrown out. In 2012, you couldn’t keep me from hitting the road, however my running this year felt like a chore and miles could easily be expressed more as “meh”les. I’m sure it could have been attributed to a lot of things, like new job, new city, etc. But, at the end of the day those are just excuses and my performance is purely a reflection of my motivation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still enthused about running and have a lot of money on 2014 being a solid rebound year. However, my priorities have shifted from quantity of races to more quality running with form, stretching and nutrition to play a bigger role in my training. With that said, I set out to recap this year and by damn it I’m going to finish it.

I should have known this year was going to go straight to ass within the first month of the year. Why? Well, let's just say January wasn't a good month for races. My first race of the year was the Warm Your Heart 5k held completely indoors in Chicago's McCormick Place convention center. The race is billed as one loop, which is correct, it's just one loop. But, the amount of twists and turns along the course would make even the boldest rollercoaster jockey sick.
This is just the first room, too!
I also participated in my first ever Goofy Challenge in Walt Disney World this month, which is a half marathon followed the very next day by a full marathon. You can read the full recap here, but I’ll also give you the brief rundown.

My strategy was to relax for the half marathon and then race the marathon, and I thought I was in pretty good shape. On the Friday before the races, I participated in the Disney MeetUp with about 100 of my fellow runners and had an easy 3 mile shakeout run in Disney MGM (I won’t call it Hollywood) Studios, followed by an amazing meet & greet with Bart Yasso, Jeff Galloway, Joan Benoit-Samuelson, Bill Rodgers, Des Davila and others. 
Running Gods
Who's goofier?
On Saturday, I ran a very relaxed half marathon heeding my wife’s words of not to finish in under two hours, and finished in 1:59:57.  Following the race, I had felt fine with nothing more than the usual aches & pains associated with a half marathon. I even felt well enough to hoof it over to the Magic Kingdom for some much needed corndogs.  However, little did I know Sunday’s marathon was going to blindfold and hog tie me, spin me around 50 times, and then sucker punch me in the junk. 
13.1 done, 26.2 to go
So, come Sunday my race had started like every other long distance race, uneventful. However, at Mile Five my Achilles and Plantar Fascia decided to go their separate ways each taking a piece of my heel bone, splitting right down the middle. After a moment where I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head, I hobbled to the medical tent at Mile Nine, received some serious medical work (read: ace bandage, Tylenol and a maxi pad, the last one being a cushion in my racing flat), and then continued to limp to the finish in a somewhat impressive time given my injury. The epilogue to this story, I had to be in Boston for a job interview the very next day, meaning I wouldn’t be heading back to Chicago just yet. Therefore, I had to cobble together a makeshift splint as a triage with various items from the local CVS. I made my way to Boston rather broken, rocked the interview and then headed straight to the doctor when I got back to Chicago. 
To the victor go the spoils
This month had me sadly waving goodbye to my hometown Chicago for the waaam chowdah of Boston, Massachusetts. But, before I left I had the chance to put in two more races, the St. Paddy’s Day 5k (full recap here) and the ChiTown 10k (full recap here). I love these races since I essentially step out my front door and boom, Start Line. Talk about not wasting energy. The St. Paddy’s Day 5k is fun, because everyone runs and then drinks (although, that seems to be every weekend in the Windy City). Since I was nursing my heel fracture, I took it rather easy and just took in the wonderful sights of Chicago’s running paths. But what I remember the most was how balls out cold and windy it was. Even running couldn’t warm me up. Luckily, the festivities did after. 

So cold
ChiTown 10k was a little different as it was two races in one, a 10k and a half marathon. Although this would be my last race as a Chicago resident, I chose the 10k as my heel was nearly healed. At the beginning of the race 25 or so of us were upfront and in a pretty tight pack when we reached the Mile One marker. However, the race volunteer had accidentally sent us into a parking lot and then it was like the cows had gotten out of the pen. We all kept running, but continued to look at each other to see if anyone had any idea where we were going. After about four miles, we started to see other 10k runners coming directly at us! It turns out, the race director saw the mistake after we had passed, stopped the race, reset the course and restarted the race. We had no idea and ended up essentially running the course backwards. He ended up offering everyone a refund, but since he owned up to immediately (unlike other races, Hot Chocolate) we decided to let it pass.

Of course, we all know what happened in April with the Boston bombings (read my initial thoughts here). I had been living alone in Boston for about three weeks and had traveled back to Chicago to get my wife and meet the movers. Honestly, we had no idea what had happened since everything we had was boxed up and ready for the truck. It was only until later that day, I picked up my phone and saw I had about 50 calls, 100 texts and Facebook messages. Nearly everyone I know had reached out thinking I was either running Boston or was in the crowd, and when I didn’t return any messages (I was packing) people panicked. I still think about if I hadn’t gone to Chicago to finish packing where would I have been along the course?

Boston Strong
I also ran my first Boston race in April. The Spring Classic 5k in Cambridge (full recap here) was a few weeks after the bombings so there were a lot of smiles and camaraderie among runners. You could definitely feel relief in the air. Not only was this my first Boston race, it was also the first time I had ever run an organized race in traffic! Seriously! Early into the race I was doing about a 7:18 pace p/mile and all of a sudden, I felt this lingering presence directly behind me. Thinking it was another runner, I picked up my pace hoping to shake the guy over my shoulder. But, when I picked up the pace so did the presence behind me. Finally, I turned around expecting to see some jerk drafting off me, but instead it was some guy in a Nissan. Clearly, the marshals hadn’t paid attention and this guy found himself on the course. If that wasn’t bad enough, he started honking at us to get out of his way. Thankfully, he exited without killing anyone.
Better than any medal
This month was my first serious Boston road race experience with the Boston’s Run to Remember half marathon (full recap here). Since this was the first big race after the bombings it was a pretty emotional run for a lot of people. Even I choked up a little when running past MIT where all of the campus police were out on the road high fiving runners (for those of you who don’t know, the officer who was killed by the bombers, Sean Collier, was an MIT campus police officer). The race took us through Cambridge and the greater Boston area so it was nice for a newbie like me to get a good tour of our new home. Emotions aside, the weather was absolutely terrible with rain, wind and near freezing temperatures. Being new to the area, I didn’t really have any experience in coastal weather and overdressed. Near Mile Nine I was so hot, I had to stop and peel off my warm weather tops so I could breathe. Although, my heel issue was a huge drawback in the offseason, I still put in a near PR-worthy effort. If I would say one race went well this year, this would be it. I also recall having tough time getting to the race, which added to the prerace adrenaline and I think helped my performance. 
A terrific race
Okay, so July had nothing to do with running. But, in this month I had the opportunity to see my all time, absolute, all powerful idol, John Williams. JOHN FREAKING WILLIAMS!!!! It was at the Boston Symphony and he played all of his best film scores. It was transcendent to say the least. You must read this recap. Click here

Let’s jump to August and my next big race, Disney’s Dumbo Double Dare Challenge in California (Part 1 Part 2 Part 3). The race was held at Disneyland and comprised of a 10k on Saturday and then a half marathon on Sunday. I had never run a west coast race and was happy it was somewhere we could spend a few extra days. The highlights of the trip were plentiful and can be read in my full report here; I’ll just focus on a few for this post. I think the biggest challenge was how to run two competitive races in two days and not kill myself on the first day. A lot my training had been consecutive day runs, but seldom, if ever, were they both at race pace. I figured if I could maintain an easy 9:30 pace for the 10k I’d have plenty of gas in the tank for the half marathon the following day. Not to mention I had been sidelined two weeks up to the race with a terrible ankle pain (which felt strangely like a stress fracture) limiting my training. So on race day, I queued up with my wife and friends in Corral E and set about an easy pace, essentially stopping to smell the roses if you will. The course started out in the surrounding Anaheim area, but quickly moved into California Adventure winding backstage, out past World of Color with its fountains glistening in the brightly hued colors of the show lights ablaze.  Heading through the exit gates of DCA, the course then took us all about the Magic Kingdom of Disneyland, which I really enjoyed since all the east coast Disney races have very limited access to its Magic Kingdom. We even traveled backstage and the castmembers were ready, cheering us on. Some even had signs celebrating us runners. As short as it was, I really enjoyed the race. 
The expo was a marathon in itself
The half marathon was a bit of a different story. Granted, a half marathon is a relatively long distance to cram into Disneyland’s small campus, so I understood it all couldn’t be contained on property. I also applaud the Disney for trying to keep the race fresh by funneling runners through Angels Stadium at the midpoint mark. However, the rest of the course was a mix of industrial complexes and major roadways making the race rather boring once we passed the gates of the magic and into Anaheim proper. Not to mention, the whole weekend was hot, like fry a runner on the sidewalk hot, which really affected my races. 
I have no idea where all of those medals are
While not the greatest races, this was far and away our favorite trip of the year. I participated in the MeetUp on Friday, finally met some great friends face-to-face, saw old friends, experienced Trader Sam’s, and had great experiences all over DLR. We are already talking about plans to go back as soon as possible. 
@SeeSharpRun @ConnieKos @JennRunsDisney

This month was bittersweet as it took me back to my hometown of Chicago for the Chicago Marathon (full recap here), one of my favorite races on the planet. It was bittersweet not just because I miss that city, but also because my wife would be missing the race for the second year in a row due to injury. At the expo (quite possibly the best expo in the country), I ran into some Twitter friends and had a great conversation with Bart Yasso about running motivation. Thanks to the year’s previous performance, I moved all the way to Corral C, which is a huge deal, at least to me it is. Sadly, my training and performance did not meet the expectations for that corral and I finished with a measly four-hour time. Next year. Next year.
Tough to earn

Bart Yasso - the man
My final race of the 2013 season is the Wine & Dine Half Marathon in Orlando (full recap here). This race is my absolute favorite race of them all. I love running at night and doing it through the parks is the icing on the cake. This year was extra special since my wife and I had some dear friends running their very first half marathon. I think this is the perfect first half marathon, since being at night, there’s less outside stimuli to distract and you really have to focus on your running to succeed. I’m also a little impartial since this race was my first half marathon back in 2011, some 38 races ago. I love the whole aspect of the race – get a group of crazy runners to run in the dead of night, traipse some of the best sights in the world, and then get wasted until 4am. Win! Sadly, for the third straight year, my wife wasn’t feeling so hot and we had to retire to our room at the Boardwalk before the party ended. Someday we’ll crack the issue. Again, a lack of training put me on the slow path to finish, but no matter since I had such a great trip.
Love this race.
That's a wrap!
I think what’s most evident about my running performance this is due to a lack of training. But, while the lack of training may be the most transparent theme, I think the underlying issue was I didn’t enjoy running as much as I used to. Nearly every time I approached a training run, it was because I had a race in the near future and had to improve my time. Rarely was it because I just wanted to get out there and run. In fact, looking back over the year’s training I had noticed my times were best when I ran after a bad at the office or other stressed related experience. You know, it brings to mind something I’ve heard in reference to fighter pilots. Some get so transfixed on a target, they lose their peripheral vision and end up in a way worse situation than if they just looked at the whole field of battle. I guess that could be said with my running this year. I was so fixed on race after race after race, I missed sight of what’s important and burned out too early.

Therefore in 2014, I’m going to get back to basics, remembering what it’s like to enjoy the run and care less about what place I come in. For races, I’m still going to train hard and you probably won’t see me at as many. But, the ones where you do see me, I’ll be more than ready. I know it will be hard to employ this strategy immediately with Dopey on the horizon, but I’m going to approach that weekend with a different perspective. It will definitely be more about having fun and throwing in some running to even it all out.

So, that was my 2013. Thanks for reading and I hope you all have safe and happy holidays. I'll see you at the Start Line in 2014. 

Run fast, run smart.

Happy Holidays!

Running Playlist: Half Marathon Edition

A few of you have asked what tracks keep me motivated. Here's the latest list of running tunes:

Oh, this my jam!!!

  1. Holy Grail: Jay-Z
  2. The Wave (from Angels in the Outfield): Randy Edelman
  3. 3-Way (Golden Rule): The Lonely Island
  4. Go Kindergarten: The Lonely Island
  5. Boys & Girls: Beef Wellington
  6. Forever: Drake, Kanye, Eminem, Lil Wayne
  7. Carry On: Fun.
  8. My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark: Fall Out Boy
  9. June Evenings: Air France
  10. Girls, Girls, Girls: Jay-Z
  11. Magic to Do (Pippin): Patina Miller
  12. Good Life: Kanye & T-Pain
  13. Give Life Back to Music: Daft Punk
  14. Face to Face: Armin van Buuren
  15. This is What It Feels Like: Armin van Buuren
  16. Get Lucky: Daft Punk
  17. Redford: Sufjan Stevens
  18. When Can I See You Again?: Owl City
  19. Hall of Fame: The Script
  20. Take A Walk: Passion Pit
  21. I Cry: Flo Rida
  22. Scream (R3hab Remix): Usher
  23. Monster: Kanye, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Bon Iver
  24. Heart of the City: Jay-Z
  25. Work Hard, Play Hard: Wiz Khalifa
  26. To the World: Kanye, R. Kelly & Teyana Taylor
  27. Tapestry of Nations: Epcot
  28. Lights (Bassnectar Remix): Ellie Goulding
  29. Carried Away: Passion Pit
  30. Clique: Kanye, Jay-Z, Big Sean
  31. Wild Ones: Flo Rida
  32. All I Do is Win: DJ Khaled
  33. The Champ: Nelly
  34. New Map: M83
  35. OK Pal: M83
  36. Power: Kanye
  37. Party Rock Anthem: LMFAO
  38. Theme to Iron Will: Joel McNeely
  39. We Go On: Epcot Illumications
  40. Kings and Queens: 30 Seconds to Mars
  41. Anything: Mae
  42. Creatures for Awhile: 311
  43. Thank Your Lucky Stars: 311
  44. Feel: Sojorn
  45. This is Your Life: Switchfoot
  46. Reflections of Earth: Epcot Illuminations
  47. Fix You: Coldplay
  48. Make Em Say Uh: Master P
  49. Driving the Last Spike: Genesis
  50. Always on the Run: Lenny Kravitz
  51. The Adventure Final: Angels & Airwaves
Happy Running!!!

DLR Half Countdown Post #4: Last Minute Details

By now, you should be ready for the race and this week is all about low running and heavy carbing up. 

If you haven't read my other posts, check them out here:

Post #1: Keeping Calm Before the Race

Post #2: What to Pack

Post #3: Conserving Energy at a Destination Race

Also, if your friends are looking for sign ideas: Race Sign Ideas

This final DLR post is dedicated to the remaining odds n ends that you may want to think about before hitting the road to hit the road. 

The Expo
I love race expos and Disney puts on some of the best in the biz. Since they have something for everyone, they are also notoriously tightly packed and navigating them can be difficult. If you absolutely need the pick of runDisney branded merch, it's best that you get there on Day 1 right when it opens. We don't collect any rD stuff (save for the magnets), so we usually go on Day 2 and by then, most of good rD stuff is gone (well at WDW races it is). If you want to enjoy all the sights and sounds, I recommend you pick up your bib/shirt/bag first and then work the aisles (also, if you want to switch shirt sizes you'd better get there early too). 
If this is your first time or 50th time visiting an expo, the biggest takeaway from visiting is nothing new on race day. That means all the cool stuff you just bought at the expo should probably stay in its bag (unless you are just replacing things you are used to such as gels, headbands, etc). Apparel is a big no-no.

The People 
runDisney enjoys a large, passionate fan base, many of whom will be holding meetups all over Disneyland property all through the weekend. Check out a few blogs, Facebook and Twitter to see if there are any you want to join.
Here are a few running groups to investigate, look at their websites or Facebook pages to get itineraries. Stop by and say hi.
Team runDisney FB Page
Pacebook Running Club

The Location
This race isn't in the middle of nowhere, it's at Disneyland! There is so much to do outside of running, make sure to experience it. Sure, there are usual E-ticket attractions to see, but take some time to just walk around and drink it all in. I, personally can't wait for Trader Sam's, Mr. Toad, Carsland, Blue Bayou, Fantasmic and the Matterhorn, just to name a few. Make sure to wear comfy shoes, though!

There you have it, gang. Keep your eye out on my Twitter posts in the coming week for the chance to win some great prizes.

Enjoy the races. Run fast, run smart!


DLR Half Countdown #3: Saving Your Energy

The plane just landed and you step out of the airport in the warm California weather. There you are with your list (c'mon we all have one), it's a few days before the race and your goal is to see everything and anything the west coast has to offer. Sound strategy?

2 weeks!
 While priority #1 is to have fun, you have a race to run (possibly 2 or 3) and to ensure you have a great time, it's important to build your plan around those races and the energy they require to finish standing upright. That doesn't mean you have to sit in your room and wait for race day, all can be accomplished if you are smart and plan accordingly.

The Theme Parks: Even though, the Haunted Mansion & Big Thunder will be closed over race weekend (yeah, I'm not peeved or anything), there still is a ton to do and you'll want to see it all. That's great! But remember, traipsing through the parks requires A LOT of walking and standing which can wreak havoc on your legs. I'm not suggesting saving your parks days until after the race (although, it'll be great to roam Disneyland with all those medals around your neck), just don't try to do it all. Here's a few tips:
  1.  Don't expect to see everything: You may feel rushed trying to see everything and a) stress yourself out when you can't check off all the rides/shows on your list, and b) not enjoy what you did see because you were running from place to place.
  2. Wear comfortable shoes: Flip flops? No. Crocs? No. Retired running shoes? Check. Wear shoes that will support your feet, not just for walking but also for when you are standing still in lines (and you WILL have to stand in lines).
  3. Take a break: If you are staying on property and/or have multi-day passes, feel free to take a break, especially in the middle of the day when it's hottest. We tend to hit a few things in the morning and then go back to the hotel and relax by the pool. Once we've rested up, we'll head back into the parks to enjoy a few more offerings. 
  4. Save the late night stuff for after the race: World of Color, Fantasmic, ExtraMagic hours the night before the race is a bit dangerous. Some of you may have to get up an hour or two after midnight to get to the race and the last thing you want is to still be washing the sleep out of your eyes as the fireworks go off. Go to bed early.
  5. Take a water bottle with you: A full water bottle as you explore the parks will deter you from other beverages (sugary/alcohol) that look so tempting throughout the day. 
  6. Have fun! While you are there to race, don't let the race consume you. After all, you're surrounded by life-sized cartoon characters. 
Two weeks to go, gang. I hope your training has been going well.  I'm excited to get out there and meet so many of you. 

DLR Half Countdown: Post #2: What Should I Pack?

Okay, gang, we’re a little less than 3 weeks out for the big races in Anaheim. Last week, I told you how I keep myself calm and focused when stuck in the sea of runners, otherwise known as the Start corrals.

But, today I wanted to talk about what to bring to make sure you remain focused on your running goal and not where to find running socks the day before the race starts. Let me also say there are a lot of bloggers out there giving similar advice on the matter. To that, I say check them out, too. Look at folks’ different perspectives, but also look at the similarities to aid in your decision. 
So much stuff. And that's just running gear!
While running may be the simplest of sports, ironically runners bring tend to bring the most crap, since we are so particular. Destination races are tricky, since you have to be prepared for anything and everything without over-packing. My wife and I are no exception. I will check, double check and triple check the weather in the days preceding a race, but inevitably I won’t trust it and dump my running drawer into my suitcase.

“To carry on or not to carry on?”

By all means, carry on! The airlines these days just aren’t what they used to be and the last thing you want is your favorite pair of racing flats to end up in Fargo, North Dakota when you need them most. You don’t have to carry it all on, but your race day attire should never leave your side. Here’s the running gear that goes in my carry on:

1x half marathon racing flats (I’ll wear my back ups on the plane)
1x running socks
Running belt (a game day decision)
2x headphones (I HAVE to run with music)
Garmin 610 + charger
2x compression shorts
1x running shorts
1x singlet
iPod shuffle + charger (See why)
iPhone + charger

My "can't run without" gear + iPhone (not shown)

Although, I will be running a 10k and a half marathon, in a pinch I could get away with most of the same gear. 
And since a lot of my readers are of the female persuasion, I asked my wife to share her carry on gear to give you ladies a sense of what she brings (she pulled rank and removed her run-dies from the picture). 

The missus' gear.
1x running shoes (she's not as shoe crazy as I am)
1x running socks
1x headphones
1x iPod + running armband
Garmin 210 + charger
1x running shorts
1x singlet
1x sports bra
Sports tape
Travel deodorant
1x Sweaty Band
1x Road ID

"Check that stuff!"
Now, all the extra crap we tend to check in our bags. While still essential, if it were to get lost I wouldn’t be SOL on race day.

1x 10k racing flats (I'm pretty particular about my shoes, but most folks can get away with 1 pair)
3x running socks
My RoadID
GU gels/Honey Stingers
Band-aids, Tylenol, Bio-Freeze, Ace Bandage, Body Glide
1x compression shorts
1x nubby ball
1x travel roller stick
4x running shirt
2x running shorts
Bathing suits
Comfy shoes for after the race/walking around. I have these great Chaco Kolb flip flops that are amazing. Expensive, but my arches are well supported.

If you forget anything or your luggage gets lost, remember Don't try anything new on race day! Buying stuff is great at the expo, but be careful! If it's tried n true things like GU or similar, you're probably okay. Shoes, shorts, shirts, new foods, bras, run-dies tend to be a bad decision. 

As I mentioned at the top of the post, use this as directional advice as well as other folks' posts. But, at the end of the day you have to be comfy, so pack what you need!

Hope this helped and happy running!

Friday Run Funnies - Late Edition: What to Do While Your Watch Looks for a Satellite

Quite possibly one of the most frustrating things a runner has to deal with is waiting for their damn watch to find a satellite. It's infuruating! It never fails; when I'm ready to go, the excruciatingly slow pace it takes my Garmin to find a satellite drives me nuts. Seriously, what's the deal? Am I the only one who experiences this? No, I can't be. 
Anytime today would be nice.

 For those of you who share my frustration, here are some things that you could possibly do while waiting for your watch to fill its bars:

1) Fly to space and actually find the satellite.
2) Listen to the Minute Waltz.........37 times.
3) Finish a marathon, and then run back.
4) Bake a souffle.
5) Learn to dance the Salsa.
6) Get lapped 5 times by an old lady in a walker.
7) Work enough hours to pay for a runDisney event.
8) Watch enough games to see the Cubs fall to last place (actually, that's pretty quick).
9) Charge your electric car.
10) Put a kid through college.

Do you suffer the same frustration? A solution I have found that works pretty well is to place your watch by a window as you get ready for your run. If you have a Garmin 610, my watch, don't let it go to the time mode or else you will have to start over.

Happy running!

DLR Half Countdown: Post #1: Keeping Calm

The countdown has begun to the Disneyland Half Marathon (Dumbo Double Dare Challenge for my wife and I) and things are starting to get real. By now, you should be high up on your mileage and the rest period is coming up (for a half, I tend not to taper, but will take 2 days off before the 10k).

25 Days and Counting!
In the coming weeks to the race, I'll be posting specifics for Disney destination races: what to pack, what to carry on, pre-race food from hotel amenities, etc. But, today's post is a little backwards as it's all about that last minute before the fireworks go off; you're in the corral and your emotions are at the end of the ultramarathon they have been running since you first booked the race.

If this is your first race, you'll notice it's pretty quiet in the corrals. I have found the higher the corral, quieter the corral (sometime I'm going to take a few corrals back and enjoy the party). This point before the is really the reflection time where you ask yourself, "Did I train enough? I trained enough. Well, did I? Yes, I almost surely did. Yeah, I'm gonna be fine. Ohhh, this is gonna be bad. No, I'm good......" Believe me, you will go through this a few times, it's natural. The other dilemma of sitting in a corral for too long is the inadvertent ability to compare yourself against other runners. Again, we all do it and it's natural to wonder how you stack up against the group. I used to fall victim to this all the time and got so psyched out, I started out way too fast and ended up crashing early into the race.

But, I found a few solutions that have worked for me to keep me in check and save my energy for the course:
1) I close my eyes and picture the race course. Before each race, I study the map and know how many turns there are and then plot where I'm going to speed up or relax a bit. Waiting in the corral is a perfect time to run through your strategy one more time.

2) Get my mind set. I know when the gun goes off, inevitably there will be those runners who make the poor decision of going out "mad dash" style. I have to shake myself of those guys or I will not succeed, so I remind myself to run my own race. I always get those guys at the end so let them get it out now.

3) Arrange pre-race music. Along with my iPhone, I carry an iPod shuffle that has a mix mostly of relaxing, chill out music to keep me calm and not get sucked up into the hoopla. I listen to that for about 20 minutes and then with about 5 minutes to go, I put on some more uplifting music. Some key tracks that do the job:

Chill/Relax tracks:
 - Appalachian Morning - Aaron Copland
 - Let You Down - Dave Matthews Band
 - My Weakness - Moby
 - The Journey Home Orca - From "Ace Combat 5"
 - Speak to Me/Breathe - Pink Floyd

Pump Up tracks:
 - Right Here, Right Now - Fatboy Slim
 - You Can Do It - No Doubt
 - Right Now - Van Halen

4) Just have fun. Hey, you're not going to come in first and you're not going to come in last, so enjoy the race and have a good time!

Next post I'll talk about what to bring on your trip. 

Motivators (A Guest Post I Did)

Here is a post I just wrote as a guest host on Patty's blog: Reach Your Peak about running and motivation. Enjoy!

Running & Motivation
Running isn’t easy. You really have to want it to succeed. Running requires a lot of self-discipline, sacrifice and effort to make it work. And, even after you think you’ve found the perfect approach, running will turn 180 degrees and kick you in the face. Sometimes, it’s too much to handle and you just want to throw in the towel, and that’s when you need a good support system. In this sport of self-inflicted torture sometimes you need someone there to pick you up and get you back on track. This can be a family member, a coach, or even other runners who share in the same experiences (I believe the running community is a great example of how camaraderie is prevalent, even in the face of competition). After all, we runners don’t race each other, we race ourselves.
But, what if you are on Mile 18 of a marathon and there’s no support group? What if you are on a long training run, miles from home, and suddenly lost all motivation to continue? What if it’s 5 in the morning and it’s raining? There won’t always be a shoulder to lean on. That’s when we runners need to dig deep and find the motivation within ourselves to forge ahead. Sometimes, it may be a happy thought that gets you through the extra miles, and other times (from what I’ve heard are most effective) are mantras or key messages runners say to themselves to keep going. Finding motivation may be easier for some than others (I sometimes have trouble with it). But, I found some examples of what runners use to keep them going and wanted to share their inspiration through the perspiration.
Here are a few examples. See if they are similar to your methods. If not, what do you do to keep yourself motivated?

Get in gear & hustle!      Source: Internet

Breaking Up the Miles: Especially during longer races, breaking up the race into more manageable pieces may help to keep you motivated during the race. Do the math. If it’s a marathon, I like to break it into two half marathons with the first leg being a slow, methodical half marathon.

Run 1 Mile at a Time: Don’t think about the miles you ran, think about the mile you are running. Put yourself in the now by enjoying your current mile.

Focus On an Object in the Distance: Say to yourself, “If I can just get to that point…” Doing that will get you to focus on the race and not dwell on the mileage number. Refresh every time you get to that point. This is particularly easy for Disney races.

Find Something to Tell Yourself that You Believe In. Don’t say, “If I finish this marathon, the Cubs will win the World Series.” First of all, that’s not personal to your effort. Second, it’s just unbelievable. Instead, say to yourself “This race is mine,” or “I’ve got this.”
Some others:
· “I’m ready for this.”
· “This race won’t beat me.”
· “Another mile down.”
· “Focus.”
· “Speed. I am pure speed” (My personal go-to)

At the very heart of it, motivation needs to be personal to you. You can have all the support in the world, but at the end of the day it’s you logging in the miles and not every mile is going to be sunshine and roses. Hopefully, finding a way to make it just a little bit easier through positive affirmation or race day tricks to manage distance will get you through that next run. See you on the course!

Sunday Evening Post: "To All Who Come to This Happy Race..."


Most of you readers will know that reference. Of course, it's Walt Disney's speech on opening day at Disneyland in 1955.

As someone who has had great experience with Walt Disney World from both sides of the turnstiles (cast member and guest), I've never felt lost in the "vacation kingdom." I can tell you the quickest way from Big Thunder Mountain to Pioneer Hall to Horizons (er ah...), well you get my drift. 

But the west coast is a different story. I have probably been to Disneyland maybe a handful of times in my life (compared to the sheer thousands to WDW), so I always feel a little lost when planning a trip there. So, you have to excuse my trepidation when I signed my wife and I up for the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge at DLR resort next month. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Dumbo Dare (c'mon, really?), it's a 10k through DLR & DCA followed by a half marathon through the city of Anaheim the following day. My wife and I will be going for our Coast to Coast medals. 


 Yes, it's pretty awesome and daunting. But, it's not the race I'm worried about, it's everything else. 

Show me your sweet, sweet DLR planning skills

I'm not completely in the dark here, but it's been a while, so I need some help from you guys on what to do, what to see first and all that DLR goodness!

I already have a few things set:
-Staying at DL Hotel
-Made my dinner rezzies for Blue Bayou (deelish) & Carthay Circle/WOC package. 

So....what else?

Friday Run Funnies: The Running Devil

We, runners, do dumb things. Running 10 miles one day, just to get up the next is pretty insane to most people. Is it a lifestyle or have we runners gone ‘round the bend? What is that thing that tells us to, “Get up and get your move on?”

I think it’s the personal relationship you have with your “runner self.” You know what I’m talking about, that part of you that’s just a little bit crazier than your usual (office/inlaws/courtroom)-friendly self. It’s almost as if we have a double identity, a little “running devil” if you will. The “running devil” is that alter ego that makes you think and do crazy running things. Even the most wholesome, good natured runner will occasionally succumb to the dreaded running devil. What about you? When does your runner Mr. Hyde make you do? Any of these?

·      When seeing shoes in a running store and thinking, “Wow, these shoes are great and they are only $115! But, my current shoes only have 45 miles and I’m hiding from my landlord. But, new shoes……….”
·      Getting passed during a race and thinking, “Man, f**k you.”
·      Running miles 1-3 of a half marathon at a 7:30 pace when you’ve trained for a 9:00 mile race.
·      Sign up for a ton of destination races
·      Wear something at a race you bought at the expo the day before
·      Trying Vibrams
·      Making you go that “one extra mile”
·      Saying “It’s just a sprain. I can run through it.”
·      Hop into a tub full of ice cubes and cold water
·      Immediately after running 26.2 miles, you immediately sign up for another race

What has your “running devil” make you do?