Friday, December 19, 2008

January 11th

Down the street from me lives this nutty professor, Dr. Brown. I was taking his dog, Einstein, for a walk yesterday when the leash slipped out of my hand and he took off toward an old garage on Dr. Brown's property. Einstein slipped into a slightly open door and out of sight. As I entered the garage I found Einstein, but more importantly, I found an old Dolorean covered up with a tarp.

Being the car nut that I am, I decided to take it for a little test drive. It was a very smooth ride, and befor I knew it I was hitting 88 miles per hour. I thought I was being pulled over by the police as I saw some flashing blue lights, or mybe they were sparks. Next thing I know, I'm in the parking lot of the Magic Kingdom and it's January 11th. Judging by the look of things, it was a very good January 10th. I was able to snag a video tape from a local news crew that was doing a story on a very special event taking place at "The World." They were honoring a very special person who has inspired many along the way. Please take a look at the video. I think you'll enjoy it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Lights


Excuse me while I opine about Christmas Lights. As I drove home the other night I thought to myself; "what are some people thinking when they make the very important decision as to what kind of exterior illumination the will subscribe to during this most holy of seasons??"

When it comes to Christams Lights, I feel that there are certain rules that must be subscribed to:

Rule #1 THEY ARE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS NOT HOLIDAY LIGHTS!!
I could write a 5 page post just on this topic, but I will summarize my position here by noting that if you celebrate Hanukkah, you have Hanukkah lights...if you celebrate Kwanza, you have Kwanza lights...I celebrate Christmas, therefore I have Christmas lights.

Rule #2 PICK A THEME AND STICK TO IT!!
There are two options here; white and multicolored. A strand of all blue, all red, all green, etc...is not acceptable. If you decide to go with all white lights...that is classy and regal. If you decide to go with multicolored lights...that is fun and traditional. If you mix the two, side by side...you're and idiot.

Rule #3 CANDLES CAN ONLY BE WHITE!!
If you have candles in your window, they must be white. Red candles are scary, anything else is weird.

Rule #4 NO L.E.D.'s!!
Unless you have a scale model of Cinderella's Castle in your yard and it is covered in such a way to give the impression of a snow covered castle, dont' use LED's. They are immediately obvious and offensive to the eye. Technology is not always a good thing.

Rule #5 BLINKING LIGHTS ARE A CREATION OF THE DEVIL!!
Unless you want to see if that annoying neighbor really does have epilepsy...don't use blinking lights. The different strands almost never blink in sync and they drive me friggin' nuts. *Note* The one exception to this rule is if you have your lights syncronized to some kind of Christmas musical score. That is cool!!






Rule #6 THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TOO MANY LIGHTS!!
If you are in compliance with rules 1-5 know that the more the merrier!! Just ask Clark W. Griswold and his, "250 strands of lights, 100 individual bulbs per strand for a grand total of 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights."





Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Toon Disney??


Ok, so maybe this belongs over on the rant blog, but it's not political in nature. It's Disney in nature.


How did Toon Disney get it's name??


According to Wikepedia: "Toon Disney is a 24-hour American cable television channel owned by The Walt Disney Company that mostly airs children's animated television series. The network debuted April 18, 1998 (the date may have been chosen to commemorate Disney Channel's 15th anniversary). A spin-off of Disney Channel, Toon Disney shows children's cartoons 24 hours a day (except for minimal live action programming)..."


I take exception to that description. As I'm scrolling through the channels, trying to figure out what Christmas movie to have on in the background while decorating the Christmas tree, I stumble across "Toon" Disney. I notice...it's not very "toonish." Here is the upcoming schedule: Right now is Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl (Live Action Movie), from 7 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. tomorrow it's Suite Life of Zach and Cody (Live Action Series), yes 13 hours straight. At 8:00 a.m. we get two hours of Pocahontas II, followed by American Dragon Jake Long (Animated Series). Then at 10:30 it's 4 more hours of Zach and Cody. A brief reprieve with Emperor's New Groove (Animated Movie), then right back into Zach and Cody for 15 hours!!!!


So my question is...when did Toon Disney become the Zach and Cody Channel?? Now I understand that sometimes you get these marathons in order to promote a particular show, but this is a bit much.


Overall, I have always been unimpressed with the direction the Disney Corporation has gone with Toon Disney. I understand that I'm not their target audience, but I could be. They claim to be after the 2-11 year old's with a 7-13 year old audience in the evening, but I don't know a lot of either age category that is watching after 9:00 or 10:00 at night. Why not show some old school cartoons from 10:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m. I'm sure people smarter than me have done tons of market research and found that Oban Star Racers, Shinzo, and Gargoyles plays to a wider audience during these hours, but it's just painful. To think that a channel exists, supposedly dedicated to Disney Animation, and you can't find any of what put them on the map...it's depressing.


Am I alone on this one???

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Quick Hello

Just wanted to write a quick post to let everyone know I'm still here. Thanks to Mike and Matt for asking. Training is moving along. I'm hoping to get in an 8 mile run next weekend and then a 12 mile the weekend after. Probably 1 more real long run (10-12 miles) some point after that, then it will be time to start winding down a little. I can't believe we are getting so close to race day. It truly is going to be exciting to meet everyone face-to-face, and accomplish a common goal, together. It's good to see everyone else doing well. I'm determined to post more often in this last surge to race day. I don't want to get down there and have everyone say, "who are you again?" "Oh yeah, you used to post, right?"

Monday, October 27, 2008

I made it back in one piece....phew!!!


I made it back...I'm not quite sure, but I made it back. I can't believe I was there for 8 days. It only seemed like a few hours. Ok, maybe I should start from the beginning and explain.


Last week, the 17th to be exact, I was simply checking my e-mail when I saw something interesting in my inbox. It was an e-mail from Jeff W. Not any ordinary e-mail, but one with an interesting audio attachment. As I read through the e-mail, the instructions specifically said, "So following your run and while your cooling down join Mickey, Donald, and Goofy as they play ghost buster to some bothersome spooks on my audio overlay of the Tower of Terror."


Now I've always been a bit of an impatient person and I thought to myself, "Why wait until you're done?? It can't hurt to get a little sneak peak of Jeff's most recent contribution. I'll listen to it while warming up and stretching before my run." Looking back on it I realize...this was a mistake.


I put my i-pod on and hit play as I begin to stretch out my hamstrings, then suddenly, I hear a loud pop and everything goes black. As I begin to come to I hear a ringing in my ear and I realize that it's a telephone. I still can't see a thing, so I begin to feel around. Suddenly, I realize that I'm in a closet and the telephone is on the other side of the door. Slowly I open the door and to my surprise I see Mickey, Donald, and Goofy wrestling to answer it. "Oh my god...I'm in the Ajax Ghost Exterminator's office...and I'm in Technicolor!!!!"


As I try to figure out how this could have possibly happened, I hear a loud booming voice come out of nowhere. Is that Rod Serling?? "You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension - a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into the Twilight Zone." Yup...it's Rod Serling.


"Who are you??" inquires Goofy.


"I....I...I'm Heath." Is all I can mutter.


"Great. Nice to meet ya Heath. We could use some help on this job we just got," says Mickey.


"Wanna come?" asks Donald.


"Sure...why not?"


Off we go in the Ajax Ghost Exterminating mobile. As the van pulls up to a decrepit old house, I start to get a little nervous. We head inside and I accompany Donald to the second floor. We both start to hear strange noises, but can't find a source. After nosing around for a few minutes I see Donald suddenly start shadow boxing, but I don't' see what he's swinging at. Realizing that things are starting to get strange I decide it's time to head for the hills. As I head down the hall to make my way to the stairs I run into Goofy wrestling with a dresser, and he's blocking the stairway. I quickly look for an alternate means of escape and I spot a rickety old service elevator.


This was probably not a great decision either, but hey...I was desperate. I jump into the elevator and hit L for lobby. Now from the outside this house certainly looked to be only 2 stories...but in the twilight zone...anythings possible. The elevator shoots up about 75 feet, then comes crashing down, stopping just before making impact with the ground level.


I'm now completely freaked out and frantically looking for an exit when I spot what appears to be three gooey white ghosts. (I don't realize at the time that it is actually three very sticky ghost exterminators covered in molasses and flour.) This puts a little giddy up in my step and now I'm off and running, out the door and down the street. I find myself heading down the street and right back into town. I don't slow down until I find myself back at the Ajax office. It was a full 8.25 miles, and I made the trip in an hour and fifty-seven minutes.


As I enter the office, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are back already and cleaning up from their messy endeavor. They explain what happened and thank me for my help. (Did I help?) They ask me if I need a drink after that long run back to the office. I gratefully accept a tug off of their bottle of Iowa's Finest Corn Whiskey. As I knock it back I hear another loud pop and again...everything goes black.


I come to and I realize that I'm laying at the foot of my driveway. What happened?? Did I electrocute myself with my i-pod?? Did I get hit by a car?? A quick self-survey shows that all limbs are in place and I feel fine. Maybe I just fainted?? As I get to my feet, the mail man pulls up and hands me today's mail. October 25th???? But it's October 17th...isn't it??? How did I lose 8 days?? It was all a dream right?? As I turn to walk up the driveway I see the empty bottle of corn whiskey feet. Wow...did I really just make it back from....the twilight zone!?!?!?!?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Disney Expert??

At what point did I become a "Disney Expert?"

Last night I found myself watching Monday Night Football, praying that Santonio Holmes catch at least one touchdown (sorry...fantasy football fanatic). As I was screaming at the television, the phone rang, and it was my wife calling from work. "Damn it...I'm in the middle of something here. What's she thinking calling me now?"

"Hi hun. There's a woman here at work who's going to Disney right after Thanksgiving and she needs some advice."

My wife's a genius. She finds the one thing that would distract me from football....Disney talk. Anyway, she explains to me that one of her co-workers is headed to Disney and she is looking for advice on dining. After explaining that she should have been thinking about this 4 months ago, I launched into 20 questions. How many people? How many kids? What kind of food do they like? Are they on the Disney Dining Plan? How much time do they want to spend eating?

20 minutes later, I had waxed poetic on everything from, not burning table service credits on kids meals, to the best places to go for a romantic night for the adults only. I even found myself giving some insight into the babysitting services offered.

Where did this info come from? 2 years ago I could have given a limited number of restaurant reviews based on personal experience, but now I feel like I can speak intelligently on a wide gamut of Disney related subjects, whether I've personally experienced them or not.

I have to give credit to the variety of podcasts and blogs that I ingest on a weekly basis. Being steeped in Disney has somehow transferred me into the resident expert for friends and family. I guess if I ever decide to abandon my current profession, I could go crawling to Main Street Travel Co. looking for a job.

Who else has turned into the go-to person for all things Disney?? I know I'm not the only one.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Quick Update

Just a quick post to say that I wasn't able to complete this past weekends 15K. I am usually off from work on Saturday and Sunday, however, this weekend was a little different. I got a promotion at work and needed to go in during the weekend to get some things done. Sunday I did get in a brief run, but certainly no 10 or 15K. I'm hoping to make up for things this weekend. I'll keep everyone posted. Congrats to everyone else who did participate. Great Job!!!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Steps in the Right Direction

Today's post is about taking steps in the right direction. Lately I feel like I've been taking steps back. My mileage has been way down and weight has been way up. My morale has been bottoming out and I've been getting pretty discouraged, at times wondering if I'm going to be able to get to the finish line. I've been avoiding posting because I didn't want to post negative news. (Doesn't mean I haven't been reading all of yours.)

I've been trying to ask myself, "why?" What has caused this regression?? Why don't I continue to move forward, but instead stand still or even move back??

Then this weekend I got a dose of reality. Who cares why?? It doesn't matter why I've stop doing what I know I should. It's just time to suck it up and do it.

Yesterday was the Mighty Meehan 5K in Dennis, MA. This race is to benefit Infant ALL (a type of leukemia). The race is named after Turlough Meehan, a young soul who left this earth too early last year at just 6 months. I had agreed a couple months ago to run this with a good friend of mine...and to be honest...if she wasn't doing it, I probably would have backed out. The weather yesterday morning was breezy and overcast. It actually felt like it was going to be great weather for a run. Then the rain came. Not only did the rain come, it came in sideways. I don't think I ever experienced rain coming down at such an angle. While waiting for the starting gun to sound my right side was soaking wet and my left side was completely dry. A very strange experience. The the race began and the rain came down harder and the puddles grew quickly. While running in those strange conditions something weird started to happen. Instead of feeling miserable and cold, I was feeling motivated and moved.

As I dodged puddles I would look up at the other runners and walkers, many of whom were friends and family of young Turlough. I realized that no amount of rain was going to prevent them from honoring him. Not only were the runners and walkers supporting the cause, but those who couldn't walk or run the distance had set up camp around the course, cheering the rest of us on. About half way through the race I found myself laughing and now I was aiming for the puddles. I felt like I was 8 years old again and running just because it was fun to feel your body move that fast. When I was done, I was soaked. I couldn't have been more wet if I had jumped into Chris's DVC pool ;0)

Now I'm feeling reinvigorated!! I'm a little embarrassed to admit that my last long run was during the Corn Fest Fun Run. But I'm looking forward to the challenge of this weekends run. 15K is a lot of miles. I figure it will do 1 of 2 things. I will not perform as well as I hope to and it will be motivation to work harder, or I will do better than I hope to and it will push me to continue to move toward that ultimate goal...EPCOT...sorry Jonathan, I know "Main Street Awaits," but that ain't the finish line.

Sorry to have run so long, but I'll try to be better about posting more regularly and that should reduce the overall length. Thanks for the prodding Mike...sorry it's been so long since I've checked in.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Best Kept Secret


Today I'm feeling lighter, particularly in the wallet. About $16,000 lighter to be more specific. Yesterday, my wife and I finally did it...we bought into Disney Vacation Club!!! We now own 160 point investment in the, soon to be open, Kidani Village at the Animal Kingdom Resort.


We've been back and forth for a while now on whether or not to make the commitment. The incentives they were offering finally pushed us over the edge. By purchasing 160 points we received a free 160 incentive points to be used within the next year at Saratoga Springs. This is in addition to the points we purchased. We also received a $1,280 credit towards the down payment on our purchase, and a $500 Visa gift card to be used at our discretion. With all that, how could we say no?? It sure beats a hole in the backyard...just kidding Chris.


The best part is, I'm using the 160 incentive points and the $500 Visa gift card towards my marathon trip. I'll be cancelling my reservation at Port Orleans once my reservation at Saratoga Springs is confirmed. Also, it looks like I'm no longer traveling solo for the marathon trip. One of my great friends has decided to join me for the trip. How could he say no, when I told him he only had to pay for his airfare and park tickets??


Anyway, just thought I would share some exciting news with everyone!! Hope all is well.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Will tomorrow ever come??

Tomorrow I'll get in a nice run. Tomorrow I'll eat better. Tomorrow I'll weigh myself. Tomorrow I'll post an update on my blog.

That's what I've been saying for 2 weeks now. Unfortunately, tomorrow just wouldn't come. I had a great Corn Fest 10k, but since then, it has been all downhill. Not much in the area of working out, and too much in the area of eating.

I want to thank Mike, Rae, and others who have inquired as to my whereabouts. I'm still here, and I've been here. While I haven't been posting or commenting, I have been reading.

I know it's, time to get back on track, and I figure by blogging, it will help make me accountable for my actions and in-actions. Today, I've finally gotten back to the blog, now I've got to get back to running. I guess we'll see how dedicated I am...tomorrow.

Sorry for the glum report, but hopefully a more positive one soon.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Cornfest Run Report

Something funny happened on my way to the starting line of the first annual Cornfest 5K Run. I got a little confused and apparently got into the wrong corral. The starting gun sounded and I was off to a great start. My plan was to keep to doing intervals, that is, run for 3 minutes, walk for 2. As in most races, I started a little fast, but then settled into a nice slow pace. As I chugged forward I was wondering when I was ever going to hit the halfway point. As most of you know, the Cornfest course is a very flat, out-and-back style course.

Anyway, as I continued to move forward I finally saw the turn around up ahead and now, coming back towards me was Craig from Ohio. I yelled out, "Man Craig, that was a long mile and a half."

Craig replied, "Dude, what are you talking about?? That was the 3.1 mile mark!!"

"What!?!?!?!?!"

That's right, I got on the wrong darn course!! I accidentally got into the 10K race. I guess that would explain those 2 plaid streaks that went by me, going in the other direction, about 20 minutes ago...it was Chris and Mike.

Well, the only thing to do now was to turn back, run another 3.1 miles, and finish the race. I was starting to struggle a little when I heard a voice...no not him...it was Deb!! "What are you doing on this course Heath?" inquired Deb, as she ran by me.

"I don't know, I'm trying to figure that out myself." My pace on the back half was a little slower, but I made it back to the finish line.

As I crossed the finish line, Matt and Rae were both standing there with a some gatorade in hand. In unison they said, "Holy Cats Heath, nice job!!"

"Thanks guys. Why didn't you tell me I got into the wrong line??"

I think I definitely earned the turtle award with a time of 1:29:00, but it's still on pace to not get swept in the half...and hey, I just completed the longest race of my life...so far.

As I got in my car to drive home after the race, I thought to myself, "Wow, January is really gonna be a blast!!!"

Thursday, August 7, 2008

All About The....Team Voice??

I know Matt already went over this, but this past weeks All About The Mouse show was truly all about Team Voice. Our good friend Matt finally answered his phone, Rae got her own T.V. segment, I got an e-mail read and this blog was mentioned, I think I even heard a Jeff W. reference....oh yeah...and Mike Fess got hosed!! It was fun to hear all the love for Team Voice. I think it's even helped motivate me a little, which is good, because I need a kick in the pants. I've been slacking a little lately, but I'm getting back at it tomorrow. I need to get ready for my pirate run this month...love the challenge Rae!! On the subject of motivation, Matt completed 13.1 recently and he had plenty of time to spare!!!!! Makes me want to go out and just say, "forget it...run the whole 13.1 now!!" We'll see...it might at least be a good time to check my progress or see how much work I have left to do.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, why don't I just focus on this weekends big race...the 1st Annual Corn Run!!

Till then...keep movin' forward Team Voice!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Workout Update and More

I realize I haven't posted about my workouts in a while, and Mike was good enough to remind me. So here goes...read Jonathan's blog...ditto. No I'm just kidding, I won't simplify it that much. I am following the same program as Jonathan, but some of my workouts vary from his. The run days are pretty much the same. 3 days a week of running doing ever increasing run/walk intervals. 2 days a week have been cross training, which means either weight lifting, kayaking, or the elliptical.

I have to tell you, I've really been enjoying this regimen. The kayaking and weight lifting add some much needed change into the daily grind, and I have really been enjoying getting out on the water in my kayak. I almost feel like I'm cheating and not actually getting a workout, but don't worry, my muscles tell a different story. As for the running, which is what this is really all about, it's going well. I like the intervals. A given run could consist of the following: walk for 5 minutes to warm up, then run for 3 minutes, walk for 2 and repeat this 8 times. I like it because it seems like before I know it 3 or 4 intervals are already behind me and then I start to think, "Ok, just get through this next 3 minutes of running and then I just have to do it 4 more times." It may sound weird to some, but it's been working for me. I'm not thinking, I still have 20 minutes left, I'm thinking I have 4 more blocks of running.

On the non-running front...my Mouseketeer # got picked this week by guest Larry!!! I figured that as the legions of Mouseketeer's grew, the chances of getting picked was shrinking, but it was my lucky week!! Also on this weeks show, our friend Craig got a nice shout out in the show notes.

I want to thank everyone for the comments on my Yehaw Bob post. I didn't realize how many people weren't familiar with him and his show. Hopefully we can get a group of those interested, together for a show during marathon week.

I want to give a special kudos to Mike and Jonathan for seeing such positive results in their recent doctor's visits. Isn't that why we're all here in the first place...get healthy and have fun doing it!!! Also, nice job to Chris on his 10 mile race in Rhode Island on Friday!! You sure you meant to sign up for the HALF-marathon....looks like you're in full-marathon shape!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Who's Yehaa Bob?


I was shocked and horrified when a fellow Team Voicer asked me today..."What is Yehaw Bob?" I won't mention any names, but we all know and love her, and I think she is the only Team Voicer who actually lives south of the World.


The question was posed as a result of my trip plan that I posted. I listed Yehaa Bob as my last thing to do Thursday night. Actually I misspelled his name as Yehaw Bob...yes he spells it Yehaa.


To answer the question...Yehaa Bob, or Bob Jackson to his friends, is a pianist who performs on certain nights at Port Orleans Riverside. To categorize him as a pianist is an understatement. He is a one man show. He is a musician, comedian, and all around good guy!! Bob's high energy shows are all about audience participation, and he doesn't usually have a problem getting them involved.


Let me clarify that I'm not actually speaking from personal experience. I have never seen Yehaa Bob in person, I've only seen videos and heard reviews from podcasters and Disney fans. I also did some research by heading over to his website: http://www.yehaabob.com/


I have stayed twice at Port Orleans Riverside and I didn't even know this guy existed. The marathon trip will be my third time staying, and I don't intend on missing him again.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Game Plan

Ok so here is what I'm thinking about for a schedule for the Marathon Trip:


Thursday 01/08:
Arrive @ Disney 1:00 p.m.
Packet Pickup @ 3:00 p.m. (Sorry Matt)
Dinner @ Planet Hollywood @6:00 (Gotta use that gift cert. they provide with the Magic Your Way Package)
Downtown Disney
Yehaw Bob @ Port Orleans Riverside

Friday 01/09:
Animal Kingdom
Crystal Palace Dinner @ 6:00 p.m.
Magic Kingdom (very brief...probably before dinner, and maybe 1 ride after, then off to bed)

Saturday 01/10:
Race Day!!!
Race @ 6:00 a.m.
EPCOT
Dinner @ LeCellier @ 5:00
Team Voice Meet @ 8:00
Boardwalk

Sunday 01/11:
Magic Kingdom
Team Voice Meet @ 1:00
Hollywood Studios

Monday 01/12:
Open

Most of this is subject to change. My only ADR is going to be Friday at Le Cellier pre-T.V. Meet. Once I know what the Extra Magic Hours are going to be, things may be adjusted. Any suggestions?? I'm open to criticism.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Going it alone...sort of.

I've completed the first week of my new training program. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm following the same, and much maligned training program that Jonathan Dichter has chosen to follow. Contrary to popular belief, it is no walk in the park. Monday I did 35 minutes of 3 min. run/ 2 min. walk intervals, Tuesday was 30 minutes of elliptical, Wednesday was a rest day, Thursday was the same as Monday plus some weight training, Friday was kayaking, and Saturday was a 3 mile run using the same intervals. As the weeks go on the time and distance will increase. I definitely got something out of this first week. I feel like I really pushed myself and I know I will see steady progress over the upcoming weeks. It is the structure I needed in my training. I can't come up with any excuses for putting off a particular workout.

A couple people asked me about my travel plans for marathon weekend, more specifically, about whether or not the family is coming. Unfortunately, they are not. My wife has a prior commitment that can't be changed. As a result, I will be heading down alone. Once I get there I'll be looking forward to meeting up with and spending time with some of my fellow Team Voicers. Now that Jonathan has created a couple of official meets and Rae has offered to grab an ADR at Crystal Palace, I know I'm not gonna be "alone" while I'm there. The time that I am alone, I'm actually looking forward to being able to tour the parks a little differently than I would with the family. So...while I wish my wife and daughter were going to be able to make the trip...I'm still looking forward to an exciting, wonderful time!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

It's really real!!

Tonight I finally booked my stay for marathon weekend. I'm heading down on Thursday 1/8 and coming home Monday 1/12. Port Orleans Riverside will be my resort. Yeehaw Bob, here I come!! Now it feels real, and it feels great!! I called to book as opposed to just doing it online...I feel like I get a little more of the magic when I get to speak with someone down there. I definitely got some of that magic during this phone call. The cast member that I spoke with was originally from Cape Cod and lived about 20 minutes from where I am. It made for a really cool chat. We discussed the weather and traffic up here and the benefits of moving to Florida from Massachusetts. It was just a nice reminder of why I love Disney.

I think booking my trip was just the added motivation I needed too for tonight's workout. I was going to run right after work, but I don't think it would have been a good idea with the heat and humidity where it was. Instead, I went out after booking my trip, at around 8:00 p.m. It was much cooler. I had to get out there tonight, no matter what time it ended up being. I'm actually following the same plan as Dichter and unscheduled days off are an absolute no-no. Tomorrow is a cross training day, so I'll be heading out in my kayak at 6:00 a.m. for a morning row/fishing excursion. Don't worry, I'll get my arms and core pumping.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Car 54 Where Are You?

Let me start off by apologizing for going MIA for a while. Typically, I've been writing my posts during some down time at work (shhh, don't tell my boss). But lately, that has not been an option. Work has been insane. Usually, we see an upswing in activity around Memorial Day weekend, then there is a nice lull until 4th of July. This year...no lull. It's been full throttle since Memorial Day. I won't bore you with details, because I know everyone has their own story about balancing life with running and blogging and catching up on podcasts, etc. All I can say is...I'll try to do better.

Even though I haven't been posting or commenting much, I have been reading some. Looks like a lot of good stuff going on out there in Team Voice land. Well, except for Matt dealing with computer meltdowns. I've been closely following the East Coast/ West Coast battle. It's looking like the Notorious B.I.G. is leaving Tupac in his dust!! Chris is on fire!! Jonathan hasn't had a bad month, but I think Chris is borderline Mike speed, aka Plaid Speed...I guess he's Paisley Speed?

I've also been enjoying reading the trip reports. Deb's weekend adventures have been really cool to read, because I'm going to be finding myself at WDW alone come marathon week....well if you don't count the legions of Team Voicers...so it's cool to see how she was able to experience the parks alone. And the Dis-Hippy's (Jeff from MO) trip looks like something right out of my play book. I know we've only seen 2 days so far, but I'm diggin' the touring plan.

Oh yeah...did I tell you I jumped over a hurdle...no not a real hurdle...that would probably cause serious bodily injury. I turned 30!! Doesn't feel much different than 29, but now I guess I have to act like a real adult...bummer. Again, sorry it's been so long. I'll try to be better.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Still Alive

Just a quick post tonight to let people know that I am still alive. Work has been down right ridiculous since Memorial Day Weekend, severely limiting my blogging ability.

I posted a zero today, but I'm trying not to let it get me down. As I'm sure most of you have experienced, or at least read, the heat and humidity in the Northeast has been brutal the last few days. Add to that a serious bout of allergies and the results are a serious drop in the workout schedule. Yesterday I actually had to take a day off. My intention was for a evening run, but after mowing the lawn and making a couple of runs to the local dump, I was dead. It hurts to say it, but I'm out of the Juneathon :0( Good luck to the rest of you who are still alive in the challenge.

I'm reading some great posts, and it looks like everyone is doing really well. Haven't heard from Matt in a while though. I hope he didn't lost doing laps around the National Mall in D.C. Where are you Matt???? Chris (Stroller Boy) has been putting up some impressive numbers so far this month. I heard Dichter was complaining that the same referees who put the brakes on Kobe Bryant's game, have sabotaged his early June training regimen. While the Celtics are up 2 games to none on the Lakers, Chris too is threatening to leave his competition in his dust. One last shout out before I hang it up for the night: Way to go Deb!! While away on business and spending the weekends in the park, she is still getting in some runs. Awesome job!!

This weeks AATM podcast had a great segment on Disney Honeymoons. My wife and I were fortunate enough to take our honeymoon in the World....and the Cruise. I'll try to dedicate a post soon to that topic. I want to include some pics though and that is going to involve some scanning. As I already noted....time is limited, so we'll see.

Keep up the good work everyone!! Run hard, run safe!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Solid Start to June

Off to a decent start for the month of June. I'm not posting my normal Monday weigh-in today. Instead, I posted a weigh-in yesterday because it was the beginning of the month. I was happy to see that I was down 2 more pounds for a total May weight loss of 11 pounds!! My goal for this month...10 more. I know that it's not gonna continue to come off as easy as it did in May, so I'm going to have to keep the slip ups to a minimum and no days off from working out. I'm not saying I'm going to go out and put up 5 miles a day or anything, but at least some movement every day.

I'm really hoping for a solid performance leading up to...wait for it...wait for it...my 30th birthday...gulp!! That's right this month...the 23rd to be exact...I hit the big 3-0. It's funny though, I guess I should be feeling old (no offense to those of you who are approaching Scopa territory) but I'm feeling better than I have in several years. It's amazing what a little exercise and eating right will do for a guy!!

My birthday celebration plans include making a trip to Newport, RI to celebrate with some friends. I lived in this city for 5 years while attending college and have plenty of old haunts, i.e. restaurants and bars, that I want to hit while there. This will probably be my toughest challenge yet, but I have plenty of time still to worry about that. First and foremost is my next 5k challenge coming up June 14th. My goal...beat my previous time. I figure with some solid mileage the next couple weeks I should be able to get myself into a decent position to do just that.

I'm still finding myself torn about who to cheer for in the battle of the titans...The Voice vs. Stroller Boy. I'm leaning towards Chris...it's an East Coast thing, and with the Celtics taking on the Lakers, I'm hesitant to get behind anything or anyone who represents the left coast. I may have to see how things start to unfold before I officially throw my hat in any one's ring. For now, I'll just say...I hope both stay injury free and continue to move their training forward.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Pixar Story


On and off downpours today helped to convince me that today would be a day of rest. I figure on this last day of May, it might not be a bad idea to store up some energy for Juneathon 2008, as sponsored by Jogger Blogger. This is another month of putting up mileage every day. When July starts, I begin a more regimented training program. For those who have read Jonathan Dichter's blog, it will be very similar to what he is planning. After his positive review of "Marathoning for Mortals" I picked up a copy and have decided to commit myself to one of their training plans.

So, while lounging around I happened to stumble across a great documentary on Starz this afternoon. It's called The Pixar Story (http://www.thepixarstory.com/) and, as you can expect, it's all about the Pixar Company. It begins with the start of computer graphics in the late 70's and early 80's, then progresses through George Lucas' role in pushing the envelope with Star Wars, Steve Jobs eventually kicking in as a financial backer, and it moves up to present day with the merge of Disney and Pixar. John Lasseter is featured throughout and they don't shy away from the part of the story where he was dumped by Disney before making a triumphant return several years later.

I would highly recommend this to any Disney/Pixar fan. I know that there is a school of thought out there does not support the Pixar movement. Those traditionalists should rest assured that it does not appear as though Pixar is trying to eliminate 2-D animation. At the end of the film they discuss the importance of continuing to do what Disney has been known for...the classics...2-D animation. Pixar is just a new component of Disney Animation it's not taking over the whole show.

I'll close with a couple of side notes: Congrats to Craig for winning this weeks prize, a copy of National Treasure 2. Congrats to Jeff from Iowa for completing the Dam to Dam and Chris for knocking out a 9 mile training run. Good luck to Jonathan and Chris both on their upcoming head to head, battle royal!!

7 Months 'til Main Street...ok, maybe 7 months and couple days...but you know what I mean.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Better Late Than Never

Chris called me out looking to see if I had registered my weigh-in this week. I have been slow to getting around to posting this week. Part of the reason being I didn't post a loss in the weight category...I didn't post a gain, but I didn't post a loss. Dead even. Still hovering at 279. I'm a little bummed, but I shouldn't be, considering I successfully negotiated 4 cookouts in 3 days, with much less food and beer intake than would normally accompany such a symphony of grilling excellence.

All this really means is that I need to double my efforts this week. This will be a bit difficult considering a "tweaked knee." For some dimwitted reason, I thought it would be a good idea to try running without my knee brace yesterday. When I finished the 3.2 miles, I felt pretty good. Then last night hit, and I suddenly remembered why I always strap on the brace before any serious impact running. Needless to say, I now regret my actions. This week will be a concentration of low impact and cross training.

How's everyone else doing? Congrats to Mike F. who not only put up an awesome performance in the Buffalo half, but also had one of his sweet intros featured on this week's AATM podcast!! It's good to see Chris is back in the swing of things, and let's all wish Matt luck in avoiding the food onslaught that is inevitable during his family trip. Lets finish May on a positive note and move into June firing on all cylinders!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Round and Round We Go...


...where we stop, nobody knows. That's the way I've felt lately. Works been very busy and with the decent weather we've been having, I've been trying to get some outdoor chores done. I've still been putting in miles and watching the food intake, so don't worry about this being some setup for why I've been slacking. This is my excuse though for not posting in the past several days. I have still been checking up on everyone else and trying to leave comments on your pages. Looks like everyone is on track and going strong.


Please make sure you check out this weeks AATM podcast, show #58 (http://www.allaboutthemouse.com/). I won't ruin it for everyone, but there is some serious Team Voice love going on. It starts at the intro and carries throughout the show, with several members getting their e-mail read.


I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day Weekend!! This is my mantra for the weekend...."Beware the cookout. Stay clear of the beer." If I live by this, Monday's weigh-in should be decent.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

5K...Done!!



It's done!! I've completed a 5K. My goal was to complete it in 40 minutes or less. Final results? 38:45. Works for me. It's nothing outstanding, but it's a starting point. Now I'm already looking forward to my next race to see how much I can improve on that time. The picture is of a group of us from work who ran, standing at the finish line. If you couldn't' figure it out, I'm the one on the top left w/the sunglasses.


A few quick details on the race: The course was a very flat, out-and-back, course with only one 90 degree turn. The views throughout were amazing. For most of the course the Atlantic Ocean was to one side and a salt marsh to the other. The mid point provided a view of a harbor with many boats coming in and out. Living here, I definitely take these views for granted, but today I was drinking them in. The weather couldn't have been any better. Sunny, 65ish, and a light breeze. The best part....at the end I was greeted by my two biggest fans!!


Overall, it was a great experience and I'm looking forward to the next!! Looks like my fellow Team Voicer's also had a good weekend. Keep it up. January will be here before we know it.
*****Monday Morning Update******
No time for a full post this morning, but I just wanted to give a quick weigh-in update. Down 1 pound! I'm actually happy with that. After a difficult week with very little excercise, I was worried that a gain could be in the making. I was also really worried that the post race carb loading (beer drinking) was going to be a problem for this mornings weigh-in. So I will certainly accept a 1 pound loss and refocus my efforts for this week.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Back in the Loop

Sorry I haven't posted in almost a week now. As I noted in my last post, I was home alone with my 8 month old daughter this past weekend. It was a lot of fun, but very tiring and not a lot of free time to get online and lay down a new post. Since the weekend I've been straight out at work. Yesterday afternoon I got out of work at 3:00, which is normal, but then got a call at 5:00 saying I was needed back at the office asap. I figured a quick return visit would resolve any major crises. I was wrong...when my services were no longer needed, the clock read 3:30 a.m. Ugh!!! Two hours of sleep and then back to work. At this point I'm functioning purely on caffeine. As a result of all this, my workouts have suffered drastically.

Ok, that's enough belly aching. We've all got our distractions and hurdles to overcome. On a more positive note, food intake has been going really well. My weigh-in on Monday showed a 5 pound loss this week!! That puts me just two pounds from my goal for the month of May. Now I need to just keep myself motivated and not use my "ahead-of-schedule" success as an excuse to slip up. I've found that pretty much any motivation I need can be found over at the Reverend Jonathan Dichter's blog :0)

It's great to see all my fellow Team Voicers doing so well. Looks like quite a few of us have a race coming up this weekend. I've got my first 5K on Saturday. I'll hopefully be posting some pics after all is said and done. Good luck everyone, and keep up the good work!!!! Off to bed now *yawn*.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Avoiding the Perfect Storm

I took today off from work to be home with my daughter, as my wife has left for a girls weekend away. So after her morning nap, I got her all packed up and we headed to the grocery store. As a result of a unsatisfying breakfast, I was starving when we got to the grocery store. Combine that with the fact that I've seen some progress on the scale, and no wife at home watching over my shoulder....and you have....the perfect storm. The stars had aligned and I was poised to have a major breakdown. In the past, this was certainly the right recipe to take a major step backwards in my diet.

So what happened?? I demonstrated restraint. Picked up enough stuff to get me through the weekend and all healthy choices. Instead of cookies, I went with pita chips and hummus. Instead of chicken fingers and potato chips, I got sushi and a salad.

So what was the difference this time?? You were. I know it may sound strange, but the thought of being held accountable to a bunch of people I've never met, was a huge deterrent. I am committed to being completely honest here...including in my weight loss tracker, and I don't want to let myself or anyone else down by posting a gain or a very small loss this week. Weird, right? Well, it's just another example of how great this group is.

On a Disney note...instead of feeding my food addiction, I've decided to feed my Disney Movie Club addiction. I was a little disappointed to find that The 3 Caballeros/ Saludos Amigos, was not the featured release...instead they choose to feature, Peter Pan; Return to Neverland. I guess it plays more to the demographic they are shooting for. While I easily shrugged off the feature, the special they offered was, buy one movie at regular price, get all additional at 60% off. I couldn't resist that and dropped $120 on 12 additions to my library.

In other Disney news, I encourage all of you to head over to Craig's new blog, http://www.earningmyears.com/. It's packed with great behind the scenes Disney Details.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Hola Darkwing!!


Finished my first Darkwing today!! For those that are unfamiliar...a Darkwing is approximately a 5 mile run with a 16 min/mile pace or better. My run happened to be exactly 5 miles and I was well under the pace. About 1/4 into it, I was not feeling like I was gonna finish very strong, but then the closer I got to the end, the more motivation I got complete the full 5. Needless to say, I was very happy when I finished. I'm definitely sore now, but nothing feels injured. During my run I realized how lucky I am...but more on that with a later post.


Obviously, exercising has been going well. Actually, yesterday and today I went into work at 6:oo a.m. and got a quick workout using light weights, and then after work I headed outside for a run. I'll probably scale things back a little tomorrow, depending on how I feel.


Now that's all good stuff, but what I'm really excited about is the eating. I've been doing really good so far. I know it's only been 6 days and it's easy after a week or two to slide backwards, but I haven't even had any cravings. My big test will be this weekend. My wife is going away for a girls weekend, leaving me home with my 8 month old daughter. That means fending for myself. Now this could go really really good, or really really bad. I'm hoping that because Monday is my weigh-in day, that will be enough motivation to be good during the weekend. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Back from Boston


Just a quick post tonight so people don't think I've fallen off the face of the earth. I was in Boston yesterday for a friends 30th birthday and ended up staying the night. I discovered that this old body can't handle 1:30 a.m. bedtimes anymore. But other than the lack of sleep, I did pretty good. The party was at an excellent Japanese restaurant. I stuck with sushi and did indulge in 1 beer. But considering the options...I think I did great.


Weigh-in tomorrow morning. I'm going to be doing weekly updates of my weight loss (hopefully) so I can hold myself accountable for my progress. I'm a little anxious to see how I've done or not done.


Congratulations to Rae for finishing the Minnie!!! Great job getting to the finish. It's inspiring to see that even though you've had your set backs and struggles leading up to this race, you got it done when you needed to. Thinking about your success will hopefully push me to work a little harder for the rest of this month.


Another congrats to Chris, who finished a 5k this past weekend in 29:00, and then got to watch his Red Sox get a little payback on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. No wait!! I stand corrected....upon further review...Chris' race was not a 5k, it was 3.5 miles...wow that is an awesome time!!!


It's been nice to see all of the successes recently. Hopefully I'll be joining the club soon with my first 5K in 2 weeks!!


Guess it wasn't such a quick post after all. Tomorrow morning I will add a note to this post with this weeks weigh-in.
UPDATE: This morning's weigh-in (5/5) shows me being down 3 lbs. Not an overwhelming result for this week, but it does start me off on the right foot.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Focus for May


I've made a decision that it's truly time to focus on diet starting this month. I'm very proud of myself that I completed the April mileage challenge as set forth by Jonathan and Rae. However, I've really let my eating get out of control. It seems like I keep putting it off, and putting it off, always coming up with a new excuse of why I need to wait another week to start eating right. "This week is the Superbowl, this week is so-and-so's birthday, tomorrow is dinner out with the wife," and so on and so on. Before I know it, it's been 4 months since I promised myself I was jumping back on the wagon and getting my eating under control.


I'm hoping that with the new found confidence of knowing that I can dedicate myself to something, like logging mileage every day for 30 days, I know I can tackle this new challenge. For many of us, this seems to be the real stumbling block. I see Jonathan has recently been posting about his set backs in the area of food intake, and with Matt's mom making chocolate oreo fudge, well how can one not cheat? (I'll skip the fried catfish thanks...I'm more of a cod, scallops, and oyster kind of guy).


Anyway, as I look around I see many of us dealing with some adversity. If it's not diet it could be any number of things. Loss of a job, dealing with an injury, caring for a sick parent, trying not to take out our frustration on our Nike+, or taming indigestion caused by the Red Sox/Bills/Eagles. No matter what the problem, it's nice to know that someone is there to give an encouraging, "You can do it."


So while this past month has been tagged the "Month of a Million Miles," this month, for me, is going to be the "Month of a Million Pounds." While piling up the miles, I will be shedding off the pounds. I know with the support of my friend and family, and specifically Team Voice, I can finally get a handle on this and start making huge strides in the right direction. The goal is 10 pounds per month between now and January. There's no looking back now. In order to help hold myself accountable I'm going to start posting my weight in the side bar to chart my progress. I'm embarrassed to post it, but if nothing else maybe I can shame myself into dropping the pounds.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Enchanted or Not?


So this months featured movie in the Disney Movie Club is Enchanted. This is a movie that I skipped in the theater and am uncertain how I feel about it now. There are a few movies I want to add to my collection...ok...there are SEVERAL movies I want to add to my collection, but there are a few key ones I want to add right now. Examples being: A Bug's Life, Most of the Classic Cartoon Favorites, Mary Poppins, The Muppet Show, Swiss Family Robinson, and all the Walt Disney Treasures collections. I know, I know, it's a lot. Some I have in VHS, but want to upgrade to DVD and others I've never gotten my hands on.


If you're not familiar with the way the Disney Movie Club works, you usually get a deal where you buy one and get a discount on additional movies. So it makes sense to buy a few at a time. I'm considering making Enchanted one of those movies. However, I really want to get my hands on the upcoming release of Saludos Amigos and The 3 Caballeros double DVD. Do I buy this month or wait until next month and hope that Saludos and Caballeros is the featured selection? I'm thinking it will be, considering the new offer is due to come out on Cinco de Mayo.


Any thoughts?? Looking for some advice in this area from the experts. Jeff from Iowa...I think we know where you stand!! He's not called Caballero Fan for nothing.
Here's a little something for those unfamiliar with our hispanic friends:



Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Patriots Day!!



Patriots Day?? What's Patriots Day?? I'm sure most of you are wondering. Patriots Day is a Massachusetts holiday celebrated on the third Monday of April. It is in remembrance of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which began the American Revolution.

So how do we celebrate? No, we don't fire muskets at each other on the town green. Instead, it obviously calls for a day off from work for all non-critical public employees. Most of us celebrate by kicking back and watching the Red Sox, who are always scheduled for an early (11:00 a.m.) game, or we enjoy seeing people cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon.

That's what I find myself doing today. I'm watching the Red Sox right now leading the Texas Rangers 8-0 in the bottom of the 6th inning. On commercials I'll flip over and watch the masses stream across the finish line. It's amazing to think that the guy who won the men's division crossed the finish line in the same amount of time that I hope to be to at mile 9. His story is an amazing one, 4 time winner of the Boston Marathon, he once was homeless and considered suicide, before being "discovered" and his career began in competitive running. But his story is not the only one. There is the story of Team Hoyt; Dick Hoyt is a 65 year old man who races with his son. The catch being, his son Rick cannot walk or talk. Dick pushes his wheel chair 26.2 miles. Together they have completed 65 marathons. Add to that 224 triathlons, 81 half marathons, and many many other races. Their best time in a marathon...2:40:47!! To put that in perspective...Lance Armstrong ran this years Boston Marathon and finished in 2:50:00. Now remember, Dick is pushing Rick the whole way. And yes....I said 224 triathlons!! If you want to learn more about these incredible people, go see Jeff from Iowa's blog (http://snowytundratraining.blogspot.com/2008/03/yes-you-can.html) and check out his March 23rd post titled "Yes, you can!!" He has a couple videos posted there. I dare you to watch them and not need to wipe your eyes after.

And there are many, many other stories. Cancer survivors, wedding proposals, running in honor of deceased friends and family. I'll repeat it again....as Mike so aptly put it...Many Goals, One Voice!!

Between watching the coverage of the marathon, and watching Rae's video collage, I feel like I'm ready to run the 1/2 Marathon right now!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mouseketeer #78


I was pretty excited when I listened to this weeks AATM and heard Bryan read my Mouseketeer interview answers. Almost as excited as when I heard Jonathan read it on Episode 46 back in February. Yup, it got read twice on the show. Guess it was really good, huh? I didn't want to call Bryan on his gaff on the forums, so I figured I would post it here instead. A lot fewer people reading this, I would imagine.


I'm glad to see all of Team Voice making such great progress in their training. It's fun to see how we're all on different levels and we all have different goals, but we're on the same path to those goals. Guess that's why our slogan is, "Many goals, once voice."


The weather in the northeast is now cooperating and that means more outside training!! I'm looking forward to really seeing where I'm at in my training and to be able to chart my progress outside. The 1/2 marathon is going to be outside, so I feel to get an honest assesment of my performance, I need to train outside.


Keep up the good work everyone!! I enjoy reading your blogs and seeing how your training is going, and maybe more importantly, how you balance your training with you family life and work (or school). I think it's a struggle for all of us, but it will make it that much sweeter when we cross that finish line.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Morning Person??


I've never been a morning person. I'm not one to jump up out of bed with excitement to start another day. Usually, it is a slow progression from complete grogginess, to semi-consciousness, to functioning. Each step is usually aided by Starbucks strongest blend. All that said, I've begun working out prior to work. And...believe it or not...I'm really enjoying it. There is something to be said for going through your day, knowing that your workout is already in the bag. I also feel like it jump starts my metabolism and calorie burning for the day.


I have to admit that I'm pretty lucky with my work situation. I have a very decent gym at work, complete with elliptical, treadmill, bicycle, free weights, and universal machine. In addition we have a locker room with shower. This means I don't have to travel to a gym, then head to work. Obviously, this saves quite a bit of time. As a result I don't really get up much earlier than if I wasn't working out in the morning. For me it's either get up at 5:oo and head in to work and get in a workout and shower, then be ready for work at 7:oo, or I get up at 5:oo, make breakfast, watch the news, dink around at home and then head into work for 7:oo. Either way, the alarm clock is ringing in my ears at 5:00 a.m.


Please don't misunderstand and think that I've become a morning person. My first thought in the morning is still, "are you kidding me? Is it really that time already?" And it's not easy to drag my butt into the gym that early, but just knowing by 6:30, that I'm done for the day, is a great feeling and really makes it worth it.


So how about you? Given any thought to early morning workouts? Is it feasible for you? Are you a step ahead of me and you've already been doing this for months?


On a side note...our fellow teammate Chris has joined the blogging ranks. Everyone should go over and say hello and welcome him to the blogging world (http://blognrightalong.blogspot.com/). He's been a great presence on the AATM forums and I'm sure he's gonna have a lot to contribute here as well. No pressure though!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Reality Sinking In


It's seeming more and more likely that I will be traveling to WDW by myself for marathon weekend. Not to say that I'll be by myself when I get there...I have my fellow Team Voicers!! But none-the-less, I'll be leaving my family behind when I go. I'm interested to see what it will be like traveling alone. I am trying to approach it as an adventure, and I think it will be. The only "problem" I see is the accomodations I'm going to have to settle for. It appears that Scopa Towers (aka Pop Century) is going to be my home base for the five days I'm there. I don't mean to insult anyone who opts for value resorts, but I was really hoping to shoot for something in the Epcot area, which would mean Boardwalk, Yacht Club, or Beach Club. The issue is, I can't seem to convince my wife that a solo trip is worth that kind of expense. We are planning a large family trip sometime after the marathon, probably late August or November, and then we will likely stay at Boardwalk. But I'm impatient darn it!! With people like Deb talking up the Boardwalk and reading what others have to say about Yacht and Beach, it sure makes it hard to accept the idea of a value resort.


Oh well....I think I'm beginning to get a bit greedy. I should just be overwhelmed with excitement that I'm going to WDW....and I am...honestly. By the time the marathon rolls around, it will have been over two years since my last trip. That's the longest "dry spell" I've had in quite a few years. So really...I could stay in a sleeping bag, on a bench, next to a LEGO figure at Downtown Disney, and be happy just to be there.


So where's everyone else staying? Please, I don't mind a little salt in the wound. I'm curious to see what kind of experience everyone else is going to have.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Marathons And Mai Tai's Don't Mix!!


I learned an interesting thing today...if you're training for a half-marathon...you probably shouldn't knock back several booze filled beverages the night before a workout.


Last night I went to a local Japanese steak house...think Teppanyaki Dinning Room at Epcot...for a family members birthday party. The food was great and the adult beverages were flowing. After imbibing far too many I began to think that it was going to be a rough morning. I was right. After eventually shaking the fuzz from my brain, I did get outside for a brief walk. I was dodging thunder showers, so it was a very limited .6 miles, but it was mileage. That puts me at 12 for 12 so far this month!!


Apparently, I'm not the only person to make this training mistake, as I just read Jogger Blogger's latest blog (http://joggerblogger.wordpress.com/) and he did something eerily similar with the notable exception of him running 16 miles after his mistake. Wow, way to go!!


On a different note I want to say congrats to Bryan and Jonathan on completing their first full year as hosts of the All About The Mouse Podcast. Cheers, this drinks to you....Gatorade that is. Keep bringing the Magic and the Mayhem!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Staying Strong!!

Wow, was my last post really 3 days ago. I've been slacking!! But fortunately, blogging is the only area that I've been doing that. I'm still alive in the Team Voice April Challenge. Today was a very busy day, but I was still able to get in 1.35 miles.

With mileage every day, I feel like I'm missing out on some weight training, so I've decided to start doing double duty. Pre-work workout and post work workout. Depending on how I feel and what the weather is like, will determine which is a weight workout and which is a mileage workout. I'll use the weight workout to also focus on getting in more sit ups and push ups. Overall, I think this is going to help me burn more calories, and thus start shedding some more weight. Less weight should lead to greater results in the constant strive for more distance and a better pace. Not to mention it is going to improve my overall health, which is the true goal of all this.

I'm really glad everyone is doing so well!! Let's all wish Matt (http://anotherdisney.blogspot.com/) good luck!! He's representing his college in the Scholar's Bowl Competition in St. Louis. Maybe he can get a few tips from Deb as to how one can get miles in while enjoying the scenery of an airport concourse.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Oh Weather Man How I Loathe Thee...

...let me count the ways. Here's the depressing thing about April on Cape Cod: While the rest of the state gets the occasional 55-65 degree day, we are usually stuck in the mid to upper 40's. The reason you ask? The Atlantic Ocean. While it gives us a nice cool seabreeze in the summer, it gives us a bone chilling wind in the spring. It is not uncommon to see a 20 degree difference between our temperature and the one posted for Boston (a mere hour and a half away). I know I can't complain too much, with people like Jeff from Iowa and Jogger Blogger from the UK dodging snowflakes. I guess it certainly could be worse. But then I see Jeff from MO, Matt from Miss., and Rae from FL enjoying spring...they may be dealing with April showers, but at least the thermometer is on the rise!! Anyway, enough whining.

Supposedly we are going to see low 60's on Wednesday. That even includes us out here on the "sand bar". I'm skeptical, but hopeful. This is my best opportunity to get outside for a decent run this week. I'm hoping to put in a 3.5-4 mile run. Although, after reading Deb's blog, maybe I'll be feeling good and decide to stretch it into a 5 miler.

On a side note, I just bought the book that Jonathan was touting..."The Courage to Start." I'm through the first two chapters and so far I know one thing...I need new running shoes!!! This will be a goal before the weather gets really nice. I figure they are most important when running outside. I don't think my Asics are doing me too wrong on the elliptical.

I'm excited about seven complete days of mileage. I logged another 2.65 today on the elliptical. I've been slacking in the push-up/sit-up category, but I'm confident that I'll be making up ground in that area over the next couple of weeks.

Keep up the good work Team Voice...you're all inspiring me to stay strong in this months challenge!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Chomping At The Bit


I've been wanting to get in more outside running, in the worst way!! I was really hoping that this weekend was going to be the turning point. Well...that hasn't exactly worked out as planned. Yesterday (saturday) my wife went on a shopping excursion with her girlfriends, which left me home with the baby. Needless to say, if I had gone outside for a run, and left her home alone, not only would I have gotten in trouble with my wife, but I think the Department of Social Services would have come knocking. So Saturday was scratched for anything outside. I did still get in 1.25 miles of walking to keep me in the Team Voice challenge.


So today was the day!! Today I was heading outside to get in a nice 3.1 mile run/walk. Just as I was getting into my running attire the weather gods decided to send clouds, wind, mist, and a 10 degree drop in the temperature. I was still determined!! If Jeff can do some "Snowy Tundra" training, I can handle a little moisture and cold temps. I got through about 1/4 mile and started to feel a strain on top of my left ankle. Not anything excruciating, but enough to make me slow to a walk. At first I thought, "Run through it!" But, I decided to walk it off instead. Being early in the 30-days-of-mileage, I didn't want to jeopardize getting an injury. With no recovery days it is important to stay healthy. Also, as an inexperienced runner, I'm still learning what pains I can run through and what needs more attention.


When it was all said and done, I did half of what I had hoped to, and walked most of it. Right now my ankle feels fine, so I'm hoping it was just a stiffness issue. Later this week, I'm determined to get back outside. This time...better stretching before I start!!


I am glad to be able to say that I am still alive in the April Team Voice challenge, and by the looks of things, I'm not alone!! Great job Team Voice!!! Everyone is doing awesome!! A special shout-out to Rae who appears to be making a monster comeback while recovering from a difficult hand injury. And to Deb, who starred in this weeks AATM podcast...great job representing the All About the Mouseketeers and Team Voice!!


Keep up the good work everyone and lets make this week even better than last week!! Main Street Awaits!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Quick Update

Just a quick post to update my progress as of day 3. This morning I'm waking up in a hotel room, a couple hours from home. I did drag my butt out of bed and get in 2 miles on the hotel's eliptical this morning. Tonight I will get in more push-ups/sit-ups so I can bump that total up a bit.

I want to thank Jonathan and Rae for this month's challenge. If not for the "30 Days of Mileage" I would have easily come up with excuses for taking the last 2 days off. Instead, I'm working hard to get in at least some mileage every day...and I feel really good about it.

Eating on the other hand...that's been a bit of an issue. Last night I met some friends at Cheescake Factory...deadly. Anyway, one battle at a time :0)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Off to a Good Start!

Just a quick update with my workout from today. I logged 2.5 miles on the eliptical, 60 push-ups, and 20 sit-ups. Have I mentioned that I hate situps!! But I know, I know, there "good for the core" and thus, good for marathon preparation (thanks Rae!).

It looks like a lot of Team Voice members were able to complete the March challenge. Congrats to all of those who were up to the challenge!! It will be interesting to see who else can do it this month. I say "who else" because I'm commited to getting through this months challenge in one piece. It would be kind of embarassing to get to January and still be saying, "this is the month I'm finally gonna complete a Team Voice challenge." This month will be difficult because it means mileage every single day...that's MILEAGE...not reps...ahhhemmm...Jonathan!!

Anyway, as Jeff from MO so kindly reminded me, "Main Street Awaits!"

Monday, March 31, 2008

Ready for April

The weather during march was dismal...as was my performance in the Team Voice challenge. I had a decent month when it came to eating and weight loss, but I came up very short with my mileage and push-ups/sit-ups. With a new month comes a new chance to redeem myself.

I have several goals this month:

1) Log mileage every day...that's right...no days off.
2) Put up huge numbers in the area of push-ups/sit-ups.
3) Complete a 5 mile run, outside, with a sub 15 min/mile pace.

The month is going to start with a major test of my dedication to these goals. Tomorrow (April 1st) and Wednesday (April 2nd) I have commitments immediately after work, which means pre-work workouts. With work beginning at 7:00 a.m., this means starting my workout at 6:00 a.m. at the latest. I'm fortunate, in that I have a gym where I work, which means I can workout, shower, and get ready for my day with realative ease. If I can get past the first two days of the challenge, then I find myself waking up at a hotel on day three (April 3rd). Ugh...what a month to start this type of challenge (thanks Jonathan!).

I'll try to post often so I can keep my team members updated on my progress. I hope others will do the same. Good luck everybody!!! Work hard and work safe!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Power of the Podcast


Yesterday, blogger DebWDW (http://www.debwdw.blogspot.com/) posted, "Am I the only one who is amazed that it's actually possible to build friendships via this amazing world of podcasting? Who knew?!!" and it got me to thinking about my next blog topic.

I would like to take a few minutes to discuss my observations about how powerful a simple podcast can be. For those who are unaware, a podcast is an audio broadcast that has been converted into an mp3 file or other audio file that is downloadable from the internet. I first stumbled across podcasts while searching around on i-tunes looking to see if there was any free stuff I could download. I was thinking music...I didn't realize that there was an entire other world out there.

So I begin by searching for something that may interest me...hmmmm, I'm looking to start a family in the very near future, maybe I should look in the "family" category? Then...there they were, staring at me...Disney themed podcasts. Wait a minute....I love Disney stuff...I wonder what this could be? Thus, the beginning of an addiction.

I now listen to 5 or 6 podcasts with quite a bit of regularity. All About The Mouse could be considered my "home" podcast. It is the first one that I make sure I get in each week. The hosts, Bryan and Jonathan, are couple of goofy guys who bring a lot of laughs to the show each week. You can feel their love for all things Disney and they really enjoy sharing the magic...oh yes...and the mayhem!! They also do a great job of interacting with their audience, aka the All About the Mouseketeers. Their website http://www.allaboutthemouse.com/ , has allowed the All About the Mouseketeers to voice their opinions on a variety of Disney themed topics. This has truly created a unique "community" of people.

Inside the All About the Mouseketeer community is a subgroup known as Team Voice, named after podcast host Jonathan "The Voice" Dichter. Team Voice is currently made up of approximately 30 people who have dedicated themselves to getting healthy and running in a Disney sponsored road race. As you've read in earlier blogs...I'm preparing for the 2009 Half-Marathon, along with at least 17 other Team Voice members. I can't believe how close Team Voice is growing as a group...and the amazing thing...most of us have never met!!

A few months ago I found out that, due to another obligation, my family will not be traveling with me to Disney World for the Half-Marathon. Right now it looks like I'll be making the trip myself. I had considered using this as an excuse to abandon the idea, but then I realized...I've worked too hard already for this...I can't give up now. My next concern was, "It's going to be weird, being by myself at WDW." But now I realize that I'm not going to be. I'm going to be down there with Team Voice!! And while I've never met any of these people...I know that when we all get together in January it's going to be like we are old friends.

Needless to say, without Team Voice and the AATM podcast, I never would have begun this journey of self-improvement and I certainly would have abandoned the effort by now. So to all the members of Team Voice....THANK YOU!! You guys are awesome!!

I know this blog was a bit longer than usuall, but I hope you all enjoyed it. I felt it was important to spell out exactly what the AATM community means to me.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

March Goal-Complete!

Ok, so if I didn't realize it before, I know it now...running outside is a LOT different than running on a treadmill or and eliptical. My legs are on fire!! The weather finally decided to cooperate and we got up into the low 50's today, which meant I was taking my training outside.

To measure my progress and move toward my goal of 13.1 miles in January, I've decided that if I can add 1 mile a month to my outside run, I'll be right on track. Last month was 3 miles, this month the goal was 4 miles at a pace of 14-15 minutes/mile. The kicker is...it's got to be outside!

So with rain in the forecast for the next few days, I decided today was the day. I got out there and started off with a decent pace, maybe even a little too fast. After mile 1 I switched to an alternating run/walk kind of thing. At mile 2, I began to think, "maybe today isn't the day." Then I just decided, "I've come this far today...just get it done." When I finished 4.1 miles, my time was 53 minutes. That was a pace of just under 14 min/mile!! Needless to say, I'm pretty psyched!! Sore as hell, but happy.

This has helped to reinvigorate me. I've been watching other members of Team Voice posting great workouts, and I've been a little jealous. Well, now it's my turn and I'm loving it. In addition to the jealousy, I've been motivated to catch up to the others. I don't want to be crossing the finish line behind everyone else. I want to cross it with everyone else.

Go Team Voice!! "Many Voices, One Goal!!" (If you don't know what this means...more on it later.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday, Monday....

It's monday and the sun is shining, and I'm down 5 lbs. this week. I should be excited right? I am excited about the weight, but not so much about the weather. I know I said that the sun is shining, but it is freakin frigid. I know it's spring and I'm pretty sure we just celebrated Easter, but you would never know by walking outside. It can't be much warmer than 40 degrees. I really feel like I need to start getting outside to do some running, and that just isn't in the cards with this cold weather. At this point, I wish I was dealing with the hazy, hot, and humid days of August!!

I'm determined to get outside and get a 4 mile run in before the month is over. I know, I know, the clock is ticking. Deb from http://www.debwdw.blogspot.com/ has inspired me to get my butt out there and get it done. My plan is to add 1 mile to my "long" run each month. That will put me at 13 miles by January. To get to that point, I first need to jump over this hurdle of 4 miles in March!!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to report on my Easter meal yesterday. I did end up at my parents home and my mother prepared a great ham. I avoided the rolls and mashed potatoes and instead opted for a sweet potato, carrots, and asparagus. I shoudl have passed on the strawberry shortcake, but it just looked too good. Feeling proud of myself for a pretty good week, I did indulge in a helping of that. As noted earlier, my monday morning weigh-in revealed a 5 pound loss from last week. 5 down...a whole bunch to go!! I'm determined not to let The Voice (http://www.voiceofmousetunes.blogspot.com/) catch me!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter


Today is Easter and that means, off to Easter Morning Mass and then onto my parents home for Easter dinner. At mass I'll be praying for all those running the 2009 Half-Marathon, and wishing them a safe and successful path from now until January. I will also be praying that my parents finally realize that I'm an adult and they don't have an Easter basket w/peeps and cadbury eggs waiting for me. My hope is, being that it's my daughter's first Easter, they will focus all of their gifts toward her.


A major part of my training is weight loss. At my current weight, 13.1 miles would be a tremendous strain on my joints. Before I get to race day in January, I hope to lose about 85 lbs. !! I'm down 13 now and so obviously I have a long weigh to go. My hope for Easter dinner, is that my parents will have some healthy side dishes. I'm sure they are planning on baking a ham, which I can deal with. It's the mound of mashed potatoes, dripping with butter that usually puts me on a road to glutony.


Hopefully, I will have a positive review to post in the next couple of days. Until then...Happy Easter everyone!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

"The World"


I said that I would be talking about Disney. So why not start things off right and try to explaine why I'm such a "Disney Geek."

This is a question that many have tried to answer and few have been able to accurately put it into words. Here's my attempt:

My childhood was filled with plenty of Disney movies and Disney shows. The first movie I can remember watching was Peter Pan. I loved everything the Disney Channel offered. When I was a kid it was the Mickey Mouse Club (w/Brittany Spears & Justin Timberlake), Kids Incoporated, Mousercise, Ducktales, Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers, Tail Spin, etc. I also remember watching the Sunday Night Disney Movie every week, and begging my parents to let me stay up and watch it.

When I first had an opportunity to go to Walt Disney World, I was 13 years old. I remeber being in complete awe. I couldn't believe that there was such a perfect place on earth. All of those movies and shows I had grown up with, were now alive in front of me. I was truly enveloped by the Disney Magic. No other theme park can compete with the overall experience of Walt Disney World. I know some would argue that other theme parks may offer better rides, but when you look at the experience as a whole...Disney wins, hands down. The level of service, the attention to detail, and the ability to tell a story is where they truly excell.

I'm now closing in on my 30th birthday, and I still feel like a kid everytime I set foot in the parks. Working in a high-stress job, trying to pay bills, be a good husband and good father can limit the opportunities to act or feel like a kid again. Going to the parks makes that possible. In between trips I try to keep that magic alive by watching Disney movies or listening to my favorite Disney Podcasts.

Hopefully, that begins to explain how I feel about Disney and why I'm such a "Disney nut." Some people will read this and they "get it." Others may never understand the appeal....and for them, I feel sorry. I hope all of you feel the magic!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

And it begins!!



My newest computer-based addiction begins. I've been reading several blogs for a while now, and I thought, "why not just jump in with both feet?" If you've read my "About Me" section, you already know that I'm going to be talking a lot about the 2009 Disney World Half-Marathon. While this seems like its become a full-time job, I do have other interests and there are other things I plan on talking/venting about.

I hope you'll decide to come along for the ride and join in the discussion. Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Welcome!!!