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September 2009 Archives

September 7, 2009

Turning the Half into Thirds

by Mike Scopa

Regardless as to how long in your life you have been running, if you’ve basically gone no further than 10K (6.2 miles) or a mile or two further, then the thought of running 30,016 inches becomes rather intimidating. Oh sorry…I meant 69, 168 feet….uhhh….23,056 yards…I’m talking 13.1 miles which is the official the distance for a Half-Marathon.

It does seem rather overwhelming of course…even for me who some four years ago was training for my first half-marathon and wondering if I could cover that distance in the required time.

I had been running for almost 40 years so I had a good running base but I was used to six and seven mile distances and a rare occasional eight mile run. The thought of being out there running for 13.1 miles was a bit overwhelming to me at first and I wondered if preparing myself mentally for this race would be the bigger challenge than that of getting ready for it physically.

As I trained for this race I tried to figure out how I would approach the day of the race and for the most part my training took on a special focus.

Most of my training involved stamina. I figured I was 50% there because I knew I could run six or seven miles but now I had to figure out if I could cover double that distance.

So how did I figure out how to approach the race? It came down to basically the kind of approach that we all should probably use when we are faced with a large task ahead of us…I call it “chunking.”

I decided that I would chunk the WDW Half-Marathon into three even parts and approach the race as being three mini-races of 4.5 miles apiece Heck when you’re training for 13.1 miles 4.5 miles is a piece of cake…in fact I know for myself it takes me about 4 miles just to warm up.

So as I approached the eight and nine mile distances during my training I began to imagine that when I ran eight miles it was really two four miles runs and when I covered nine miles it was actually two 4.5 mile runs. By doing this not only was I able to approach the training this way but also begin to train my mind to how it would work on the day of the race.

So why am I telling you this?

Well I would imagine that some of you out there reading my words are looking at your first half-marathon and are saying to yourself, “How am I going to cover 13.1 miles?”

Try not to think of the total distance…chunk it up.

It certainly helped me get ready for my first half-marathon.

Now, four years later, I find myself using this same approach while training for yet another WDW Half-Marathon.

I know I don’t have to run 13 miles in any of my training runs…for those of you wondering if you should…I personally don’t think you have to.

I shoot for that 9-10 mile threshold. If I can cover that distance then I know I can cover 13.1 miles.

So for my training I “chunk” it up into three 3.0-3.5 mile distances.

As the weeks and months go by I build towards the first chunk and that tells me I’m one third of the way towards being ready for the race. As I hit the 6-7 mile mark I know I will be 2/3 of the way in my conditioning and once I hit the 9-10 mile mark I am ready for the race.

That works for me.

So if you find yourself a bit concerned about the distance then “chunk” it up and see what that does for you.

And for the record…I am 36% ready for the 2010 WDW Half-Marathon

* * * * * *


….earlier this year we announced the formation of the ALL-Ears Running Team for the 2010 WDW Half-Marathon.

At the time of the announcement we had limited the participation to 50 members because of the logistics of communicating with everyone. Unfortunately early on because of our concerns we had to sadly inform some of you that we had reached our capacity.


We feel we can open up membership again so if you are still interested in becoming a member of the AllEars Running team then please send an email to either Michelle at Michelle@allEars.net or me at MikeScopa@allEars.net and we will get back to you with information on how you can become a member of the team and join us at the WDW Marathon Weekend.

Please keep in mind that in order to participate you must be registered for the 2010 Walt Disney World Half-Marathon, Full Marathon, or Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge.

September 29, 2009

Team All Ears Profile:Jamison Reynolds

Note from Michelle and Mike: From time to time we will be highlighting the stories of members of Team All Ears, a wonderful group of individuals, who have agreed to raise money for Deb Wills' Avon Breast Cancer Fund by running Disney races in January 2010.

This week we are pleased to introduce Jamison Reynolds.


Why I Am Team AllEars

We all have our reasons. Some look for the health benefits. Some love the rush of breaking through the wall. Some love the pain. Just as we all have our reasons, another truth is that reasons change. I fall into that group.

When my son Patrick was born in 2005 I put on what some may call "sympathy weight". I actually grew into a very unhealthy 225 lbs on a 5'11 frame. That's a BMI (Body Mass Index) of over 31 which is technically obese. In January 2006 I decided to get into shape and began a weight loss regimen. Part of the routine was cardio. I HATED RUNNING. But as the pounds came off I decided I wanted a challenge. Could I overcome my hate of running and run a half-marathon?

I think at this point I should identify myself as "Disney Obsessive". What better race to prove that I had accomplished my goal then the Walt Disney World Half-Marathon? Well it was sold out and I was not about to commit to a full marathon So thought I would wait... but life, trips and various other distractions kept me from following through.

In January 2009 my youngest son was born and I decided once and for all I was gonna run. I registered in March for the Walt Disney World Half-Marathon right before a trip down to Orlando with the family. While we were down in Florida we noticed a rash on Benjamin, our baby. When we returned from our trip we scheduled an appointment for a routine check the next day.

Within 24 hours of returning from Walt Disney World we were at Ruby Memorial Children's Hospital in Morgantown, WV awaiting a bone marrow biopsy on our little boy because the blood work from the day before showed what looked like acute leukemia.

After the scariest day of our lives, we learned he did not have cancer, but a rare autoimmune disease called "Evan's Syndrome"; a condition where his body could attack his platelets and/or his white cells and/or his hemoglobin at any time. This is a condition that he will have for the rest of his life, can trigger at any moment and can be fatal.

He spent two weeks in the hospital with blood work twice a day and heavy steroid treatment once a day. After he was released he received weekly chemotherapy for a month. Although it was not cancer, the theory was that the chemo would wipe out ALL of his antibodies and when they began to regenerate after treatment was concluded that his antibodies would "course correct". My little boy spent his first Easter in the hospital, IV sticking out of his head, wiped out from chemo and steroids. He was three months old.

Benjamin is now eight months old and healthy as a horse... a horse that cruised for the first time an hour before I wrote this. We still get monthly blood work, but so far his numbers have been well above normal. We thank God every day.

I no longer run for me. I run for my children. I run to stay healthy so I can take care of them, not the other way around. I run because I plan to stay active in their lives. I run to set a good example; so they see physical activity is a norm and NOT an exception. I run to keep my BMI below 25 so my kids have a healthy Dad. I run because Wii Fit is only so much fun. I run because I can.

I am Team AllEars.

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About September 2009

This page contains all entries posted to Team AllEars® Running Blog in September 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

August 2009 is the previous archive.

October 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.