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March 2010 Archives

March 1, 2010

Making Music Work for Your Running Identity

I’m still a snowball…that’s my running identity.

I first described my running identity back in August 2007.

I mentioned back then what I felt were the three types of runners:

• First there is the "rabbit" who will try to lead the pack from start to finish and starts off as fast as he/she can…but eventually will slow down.

• The "turtle" starts off and ends slow but is consistent and steady throughout the entire race.

• Then there’s the "snowball." That’s me. I start off kind of slow and pick up momentum, as does a snowball rolling downhill. I have run in races in which my last mile was as much as two minutes faster than my first mile. I can’t explain it…it just happens.

Well anyway, I am still a snowball today but not just a plain old ordinary snowball runner…I have one more thing going for me and that is music.

For the very first time in a long time I have been running with music, using a tiny iPod shuffle that I carry in a small pocket in my running shorts.


Well I’ve done some research on what music can do for you and I have found out that music can be a runner's best friend.

I’ve heard such things as that music aids in getting your heart to bring nourishment to your body during training sessions; that it relaxes you in a manner that helps prevent your muscles from getting too tight during long runs, and most of all it helps you get into a cadence with your body and makes it easy for all your “stuff” to work together to make your run, your workout, or whatever, more enjoyable and less stressful.

It was music that certainly played a huge part in getting me through the 2010 Walt Disney World Half-Marathon monsoon.

Actually the music had me focused so much that unfortunately I did not even catch some friends rooting for me along the pathway, notably my friends Melanie and Julie...sorry guys.

Anyway, since the 2010 WDW Half-Marathon was my first race (note that I’ve been running for 40+ years) in which I listened to music, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

During my training for the race I played with my music and tried to figure out what songs worked for me and in what order.

My shuffle can hold a gazillion songs so I could put as many songs on there as possible because I knew that I would eventually finish the race before I ran out of songs.

That meant I had to pick the “right” songs for the race and in a blog a few weeks before the WDW Marathon Weekend I talked about song selection.

Well, now that I’m gearing up for the Princess Half-Marathon in March my musical needs are changing.

I have found that during the January race that some songs worked better for me than others and it was because of my runner’s identity as a snowball.

Here’s what happened, the first few miles of the race saw Mike the snowball trying to get into a rhythm and eventually get into a cruising pace.

The middle five miles of the race are crucial and that is where snowball runners begin to pick up the pace…HOWEVER in my case I don’t think I picked it up as much as I would have liked and I think that part of the problem, besides other things, was my musical arrangements.

For snowball runners music should gradually increase in tempo and mine was all over the place and in some cases there was a song here and there that would change tempo and sort of throw me off.

So since January I’ve put a lot of thought into my musical medley and have decided that I can make best use of music that reflects my running identity.

My musical medley for a half-marathon distance starts off with music that will eventually get me into a rhythm…for example one of my early songs is the music your hear as you enter EPCOT.

As I get warmed up and ready to move into a faster pace I will listen to music like that which you hear prior to Illuminations.

Finally when I need a little push I hear songs that have a stronger and faster tempo, much like Phil Collins’ “Strangers Like Me” from Disney’s “Tarzan.”

This has taken time for me to properly arrange the musical selections to fit my running identity for a particular race I am training for and it’s important to note that the arrangements are based on BOTH those components.

So if you are one of those runners who looks towards music to assist you in your workouts or races you may want to consider what your running identity is and then use that information to figure out how to make the music work for you.


March 3, 2010

A Prince (Or Frog) Among Princesses - Walt Disney World Endurance Series

by Mike Scopa

On Sunday, March 7th, I take to the streets again, as I lace up to run in my 14th Walt Disney World Race, the Walt Disney World 2010 Princess Half-Marathon.

This will be my fifth half-marathon, to go along with one 15K, one 13K, three 10Ks, and four 5Ks….all Disney races.

The last time I ran in a race such as this was in May, 2006 when I ran in the Minnie Marathon Weekend Women Run the World 15K.

I remember at around Mile 6 a Florida State Trooper called out to me and said, “So how does it feel to be a prince among princesses?”

It felt fine.

That particular weekend was quite a challenge for me.

In January I had broken my ankle while running the Walt Disney World Half Marathon.

Thanks to some dedicated physical therapists in my town and my stubbornness, I was back in shape to run by early April and trained hard for this May race.

Actually there were two races. I ran a 5K on the Saturday and the 15K the next day…sort of a mini-Goofy kind of thing...less some 26 miles.

So four months after breaking an ankle I faced a challenge and it was that weekend that helped me work hard to recover enough to run that soon. I love challenges.

This weekend is going to be another challenge for me.

For the past week I have been nursing a sprained back, my right side actually. I first hurt it by not being careful taking something out of my truck. Then on a flight back from Orlando this past weekend I re-injured it to the point where I have not been able to run for over a week.

A trip to the doctor and several visits to the chiropractor are helping but it’s going to be close. My dream of a PR may have to go by the wayside but I’m still looking to better my January time.

I have been asked many times if it’s okay for men to run in a Disney race specifically targeted for women.

Why not?

A race is a race.

Of course all the men who enter these races are not eligible for any prizes…something I never have to be concerned with in any race.

The course is exactly the same as the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend course so there will be the familiar dips, turns, curbs, ramps and overpasses to negotiate.

I wish good luck to all who are running this weekend including a special shout out to AllEars Running Team members Deb Wills (5K), Jessica Cutler (Half), and Brad Garfinkel.

Let’s hope this frog can hop come Sunday morning….and no I will not be wearing a tiara.


March 7, 2010

2010 Team AllEars: Final Reflections

by Michelle Scribner-MacLean and Mike Scopa

The training is done, the race is over, everyone is home, and we've all shared our medals with family and friends. Even though many Team AllEars members are looking forward and have already signed up for 2011 Disney races, we asked the team to take a few minutes and share some final reflections about their 2010 experiences.

A Quick Pre-Half Marathon Mini Team Gathering Photo! Yes, it really was that cold and sleeting!



Barrie Brewer

Back in March when I signed up for the Disney Half Marathon it seemed so far away. Now, three weeks since that bitter cold day, I can hardly believe it's already come and gone. I know it sounds hokey but the experience really did change my life, in more ways than I can explain in a paragraph. I'm so glad I did it and was a part of Team AllEars. In fact, I've even started calling this my first half marathon! (Photo copyright: John Ames)



Holly Aulen

My Disney Marathon weekend was an absolute amazing experience. From completing the 5k, Half Marathon and Full Marathon to meeting all of my Team AllEars members it was a truly life changing experience. It was such a rewarding experience to raise money for breast cancer research and an honor to be a part of such a supportive team. I am officially “Goofy” and also part of a group of wonderful friends.



Jamison Reynolds

The quote on my shirt sums up our team in my mind. Whether it meant pulling yourself off a couch and into a pair if running shoes for the first time or running for the first time in years, coming face to face with injuries during training and overcoming them, waking up at 3am to be greeted by freezing rain and flurries, pushing yourself down World Drive after the aura of the Magic Kingdom had worn off, finishing the run and deciding to reregister or register for a greater distance in 2011, and for those that did not finish deciding that the sweep bus in 2010 DOES NOT mean a sweep bus in 2011... 'Around here, however, we don't look backward for very long... we keep moving forward.'- Walt Disney. It was an honor and a privilege to be a charter member of Team Allears. The impact of the friendships made, the improved lifestyles and the money raised for the fight against cancer will be felt by myself and all those involved long after race weekend 2010. BRING ON 2011 AND THE GOOFY CHALLENGE!!!"



Helen Dunn

Team All Ears was a fantastic experience and one I think anybody would enjoy. The support online and on the race course was great and it was a lot of fun to be part of something so special. I'm hoping I can pull the right strings to get another January vacation so I can come back for Team 2011.



Tom Troost

Team All Ears has been a great experience, and I am very hopeful for the 2011 team (I have talked my wife into running the half in 2011!)


Kathleen Gordon

It would have been warmer and dryer in Infinity! We had a blast!



Sharla Manglass
This was my third half marathon, but the first time I had the support of a team behind me. Even though we never met in person, I the support of Team AllEars was invaluable to me. I was able to get my family and friends involved as well by telling them about the Team and breast cancer research. I loved being a part of a team so much!



Karen Lehtonen and Jessica Gauda




Cathy Bock

What an adventure! Congratulations to Team AllEars and our supporters who endured the sleet, the rain and the wind!



Suzanne Borg Farnan

When I began training for the half marathon, I saw the race as the final destination. As I approached race day, I realized that the race was just the beginning of the journey – this is a life-long endeavour to embrace health, life and hope. It has been an honour and truly a privilege to use my health and good fortune to raise money and awareness for breast cancer and another cause, close to my heart. Deb, Michelle and Mike were real sources of inspiration and I was so thrilled to meet them. Our team was a constant source of knowledge and support and I couldn’t have gotten to the starting line without them (even though I actually lost them all before I got to the starting line due to a port-a-potty stop, that’s just race day reality people!). I was so proud to represent my team, my family and friends on that freezing cold morning in Orlando and so ecstatic to see my family near the finish line and cross that finish line soon after. What an experience, it truly was magical and to quote Walt himself, "kind of fun to do the impossible"!



Jessica Cutler
Aside from meeting everyone at the AllEars meet, my favorite memory would be crossing the finish line and finding my family. I had accomplished something! I actually finished 13.1 miles, a distance I had never run before in my life. I felt so great! And then I saw my family through the fence and they came over and told me how proud they were of me. I will never forget what a wonderful feeling that was.



Dave Schaefer

The experience connected me with Dad and my son Daniel. They were with me for the first marathon and I know they were at the marathon as well. There is a stretch of highway around mile 18 to 20 and it isn't much fun, wide expanses of asphalt seldom are compared to theme parks. The sun had risen though and the sky was crystal blue and as I felt the warmth of the sun wash over me after starting in the dark and cold I could feel their spirit. Months of training and the exhaustion of the run strike me as an insignificant price to pay for that moment. I don't run to a finish line, I run to be closer to Dad and Daniel, if just for a moment.



Julie Olson

I did my first ever half marathon at Disney World and I had so much fun that I keep going back for more races. I love getting to be a part of the team and raising money for such a great cause.



Eric Bouchet

It all started....... with a question. Can I do this??? Now..... I am a MARATHONER!!!!!!




Eric Schneider

"Completing my first marathon at my favorite place in the world is one of the most awesome things I have ever done. What made it so very special is that I was able to have some small part in helping to find a cure for cancer, so that people we know and love don’t have to leave us before their time."



Brad Garfinkel

Reflections - Running with friends both new and old. Reading the backs of t-shirts in memory of those no longer here to run with us but certainly not forgotten. Hearing my name being cheered by complete strangers. Running alongside the Freedom Runner soldier with the prosthetic foot. Seeing Team Allears members at the base of Spaceship Earth as I was nearing the completion of the Goofy. My daughter Julia pulling me towards her to say congratulations. My wife running into my arms after I completed the full marathon to earn my Goofy. Seeing people do things for themselves and accomplish goals that they once thought impossible. Likeminded strangers coming together as one for a single cause.



Melanie and Julie (The Colorado Sisters)

Have you ever started knitting a sweater and you ended up knitting a belly warmer instead?

That is how the 2010 marathon was for us. We signed up with lofty goals and noble aspirations and then life, injuries and more life took over.

At first we were sad that our lofty goals didn’t come to fruition, but we had a different kind of success.

On Team AllEars we found new friends, a new stronger love of running and some wiser goals for 2011.

We saw what running a marathon should look like. It turns out it can be done with a smile on your face.

Thank you Helen for showing us what someone who is enjoying a marathon looks like.

That is our new goal….to run a MERRYthon. We want to stop and take photos with characters (we have always been too pressed for time to do that).

We want to smile (at least most of the way). We want to enjoy our merry marathon!

To Team AllEars 2010- thank you for sharing your struggles, triumphs and inspiration with us on Facebook- we LOVED it!

Here’s to more miles and smiles in 2011.



Deb Wills
It's been a dream of mine to participate since I witnessed one of the first ever WDW Marathons. I watched folks run through the Magic Kingdom, up and down the roads and through the other parks. I thought to myself, how cool; but also thought it would always be just a dream. Neither a runner nor fast am I. Thanks to co-captains Mike and Michelle, Team AllEars, and lots of encouragement from friends, my dream became a reality. It was one of the hardest things I have ever trained for (even harder than 60 mile walks) but once I stepped into the start corral that early, sleet-filled morning, I knew I could make it happen; and I did. One of my proudest moments and one I won't ever forget!

Deb Wills


Very special thanks to EVERYONE who came out and cheered and all the volunteers and Disney Cast Members.

During the Saturday Half Marathon, Team AllEars members Melanie, Julie and Tacey seemed to be everywhere despite the rain!

Melanie and Taceypg

During the Marathon, Team AllEars members were sprinkled throughout the route. Here are Amanda and Mike cheering in Future World!


Looking Toward 2011

We once again wish to thank all of our team members. As we start to think about the 2011 Disney races, stay tuned for an announcement about 2011 Team AllEars coming very soon.

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About March 2010

This page contains all entries posted to Team AllEars® Running Blog in March 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2010 is the previous archive.

April 2010 is the next archive.

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