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January 2011 Archives

January 4, 2011

UPDATED: Reluctant Runner Sidelined

by Michelle Scribner-MacLean

Sometimes you do everything right: you train, you plan, you eat right….on paper everything looks good as you prepare for your race…but something goes wrong. Sadly, that’s what happened to me and, as we approach Disney’s Marathon Weekend, I’ve spend a bit of time feeling sorry for myself, but also have pushed myself to keep things in perspective.

After three years of feeling like I was “runner-ish” versus a real runner, in the year 2010 I found myself making great strides (pun intended) in my running. I ran three half marathons (and had a personal record), did a 10K, and a few 5Ks. I spent the summer cross training, adding biking, tennis, and strength training to my regimen. I also worked through a pesky IT band problem and found myself in the best shape ever and ready and excited to meet Team AllEars and to run my 5th half marathon.

With 10 days to go, things started to go downhill. At the end of a 6 mile run, I found that my foot was aching. This was unusual, as I’ve never had any foot problems at all. I rested and then a few days later went out for a short run…and that is when I knew something was really wrong. Sharp pains in my foot. Not good.

One of the things that I never bargained for when I started running was the fact that I would gain a whole community of wonderfully supportive running pals…. Running folks are very supportive in general (in my experience), but combine this with Disney-loving folk and, let’s just say you’ve got the makings for a very helpful and supportive group…and this is where they come into the story. I shared my concerns with a few people on Team AllEars. Up until this point my plan had been to rest and run my ½ as planned, but my running peers urged me to get it checked out at the doctor….just to be on the safe side. Thank you Amanda, Deb, Jamison, and Mike…this turned out to be a very good idea.

To make a very long story short, I quickly found out that I had a stress fracture and that it had been there for a while. When I asked why I hadn’t felt any pain before, the doctor said that sometimes with this injury it just feels ok until… BAM…one day it doesn’t. He also said that if I’d run with this fracture I might have done permanent damage to my foot. He said no running for at least six to eight weeks.

I’m not going to lie. I left the doctor’s office feeling very sorry for myself. One year’s worth of training and now… no ½ marathon with my friends, no 5K with my son Liam, and no walking around Walk Disney World. I allowed myself a bit of a cry and to feel sorry for myself, but then I pulled myself together and put things into perspective.

Team AllEars is running to raise money to support people who have real problems: breast cancer. I have been sidelined, but I know that I will heal and be out there on the road running with my buddies again very soon. There will be other Disney races, but I need to keep in mind those who can’t run for themselves, who can’t raise money for themselves, those who struggle every day to fight against cancer.

So…as I approach race weekend, I’m no longer feeling sorry for myself and I’m content with my new roll….to take my place alongside Team AllCheers and support my wonderful Team AllEars members who are raising money for a courageous group of people who are fighting a horrible disease.

If you’d like to support Team AllEars, please visit the following link:


Last year the team raised over $26,000. Let’s see if we can join together and do more this year.

As for me…
I promise you all, I’ll be out there training again soon and will join you next year.

UPDATE: Well, I learned another lesson as a runner: sometimes the first opinion isn't the correct opinion. After I'd been sidelines, I asked to see a specialist, who told me that I have something common in runners -- a neuroma (painful growth on nerve tissue). I was given a simple orthotic, told to take some pain killers, and given the best news...that I could safely run with my team without doing further damage.

I had made peace with not running, but am happy that I'm going to be able to give it a shot.

You can follow members of Team AllEars by clicking on the link below:


Please wish us luck!

January 5, 2011

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2011: Ready, Set, Go!

by Michelle Scribner-MacLean and Mike Scopa

You’ve been training, you’ve been crossing off the days on the calendar…and now it’s almost here…the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend! Get ready for a wonderful racing event with 25,000 of your favorite racing buddies. Here are some last minute tips to get ready and to remember once you get there.

Rest and Relax
You’ve done your training and now it’s time to get off your feet and relax. Allow your body to rest and conserve energy so that you’re 100% on race day.

You should be tapering off by now. There is nothing more you can do to prepare yourself for this coming weekend then the obvious…rest. This is especially true for those of you who may have over trained a bit. You know who you are; those of you who wanted to get a little faster; you may have run too many miles, too fast, or not given yourself enough rest. Now it’s time to rest.

Drink, drink, drink
During the few days before the race, it’s really important to keep yourself hydrated. Drink lots of water during the few days before you leave so that your body well hydrated and ready to go before you get to the start line.

During the race you should make an attempt to take in water at every water stop. You may not realize you need the water but you do.

When You Arrive at WDW:

Stay Off of Your Feet
If there is anywhere on earth where this advice is very difficult to follow, it’s at WDW, where you could easily walk 10 miles per day. When you’re with your family and friends at the “vacation capital of the world,” it is very difficult to tell them, “Sorry, I’m hanging out by the pool all day,” but that’s exactly what you should try to do on the few days before your race. If you’re not sitting by the pool, hang out at your resort. If you do find yourself at the parks, try to walk as little as possible. The parks are a great place to people watch…instead of standing in line, perhaps spend some time at the best place ever to “people watch.”

BE CAREFUL of what you eat and what you do. Sure it’s the Happiest Place on Earth and there are attractions and shows and Mickey…but what are you here for? Hopefully after your race day you can enjoy the parks and the talking Mice and Ducks.

The day before your big race should be spent strolling around the expo and taking it easy. You may find something at the Expo you may THINK you need for the race. Be careful. Unless it’s something like a throwaway waterproof jacket or maybe sunglasses or even gloves…you don’t need it. Imagine buying a pair of socks or running shorts that you’ve never tried before and on the day of the race you find they are not as comfortable as the ones you trained in. Remember what got you to the ball and use them at the ball.

Music Check
Make sure your music works with the type of runner you are. That is, make sure that if you are a progression runner (starts slow and get faster) then you have the right type of music queue for you…don’t put your highest pace music up front…you’ll run out of gas…make sure your music is in order.

If you are a rabbit type runner that starts off fast then you want your highest paced music early on in your music queue.

If you are a steady runner then all your music should have the same beat or close to it.

Eating for the Race
A day or two before your race don’t eat any foods your body is not comfortable with. Unless you are on the Atkins diet you really don’t need to carbo-load. What you could do is add a few more carbs in your diet some four days before the race; but realistically, if you drink and eat, as you would normally do then you should be fine.

You should know by know how close to a race you feel comfortable eating or drinking. Some runners like to be “fueled up” before a race while others want to be kind of “empty” because they fear they would have to make a pit stop during the race. Watch the clock and plan accordingly.

The Night Before
The night before the big race lay out all your clothes and pin your runner’s bib on your shirt. You should bring extra safety pins with you; don’t depend on the race organizer’s to be 100% efficient in making sure everyone’s packet has safety pins.

Get to bed early…get at least six hours sleep before your race and play it safe and set your room clock radio and your cell phone to wake you up. Just to play it safe arrange for a wake-up call.

Race Day
Be sure you get to the race at least an hour or so before race time because it will take time for you to do bag check and get warmed up.

When you arrive at your corral; try to work your way up to the front. The less people in front of you the quicker you will be able to get into your normal pace.

Do not run on the grass because it is wet and uneven and you can injure yourself.

Do not weave in and out of people. It uses up energy and also adds distance to the race. There have been folks who have run a Half Marathon and afterwards their Garmin watch said the distance ran was 13.6 miles…because they weaved in and out.
Pace yourself as only you know how….don’t let other runners influence your running style…just worry about you. Doing a PR is all well and good but just finish healthy so you can run another day.

At the end of the race be sure to stretch, drink water, and eat something.

One last piece of advice: HAVE FUN!

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About January 2011

This page contains all entries posted to Team AllEars® Running Blog in January 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2010 is the previous archive.

February 2011 is the next archive.

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