Monday, September 21, 2009

My AC100-- Running To And From the Magic Kingdom

I haven't made a habit of blogging my training runs, but my road runs are all that are left of my epic 100 mile run in Southern California this past weekend. Here is an example of how I was able to fit some running in with the time and location restraints of a family vacation to Disneyland. Originally the last day at the park was going to be today Monday, after the AC 100 Mile Endurance Run, but the Station Fire changed "AC" from "Angeles Crest" to (like the 2008 Western States) "Also Cancelled." So we decided to do Disney 3 days straight and then head home.

We drove down to Garden Grove on Tuesday, hitting a bit of rush hour traffic after the last hilly pass in Santa Clarita. The NĂ¼vi GPS and the road map showed clearly that the Angeles National Forest lay on both sides of us. I wistfully looked to the left and tried to guess at the base of which mountain the race would have ended. I also tried to see if there was any smoke from any fires still burning. (I couldn't.)

Our hotel was about one mile from the southern edge of the California Adventure Park. There was a shuttle you could pay for, but it came only every 20 minutes, plus appeared to make many stops and get crowded quickly. This was confirmed by the lines of families in front of all the hotels on Harbor Boulevard with no shuttle in sight. Of course we could afford to pay for the official Disneyland parking lot but it wasn't very close to the park.

To maximize the time my kids got to spend in the park already curtailed by their obligatory afternoon naps, with the bonus of being frugal in tough economic times, I decided that I would drop off and pick up my family, and run to and from the park. I wasn't looking for a lot of training, since I was still recovering from Cascade Crest 100 even as my PCT 100 in the Hood loomed soon. But I didn't want a complete exercise hiatus.

So the routine was this:

Eat the complementary hot breakfast at hotel. Drive family 2.2 miles to park (had to go past the 15-minute parking area and U-turn),

drive back 1.5 miles to hotel. Run over 2 miles into park, directed by text messages from my wife. A little sweaty, but everyone there would be equally sticky in an hour or two.

When either kids shows signs of melting down in the early afternoon, run back to hotel, pick up car, and pick them up. The highs were in the upper 80's so counted as some heat training. Lunch and late nap at the hotel.

Early evening, get complementary dinner from downstairs, bring it back to room.

no free dinner on Fridays, but was more than happy to pay for a tastier meal at Joe's Crab Shack

Drop off family at park. Drink a beer or take a bottle to go (didn't want to miss free beer and wine), run back to park (immediately after eating) and meet them again.

Repeat the return of running ahead at close of park. The beginning of this last run was more technically challenging, weaving in and out of the crowds, pretending I was a running back , avoiding the motorized wheelchairs and carts, and small kids.

To avoid the traffic and save more time, my wife would keep pushing the double stroller and text me her location.

(Note: despite a lot of skillfully jayrunning, still a lot of waiting on the corner for the light to change.)

So, guess I made this work, and barely ran a marathon doing these runs over three days. But I do look forward to the day our kids no longer need the naps, not to mention when my younger son is tall enough to get on the more interesting rides.

one of several rides that go round and round, after a painfully and disproportionately long wait

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