Disney World is Fun

Another statement from Captain Obvious, I know, but Disney World is really a lot of fun!  The amazing part is how cool it is to see if from the perspective of a parent versus a non-parent.  As a non-parent I would have planned every move in the park to hit all the best rides multiple times while efficiently seeing the entire park in the allotted time in the park.  As a parent I was able to sit back and respond to the Christmas-like excitement.  When the kids yelled “Teacups! Teacups!” at the top of their lungs while emerging from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride on the other side of the park, all I could do was smile and make it happen.  Non-parent Jason would have explained the lack of park-riding efficiency that would cause and lobby for the proximate Thunder Mountain or Swiss Family Robinson attractions.  So wonderful was the experience I almost forgot about how much it costs to see Disney (note I said almost).

This trip also had another uniquely special quality.  We got to spend time at Disney with the kid’s Aunt Jenn, Uncle Jeff and cousins Lucas and Emily.  Stewart and Emily giggled their days away and were nearly inseparable for the 2.5 days we spent together.  Lucas and Will enjoyed a similar fear of the unknown together and talking video games.  It was great to spend time with Jenn and Jeff and as a native Floridian I was shocked at how much more Jeff knew about Disney than I did.  He has some mean Disney knowledge and can build a strong park “game plan” which I respect.  Last point of note – they Disney Character buffets not only give the kids a super-easy way to see the Characters without lines but also serve up some pretty darn good buffet food.  All together 2 days in Disney, 1 in the Magic Kingdom and 1 in EPCOT were loads of fun (although you really need 2 days for EPCOT) and being able to participate in running while watching Cindy meet a goal she trained for months to attain made for a great several days in a VERY COLD Orlando, Florida.

P.S. Cold temperatures significantly limit park attendance.  Put on your heavy coats and get to Disney in the cold to avoid having nearly any wait for rides…

P.P.S – A quick video of Charlie’s first assisted steps:

Click here for the Disney World 2010 Slideshow

Click here for Charlie’s version of Disney World (I know, it does have a striking resemblance to Grammy and Poppy’s in Columbus).

Click here for Charlie’s Video Playlist

Click here to see all of our pictures a la flickr.

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2 Weeks a Habit Makes and The Disney Running Report

Quick bit about habits as they relate to my new New Year’s Resolutions. I have heard that it takes 2 weeks to make a habit stick (smoker’s may disagree) so the jury is still out on a few of my new resolutions for 2010.  I did kick off my 2x week yoga with a 5:15am alarm which actually gets me started on one of my other resolutions to rise earlier in the mornings (genius, eh?).  Now while yoga via video doesn’t compete with yoga on a beach in a tropical island (the lady in the video clearly has that trick figured out), I do think a week into it I am noticing positive effects and getting some knowledge that will make me feel better about eventually attending a real live class.  Limberness is still a ways off but feeling better throughout the day seems to be a good initial outcome.  I checked the box on family game night, getting home for 3 dinners last week (working from home on 2 of them didn’t hurt) and even setup some girls time for Cindy to spend with her good friend over drinks after a massage and some nail work.  My only concern is that I may be out of the blocks a bit too fast…more to come here.

Cindy and I did a little running at Disney this past weekend.  The coldest Disney race on record (lows with wind chills in the low 20s and race completion temps in the low 30s) and also the largest with 55,000 runners over the 2 big events.  Cindy ran a solid 4:09 and seemed to strengthen as the race progressed.  The crowds at the beginning accounted for an extra .3 miles run in the race per my GPS watch as we ran around lots and lots of people.  I ran even splits for the Goofy Challenge (both the 1/2 marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday).  Nice and easy as I took care of a calf that had been bothering me in the months prior.  Note to self for any future Disney Marathons:  Spend the time ahead of the race start getting to the right spot in your corral.  Not only were we not in our right time area but we weren’t near the right corral.  It was all about warmth over starting position.  The Disney Marathons (half and full) are great events and I would recommend them so long as you are prepared for the big race process that comes with it.  Results details can be scrutinized here (Cindy’s bib #3498 was and mine were 31333 for the half and 2270 for the full) Some additional comments:

  • Respect the Disney “Process” but don’t expect Disney “miracles” – they get 55,000 people through this event without a tremendous amount of unnecessary overhead but there is definitely overhead.  They won’t heat the EPCOT parking lot no matter how much you think Disney of all races should be able to do such a thing.
  • Carry a camera – I don’t advise this for most races but I had a great time getting pics with all of the Disney characters.
  • Do go to bed early – 3:30am wakeup calls/alarms hurt more if you don’t.
  • Do bring full-length garbage bags – warmth in any form is critical during the hour-plus weight in the elements before race go time.
  • Do drive yourself to the EPCOT parking lot – buses were not as well organized as you would expect for Disney (the half was worse than the full I hear).
  • Don’t bother with an iPod for this one – music nearly the entire way.  Marching Bands, guys playing accordians, Theme Park Music, 50 gospel singers near the finish, pretty amazing.
  • Don’t check a bag in the half marathon – too many people finish too close together – it was a near riotous scene (I especially hope the obnoxious guy yelling at the VOLUNTEERS at the bag drop reads this for next year).
  • Don’t fear the fatigue factor from pre-race park hopping – this oddly seemed to loosen me up.
  • Don’t carry water in this race – water stops nearly every 1/2 mile.
  • Don’t carry food/gels in this race – it’s like a buffet out there.  Fruit, candy bars, gels, boxes of raisins, etc…
  • Don’t expect to PR without solid corral management.
  • Do enjoy one of the few times you will be allowed in these parks for free (at least while you are running and if you forget about the cost of entry fees, travel, etc.).
  • Do run this race at least once – ideally for your 1st marathon.

More details and pictures to come for the data nuts on my ‘Run’ page at the top SuttonScoop above…

In 2010, I Resolve To…

…end world hunger, solve the climate crisis, find religious harmony worldwide, cure cancer and deliver racial harmony.  Just my small contribution to this great Earth while I am fortunate enough to spend time on it.  What?  Reaching too high you think?  Maybe those are my dreams instead of achievable resolutions.  What is it work always says?  Build SMART goals.  It stands for something.  Measureable, Achievable, Time-bound yada, yada, yada…Too bad I can’t remember the acronym as it seems I can only commit to MAT goals.

Before capturing my goals for 2010, let’s first see how I did in 2009:

2009 RESOLUTIONS:

Marriage:

  • Date night 2x per month (initiate setting up at least 6 of these in 2009 up from 0 in 2008). We killed this but I failed on the setup part…I call “do-over” in 2010.
  • Smile at Cindy everyday. Hmmm…I might have hit 90% here.
  • Tell her things I love about her more often (she did this 25 days in a row leading up to xmas) Needs improvement…my stats improve as my work reduces.

Fatherhood:

  • Play with my kids on all non-working days. Check.  Like adding years to my life…
  • Take a 1×1 outing with each of my kids 1x per month. Generally.  In the early days of Charlie we resorted to the ‘2 on 1 zone D’ often.
  • Eat a family dinner together 3x per week. I’d give myself a C here.  If you count weekends it was an ‘A’ if not, an ‘F’.
  • Be an example for my kids (let them see me reading, creating, laughing, sharing, etc.). I could laugh with them a lot more.
  • Take Will and Stewart golfing at least 1x per month. Average of 1x per month yes, but only due to an increased rate in the summer.

Health and Fitness:

  • Run a 3:15.59 minute marathon on a Boston Qualifier course (only 6 minutes faster than my fastest). Fail. But did run 3:31 at 7,000 ft (Idaho) and 3:41 at the hilly Ellerbe Springs.
  • Build yoga into my fitness routine (ideally 2x per week).  Fail – one of my top resolutions for 2010.
  • Continue to log every mile I run and track every split from my races I run. Success (Thank you Garmin!)
  • Continue 3x week push-up routine. Success!

Personal Well-being:

  • Honesty at all costs – work to tell the truth well no matter how difficult.  Success!
  • Say more with less – write with fewer words, talk more clearly. Needs improvement – my blog is proof.
  • Read 20 books (up 2 from 2008). Fail – read 14.  I’ll shoot for 18 in 2010.
  • Start my day earlier (target 5:30am rise and 7:15am work start).  Works good in the summer; not so much in the winter.
  • End my work day earlier (target 5:30pm departure).  Not so much; Carpool days hurt this stat (get in later; leave later).
  • Work:  lead more – set an example, build roadmaps, initiate vs. react. Held my own here but could continue to do more.
  • Continue to commute via public transportation to reduce my carbon footprint. Success!  1 full year on light rail – gave up parking spot uptown.
  • Influence others to lead more eco-friendly lives and look for better ways to lead one myself.  Success!  My compost has been a great selling point.
  • Participate more in community with a focus on the environment and political ethics. Fail.  😦  I aspire to do so much more here.

Drum roll please…and now, the 2010 resolutions I know everyone has been on the edges of seats awaiting:

2010 RESOLUTIONS

Marriage:

  • Setup 1 date per month (continue to go on 2 dates per month).
  • Enable all “Girls Nights” and “Girls Trips” for Cindy.
  • Play together (e.g. cards, Wii, scrabble, etc.) 2x per month.

Fatherhood:

  • Be at home eating at the table for 2 weekday dinners.
  • Re-establish weekly family game night.
  • Golf with the kids 1x per month.
  • Weekly bike rides with the kids (need a little help from Stewart here…)
  • More laughter and less lecturing with my kids (2009 repeat – needs more work).

Health and Fitness:

  • Yoga 2x per week (2009 repeat).
  • Eat less chicken – continue no red meat.
  • Run with Purpose – donate $1 per mile every mile run in 2010.
  • Run 3:15.59 at the 2010 Thunder Road (Charlotte) Marathon.
  • Run sub-30 hour BRR with 6-man team (run sub-8 min pace for my 6 legs).

Personal Well-being:

  • Say more with less – fewer words in professional settings both with writing and speaking.
  • Start everyday at 5:30am (latest).
  • Read 18 books (up from 14 read in 2009) and continue to document via blog.
  • Work: lead more proactively;  Build framework for others to follow.
  • Learn “presentness” to help better engage with all people in my life (taking all tips/advice here).
  • Develop better gift-giving habits – surprise people with small thought-filled gifts.

Christmas 2009 – Part II


Christmas came and went as quickly as 2009 did.  I resolve to do 2 things differently in the 2010 Christmas season:  1) take more time off of work – ideally 2 full weeks unplugged; and 2) engage in the season earlier – too much travel, work, family sickness resulting in not fully engaging in more of the stuff that makes the season the season.  Having the little man with another year under his belt and maybe at least one fewer nap per day won’t hurt either.  All said, the time with family and friends around Christmas were as special of a time as I can remember. Cindy was our household MVP as it felt like nearly every day she did something to make memories for us all to have. Forever.  Enjoy the pictures (warning: I didn’t spend much time putting the summarized-version together – part of my doing less to enjoy more theme for 2010.  More here in my upcoming resolutions update).

Click here for the slideshow of events from mid-December through Christmas Eve. (Not for nothing, but Charlie’s 1st haircut is included here – sorry little man…it’s rough being the 3rd kid).

Click here for the slideshow of Christmas and post-Christmas festivities

Click here for Charlie’s Video Playlist

Click here to see all of our pictures a la flickr.