Friday, November 29, 2013

Jamaica Update

We are a little behind in posts since it's the holidays. Holly and Dave are in Jamaica enjoying a great vacation. Here are a few photos:

We should be back to our usual posting schedule soon and hope to bring you the next installment of Michael and Eddie's Epic Adventure!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Philadelphia: the Non-Running Stuff

While we wait for the next installment of #goofyinaday Holly and Dave share the non-running portion of their recent trip to Philadelphia. The purpose of the trip was so Holly could participate in the city's 20th running of their marathon. While there they met up with some friends and did some touring.

After landing at PHL and checking into our hotel we walked over to McGillin's Olde Ale House. This place has been a pub since 1860. The two floors of the pub are not too big, but were very crowded on a Friday night. Not really the best place for us to meet up with some friends and have a conversation, but the beer list looked good. Unfortunately, we chose to sit in the "quieter" upstairs area that had the limited beer menu. still good choices, just not as robust as downstairs. After eating we found the quieter Fergie's Pub more suitable for conversation. We're not sure how 1:30am came around so quickly.....


The next morning we drove with Eddie to Independence Hall and The Liberty Bell. Dave was upset to learn that the crack in the Liberty Bell was not a result of being shot. Yes he really thought that was how it happened. The guided portion of the tour was through Independence Hall while the Liberty Bell display area was self guided. We had a great tour guide that balanced humor with history. One of the funnier events was when the city tour bus wrapped in a Grand Theft Auto V ad drove right in front of the hall.


After that we headed to the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the Race Expo. After much shopping by Holly and Eddie we ran into more friends (Rich and Helen) and drove together to our lunch spot. Triumph Brewing Company was in the Old City area that had brick and stone streets surrounded by cool bars and restaurants. Matt and Joe met us for lunch and we had fun sampling the 8 beers on tap and enjoying some great food.

It's too early for dinner. Let's hit another brewery! We drove a few miles to Yards Brewing. Yards was a big brewery with a taproom and snack bar vs. Triumph being a brewpub/restaurant. Lots of communal tables filled with the younger crowd. Those of us still drinking had flights of four beers each and we tried their delicious root beer.

We needed to get Eddie to a sports bar so he could show us War Eagle Tourrette's and watch the Georgia/Auburn Game. He had tickets to this game and gave up going to spend the weekend with us and run with our friend Joe in his first marathon. We chose Smith's Bar since it was near our dinner location. If you are looking for this place, do not trust Yelp! or Apple Maps app to find it. thankfully we were meeting Sue and Anthony here and they messaged on Facebook how to find it. Smith's was nice and had some decent stuff on tap, but not too much local.

The game was still on while we were eating dinner at Pietro's on Walnut. Great food! Holly had the traditional pre-race spaghetti and meatballs and Dave had the coal oven pizza. Worth a repeat trip for both items.

From Google Images

Fast-forward to after the race Sunday. The plan was to do the Pat's/Gino's cheesesteak face-off but the traffic in the city was a mess. We chose to walk over to the Reading Terminal Market and get stuff there. The market is cool. It's an old train depot turned into a kicked-up food court. We could have explored all the food options here for days before we would feel we tried it all. Holly had a cheesesteak and Dave had the famous Tommy DiNic's pork sandwich. He didn't like what was once dubbed "the best sandwich in America". Afterwards he wanted a single scoop ice cream cone from Bassett's that ended up being what felt like an entire pint.

Our friends took off for home and we still had the rest of the evening in the city. We headed over to Nodding Head Brewing. It was on a second floor location in an older building. The bar was small and the entire room was kinda dank. Overall the beer wasn't anything great. We left Nodding Head to move a few doors over to Ladder 15. Quite a contrast. Nice and modern vs. old and dank. Good beer selection and tasty chicken wings. Our final stop of the evening was the hotel bar. We were pretty darn beat.

Out of the local beers we tried with liked Sly Fox's O'Reily's Stout and Yard's Washington Porter the best. Triumph's trippel was also pretty good.

We didn't get to do everything we wanted to do, but still got to visit a few decent places.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

#Goofyinaday: Michael and Eddie's Epic Adventure, Part 2

Team Tizzel is proud to continue our series of guest posts by our friend Michael Miller chronicling his adventure with Eddie McCoy to tackle 39.3 miles of racing in one day; and in two different states. Today's post will cover the Rock and Roll Marathon - Savannah, GA.

Follow Michael and Eddie on Twitter

Earlier posts: Part 1

Part Two: Where We Freak Each Other Out While Running A Marathon
Eddie is fast. Boston qualifying fast. And like most character flaws that your friends may have, it's just something you just have to accept -- like a bad comb-over or people who pronounce ignorant as "ignernt." He means no harm by it. Yet when we walked into Corral 3 for the start of the race, Eddie's "I'm dropping back from Corral 1" to the lady checking bibs earned him some not-so-gentle ribbing from me. With a target time of 4:30 we should have been starting in Corral 11, however due to all of the day's events we used one of my better finish times to start our race as early as possible. So it was after a beautiful baritone rendition of the National Anthem and the quick release of Corrals 1 & 2, we headed up Bay Street: one of the many historic streets we would run today.

While Eddie and I had run 3 marathons together prior to Savannah, the pace in those races wasn't set by either of us. In those races we ran with a group of friends and we went with the general pace of the group. So going into this race, while I knew how fast Eddie could run, I was a bit of an unknown pacing quantity to him. All Eddie knew was our goal was to run 4:30 with a 30 minute contingency. What Eddie didn't know was how I planned to run those four and a half hours. My plan was to run the first half pretty hard, targeting under 2 hours, followed by an easing of the pace to run the second half in 2:30. Now admittedly, this isn't a very logical plan when embarking on a 39.3 daily goal, but I never claimed to be logical. As for Eddie, it would have been easier if I had shared this with him, and based upon his reaction for the next two hours it would have been easier on me as well.

Every marathon has what is termed "junk miles." These are miles, usually with lots of twists and turns, through less scenic portions of a city with the sole purpose of adding distance to add up to the 26.2 needed for a marathon. For Savannah, these miles are earlier in the race. While there wasn't much to look at, it would have been hard to really appreciate anything as Eddie was giving me constant updates of our pace. It started at the first mile marker where Eddie informed me with some nervousness we were running in the low 8 minutes per mile pace. Since Eddie was expecting a 9 to 10 minute pace based upon our goal, I am sure he had visions of my self destruction destroying our #GoofyInADay. So for the next few miles while I was receiving more frequent questions like if I "was comfortable," or "needed to adjust" pace, I finally told Eddie of my plan. While he may have accepted what I told him, it was very obvious for the rest of the race he wasn't 100% certain it would work, if I had any idea what I was doing...or if I was crazy.

As we returned to the historic downtown area from running our junk miles - WAR EAGLE - we got to see some of the best that Savannah had to offer. Beautiful parks, lots of spectators - WAR EAGLE - historic buildings and musical entertainment. Running through these areas was so much fun, I admit I didn't notice all of the uneven roads we were running on - WAR EAGLE. Now what I did notice, and you probably have as well at this point, was that Eddie had what I have dubbed "War Eagle Tourette's." Eddie is a huge Auburn fan, and our adventure was on Game Day, as Auburn was playing (if you want to know, you can Google it yourself, as I really don't care enough about who they were playing to do it myself). War Eagle Tourette's is a condition where when one Auburn fan sees another they immediately yell "War Eagle" which is then returned by a call of the same. Therefore, being as we were running in the south we were lucky enough to encounter at least a dozen Auburn fans, including one standing on an 8 foot step ladder holding an Auburn sign. This meant that for 26.2 miles I was treated to unannounced screams of War the point I eventually felt like someone from an old World War II movie ready to hit he ground whenever someone would yell "incoming."

After the short stint in historic downtown we hit the interstate and headed out into the suburbs. This included - WAR EAGLE - runs through gentrified neighborhoods, parks and local stadiums. The highlight thought is the 3 or so miles we ran through Savannah State University. Here, we not only ran on the schools track and through it's well manicured grounds, we were treated with a multitude of student groups and associations out there cheering us on. From cheerleaders and the team mascot giving high-fives to the raucous marching band to academic and Greek groups, all were high energy and - WAR EAGLE - supportive. It was so much fun that there is even an unconfirmed rumor that one of us may have actually "twerked" with members of the band's dance corps. Since we were in the second half of the marathon at this point, we had slowed our pace, though it was still faster than our target 4:30 and Eddie was still suggesting things like, "hey, why don't we walk at every mile marker" in an attempt to keep me from potential self destruction. I would have found this cute if I weren't so focused on blocking Eddie's view of any Auburn fans along the course.

At Mile 23 as we headed back the interstate towards town, I got to admit I started to have some perverse fun with Eddie. As I indicated, Eddie is fast. At this point when we were on a path to a sub 4:10 finish I announced that I was starting to think about our evening run and was going to dial it back. While I can't swear to it, I believe his mouth actually fell open. So for the next few miles --WAR EAGLE - we stopped for even more pictures than we had been taking, and I would spontaneously announce let's walk. This was killing Eddie as our time started to creep up and whenever I said "hey, we are better than our goal" he would implore me with the fact that we could go well under that. Consider this the warped humor of slower runner torturing his faster counterpart. As we closed in on the finish line, Eddie started to - WAR EAGLE - run 5, then 10 feet ahead of me. When he got too far, I would announce a walk break or have him take a picture of me - including one where a police officer was handcuffing me after he made his Lieutenant turnaround so as not to be a witness. At this point Eddie "threatened" to leave me if I didn't sped up....which was met with my trump card. I told him that if he left me, I would tell everyone that despite my agreeing to doing #GoofyInADay with him, he left me on the course by myself just to get a faster time. Funny thing is, we really like each other, yet this is how we show it.

We finished in 4:16:47.

Part 3: Where We Drive to Orlando, Eddie Learns That It's Better to Write the Blog and We Discover the True Meaning of War Eagle

Eddie's video from the race is posted below:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

#Goofyinaday: Michael and Eddie's Epic Adventure, Part One

Team Tizzel is proud to present a series of guest posts by our friend Michael Miller chronicling his adventure with Eddie McCoy to tackle 39.3 miles of racing in one day; and in two different states. Today's post will give some background on the goal and cover the travel day to Savannah, GA.

Follow Michael and Eddie on Twitter

Part One: Where Mistakes Are Made and Miles Are Walked

We've all heard them, the humorous cautionary tales that begin with "it seemed like a good idea at the time." Heck, The Hangover movie franchise was built upon this idea. This isn't one of those stories. Our story is a combination of mistakes and stupidity. The mistake was Eddie's, who inadvertently signed up to run The Rock and Roll Savannah Marathon and Disney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon in the same day. My stupidity was to agree to keep him company when he asked me "as the only person I know who would agree to do this with me." And while I agreed to partake in this 39.3 mile adventure, I can honestly say, from the get-go -- it seemed like a BAD idea at the time.
Due to the high cost of flying directly to Savannah from DC, the plan was I would meet up with Eddie in his hometown of Atlanta on Friday where we'd pick up a rental car for the 3 hour drive between these cities. Since Eddie had run Savannah before, he'd navigate us through finding a hotel and hitting the expo, after which we'd call it an early night. Meanwhile, his wife Anna would fly to Disney to pick up all of our Race Packets for W&D. Then on Saturday we would begin our "#GoofyInADay" as Eddie dubbed it in honor or Disney's Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. However, unlike the Goofy Challenge which entails running 39.3 miles over two days, we were running a marathon at 7:00 am, followed by a 280 mile drive to Orlando to meet up with Anna to get our bibs, after which we had to catch Disney race transportation to be in our corrals in time for Wine & Dine's 10:00 pm start. Even as I type still seems like a BAD idea.

Upon landing in Atlanta, I texted Eddie who was waiting for me in the main terminal I would be there shortly. For those familiar with Atlanta's Airport, it is a sequential series of terminals that are fairly spread out from one another. For those of us who were unfamiliar with the airport it is still a sequential series of terminals. Not knowing this, I decided to walk to bag check versus getting on the extremely packed transport train. At the first of what would be three more terminals I contemplated getting on the trains that kept passing by but I stubbornly trudged on. After 20 or so minutes not getting on the train at each successive terminal became a matter of warped pride as I was certain bag check and freedom from my trek was just ahead. Finally, as I started to contemplate how doing this much walking may not be the best prep for tomorrow's challenge, I hit the next to the last terminal. This was where a helpful employee told me I had to get on the train to go the final stop to bag check. As I trudged off the train, Eddie greater me with a "man, what took you so long."

Leaving the airport we hopped on another train to the rental car center where we headed to the Dollar counter. Things didn't look good as we walked the 50 or so feet to the counter because no one was manning the desk. Just as we arrived at the counter, a man with a scraggly pony tail and "stoner" vibe slowly rose from behind the counter. When I say slowly, think old vaudeville skit where someone pretends to rise up on an elevator for dramatic effect. At this point, it got really started to get weird. First there were questions about what we were doing, which were met with responses like "how long is your marathon, like 5 miles." My favorite exchange was when he asked us if it would take us an hour to run the marathon right after he said that he regularly ran 10 miles on the trails. Eddie's first thought was "how fast does this dude run 10 miles if he thinks 26.2 could be done in an hour. My first thought was the only way this guy ran 10 miles in the woods was to get away from DEA agents. Once the paperwork and psychedelic conversation was over we mistakenly took the man's directions on how to get to our car....which took us to the impassable four lane divided road right beneath the walkway that would have taken us to our car. But, hey, that was ok, as all we had to do was retrace the 10 minutes of walking it took us to find this out. At this point we didn't care as we were getting off our feet to begin our drive to Savannah.

The first change in our plans occurred a week prior to race day. As I mentioned earlier and much to the
chagrin of many of our "planning oriented" friends, we didn't book a room in advance. This was more of a sense of frugality than recklessness. As a Historical City hosting a large Marathon, Savannah hoteliers across the board established a 2 night minimum for the weekend. So our plan was to hit hotels the night before the race to find someone willing to take us for one night vs. having an empty room. Much to the relief of those "planning oriented" friends who were more concerned about our room situation than we were, Eddie made some calls and not only got us a room for 1 night, he also negotiated a late check out so we could shower before getting in the car for over 5 hours. So we were feeling pretty satisfied as we checked into the hotel and got ready for the expo.

Getting to the Savannah expo was a bit of a challenge. It entailed a long walk to the waterfront to stand in a line with marathoners taking the ferry to the convention center. While we did find out that unlike the prior year where people couldn't drive over to the expo we could have taken our car, overall the process went seamlessly. The expo itself was larger in size, well organized with a multitude of vendors and even included being able to test drive the latest line of Mazdas. At the expo, Eddie did decide to pick up some new compression socks and the new Garmin 620 to wear for the race. You know the saying "you shouldn't wear anything new for a race." Well apparently Eddie doesn't. The only wrinkle occurred when we hopped on one of the historic old town trolleys we had seen earlier near our hotel to take us back across the river. The ride itself would have been more enjoyable if it weren't for the fact that we were on a round trip loop to a remote parking lot for those that got the news that you could drive to this years expo. So after adding our impromptu 20 minute tour of the expo parking lots we headed back to the ferry.

After a quick ferry ride we walked to the far end of the historic water front for some pizza at Spanky's, a local pizzeria and bar. The food was good however the service was great as the waitresses loaned us a personal phone charger when they learned my phone had died. After dinner we took the long walk back past our hotel to find a store to get granola bars and sports drink. Follow this with another walk back to our hotel and we were putting in some serious mileage on the uneven cobblestone roads of Historic Savannah. Now one of the legends of Savannah is that in his march to the sea during the civil war, Sherman spared Savannah due to its beauty. I can tell you with certainty, it had more to do with not wanting to ride his horse on these uneven roads as it would have literally been a pain in his... you get the point. The bright side at least was knowing we were going to run some of these roads the next day.

So as we called it a night, we both went to bed with tired legs. Since it was a relatively early 9ish, this gave the added benefit of having more time to lay in bed and think about how tired our legs felt from racking up miles that didn't count towards our 39.3 mile total. And as with all BAD ideas, I am sure we both started to question what we had gotten ourselves into.

Part 2: Where We Freak Each Other Out While Running A Marathon

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Talking Training and Race Chasing on The Mickey Miles Podcast

We are pleased to let you know that you can hear the members of Team Tizzel on two recent episodes of The Mickey Miles Podcast.

Holly, along with our friend Michael and the MMP Team, gives some great advice about training for multi-day running events at Walt Disney World on episode 117.

Dave chats with the MMP Team on episode 119 about our ebook Race Chase:  Expert Advice about Seeing your Runner on Race Day.

It's an hour of Team Tizzel for your ears!

While all of this is very fun, please keep in mind that we are participating in these races and writing ebooks to help raise money for Avon's breast cancer charities with our Team AllEars friend.   You can help us out by donating directly on our Avon site with a credit card (use one of the pink Donate Now buttons on the right) and by buying a copy of Race Chase for about $7.  Dave's company will match the donated proceeds so your purchase does go a long way to helping us reach our fundraising goals.

Thanks Mike and Michelle for inviting us on the show with you.  And thank you to all our readers for checking out our links and helping us raise money to help those with breast cancer.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Planning for The Greek Islands: Part One

Several years ago we decided we were each going to pick a vacation destination for our 40th birthdays. Holly is a year younger than Dave so that meant two years in a row of decent trips. The year Dave turned 40 we were booked to g to Peru, but the heart doctors thought they saw something and pulled the trip from under our legs. Two years and a pulmonary valve later Dave got his trip. We tried to make Holly's trip work in 2013, but things were not fitting into place. So now we determined 2014 is her make-up 40th birthday trip - a couple years late. Her choice destination: The Greek Islands. She didn't have one sight or specific attraction in-mind.... Just the Greek Islands.
Here's what we knew about the Greek Islands:
  • They are in Europe, specifically part of the country of Greece
  • They are surrounded by water
This will be an ongoing blog series about our trip planning process. So we'll start with our first stab at researching the destination.

Since we thought Holly wanted a nice beach vacation with some iconic culture thrown in Dave started his research in a visual manner. He figured look at pictures and see what ones were appealing and go from there. He decided to turn to Pinterest to start researching.

Dave signed up for Pinterest when it first came out. The idea of photo-based social media that was easier to navigate than Instagram was appealing. Then after a couple of weeks all he ever saw were posts, by mostly women, of some cutesy baked good or an outfit layout that the poster would never wear in real life.

The bigger shock was Dave found he had 61 followers on Pinterest. how the heck did that happen?
So the search started with the simple search term "Greek Islands". One of the first pins to come up was a map - ok that's handy. Pin it! Ooh... A windmill. Pin it! Blue door. Pin It! Within about fifteen minutes he had about two dozen things that looked interesting pinned.

Dave clicked a couple of pins to explore the links behind them (pinners can post just a picture or accompany it with a URL to a webpage, or add their own story to go along with the picture). He learned that Santorini and Mykonos are the two most popular islands, Paros is the gateway to the Greek ferry system, and that we are too old to book a trip through the Contiki company. He was driven to, which had an easy-to-navigate hotel listing.
Another goal of our trip is to try to use our One World / American Airlines miles to get there for free. So far we couldn't find anything in the network to get us to Athens, but for a reasonable mileage rate we can get to Santorini via Berlin and Vienna. We'll keep digging.

We'll keep you posted on trip planning in the future. If you have any suggestions leave a comment or find us on Facebook.

Here is Part Two

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Coming soon to Michael and Eddie's Epic Adventure

Just when you thought Holly was nuts for doing Disney's Goofy Challenge, a half marathon day one and a full marathon day two, these two come along!

Michael and Eddie will run the Savannah Rock and Roll Marathon Saturday morning, then drive five hours so they can participate in Disney's only night time half marathon - runDisney's Wine and Dine.
The photos, videos, and stories will be here for your enjoyment and amazement! Stay tuned!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Star Wars and Disney One Year Later

Around this time last year Disney announced it was purchasing Lucasfilms for over 4 billion dollars. In that announcement we also learned that we were finally getting the third trilogy. Dave will admit this made him tear up a little. He's always felt ripped off he was never getting those films. He should have been one of the folks interviewed for The People vs. George Lucas.

So a year has gone by and what do we know? The first movie in the new trilogy will be released in 2015 with J.J. Abrams directing. That should be awesome. We are also getting "filler" movies in the gap years between the trilogies. So far we believe Han Solo and Boba Fett origin films will be released. Nice. We can potentially have a new Star Wars film every year in perpetuity. The Clone Wars TV show was cancelled, but it is being replaced by Star Wars Rebels - which will focus on the rise of the Empire. Rumors are there will be some form of TV program based on Darth Vader. A couple projects were scrapped like a new Star Wars video game and Seth Green's Detours series.

To celebrate the one year anniversary of the agreement, here's Dave in his 1977 Jawa Halloween costume (the mask was C-3PO spray painted mostly black so the eyes would appear to glow) and some fan art that floated around the Internet last year.