I ran 9.08 miles yesterday - I am a runner. Really? A year ago I wouldn't have laughed at you had you told me that I would be running for 2 hours straight but I would have had a hard time believing that would be a true statement about myself and that it would be something that I could do! I have had this goal in my head that I wanted to run a 1/2 marathon "someday" (maybe more than 1). BUT - as far back as I can remember I have been told that I am not good at running, I am not fast, and that I am not athletic. So what do you do... you believe it.
Then sometime late in the summer of 2011 I saw this photo in a publication...
I looked at this photo for a long time the first time I saw it... I have been a Disney addict since I was young. I was born in Anaheim afterall - it was fate. I love Disneyland and every single thing about it. When I saw this photo and read the information about the Inaugural Tinkerbell 1/2 Marathon I wondered if that was something I could do. Kudos to runDisney for this photo... I imagined myself running through the castle MANY times... not to mention also imagined that my legs would look just like this girl.
I figured if you are going to run a 1/2 marathon... then Disney was the place to do it. I looked up the runDisney website and realized I was too late... there was no way I could pull my training and the finances together to make the 2012 Tinkerbell a reality. But I didn't forget about it.
Then 2012 hit and into the spring and I decided... 2013 Tinkerbell was mine! I begged my husband to be able to try. So in the Spring of 2012 I laced up my shoes and went out for my 1st run. I thought I would die... I don't think I went farther than a couple of miles that first day and I walked a lot of it. As I dug a little deeper on the runDisney site I found Jeff Galloway and read about his run/walk methods. THIS sounded doable. So I bought myself a Gymboss intreval timer and off I went. I decided to sign up for some local races. Many of my cyber running friends said this would help me stay motivated and assist in my training. So I did some local races. We also went on Craig's List and found a used treadmill... I have 3 young kids... I knew I would end up on the treadmill a lot of the time. That was okay with me... it is what it is. I would also strongly recommend any one interested in serious walking or running to go to a good running store and get fitted for shoes... I did. I went to Fairhaven Runners in Bellingham, WA. They were awesome and fitted me with some good shoes.
Then I did another race - this time a 10K in a nearby town - Arlington - 1 hour and 14 mins... and my kids got to see me finish. It rained really hard at the beginning of this race and it really affected the turn out... only about 20 people did the 10K... I was the LAST 10K finisher... but I still won 3rd place in my age division! I wore my runDisney shirt that I had ordered to motivate me and remind me what my goal was! I met a lady who had run the Wine and Dine 1/2 Marathon at Disney World. She told me good luck and said that the Disney races would be a lifetime memory.
I was feeling more confident and was losing some weight! All big bonuses for me!
Then I did some more races...
This is me and my younger sister Heather at the Poulsbo 10K in Poulsbo, WA on October 14th, 2012. This was the first time I ran with someone else. My time - 1 hour 15 min and 16 seconds. I felt great even if my sister ditched me at the end.
On December 8th, 2012 I actually ran a 5K at 8am (my time for the 5K was 39 minutes) and then went to a neighboring town and ran a 10K (1 hour and 17 min) all in the same day. I had added a few minutes to my 10K time but hey I woke up and ran a 5K in the morning before it so that is my excuse for adding the few minutes. CRAZY woman! (no photos from that day)
In the midst of all of this training and racing... I lost about 25 pounds of the weight I had gained back after Weight Watchers. I was feeling so much better!
Then my BIG goal was right around the corner! I couldn't believe it! The Tinkerbell Half Marathon 2013 and I was so excited! My husband and I planned the trip and decided earlier that the kids would not be coming this time. We had just taken them in December of 2011 and finances just would allow for them to be there this time. It promised to be really busy at the parks anyway - besides the Race Weekend it was also President's Day that Monday. Crowded at the Parks!
I had made some cyber friends through a Facebook page for runDisney fanatics and Twitter. I had learned about these amazing fan Meet Ups that runDisney holds at each of it's race weekends. I HAD to get in. I bought my plane tickets in advance banking that I would get in to this special event prior to the race festivities. Turns out... I did get in! I wrote about the runDisney Meet Up HERE. Totally a dream come true! That is me in the back row to Goofy's left - 3rd one in.
This photo is a little blurry but I love it anyway.
I am within about 5 pounds of my Weight Watchers goal weight (and have a goal to lose more)... I run about 3- 5 times a week depending on our schedule. I have registered for some more local races this year and have plans to return to the Disneyland Resort to run the 2014 Tinkerbell 1/2 Marathon! This time I am taking a couple of friends with me!
It felt amazing to accomplish this goal! I would recommend runDisney to any one! So amazing and fun! I would encourage anyone that seems to find running too hard or something they could not do to look into Jeff Galloway's training methods. His program is so user friendly to newbies and people who never thought running would be something they could be successful at. (I even got to meet Jeff at the special runDisney Meet Up I attended).
I have dreams of doing MORE Disney races - getting my Coast to Coast medal... but reality right now is we have a one income family and 3 young kids AND we live in Washington State. It takes some funds to make the trip to Disneyland or the World. I also don't want to deprive my kids from trips while they are still young. So we will do what we can and the time will come later. I will be back to run the Tinkerbell 2014... can't wait!
For now I will live vicariously through my cyber friends who fly from coast to coast and run all that Disney magic!