(written on tuesday. posted now! :D)
As I am flying back to Austin with an hour and twenty minutes of flight time left, I have just finished reading through some articles in Women's Running in an attempt to waste time. I picked up this magazine as one of the freebies at the Disney Half Expo this weekend and it is just now hitting me that I CAN read a running magazine (something I NEVER thought I would EVER do) because I just ran my first race. Some people aim for a 5k or even a 10k for their first race. But not me. For some reason,when Monica called me up in October and semi-seriously/semi-jokingly told me that it would be SO FUN to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon with a bunch of our girlfriends,I JUMPED on the idea. I have no idea what possessed me to do so.
My running history is as follows-
Junior Year of College(2006/7) : attempted running for 3 blocks (failed)
Summer of Junior Year : attempted a half mile of running, ended with ankle in air cast and needed an MRI
Summer of 2009 : second real attempt at running, MAYBE struggled through 2 miles (still had ankle issues)
Fall 2009 : decided to run HALF MARATHON, threw on an ankle brace and started running
I am not sure if my logic is always this flawed, but for some reason I decided that I needed a non-musical, anti-academic, physical goal - even one that seemed completely impossible to achieve. And of course it was greatly helped by the fact that girl time at Disney is an inspiration too strong for me to resist.
All of that to say - I called the necessary girlfriends to see who would be interested, and after we all decided to go for it, I started looking at training programs and decided on the one my sister-in-law used. I must admit that I didn't do an ounce of strength training and only made it through the 3 major runs per week. Although next time, I would like to train a little harder (YEAH, NEXT TIME!!) the fact that I increased my mileage like I was supposed to was a miracle. And I have to say I am pretty darn proud of myself for working through each road block that was put in front of me. I struggled with pretty much every ailment known to female runners, and somehow (mostly by coaching of my marathon running friend and the sound advice of other runners:) was able to push through and make it to race day.
After my last long run, which was wildly unsuccessful, I resigned myself to the idea that I just might not finish on race day. But lo and behold when it came to 3 am Sunday morning, I threw on that race bib, my tiara and stuffed immodium in my bra and set off for the shuttle. I have to admit that I have always believed that Disney was the most magical place on earth and even the happiest, but the start of this race was less than that. Smelling like a port-a-potty, freezing in the back fields where Disney keeps the broken ferry boats, and facing the possibility of injury and illness, isn't such a good time. But when the sun came up and the fireworks went off, the overwhelming flood of tutus, tiaras and glitter was enough to get anyone and everyone (14000 people) moving. Perhaps early morning races are the best because you are delirious for about the first 8 miles :D Not to mention the occasional Jack Sparrow, every prince known to mankind and running under Cinderella's castle provided some motivation. With each mile, it was so hard to believe that I was still running, was not in any way in jeopardy of being anywhere near too slow, and that I felt no real physical pain until mile twelve. What a miracle! I was so happy about the whole thing that I shed a little tear at the finish line. Or maybe I was just super excited about the shiny medal :D Either way, I am so glad I had this experience and that I have now been thrown into the running world and can't wait to keep going. If I can do this - SERIOUSLY - anyone can. SO GO RUN :D