There was once a time in my life when I thought distance runners were crazy. In fact, I ran Cross Country in high school and I thought anyone who ran over 2 miles at a time was “crazy”. I also knew I wasn’t cut out for Cross Country in college because those girls had to run THREE whole miles at a time….heaven forbid. Post college, when I “ran”, it was for a mile or two on the treadmill at a 6 mph pace and I thought I was awesome. Boy have I learned a LOT in just a few short years!
My Fitness ”aha!” moment
came when I attended the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in 2009. I had a few friends running the Marathon (I’ll admit, I knew NOTHING about running at that point) and I was along as part of the cheer squad!
As I stood outside of Hollywood Studios with a friend of mine watching runners pass by, still smiling through the pain, I thought “They are at mile 24 and they aren’t dead yet! Maybe I CAN do this!!” I was brought to tears by the sheer determination of the runners and I was in awe of the crowd support – what an amazing and life changing moment. It was there that I decided to “try” to run the Half Marathon the following year. I knew that a Full Marathon wasn’t in the cards for me. I would NEVER run a Full Marathon and I especially would NOT run Goofy…EVER. Only hard core crazy people run those, right?
After a fun-filled weekend at Disney World, I came home and began a 5K/10K training program that I found online. I also joined a local running group over the summer. Along with the support of my running coach and friends, I made it to the 2010 Disney World Marathon Weekend (the great freeze out!) and I completed my goal! 13.1 miles!
(This is one of the coldes races I’ve ever run! Brrr!)
After the race was over, I had an “insane” thought. What if I trained for and ran the 2011 Disney World FULL Marathon? I tried to push the idea out of my mind – if you remember, “those people” were crazy…but I knew the thought wouldn’t go away.
Before I knew it, January 2011 arrived and so did the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
Finally, the girl who thought distance runners were crazy and said she would NEVER run a Full Marathon did it. I completed a marathon - 26.2 miles of glorious fun at the Happiest Place on Earth!
Now this “crazy girl” is looking forward to Goofy’s Challenge in 2013.
To date, I’ve run multiple 5K’s, a couple of 8K’s, a few 10K’s, 11 Half-Marathons, and 2 Full Marathons. What an exciting journey my running career has taken me down! I am ever so grateful to Walt Disney World for giving me a life-changing “aha!” moment