A little over a year ago I was in a bad place. I was frustrated, overworked, unhappy, unhealthy and lacking balance in my life. I knew I had to take back control of my personal time, challenge myself and make a major change in my life in order to cope with the stress of a job I had outgrown. I didn’t know how…but I knew it had to happen. Fast.
Meanwhile, my East Coast friends with happier lives were running. They were running in all kinds of local races, notably races at Walt Disney World. As a huge Disney fan, it was these runDisney races that intrigued me. I remember looking at my friend's photos on Facebook thinking, “That would be so fun, but I could never do that. She is a rockstar – I’m not. I can’t run. I’m too fat, too slow and too old to try.” She continued to encourage me to run, but I kept feeding into my own self-doubt.
A while later I saw a picture of my high school friend with 3 runDisney medals around his neck: Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Disneyland Half Marathon & the Coast to Coast Challenge Medal. I don’t know if it was the bling or the idea of using the race as an excuse to take our first ever family trip to Walt Disney World, but that very day that I set a goal to earn the runDisney Coast to Coast medal in 2012. With nothing but the support of these friends from over 3,000 miles away & the Jeff Galloway training program – I started running.
The path to the Coast to Coast medal (for me) requires completing 2 goals: running the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in FL (done!) and running the Disneyland Half Marathon at Disneyland on September 2nd (which also happens to be my 38th birthday). There has been a lot of training, pain and learning along the way (who knew you had to have running shoes to run?), but I am almost there. In fact, I am only 13 days away.
People ask me all the time, “Why did you run”? The answer is, “Because I can”. It is not easy, it’s not pretty, and honestly I still find myself hating trying to squeeze in short training runs in the middle of the day, but I proved to myself that I can do it. Every 30 minute run, no matter how slow, is proof that the little voice of self-doubt that says “I can’t” can be shut up. It just takes effort.
In fact, I am sighed up for the WDW Marathon in 2013. I decided to kick off the year with the Goofy's Race and Half Challenge in Florida, then fly back home to run the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland a week later.
Here's a pic of the Disneyland Half Marathon Medal, revealed on runDisney's Facebook page. That's my birthday prize/gift to myself!