And We’re Off!!

It’s April 26th, and we’re off to the races. Quite literally. We’ll call this the first official week of training season after a couple of months of waiting for the glacier to recede. Wouldn’t want to ruin a brand new pair of running shoes in the slush!

The need to get off my butt and back to practicing is fueled by a year of new running challenges. I’m still relatively new at this game, having only started “seriously” training less than two years ago. I call myself a reluctant runner. I always contended that I would only be inclined to run if something really big was chasing me (and frankly, then only if it looked like the outcome of that chase might be worse than the massive coronary that I imagined to be the outcome of the running.)

This is how it happened. We were leaving the Disney World resort on a cold and miserable January morning in 2011, just as the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend was wrapping up. The intrepid marathoners had set out in freezing rain to begin their journey. I really couldn’t imagine why anyone would voluntarily punish themselves like that.

When we arrived home and started talking to friends, that Marathon became a frequent topic of conversation. I recall saying things like, “I don’t know why people run marathons, particularly in weather like that. Smart money would have gone back to bed.” It made me shudder. My husband, on the other hand, was intrigued. Always looking to enhance his Disney experience with new adventures, and never one to be put off by a little challenge, he started to research. Way back, he had been a cross country runner, and the running culture made sense to him.

By the time the snow melted that winter, three of us had committed to training for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon in January 2012. And when I say committed, we still hadn’t registered for the run. It was more of a mutual confirmation that if we really felt like running 13.1 miles, we probably could. Mark was for more convinced than I. Apparently Barbara was convinced that she could do it, too. Particularly if there was a piece of hardware sporting Donald Duck waiting for her at the finish line.

Run Disney has partnered with Olympian and running guru, Jeff Galloway, to offer training plans for both beginner and advanced runners. I chose the training plan for Beginning Runners, who have been running consistently for less than six months. If I followed the plan, I was assured that I would finish the race “in the upright position”. No time goal. Just finish. Preferably, without having a heart attack.

Back to April, 2013. It’s now time for Barbara and me to start training for our fourth half-marathon. (We’ve lost count of the achievements of the runaway marathon train that is Mark, but he’s getting into training mode as well.) We’re on a quest for Coast to Coast glory in August, when we will be challenging the “Dumbo Double Dare”. We’ll take on the inaugural Disneyland 10K on Saturday, and wash that down with the Disneyland Half Marathon on Sunday, collecting a total of four pieces of hardware in the process. That’s one medal for each race, one for the Double Dare challenge (finishing both races on consecutive days), and the coveted Coast to Coast medal for completing one Disney Half on the East Coast and one on the West Coast in the same calendar year. (We knocked off the first Half of the Coast to Coast in January.)

But even more exciting than all that, Barb and I are registered for our very first, promised-it-was-never-gonna-happen, Full Marathon. This whole adventure, which started out as a one shot deal, has turned into something much more. The girls are registered for 10K runs, and Mark is now registered for the Dopey Challenge (5K+10K+Half+Full=Dopey).

We’re not running zealots; we’re just on a quest to build a fun- and fitness-based lifestyle that will benefit our whole family. Come along for the ride run!

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