It all started with a phone call from a really good friend of mine. All she had to say was “princess”, “race” and “Disney”.
From there my journey into running and a new found passion for all things Disney started.
It’s super easy to say “I’m going to run a race”, pay the registration, have all the confidence in the world…and then you realize…you signed up for a race…and you hate running…
Well first things first…I reached out to friends who run and said now what? I was pointed in the direction of finding an app for a Couch to 5k program. Found a free app (because really, it was going to be one and done for me) then decided I need actual shoes.
For shoes, I knew where to go – Charm City Run. I knew if I wanted to start training the following week, I had to go get shoes – right now. I nervously went into the store and was greeted by a very friendly sales girl. I told her what I needed and what I was going to try to do. She took me to the back of the store so she could watch my gait (stride). From watching this, she was able to tell me what kind of shoe I needed. I’m a neutral runner so I would need a shoe that would support that (all these years later I still don’t really know what that means). I picked out a pair of pink and green New Balance shoes, paid, and left the store feeling all proud of myself.
I’m not going to lie. Starting to train sucked. I think I spent the first 5 minutes of each training day saying “this is stupid” to myself. But slowly, I began to settle into my new routine and started paying attention to the goals I set for myself.
Fast forward…my first 5k was the Ravens 5k in September 2013. Things I learned: a good sports bra would be my best friend (seriously…), I wasn’t going to die, and look at that I finished!! And I’m not last! I went on to complete the Fort McHenry Tunnel 5k and the Baltimore 5k in September and October 2013.
Baltimore was the kick off to my half marathon training. I started to increase my mileage by half a mile each weekend. The next goal was to complete a 10k before the proof of time deadline for the Disney Princess Half (deadline: December 1 2013).
My first 10k was at the Annapolis Running Classic in November 2013. I was absolutely terrified and very nervous. It was super cold that day too. Things I learned: layering is your best friend in the cold weather (so glad I had layers), heat sheets are amazing at the end of a cold run, I didn’t die, I finished (and wasn’t last), and I was hungry and wanted a nap 🙂
Once I submitted my time (I was around 1:39 for the 10k), I knew training was going to continue but I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into… I started to read everything I could find on Disney races, Princess race recaps, running tips, running books…my travel agent became a go to for what to expect and a very seasoned runner became my coach.
Two of my favorite books (still to this day): Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley and The Runner’s Guide to WDW. For help planning an awesome Disney trip, I highly recommend my travel agent who has turned into a wonderful friend. Contact Kim through her Facebook page.
Planning, training and reading up consumed me for the 2 months leading up to February 2014. Once February rolled around, the nerves and the doubt really kicked in. I remember thinking “am I actually going to do this?”
Well I did do it! It wasn’t very pretty and I swore once I crossed the line I would never ever do that again. I wasn’t the last person and I didn’t die… I did something I never thought I would do. And it was amazing!
Never did I imagine I would want to join the blogging world and share my story with whoever was interested – but here we are three years later and I can’t wait to share what I have learned and the new adventures I find myself in now 🙂