I had reached my Weight Watchers weight goal a few months before and I was looking for a new way to challenge myself and aid in me maintaining my weight. When I first started out, my goal was simply to run the Marianne Volpe Pumpkin 5k & Fun Run - a local 5K that honors my late cousin Mary, the proceeds from which go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. In the beginning I used the C25K app on my phone, a program which uses a combination of walking and running to gradually build up to running a full 5k. I found that the app worked great for me and I completed the program on time with success in a full (albeit slow) 5k. I ran that entire summer, and I was totally ready for the 5k that October. When I crossed that finish line it was like nothing I had ever experienced before, and I was hooked!
I started looking for other small races to run locally, and I really enjoyed my training.
Last January, after seeing a friend posting from Walt Disney World, where her husband had just run a half marathon, I decided that would be my next goal. "I can do that", I thought... "I never thought I could run one mile, but I had been running 3.1 for past year, so why not? Right?" Who wouldn't want to run through the most magical place on earth???
I spoke to Jay, and went to work on putting my plan in motion. Registration didn't open until April, so I had 3 months to secure some funds and try to find a babysitter for M. Thankfully, because I have the most amazing Dad ever, he agreed to pay my registration fee as my birthday gift for last year, and to watch M for half of our stay!!! Yippee!!!
Now we just had to wait for the registration to open and hope I could get in. Good news! I did!!!
I was really daunted by the task of running 13.1 miles. How does one run 10 miles more than they're used to? I wasn't even sure where to start... I did some asking around, and decided I would try the Galloway method, which RunDisney shares on their website. It uses run/walk intervals to maintain stamina and put less wear and tear on your joints. According to their schedule, training should start in September, but I was so nervous that I started training in July. I ran 2 short runs during the week and every weekend I would run a mile longer than the weekend before. Every week I thought it would be so much harder than the week before, but it really wasn't. Some training days were better than others, but I was able to just push through.
As the summer came to a close I began to panic about my placement for the WDW Half. I had heard if you don't submit a legit time, they place you in the last corral. Now, I'm not a fast runner, but I'm not that slow either. I had been averaging between 10 - 11 minutes on all my training runs, so I didn't want to be at the back of the pack. I had to decide if I wanted to run a longer race and use that time for corral placement, and it had to be in by 10/15/14. "What should I do?" I was definitely trained for it. My body was ready to go. So, I registered, extremely last minute, for the Run like a Diva Half Marathon at a local park for 10/5/14.
It was unbelievable! Somehow I finished, in spite of my nerves, with a pretty awesome first time PR of 2:28:33. I was so proud of myself not only for finishing, but for getting in under 2.5 hours. I felt like since I had one under my belt, now I could really enjoy the WDW Half when the time came. I submitted my time to RunDisney and actually ended up with a fairly decent corral placement of I - pretty much halfway through the pack.
I kept up my longer runs on the weekends all through the fall, and thankfully we had some really warm weekends in December where I was able to get some road time in. The problem came when I got sick in December with a virus that I just couldn't (and still can't) seem to shake. I went to the doctor right away because I knew we were getting close to crunch time. She told me it was an upper respiratory infection and gave me two rounds of a Z-pack. I ended up taking them both because, while I felt a little bit better, it was still not good. I was still having trouble breathing, terrible head aches and severe exhaustion. I was getting pretty nervous about all the not feeling well. It's pretty difficult to run when you can't breathe!
Before we knew it, it was time to leave! I don't fly well to begin with, and I was nervous about leaving M. We knew the boys would be fine, but this was the first time we were leaving our girl for an extended period of time.
|Anxiously waiting to board...|
|...and trying not to freak out before we take off!!!|
Thankfully the flight out was smooth, and we landed on time. By the time we got the Magical Express to the hotel & checked in it was almost 11 pm. We hit the sack right away because I couldn't wait to hit the Expo the next day and get started at Epcot!!!
|Waiting for the Magical Express!!!!|
|Magical Express ride :)|
|Port Orleans - French Quarter|
Tomorrow, we go to Epcot!!!!