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I am truly amazed how Disney World motivates me to do things I never would have. I had no idea when I started the journey to train for the Disney Princess Half Marathon that it would lead me here. I realize you don’t read this blog to learn my inner thoughts – so I’ll keep it brief.
As I stated in my earlier post about “the princess” that I was not a runner. I decided to do the race approximately 6 weeks prior. I have taught Jazzercise for years. However, the only kind of running I ever imagined doing was away from a criminal with a gun! I much preferred to “bust a move” for exercise. When I registered for the Princess, I had not run even the mile around my block. What I did quickly realize about running is — running is a decision. I read everything Mike Scopa wrote about his marathon experiences. Len sent me a plan. I filled my ipod with songs that motivated me and the rest is history.
During training, most days my legs felt like logs. I rarely felt like a gazelle, but I endured. I got to the point where I looked forward to the time alone with my thoughts, the cast of “Glee”, “Enchanted”, “Wicked” and the band members from Switchfoot and Bon Jovi. I would joke, “If my ipod dies. Just come and pick me up.” When I was running the 6-10 mile runs, I’d picture myself running at Disney World to stay motivated. It was a mind game and I knew I had to play.
Len and Mike gave me a plethora of tips. Here are a few of my favorites: drink at every water stop, use the restroom in Tomorrowland, bring hand-warmers for before the race, wear clothes to donate as you will be stripping as you run, it’s almost over when you get to Epcot, keep moving after the race, wait as long as possible to take a nap and have a specific location to meet after the race — not the finish line.
The sense of accomplishment that I got from running the Princess was priceless. I never in a million years thought I could or would ever run any race much less 13.1 miles (and I’m here to tell you the .1 counts. It’s longer than you think.) Pushing myself out of my comfort zone made me realize I can do anything I set my mind to. Now TouringPlans.com has a running team and who would ever think I’d be on it. My goal is to run in most, if not all, of the running events at Disney. If I can do it, you can do it. Just like Walt says, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” I’ll see you at the finish line.