Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Road to runDisney: Trottin' Like a Turkey

Hey, remember that time a couple of weeks ago when I told you I was starting a "weekly series" on running... and proceeded to neglect it for three whole weeks?

... yeah, me neither!

As I've explained to exhaustion, things have been more than a little bit busy in this kingdom, but I'm back today to share with you a milestone in my Road to runDisney: my very first race!

Note: I have a general rule against selfies, but this one felt necessary!

Not long after I began my running journey, I started itching to get myself entered in a race; I desperately needed something to work toward- a goal to focus my training (and to combat the abrupt halt in motivation that would inevitably befall this easily-discouraged soul). Since all of runDisney's races for 2013-2014 had filled up, I found the next best thing: my local Turkey Trot 5k! My September and October were filled with milestones of every sort: breaking personal pace records, facing the elements in my first outdoor run (blech!), and completing a full 3 miles without falling over, to name a few! By the time November 28th rolled around, I was pumped and ready for action!

Thanksgiving morning, I awoke to find that Mother Nature had set her thermostat to a brisk 19 degrees (which, I think we all can agree, is really dang cold). Immediately grateful for thermal running tights, I grabbed a bit of breakfast, suited up, figured out the new and enigmatic process of applying my bib, and headed out to the race!
Pre-Race... just look at that excited little Floridian popsicle! 

The 5k itself was so much more than I ever dreamed it would be. Yes, it was difficult; yes, I felt like my legs were going to fall off for nearly the entirety of mile two, and yes, my nose went numb approximately fifteen seconds after I stepped outside, but all of that melted away as I sprinted toward the finish line, feeling stronger than ever before. All at once, I understood why us crazy runners do what we do. Maybe this run was "only" 3 miles, and no, I was (most assuredly) not breaking any records as far as time goes, but it was certainly 3 miles longer than I could have run six months ago, and  29 minutes faster than I could have run.... well, ever!

A proud (and pooped) baby runner!

In that moment, I discovered that that is why I run. I run for the endorphins, I run for the camaraderie, but most of all, I run because it shows me that I am capable of so much more than I can imagine. This major milestone brings me one step close to my runDisney dreams and has given me the motivation to keep on keepin' on, right up to the Princess Half!

Did any of you participate in a Turkey Trot this year (or is turkey consumption more of your thing)? Share your experience in the comments below!

P.S.- I couldn't resist adding this picture of me and my #1 cheerleader! (Also, can we institute a rule that mandates the insertion of adorable puppy pictures whenever possible? Okay, cool.)

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