Monday, January 13, 2014

The Road to runDisney: Back to the Grind!

Okay, may "the grind" isn't the most fitting term for the amount of running I actually do. Perhaps a more accurate title would be "the pattern of gentle trotting followed by a whole lot of whining"! (I kid, of course!)

Anyhow, the past month has been jam-packed with various running-related sundries, the first of which was my second-ever 5k race! A week after landing back home in Florida, I laced up my sneakers and jingled all the way through a Christmas-themed course in my first "Jingle" 5k. Believe me when I say that my experience in this race was nearly the total antithesis to my first. Lest you write that statement off as mere hyperbole, allow me to elucidate:

1. My first 5k took place at 8:30 AM on a brisk, 25-degree morning; this one transpired on a balmy Florida evening, with the forecast boasting a heartbreaking 73 percent humidity.

2. In the weeks leading up to my first race, I ran planned out every workout, got plenty of sleep, and gave myself proper fuel; the meticulous planning for my Jingle 5k consisted of skipping training entirely two weeks prior (In my defense, it was finals week!) and Christmas cookies for breakfast.

3. In my first race, I hung tight with a running buddy who pushed me on when I felt like quitting; this time, I was flying solo.

Clearly, my main issue in this whole debacle was assuming that, because I had already knocked out my first 5k, it would be a breeze. Of course, I now realize where my thinking was flawed (hint: the list above is a good indicator) and have most certainly learned a valuable lesson! Hey, this whole thing is a journey, isn't it?

Ah, the pre-run pic! The innocence! The unbridled hope for the 5k of a lifetime!

Now, the race isn't all as bad as I'm painting it to be- more than a few positives were to be found in the ordeal. First of all, I PR'd by a little over 45 seconds! Apparently, even though my body didn't appreciate the shock of the heat and humidity, the plateaus of Florida are far more conducive to running than my rolling hills in North Carolina! Additionally, while the evening timing of the event took some getting used to, it made it a lot easier for my two biggest cheerleaders (aliases: Mom and Dad) to encourage me from the sidelines without needing copious amounts of caffeine. (It also meant being treated to a dee-licious celebratory dinner afterward!) Most importantly, though, the race reminded me that even when the going gets tough, there's nothing like the pride of crossing that finish line, knowing that all of your hard work has paid off.

That same week, I did something crazy. In a brief moment of clouded judgement and total insanity, I signed myself up to run a half marathon in April! I can still remember the moment after submitting the registration, when my feelings of excitement and satisfaction were washed over by a sudden wave of terror when I realized the gravity of what I had just done. Luckily, the panic quickly passed and I've recently begun training for this momentous new hurdle to overcome... though I wish it were a runDisney Half! Despite the lack of Disney magic in this upcoming race, I'm excited that I'll be able to present proof of time for my first Walt Disney World race! (Princess Half 2015, here I come!)

2014 is going to be an exciting year!

What races are you most excited for this year? Let me know in the comments!

Have a magical day!

- Becca  

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