Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Joys and Pains of Running by Shana Galen

 
I’ve never considered myself a runner. I’ve often gone through phases where I would run either for fun or my health. These were always shorter distances—3 miles, maybe the occasional 4 or 5 miles. So I was a little wary when one of my running partners suggested we run a half marathon at Disneyworld.

First of all, I didn’t even know people ran at Disney (other than to use to their fast pass before it expired). Apparently, there are actually lots of race weekends at Disneyworld and Disneyland. Before I knew it I was signed up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon.

Correction: I was signed up for the Glass Slipper Challenge—which is a 10K on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday. If you know your metric system, you know that’s 19.3 miles in 2 days.

My running buddies and I trained for months and months. We ran and ran and ran in all kinds of weather, on holidays, before the rest of the sane world was even awake. Finally, it was race weekend.

The first thing you have to know if you’re going to do a race at Disney is that you have to get up at 3 a.m. or earlier. We had to catch a bus at 3:30 to head to the starting line. That doesn’t mean we started running at 3:30. The race started at 5:30, but since so many people run these races (like 40,000 ran the half marathon), we didn’t actually start until almost an hour after the race started.

Fortunately, it wasn’t cold. But it was chilly, and standing around outside for a couple hours in the dark wasn’t fun.




I’m happy to say the actual runs were pretty fun—well as fun as running 13 miles can be. Disney pulled out all the stops, entertaining us along the route with DJs, marching bands, cheerleaders, a gospel choir, hot air balloons, and lots of characters along the way.

And at the end? Medals!



And drinks.



And did I mention medals?



Have you ever done something you never thought you would do?

12 comments:

  1. Good for you! You're a better (and fitter!) woman than I. Those medals are the best thing ever.

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  2. Go you! That sounds like an amazing weekend. You must have had a great sense of accomplishment (and lots of sore muscles).

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    1. I was just glad it was over. But of course, there will be more...

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  3. Congratulations on finishing! Love the medals!

    I'm a couch-potato married to a mountaineer. About a month after I met my husband, we did a four-day wilderness backpacking trip. My wilderness experience before that had been on marked trails in the forest. The trip was amazing. I loved the stillness of the mountains and the feeling of how small I was in the vastness of all that wilderness. We've done many more trips since then. I still consider myself a couch-potato, just one who spends a little less time on the couch. :-)

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    1. My husband is a bit of a couch potato. But I can get him out for a run sometimes.

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  4. She-Ra, you have always been committed, ever since you used to check in about boot camp on twitter. Huzzah! One race would have been impressive, but two is epic.
    Two things come to mind as far as things that I never thought I would do, zip lining and walking across the top of a crumbly old Roman Aqueduct. I would probably never do them again either.
    Do you think you will do the race again?

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    1. Yes, but next time I will bring my daughter. So i won't do it for a few years. One spectator sign read: My grandma just passed you. I hope one day that sign is for me!

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  5. That sounds like so much fun. I'm not a runner in my healthier days I was a walker with a 4 mph pace. Not too bad in my opinion. Now I think a turtle would be faster. One day I'd like to walk a half marathon.

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    1. There were a lot of walkers. You just have to keep a 16 minute mile pace.

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  6. Woohoo, that is soooo neat, Shane! Congrats and I love the medals too. I hated to run in the army, 2 miles just for PT tests and longer mandatory "fun" runs, but now can't run. Even though I hated them, at some point I really felt great in the run and at the end, was glad I'd done it. I love walking though...and now that I live where I can, that's going to be my new fun regimen with puppies leading the way.

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    1. Running is awful until after about 2 or 3 miles. Then your body sort of gets used to it. It's great then until about 9 or 10 miles. So for me the best runs are about 6 or 7 miles.

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