It’s no secret that many runDisney participants are new runners. Here is the runDisney story from a new runner – Carlee!
I love Disney. We live about 45 minutes away from Disneyland and love visiting whenever we get the chance. I also love being active. My husband and I find fun ways to enjoy the beautiful California sunshine.
Yet I was looking for an activity that could be mine. I thought running could be that for me.
Therefore, a runDisney race seemed like just the motivation I needed. I figured that even if I wasn’t good at running, that even if my time was horrible, my body ached every mile, and if I never wanted to run another race, at least it was Disney and I could keep a smile on my face. Not to mention, I wanted the bling.
I actually started training for my runDisney event about 9 months before the race. The first month I started by adding walking on my lunch breaks. The second month I started hitting the gym My office is in a hotel, so one of the perks of our lease is that we can use the little gym down there.
Since I hadn’t ‘run’ for a few years, I started on the elliptical for the first month or two. Once I felt like my cardio was at a decent level, I started running outside. I was following the Jeff Galloway plan at that point.
About half way through my training (probably month 4 or so) my IT band started to flare up, so I needed to change my training regimen.
My boss was a GREAT resource. He is an amazing athlete (winning his division in triathlons frequently, etc). He helped set up a training schedule that worked for me. It consisted of a lot of cross training (since I needed to give my IT band a break from pounding the pavement).
The cross training idea was one that was pretty hard for me to grasp. In my head, if I wasn’t running it meant I wasn’t training. During those last 4 or 5 months I was doing a lot of biking, elliptical for interval trainings, circuit workouts with weights in the gym, etc. I was increasing my mileage outside, but again, being smart about it so that my body was not overexerting itself and causing more strains to my IT band or anything else.
Before I knew it, I was at the start line of what I had been training months for.
On September 2, 2012 – I completed the Disneyland Half Marathon.
My favorite thing about it was all of the support. I could not believe how many people came out to cheer us on.
I think I had a HUGE smile plastered on my face just about the entire race. I couldn’t say THANK YOU to enough people. It was amazing.
From the volunteers in the water stations, to the boy scouts and girl scouts that filled Angel Stadium, to the classic car drivers that lined some of the streets along our course, to the employees that would give us big thumbs up when they saw us.
I was extremely thankful and humbled by the amount of love and support we received, and that we received it from complete STRANGERS!
I have officially caught the runDisney bug, and the Princess Half Marathon is the next runDisney event on my calendar. This will be my second half marathon, so I already know what to expect, but it will be my FIRST at Disney World. (I haven’t been to Disney World since I was young, so it will be fun seeing everything again) Even more exciting is that some of my family may be joining in the runDisney fun!
So for my fellow new runners, my advice is this: Stick with it! YOU CAN DO IT! And cross train. I would have NEVER done as well in my first half marathon as I did if I hadn’t strengthened my entire body. Not only does it break up the monotony of running, but it also helps to prevent injury, works different muscles, helps your form, etc. There are so many fun runDisney events to choose from, so set a goal and run YOUR race!
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