How It All Began

 

Funny story before I tell my story. Last night, my husband asked me if I planned on doing more vlogs for my blog. I told him of course, and told him about a couple of the ideas I had for some fun ones. I then told him about the post I was going to publish for Sunday (today, the one you are currently reading.) I thought since the buzz this weekend is the Disney marathon, I would take a trip down memory lane and tell the story of how the WDW marathon weekend will forever hold a special place in my heart, because that’s where my running journey began.

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He asked if I had told the story before and I said that yes, I think I had in parts, but that you get new readers all the time so it’s always fun to tell an important story like that again. So I turn on my computer yesterday, save the pictures into a folder from my race recaps that I want to use, and go read some blogs before I write my post, and lo and behold, Karen had the exact same idea! Great minds think alike I tell ya. Be sure to go check out her story, as it is very very similar to mine. Smile

Let’s rewind to January of 2009, shall we?

I had been a part of a message board for Disney brides and honeymooners for a few years. Several of us had gotten very close, and decided to have a “meet up” in WDW. A couple of the girls were running the marathon, so we thought it would be a great weekend to go. Karen and I had never met, but our plan was for her to drive to my parents house, fly to WDW with me, share a room with me, hang out for the weekend, then fly home. I must say, I was a bit nervous having never actually met the girl!

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Our first picture together. Oh how there would be many, many more in the following years!

This was also the first weekend I met Jen and Crystal, both also a part of the message board. How could I have known some awesome lasting friendships would come of this?

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One of the most fun weekends of my life. These people are a blast.

The morning of the actual marathon, Karen and I staked out a spot in front of Hollywood studios to watch the race…no particular reason for this spot. Keep in mind I was NOT a runner at this point! We waited for our friends to pass. The place we were standing was around mile 24. We somehow missed Jen and Jeff, but managed to catch Crystal! As all of the people passed by, and as I watched everyone cheering them on, all of the sudden I got really really emotional. I thought of the hard work and dedication these people had put into their training for this race. I didn’t know them, but I was so proud of them as they all passed me by. I cheered my little heart out, and decided I COULD do this, I HAD to do this! Fortunately, Karen had the same thought as me, and we vowed we would be back to run.

Fast forward to January 2010.

Bobby, myself, my mom, and sister drove to WDW for marathon weekend. 17957_532225199888_61700476_31352426_8226839_n

Jen, Bobby, me, and my sister outside the race expo

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Dinner at Narcoossees

We had trained for this race, our very first half. Our goal was to finish in one piece and to have fun. If you are familiar with marathon weekend, you know this was the year of the freeze and the sleet. Yes. It sleeting during the half, and neither Bobby or I had the proper cold weather gear. Thankfully Jen had a bit to spare for me!

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We did make it in one piece, and it felt so good to cross that finish line! We did it, we were officially half marathoners!

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But we had not yet reached our goal. What? That’s right. My goal was the Disney full marathon.

Fast Forward to January 2011.

It was a tough training cycle. I was struggling with an IT band injury, and Bobby and I were not even living together (he took a new job and I lived with my parents while our house was being built, and he lived in our new town with his employer.) It was tough training basically on my own, I was under a lot of emotional stress. But, we made it to Disney! Karen ran the full with Bobby and I, and it will forever be one of the best memories of my life. We had SO MUCH FUN with the race, stopping and taking pictures with every character, goofing off and enjoying the race.

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I remember very distinctly when Karen and I ran by our inspiration curve outside of Hollywood studios. I got really choked up remembering where it all began two years prior. I could not believe I was about to accomplish my goal, and finish the race.

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“inspiration curve”

Crossing the finish line was amazing, we finally did it. Two years later, we accomplished what we had set out to do, and it felt wonderful.

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Fast forward to January 2012.

Yup. sitting on my couch. Smile I didn’t make it to marathon weekend this year, because Karen, myself, and my mom are running the Princess half in February! Oh, and I have my sights set on just ooonnneee more teeny tiny Disney goal.

Goofy 2013, I’m coming for you!

In case this wasn’t enough fun for you and you want MORE, you can read the individual race recaps for the Disney half and full marathons that I ran, as well as this year’s Disney Wine and Dine race and Halloween 5k:

Disney Half Marathon 2010

Disney marathon weekend expo 2010

Disney Full Marathon 2011 part one and part two

Disney Halloween 5k 2011

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

QOTD: Can you remember back to what inspired you to start running or become healthy? What did it for you?

Comments

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!!! On our honeymoon was when I first got the ‘running itch’ – but never did anything serious about it until this past year. Can’t believe now I’m actually pushing toward the marathon – at Disney of course! I’m so excited for you to run the Goofy — I’ll at least join you for the marathon portion ;) (And I will cheer you on for the half!)

    I also love that you and Karen are running the Princess with your mom! So much fun :)

  2. Such a great recap of your Disney Marathon and Half! I love the inspiration curve. I hope to meet you and Karen one day (we are twitter friends/DNation). Goofy 2012, here you come!!

  3. Just found your blog and love this story! I dream of doing the Goofy challenge someday.

  4. What a neat story of your running journey. It’s awesome you were able to make such great friends and continue a yearly tradition with them.

  5. Christine says:

    Awesome for you! I found your blog last year on the disney boards as you were training for the full marathon. I had just started running and I am doing my first half this May. Goofy!!! Good luck!

  6. What a great story!! I am so impressed that you are going for Goofy! I’m still very firmly in the never ever going to do a full marathon camp!! Ha! :)

  7. What a cool story! I can see why WDW means so much to you! :)

  8. Aaaahhh the memories! Gives me the warm fuzzies! Hahah! I’m so glad we are friends! :0)

  9. I love to hear running stories …people ask me what are reading right now?… my answer “running blogs” glad I found yours!

  10. LOVE this! :) And I almost forgot about the Test Track picture. So sad we have to wait a year to do it all again.

  11. I want to run the Disney Marathon soooo bad! I definitely want to make the trip there in a year or so! I ran the Wine and Dine half last year and it was so much fun. Love Disney :)

  12. Thank you for a great blog – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading. Just discovered thanks to Twitter and the wdw marathon tweets this past weekend! My dream is to do the Goofy in 2013 so I may see you there!

  13. Great story – I really enjoyed reading it! Maybe we’ll run into each other at the Princess this year- I can’t wait for this race!

  14. OMG. I loved this post!!! Loved the story behind how you started running!! I think a lot of people turn to running after seeing a big marathon weekend and how exciting/emotional it is for all the runners. You are totally awesome for going from a non-runner to a half-marathon in one year! The goofy challenge sounds fantastic – you will have no problem doing that! =)

  15. awww…the 2009 meet/race was SO MUCH FUN!!!!! I’m so glad to have met you and everyone…and I can’t tell you how awesome it was to see you and Karen at your “inspiration curve!” While I know any future meets won’t ever have that same carefree flair (mainly b/c of my little mouseketeer! <3 ), I hope to be able to run with you girls in the future…maybe I can work out goofy 2013…?

  16. Love this! Always nice to travel down memory lane and remember where it all started. I just started running in 2011 so it’s pretty fresh in my memory. Good luck with Goofy in 2013!!!

  17. Hi Heather! I loved reading your story about how you got started running. Last weekend I finished the Walt Disney World Marathon (my first!) and it was such an incredible experience! I’m planning to take on the Goofy Challenge in 2013 too, I can’t wait!

  18. I love this post! You are officially awesome and such an inspiration :)
    I have only been running a few weeks and started a beginners course last week so it’s early days for me yet but I have my first 5K booked for September (a way off yet) and I can’t wait :)
    I look forward to reading many more of your posts!

  19. Mackenzie says:

    Hi, im mackenzie im a new runner and Karen is actually one of my best friends. Karen is running my first 5k with me at the end of this month. And i am signed up to do the Tower of Terror 10 miler in October. You and her stories are so inspiring. Yall make me feel like i can do the same thing and work my way up to a half marathon. Thanks for telling your story.

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