If you want to read about my experience running in the Inaugural Minnie 10K, please start here.
If you missed Part One, you can read it here.
If you missed Part Two, you can read it here.
Happiness. Once I got over the horror of seeing all the men scattering to pee, I was able to be in the moment and just be happy. I was actually doing this. Running in a huge Disney Race. Something so many people wanted to do, but couldn’t for whatever reason. I found my stride, focused and pushed forward. Every so often I took a moment and scanned the crowd for Dan. Because I’m slow and he’s quick, I was able to see him several times during the race! I can’t begin to describe what a great feeling it is to see someone you love cheering you on. There’s just a little push you feel in your heart to continue on.
Tears. Yes, I realize tears aren’t an emotion, but I’m not sure what word best describes what I felt over and over and over again while running this race.
I will never forget the person who gave me two thumbs up at the 4-mile mark. Tears came and I got another push to keep moving forward.
Or the person who cheered for me and told me I was doing a great job as she ran with me for a while. More tears and yet another push.
The person who told me to stay strong. A few more tears and another push.
The moment I rounded the corner and began mile six. It was in that moment that I shed the most tears. Because that moment is when I saw just how many people were still behind me. It was then that I knew for sure I would not get swept. That I would absolutely finish this race. It was the final push I needed to run harder, run faster and finish what I had started so many months ago.
Joy. Crossing that finish line and receiving my medal? Pure joy.
Pride. Yes, I am most definitely proud of myself. I worked hard to run this race. I overcame surgery & setbacks in recovery, injury, and life to train for this race.
But just as important, I felt great pride because I ran this race to support Team Up! with Autism Speaks. With the help of family and friends I raised $775.00, which not only goes to support Autism Speaks, but also allowed me to be one of the top fundraisers during Marathon Weekend! If you donated, thank you, thank you, thank you! Your generosity will help countless families as they navigate the waters of autism.
If you missed Part One, you can read it here.
Warning: This post contains potty talk. Literally!
Horror. I’ve shared this with pretty much everyone who’s asked me about the race, but I think it warrants talking about one more time. Let’s be honest for a minute. The one thing that has scared me about races more than anything, and I mean ANYTHING, is the port-o-potty. After having a dozen or so races under my belt I have since gotten over my fear of them. Anyway, when the fireworks went off and my corral was off and running, we weren’t two minutes outside of the starting line before the men in the race started running off course to pee! Seriously. It was ridiculous. I was truly horrified at how many men I saw peeing all over Disney property. I thought, “Can they not wait until they get to the port-o-potty? They aren’t that far away!”.
I was about a mile in to the race when I passed the first bank of potties. The line was crazy. Men and women alike were waiting. I had no need for one, so I kept on going. Mile two brought another potty. ONE potty and another line. And that’s when I changed my tune. I thought, “Why are these men taking up precious space in line when they can go pee in the bushes right behind us?!?” Dan has found great pleasure in retelling my tale of horror to everyone. In the end, I would prefer to not see men (and the occasional woman) pee in public, but I certainly appreciate it when the line isn’t long for the potty when I need one! (Oh, and for those wondering, that first bank of potties I passed? There was an 18 minute wait to use them! Don’t tell anyone, but I might have found a bush if I’d needed to go and there was an 18 minute wait!
To be continued…
It’s been a little over a month since I ran my first 10K. There are days I walk past the medal I earned and still can’t believe I ran 6.2 miles!
It was truly an amazing experience, and I don’t know that I will ever adequately be able to express what it was like to participate in it. I’m pretty sure I experienced every emotion possible the day of my race.
Nerves. I was so nervous and my stomach was in knots. I’d spent the weeks leading up to the race both training for it AND having nightmares of getting swept for not going fast enough. And then I have the privilege of meeting Jeff Galloway, and he eased my nerves and told me I would be just fine. After all, I’d followed his training method, and he’s the expert.
Second Thoughts. We walked around the expo and all I could do was think about the next day. What was I getting into? And then I saw the words of Christopher Robin reminding me that I am brave, I am strong and I am smart.
Excitement. I was so excited that I could not sleep the night before. We went to bed before 9pm because we knew the alarm would ring at 3:15am. I tossed and turned and dozed for an hour and eventually I pulled out a book and read until I finally fell asleep.
Anticipation. We arrived at the corrals about 4:15am. I made the HUGE mistake of crossing the line to use the port-o-potties reserved for the runners. I had no idea when I crossed over I would not be able to go back. The security guard let me hand off my extra stuff to Dan and then off I went to spend the next 90 minutes alone. I wandered over to my corral (C – the third corral of five) and sat down and waited. At one point a man stood in front of me and his shirt said, “Determined”. I embraced the word and let that carry me through to the start.
To be continued…
Before I share about the first week of training, I need to share how I spent my summer. Shortly after Dan and I ran the Expedition Everest Challenge (a 5K with obstacles at Disney’s Animal Kingdom) I restarted a Couch-to-5K program I had used to start running. The goal was to increase my speed, because I run S-L-O-W-L-Y. Not long after restarting C25K I started having pain in my right knee. Fearing I had torn something, but not knowing what was going on I went to see an orthopedic surgeon. Two appointments and an MRI later we found out that my knee was fine, and that I was suffering from a little arthritis in my knee from overtraining. I spent the remainder of the summer in physical therapy. I was released from physical therapy in August and given the go ahead to run three times a week. I am also allowed to do yoga, ballet barre and strength training.
10K Training: Week One
I finished the first week of Minnie 10K training! Here’s a quick breakdown of what my week looked like…
- Monday: 2.12 Miles, Outdoors
- Wednesday: 2.15 Miles, Treadmill
- Friday: 5.50 Miles, Treadmill
- TOTAL: 9.77 Miles
Week one went really well. Really, really well. Especially my Friday run. 5.5 miles is a ridiculous distance for someone who hasn’t run more than 3.1 miles ever. The best thing about Friday’s run is that when I was finished, after 82 minutes, I felt like I could have kept going!
In case you’re interested, I am using Jeff Galloway’s Injury Free system. Specifically I am using Easy 10K with Jeff Galloway, an app I purchased for the iPhone. I LOVE this app. He tells me exactly what to do. When to run, when to walk. He tells me to pick up the pace and to slow it down. He even gives me pep talks and tells me that I am strong and I can do it. (Those messages make me laugh!) This app even takes the music I choose from iTunes and speeds it up/slows it down as necessary to keep me running (or walking) at the right pace. Pretty cool for something that only cost me $3.99. It’s customizable as well. The traditional Jeff Galloway method for a beginner is to run a minute and walk a minute and that’s what I did week one. As I get further into my training I can change my ratios for longer runs with the occasional minute of walking to recover.
Here’s a quick snapshot of me after my first long run on Friday.
I don’t remember when I first heard about Walt Disney World adding the Minnie 10K race to their famous Marathon Weekend, which happens the second weekend in January. But I do know that as soon as I heard about it I knew it was something I wanted to do.
I watched the Run Disney website just waiting for registration to open. Dan and I talked about whether or not I could even run 6.2 miles. I did a little research on how to train for a 10K and found a couple of different training programs I could use to get ready for the race.
Having run several 5K races over the last year as well as training to run the Expedition Everest Challenge at Animal Kingdom in May, I knew I was ready to take on a longer race. And with that, I signed up to do the Minnie 10K on January 10, 2014. I registered to run this race with a group of people from Team Up! with Autism Speaks and I embarked on raising $650 to further research in the world of autism.
I have such an amazing group of people in my life and I managed to reach my goal last week! Thank you, thank you, thank you to each of you who gave so generously to Autism Speaks and to those of you who support me as I begin my 13 week training!
After a quick Google search I was able to find an unofficial map of my race course. When I first saw it I panicked thinking I would have to run along the overpass near EPCOT, but someone has assured me there are no overpasses to run! I hope they’re right. After all, I live in Florida. Land of flat roads. The closest bridge I have to run over only crosses four lanes of traffic!
Check back regularly. I will attempt to chronicle my training as well as share with you what I learn along the way.
One year ago today I scratched something off my bucket list.
Run A 5K.
Run a 5K. Me. The girl who did everything she ever could to get out of running in high school. I remember rowing on the crew team and my entire boat would go out and run a mile and I would stay back and do strength training and row a zillion meters on the erg to avoid having to run that mile. In fact, the only time I ran was when I had to get to a ball on the tennis court. Suffice it to say I was not a runner. Not in the least.
Fast forward to March 2012. I was in the gym, using the elliptical and I thought maybe I should giving running a try. Came home, downloaded a couch to 5K app and jumped in. It took me from March until September to complete the 8 week training program. I started, stopped and restarted several times. But I was determined to run and I had my sights set on running a 5K.
September 22, 2012 I ventured out of my comfort zone…out of the gym and out of my neighborhood and joined over 3,000 people and I ran my first 5K, Miracle Miles, in Orlando. I did it with several MoM’s (Mothers of Multiples) in my local twins club. It took me 47 minutes to do it, but I did it. I crossed that finish line and it was an amazing feeling.
What’s the significance of this first 5K?
Well, since last September I have run in and completed six more 5K’s including the Everest Challenge at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which was not just a 5K, but also had obstacles and a scavenger hunt. (In fact, according to Runkeeper we ran over 5.5 miles that night!) Me! The non-runner. The girl who got out of running whenever possible.
And that brings me to my point. Yesterday, my husband and I woke up at 5:40, got dressed and ran in the Miracle Miles race. A year ago he wasn’t a runner and now he runs half marathons. A year ago I had never run in a race and now I’ve run in several.
I guess this means I’ve officially been a runner for one year.
I hadn’t realized it until Dan turned to me in the car on the way to the race and said, “Congratulations on making it one year”. He went on to say that most don’t make it. Most people give up. Or maybe they get bored. Or injured. Or lazy. Or maybe they discover that they hate running. But whatever the reason, many give up.
But I didn’t.
I worked through the boredom of the treadmill and graduated to running on the streets and trails. I battled injury and spent the summer in physical therapy. I overcame the laziness that so easily creeps into your day if you let it. And I decided that I loved running.
Who would have thought?
Next item to scratch off the Bucket List? Running a 10K!
Miracle Miles 2013 photo credit to Charla Kim Photography.