I still can't believe it sometimes. I feel like it was all a dream (cue Notorious BIG because that song will be stuck in my head all day now!).
Driving away from the race, I kept saying that. Did that happen? Are you sure? Yes. Yes it did!
The running journey started back in school. I hated running and could never do faster than a 10 minute mile so I just assumed I wasn't a runner. I was many things: a dancer and a band nerd and a brainiac but not a runner.
We always watched the olympics growing up but the first time I remember watching distance running was in Athens. It was the original marathon and that just blew my mind as a history freak. I remember watching Deena Kastor (yes I told her this!) win a bronze medal and being so happy and thinking-maybe one day I could do that. I decided Athens would be my first and only marathon and there was a chance it could kill me!
I remember hearing about the WDW marathon online and also hearing people at Penn talked about how they ran it. I figured it would probably happen at some point.
I also have been obsessed with the biggest loser and one season they ran a full marathon (they always did halfs before that) and I decided if they could do it, one day I could too.
My friend Mari posted on Facebook in April 2010 that she had signed up to do the Disneyland half and asked if I wanted to do it. I had time to think about it and talked to my parents. I remember my stepdad and mom telling me-the biggest loser can do a full, you can do a half. That was it! I was signed up! However this was pre run disney name. No training plans: nothing.
I worked that summer at Yale and went to the gym almost every day and built up my endurance. I even did a simulated 13 miles on the treadmill and elliptical. I also worked out hard at USC as well. My bday-a week before the race-I did another simulation and felt ready. Or not-turns out that last run was too much for my IT band and I could barely walk. I did the race and finished decently but was in so much pain and exhausted I thought I would never run again. And I knew nothing. I had no idea about fuel (I was just doing it-no wonder I was so tired). Or tapering or intervals. Pretty much I was lost and floundering. It's a miracle I didn't Injury myself worse. (I had IT bands for years. They are finally better now)
Fast forward to the creation of rundisney and the announcement of the Tinkerbell Half. I was still not sure a full was ever in the cards but I figured why not train. With Jeff Galloway and intervals, Mallory really turned me on to them, I felt much better training and finally bought the gym boss timer at the tink expo. After tink-which went great-I signed up for the 2012 Disneyland half.
2012 Disneyland half was a struggle as I needed new shoes and didn't know. Shin splints took over for most the summer so I didn't train as much as I would have liked. New shoes as an amazing Christmas present from my boyfriend) and i was back in business!
After Tinkerbell 2012, I learned more about coast to coast and wanted one. I remember researching princess and it was t sold out yet! I almost bought but couldn't find a flight under 350 (it was about 3 weeks out at this point) so I had to pass. Mallory and I decided 2013 would be our coast to coast year.
2013 came and I got that coast to coast but I wasn't sure if I could ever run a full. Then the dopey announcement came. And that was it-I wanted it! I knew I couldn't swing it the first year so I signed up for dumbo dare as a test for me to see if my body would handle it.
Dumbo was hot but I felt great and knew dopey would be my race for 2015. I told my mom of my plans and she okay but highly suggested, and said she would feel much better, I run a full. So I picked the LA marathon. I signed up October 1, 2013 and couldn't have been more excited. I was plagued by a few more injuries (too much, too fast) but I recovered by Tinkerbell 2013.
One of my best races was Tinkerbell 2013! such a good time! I also had a great race for Glass Slipper Challenge 2013. I was ready for the LA marathon.
Yes, it wasn't the race I was hoping for but it's the race I got. I have come so far and I couldn't be prouder of myself!
So yes. Yes it did happen. I did it! I did something I never thought was possible and not only that-I want to do it again!
So do I plan on running the LA marathon next year? HELL YEAH! (Cue usher and now that song will be in my head all day!)
It'll be Mallory's 26th birthday so we will be celebrating "26.2 for 26" and plan on dressing up (sparkle skirts here we come!!!) and make shirts and everything.
And I will most likely run it again in 2016 because it's the Olympic trial year. Who doesn't want to watch the trials and then run it the next day? I DO! And it'll also be on valentines day! maybe the boyfriend will run with me...
But seriously, this may become a standard race for me! How insane is that? I would love to try a new marathon every 12-18 months (starting with the WDW marathon).
What has been your running story? Do you feel like you have come a long way? Are you planning on running the 2015 LA Marathon?