A decision-making perfect storm hit my life this week. As a result of it, I did something that may be a little crazy, a little rash, or it may turn out to be one of the best decisions of my life.
I signed up to run my first half marathon.
I say “first” with the optimistic hope that I’m going to live through it to one day run another.
Let me back up to what led to this decision.
I’ve thought about running a half marathon at various points throughout my life. When I wrote about my first real day running three short months ago, I mentioned that at several points throughout my life I have had the intention, however brief, of becoming a runner. The habit never quite stuck. Probably because I was so bad at it. I was under the impression that all those people I saw out running in the morning, the people I saw crossing finish lines, the runners I saw in the Olympics – that it was easy for them. That some people just ran, and it felt good and they loved it – and I wasn’t one of those people so I should just give up. What I’ve come to realize it that it isn’t just hard for me – it’s hard for everyone. I’m not the only one negotiating my way through each mile with pleas of “just make it to that light post, and then you can walk…now make it to that stoplight…just 30 more seconds…” Knowing there’s a possibility that all those perfect runners I admire are fighting for it too gives me hope. After all, if it was easy – everyone would do it, right?
While going through old computer files, I found a half marathon training plan I had downloaded in 2008. That file was living, breathing, electronic proof that I had wanted to do this for a while, and I had given up because it felt impossible.
Then I stumbled across an article on Health (I really have to thank Tina at Carrots’N’Cake because I was reading her article about obstacle course running when I stumbled upon the link). The article was about the Disney Princess Half-Marathon. Now, I already knew about the Run Disney series and I’ve been talking to anyone who will listen about signing up for one at some point. But I kept telling myself I wouldn’t be ready by October (for the Tower of Terror 10 miler), or by November (for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon) or by February (for the Princess Half Marathon). But reading this article recapping the race won me over. Before reading it, I had seen this particular race on the schedule and never considered participating. I’m not a “princess-y” sort of girl – preferring Super Mario and Ninja Turtles throughout my youth. But I actually teared up (this happens to me more than I care to admit) at the thought of a predominantly-female race, run in the most magical place on earth, cheered on by your favorite characters. It sounded like such a positive, supportive atmosphere that I just knew I had to sign up. Plus, Orlando holds a special place in my heart as I’ve traveled there multiple times throughout my life thanks to my Uncle working for Disney. It just felt right – so I pulled the trigger.
So approximately seven months from now I’ll be running my first half marathon. I may be running, walking, crawling, or crying my way across that finish line but I know one thing – I’ll finally be crossing it.