|Princess Half Marathon 2010|
I wish I had some awesome reason of why I started running, but to be honest, I just wanted to wear a crown and/or tutu while running through Cinderella’s Castle. I really got into surfing blogs during the summer of 2009. One day, I came across a random post about the 2nd annual Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World. I thought it was the neatest thing I’d ever heard of, so I immediately told my mom about it. We decided to make it our goal to run the 2010 race. Yep, we decided to go from couch to half marathon in seven months! And that was the beginning of my running journey…
|Princess Half Marathon 2011
(my favorite race photo ever!)
Our first 5K was the Kaiser Permanente 5K at Turner Field that we did with Team Georgia State. It has since become a tradition – my mom is now the leader/planner of her office’s team she began two years ago. Unfortunately, that race isn’t timed, so I don’t know my first official 5K time. My second 5K was the ZOOMA Atlanta 5K in November 2009 though. I ran it with Donna in 35:50.
|Run For Your Lives Zombie 5K 2012|
Leading up to my first half marathon, I probably ran every day, but the most mileage I ever did was four miles. We were really nervous when race day came around! We knew of the dreaded buses that shuttle runners off the course if they can’t keep the 16 minute mile pace. We didn’t want that to be us, but thankfully, we made it (probably off of pure fun and adrenaline)! My first official half marathon time was 3:26.
|Cinco de Mayo Stache Dash 2012|
The 2010 Princess Half Marathon kicked off my love of running. I must admit that I don’t actually love the act of running – sometimes it’s not even fun at all – but I like everything that goes along with it. I enjoy the alone time, the chats with friends, the time to think, the musical jam sessions, observing nature, cute running outfits, and the post-run feeling. And that’s just on a day-to-day basis. Actual races are a blast no matter what the distance! I love the volunteers, the random strangers cheering me on, race bling, dressing up in costumes, setting goals to break, and running further than I ever thought I would. In addition, running helped launch my blog. Those two things combined have taken me on the coolest adventures this year like Boulder, CO and the Runner’s World magazine headquarters.
|NYC Race for the Cure in Central Park|
I think the coolest thing about running is that I can easily track my progress. I love making goals to run a little further or to cut a few more seconds off my previous time. For example, just this year I went from running a 2:59 at the Tinkerbell Half in January to a 2:49 at the Princess Half in February. Then in October, I completed the Hat Trick challenge (a 5K + 10K on Saturday morning and a half marathon on Sunday morning) at the Runner’s World Half and Festival. Surprisingly, I destroyed my previous PRs in the races even with all the hills in Bethlehem, PA and running three races in a 26 hour period. It still blows my mind that I completed the Hat Trick challenge (22.4 miles) in 3:38 – practically the same time it took me to run my first 13.1 miles. Now, that’s progress!
|Runner’s World Half and Festival|
While setting new PRs almost every race is exciting, I wanted a new fitness challenge this year. Over the summer, I decided that new challenge would be to double my furthest distance by attempting my first full marathon – the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon on January 13, 2013. I have about nine weeks left of training, but so far I’m still feeling confident. Usually at this time of year, I give up on training or have left the streets for the treadmill, but not this year! I ran outside last week when there was snow on the ground! (Ironically, on that run I won a temporary membership to a gym…) Go me! I’m excited for my first full marathon and to see where running can take me in the future!
What is your fitness story? Whether you run, strength train, or practice yoga, I’d love to hear it. Let me know in the comments below!