Saturday, January 31, 2015

Walt Disney World Marathon: Part 2, The Expo

My magic journey began the moment I stepped off of that plane and headed to Disney's Magical Express.  Joey and I arrived at Disney World Thursday morning.  This trip we stayed at Coronado Springs Resort in a preferred room and we loved it!  After getting checked in we headed to get some lunch.  I've never had a bad meal at Disney, and this girl loves to eat!  It was amazing to say the least.  After eating we hopped on the bus headed to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for the expo and packet pick up. 

Disney's expo was the expo of all expos!  Joey even enjoyed it, and was amazed at all the gear created for runners. They had everything you could imagine!  I pretty much had a mental list of all the things I wanted to purchase including t-shirts, shoes, and of course the official Run Disney merchandise. I'm always real hesitant when it comes to shopping for myself!  I don't know why spending money on myself is so difficult.  Joey had to convince me to make the purchases I did.. crazy? I know.  I even purchased a pair of Hokas and I ran the marathon in them! I would normally never run a marathon in a pair of shoes that I just purchased.  They were amazing, but that's another post!

One of my favorite moments at the expo was meeting Jeff Galloway.  He's so personable and fun.  We had a little conversation about the marathon and he reminded to save my energy for the first half so I have enough left for the last half.  This race was huge for me so I soaked up every word of advice he gave.  This was his 22nd time to run it ya know!  Not to mention I was going into this solo.  Thinking about running this alone made me so nervous for some reason.  Little did I know how amazing it would turn out to be!

We ended up making a couple of trips to the expo. We just couldn't get enough!  I was able to get me a pair of the New Balance RunDisney shoes, which I'm so in love with!  :)  I also laid my eyes and hands on this year medal for the first time, and was able to see all the other race medals which just got me excited to run more Disney races.  Just being at the expo was making me so excited.  I knew the marathon was going to be much more than I had ever imagined.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Walt Disney World Marathon Pt.1 - It All Started With A Wish

On January 11, 2015 one of my dreams came true.  I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon!  After Colt's relapse in 2004 he wished to go meet Buzz Lightyear.  Our family, along with my Mother and niece, traveled to Disney World with the Make a Wish Foundation that August, and fell in love with Disney World and everything Disney!  Colt had always loved everything Disney.  I can't even tell you how many times we watched Toy Story.  I used to lay on the couch with him for hours rubbing his legs, arms, or wherever he was hurting on his sweet little body and we would watch Toy Story and all his other favorite Disney movies over and over.  One of his favorites was a sing a long which showed kids running from ride to ride all over Disneyland.  They would ride and sing with the characters.  He loved Disney, as did we!

Colt and his Daddy meeting Buzz Lightyear

At that time, running a marathon was far from my mind.  I never thought I'd be a runner.  I couldn't imagine running a 5k, much less a FULL MARATHON!  When I first began running I started following runners on social media who were running the Disney races in Disneyland and Disney World.  It was then I decided that one day I would run my dream race.  I followed these runners for years watching them run race after race dreaming of the day that I would one day be running in Disney World with them.   

When registration came around in April 2014, I finally felt confident enough to register!  I was up early and got my registration done!  I didn't want it to sell out before I was in the race!  That's when the countdown and the trip planning began!

Stay tuned for more from the Walt Disney World Marathon!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015 Race Schedule

2015 is going to be EPIC!  I've began putting together my race schedule, and it's looking great! There's a few more on my list of maybe's.  I also plan to add a marathon in there before heading back to Disney again next January!  Just not sure which one yet!

Here's what I have so far!

Jan.11, 2015 - Walt Disney World Marathon
Feb. 7, 2015 - Hot chocolate 15K
Mar.22, 2015- RockNRoll Half, Dallas TX
Mar.28, 2015- Firefly 5K
Apr.12, 2015- Big D Half
Sept. 4, 2015- Disneyland 5K
Sept. 5, 2015- Disneyland 10K
Sept. 6, 2016- Disneyland Half
Sept.20, 2015- Plano Balloon Festival Half
Dec. 13, 2015- Metro PCS Dallas Half

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Dallas MetroPCS Half Marathon Recap

 December 14, 2014

I can't say enough how much I loved this race.  This was only my 2nd "official" half marathon.  My first was the Illuminations Half in San Antonio almost 1 year before this one.  My time in Illuminations was 2:21:00.  I went into this race with a different attitude though.  I wasn't there to get a great time.  I hadn't even thought about getting a PR.  We had just decided to run the race, have a great time, and honor Colt while doing so.  I wanted this day to just be a fun day for me and J, my running buddy.  I had a couple of other friends who were doing the full and we planned to run the first 9 miles with them at their marathon pace.  The race split around mile 9 so we then would be heading toward the finish line.  

J and I got up and headed to Dallas around 4am.  We did this to get a great parking spot so we didn't have to walk miles to get to the starting line.  We ended up in the convention center, right near the restroom! Score! 

It was pretty chilly when we headed toward our corral, and we had around an hour wait before the corrals closed.  We probably should've just waited in the car a little longer but I think we were both excited and anxious to see what was going on at the starting lines. We sat next to this poor guy and couldn't help but laugh.  He was practically inside his shirt.
As soon as they opened the corral J and I made our way to the front of it where people running our same pace would be.  Our other two friends also found us and made their way up.  I was honored to see that their families had made signs to honor our sweet Colt on this special day.  Holding back the tears we waited on the start.  When the fireworks went off we were so excited!  We all 4 pretty much stayed together for the first 9 miles as planned.  We were running around a 10:30 pace.  It was a first marathon for a friend and that was her goal pace.  We talked and laughed and people watched and just had a great time running!  Around mile 7 we ran into another runner who was working at one of the water stations.  She joined us until the split at mile 9 and by then we had sped up to around a 10:00 minute pace.  She encouraged J and I to pick up the pace and we could easily have a PR, so hey why not!  We hit mile 11 still feeling great and I had not realized we were running around a 9:00 pace.  At mile 13 we were so excited.  The finish line was in sight and though we would've loved to run a 2:00 half marathon we hit 13.1 at around 2:14.  Our finish time was actually 2:16:08 at 13.33 miles.  Running the tangents was a little difficult due to the crowd in our corral.

We were so excited! We had done it!  We set a new PR that we hadn't planned on.  There was no wall to hit.  No soreness when it was over.  We honored Colt and had a great race! I definitely plan on doing this race again!  I absolutely love this distance as well, and plan on doing a lot more races in 2015!

Kicking off the New Year with a Marathon!  Next stop is the Walt Disney World Marathon!!!


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