I have some exciting news!
Last year while I was in Orlando with Bret, my sister, and bro-in-law, we walked into an arcade and I felt compelled to win this princess crown. I can’t really explain the force that came over me, but I had to have it and I was convinced that whack-a-mole was my game. I played like a champ, and I won. I won, like, a hundred tickets. And the crown was mine.
Since then, this tiara has been sitting on my dresser with no real function… but that will all change in February.
Why? Well… I am over the moon excited to announce that… I am training to run a half marathon! The Disney Princess Half Marathon in Walt Disney World to be exact!
When one of my very best friends and Snack Time Co-Founder invited me to do this, our 6AM conversation went something like this:
B: I think I’m signing up for the Disney Half Marathon in February. You should too!
N: I would love love love to but I don’t think there’s anyway I can run 13 miles.
B: You could totally do it! There are a lot of stops on the course (photo ops with Disney characters!) And we have plenty of time to train.
N: It would be pretty cool. And I could wear a TIARA?! And a TUTU? Okay. I think I want to do this.
I haven’t run competitively since 7th grade, but I love a big challenge. I talked it over with Bret who was completely supportive and obviously on board for a Disney trip, and then I registered. I was lucky enough to snag a spot with Bret’s help on my lunch break. (I had no idea how tough it would be to secure a spot – they sold out within a couple of hours of registration being open!)
This is something that I never even thought I would attempt, but since committing, I feel ridiculously excited and empowered. I am going to do this!
I’m stoked for so many reasons. First, I love Disney. For the three years that Bret and I lived in Florida, we were spoiled Annual Passholders who took day trips to Disney every chance we got. You think we’d be over it by now, but Bret talks about how much he misses Epcot all the time. In fact, he may be more excited than I am. We’re so happy to have an upcoming trip on the calendar. After a cold winter in Boone, it will be the PERFECT time for a vacation.
Secondly, I’m especially grateful to be running alongside two of my best friends. I recently wrote about the challenge of maintaining close friendships with long-distance friends but how it’s so worth it. Brandi is one of those friends. We are such a good team and we dream the biggest dreams together. Even though we live pretty far apart, we manage to see each other several times every year, and I look at her picture on my desk every single day:
We do a pretty good job about carving out time for each other when I’m in DC for work, and we text a lot, but working toward this goal together and then meeting up in the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH…?!?! I’m pumped.
My wonderful and original long-distance friend, Kris, is going to be running with me, too! We were JMU friends for one short year and since then we’ve maintained a long-distance friendship mainly through old fashioned letters. We’ve only seen each other THREE TIMES in the past eight years: once in Colorado, once at my wedding, and once in Florida for Harry Potter. She’s way more fit and a better runner than me, so it’s going to be great to be able to train “together” from afar. I just can’t wait.
Last but not least, I’m stoked that Bret is going to be my in-person training partner. We both enjoy running, but we are out of practice. Seven months is the perfect timeframe to realistically be able to build up to the full 13.1 miles. He’s not actually running in the race, but he’s going to be capable of it by the time February rolls around. We started off by walking/jogging for 4 miles under one hour on Tuesday. For the half marathon, you’re supposed to aim for 15 minutes/mile so we’re right on target! I just need to do that two more times and then one mile to the finish line. Easy peasy, right?
I couldn’t do it tomorrow, but by February, I’m going to be so ready. (Truthfully, though, I have no idea what I’m doing, so any advice/tips from fellow runners is appreciated!)
I’ll blog about our training updates periodically. And I’m looking forward to being able to post some epic running pictures in seven short months. How wonderful is it going to feel to cross that finish line and then be able to celebrate in the Happiest Place on Earth?!
Let the countdown begin! 216 days to go!