$2,620…and beyond!

Y’all!

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I am sitting here, with my jaw dropped, and my eyes welling up – just so overcome with happiness because today, EACH ONE OF YOU not only helped me reach a goal that once felt SOOO ambitious, but you went ABOVE and BEYOND, and with that, exactly $2,675 closer to FINISHING Breast Cancer, ONCE and for ALL.

Over the last few days, I have been humbled by each donation that arrived in my email inbox, touched by the stories, encouraging words, and kind words that were sent my way, and inspired by my fellow teammates on the 2015 Ambassador Team. Our friendly competition to raise as much as possible has pushed all of us to do what we can, and it’s honestly the most amazing feeling ever to know that it was ALL worth it.

In one week, I will preparing for my 13th full marathon, filled with so much love, that it’ll be impossible not to smile through 26.2 miles – and for that, I thank you.

Still interested in supporting 26.2 with DONNA? Please visit my team’s page!

We’re gonna paint the world PINK!

I have two super amazing announcements to make:

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  1. Thanks to your help, my fundraising efforts for 26.2 with DONNA have surpassed the $2,000 mark!
  2. 20 countries are now represented in the “Around the World” challenge that I issued!

Between these two items, it’s hard to contain the excitement surrounding this amazing event…coming up in just TWO weeks!

Please consider a donation to this incredible cause – and if it’s just not in the budget, I ask that you please share this post! It is my honor and privilege to represent this incredible organization and with your help, we can help FINISH breast cancer for good.

If you didn’t already know this, all net proceeds from 26.2 with DONNA are applied toward the drive to FINISH breast cancer! 70 percent goes to the Mayo Clinic for bench top breast cancer research, and the remaining 30 percent go to the Donna Foundation, an incredible organization that assists women with everything from paying bills, rent or mortgage, to obtaining agreements with vendors to supply chemotherapy drugs, medical services, prescriptions (and even wigs) at a discounted rate.

pinkbrainstaSo, what does this mean for YOU, as a friend, donor, and supporter? Well, it locks in the fact that you are DIRECTLY taking part in ending BREAST CANCER (and really, on the road to conquering all cancers!!) for GOOD.

But wait, there’s more!

Yup, more funds = more opportunities for me to act a FOOL in public.

Last year, I issued the challenge – if I could secure a donation from someone in ALL 50 STATES, I’d dye my hair pink for the race. Well, you not only took me up on it, but encouraged my fellow ambassadors to take the pink plunge this year, too! So, what could I possibly do next?

Last week, I said I’d run the runDONNA 5K (the day before the marathon) with a HOT PINK BRA over my race outfit if I could reach $2K by that day, but WOW, now that we’re at $2,001, we need to UP THE ANTE!

So tell me, what crazy challenge should I throw out next? Leave your ideas, thoughts…and the crazier they are, the more likely I will consider them 😉

Thank you so much for your support, love and encouragement!

ETA:

Some ideas that have poured in already:

  1. Something crazy at 26 countries represented
  2. Pink Wig and Pink Boa with the Pink Bra at the 5K!
  3. Biggest donation from a “country” represented – you have to carry that flag during the 5K!

Also, I have had some questions about what countries have already been claimed in the challenge! Here they are:

  1. Australia
  2. The Bahamas
  3. Canada
  4. China
  5. Costa Rica
  6. Cuba
  7. Ecuador
  8. Estonia
  9. France
  10. Germany
  11. Greece
  12. Ireland
  13. Italy
  14. Japan
  15. Mexico
  16. The Netherlands
  17. New Zealand
  18. Poland
  19. Turkey
  20. The United Kingdom

RECAP: 2015 Goofy Challenge

I am SOO behind on recaps…and blogging in general.Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 5.29.26 PM

But I mean…I guess I have good reason…between moving, settling in, family visiting, running, racing and y’know, paying the bills (LOL) life has been a whirlwind. But a good whirlwind. And it definitely isn’t slowing down anytime soon…which is why I thought, well, I think it’s time to crank out a bit of a recap.

First of all, my initial thoughts about the Goofy Challenge – can be summed up in three words: It. Was. Awesome. Really, I mean I expected to enjoy it, but had no idea how much I’d learn and grow from it.

You see, in 2011, I embarked upon my very first distance event – the WDW Half Marathon (see more runDisney posts here). It was the longest distance I had ever run in my entire life, and it was within hours after accomplishing that feat that I decided that a marathon was in my future. However, I never would have imagined that a Goofy Challenge was…

You see, before the days of the Dopey Challenge, the most hardcore thing you could do was Goofy (13.1 on Saturday, and 26.2 on Sunday)…and though I’ve said I was not interested before, I have to admit that after this year…my mind has changed a little on it...because honestly, each hour that was spent on the courses this past weekend were truly amazing.

From the spirit of the spectators, the energy of the volunteers, and the determination of all runners – whether they were embarking upon the Mickey Mile, gearing up for their first 5K or 10K, or stepping up to the challenge of 13.1 or more, there was a sort of presence this weekend that I just can’t describe. Sure, not everything went perfectly (um, crazy bus driver that took us on a tour of the Animal Kingdom Lodge parking lot), but perfect isn’t life.

With all that being said, I will *attempt* to encapsulate the sights, sounds and wonder of 39.3 miles as concisely as possible…and though I’ve not yet purchased my picture package, I will (if you haven’t seen enough pictures from this race already)!

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Darla from Finding Nemo!

Day 1: The WDW Half Marathon (AKA Donald Half)

My alarm went off at 2:30 AM, followed shortly by the wake up call service. I sprung out of bed, and did all my pre-race preparations – though this morning was a little different, as I had to adjust my faux headgear for my Darla costume!

I was able to move quickly enough to jump on the first bus of the morning, and much to my surprise, we took off with only about 5 runners total (I was at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House – for this trip) before driving (loops through the parking lot) to Kidani Village, where a steady stream of runners boarded the bus.

Once we made it to the Epcot lot and race start area, I wandered around in my PJs (which were my throwaways) before coming across Jen and Adam (and their friends, the Giffords), who I hung out with for a while before stopping to chat with Kyle, Katie and other pals from the WDW Radio Running Team…and soon enough, it was time to head to the corrals!

I was in D – which, again, was meaningful and nostalgic, as it had been my corral for that first half marathon! I even contemplated going for the exact same finish time (2:04) but a few miles in, I thought I’d opt for my standard “dash to characters” strategy and not pay attention to my watch.

Although not my favorite course (that honor belongs to Wine and Dine! See my 2012, 2013 and 2014 recaps) I still enjoyed this race. And as in every runDisney race, I definitely enjoyed my prior CM knowledge of property by utilizing “real” bathrooms (hello, Ticket and Transportation Center – (TTC)!!) and, even more, there is definitely something that sends chills up my spine running through a dark Magic Kingdom!

In Frontierland, I heard someone call out my name and was happy to see fellow Disney fan and friend Meghann (check out her recap here)! We ran together for a few minutes, and chatted until I had to stop again to take a pic with the princesses and she kept going.

Around the time we hit the road back toward Epcot, the sun was starting to rise over the Magic Kingdom area resorts. I actually enjoy this part of the race – seeing runners making their way toward MK, as we made our way back. There was a lot of cheering on both sides, and a generally good vibe going on.

Soon enough, it was the “hill” (complete with Green Army Man) and the path back to Spaceship Earth was almost illuminated. I kicked it in for the finish, and despite fighting a bit of a cramp in my right leg, I let the cheering take me in to my 13.1 finish in 2:01.

collage_20150110083203396After exiting the race chute, I headed to the character greeting area and got my picture with Goofy (after all, it was his race challenge!!) and had the pleasure of seeing my friend Jeff as well.

It was hard to believe, but 1/3 of the challenge was already complete! I returned to the resort for a shower and a nap before heading out for some Epcot fun (including the Pasta in the Park party – future post coming on that!!) that evening.

Day 2: The WDW Marathon (AKA Mickey Marathon)

Beep beep beep.

After a surprisingly restful sleep, I was up again at 2:30 on Sunday morning, ready to take on the second race of the Goofy Challenge!

For this race, I’d be joining my pals Megan and Carlee (spoiler alert, you can basically read her recap for all the pics and amazingly described details) for 26.2 miles of Huey, Dewey, Louie fun!

And FUN we had!

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Ducks…duckface.

With concept of a “PR in FUN” embedded firmly in our minds, we rocked the course with Megan’s training method of 2/:30 Galloway run/walk, and with another potty stop (at TTC of course!) we made our way through all four parks, the speedway, ESPN Wide World of Sports, and the Boardwalk area, you could NOT wipe the smiles off of our faces!

One of my favorite things about this marathon, truly, is the excitement you can see in fellow runners, spectators, volunteers, cast members, and everyone else in between. You honestly lose yourself in the environment, and though it’s still 26.2 miles, you never feel “alone” and in fact, as each mile clicks off – at least for me – you start to almost feel sad that it’s coming to a close (unlike a regular marathon…that you might just want to hurry up and end!)

From the on-course dance parties, to the chocolate at Hollywood Studios…the goats, pigs and donkeys cheering you on at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and the endless “High-4’s” from Mickey-gloved chEAR squad members – there honestly was magic in every mile – and I didn’t get paid to say that! 🙂

goofy

As a runDisney fan, I knew that I’d enjoy the 39.3 mile journey, but, as I mentioned above…there really was no way for me to imagine how I’d feel at the conclusion of it all! If post-marathon depression is a thing, I can’t even begin to describe what it’s like to be immersed in the excitement and energy of tens of thousands of like-minded individuals in the place where dreams come true.

What’s your next big race event?

Match yo’ miles.

Ask any runner, and I bet you’ll get a general consensus – whenever you CAN’T or SHOULDN’T run (read: injured/resting/recovering) it is when you WANT to run the most!

Here, 8 days post-Chicago, I am ITCHING to run…bad. Sure, on Saturday I did run/walk training with the No Boundaries Group at Fleet Feet, but I am not counting that 😉 Since I began training with the Hanson Marathon Method, I’ve been a stickler to the recovery period after 26.2, but as I transition into a new schedule, I came up with an idea that I think will benefit not just me and my antsy-ness, but the greater good!!

runkrissydollaIntroducing…the MILE MATCH CHALLENGE!

So, yes – you may have heard of a matching challenge before – where someone donates an amount, and then some wealthy donor goes in to match it, essentially doubling your money. Well, I am still working on finding a wealthy donor or two, but in the meantime, I am doing what I do best – running – and matching each dollar to support the cause and prepare for all the running fun ahead this season.

So PLEASE! Share this post, share this link, just SHARE and I SO appreciate donations of any shape and size…from $1 to $500 (okay, that might be a bit challenging to do, but hey, a promise is a promise and we all need to make some sacrifices to achieve goals, right!?)

DONATE TODAY – and I’ll be lacing up my shoes and hitting the road!

How many miles do you run a month? How many miles do you think I’ll reach in the next 40 days?

 

What’s Next?

This past weekend’s Chicago Marathon marked the first event in what I anticipate to be a pretty exciting Fall/Winter Racing Season. After this week’s rest (still sick, ughhhh), the schedule kicks into gear later this month, with the following:

  • October 25 – Boo Run – 5K – Lakewood Ranch, FL (graduation race for our No Boundaries program)
  • October 26 – Bill’s Beer Run – 5M – Casey Key, FL (graduation race for our No Boundaries program)
  • November 8 – Jingle Jungle 5K & Wine and Dine Half Marathon – Lake Buena Vista, FL
  • November 30 – Space Coast Marathon – 26.2 –  Cocoa, FL
  • December 14 – Best Damn Race – 13.1 – Cape Coral, FL

Moving into 2015…

  • January 10-11 – Goofy Challenge – 13.1 + 26.2 – Lake Buena Vista, FL
  • January (sometime) – Celebration Virtual Marathon – 26.2
  • January 18 – Clearwater Distance Classic – 50K – Clearwater, FL
  • February 15 – 26.2 with DONNA – ?? – Jacksonville, FL

Wait…what….what’s going on with DONNA? Well, the original plan was 110. Then, there were whispers of it going away…I had to think about what to do next…and so, I thought I’d do what I did this year – 5K on Saturday, and 26.2 on Sunday…but then, I see it is back, officially…but, I may or may not have another possible race going down the next weekend (more on that as soon as I have more concrete details) so at this point, I find myself laughing at the fact that I may be running “only” 29.3 miles…oh, life. 😉

So, as I attempt to expend energy in ways other than running the next few days, my mind is all mixed up with grand plans, ideas, costumes for Disney races, and some rough plans about training schedules and goals for the next few months. It’s a crazy feeling…and a privilege…to continue to do what I love, and share the experience with so many.

What’s next for you?

 

Welcome to PINKtober!

showyourcolors
2014 Photo Challenge!

2013/2014 was the first season that 26.2 with DONNA introduced the Ambassador Role. With a December roll out, we still had plenty of time to spread word about the event, the cause, and of course, to fundraise, but we missed out on garnering support during one of the biggest opportunities for spreading awareness – October.

Well, we’re not missing the chance this year! 🙂

While some may argue that specific awareness months may not always bring desired results (check this article for more), as an Ambassador (and fan) of the 26.2 with DONNA organization, I am honored to share the message and fundraise for the ONLY marathon in the United States dedicated solely to raising money for breast cancer research, care and awareness.

Of course, it is a lot to ask that people open both their hearts and wallets, so in addition to seeking funds, I think it’s important to also have a little fun when it comes to spreading awareness – so I created this challenge on Instagram to get the conversation started.

So, how does it work? Pretty easy! All you need is an Instagram account and a fun-seeking attitude! Next, follow these steps:

  1. Re-post the image you see above – it’s on my Instagram account. You can do this by taking a screen shot, or using a re-post application on your smartphone.
  2. Play! Each day in October, capture an image that fits the day’s challenge. Be sure to use hashtags #showyourcolors and #runDONNA so I can see it!
  3. WIN! Yes, there ARE prizes! I will be scrolling through the hashtags each week and awarding one participant a week.

And what, you ask, are the prizes? I thought you’d never ask!

BCAMbracelet

 

Each week, ONE participant will win a pink PURA VIDA bracelet and at the end of the challenge, one participant will be chosen to win the bracelet pack with a variety of gorgeous pink bracelets that not only look cute, but help spread awareness!*

I am so excited to kick off October, and look forward to hosting even more fun activities and events to get the word out about thinking pink – this month, and all year!

* PURA VIDA is not a sponsor of this challenge, I purchased these on my own as an incentive prize for this photo challenge. No purchase is necessary, but donations are always welcome at my fundraising site.

Let’s do this.

21 days and 163 miles – these are the two things that stand between me and crossing the finish line of my 10th full, the 2014 Chicago Marathon.

There are lots of emotions zipping around my head and heart these days, but here are a few things that have been banned:

  • Fear.
  • Stress.
  • Negativity.

Yes, the miles have been logged (600+ and counting)- and even if training has not gone exactly as planned, I know that I’m the best me that I can be in this moment. There have been great, confidence-boosting runs, and there have been incredibly frustrating and crappy runs. Some weeks, every workout was punched out, and some weeks, life took over…and although 26.2 miles are definitely not for the weak of heart, I can say, with confidence, that this training cycle has proved, once again, that it is the TRAINING that shows us who we are, and that we are meant to persevere.

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Deep thoughts.

I did a simulation run today, with my chosen outfit, and it worked great (except for the soaked shoes – but hey, what can you do about that)? 16 miles, the longest in Hanson’s Marathon Method, cut short by .5 because of blistering (I never blister on my feet, so I thought it’d be best to think of my feet!) and my legs feel great, even with the 50 miles logged between Monday and Saturday. I also practiced this run with no audio – music, podcast, etc. – and it went fine, so I will proceed with my “no music marathon” plan, as I really don’t want to miss a thing during my first Chicago experience!

The Numbers

So, 65 miles – the highest amount of miles I have ever run (previous PDR, 61, last October) this week, pushing my 2014 mileage to 1,202, and my total logged on dailymile to 5,005 (started tracking in December 2010).

Taper Zone Thoughts

  • With this training plan, the taper doesn’t really start til 10 days out, but with my last LR logged, it kind of does feel like a slope down to race day.
  • I’m thirsty.
  • Although I really don’t believe in regrets, I do have one tiny one this marathon training cycle, and that is that I didn’t get to blog enough about it! Well, I know I’ll make up for it with a lot lot lot of post-marathon thoughts, so I think that’ll even it out.
  • I have to go to the bathroom.
  • I know what I am wearing, what gear I am bringing, and now, staking out the course map for more mental preparation.
  • I’m hungry.
  • I am so excited to go back to Chicago.
  • I am so excited to run with Bibrave.
  • And donuts.
  • I am so excited to hang out with Ashley.
  • I’m hungry.
  • Is it time to go to Chicago yet?

What are your best tips for mental preparation for a marathon?

 

 

2014 Chicago Marathon Training Countdown: 3 Weeks

June 9, 2014 will mark the beginning of my second full cycle of Hansons Marathon Method as I train for both a PR and fourth official attempt at qualifying for the Boston Marathon at the Chicago Marathon. I am a big proponent of this training method (see my recap/thoughts here) and I will be pushing my training up a notch and moving up to the Advanced Plan this go around, with training paces synching with a “DREAM BIG” goal of sub-3:30.

#runhappy
#runhappy

At this point, three weeks out from another intense 18-weeks of training, I am admittedly feeling a crush of emotions – anxiety, excitement, hopefulness, cautiousness…but one thing that I am BANNING from my heart, soul, mind and spirit is FEAR.

You see, the Chicago Marathon will be my 10th marathon, and in the many miles I’ve trained, raced, hemmed and hawed over, I honestly believe that the biggest enemy standing in the way of my success has been myself. I’ve been so fortunate to have immense support from so many – family, friends, members of the running community – all who’ve lent their ears, their words, their hugs, and their cheers – and I’ve been blessed with thousands of healthy and strong miles. I’ve come so far, and I know that it’s time for me to push even further.

I once read a quote that credited Oprah Winfrey in stating that “running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it,” and I am a big believer in that. As a “Adult Onset Runner,” I could not agree more. I’ve poured my heart into this sport that I love, but I’d be lying to myself if I even thought for a second that I’ve surrendered my love, completely and unconditionally in a race. I’m talking “no-holds-barred,” “all-out” racing here. I’ve gotten close to this in the 5K distance, but in the 26.2 – the distance I respect the most – I know that I’ve stopped short.

As part of my cross-training preparation for this training cycle, I’ve been working out in my hot, humid garage with Jillian Michaels DVDs – and there’s one quote that she repeats that has not left my mind the last few weeks: “All I am asking is for all that you’ve got.” So simple, but so true.

Get ready, Chicago.

What’s the next big goal you’re training or working toward?

 

I’ve got a secret.

…actually I have a few. And before anyone gets too excited, they’re all running related 😉

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The time I ran “just” 26.2 with DONNA 😉

Hah! Well, really. Also – here’s a little known fact about me: I am pretty darn good at keeping other people’s secrets but I am TERRIBLE at keeping my own. The WORST. So, one of the things I am keeping under wraps for a few more days, I DID have to share with a few people, but all will be revealed soon. SOON! I promise. It’s big. And exciting. Annnddd….I am bursting to make it official and get started!!

While I’m on the subject of scheming and dreaming, here’s another doozy that I am formally announcing…another one that I couldn’t quite shut up about around my DONNA Ambassador Teammates, but am actually stating, in writing, now: I have decided that, barring any sort of debilitating injury (because health and safety are ALWAYS first) I have decided on my next Ultra marathon! And it’s a race that will make my first ultra (that lil’ ol’ 50K I did last month) look like child’s play. Yup.

110.

This, my friends, is the reason I will limit myself at the 2015 WDW Marathon Weekend (see, I told you I had a good reason) and run “just” Goofy!

And guess what, it wasn’t until after I went through all the thought processes of the decision-making that I realized something very interesting about a few of my race photos – see that runner with Bib 6796? Well folks, that’s Dave Krupski – and he just happened to be the winner of the 110 this year! How crazy is that, right? Well, I give him mega props and as a way to pay it forward for looking so happy in my picture this year, I’m gonna give it my best shot at two days of mega mileage in 2015, with 80+ miles before running 26.2. Let’s see how big my smile is next year, huh? 😉

I’m gonna need a lotta love, and a lotta faith to get through that next year, but hey, I’ve got 11 months to prepare, and just like I told myself through fundraising, and conquering those 26.2 miles last year…running is the easy part. 

Did you know that 2015 registration is NOW OPEN for the half and full marathon (as well as challenge combos with 5K)? Lock in your bib today at a great low price, and have complete confidence that even if your plans change, 100 percent of your fees will benefit breast cancer research and care.

5 Day Countdown Spectacular: “Marathon Most Likely to…”

Earlier this week, I shared a post about the “serious” side of marathon running – both literally and figuratively – so today, five days away from my 9th marathon, I thought I’d share a lighter side with a retrospective of marathons past:

marathons

(1) The One Where I Fell in Love: The Richmond Marathon

Just a few weeks after crossing the finish line of my first half marathon (the 2011 Walt Disney World Half Marathon), I got this crazy idea in my head that training for a full would be fun. Of course, I had no idea where to start, but before I knew it, I had assembled a plan (I used Runner’s World SmartCoach) and gunned for a sub-4 as my debut 26.2 – and hit it! 3:59:13! It was, until that point, the hardest thing I had ever physically done in my entire life – and I was hooked.

(2) The One Where I Hit the Wall: The Shamrock Marathon

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…it was a good thing that I was so hooked – because I had actually registered for this race with Team in Training (TNT) as my second full before I crossed the finish line of Richmond! It was my first experience training and fundraising for an event, and I would not trade the experience for anything in the world, raising more than $2,500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

My race, however, was not quite as successful. Although I PR’d by 1 minute, I started off way too aggressively in this race, and hit the wall HARD at Mile 20, and felt like I had to drag my body to the finish line that windy morning. Fortunately for me, with TNT, coaches ran stretches with me in that last 10K and put a smile back on my face, despite the pain.

(3) The One Where I Ran Down a Canyon: The Utah Valley Marathon

img_1973It was right around the Shamrock Marathon time where I got the idea in my head that I wanted to qualify for Boston. This course, far from where I was living in VA, was touted as a fast, downhill course that produced many BQs, PRs, and my friend Lizzie was going to come along, too…so, I signed up!

Unfortunately, a little before the race rolled around, Lizzie was injured and wasn’t able to make the trip. And my training definitely was not where it should have been (I realize this even more now, looking back) so I went in to this race with a mix of both optimism…and realism. It became my Personal Worst (PW) at 4:16, but I had no regrets because I truly enjoyed the experience…I think this is about the time I realized how much I loved running the distance, no matter the outcome.

(4) The One Where I Was Supposed to Run as a Coffee Cup, but PR’d Instead: The Baltimore Marathon

2012-10-13 14.42.00You’ll have to read the entire recap to fully understand that superlative, but let’s just say that this was the race where so many stars aligned: I went in with a strong mileage base, very low stress, the weather was perfect (cool and sunny) and I had a bit of a hometown advantage (the race was just  few hours drive away).

Despite walking every water station, and the hilly course, I ran a 3:43:18, which, to this day, is my marathon PR – and I felt strong enough to even go on a run along the Inner Harbor the next morning. Perfect weekend all around.

(5) The One Where I Wanted to Go Home: The Three Bridges Marathon

As a local, no-frills event, this was supposed to be my Fall 2012 (and BQ Attempt #2) goal race – but instead, it became my second marathon over 4 hours (4:03). I was pretty devastated about this performance, and marked the first time I ever came to a complete halt, sat down, and cried.

This course was a simple 4 loop that I had trained on for countless miles, so the sting was even harder to take when I saw the minutes and hours clicking away. Really, I could have walked away (literally) from this one and no one would have ever known (it was not chip timed) but I stuck it out that tough morning and was rewarded with the kindness and generosity of volunteers who gave me a privately chauffeured ride back to my car. Another bonus? I didn’t pay for the shirt, and the race offered no medal, so I have no physical evidence of this day, other than the bib 😉

(6) The One Where I Had the Most Fun: The Walt Disney World Marathon

2013-01-13 13.54.32They say at runDisney, that every mile is magic…and at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon, it definitely was.

This race was JUST what the doctor ordered after that horrendous race just weeks before! The weather was projected to be a “very Florida” humid 80 degrees, so as soon as I arrived (after a very turbulent travel day) I shifted my expectations completely and made my mission simple: have the most fun ever….and fun was definitely had!

I LOVED running through all four theme parks, posing with all the characters, and just soaking up the energy of the weekend. When I crossed the finish line at 4:59, a full hour slower than my first marathon, I could not have been more proud, or full of love for the marathon distance.

(7) The One That Dreams are Made Of: The San Francisco Marathon

2013-06-16 10.13.09I was honored to be chosen as a 2013 race ambassador for this incredible event, and with that extra enthusiasm, was hoping to BQ here. Spoiler alert: it didn’t happen, but to be perfectly honest, it didn’t matter, because I was just thankful to take this scenic 4 hour, 18 minute, 26.2 mile tour of one of the most beautiful cities I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.

You see, my training went a bit lackluster after a series of fatigue-related injuries, and at that point in my running/marathoning life, it finally dawned on me that there would ALWAYS be more marathons – and that health should always be the biggest priority.

Of course, that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to try again later…

(8) The One That Screams Redemption: The Space Coast Marathon

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 12.47.49 AMAlthough this was technically my “third” crack at a BQ, looking back, I’d say this was my first serious attempt.

Since I had experienced training burnout in the past, I went about an entirely different approach with Space Coast, using the Hansons Marathon Method, majorly increasing my mileage, and working with new paces and workouts – and it totally changed my training, for the better.

Although I did not BQ or PR that day (my pace imploded at Mile 25, of all places – if it hadn’t, it would have been a major PR day) it was my strongest performance in the marathon distance until that point. And with that amazing theming, medal and post-race refreshments, I left Cocoa disappointed, but not defeated. I’ve already registered for 2014, and can’t wait to hit that course again, no matter what the clock says.

With these eight, very different, and very memorable races in my backpocket, I approach 26.2 with DONNA with love in my heart, confidence in myself, and totally ready for another incredible journey.

I hope you enjoyed my little jaunt down memory lane…so tell me…how would you describe (good, bad and ugly!) some of your most memorable race moments?