Big Announcement and I can’t believe I’m saying this out loud – I signed up for my first race ever, which happens to be my first Disney Race, actually multiple races, actually all the races for the 2023 Disney Princess Race Weekend– OMG 😳 and I’m putting it out into the world for motivation, encouragement, accountability, advice, and to bookmark this moment in history because hell might have frozen over!
Some background- My husband Mark has been a runner our entire relationship and ran his first half marathon in 2014 before moving to Florida in 2015. Since then he has run 10 timed races and I have always been his cheering section at the finish line. I’ve been quoted many times as saying “I’m not a runner, I hate running, If I’m running it means a Big Cat got out of its cage”etc… In January 2022, while Mark was running his first Full Marathon, I remember stressing and worrying at the finish line when a thought struck me- instead of always standing around waiting at the finish line full of anxiety, I could have been training and getting my own medals all these years!
For years Mark has been trying to get me to become a runner with him. After all it’s in my blood, my father was an incredible distance runner before I was born and when I was very young and had incredible finish times for his races. I have joked around with them many times and said if I ever did a race, it would have to be the Princess race at Disney. Jokes on me now because it’s happening!
When we moved to Florida I was in the best shape of my life. We were biking, rollerblading, swimming, yoga, pure barre classes, Beach Body Insanity and Piyo programs multiple times through… and then I had a health scare. All of a sudden, I woke up to have the arch of my left foot swollen like a baseball and unable to walk. After urgent care, X-rays, and multiple orthopedic specialists- absolutely no one could find any root cause. Instead of knowing what we were treating I went through physical therapy, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, laser treatments- you name it, I tried it- plus I spent months in an air boot and had to take months off of full-time work. It was a nightmare and still kind of is. One doctor made the mention that even though I was only 30, it might be early signs of RA. I was shocked and mortified and basically tried to ignore it – but then the arthritic pain and swelling started to move around my body periodically. Sometimes I experience it in my right foot also, my wrists, my hip, my spine, my knees, my fingers ugh the list goes on. Seven years later I’ve started to except that this may be the truth and that diet and exercise are imperative to my quality of life (because I don’t believe in taking a bunch of pills as the first option). If I don’t use it, I’m gonna lose it and at this point I’m so out of shape I feel like I’ve lost it and I’m at a breaking point. I feel miserable and sad have a major lack in confidence for how I look and feel. I can keep blaming the last two years for being the most stressful in my life (COVID and Tiger King) and keep eating and drinking my feelings, or I can set a new goal to pull me out of this major rut.
I don’t know what got into me but when Mark said the registration for the Princess Weekend Races was coming up – I knew they would sell out quickly, so I agreed, and Mark signed us both up! Race weekend will be February 23-26, 2023 – I’ve got over 6 months to train for 3 races and I’m already so excited and nervous and motivated because all be damned if I spend the money and make the arrangements and don’t finish my goal!
So, what does running all the races mean? The 2023 Disney Princess weekend consists of a 5K on Friday, a 10K on Saturday, and a Half Marathon on Sunday. And why on earth did I sign up for all of them??! Go BIG or go home right? Plus, the princesses duh! Once I saw the Princess for each race (for the shirts and medals) I couldn’t pick just one because literally each one of them is in my top 5 favorites- 5K is Jasmine, 10K is Belle, and the Half Marathon is Moana and if you do the 10K and Half Marathon it’s considered the “challenge” and you get a bonus shirt and medal and it’s my all-time favorite Disney Princess- Cinderella!
I’ve already started training and will be following this RunDisney guide along with adding significantly more yoga to my schedule. Nutrition, sleep, and stretching will also be top of my list for self-care over the next 7 months. I know I’ll have to tell friends, family, and work NO on things if it effects my training schedule and will have to stay laser focused but I’m looking forward to it. Besides being a finisher, my biggest goals are to avoid injury and do something good for my health. And again, Princesses! Oh, and spending more time with my husband too! 😎😅😂
We have so many friends and family members that are or were skilled runners, so I am looking forward to any and all advice and encouragement. I’m not sure if this hobby will stick or if this will be an epic one-time thing but regardless I am looking forward to a lifestyle change!