Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Disney Princess Style Vacation

For the last few months I've been thinking about running the Disney's Princess Half Marathon. I came across it online a while back and thought that it would be fun (totally my style!) and it would be a nice time to take a mini-vacation. I don't think I'd take a long vacation, but at least a long weekend! I'm sure that by that time of year I'll be needing it. I can already imagine how a break from the snow, for even a few days, would be much needed around that time.

Race details... Well, that's pretty simple. It's a half marathon (13.1 miles) at Disney World (in Florida, please do not mistake it with Disneyland!). It is at the end of February. The half marathon weekend runs from 2/22-2/24, with the race being on Sunday morning....at 5:45 (I'm guessing since that's when it was this year).

I'm nervous about even THINKING of doing right now. Why? Because my race experience is so limited. I currently have two 5Ks under my belt. That's it. I am definitely doing a 10K this fall. I am registered to do another 5K this summer (the Color Run), but I don't know that I'll put much effort into that. It isn't timed and I'm doing it as a fun thing. At least one of the people I'm going with will be walking. I'm still considering doing another 5K in a couple weeks, which might be a good idea...Just to get another one done. Of course, 3.1 miles is nothing compared to 13.1.  I guess race experience isn't exactly what I need. I need practice running a longer distance.  I think that little races along the way might help me stay motivated.

The rough part will be the fact that this half marathon is in February.  I live in the tundra (okay, that's an exaggeration) but seriously, my home will be covered with snow and ice starting in December, and probably lasting until March or April. I refuse to run outside in the winter. First, it's too cold for me. I can't even stand to be outside for too long, all bundled up, in the winter. How in the world am I going to stand going outside in skimpy running gear? Also...Snow and ice. I do not see myself running on those surfaces very well. When I picture it, I see slipping and falling. I know there are spike things, which I'd invest in, but I still worry.

Also? There will be a huge difference in running outside here and running outside in Florida. How does one train in the winter for a race that will be like spring where she lives? I suppose I could spend the winter on the treadmill, as I usually do. Honestly, treadmill or a northern winter, the surface and overall running experience will be different than it will be in Florida. I can hope for a fairly mild winter....As far as snow and ice are concerned. I can suck it up and deal with the cold if I must. Actually, I'll almost-happily take the cold as long as the roads are clear!

I'm also worried about being last. I don't know why. I was reading a Disney-recommended running plan and the writer (Jeff Galloway), recommends not aiming for a time for a first time half-marathon runner. He encourages walking as needed.  I read part of his plan and I already like this guy! I think reading things in that way help me to stay focused that this isn't about winning; it's not about a time; it's about having fun and just FINISHING a half-marathon.

Naturally in my obsession over times, I checked out times for the half that was held on the same day as my last 5K. Had I ran that, right now, I don't think I'd have come in last place. If I could sustain my (slow) jogging pace for the duration of the race, I'd finish somewhere in the middle. Even with some walking, I'm not sure that I'd have been last.  The last place person took almost four hours to complete her race, and I'm sure she's not the only one in a half to ever take almost 4 hours. I think she is amazing for just doing it!!

I realize that a half is ten miles longer than what I did....I'm completely sure that I will have to walk at least some of this half-marathon. Haha...Maybe even half!  From what I've read, most of us non-competitive runners do that. It's okay to do that. 13.1 miles is kinda far (on foot) when you think about it! I just want to do it for fun, for a vacation, to accomplish a half-marathon! It will give me something to go by when the next one comes around. And lets face it, if my time is horrible, I'd rather have it be horrible surround by thousands of strangers than in my home town (less embarrassing!). 

Registration opens on July 10th. I have time to decide, unless it fills up quickly and I miss out. That's the thing....The price goes up on 8/8 and again on 10/3. It only goes up in increments of ten dollars, so that's not too bad. However, I don't want a bunch of people to register while I keep thinking about it and trying to decide, and then miss my chance. I'm nervous though. Signing up now means a definite commitment. No slacking if I think I'm doing 13.1 miles. This is one of those things that would be a great goal to have, but at the same time I have a bit of fear of being committed to it (or losing 130 dollars). The what-ifs enter my mind (what if I can't do it, no matter how hard I train? What if eight months isn't enough? What if it's too much of a goal for me right now?).... I tend to get a case of the what-ifs regarding pretty much everything.

Maybe it's time to shut the what-ifs up and just go for it. Maybe this particular race needs to be added to my bucket list...I can run. I can walk. What's stopping me?


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