Saturday, March 14, 2009


You like that? That's me in the pink shirt in last Sunday's Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon. I know it is WICKED cheesy, but I absolutely had to do the Rocky-Style arms up in the air cross of the finish line. I mean, how could I NOT? Having cried twice during the half marathon (once, when running up Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom toward the castle, and the other time running past Spaceship Earth in Epcot just before the end of the race), I was so overwhelmed with emotion that there was no chance I would cross the finish line without celebrating a bit.

The race was amazing, in so many ways. More ways than I can possibly express in a concise little post. The most amazing thing about it, to me, was that I did it. If you had told me one year ago (when I was carrying an extra 40 pounds on my 5 foot tall frame and barely able to huff and puff my way through a half mile SLOW jog) that in one year's time I would be running my very first 1/2 Marathon in Disney World, I would have laughed in your face. Running was something I always wanted to do, but never thought I COULD do. And I certainly never thought I would ever be able to run distances greater than 3 miles. Even more amazing to me is that when I hit the 12.5 mile mark, with only .6 miles remaining, I actually felt like I could go another 5 plus miles EASILY.

So here is what I have learned, and here is what I most want to share: if you want to do something, do it. It really is THAT simple. This was something that seemed an unattainable goal, and yet I now have my first 1/2 under my belt and know that I have more in my future. And suddenly, the idea of running a full marathon some day (soon) doesn't seem like such an impossibility. Once I decided I was going to do the race, and paid my NON-REFUNDABLE race fee (on my birthday, no less - my own personal birthday present to myself), there was no way I wasn't going to see it through.

And I am quite possibly more proud of this than almost anything else I have accomplished in my short life. Almost. Crossing that finish line felt incredible. There have only been a handful of moments in my life that I have felt that wonderful. My only regret was that I didn't have anyone there to share the moment with me, but in hindsight that was actually okay because this race and this goal was all about ME, and no one else really needed to be there to cheer me on. I was cheering myself on, and the crowd was cheering me and calling me by name, and I proved to myself that if you set a goal and properly prepare for that goal, absolutely anything is possible.

My advice (not that anyone asked) to anyone out there that might be reading this post: take the year 2009 and try ONE NEW THING. Get out of your comfort zone and just TRY. I promise you whole-heartedly that even if you try something new and fail at it, you won't have any regrets. Because you challenged yourself. And when you truly challenge yourself, you'll be absolutely amazed at what you can do.

*There is an asterisk on the title of this post for a reason, which I will explain in my next post. The asterisk is there to remind you to always try new things, but to be smart about it. I am starting to make MYSELF a bit ill with all of this self-praise - I am generally not big on bragging - and so in my next post I will return to what comes more naturally to me: I will tell you something pretty embarrassing that I did DURING the race that is a reminder that you should absolutely NOT try something new if you don't know what you are doing. I will leave it at that, for now. I promise that I am done talking myself up, and through the remainder of this blog I will return, quite easily, to my old self-depricating ways.