The big day is getting closer, in so many ways. Literally, I have only 45 days until I arrive at the magical world of Disney, and 47 days until race day. But i’m also getting closer in terms of preparation.
First, my room is officially paid off! I think I’ve mentioned before but I am horrible at saving money. So I’ve been purchasing a few Disney gift cards each month, to make sure that the money I saved couldn’t be spent anywhere else. And as of yesterday, the last part of my portion of room bill was paid! Happy dance!! We had originally planned to stay at the newest Disney resort, the Art of Animation resort. But after a lot of numbers crunching(by Patty) and deliberation, we decided to switch to the Coronado Springs resort.
I’m quite excited to be staying at this resort again. My husband, my oldest son and I stayed at this resort back in 2008(ah the peacefulness of a Disney trip with only one child), and it was beautiful. The grounds are quite lovely, and it’s so quiet. Out of all of the resorts we’ve stayed at in the past, this one had the least kids running around. Yes, I understand that when at Disney World, you will be subject to kids running around. But when I am taking a trip by myself for the first time, away from my own kids, the fewer kids I have to see/hear, the better. This resort also has a nice hot tub, which will probably be greatly appreciated after a long 13.1 miles. And to top it off, for the first time, Disney has moved their Expo from the Wide World of Sports complex to their convention resort, which happens to be Coronado Springs. It will make things so much easier, checking in at the Expo, doing a bit of shopping, and then being able to check into our resort all in one place. The Expo is a must because it’s where you check in and get your race packet and bib. It’s also a must because there is shopping, and what Princess doesn’t enjoy shopping?
So my room is booked and paid for, next up is buying my park tickets, and I’ll do that in a couple of weeks. There is a pretty sweet discount on park tickets for racers.
Now, to the most important “getting closer”. A lot goes in to planning a trip for a half marathon. But the most important thing is actually training, to be able to run/walk/crawl/finish that half. I’m spending all of this money on this little vacation for me, and that’s great, a Disney vacation is a Disney vacation and I’ll take it. But I did it all after committing to finish this. And training is coming along nicely. I will be honest, I certainly haven’t kept on track with the Galloway training program that Disney puts out. I’m ok with that, and think I’ll be ok. The holidays put a damper on my training, as did the cold weather. The good news is, one day several weeks ago, my neighbor knocked on my door. She knows I’m training for this and I had mentioned getting a treadmill. She had one, sitting her garage, and out of the kindness of her heart, she wheeled it over. She wasn’t using it and thought I could. So the excuse of too cold/dark to go for a run is now a thing of the past.
But the holidays did squash a bit of my motivation. I was already feeling a bit burnt out and the hustle and bustle of the holidays didn’t help. Work was a lot busier, there were presents to buy and wrap, shipping to be done, food to be cooked, parties to be had. But on January 1, they were over and I had to get down to business. I’m not one to make resolutions, but getting my butt into gear was a priority. I can somewhat comfortably do 6 miles, but before this past weekend, I hadn’t done anymore than a 10k. Last week I stuck to the Tuesday/Thursday running schedule. The weekend came and I planned to join some of the girls in my local Moms Run This Town group for a run at 8 am on Sunday. And on Saturday night(well technically Sunday morning as it was 1 am) I knew an 8 am run wasn’t happening. A couple of the other girls were planning on running at noon so I had planned to join them then. But Saturday night was rough, I couldn’t get to sleep until after 2 am, my youngest child was up in the night, and when Sunday morning rolled around, I was tired and grumpy, and I wasn’t going to make the noon run. I told myself I’d do my neighborhood or something. But after breakfast, the clock said 11am and I made the choice to go. I showered and got dressed and I left. I sure didn’t feel like it, but all of this training has taught me that exercise is not really your body calling the shots, but your head. Mind over matter. I told myself I needed to do 4-5 miles. I wanted to do more, but my head was telling me no. And I just started running. No quick pace, just my normal 11 minute miles. During the first mile I felt like walking, my body was fine, but my head was not. So I told myself I’d jog that first mile. Then I realized my body still felt fine, I wasn’t huffing and puffing, so I told myself I’d walk after the first 5k. I did the 5k and still, feeling fine. I kept jogging.
The loop I did consists of going down a road, through a park and out, further down the road, turn around and go back up the road. If you go all the way down the road and through the park once, it’s right at about 6 miles. You can turn around early and make it about 4.5 miles. After leaving the park, I planned the 4.5 mile route. But when I got to my turn around point, I told myself to keep going, all the way down to the end of the road. I got to the end of the road, a bit over 4 miles done, and I was still jogging. Somewhere coming back, I told myself to push past the 6 mile mark I was comfortable with, and decided to go back through the park again. As I approached the park, knowing I was less than half of a mile to the finish point(versus the additional 1.5 miles the park consisted of), it really sounded nice to just finish and head home. 6 miles is still good right? Nope, my mind and my body made the choice to keep going. And I kept going, I kept jogging. By this point, even though I had slowed down quite a bit, I was still jogging and had made the choice to jog, even if it was slowly, the rest of the way. I kept going and kept pushing and by the time I got back to my van, I had done 7.52 miles. I did not stop to walk once. I averaged just over 11 minutes per mile the entire time. Sure, my the time I finished, my knees were not pleases with me and my legs and feet were tingling, but I had done it. Yes, 7.5 miles is still a bit under 5 miles less than what I’ll have to complete in less than 8 weeks, but I’ve made a lot of progress, and I’m very confident that my future training, a solid chunk of sleep with no kids waking me up, and the excitement of the race will carry me across the finish line.