Yes, YOU Can Finish a runDisney Race! by Kate Melody

Two years ago I was not a runner. Not even close. I had just had my fourth baby. Okay “just” really means one year prior to that, but in mommy time that year goes fast! I looked at the photos from her practically perfect Alice in Wonderland themed first birthday party and realized that my “baby weight” had become “actual weight”. I did not like myself in those photos. I’ve struggled with weight my entire life, so I know how difficult it is to lose, and I knew I needed some real motivation.

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For a huge Disney Parks fan, what was better motivation than dressing like a princess and running through Cinderella Castle? My best friend convinced me that it was possible to go from couch potato to finishing Disney’s Princess Half Marathon in 8 months. I bought a used jogging stroller, a Couch to 5K App for my phone and some new gear. I remember when after the third week, the App wanted me to run for 5 minutes without stopping. I just knew I could not do it. I was scared. I decided to do the prior week’s 3 minute run for a second week in a row because I was chicken. But the following week, somehow, I ran for those 5 minutes. The beginning was tough. Thinking about running for 5, 10 and even 20 minutes without a walk break was intimidating. But I had already signed up for my race, and I told everyone I was going to do it, so there was no backing out now. In fact, I convinced my equally out of shape mother to do the race with me. She admitted later that she thought it was 13 kilometers not 13 miles!

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One of the reasons I love runDisney events, is that you don’t have to consider yourself a runner or be super speedy to have a successful race. For folks who may find a local half marathon intimidating, a runDisney event is welcoming to slower participants. For runDisney endurance events such as 10K’s and half marathons, participants must be able to maintain a 16 min/mile pace. With some training and effort, many people can maintain this pace with a fast walk or run-walk-run technique. Many people like my mom. Did I mention she is turning 67 this month? The middle and back of the pack of these events is full of fun loving folks in tutus and costumes having fun. If you feel like you don’t look like a runner, “Hakuna Matata,” because you’ll fit right in!

After two years with that used jogging stroller I have lost 40 lbs, and mom and I have completed three runDisney Half Marathons. We just returned from Disneyland’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend with not just our Tinker Bell Half Medals, but our 2015 Coast to Coast Challenge Medals. And if we can do it, YOU can do it!

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