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Last weekend I finished my sixth half marathon, the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon, to be exact.
Now I know what some of you are thinking, because before I ran my first one in February of 2009, I thought the exact same thing. 13 miles!?!?! Heck no! I don't even like running.
And you want to know a secret? I still don't...
It's the event that pulls me in and keeps me coming back. The accomplishment and soreness in my muscles. The ability to say 'I just ran a half marathon'.
My training differed for all six of my halfs. For my first two I trained big time. Followed Jeff Galloway's Schedule. You can find it here if interested.
|I don't really run like this...though it would be kind of|
interesting to see everyone's reaction if I did.
But I just really don't like running so I stuck with cross training (working out by doing something other than running. Ex: Spinning, aerobics, soccer, elliptical trainer, etc) for my other four halfs, including this one. It worked just as well for me.
I am a firm believer that anyone can finish a half marathon and each half I participate in only hardens my belief even more. At the Wine and Dine folks of every age, shape and size participated. Some ran the whole thing, others walked the whole thing and then there were folks like me who mixed in some walking with the running. There was even someone there on crutches.
It's important to incorporate exercise into our lives. It keeps us balanced, healthy, happy. I know that if you put your mind to it you can finish a half and I really think you should try. Just once.
As it is the event that keeps me coming back, I'll give you the nickle tour of the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. Maybe you can put it on your calendar for next year? I'd love to run with you! Though I'm pretty slow so you'd have to go easy on me...
All the half marathons I have participated in have had an Expo. It's where companies show off their wares, usually pertaining to healthy living and fitness. Anything from shoes to clothing to a new healthy granola bar. It's all there. Pretty fun stuff.
After the Expo my sister and I went and got some lunch/dinner where we had this amazing Tollhouse Cookie Sundae!
The Wine and Dine is a night race, starting at 10pm and after the race is done there's an after party at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival (hence the Wine and Dine Half Marathon). I will have a post later this week about the festival.
Disney provides transportation to and from their races. This is me and my sister on the bus. I don't know why but in many pictures my eyes bulge out of my head...whatever.
You get to the start line rather early and there is a pre-race party with a DJ and other ESPN spokespeople. Lots of people dancing and singing, taking pictures with Mickey and Minnie and talking to random other runners.
The race goes through three of the four Disney theme parks. It starts at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex. Then you run through the Animal Kingdom which is all aglow with neon lights and characters that looked like they've jumped out of a Disney's The Lion King Broadway Musical.
Then you run through Hollywood Studios, around the big hat and through a street that is lit with Christmas lights from top to bottom.
A little jaunt through the Boardwalk and around Epcot and then you're done! On to the party! (Which I will recap later)
Though I didn't train for this run I still managed to cream my previous half marathon times. I don't know my official time yet, but you have to take around 20min off the clock time over there (I was in a later corral, so we started about 20min after the really really fast people).
So you see, it's all about the event. At least for me it is. If you can keep at 16min/mile pace, you can finish a half marathon. And I bet you you'll do better than you think.
My next half is already on the books for February 2012: the Disney Princess Half Marathon. This one is for the ladies (though there are some men who participate).
I challenge you to challenge yourself. Give a half marathon a try!