Sunday, April 13, 2014

Life after Dopey Challenge....


2014 Walt Disney World Marathon
Dopey Challenge
    It seems that no matter where I go or what I do, most people "know" me as "that Mom who runs the Disney races". Cool by me. I wouldn't have it any other way. In fact, I LOVE that part of my life. But in reality, that's just a very tiny portion of my life. It's no secret that my entire family loves Disney, we always have. You can find hints of Disney in every nook and cranny in my home.  Picture frames, magnets on the fridge, vacation scrapbooks everywhere and help us all, the coffee mugs!!! I couldn't imagine ever NOT running runDisney races now. Yeah. It's what I do.
      However, I will say that I wish I had a dollar for every person that I've convinced to go run a Disney race though, I could probably pay for a registration or two by now. ;)

    Here's the real story. Running Disney is not all that I do though.... For those who don't REALLY know me in real life, let me introduce myself! Let me just say REAL Life again. I don't live in cyber world 24 hours per day. I am a real normal human Mom. I'm a Mom to three kids, (one daughter who is learning to drive, one daughter who is about to be a teenager and one son who is "all-boy" and takes care of his Mama anytime he can), wife to a hubby who coaches every sport that my kids have ever played, My 89 year old Grandmother lives with me and has for the past 10 years. (We joke that she's the old lady in my basement). I'm in Sales and travel covering three states, I'm active where ever I need to be active with my family and I live in a two-redlight town in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama! Did I mention that I'm 41 yet??? Hey, I'm proud of it. LOVE being in my 40's. I feel the confidence to be a little more outspoken about a few things. And it's true. I wish I knew in my 20's what I know now in my 40's. I would have ditched a few people that I needed to ditch a long time ago if I knew some of the things that I know now.  I graduated with a Social Psychology Degree with a minor in Sociology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I love crazy people. The crazier the better. I'm a dang good cook. Love my Crimson Tide Football. I'm a Southern Baptist Girl...I got charm, I tell ya! ;)

     WHY am I writing all of this???

     I recently had a conversation with someone who asked me about Dopey Challenge. They asked me was that all that I did?? Did I even HAVE a life?? Did I like it? Would I ever do it again? Apparently, people just cannot grasp the concept. "Woah. 48.6 miles. Amazing. Unbelieveable. Inspiring!!"

     Those are the words that I heard them say. However, in my mind..As I was running, I'm thinking. "Day one. Mile one. 5K Done. That was easy. Day two. Twice as much as yesterday. Two more days to run. 10K, Oh yeah. I got this. Day three. Main Street! The Castle! This is Hard. I love this. Tomorrow is going to FREAK me out. Caution Runners Speed Bumps Ahead. Hey look, It's Mickey again. Let's stop for another pic. Half Marathon...WoooHoooo! Let's eat! Day four. This is the last morning. Hallelujah! Main Street! The Castle! Mickey AND Minnie together...gotta get that pic! All four parks! I need gels. I need Powerade. Awww it's The Festival of the Lion King crew. GET ME TO EPCOT. I love this. Wipe the tears.  OH MY GOSH I LOVE THIS. I SEE THE FINISH LINE. YESSSSSSSSS. 48.6 Miles..HOLY MOLY!!!! I DID IT!!!!!!!

     Brief recap of what was really going on in my mind. And really, I was saying most of this out loud to my running pal! Or at least I think I did. Maybe now I've got some of that love for crazy people coming out of me.
Minnie and Mickey waiting for us at the Castle..Gotta stop!
     Dopey Challenge was a process. It wasn't just 48.6 miles. It wasn't inspiring or amazing. It was training. Hard work. Running when I didn't want to. Staying away from the french fries. Not eating the sweets. Wiping out the negativity. SO many people telling me that they weren't sure that I had it in me. I registered for it. I trained for it. I wanted it. I earned it. Mile by Mile. Step by step. Four early mornings. Running with friends. Having the time of my life. I would totally do it again.

     Not just "Wow, you just ran 48.6 miles."

     I would be willing to bet that you could ask any of the people that ran that race their thoughts and we would all have differences of opinions. I'm not analytical so I don't get wrapped up in alot of details that others do. I can handle any kind of weather. I'm not a complainer by nature. Some liked the course. Some were sick of the course by the end of it. Some thought it was too crowded. Some thought we needed more entertainment. Some thought it was perfect. Some can't wait to register again. Some would NEVER do it again. I live for experiences. I don't want to ruin the surprise of what's coming up so I don't look at course maps ahead of time. Again, I like to "run in the moment."

     But I would be willing to bet that they would ALL tell you that it was a proud proud moment of accomplishment when they crossed that finish line on the fourth day that no one could quite put into words. If they don't tell you that, then there is something wrong with those people!! Be proud, folks!

     So there you have it. I did have a life. I did love it. I am going to do it again. In fact, I am one of those people that have it on my calendar to get registered immediately when registration opens. I don't wanna miss out!
This picture....Totally worth all of the hard training miles!
Love!!!
     Now here's the part of running Dopey Challenge that NO ONE prepared me for....I ATE LIKE A HORSE for at least a week once I got home! It wasn't very Princess-like. Next year, I will be better prepared for that. I will be stocked up on steak in the freezer for when I return! I spent more money at the expo than I ever needed to. I'll start stashing now for that too. Four races, four different options of "well...I gotta have that too." I felt like I was cheating on Mickey with Donald and cheating on Goofy if I bought the Minnie and not the Dopey. Shirts, Vinylmations, Coffee Mugs, Alex and Ani Bracelets. You get the idea. I need a Disney Sugar Daddy! LOL. joking...just joking!! Let's just say that I'm the proud owner of about 12 new shirts from that weekend and don't even get me started on the New Balance shoes. ohhhhh myyyyyyy!! Either way, the whole experience from start to finish was a ton of fun and I wouldn't trade it for anything!

     I hope to see you all in 2015. It's the 10th Anniversary for Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge and the new medal looks GREAT! Get registered over at runDisney.com. Registration opens at noon on April 22nd. Training starts June 1st for me!

     Happy Running and see you at the Castle!