by Heather Melito-Dezan
The title says it all.
This is the reaction I get when I tell people about my latest endeavor. I don’t really take offense to this statement because I too can hardly believe I have signed on for this.
I am a 34 year old married mother of a nine and (nearly) three year old child and I have found every excuse in the book to avoid exercising and getting healthy. I have always found something else that needed to get done. For years friends have been telling me that I have to take time to take care of myself and my response has always been the same-- “I know, I know.”
Over the past 10 years or so, I have been an on and off member of a local gym, though my last “on” has been a few years. I am not a runner…I have never run more than a couple miles on a treadmill, but I knew I had to start somewhere so why not start at Walt Disney World?
In January 2011, my husband and I participated in the Buzz and Woody Best Friends 5K in Walt Disney World (our second home). From the time we registered for the race, we intended to train for it, especially since it was our first ever race, but life got in the way and we found every excuse not to get out and run.
We finished in about 46 minutes, which wasn’t too bad for someone who had not trained at all for the race but still, it was not where we wanted to be. We decided during the 2011 Marathon Weekend that we would certainly be back for 2012 Marathon Weekend, but this time would bring the kids along to participate too.
In March I registered my husband, my son, and myself for the 2012 Family Fun Run 5K and was trying to convince myself that I could complete the Half Marathon, but several times I clicked in and out of the registration for the Half Marathon without committing to the race.
During Marathon Weekend 2011, I had seen people of varying levels of fitness participating in the Half and the Full Marathons and thought to myself that I had no excuse not to do it. Still I was hesitant, so I visited www.allears.net, specifically the Team AllEars Running Blog and I read the blogs recapping experiences of team members during 2011 Marathon Weekend and their fundraising efforts.
The stories were so inspirational and helped push me toward registration for the 2012 Half Marathon. I saw that Team AllEars 2012 registration was also open, and I sent an email to Michelle telling her that I wanted to be a member of Team AllEars. I figured that at this point the only way to get me moving in a healthier direction is to have another purpose as well. I also needed that final push to hit the register button for the Half Marathon and Michelle provided that push for me. I registered for both the WDW 2012 Half Marathon and Team allEars 2012.
My heart was pounding the whole time I clicked through the pages.
This is the first time since I was in school that I have attempted to do any serious fundraising. When I approach people to tell them my story and ask them if they would be willing to help out, their initial reaction is one of astonishment, even from people I don’t know that well. Initially I thought that the reaction was an unintentional insult to me, but then as I continued the conversations, I discovered that many of them do not think they could ever go from being a non-runner to a half marathoner.
This is the same thing I still struggle with each day, but I in the end I tell myself I can do it. Of course, I have those days where I struggle to get to that point, but then I visit our Team AllEars FaceBook page and grab a little inspiration.
Since I am really still a beginner at running, I am taking it slowly and trying to get out and jog three days a week…I hope to get up to four days a week. Some days I get out only two days, but at least I get out. Sometimes my son comes out with me and that helps keep me going.
I have participated in one local race thus far and intend to fit in a couple 5Ks and a 10K before January to get myself ready for the big weekend. I have even recruited my best friend and my sister-in-law to run the local 10K this fall with me…I am such a bad influence.
You’re running a half marathon? YES, YES I AM and I am doing so with purpose!
The previous post in this blog was TRACK, TRACK, TRACK.
The next post in this blog is Run/Walk Strategy Basics for Runners and Walkers.