Typically, when people sign up for their first race, the first thing they do is establish a training plan to reach their goal. All too often, while these plans are technically sound, they don’t take into account everything that can help you be successful when you set out to run a race. One suggestion I’ve given to all of the people running their first race is to “gear up now.” In this case, I am not talking about running shoes, performance “technical” shirts or other running gear. I am referring to something more intangible; something that allows you to stay focused on your goal. I am talking about finding something symbolic to help you maintain the right mindset during your training.
In 2008, after a couple of years of injury and illness, I signed up for my first runDisney event. While I knew what I needed to do to be able to run the distance, I also knew I needed something to keep me focused on my goal of running a race after so many years of being unable to do so. For me, it was an Addidas Sport Goofy shirt I ordered off of eBay. To some, it may not be the most fashionable of shirts. However, wearing it after a long run felt like wearing Iron Man’s Suit, swinging Thor’s Hammer or carrying Captain America’s Shield…you get the point (and really should see the Avengers). The thing was, whenever I wore it, I felt like I had already completed my race at Disney. More importantly, it made me feel more like a super hero than a middle aged guy prepping for a race.
The shirt wasn’t the only thing I bought. There was also a little lapel pin of Goofy running in a sweat suit that I wore to work every so often. Wearing it started as a sly nod to the long hours I was putting in training, but it became more than that. Since a Goofy pin on your lapel isn’t typical business attire, it led to conversations with my co-workers and unexpected encouragement and support to reach my goal.
One of my favorite pictures of myself at Walt Disney World shows me in my Goofy shirt. I am wearing it at a place I love, with my race medal around my neck, my arms around my kids and a big grin on my face. After long runs, I still wear that shirt as a reminder above all else, running should be fun, and from time-to-time, we all need to feel like superheroes.
Michael’s always been known as a bit of a Goofy Runner, and he has the shirt (and goofy grin) to prove it!!!
Michael’s all “frogged up” in his Kermit hat and a “Kiss me I might be your prince charming” shirt for the Disney Princess Half. Apparently Prince Naveen didn’t want to be left out despite being told there was room for only one frog in the photo.
Here are some of my Team AllEars running buddies and their running gear:
So remember, it’s just as important to add to your gear list those fun things that motivate you to celebrate the journey, not just the goal. Running a race at the Happiest Place on Earth is as much about having the right attitude as it is the right shoes. So get a runDisney shirt, buy some charms for your Pandora bracelet, put rockets on your shoes, or even carry a stuffed Goofy in your Fuel Belt. And while anything that will get you excited is fair game, please consult with your significant other prior to getting any tattoos. (Fine Print: The author of this blog post is not responsible for any tattoos, other than of the temporary kind.)
The previous post in this blog was Positive Peer Pressure.
The next post in this blog is Life is Better with a Little Pixie Dust.