by Sara Rhodes
How many of us have heard “you are going to Disney, again!?” For a gal like me who has made the trip from Illinois to Florida over 30 times in my 31 years, I have heard it too many times to count. My answer is usually a “uh huh” or “yep”. I don’t know if they would have the patience to hear my long answer….
Our family’s love of Disney started when my dad was a kid, watching TV with his eight siblings. Growing up as one of the youngest in a big family, he wasn’t quite as spoiled as my sister and I have been. As a kid, Dad would watch The Wonderful World of Disney, and dream about the day when he could go to see the Disneyland castle for himself. He hasn’t made it to Disneyland yet (Fall of 2013?), but he has been on countless trips to the Disney World Resort with his own children, in a variation of that childhood dream. Mom and Dad have worked hard over the years to provide for my sister and I, and they still take us on vacations even though we are in our 30s.
We already have thousands of happy WDW memories, and we’re still adding family members and memories to our list. We all agree that life is better with a little pixie dust, and every trip has given us hours enjoyment on the trip, but hours of happy planning pre-trip.
As many times as we have visited, no two trips have been alike. We have been there during the holiday season, for quick weekends and for extended multi-week stays. We’re always thinking of new ways to change things up and my latest discovery has been the runDisney races.
runDisney, the latest love
A few years ago I took up running to get back into athlete-like shape, and I ventured off to the WDW resort for my first ever half marathon. Since then, I have been hooked on the runDisney series, and on the new running family I found along the way: Team All Ears. I now have another excuse to book a plane ticket to Florida, even if it does mean running a half marathon! It adds yet another layer to the (delicious) onion that is the WDW resort, and now you can head to Central Florida for rest, relaxation, rides AND to get in some exercise.
Disney races are some of the best I have done, mostly because of the pixie dust they add to every race. Themed races, such as the recent Tower of Terror 10 Miler, are fun for the swag and cool medals. The Marathon Weekend in January has an expo that, in my experience, is only second to the Chicago Marathon Expo. The crowds are amazing, and running in the parks is something special.
Running isn’t just for the most fit and athletic people. Running allows for people of all walks of life to join in, and runDisney does a good job of making sure that everyone of every level is included. Kid’s races and family friendly 5ks are great for shorter distances. The half and full marathons allow for a 16 minute mile pace, which is generous in the running community. Jeff Galloway partnered up with runDisney to help out with training plans, many of which are used by Team AllEars. But the important thing is this: No matter where you finish in the order of results, your medal shines just as brightly as anyone else’s.
Not sure how to get started with running? Check out runDisney.com for the Galloway plans. Visit your local running stores to ask about shoes and running gear. here are many running magazines that have online resources for people of every level. Soon, you’ll be able to check out the allears.net weekly newsletter for insider tips about the runDisney races from our very own Team AllEars members.
Find a running friend who wants to go on a journey with you. Having a friend to get you up in the morning, hold you accountable for the food you eat, and ultimately travel with you to race is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Start small. Check out a local 5k, or if you already have a Disney vacation planned, see if there are any races going on during that time. Remember, no matter how small or how slow you start, it is better than not doing anything at all.
And next time someone says “Disney, again!?”, you can answer “Yep! Life is better with pixie dust…and some sweet race bling around my neck!”
The previous post in this blog was My Team AllEars Journey.
The next post in this blog is Journey to a Half Marathon.