September is here! I recently did the Disneyland Half Marathon on my birthday because my friends suckered me into participating in Disney's Coast to Coast Challenge. For those who don't know, runDisney offers an additional medal for those who complete a marathon in Disneyworld and Disneyland in the same year. Really, I just wanted to go to Disneyworld. And that third medal. Anyhow I did DisneyWorld's Half Marathon in January of this year, and just this past Labor Day finished with Disneyland's. Let this be known. I am not a fit person. I do not run on a normal basis. I go to kickboxing class about 3 days a week only because if I didn't I would look like a hippo. If I had my way I would eat carbs and desserts all day and never exercise. Unfortunately I was gifted with what I think is the slowest metabolism in the world and if I so much as look at a cupcake I gain five pounds. True story. Weight has and forever will be a constant issue in my life. Buuuuut I DID A HALF MARATHON. How?! Honestly I have no clue. If you asked me a year ago to do a half marathon I would have laughed in your face. For the half in January, I worked out the week before we flew to Florida. I ran 3 miles one day, and then the next day ran 9 miles. Five days later I finished a half marathon. Two hours and 59 minutes, but I did it! More importantly, I didn't stop. Funny enough, I told myself at that time that I would totally train for the one in Disneyland. HA! If anything I ran less, just 3 miles three days before the race. But I finished that too! What an experience. Some things that I learned about while doing the challenge.
1. It's all mental.
Really. Those sayings about running being 90% mental and 10% physical is true. By mile 5 my head already started playing games with me, but I kept telling myself 'Don't be a loser, you have to finish.' I always always looked for each mile marker, boy did they help boost moral. Especially at after mile 10.
2. It's mostly about having fun.
Face it. I'm not going to be first, second, or third. EVER. Maybe like 14497th. Mostly everyone is there to celebrate fitness/personal goals and in Disney's case, taking pictures with the characters and enjoying the run through Cinderella's castle/ the backlots of Disney parks. Stopping to wave at Mickey, high-fiving Donald, or cheering along with everyone else makes it an easier run and keeps the mind off other things, like aching joints.
3. That you can push yourself a lot farther than you think.. if you just stop thinking
I really never thought I would be able to run 13.1 miles. I cringed at a 6k and only competed in 5ks. I really surprised myself at finishing my first half marathon. I'm always saying "I can't do this I can't do that" however, at that time I was so nervous about it I just didn't think.. and followed everyone else around me. And then I was done.
Best thing about the challenge? Disney. I saw that it was the norm to run dressed in disney characters.. and at this time I am obsessed with Once Upon A Time's Snow White/Mary Margaret. Soooo the first time around I was lazy threw together a pathetic looking costume.
I just sewed ribbon on a dri-fit shirt and made a fugly skirt.
And some of these runners go ALL OUT. The costumes they made were so cute. So I swore that for the one in September I would make a cuter one.
I found this pattern at Jo-Ann's during a sale. Got it for $1 :) Love sales.
I also found this pretty knit 'dance' material. It was light-weight and similar to that of dri-fit. So I went with it. I picked the Alice costume, changed the colors and omitted the apron. It actually was super easy because I didn't have to worry about lining or zippers. When I was done, I thought that it needed a collar, and never having made a collar on a dress before.. I just winged it. It came out pretty awful but you can't really tell.
The dress. Pretty satisfied.
The dress in action. Of course when I saw her I ran back and waited in line to take a picture. I couldn't not.
Laaaast thing. During the expo they had a stand that framed your medals in an awesome way for $200. That was their 'cheap expo discount'. I was tempted.. but the cheap side of me won out and decided to try to make my own. I bought a shadowbox on sale at Michaels... about $8 and went to work.
The end result.
Ugh. It took me about 3 hours of cutting/repasting to figure out what I liked and how to get the darn medals to stay in place. And I still don't really like it. I tried to pinterest it.. but all I really found was stuff like this and I wasn't sure how many more halfs I'll run. Oh well. I'll leave it be until I figure out something better. Ideas?
**Ending note. Today is 9/11. No matter how many years have passed the victims of that tragic day will never be forgotten.