Health and Fitness

Love for Disney Helped Me Become a Runner


I’m the person that hated to run. I remember in high school, I quit the basketball team and opted for softball just to avoid running suicides. I’ve always considered myself “athletic” because I like to play sports, just don’t make me run too much. I have also struggled with being overweight since I was 10 years old. My weight has ballooned up and down, and up and down….well you get the picture. I have tried Weight Watchers, (which works when you stick to the lifestyle) , Ian Smith’s Fat Smash Diet (didn’t work because I love food too much), and Diet Pills ( please don’t bother if you haven’t already). But nothing seemed to hold the weight off me. I knew it was because of one reason, I wasn’t active, not exercising! Losing weight and keeping it off requires both diet and exercise. I could no longer put half the effort into weight loss, for some reason I was intimidated by exercising.  After my 30th birthday, I decided enough was enough and I was going to once again start a weight loss journey, but this time the right way! I delivered my second child, recovered and was ready to go!  I wanted to be healthier for my family, and I was tired of the weight loss roller coaster.

Meanwhile, my husband had started his own weight loss journey. His exercise of choice….running every single day. My thoughts on this? Good for him, but NO WAY am I going to run, not a chance. I also didn’t want to buy another gym membership in which I knew would go unused and become a waste of money as it always has in the past. So while on Youtube one evening,  I discovered Hip Hop Abs. The reviews where a resounding must try! So I ordered the disk set, and began my work out routine.  I absolutely loved it! Shaun T is very motivating and made the work out so much fun! That same week I received an email at work about a program that  my job would be sponsoring called FIT (Female in Training) Club. This club would meet once a week to train for a 5k run/walk.  I thought to myself , “Hey I can do that! No running required!”, so I signed up. Then as the weeks went on, I started to grow bored with Hip Hop Abs :(. It just wasn’t as fun as in the beginning, because of doing  the same  routine, week after week after week.  So I started looking into purchasing his new T25 series, which was pretty pricey! I got hip hop abs for 20 bucks on eBay, but because this series was new, I couldn’t find it for under a $100.

Around this time I was preparing for a vacation to Florida for a wedding and a quick trip to my favorite place on earth Walt Disney World! My family and I had a great time, as always, and upon returning I was ready to plan my next trip back. But there was one problem, my husband wanted to take a year break from Disney and not return until 2016. I just couldn’t imagine holding out that long, I mean I was already having withdrawals thinking about it! And then it happened….I was on Instagram and someone I follow posted a picture of them finishing the RunDisney Tower of Terror 10 miler race. I thought to myself , hmmm I wonder if I can walk those races.  So I set out to the RunDisney website to read the pacing requirements. They do welcome walkers, there’s just once catch, you must be able to complete a mile in 16 minutes. I then looked for the race that I would be most likely to complete. The Expedition Everest Challenge is a 5k and coming up in May 2015. It was perfect! I am training to walk a 5k with my job and May is my birthday month and I could persuade my husband to let me go for my birthday!  Only one caveat, at that point it took me about 20 min to walk a mile, at my fastest pace. So I knew I would have to speed up to meet the 16 min/mile requirement.  On my next training day for the 5k, I set out to complete a mile in 16min. I knew it was impossible for me to do if I walked the entire time, so I started to run for a few minutes and walk for a few minutes. I completed a mile in 15 min with that strategy, and you know what? It felt great! I  had accomplished a goal I set out to meet, and the rest is history!

I completed my first 5k, and ran faster than any time I did during training, a 13:45 per mile pace! I signed up for another 5k in November and then a massive 15k in December! The human body is amazing, I always thought my body wasn’t capable of running, but once I set in my mind to reach a goal my body followed! I am so proud of myself, and how far I’ve come. And I’m anxious to see how far I can go. I am a beginning runner, so there’s great room for improvement, but I made that first step! Not to mention I’ve lost over 17lbs! Disney here I come!

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10 thoughts on “Love for Disney Helped Me Become a Runner

  1. I just read a couple of your posts and you are telling my story! I started with c25k to be able to runDisney, I have to girls who have brought out the love/magic of Disney for me, I am a BGR member too – the only difference is happily ever after ended up with just me, my girls, & a love of running!

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