I don’t know whether it was that I had adjusted to the time zone, overcome my travel-tired or thanks to daylight savings time, but when I woke up for the runDisney Half-Marathon, I was so pumped. I was so ready to go. It was still 3:00 in the morning but there was nothing stopping me from going.
I got there, got a coffee, chatted with a fellow from Montreal and a fellow from Kentucky. It was still dark and a bit windy, but there was no rain and it was definitely feeling warmer than both previous days. When the race started, it was actually hard to slow down because I just wanted to run. In the exact opposite way of everything I just described about the benefits of taking it easy on runDisney races, I was just dying to run. I had to actively slow down my thoughts to slow down my body. Harder than it sounds.
The sun was rising during the race, which it had not for the 5K or the 10K. There were more characters along the route. I could actually see the park because it wasn’t pitch black and I wasn’t simply ready to get back to sleep and warmth. Such a difference. There was energy and enthusiasm and the readiness to go.
I was technically doing “The Two-Course Wine & Dine Challenge”, which is the 10K and the half-marathon. The 5K isn’t included but I registered for that separately. If I’m coming all the way to Florida and risking my life with alligators, I am most definitely doing all the races (but staying away from swamps or the sound of tick-tock-tick-tock). This means I end up with a medal for the 10K, the half and one for doing the Challenge. Plus the one from the 5K. I have four pretty hefty medals to bring home to put on display. I really hope someone got my reference there to Peter Pan.
Regardless of the medals. Regardless of the character photos. Regardless of the parks. I was there to run because I love running. Yes, there are endorphins that come with getting up and the excitement of an event. This was not just it. It was the love for the movement, pushing myself the way that I hadn’t for the 5K or the 10K and for knowing I had the time to enjoy the run. Enjoying the run for itself and not for any other reason.
I thought this would be the only time I would come to Florida. It’s across the continent and while not that expensive to travel to, certainly a long time. Then I remembered how much I loved these races interspersed between training and mountain-climbing endeavors. The half-marathon reminded me that it doesn’t always have to be serious for me. Running can come from a place of love. I don’t lace up my sneakers for just anything.
“Relax, it’s Only a Half-Marathon” – Hades from Hercules. Shirt, Day 3.