Longest Post Ever – Three Big Races!

I want to take a minute to process the fact that I have several race registration confirmations sitting in my e-mail inbox.

I order a lot of things online and I like to keep confirmation e-mails in my inbox until I receive all the things. I am NOT one of those people that has 4,683 unread e-mails. I obsessively clean out my inbox and I only keep e-mails that I need. I have a few folders for storing e-mailed receipts, pictures, and other things, bla bla bla. Anyway, it’s always fun for me to open my e-mail and see confirmation e-mails because it means I can track my package and it will be in my possession soon!!!

This time, however, there is no USPS code to track. This time there are confirmations for two half marathons and one full marathon sitting quietly in my inbox. A half in September, a half in October, and the full in January. I’m freaking out! I’m not really freaking out. I’m probably 80% excited and 20% freaking out. Maybe even 85-15. But the freak out is still there. Running a marathon is one of my top bucket list items! And here I will be completing it at the spritely age of 23. I am very proud of the fact that I have had the guts to challenge myself to train for these races – I paid the [expensive] entrance fees, so I’m all in. But every once in a while I still have the fleeting thought, “what the heck did I get myself into?”

I think that’s normal when chasing a big dream. I have a similar feeling about nursing school, for which I am applying in October to start in January. This will include quitting my full-time, cushy, benefit-receiving office job and diving head-first into an accelerated second-degree nursing program. *asdlgkfe;aglskj* That one is more like a 60-40 freak out ratio.

I have just begun my Hal Higdon half marathon training plan for my September half. I’m doing the Half Marathon Novice 2 plan. So far, so good. The long runs are up to 7 mi so far, which felt amazing to complete (I walked a few times. No shame. Still went 7 miles). I’m looking forward to the rest of training because it feels SO GOOD to go farther than you ever have before. I am proud of myself for being disciplined.

The reason I’m doing so many races so close together is kindof a funny one. (Probably actually not funny at all so don’t get your hopes up.) I first signed up for the Cocoa Beach Half on October 25. My family always vacations at Cocoa Beach so it seemed like the perfect place for my first half marathon. Nostalgia plus a sunrise run on the beach? Yes and amen! A friend of mine is training for this one with me, so that’s pretty fun.

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Then….I got the itch to look at marathons. I knew I wouldn’t have time to train for a marathon during nursing school, so I decided I better pick one before the program begins. Behold: The Walt Disney World Marathon. I’m actually not a Disney fanatic at all – we had a pass one year and we wore out our welcome at Disney – or more like Disney wore out its welcome on us. But I figured that while I live in Orlando, I better do the Disney one! Even though I’m sick of going to the parks, I can’t doubt that it will be an amazing experience to run through the parks with no crowds and see other parts of the Disney grounds I’ve never seen before. Mr. Hal Higdon’s plan said that running a half and a full marathon close together is not a problem; he actually recommends it in his plans. The only problem I discovered was that Disney now requires runners to submit a “proof-of-time” in order to be placed in staggered corrals. For my non-running readers, this means that a group of fast runners cross the starting line first, then the next fastest group is released, and so on until the walkers cross the starting line last. This helps the course to run a little smoother, so slow people aren’t clogging up the route for faster people. So Disney asks that you send in an official half-marathon time, or else they will stick you in the last corral. I debated just going with that – it probably wouldn’t be that bad in the last corral, right? But then I ran an EXTREMELY crowded and slightly disorganized 5k and it was the tipping point for me. It’s super frustrating to not even be able to jog slowly due to all the walkers around you. Dodging walkers is annoying, exhausting, and just unsafe. Unfortunately the Cocoa Beach Half is a few weeks beyond the cutoff date for proof-of-time entries, so I needed to find another half marathon to run.

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Walt Disney World Marathon

Enter the Volition America Half Marathon. This one is located right in the middle of Orlando, in mid-September. Enough time for me to complete a full half-marathon training plan, enough time between the Cocoa Beach Half to rest a little and finish my friend’s training plan with her. Best of all, I will have an official time to submit for Disney so I won’t be stuck behind a ton of walkers in Disney character costumes. I wasn’t too excited about the VA HM at first because the course isn’t in a particularly beautiful area to me (I like nature, dudes. Not the middle of a city.) But it has been growing on me. It will be a nice course to get a solid first HM time and I think it will be a good experience. Plus it supports the Armed Forces which I am 1,000% always about. I’m hoping I can get my sister and her former-Marine husband to come cheer for me. That’s what family is for, right??

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So that’s my explanation for my crazy, when people start to see that I’m signed up for three long races in the span of four months. #YOLO

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