That's not the case anymore.
Over the last few years, I have started the c25K (couch to 5k) plan several times. I didn't make it too far into the plan though - maybe week 4 or 5. I always had an excuse, whether it was my schedule or the weather. So why on Earth would I choose a half marathon?
Around Christmas 2011, my friend Katie told me about the Disney Princess Half Marathon. How amazing would that be?! We both love Disney, so it made sense. We talked about running the Princess Half in 2013. I haven't been to Disney World since I was 15 years old, and I was anxiously waiting for the day that I would get to go back.
I remember thinking at that time that there was no way I would be able to run a half marathon. Katie, who was also not much of a runner before (but also doesn't have the asthma issues that I have), said she just kept running. Every week, practicing. At that time, she could run for over half an hour straight, but it hadn't always been that way. It gets easier the more you run, she told me.
And so the little seed was planted.
Over the next couple weeks, I kept thinking about our conversation. A half marathon. That's 13.1 miles. I had never gone farther than 2 or 3 miles and even then, it was a struggle with a lot of walk breaks. Something changed in me at that point though. I suddenly pictured myself crossing the finish line after a half marathon. I saw it happening. I felt the emotions and saw the tears of joy on my face. And it was at that moment that I knew I could do it, if I tried.
I decided to set myself a New Years Resolution for 2012. I was going to train for a half marathon and if I was ready, my reward was going to be a trip to Disney World. I would run the Princess Half in 2013.
Now I never set resolutions at New Years. Sure, I talk about them, but honestly, how many people stick to their goals longer than a month or so? Something was different about this goal though. This time, I had the will to make it a reality.
In January 2012, I began the c25k program again. I made it to about week 4 and life got in the way, so I stopped. I ran on and off for the next several months. June arrived and I realized that if I wanted this half marathon to happen, I better get started again - and this time I needed to stick to it. I think it helped me that I had gained a bit of weight over the past year, so there was even more motivation to get healthy and stay healthy.
Running got a bit easier each time I went out. I was feeling better. I started to actually like running. I liked how it made me feel and how happy I was with myself that I was going to do this. The Princess Half 2013 registration would open in early July and I wanted to be confident I could do it.
At the end of June, in a freak lawn mowing accident (thanks, honey), I sprained my right ankle. Badly. I was on crutches for almost two weeks. I started physiotherapy because I knew I needed help to get my ankle back into shape again. (I should add at this point - I sprained this same ankle very badly in high school as well, so I knew it was going to be a tough road to recovery to strengthen it up again.)
The day the Princess Half 2013 registration opened was the day of my first PT appointment. I asked my PT if I would be able to run a half and she laughed at me. I kept thinking "NO! I have to do this! I have to be ready!" Then I realized she thought I meant a half marathon in the next month. She laughed again and told me that 7 months was plenty of time and I would be fine. I remember feeling so relieved even though I knew I would have to work hard to get back on my foot and back into training.
I went home that night and signed my husband and myself up for a Princess Half team. I was going back to Disney World! Suddenly, the half marathon was real. I paid my registration fees. I was actually going to do this!
I worked with my PT into the beginning of September and then I was on my own. I was running a bit again, starting off using 1 min run intervals with a bunch of walking in between. My ankle got stronger. At the end of September, I did the 5k Run for the Cure, finishing in about 40 minutes. I felt good!
Sometime during my PT, I discovered the Jeff Galloway training plans for the runDisney races. His method uses run/walk/run intervals and makes it possible for pretty much anyone to train and run for a half or even a full marathon. I knew this was the method I needed to use. Clearly the c25k method wasn't cutting it for me (given how many times I gave up on it!). In October, I began to train using The Galloway beginner plan for the Princess Half. It was happening and in 4 months, I was going to run a half marathon!
Photo: Courtesy of RunDisney
Next up: Training - easy in theory, not so easy when you were running outside and then Canadian winter strikes three weeks into your training plan.