Adding a FULL Marathon?!

March 14, 2012

Aurora and Caylan
Me and my hilarious sister

While we’re talking about planning the schedule

I’ve asked my sister a few times if she’d like to do some running events with me. She loves being athletic – playing softball and volleyball. Our dad is doing his first half marathon this year. So why not her too?

She would never have it. “Running? Boring. Hard. Pointless.” Etc.

I figured she would be a lost cause, until one day, whenever she finds something that made her want to run. I’d be here whenever she was ready.

I mentioned to my sister, “There’s this thing called the Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney World. It happens to fall on the very final weekend of my 52 in 52 challenge. It’s a half marathon on Saturday, followed by a full marathon on Sunday. I think that might just be the best/most exciting/biggest thing to end on.”

My sister: “Oh, a DISNEY race?! Let’s do it!” This idea that I had only put out there in passing has now become her new obsession. She is oh so into it, that’s she’s totally gotten me into it. The Disney races aren’t my favorite races… But this will be a big, fun challenge to end on. (I think. I mean, if you’ve got better ideas for January 13, 2013, hit me!)

If I do this Disney one, you know what that means, right? I’m going to have to run an additional full marathon this year.

I have dreamt of my first marathon for four years now. I don’t want to do one in an admittedly fun place, but a place that isn’t too significant to me for no other reason than “just because.”

Marathon medal from 20th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon (2013) - It says "all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them"
(Spoiler alert: I did do the Goofy Challenge, and it was in fact inspirational, amazing, and all-around wonderful)

Don’t get me wrong. I am incredibly inspired by Walt Disney. I look up to him a ton, and want to be a lot like him in many ways. However, running-wise, the Disney races don’t really mean anything to me.

I’ve actually been signed up to run a marathon twice in my life. (Let’s hope the third time’s the charm.) I had the time of my life running the 500 Festival Indianapolis Mini in 2009. I was becoming utterly obsessed with running. I signed up to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona marathon taking place in January 2010.

In January 2010, I was in Massachusetts General Hospital every few days getting my blood taken to make sure my blood thinning medication was working – since in December 2009, I was in the hospital for a week with a blood clot on my heart. I also had my meeting with the heart surgeon for my open heart surgery the week of that race. So much for that marathon.

I was cleared to exercise again on June 22, 2010. I struggled a ton coming back (but that’s really a story for a whole ‘nother post). A few months later, I registered for Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle taking place in June 2011. It fell right on my birthday. I thought it would be the best way to ring in my next year. I have family that lives in Seattle, and I had gotten my uncle and cousin revved up about doing the half.

They did the half, and of course experienced incredible joy. I just couldn’t get it together. I wanted to so badly. I struggled way more than I would ever care to admit (but will go ahead and freely admit) while coming back from all that surgery/hospital business. So, I just didn’t go to Seattle.

Aurora running at Rock 'n' Roll Seattle 2012
At Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle – not doing my first full marathon, ’cause I’d already done it earlier in the month…

This can finally be my year. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle half is already on the schedule. I could easily switch it to the full. There aren’t any races I need to do for two weeks leading up to it, so I will most likely have the freshest legs that I’ll have for the whole year. It won’t quite be my birthday yet, so I could still run the race within the same year that I had originally planned to run it.

I’m 98% sure that the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle FULL marathon is going in the books. It’s just crazy. I didn’t plan on doing any fulls this year. It just seems so… incredible, breathtaking, magical, (insert your own words here).

I guess play time is over, my friends. It’s time to prep for a grown up race now!

[Edited to add: Later in the year, I changed my mind, and decided to make my first marathon the week before Seattle – The Mohican Marathon. It was important to my family to be at my first marathon, so I agreed to run one in Ohio (even though it’s on a trail!).]

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