Sunday, July 24, 2016

And So It Begins ...

I haven't always been a runner.  In fact, growing up I went to some pretty great lengths to avoid running.  Then I got older and out of shape.  I decided I needed to do something for myself and running seemed like the cheapest, most convenient way to do just that.  Just walk out the door and bound around town like a gazelle right?  Spoiler alert: it's not that easy.

I was also trying to find a way to connect with my dad, a phenomenal runner (and I mean seriously phenomenal).  That sounds like a great thing - expert help for free!  Yes ... but also tough for someone at my level who didn't know the first thing about anything - the right socks to wear, sports bras, pace, distance, plantar fasciitis, fartleks, the list was eneless.  If you're reading this and don't know about them, don't worry.  I promise you're not alone.  Let's face it, for a simple activity, running can be pretty darn intimidating.

But I was determined.  I had heard about this new race called the Disney Princess Half Marathon and that had my name all over it.  I was going to do it and a February race took away all my excuses for quitting once the winter hit.  Starting was hard and I learned a lot of things the hard way.  I was naively surprised when things didn't work the same way for me and my dad - I know, shocker right?  Still, I was determined and excited - I was going to finish this race if it was the last thing I did.

I went to the expo and bought one of everything, telling myself that this would be my one and only.  Bucket list, check.  The morning of the race, I toed the line with thousands of other runners, "Princess Lindsay" printed on my bib, scared out of my ever loving mind.  It took me nearly 3 hours to run that first race and it hurt, bad.  But that sense of pride, accomplishment, elation and (maybe above all else) community when I saw others hobbling around the parks at Disney World later that day was undeniably satisfying.  This was it, I was officially a runner.
2009.  Let the medal addiction begin!
It wasn't long before I started lusting after the Coast to Coast medal (what you get for running a half marathon in both Disney World and Disneyland in the same year).  Ah RunDisney, you identified my weakness for medals early on!  And so it began, a life-changing love affair with running.  It hasn't been easy, but then nothing really worth anything ever is.  I wouldn't change it for the world either.  I've gone back to the Disney Princess Half Marathon every year since (Perfect Princess woo hoo!) and think of how far I have come.

Now I am in a different place - marathons and PRs and 8 Disney Princess Half Marathons later - where I am finding the most joy from helping others.  It goes back to that community and I want to help anyone and everyone else, no matter where you are in your relationship with running.  I'm pretty sure I have made every mistake possible and continue to make them.  I hope you'll also share your stories with me because let me tell you the learning never stops.  Thanks for reading and run happy!

- "Princess" Lindsay

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