She emerges

It's been months since I've updated.

I'm now a San Diegan.

I'm working at a gym.

I'm training for a bikini competition.

Then I ran this half marathon that I did not train for today...

So obviously, an update is in order to explain WHERE THE HELL HAVE I BEEN!

Race Recap: The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend - Part 3

Moving and traveling across country is tough! Doing a video blog proved to be a lot easier for me during this time in my life!!!

The Goodbye Run

This was my "Goodbye Run" at the C&O Canal.

Though some may say that the canal is flat, boring, and repetitive, I find it beautiful and adventurous. I've logged thousands of miles on this path in the past 5 years so it is needless to say I've gotten to know the area very well.

I know it so well that I can point out which tree stump, campground or rock marks a mile in any direction where I start.

The canal helped me grow from running 3 miles to 50 in those 5 years. I remember running my first 10k in Williamsport thinking I was so badass then! But in a year's time, I was able to run my first marathon from Clear Spring to Taylor's Landing.

However, that was still a far cry from where I ended up just over a year ago. I ran 30 miles in preparation for the JFK 50.

Not all my runs on the canal were perfect, however. There were days it where flooded and prevented me from going far.

Or it would get icy and the concrete portion of the canal at Big Slackwater would be very dangerous.

There were also days the weather was perfect, but I managed to trip and bang up my knee (the day Peter proposed).

Speaking of Peter, once he started running, the both of us took many dates to the canal.

It led him to run longer distances. He has now run 3 marathons, most of which were trained for on the canal.

The canal has become a part of who I am. So today, when I ran knowing it would be the last time I would be as a Maryland resident, it was very hard for me. The canal has become that friend that I've shared good times and bad. It has seen my laughter, my tears, my pain, and my victories. I've spent countless hours on this stretch of land. More than some of my friends have probably seen me! Though it may sound terrible, it's true and further proves why I will miss it so much!

But life goes on. There will be more "canals" that I will find in San Diego, I'm sure. Also, I will come back to visit so it's not like I will never run here again.

Still, it was almost as if it was my security blanket path. I felt very comfortable here and now I have to learn to trust another path with new people. Goodbye, comfort zone! But this is an opportunity for me to grow as a person. This will be a good thing.

Anyway, here's some memories from my final C&O Canal run...until next time. Peace out!

Race Recap: The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend - Part 2

On to day 2 of the marathon weekend!

After having an amazing 1st race, we were amped to get the ball rolling on our 10K. I had no idea what to expect for this one as I did not previously research the course, but I knew that Disney wouldn't let me down!

Unlike the day before, this race started at 5:30am, 30 minutes earlier than the 5K. With that said, you would think that I would have either woken up at the same time, if not earlier. Ha! Peter and I actually overslept by a few. But it wasn't anything that threatened us from being on time. Thankfully, we both had our belongings laid out the night before.

I LOVED my tank. I was so gracious that my old team at work had given this to me as a going-away gift. They know how much running is apart of my life and that I would be running in Disney just days after I left there for good. So I had to do them right and wear it. It fit perfect and I think I look great in yellow! ;-)

The race seemed to be about the same in size. I actually think there were fewer runners participating, but not by much. We were still in corral H and the start began much like it had for the 5k. Corrals were released in waves, only I think they went a lot quicker this time. Before we knew it, we were off!!

This race, I remembered to use the bathroom just before getting into my corral. I also drank less that morning to avoid my full bladder because that was a huge downer from the day before. Running on a full bladder is super uncomfortable!

But anyway, this race didn't go as I expected. Sure, I was feeling good, but the course was pretty bland. I mentioned something to Peter about it and another runner also commented on it in the same way. We were running on long, dark roads outside of Epcot with nothing more than some lit up mile markers an large TV screens playing music and video from time to time. I was a little disappointed in that aspect. I knew that we were going to be entering Epcot, which would make up for this, but I would have never signed up for the 10K to race alone. I would have been very disappointed as a runner that only did this race.

As I expected, entering Epcot around mile 4 definitely made up for it. I had the same euphoric sensation as I ran through the park, music blaring, and me singing Let It Go at the top of my lungs.

Peter and I finished in an hour.

Like I said, I would never run this particular race during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend unless I was doing it as a challenge. I mean, running through Epcot was great, but this race was basically the 5K with an extra 3 miles of running around dark streets.

Sorry, I couldn't bring a more thrilling account of this particular race, but stay tuned! There is a surprising twist of events to come!

Race Recap: The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend - Part 1

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard that the Walt Disney World Marathon took place this past weekend. In fact, it blows my mind that it has already been a week since the 5K went down!

Before this year, I had only participated in one RunDisney race: The 2015 Walt Disney World Half Marathon. I signed up when Peter and I decided that we were taking our honeymoon in Orlando. Actually, I almost didn't get to participate since it was technically sold out, but they later reduced the amount of Goofy Challenge registrations (Half and Full marathon) and opened up the field for more half only participants! You can read more about it here.

Not long after our visit, it was quickly decided that we would be going back to Disney ASAP so I began saving up money immediately. But not only were we going to partake in a Disney race, Peter thought it would be great to sign up for the Dopey Challenge. For those of you who don't know what the Dopey Challenge entails, it's when you run all the races that are held during the WDW Marathon Weekend. That includes a 5k, 10k, half and full marathon. A total of 48.6 miles in 4 days!

Honestly, I was not completely on board with this idea,  BUT I would not let my own husband show me up. As soon as registration opened in March, we were signed up!

So FAST FORWARD to January 4th.

We flew out of Baltimore to Orlando and went straight to the expo. It was way bigger than what I remembered. Overwhelmingly big!

We went to pick up our bibs, shirts, and then look around to see if there might have been anything that would have tickled our fancy, but we ended up being super frugal. Because we aren't currently working our normal 9-5 jobs, money is to be saved, not spent! So all I ended up getting was a Dopey Challenge magnet! Besides, we received a lot with our registration!

Who needs more race shirts when they give Dopey Challengers 6!? As a challenger, you get the 5k, 10k, half, and full shirt. In addition, you also get the Goofy and Dopey Challenge shirts! I seriously never have to get another workout shirt. All these races have me set! I think they should start giving out shorts or sports bras.

After the expo, we checked in for our hotel for the evening. We ended up getting the same place we had when we went on our honeymoon, but totally upgraded on the room.

We also had an AMAZING view! We could see Epcot from our room and the fireworks from both Epcot and Magic Kingdom.

For those of you who want to know, we went to the B Resort Hotel & Spa. The room we had was the Signature Master Suite. Definitely recommend that place! They will do you right!

Anyway, enough about the hotel! Back to the recap!

We didn't go to any parks that night because for those of you who don't know, these races start really REALLY early. All of the races begin at 5:30am, with exception of the 5k, which begins at 6am. The race staff also encourages you to show up between 3-4am if you aren't being shuttled by a Disney hotel. This will allow you to beat the traffic and avoid missing the race! So getting up at 3am or sooner is not unrealistic at all! We got up at 3 and were out by 3:30.

When we arrived at the start, we had plenty of time to kill, so Peter and I stood in an incredibly long line to get pictures with Dopey.

Worth it!

And after that long wait, we were able to hop into our corrals for an additional 30 minute wait. I feel like Disney is big on long waits. Haha! But it's a small price to pay for an amazing race! Seriously.

We were in corral C, so once the gun went off, we had about 15 minutes or so until we were officially sent across the start line. They sent us off in waves rather than unleashing us all at once. These races are HUGE and I think they estimated about 12,000 runners. So in order to make sure we had a good race, they dismissed us every few minutes, just like most Rock n Roll races. Unfortunately, by the time we were given our start, I had to pee BIG TIME! But I wasn't going to stop off at a port-a-potty for a 5k. I figured I could handle it for 30 minutes or less.

As soon as I started running, my bladder was really unhappy. I had my flip belt on and my phone inside was pressed right up against it. Every step I took, it felt like my phone pressed tighter against my bladder! I swore I was going to pee myself, but I managed!

The first mile of the race was outside of Epcot on some of the streets surrounding the parking lot. It wasn't the most entertaining place to be, but they had to make it a 5k somehow without overcrowding runners by doing circles in the parks.

It was all made up for once you entered Epcot! You were welcomed with Disney songs, character stops, and the feels (for me anyway). I belted out lyrics to my favorite songs, posed for a ton of photos, and forgot all about my urgency to use the bathroom.

At one point I asked Peter "Is it weird that I'm kinda getting emotional?" He replied without any hesitation, "Yes."

We finished the race in about 30 minutes, which was well-above what we are capable of, but we had to remind ourselves to hold back for the races ahead. We still needed to have plenty of fuel in the tank to get us through 3 more races. Especially the full marathon! It wouldn't be a true Dopey Challenge without finishing!

But surprises were ahead that would make this weekend very unique!

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I go through the 10K, Half, and Full Recap!!!
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