Getting psyched!

Happy New Year!

I often tell myself that if I were to be a baseball player, I would be a starting pitcher – who would probably not have a lot of complete games.  I’m so much better at starting things rather than ending them.  When I was a college student, I was great at starting the semester – fresh notebooks, new pens, neat handwriting, copious notes and study plans.  And then somewhere along the way I’d find myself limping into the last weeks and finals with nary a pen in sight and only a handful of illegible chicken scratch notes to study for exams. And I’d wonder where and when I lost my oomph.

I know my blog suffered in 2013 from that lack of closing.  I ran throughout 2013 – and I even ran three 5Ks (in July, Sept, and Oct). I had lots of ideas of what I wanted to write and share….but it never really came together. And thus it seemed this blog was going to suffer the fate of so many others.  Yet, here it is a new year.  A chance to “start” all over again. And maybe have a better closing 12 months from now.

And there’s no better way to start a new year than to go for a run. A long run – with medals at the end.  And Disney characters along the way!

This Saturday I’ll be running my third Disney Half Marathon (my fourth half marathon overall). And my sister requested a blog post so that it “becomes real”.  Here you go, Stacia!

The Disney race weekend has truly become quite the family affair for us.  When my husband Steve ran his first Disney in Jan 2011, he “merely” ran the half marathon and our kids and I cheered him on at the end. The next year, he ran the marathon while my sister and her husband joined me in running the half.  Actually Rob ran well ahead of us – but Stacia and I finished together.  Last year Steve chose to do the Goofy while Rob and Stacia and I stuck to the half.  So all four of us crossed the half finish together while my parents and kids cheered us on.

This year we are all running this half again – and we’ve added two cousins and one uncle to our merry troop!  My uncle (Paul) and cousin (Nicole) have run the 5K before – and they decided to up their game this year.  My other cousin (Mary) has finally gotten her knee fixed and ran circles around me this year.  And my parents, our kids, and my aunt will all be cheering us on at the finish.

And what an interesting group we shall be.  My training has not been what it should have been.  (Lots of short runs – not so many long ones.) And I think that’s possibly true of everyone except Steve and Mary.  Steve ran his first Space Coast Half Marathon just after Thanksgiving.  And Mary has been racing like crazy. But the rest of us have had our share of busy-ness this fall.  Again – closing out the year less strong than we perhaps wanted or planned to.

But it really doesn’t matter. I’m psyched anyway. I get to spend a few hours (hopefully less than 3!) with some really cool family members.  And the weather will be warm (a plus for everyone winging it down here from DC and NJ during this frigid weather period). And we’ll be running Disney!  And we’ll get a medal and t-shirts.

Disney is not a great race to try to PR in – namely there’s just too many people. But given that it was my first half – I got the PR. And last year (while I never quite blogged about it) – I did shave some time off my PR. I remember the moment it dawned on me that I could have a new PR and I just kicked it during mile 11.  (Okay well then I slowed down again – but I really pushed for those last miles.)

But the strongest memory I have of running last year is not that last kick….but the fact that I was running with my sister, my brother-in-law, and my husband. And they all stuck with me – slow running me. I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that I have some awesome family members.  Ones who will stick it out for the long haul and be by your side no matter what. I think I might have gotten weepy around mile 6 as I was considered that fact. But that didn’t last long as Stacia probably yelled at me to hustle and stop crying.  That’s what sisters are for.

Anyway – I am sure this won’t be my fastest half marathon. But it will be fun. And it will be a great way to start the year.

Here’s to starting strong – and finishing strong as well!