The words "half marathon" are intimidating to most, even the most seasoned runner. Although it was somewhat nerve-wracking to participate in my first ever, official, organized half marathon, it was a truly remarkable experience, and I advise everyone to partake in one during their lifetime. Throughout this grand event, here are the top three things I learned from the experience:
1. Don't let the anxiety overcome you. Sometimes the waiting can be UNBEARABLE. Having nearly ran this distance several times before did not stop the stress from setting in. Throughout the pre-race rituals of a pasta dinner, plenty of hydration, and going to bed abnormally early, the anticipation only grew; gradually, the weight of doing well increasing became heavier. But all that disappeared the next morning when it's too early to worry, the starting gun goes off, and joy of the achievement makes you realize that there was never really anything to worry about.
2. Every true Disney-lover should consider doing a runDisney event. Having been a lifelong Disney enthusiast, along with an avid runner, nothing was more perfect than having the experience to run in the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland. Running through the park and Downtown Disney, lit up by twinkling lights, one can't help but gaze in wonder at the magical world surrounding them. The best part were the characters that lined the course, prepped and ready for any participant to swiftly take a break and take photos, creating the most ideal photo-ops. And what could beat crossing the finish line to Mickey and friends cheering you on?
3. The most important thing is to enjoy the experience. In whatever way applies to you, whether it be racing for time, or conversing at a relaxing pace with some friends, this is what it's all about. You just finished 13.1 miles! How many others have done that today? How many have done that in their lifetime? There is no reason anyone can be disappointed with that, particularly when a plethora of endorphins are coursing through your veins.
Casey and her dad at the TinkerBell Half Marathon