I love to run. I love the challenge of completing long distances, seeing where my body can take me and that rush of accomplishment that comes at the end of a long day of hitting the road or trails.
For me, movement is a big part of who I am. Whether I dance, hike, run, kayak, bike...I'd much rather be moving than staying in one place. It's even evident in where and how I live...always moving as a kid has translated into a nomadic home life as an adult.
But, I'm getting off track.
This past weekend, my parents and I headed south with the snowbirds to Orlando, Florida to check out the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. It's a great place for a weekend of running with a 5K on Friday to kick things off, a half-marathon the next and then a full on the final day (Sunday). You can do any combination of the runs you like and it truly was a family affair.
Every morning began with an early 3 AM wake-up call and a quick ride on buses over to the starting line of each race. Bagels, bananas and water were always the first order of business!
My mom and dad completed the 5K on Friday...my mom's first! I was so proud watching the two of them cross the finish line together...my mom with her Tinkerbell wings on and my dad snapping photos as she cross the line. The music was pumping and I was jumping up and down as they made their way through Epcot and to the end. It was a great morning for it and everyone out there was so supportive of one another...just the way I like it!
On Saturday, dad and I ran the half-marathon course together, stopping every now and then to take pictures with the characters from Pirates of the Caribbean, The Nightmare Before Christmas and in front of Cinderella's castle. The route took us from Epcot to the Magic Kingdom and then back again. This was my third half-marathon with my dad and running with him is always a lot of fun. I was so proud of him and we held up our hands in victory as we crossed the finish line! The heat and humidity were intense so we were able to take our time and really enjoy every part of the run...even the massive crowds!
I've never done a marathon following a half-marathon, but this weekend I would find out what it was like! Knowing that the temps were in the 80s and humidity at 100 percent, I wanted to make sure I paced myself, but also did enough in the beginning to avoid the sweltering heat later on in the day. I had a BLAST on the course as it wound its way through Epcot, the Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom (where I was only half-joking about wanting to free all the animals) and then through Hollywood Studios before making our way back to Epcot. Running through the parks and seeing the crowds really boosted my energy and I felt great during the entire event. It was definitely hot and humid and I'm so glad I was able to finish in the time I did!
For the rest of the weekend, we just relaxed and took our time. We didn't visit any of the parks, but instead, spent quality time together just hanging out, having meals together and walking around Downtown Disney.
It was a great way to spend time with my parents, made even sweeter by our accomplishments on the road!