I've been running for 6 months. For 3 months, I was running 2-3 miles a day, 4-5 days a week. And I was loving it. I signed up for my first 5k at Disney World, to celebrate that I could actually run, in my favorite place, and as an excuse to bring my beautiful princess to see her favorite princesses for a weekend.
And then the s%&# hit the fan.
Lilly being choked at school changed my world. Realizing that she was bullied and pushed on a daily basis made it so I couldn't breathe. And pulling her out of that school took away any potential time that I had for running.
So I stopped. I focused on my girl, which is what I needed to do at the time. I spoiled her and made sure she was well taken care of. And somehow while nurturing her I somehow healed myself. She did nothing wrong; we did nothing wrong. Sometimes bad things just happen, it's our job to take our lemons and make lemonade. And ours was delicious.
But the month went by, and I hadn't run at all since the day before she was choked. And then we went to Disney World for the race.
I was still planning to run, after all what kind of mom would I be if I tell Lilly she has to follow through on things if I become a quitter?
And then the day before we left, I hurt my neck and back lifting Lilly up to give her a ride on my shoulders (of course). And then the day we flew down there, I added a migraine to my ailments.
I went to sleep the night before the race, thinking: if I can just lose the migraine, I can deal with the back pain and run this race, even if I haven't run in a month. I can do it.
And when the alarm went off at 5:30 the next morning, I sat up and said: Oh crap. My migraine is worse than ever.
And then I thought, let's do this.
So I quickly got dressed, tied my running shoes, and walked down the hall to get a cup of coffee in the club lounge. Which lifted my mood, especially seeing another race runner getting one as well. I pinned on my number, and walked downstairs and out the door towards the Ticket and Transportation Center, where the race would begin.
And my head and back hurt so much, and I turned back around and walked back inside and upstairs to the club lounge and got another cup of coffee. Yes, I'd still walk over to the starting line, but I wasn't going to rush.
So second cup in hand, I started the walk yet again through the pitch black grounds of the Poly. I got to the Ticket and Transportation Center around 6:15, started talked to a mother and daughter who were running their first race. Walking, actually. Which made me think, if I can't run, if I can't breathe, if my head hurts too much, if my back is in too much pain, I can walk it if I have to, but I'll complete it, mess as I was.
And then I walked to the middle of the runners, thinking I might still end up walking part of this race, but let me start it running.
The next 30 minutes went by quickly - there were dj's (dressed like pirates?), Mickey and Minnie showed up, and the crowd was excited. Finally, 7 am, they declared that the race would start and fireworks shot into the air and we were off!
I started running at a slow pace, there were too many people around me. The runners then thinned out a little as we were passing under the monorail line. I looked up and saw the monorail go above my head and thought: I can do this. I ran towards the Contemporary and was excited to see it. We got to where the busses pull up to the Magic Kingdom and I grabbed a cup of water. Then into Magic Kingdom.
Running down Main Street was amazing. Seeing the castle for the first time this trip, having MK employees cheering for all the runners, and watching characters take pictures with the runners as they went by. I kept running, past the Pirates of the Caribbean, past the castle, into Tomorrowland. A random character from Alice in Wonderland was taking pictures and as I ran past he gave me a "thumbs up" and I cheesily decided: I can run the whole thing. Training or not, I'm ready.
I ran out a back exit into an employee parking lot, out a gate, and down a side street. A guy from the Haunted Mansion was taking pictures with runners next to a freshly shoveled grave; odd but funny. Suddenly we weren't too far away from the end; we were backtracking the route that we had taken into the Magic Kingdom. Past the Contemporary, past the monorail line above us. I kept going and running was no longer hard, I was in the zone.
I ran to the finish line, sweaty but happy. I picked up my goody bag, took my picture, and walked back to the Polynesian.
And? My back pain and headache were completely gone. Weird.
Lilly and Jon were at the pool when I got back. Yes, it was only 7:45 and yes, Lilly was frozen solid and happy as a clam.
And I was starving. I convinced them to get out of the pool and get breakfast with me. We went to Kona at the Polynesian and maybe it was the race or maybe the food really was amazing but it was the best breakfast I've eaten. Tonga Toast and Macadamian Nut butter pancakes and scrambled eggs and french press coffee. And Lilly ate a whole plate of scrambled eggs and cinnamon toast so I know she was happy as well.
My wonderful husband then had daddy daughter morning with Lilly at Hollywood Studios, while I showered and organized the room. It was especially important as it was the last day the High School Musical show would perform, and they caught it twice that morning. They also went to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, before returning back to the hotel for an early nap (we had a late 1pm checkout).
At 1pm when Lilly woke up, we were back at Hollywood Studios for another HSM3 showing, Beauty and the Beast (which Lilly LOVED now that it's one of her favorite movies), the afternoon parade, and the Little Mermaid. Lilly was amazed watching all these shows; she was so excited and clapped ferociously when each song was finished.
We got back to the hotel around 5, and my parents were there to pick us up. You see, the clock had struck midnight and we were all turning back into pumpkins... We were checking out of the Polynesian and moving off property for the rest of the stay.
Up next... after such a magical day, how would the rest of our trip compare? Would we survive the rest of the week - and the first time in years - off property?