As I mentioned before I did not complete the Dopey Challenge. This was by choice. When I registered for the race last year I only registered because ” everyone else ” was doing it. Also, Dopey is one of my favorite Disney characters. I do not regret not running the marathon part of Dopey, which made me a non Dopey finisher. I just regret that I did not learn sooner before spending the registration fee about being true to yourself, capabilities and interests.
What made me decide to run half of the Dopey challenge is when I was forced to go to Florida. I originally was going to defer Dopey for 2015 and not go on my trip. Personal circumstances made it so I had to take a trip down to Florida and I decided to run whatever I can. I was sick with bronchitis for a few weeks and I have not run in a while because of sinus issues. I really wanted to start training for the NYC 1/2.
I ran the 5k and 10k without a problem. By the 10k I was exhausted from the lack of sleep, being ill with bronchitis and I was not eating well at all. I was lucky if I had a full meal. Also by the 10k I was kind of bored with the course. In 2012 I ran the WDW 1/2 marathon, DL 1/2marathon and Wine n Dine. In 2013 I participated in marathon weekend again, Princess 1/2 marathon and the Dumbo Challenge. By the time I was back in 2014 I was sick of the same courses. I was truly sick of being at Disney. I didn’t even go to the parks and I certainly did not enjoy the 5k or 10k course. ( due to me being bored).
making the best of the runs
By the time I was at the start of the WDW half marathon, I was expecting to get swept. I was not mentally interested in the race, part of me was confused why I was even going to try and I was not feeling well ( I spent the night before puking). I decided since I made it to the start line, I will do whatever I can. I will let go of whatever could happen during this race and I let go of caring. I completed numerous of 13.1 races before. I had nothing to prove.
I started to run the race and was bored as usual. I was happy that I did not feel dehydrated and did not feel sick. I kept going and kept running. When I hit mile 8- the hundreds of people behind me were swept. Not many people understand what a sweep looks like. So let me explain what it is like to be in the back of the pack. First the water stations, entertainment and etc are almost gone. There is no spectators anymore, roads are starting to open and it gets quiet. People who are running the course start to cry and feel defeated. Some actually give up. Most of the people who are upset are upset over the reason why they ran. Some want the medal, some did it for charity and some had a goal in mind. Whatever the reason is they all feel like a failure. A lot of the times the people in the back are in pain. They been out there longer, they are battling a injury and they have bruised egos. Some cannot even fathom putting up with another hour of pain. They rather get picked up. Some are embarrassed. Anyways, I just did not care. I was more upset I did not run on the bus and go home so I can sleep. Since I was almost dead last I ran to catch up to the others. We started talking and I noticed some people were crying, some were angry and others were in pain. By this time the balloon ladies were passing us. We were told we were going to get swept at the next stop. I was aggravated because I just wanted the bus to come to me! LOL ( why am I going to get swept and have to continue to run more miles?!?!). After a mile of this torment the runDisney officials told us they were going to let us go and finish and we were not going to get swept. The police cars just followed us, the buses just left. At this time the people I was with started to have a little more hope. At this point I decided that since I no longer cared about this and the people around me did, I will do it for them. I all of a sudden started screaming ” WE GOT THIS LETS GO!!!!!!” and I started to run faster and repeat ” LETS GO!!” I noticed when I turned around the people who were once crying and felt defeated were following me. They were picking up their pace, smiling and were encouraging each other. I started clapping for the people I passed, encouraging others to keep moving and noticed the drastic change in the attitude of the back of the pack. Some of us ended up ” fist pumping to the finish.” The ones who thought they had failed dreams no longer felt like they failed instead they felt accomplished. I ended up crossing the finish with another woman who I met where we ended up encouraging each other and others on the course.
completing 13.1 miles
I have to admit this was the BEST 13.1 EVER!!!! It was a different experience and it really made me understand things better. I learned a lot about myself and I learned the importance of helping others ( hence why I do what I do for a living!) The irony in this whole story is I learned that letting go of your beliefs and just living in the moment will provide you with amazing experiences. Trust the process.
Until next time, LETS GO!!!!!!!!!