As an avid daydreamer, I have imagined myself in exciting and fantastical situations throughout my entire life: winning an Oscar, being awarded an Olympic gold medal, being best friends with the cast of Saved by the Bell. The majority of my fantasies have yet to be fulfilled and will most likely never become a reality. However, one of them came true last month.
As a lifelong Disney fan, I had always been dreamed of participating in a runDisney long distance race. I was never athletic and running was at the top of my list of “Physical Activities I Hate the Most”. For some reason, something clicked in me last year and I decided to train myself how to run by using the Couch25k program. The conclusion of my program conveniently fell around the same time that registration for the RunDisney Avenger’s Superheroes Half marathon opened up. I talked my more-athletic husband into signing up with me, and once the registration was confirmed, we had eight months to prepare.
We took the training very slow. We worked our way up to running 11 miles two weeks before the race. I am so grateful my husband decided to take part in this adventure with me because in addition to being my favorite person in the world, we also held each other accountable.
When the weekend of the race approached, we hopped on a quick flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles and drove down to Anaheim. We spent the day before the race exploring the Disneyland Resort and went to bed extra early in order to make the 5:30 am start time.
Looking back, the day of the race feels like a dream. It was everything I thought it would be and more. When I approached the finish line, it felt surreal and real at the same time. Surreal in the sense that I had daydreamed this moment for years and it was actually happening to me, and real in the sense that I had trained eight months for this — I earned this moment.
Three days after I finished the race, I signed myself up for another half marathon. What once was a daydream has now turned into a hobby and an identity. I am a runner. I won’t be getting a gold medal anytime soon but I kind of like this one better.