I can’t believe a month has already passed since my first 5k. In some ways it feels like it was eons ago, and in other ways it feels like it was just yesterday. If you’re new around here, you may want to catch up a bit on my fitness journey I began in September.
I am not a runner by any means, but I have always wanted to participate in a 5k, just for the experience. My mother-in-law is a Disney fanatic, and when she told me Disney had 5ks and marathons in their parks, I suggested we do one. I’ve never watched a Star Wars film, but this particular race was the closest one that wasn’t sold out. My only regret is that I didn’t sign up for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend this November when I had the chance.
One thing I learned about Disney races is that you have to register early! This particular 5k race, which fell under the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side, was sold out within a few hours.
We decided to stay at a Disney hotel to make race day easier. Our day began at 4am since we had to be in our race corral by 6am. I showered, got dressed, and spackled on a bit of makeup. Yes, makeup. I mean, my pictures were going to be taken and I didn’t want to look like a hot mess express, haha! Plus, it was only a 5k (starting at 6:30am) so I wasn’t going to be sweating profusely, anyway. We were done by 7:15 and we took our sweet time walking + jogging, and taking advantage of multiple photo ops along the way. Disney World scheduled the Star Wars 10k a few hours afterwards so they wouldn’t have to endure the brutal Florida heat. Many runners used the 5k and the 10k as warm-ups for the Star Wars Half Marathon the following day.
I loved that Disney had photographers throughout the course. Every time I saw one I felt inclined to do something goofy. But more importantly, it pushed me to look like I was at an actual race course and not taking a leisurely stroll through the park. Fake it ’til you make it, right? Also sorry, not sorry, for all the peace symbols!
One thing I was surprised at was the ease with which I was able to jog. Before I knew it, my poor MIL would be far behind me. Whoops. Earlier last month I started Ideal Fit’s 15-Day “Runner’s High” challenge. I did it not because I desire to become a runner, but because I felt my weight loss had plateaued a bit. I wanted to change things up to see if I could burn a bit of fat by introducing a new challenge to my body. That’s one of the options recommend to me if I felt I hit a plateau. The other option was to decrease my calories. Since I eat roughly 1570 calories a day, I didn’t want to have a larger deficit while weight-training.
Truthfully, I did not finish the 15-day challenge as planned. I missed one or two training days in the end, but the walking to jogging ratios were pretty aggressive and better suited to someone who doesn’t have joint issues. From what I’ve read, I probably have more fast-twitch muscle fibers and I do better at weight-lifting than running. But more on that in another blog post.
I knew that there would be lots of photo ops in the course, but I was surprised that there were lines. This race was definitely not one where I was trying for personal bests, because it was at Disney. DUH. P.S. Did you know Chewbacca was so tall?!
Right after we took a picture by the Storm Troopers we just started walking. We thought at this point the end was near. Nope. We hadn’t even hit mile 3 yet. *shock emoji* Friends that started a whole 30 minutes after we did had already caught up with us. At this point we couldn’t let them pass us! So we started booking it towards the finish line!
Here is where the finish line was in plain sight. I was so happy to cross the finish line, not because I was tired, but because it was the end to something I had been preparing for! You can see the faces of the people around me were also relieved to see the end in sight, haha.
I did it! I finished my first 5k!
Would I do another Disney race? Absolutely. As long as I’m willing to sign up 10 months or more in advance.