ALL ABOUT KARI

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ALL ABOUT KARI

ALL ABOUT KARI ALBRECHT EARLL

RUNNING WITH MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

LOVES TO RUN: HALF MARATHONS AND MARATHONS

 

What is your inspiration, and motivation to be a runner?

I started running as a way, to be active. I had no idea at the time, that I had MS, until about a year after I had started running. Since my diagnosis, I am motivated to keep going to show that we are capable of so much more than we can ever imagine. I want to make sure that my daughters take notice of my tenacity and drive to continue.




How did this goal come to you?

My first neurologist discussed with me how important it is to stay active. He used to tell me that I ran more than he drove his car, and I laughed at him. I really did not run that many miles.





What marathons are you running?!

I have completed two full marathons, trained for four, but had issues surrounding two of them that prevented me from finishing. I am currently on a path to finish a half-marathon in every state with my husband. I do not think I will be attempting a full again for some time.





Which marathon, are you most excited to run?

I was super excited to run the Joplin Memorial Run the 1st year they had it. It was a great year for me regarding my running and I think I hit a peak with my performance that year. I am currently working to get back to that performance level for a half.





How were you diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis?

I had been experiencing headaches for some time with blurry vision. After a year on medication to stop the headaches I was still having vision issues. I had complained of fatigue for years but was just told it was probably related to a busy life of a working mom. When the blurry vision wasn't going away and I started telling my Dr about my confusion and inability to focus on multiple tasks he sent me for an MRI, and here we are. Diagnosis date 5/24/2013.





How can you manage your symptoms?

My symptoms are mostly fatigue, and then some cognitive issues when I am exhausted. So, I must remind myself that I need to get some rest when I am overworking. I realize that I need more rest than others, and I have found massage therapy helps with muscle spasms.





How did you start running?

I started running on a treadmill by walking/running. I would time it, walk for so many minutes then run, gradually increase my run time and decrease the walk time. I progressed pretty quickly. I started the end of March 2012, and by May I ran my first 5k and in October 2012 my first half-marathon.





Do you have a running buddy?

I have several, but the most important one is my husband! He is my biggest supporter. He does not even like to run, it is what he will tell you, but he does it with me and we are enjoying the travel.





How many marathons and half-marathons have you ran?

Honestly, I can only tell you that I have completed two full marathons, because I would have to literally count the medals from all my half-marathons to know. I have lost count of them. I have completed eight states, since we started our state journey last year.





Where do you keep all your medals?

I have a medal hanger now for the states we have completed, but I also have just a wooden dowel rod hanging in a room in our basement that has most of them on it.

The only other ones not on those two are, the ones I have earned from the Joplin Memorial Runs I have done. That race is in my hometown and benefits the tornado victims. So, I have a special hanger for those. Since it is full, I guess I will have to figure out what to do this year when I get another one this year.





How do you balance work and running?

I used to run in the morning before work, but at some point. I fell off that wagon and started running after work. Since I do not run every day it is manageable to run either before or after work. When I had time, I have run during a lunch break as well.





How do you marathon train?

Marathon training is such a different beast than half-training. So, I usually try to find a plan that works with my schedule. One that will allow me to be able to fit the weekday runs in either before or after work.





How many miles do you run weekly?

That depends if I am training or not. My average yearly mileage is around 800 miles a year. So, it just depends. Some months may be 100 miles, and then I may have a month with 40.





How does running make you feel?

Running is certainly a stress relief. Sometimes, I get started and I think I am so tired, but after I get going, I remember the phrase, ‘the first mile is always a liar,’ and then I keep going. Running makes me feel strong and powerful, but not in a way that a bodybuilder is strong. The body is capable of what the mind believes, and that is the strength I feel.





How do you fuel on the run?

I use stinger chews, or Swedish Fish. I suppose I could use my fruit snacks as well. I do not like the gels anymore, they started to bother my stomach.





What is your typical diet?

This is a funny question! Ask my friend and she will tell you I am powered by donuts, but I think it is pizza and Taco Bell. I do not eat healthy by any means. I tell everyone I run, so I can eat what I want. I mean, why else would you want to keep running?





How do you style your hair, on the run?

Ha, in a ponytail of course. I always wear a headband to keep the strays away from my face and help with the sweat. I love Bondi Bands headbands and the great phrases on them.





What is your favorite running apparel?

Oh boy, my sparkle skirts for sure. I love running in them. I have gone to even having custom ones made, which is expensive, but my husband does not seem to mind. I have had some custom shorts made for him so that we can match, and he loves the kilts they make for men. They have amazing pockets on both legs of the compression shorts underneath the skirt, and then there is the zipper pocket in the waistband. I can carry water, my phone, my fuel, keys and so much.





Do you have a funny race memory?

Oh yeah, when I finished my one and only sub-two-hour half-marathon the official race photographer caught me crossing the finish line at just the right moment, and it has become an infamous picture in a running group of mine. I get made fun of so much for it, but then again, I made fun of myself for it. It is absolutely horrible, but I felt fine after five more seconds, just terrible timing.





Do you have advice for other runners?

My best advice is to just run your own pace and enjoy the runs. Take time to look at what is around you, see the beauty in the world on your feet. Do not listen to music when you are running, mostly because using headphones is a safety concern, but you cannot appreciate the surroundings with headphones in. Sometimes it is the sounds of nature in the early morning that you just do not want to miss.










Please help fundraise for Multiple Sclerosis:

Finish MS: Grandma's Marathon & Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon 2019

THAT PRETTY RUNNER

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ALL ABOUT NORA

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ALL ABOUT NORA

ALL ABOUT NORA GOCKING

RUNNING WITH MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

Loves to Run: Half-Marathons and Marathons



What is your inspiration, and motivation to be a runner?

I did not become a runner until after my MS Diagnosis, in September of 2015.

I was 350 pounds and before diagnosis. I had MS flares that left me needing assistance to walk, speak, and even write my name. I knew what it was like to be very dependent on others and with my diagnosis, I feared that dependence would only get worse in the future.

Then, I researched and decided to change my diet to combat the disease along with my medication. I began Whole30/Paleo/No Grains, Sugar, Dairy type diet and weight melted off my body. 180 pounds to be exact.  You can read more about that here: https://nottodayms.com/2018/01/12/you-dont-eat-bread/ 

After about a year, I heard about Cheryl's story and became inspired to pick up running and train for my first half marathon. Today, I say my inspiration is mainly the fact that I CAN run. I am not guaranteed the ability in the future, really none of us are. Today, while I can run, I will run!



How did this goal come to you?

My husband and I began saying "Not today, MS" shortly after my diagnosis when we would have a small victory. Victories like having the energy to visit with my family when I was suffering from fatigue; when the fears of MS tried to rob our joy and we chose instead to celebrate the ever-so-small victories of the day, instead of dwelling on the fears of the future.

When I had lost weight and was feeling better, the thought of crossing the finish line at a half-marathon felt like the coolest way to declare "NOT TODAY, MS!!!" so that became the goal. To date, we have finished two half and one FULL marathon, and we are training for another half this spring.



What marathons are you running?!

I am currently training for the Derby Mini-Marathon in April in Louisville Kentucky, and I will be running a half-marathon virtually with the team during the Richmond Weekend.

I am looking for a race, but my husband and I may just decide to run 13.1 in our little town and check in with live videos with our team to cheer them on as they run that weekend.😊



Which marathon, are you most excited to run?

I ran a marathon with our Run a Mile in My Shoes team in October, and I was so excited to run in a new city and for that distance with such a cool group of MS runners and their supporters. Now, I am just excited for any race we get to do. Each one is a victory over this disease and over my past.



How were you diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis?

I am going to link two of my blog posts here because they tell the story well. I feel like I got lucky.

My diagnosis came after only 2 years from my first exacerbation. They say the majority of the damage is done in the first 5 years and it takes most 5 years for most people to get a diagnosis. My first exacerbation was the worst.

It was on June 27, 2014--read about it here: https://nottodayms.com/2018/01/15/june-27-2014/

The exacerbation that gave me the diagnosis happened in September of 2015. That weekend, I had double vision and dizziness, and honestly thought I had an inner ear infection. A trip to urgent care turned into an ER visit that turned into a two-day hospital stay, two MRIs, a Spinal Tap and a diagnosis of Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. It was a whirlwind and devastating at the time. However, I look back now and realize how fortunate I was to have doctors who fought for an answer; when I just wanted to go home and hoped things would get better on their own.



How can you manage your symptoms?

Diet, exercise, rest and a treatment that works for me. I feel like the key to fighting this disease is all the above...

You cannot just change your diet and ignore treatment advice from your doctor, and you cannot just take treatment and eat donuts 24/7 and lay on the couch.

It is a healthy balance of diet, exercise, quality rest, and treatment, or at least that has been my experience. I also believe in having a neurologist you TRUST completely. I come with a list of questions each time and my neuro is patient, and gives me sound guidance on everything I am doing with my running, eating, and just daily life.



How did you start running?

I literally ran one minute, walked a minute, for as long as I could. I stayed consistent and went out to run three times a week and tried to increase my running time each time. Two minutes running, one-minute walking, etc. Until, I was able to run a whole mile! I about did a cartwheel I was so excited! I have now been able to run two half-marathons and a full-marathon. There is nothing quite like the accomplishment of running.



Do you have a running buddy?

Yes 😍. My husband, Brian!

Brian is the quiet hero in my story. Every crazy thing I have ever wanted to do, here is right by my side encouraging me, joining me, making it happen. When I wanted to change my diet, he said, "When do we start!?!?" and gave up grains, dairy, and sugar too :).

As a result, he lost 50 pounds and ALSO picked up running! He is a better, faster runner than me, yet he insists on running right by my side when we are out together. He has been right there with me for every victory and every heartache. He is so much more than a running buddy—he is my best friend 😁.



How many marathons and half-marathons have you ran?

One marathon, two half-marathons.



Where do you keep all your medals?!

In our office, on this medal hanger my friend helped me make for Brian for Christmas!




How do you balance work and running?

It is not easy! Training for the marathon was like working a second FULL time job. Everything revolved around training. What I was eating, how much sleep I was getting, what I was doing in the evenings before a big run. It was a huge commitment for all of us!

My kids helped a ton so that we could get the rest we needed and kept our house from looking like an episode of hoarders :). My mother also helped a ton with babysitting, washing my dishes, and creating a little cheering squad on my front porch when we would be coming in from particularly long training runs.




How do you marathon train?

We are three-time-per-week runners. We try to throw some cross training in there too. I generally like a sixteen-week plan for half-marathons and did a twenty-week plan for the marathon. I just searched until I found a plan that worked for our lifestyle.




How many miles do you run weekly?

Depends on where we are in training, but usually we aim for ten-miles if we are just maintaining and up to 25-30 miles, when we were in full-marathon training.

How does running make you feel?

Tired 😊.

Honestly, the first mile is always a challenge. It is a mind game of self-doubt. Then, the legs get warm and we get lost in conversation, or the beauty of nature, and I look at it as a form of worship to our God.

We were made to do this, and it is a time when all distractions can get drown out. It is mentally cleansing for sure.




How do you fuel on the run?

For anything under 90 minutes, we are good with water only. For longer distances, or particularly hot days we will take electrolyte pills every hour, they help to replenish any electrolytes lost in sweat and I also like to eat raisins.




What is your typical diet?

Lots of whole foods.

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and coffee with coconut milk.

Lunch: Spinach salad with chicken & apple sausage and whole30 compliant guacamole.

Dinner: Usually a healthy protein with lots and lots of veggies.




How do you style your hair, on the run?

For training, it is wadded up in a messy bun, so it is out of my way with a moisture-wicking headband.

For races, I will try to style it in a pony tail that looks kind of cute for pics and wear a headband that does not clash with my shirt😊.




What is your favorite running apparel?

I am a big fan of compression pants and tank tops, but my favorite running apparel item is my Balega socks. They have been running-life changing😊. Cannot run without them.




Do you have a funny race memory?

Hands down this moment in this photo. No one can prepare you for the isolating feeling you have while running a marathon, even if you do have a running buddy. It is so long. It is so lonely. It is so incredibly hard and everything in you tells you to quit. However, this moment of crossing the finish line... WORTH. EVERY. MINUTE. Worth every lost toenail, four to be exact, worth every blister, worth every sore muscle. I will remember that moment for the rest of my life and I am so glad I shared it with my husband.




Do you have advice for other runners?

Enjoy the run. The beauty of being slow is you know you are not at risk of winning, so you just try to do your best and enjoy. We all love PRs and beating our best, but make sure you run at a speed that you can enjoy the run.

Take in the scenery. Laugh at the signs in those races, there are some pretty incredible ones 😊 and chat with your buddies.

After all, we are all running a marathon in this life, right? Let us enjoy the ride. The finish line will be waiting for us so let’s just enjoy the run.




Lots more stories and info on my blog:

nottodayms.com




























THAT PRETTY RUNNER

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All About Rose

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All About Rose

ALL ABOUT ROSE

LOVES TO RUN: 5K to MARATHON  

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How did you start running?

I came to running in a roundabout way. I used to compete to a high standard in Taekwondo and then I broke my ankle, so I could not compete anymore. I was disheartened by it all, until I tried running for fun instead of running for cardio. That was when the obsession began and I have not looked back. I have still loved other sports (road cycling, climbing, netball, tennis, rowing) but nothing is as challenging or rewarding as running.

 

What is your most memorable running moment?

Nearly every mile of the Paris Marathon. It was my first marathon and it was the most beautiful sunny spring day. Paris is one of my favourite cities so combining my love of running with my favourite city was the perfect way to do my first marathon. I was so proud of myself and happy with my time.

 

Where is your favorite place to run?

Although, I live in a city, I love running in the countryside and try to as often as I can. My favourite place to run in Bristol is along the river Avon out of Bristol towards Bath. It is quiet, only the odd runner and dog walkers. It is beautiful all year round, even in the winter when it is so muddy you may as well be running through a pig sty.

 

Do you have a favorite distance to run?

Half-marathon is my favourite distance- its longer and more enjoyable than a 10k, but you do not have to plough as much time and effort into training as you do with a marathon. I am more of a cart horse than a race horse so the longer stuff suits me more. I think I have the potential to do much better over the half distance compared to 10 or 5km.

 

What is your favorite race memory?

During Paris Marathon at the 30km mark. I just kept thinking I feel good, and being so shocked by it. I was on my split and I remember thinking I have totally got this. I just felt so strong and confident in what my body was capable of. I wish I felt like that every time I ran!

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What are your running goals for the future?

I would love to meet the qualifying standard for Boston Marathon 3.35. I would need to drop 11 minutes, but I am always positive and with a little hard work over the next few years – who knows! I would also love to run some more marathons – Boston obviously, Berlin, Copenhagen and Tokyo.

Like everyone, I would like to improve on my PB’s and continue to get so much out of it. I would also like to think I can turn as many people over to the dark side as possible!

 

How does a typical week of training look for you?

It varies massively. I am a PhD student researching sport and physical activity, so a good week could look like 40-50K with 2 days of weight training and perhaps a bike ride or Yoga. On the other hand if I have a lot of deadlines, like this week, it could look more like the odd turbo session while I read notes, or try to decompress in front of Netflix. These weeks are the worst! I think it was Haile Gebrselassie who said ‘A day without training is like a day without eating.’ I completely understand that. I feel malnourished, body and soul when I have not been able to run. Plus, I am a pain to be around.

 

Outside of running, what do you enjoy?

If I am not running, I will be outside, doing something active. I love walking, cycling, lifting weights, playing or watching some form of sport (netball, tennis, yoga, rugby, taekwondo). If I am not involved in playing or watching a sport it is usually because I am eating, cooking or reading.

 

What do you like to wear running?

As little possible! I live in fear of chaffing (though lucky to have never suffered from it) so I like to wear shorts or leggings and a tank top. I hate shoes that are built up and chunky and much prefer running in shoes that are minimal or zero drop. In the winter, I will wear some under armour and gloves if it is really cold but this is Britain so its rarely below freezing.

 

What are your favorite running accessories?

My Garmin – it revolutionised my training, allowing me to train more specifically by heart rate. Subsequently, I saw a big improvement in my times across all distances. My Salomon hydration pack has been essential on my longer runs 25k + and it is very rare I notice when I am wearing it. Apart from that I am fairly low maintenance.

 

What type of sneakers do you wear?

I love Saucony, and have not had a bad pair of their shoes. Saucony Kinvara 4 were the best running shoes ever made for racing or training – end of arguement. Kinvara 5 and 7 are okay but got bulky in their design and I prefer a minimal shoe.

For racing 10km/Half distance I love the Saucony A6, their light and minimal but have enough structure and support.

For short distances (5k) I love my Saucony Hattori’s, their light and almost feel like you are running with socks on.

When I am trail running it is my Inov-8 trail Roc 235, their essentially for most of my off road winter running as it’s so wet and muddy here in the winter.

 

What are your favorite foods?

Although, I am Vegan, it has not really stopped me eating most of the foods I love. If I had to pick something I could not live without it would probably be falafels, but I also love carbohydrates in most forms (pasta, potatoes, bread). Plus, I love anything that is spicy!

                               

Do you have a motto?

If I had a motto it would be “Shut Up Legs” (Jens Voigt – German Pro cyclist) very useful at Mile 25 of a marathon or half way up Mont Ventoux.

 

Do you have advice for other runners?

 No-one ever regretted going for a run.

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Photography, courtesy of Rose Cross.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That Pretty Runner  

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All About Jensen Jacobs

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All About Jensen Jacobs

All About Jensen Jacobs

Actress

TRI

Loves to Run

 

 How do you want triathletes to feel as they watch TRI?

I want them to feel inspired and supported. What is most important to me is how tiathletes in training feel as they watch TRI. Someone who might be training to compete in their first race or getting back into the sport unsure of their abilities.  I think I relate the most to this group because my character, Natalie is training to compete in her first triathlon.  She starts from scratch and goes through the whole process of pushing her mind and body like that for the first time, wondering if she has what it takes to BE a triathlete.  I want people who may be questioning themselves see her struggle and growth and be able to connect to that.  I want that to help inspire them to keep going and believe in themselves and know they are not alone and that it can be done.

 

 Are you a triathlete? Do you plan to compete in a future triathlon? 
 

I am not.  I am very into fitness and I have competed in difficult races but not a triathlon...yet. Honestly, the respect I have gained for the sport through making the movie and then meeting and talking to a lot of triathletes at the screenings made me release how much time and focus it takes to prepare yourself for one of these.  Right now, I am trying to throw that energy and time into building my skills as an actor, but I am not ruling out training for one in the near future.  I like to challenge myself and I would like to be part of the amazing community.

 

 Do you prefer running, biking or swimming?

Definitely running! I enjoy running and do it regularly. I LOVE putting on a good playlist and going for a run.

 

 How do you want cancer patients to feel as they watch TRI?

My mother is a cancer survivor.  I remember after she saw the movie for the first time, one of the first things she said was how much she related to Candice's story.  To the credit of the writers and Shawn Pelofsky's performance, she said it depicted the struggle and the fear and all of feelings and doubts she experienced very truthfully.  I think it was kind of cathartic for her to watch, to see her experience played back to her and understood and validated.  I want that for and cancer patient watching the film.  I want them to not feel alone.

 

In what ways do you personally relate to the characters in this movie?

Who does not relate to Natalie?  Anyone who has ever doubted themselves can relate I think.  I absolutely have not completed things or stayed away from challenges, because I let fear and self doubt get in the way.  I still do...in my career and in my personal life too.  There are times I have been at screenings and I HAVE been inspired by Natalie- as crazy as that sounds! A little reminder that we are not alone in our struggles with self confidence and our ability to overcome challenges that just seem to big is something everyone needs sometimes.

 

 What is your personal journey in relation to health and wellness?

I actually had a very similar experience to Natalie.  I had never been into sports or fitness growing up.  In my mid 20s I decided to join a gym, at that time more for the sake of vanity.  I started working with this amazing trainer, Sandra Yewdall, who convinced me to join a group who would train together to do a Tough Mudder.  At that point I could not run a mile or barely do a push up.  I started getting together with this group of people, all ages and types, just like the movie.  To go on group runs and do different types strength training together.  I will never forget that feeling when I completed a race for the first time.  I ended up doing a couple Super Spartans with that group too.  It was such a wonderful, supportive group of people.  If it weren't for that team and completing those races with them, I never would have gotten the part in this movie.  I actually got the audition because someone saw a picture of me competing in one of the Spartan races. A bunch of them actually all showed up for one of our screenings in Philadelphia.  It makes me tear up thinking of all of them standing in the audience clapping and cheering, seeing how everything comes full circle.

 

 What is your favorite scene, and why?

My favorite scene is the finish line scene.  That is for more personal reasons as an actor.  The scene involved Natalie running towards the finish line with her husband Rex, played by Jaylen Moore, pushing her on from the sidelines.  As an actor, we are always told to be in the truth of the moment, but moments when you are REALLY there, completely immersed and connected are special.  Jaylen was so wonderful to work with through the whole movie, but we really had each other's backs in that scene.  I felt so connected filming that and it felt so true to me.  I think that comes across on screen.

 

 Do you have a special message for movie viewers?
 

TRI something.  Challenge yourself.  Keep going.  No matter the challenge, know that a lot of time it is fear and doubt that define what we see as our limitations, not reality...You are capable of more than you think.  I promise.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That Pretty Runner

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All About Jacob Running the Dopey Challenge!

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All About Jacob Running the Dopey Challenge!

All About Jacob

CSULB

19

Loves to Run: 5k-Marathon

 

How did you decide to sign up for the Dopey Challenge?

It is a buck-list race.  I signed up in Disney Land for the Dumbo Double Dare.  I love Disney and I love running.  Afterwards, I wanted to run more Disney races and found the Dopey Challenge.   

How did you prepare?

Everyday I run, sometimes I take rest days depending on how I feel.  During high school cross-country, I would run 45-60 miles a week and I like to stick with that distance every week.

I was training so long for the Dopey Challenge. I had so many thoughts going through my head training and doing the race by myself.  The Dopey Challenge is a very accomplishing race. 

Were you nervous about running all those races?

Yes.  During training all year, I was excited to run it.  Then, I started doubting myself thinking it was too much to do a marathon after all these races.  In the end, I decided I would finish the Dopey Challenge even if I have to crawl.

How was traveling to Disney?

The plane ride was smooth, landing and navigating to Disney itself was good.  It is completely different than Disney Land.  Disney World, is hard because you see one sign and take the train. Then, all of the sudden there are more unexpected turns to take.  It was a family trip with me and my parents. The Dopey Challenge was my Christmas and birthday gift.  I was very happy and thankful.

How was the race expo?

The expo was in the ESPN World Wide Sports Complex, it was very big and had three parts. One building was for packet pick-up, then you go across to a different building for venders, and then there was another building for official merchandise. I bought a lot of race merchandise.  My favorite is my new Disney World Marathon jacket, it is red with Mickey Mouse and the phrase, “running around the world in 26.2 miles.”

Where were your favorite places in Disney?

After the 5k and 10k, I went into the parks.   Epcot was my favorite.  I loved all the countries, because it was all so different.  I loved Germany! Only Disney World can make me like sauerkraut and bratwurst. 

Do you have special memories from the 5k?

Seeing the park for the first time. I did not go to Epcot before the Dopey Challenge.  It was special the first time I could see all of it, running at night.  The Fireworks were awesome, I could see them from my hotel room every night. 

Do you have special memories from the 10k?

Running through the castle, it was very nice.  I must admit, I like Frozen.  I loved seeing Elsa and Anna in the castle waving at everybody.  Then, I met almost every Disney Character along the race course.  My favorite was meeting Chip and Dale.  I also loved seeing Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck outside the Hall of Presidents wearing their colonial outfits. 

Do you have any special memories from the half-marathon?

The half-marathon was cancelled, it was unfortunate, but what happened afterwards was amazing.  They had to cancel because of thunderstorms, now I realize safety is more important than running.   However, I was determined to run when the rain calmed down.  

Every resort has a one mile race course in Disney.  Despite the canceled race, there were hundreds of runners still racing and cheering each other on.  Truly amazing determination in the running community, everyone still racing in the rain. 

Do you have special memories from the marathon?

The 5k and 10k were awesome, the weather was great.  The half-marathon was canceled and, the race-coordinator said everything for the marathon would be fine except it was going be below 40 with high winds.   Coming from California, I am not used to that type of weather.  I stepped out of the car for the start-line, felt the winds and cold, and then told my dad to get back in the car.  My mom asked, “What is wrong?” I said, “I do not think I can do this. I know I run a lot, but I do not see how anyone can do this.”  So, I had to sit in the car and get mentally prepared.  Seeing people walk to the starting-line, thousands and thousands of people, I thought I could do it too!

The 5k and 10k starting-lines were in the same place, but for the marathon they have you walk almost a mile out somewhere else.  I was thinking, “Where is the start line?”  We eventually made it there but the corrals were going all ready. They were on Corral E and I was supposed to be in Corral C.  I told myself, “It is too cold to worry about corrals, just get there!”  I made it to Corral H.

Yes, I made it to the start and started.  Yes, it was cold.  Once I started, I never stopped.  It was not a race to go fast in, I went 9 minute pace.  Normally, I stop at mile 20 if I have to, but I kept going.  This was the first marathon I ran the entire 26.2.  It was a great race once everything started. 

What did you bring running?

I had my Cal State sweatshirt on, wanted to take it off, but did not want to lose it.   I tied it around my neck, which kept my neck warm and I had gloves.

No food or anything, just took what they supplied like bananas.  A very nice lady was giving out cookies at mile 12.  I was getting a little tired, she said just take one and I accidently took 3!  I ate those and I swear, I felt so much better.  Thank you to the lady giving out cookies!

How did you feel crossing the finish-lines?

The 5K and 10K were good! 

The marathon was the one that definitely counted the most.  All the people were watching, there were Disney characters and announcers.  Crossing the Disney Marathon finish-line felt magical.

Do you love all of your medals?!

There are 6 medals for 4 races: 5k, 10k half-marathon and full-marathon.  I like the 5k medal, because it has Pluto on it. The 10k medal is nice, it is very different.  The half-marathon medal is nice, with Donald Duck.  My Disney Marathon medal looks very unique, and my Dopey Challenge medal is unique.  I love them all equally. 

I have my Fear No Distance medal rack with all the medals from racing.   A year ago my parents surprised me for my birthday with a Magic Miles medal rack, all of my Disney medals go there. I love it. 

What is your most memorable Disney experience?

Probably not a specific moment, but just being with all the other racers at the time. I talked to all different kinds of runners from all different kinds of places. Even in the parks you see everyone wearing medals and say congratulations to each other.  Runners are the nicest people to talk to! 

Did you go on the rides?

I loved the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride.  This was the one ride I wanted, because it is new and they do not have it at Disney Land. 

Do you have advice for everyone who wants to run the Dopey Challenge?

Even though the distance is long and seems tough, do it anyway.  The Dopey Challenge is worth doing, a goal worth setting and definitely a buck-list race, you have to do it! 

Photography, courtesy of Jacob Abrego!



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That Pretty Runner

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