The road to the 2011 Princess Half Marathon was very tough for me. I was going through some major personal challenges that were affecting my psyche and self-confidence. I was also vying for a big promotion at work. I was fraying at every seam. Some days I struggled to get up in the morning and get on with life. It's a good thing I have a dog that needs feeding, walking, and a place to use the bathroom outside...I'm not sure I would have gotten out of bed otherwise. The events in my personal life that led up to the 2011 race shook me to my core. I wasn't sure who I was or what I stood for. But despite it all, the race training was a bit of stability as I was otherwise free falling through my life.
After my miserable race experience, I emphatically declared that I was "one and done", as if to erase the physical trauma of the race itself and my personal challenges that enveloped my training leading up to that morning. I had checked the box. I was done. Running was dead to me and was just another manefestation of that crummy time in my life.
A year later, I was running the race for fun and for redemption. I didn't tell many people (other than my 300+ random FB friends...ha!) and anyone that I did tell thought I was a little nuts. Some of my friends were vocally concerned after my health issues the year before. My best friend asked me at least 3 times if I was sure it was a good idea. And I know that a few of my friends suspected this was all about revenge and they weren't far from the truth. The night before the race, I told my Mom that my number one goal was health and number two was fun, while I secretly envisioned a PR...who was I, crazy?!
As I crossed the finish line, I got my revenge. Revenge on that stupid Aleve. Revenge on my crappy 2010-2012. Revenge on my disappointment. Revenge on my negative self-talk. Revenge on all of the doubts I had about myself as a runner...and as a person.
The 2012 Princess Half Marathon brought me back to life. It saved my soul. It gave me confidence. It helped me be "me" again. I believe with all my heart that the fact that runDisney races are so awesome brought me back for my redemption race. I believe in me. And I haven't looked back since.