Welcome To The Dark Side!!!

I promise I won’t make any booty jokes!

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I initially had no intention of going up to Disney this past weekend, but I’m sure glad I did. I went up with a couple friends for a birthday celebration that had the theme of running the Disney Star Wars Dark Side Challenge.

So the Dark Side Challenge consists of a 10k on Saturday (04/22/17) & a half marathon on Sunday (04/23/17); but of course, if you know me, you know that I will squeeze any opportunity to run in any trip I take. Hence why I also registered for the 5k on Friday (04/21/17).

So all three races took place in the morning, so if you finished fast enough, you would be able to escape the heat; and thank goodness for that because it got HOT while we were out there in Orlando.

First off, of course you had to hit up the expo before the races and they were amazing as usual. Held at the ESPN center, it was quick, easy and you had more than enough time to walk around and check out the vendors on display. Got my packet and got ready for the races. And I also bumped into the lovely Carissa Anne!

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I had three “costumes” for all the races; if you know me, you know why I put costumes in quotations, and for the first time EVAR I was in Corral A for all three races!!! Guess my training has been paying off.

Friday: Got up around 3am, got some breakfast and just shuffled around getting ready till the race start. I got there, made my way to the front of the corral and took off!

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Of course if you’re going to run a race for fun, you run a Disney race. Throughout the course they had screens playing clips from the Star Wars movies and they had characters where you can stop and take pictures with. Since I took off so quickly, I used each photo station as a break. I think I took 5-7 photo stops & still finished with a 27 min 5k!!! Oh, and my first race I was dressed as R2-D2! And for this race I used my Mizuno Wave Enigmas.

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Onto the 10k; this one started off rough, instructions provided by Disney weren’t super clear and I ended up showing late to my wave. So you figure if you’re starting at Magic Kingdom you would go TO Magic Kingdom and after you finished the race at Epcot, you would get shuttled back. Well, it was the opposite. You go to Epcot and get shuttled to the start. I didn’t find this information anywhere online and ended up starting Corral E. But of course, I always try to stay positive and look at the bright side of things and I still had a great time; I brushed off the late start and still finished the 10k in an hour. Chillin, lovely run and the costumes were amazing. Oh, and I dressed up as Darth Vader; if anyone was running behind me, they got a load of the dark side indeed. And for this race I used my Nike Air Zoom Structure 18s.

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And finally on to the half!!! Actually made it on time this day. I was dragging around a little bit because we were at theme parks the whole day before and honestly I had no idea how my body would react with my new synthroid dosage [had my thyroid removed (thyroid cancer)]. Still went out for a run anyways and I surprised myself. I’m standing there at the start, ready to go and the announcers start calling out some of the faster runners and winners from previous years and of course Jeff freaking Galloway! He was standing right next to me! Anyways, I bring this up because as I’m trying to decide how I’m going to break the race up, I hear my name called out!!! That was crazy surprising, because I honestly don’t see myself as that great of a runner. I just go out and run, but of course that was set up by the lovely Carissa Anne. We go WAY back from when I first started doing Disney runs and she’s always loved my costumes. Every time I came through the finish line this past weekend, she gave me a shout out. Such a sweet heart.

Anyways, I decided to break my race up by going to each aid station, walking for a minute, then taking off again. I was able to stay ahead of the 2:00 pace group the whole time! My mile times were definitely a lot slower because of the rest of the weekend, but I’m super happy I was able to pull that time. AND I STILL STOPPED AND TOOK PICTURES. And for this race I used my Saucony Guide 7s.

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I’m super happy how far I’ve come, but I still have a long ways to go.

Would I do another Disney run again? Star Wars or other? Definitely. You’re always guaranteed to have a great time.

Till next time my friends, happy trails!

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