Running In Person

I still want to run a marathon.

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about my experience doing virtual runs through runDisney and doing The Fellowship Challenge through The Conqueror challenges. I also wrote about my experience doing my first in-person run–the Vancouver Sun Run 10k. Since then, I’ve continued doing The Fellowship Challenge (the last leg of the journey is almost complete) and I recently did a few more in-person runs! It has all built towards completing my goal of doing a marathon this year by running in the Seattle Marathon in November and then capping off my journey by flying to Disney World to participate in the 30th-anniversary edition of the runDisney Marathon in January 2023!

I really felt like I hit a brick wall this summer, as far as distance goes. Wrestling and staying busy didn’t afford me as much time or energy to stick with my schedule to increase the distance of my long runs as much as I would have wanted. Luckily, I discovered a new challenge–a final boss that I could challenge weekly to test my mettle: the I-90 Trail! It runs between the east and west sides of the Seattle Metro area, crossing two bridges over Lake Washington to get there. I’ve run past the train before but never had the gumption to attempt challenging it until recently. Even better, the trail starts about five miles from where I live, so I get a nice warm-up and some reasonable distance before I even begin. The trail is also about five miles, so going there and back home totals about nineteen miles! I actually completed it for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and it only took me 3:53:59 (three hours, fifty-three minutes, and fifty-three seconds), so now I’m back on track to continue building up to the 26.2 miles that make up a marathon!

runDisney Virtual Series Medals

In the meantime, I’ve also been working on the runDisney Virtual Series. It’s just three 5k’s that you can complete anytime and anywhere between the start of June and the end of July. I did a bunch of 5k’s to see how good I could get my time–ideally, I wanted it under 30 minutes, and I achieved my goal. Funny enough, I would go on to surpass my best time out of that series (29:30, a pace of 9:29/mile) multiple times in August, including during my most recent event: The Seattle Marathon Summer 5k/10k Combo!

But before I take you through that journey, I need to take a quick detour to discuss cookie dough. 

I recently stumbled across a local group, “Run 2 Be Fit,” who fairly frequently puts on “fun runs,” which was a new concept to me (since I’ve only ever run solo until this year) though they weren’t lying. The “Ready. Set. Dough. 10k” was a blast! It was super lowkey and casual—they announced at the start that basically said, “if you get lost or something, just turn around and come back and get some cookie dough.” That’s right, I got free cookie dough when I finished the run (with a time of 58:33 and a pace of 9:27/mile). It was great! I already signed up for the “Where’s Bigfoot 5k” fun run that the group is putting on in October.

Seattle Marathon Summer 5k/10k Combo medals

Speaking of free post-run goodies, it’s been interesting to see what kinds of treats and swag one can get when participating in an in-person run. The Vancouver Sun Run mainly offered some sanitizer, coconut water, and CBD gummies. The aforementioned cookie dough was pretty lovely, but honestly, the best “swag” I’ve received thus far has been from the Seattle Marathon Summer 5k/10k Combo. (Look how smoothly I got us back on track!) It makes sense that the organization that runs the local marathon would do it best, in my opinion. I was able to pick up my bibs and t-shirt the day before the race (thank goodness, because the 8:30 start time was already too early for my tastes) and I even got a free shirt from a previous year when I did! Then, when I finished the 5k (in my best time so far, 27:56, a pace of 8:59/mile) I received a goodie bag full of sunglasses, a reusable straw, lotion, and a bunch of other stuff PLUS there were tables and tables of energy bars, bananas, water, and fruit cups. It was great! The 10k, which took place about half an hour after I finished the 5k, was understandably a bit more challenging, and my time wasn’t as good as I was hoping (1:03:21, a pace of 10:12), but I made it through a total of over nine miles and then went to wrestling training after, so I’m still pretty proud.

At the end of my last blog about running, I said to expect more of that ilk. Well, here we are. We’re just a few months away from the Seattle Marathon, which is only a couple of months from the runDisney Marathon. In the meantime, I’m registered for that Bigfoot 5k and the Disney Virtual Wine & Dine 2 Course Challenge, so I’ll be keeping busy. I plan to build up to the full 26.2 miles before I run in an official marathon because I feel I’ll have more confidence going in if I’ve already done it, but we shall see. Be ready for at least one more of these running blogs as I wrap up year one of my journey. I honestly have no idea what things will look like for me after year one–the virtual Disney runs are pretty expensive, so I’ll probably save my money and only do local in-person stuff, aside from one or two big ones. Anyway, I’ll catch you on the next one!



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