Inspired to run by Disney: The start to my running journey

Fitness / Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Since August 2016, I have been a passholder to Disney World in Florida.  As I became a more frequent visitor of the parks, I eventually ended up being there during a runDisney race weekend.  I had no idea runDisney existed in November when I saw Wine & Dine runners wearing their medals around the parks, but it piqued my interest nonetheless.  Being a lover of all things Disney, I wanted to try out runDisney for myself despite having had no interest in running in the past.

Within a few weeks, I signed up for the 5K race during the Disney World Marathon Weekend in January.  I ended up not running that race because I knew I wasn’t ready and had barely trained for it.  In the interest of not seriously injuring myself, I cancelled and decided to wait for another race opportunity.

I ended up signing up for the Star Wars Dark Side 5K a couple months later.  I’ve never seen anything Star Wars and have no interest in it, but it was the only race left to register for until the next November and I didn’t want to wait that long to start.

I ran the 5K this month (April) and while it certainly wasn’t the best time or anything, it was a lot of fun and it fully hooked me on runDisney races even more than before.  I didn’t care about the character stops (having never seen the movies) during this first race, but now I can’t wait to run the next one and embrace the fully Disney experience.

I’m now signing up for the Wine & Dine 5K in November 2017 and the Marathon Weekend 5K and 10K in January 2018.  I’m set on those and my goal is to be able to run (and finish) both the 5K and 10K races in January on back-to-back days.

Beyond that, I want to work up to a Half Marathon and may potentially do the Princess Half in Feburary 2018 (likely not any other races the same weekend) or maybe Star Wars Half next April – part of it depends on the job search I’ll also be entering around that time and when I’m available.

Right now, however, my focus on doing more training in the “off season” and more official 5K non-Disney races as additional training to improve my time and endurance.

My goal is to do one 5K a month through January (including the runDisney races already mentioned) and hopefully continue that goal of one 5K (or longer) race a month long-term.

To help me on that goal of a 5K-a-month, I’m also signing up for the runDisney virtual series so I can still earn Disney medals for running in non-Disney races.

As for where I’m at now, my best mile time is 12 minutes per mile and that’s just doing one mile.  The next step for me is to work on endurance to do, eventually, 3.1 miles at once and maintain (or improve) that MPM time.

While my primary reason for running is to do the runDisney races, I also want to live a more healthy and active lifestyle.  I spend most of each day either sitting in an office, in a meeting, in class, or laying in bed at the end of it all, and I realize that I need to be more active long-term.  Disney is just the motivation to get me started!

I’ll continue to update my progress here as well as on social media, primarily on Instagram (@geoffreykoester).  Wish me luck and lots of pixie dust, I’m going to need it!

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