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Run Disney Marathon – 2021 Goes Virtual

Run Disney Marathon – 2021 Goes Virtual

My running friend, Patty, and I completed the Run Disney Marathon virtual race yesterday. Last December, I shared a post with some of my 2020 goals. One of those goals included completing a marathon.

While the plans last December assumed a live event, as we all know, COVID pretty much changed that for most events throughout the United States, including distance running races. Patty and I decided in March that we would still train for a marathon with the hopes there would be live events again in the latter part of the year. So, September was our target.

Run Disney Marathon – Going Virtual

As it happened, live events were not to be. Our training also faltered at times throughout the year. It was a strange year to be sure. As we began to receive emails on the various races going virtual, we received an email from Disney that the January Marathon weekend in 2021 would be a virtual event.

We decided to pick the Disney race as our virtual marathon race. Since it is virtual, it allowed greater flexibility to select a date to complete the race. We figured we could complete the race sometime between December 10th and January 10th (the original live event date). With winter in Missouri, we wanted to pick a good weather day for our race.

Running a marathon requires a significant commitment. I’ll be honest. I ran the Marine Corps Marathon back in 2010 and I really had no intentions of ever doing another one. It was a bucket list thing for me and as far as I was concerned, box checked.

However, Patty genuinely wanted to check that box as well and asked if I would be her trainer and run/walk partner for the race.

Keeping Commitments

I genuinely believe in keeping commitments. While I falter with commitments I make to myself, making a commitment to another person raises the bar. To me, this race wasn’t about the marathon. And, it wasn’t about me. It was about keeping my commitment to Patty to see her to the finish line.

The training was hard. The long runs were challenging. During our training we had several starts and stops. At 60+ we ain’t as young as we used to be. We also considered the weather and it’s impact on us. But, we stayed the course. Yesterday was to be our 23 mile training run. We had previously agreed that if we were feeling good, we would go for the full 26.2 miles.

The Finish Line

Run Disney Marathon

The day started very cold. It wouldn’t have taken much of a nudge to get me to go back to bed and snuggle under the covers for most of the day. But, I got up and drove to the park.

Yet, the day warmed as we completed each mile. We were following a basic out-and-back route. Our plan was to complete two 4.5 miles out-and-back loops. Plus, one 2.5 mile out-and-back loop for the 23 miles. Once we hit 17 miles, I was feeling pretty good and the weather conditions continued to be in our favor. So, I asked Patty if she felt up to doing an extra 1.6 miles out on our last loop. She simply said yes.

We talked for awhile about how it was funny we were both thinking the same thing. When you say it like that, an additional 1.6 miles, it doesn’t sound like all that much. It’s really 3.2 miles additional miles. But, with an out-and-back strategy, you can trick your brain a bit. Besides, once you’re on that last return to the finish, each step is bringing you closer to the end and that always feels good on a run.

Celebrate the Win – Run Disney Marathon

We celebrated with a fist bump and a cheer of congratulations. In normal times, we would have gone out for a steak dinner. But these are COVID times. I’m so proud of Patty completing this goal. I know just how much it means to her. And, I’m glad she invited me to be a part of her accomplishment.

Accomplishing Goals

So, that’s one of my 2020 goals completed. I’ll check in on the rest in the coming days. Spoiler alert, I did better than it thought I did. 😉

How did you do with your 2020 goals?

Until next time,