Adam was one of the first people I knew who ran a half marathon in Walt Disney World. He cheered me on (along with more of our BOGP family!) during my first 5K in 2010 and I returned the favor during the Wine & Dine Half Marathon that night. Look here we are!
His determination and how he continues to set goals for himself have been extremely inspiring to me. It has been so great to follow along with Adam’s running journey over the years and I’m so happy he’s here to share it with all of you today! Enjoy 🙂
Prior to 2010 I had never even thought about running a race at all. In the spring of 2010, with some Disney friends influencing me, I decided that I would not only run my first ever race, but my first would be a half marathon! What was I thinking? I thought if I was going to run a race, it’d have to be a runDisney race. So I registered for the 2010 Wine & Dine Half Marathon. I’m always up for a challenge and “can’t” has never been in my vocabulary.
So my training begins and I’m on my way to accomplishing something I had NEVER thought I’d be able to do. I remember my first time stepping outside to run, I was pumped and ready to get this training on. I started running and I honestly didn’t make it more than 5 houses down before I had to stop. My legs were aching and I was out of breath. My first thought was, this is going to be harder than I imagined. But I never gave up, the next day I went a little further and the next further and so on. I remember the first time I completed a mile without stopping I was jumping for joy. Before long I could run 5,6,7 miles without stopping. A week before the race, even though the training program I was using didn’t suggest it, I decided to run the 13.1 miles…I wanted to make sure I could actually do it and survive. haha I did it and I actually felt pretty good afterwards, I knew I then I’d be ready for race day.
I actually set a personal goal on race day. I wanted to complete my first half marathon in less than 3 hours. The week prior when I ran that distance I ran in 2:48, so I knew this could be a reachable goal. The race was awesome! So much entertainment on the course, the miles actually flew by. My wife Suzie was there to cheer me on and I also had lots of friends from the Be Our Guest Podcast cheering me on as well. There were plenty of friends running the race also. It was so much of an encouragement to have these people to talk to in the holding area prior to the race.
I remember nearing the finish line and thinking to myself, I can’t believe that I’ve actually done this! So many people the last mile lining the streets and sidewalks. I crossed the finish line and so many emotions running through my head, I had tears of joy as the medal was placed around my neck. And about that goal I set, I finished in 2:57:13. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. If you have the determination and will power, you CAN do it!
I enjoyed the race so much that I signed up for the 2011 W&D Half the following year. I was able to get my wife running some and we both ran the Disney Family fun run 5k in 2011. I was so proud of her for setting that goal and best of all, we ran it together.
Later that night as I was in the corral for the half, I got a family emergency call and we had to make our way back home before the race started.
In 2012 I decided to run the inaugural Tower of Terror 10-miler. Something about the night races, I just love them. It was another great race but boy was it hot and humid that night, but I finished and that’s all that matters. 🙂
I wanted to run a race in 2013 but I had to work it around my work schedule and the only week I could get away from work was going to be the Princess Half Marathon. So I was hesitant about signing up for that one but with the assurance that other guys would be running, I went ahead and registered for it. So glad I did as it was such a fun race and I especially enjoyed running through the Magic Kingdom.
The Princess race was a little tougher for me as I had put on some weight since the other races I had run. With the passing of my father-in-law and my dad being diagnosed with cancer, the stress and all from all that I had added some weight. But I was determined to do it, and that I did, not the best time but I did finish. It was a great accomplishment considering the weight I had gained. My dad passed away about 5 weeks after the Princess.
In April 2013 I ran my very first non-Disney race, The Bridge Street Half Marathon here in Huntsville, AL. I was so scared of this race just because I was used to having all the Disney entertainment in the runDisney races. All in all it was a good race, boring compared to runDisney, but not nearly as bad as I was expecting. In fact, I got a PR for this race and finished in 2:49. 🙂 I’m thinking about running more local races in the future.
This is where I decided to start to do something about my weight. I knew if I could just get jump started, with the running, I could lose the weight I needed to lose. Even though I had been running since 2010, I needed to start to eat healthier. I had done Weight Watchers (WW) for several years, in fact I’m a WW lifetime member. It’s a great program and works for me. However, my brother had recently been using Advocare products and told me about the 24-day challenge I’d been seeing a lot of people doing on Facebook and telling of their success stories. I knew I needed a jump start and this may be just what I needed to get a boost.
This is the day I started the challenge on left and on the right is a month later. I had lost 13 lbs but most importantly a whopping 9 inches. I’m now wearing clothes I haven’t worn in over 2 years. I basically take the vitamins daily from Advocare and eat sensibly throughout the day using the WW program I had done so well with in the past. It’s a great combination and it’s working. I have a long way to go, but with the same determination and will power I had for finishing my first half marathon, I KNOW I can do it!
I’m 39 years old and married to the most beautiful woman I know! Suzie and I just celebrated our 10 year anniversary. I love traveling, especially to our “happy place” Walt Disney World several times a year. Looking forward to another challenge as I’ll be running in my very first full marathon in January down in WDW!
Has running at Disney helped to transform your life? If so, I want to hear your story! Send me an email at email@example.com to be featured on an upcoming Transformation Tuesday!