In elementary school gym class, there were good days and there were bad days. Good days involved the giant parachute, volleyball, jump rope, or a free day on the playground. And the bad days involved “The Big Kahuna.” The uproar of excitement at the announcement of a free day on the playground was always abruptly replaced with moans when “after you run The Big Kahuna” was mentioned. And what was the Big Kahuna? We’d run out of the gym, take a right, loop into the kindergarten hall parking lot, circle around and run to the other end of the road before looping back into the 4th grade hall parking lot. I want to say it was a mile, and who wants to run a mile? Everybody hated the Big Kahuna. Ok, I’m sure there were several kids who had been dropped on their heads as babies one too many times who loved it. I was not one of those kids. I hated running.
Fast forward more years than I care to mention and I’m about to take on my ultimate Big Kahuna. As I type this, I’m sitting in a hotel room in Orlando, Disney World to be exact. It’s 9pm on a Saturday night and I’m getting ready to go to sleep as I listen to the fireworks rumbling at the Magic Kingdom. In a matter of 6 hours, my alarm clock will go off, I’ll lace up my running shoes, be shuttled over to Epcot, where I will, by choice, take on my first half marathon. 13.1 miles. On foot.
I’ve been training for this for nearly a year. I’ve woken up at ungodly hours on Saturday mornings in ungodly temperatures and ran an ungodly amount of miles in the past several months. I've consumed enough water in the past week to fill an Olympic size pool. I’ve sweated, I’ve ached, I’ve wanted to quit. But here I am, clothes laid out, shoes ready to go, iPod charged, belly loaded up on carbs, ready to do this. I keep thinking about how much more I could’ve done. How I could’ve pushed myself a little harder, but it’s too late.
I’m as ready as I’m going to be. My goal is to finish. I have a time frame in mind, but really, as long as I finish, I’ll be happy. And it wouldn’t be so bad to meet Repunzel along the way.
Thank you everyone who has believed in me, supported me, and wished me luck. It means the world to me. You know who you are and I love you.
And when we speak again, I'll not only be a half marathon finisher, but I'll be a Disney Princess, too.