I’m not a runner. I get bored easily while running, so unless I’m constantly updating my playlist or route… I’ll just do a HIIT workout instead. I’d like to be a person who runs 6+ miles like it’s nothing, but I have trouble hitting four miles before I just… stop. I mean, I can run a 5k, which is cool, right?
Anyway, I’ve been looking into different ways to motivate myself to push past that 5k/3.1 mile mark on my runs. New music, a new outfit, and new shoes are all great motivators, but after 3.5 miles my brain doesn’t care about them. “A 5k at this pace is healthy. You don’t have to be a runner. You don’t have to be able to run beyond a 5k,” my brain says.
And I listen.
Because, in this instance, my brain is right. My 5k pace is healthy. I don’t have to be a runner. I don’t have to run beyond a 5k.
But here’s the thing: I do want to run beyond a 5k. I want to challenge my body and try new things. I want to do running events, get a cool medal, and Instagram it… and then eat a high calorie meal because I’ve earned it.
Signing up for an event could be a great motivator to train and push myself on a run. The financial commitment for signing up for a run is a good motivator, as is having something to say back to my brain when it gets bored “Brain, I’m training for an event. I have to keep going.” Now if only there were running events that were also kind of nerdy, because I’m all about that…
One Google search later and I’ve come across runDisney. According to the website,
runDisney is a series of events that provides runners the unique opportunity to run through Disney Theme Parks at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida and the Disneyland® Resort in California, earn Disney-themed finisher medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment & Guest Service, and ultimately celebrate their accomplishments with a Disney vacation.
Sounds cool, right? There are multiple events at both of the parks with events themed around different Disney licenses. Whether you’re more of a fan of Tinker Bell, the princesses, Star Wars, the Avengers, or the parks themselves, there are events throughout the year that meet a particular fandom.
The runDisney website also has some great (and FREE) resources for training for the events. These resources include training programs specifically for the distance of the event and what weekend it’s for (example: one for the Avengers 5k or for the Star Wars Half Marathon), as well as nutrition tips for pre-, during, and post-run.
With the popularity of the Disney parks, why not plan a vacation with friends or family that’ll be fun and fit? Also, because there are multiple events in one weekend, usually ranging from a 5k to a Half Marathon, I could ease myself into a distance. I already know that I can do a 5k, so maybe push for a 10k? or a go for the Half Marathon depending on how far away the event is in the calendar year?
I haven’t signed up for a runDisney event yet as doing it involves having to also get down to Anaheim, book a hotel/motel, coordinate with friends, etc. BUT signing up for an event is one of my 2016 fitness resolutions, so I’m watching the website for updates regarding the next Star Wars event at Disneyland.
I’m subscribed to a few Disney YouTubers, and one of my favorites imSarahSnitch posted a video highlighting her experience walking last year’s Avengers Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort. She’s super fun and laid back with footage of the mile markers, people dressed up, the characters cheering runners/joggers/walkers along. While there are people pushing for their best race times, she shows that a running event doesn’t have to be super intense and competitive for it to be a fun time.
When I do sign up and participate in a runDisney event, I will post about it here on Fandom Fitness. Until then, if you’ve participated in a runDisney event or any other nerdy/fun fitness event, feel free to share your experiences in the comments, on Instagram, or the Fandom Fitness Facebook page.