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Old 11-06-2013, 11:33 PM   #1
Writing Prescriptions for Disney Vacations
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Encouragement for you Beginner Runners!

I was reflecting on my journey over the past year and wanted to post some encouragement for those of you who are beginners or whom are *thinking* about starting running for fitness. Below is my story with pictures for proof and motivation.

I only started running last year, in fact, I am coming up on the 1 year anniversary of the first race I ever ran, The Drumstick Dash (5K), on Thanksgiving.

I took my first real steps towards weight loss on July 2, 2012 with the Couch 2 5k program. At that time I could not even jog 30 seconds without becoming winded. I was 236lbs at the time, at an all time high in my weight. After a physically and mentally taxing residency coupled with poor eating habits, my weight had skyrocketed. I felt tired all of the time and demotivated. My sister in law had started jogging and was losing weight. I figured that it was time to start making a change as my blood pressure was creeping up and I didn't want to take medication. I was tired of feeling tired all of the time.

Here is a shot of me during the Halloween Party last year. Too much candy!

I decided to get serious about running and thus I started setting goals. My first one was to actually finish a 5K race on Thanksgiving day. Not set an awesome time, just finish!

Wow! Just a few months ago, I couldn't run even a block. Now I could go 3.1 miles in just under 40 minutes. My blood pressure had also gotten back to a borderline state and my physician was happy. I had dropped about 6 lbs as well through eating a bit better and running. Still I wasn't satisfied, so I decided to keep doing and do something a bit more ambitious...

On a whim and a bet from a colleague over a beer at lunch, I signed up for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, just a few weeks away. In retrospect, it was a tad ambitious for a new runner who had just run their first 5K but I needed to set goals to continue my momentum. I started training 4-5 times a week, doing a combination of short runs and long runs. Granted I was jogging at a slow and steady pace, but at least I was moving and my endurance was improving steadily.

You hear that saying..."Did not finish is better than Did not start..." Well, I was very nervous flying down to WDW to run it and felt somewhat undertrained. There were so many people at the race on race day. Universally, everyone was encouraging and high-energy. There was plenty of on course entertainment to keep you going and although I hit the wall around mile 11, I kept going and finished the race.

There was something about the high energy about the Disney race that compelled me to continue forward despite feeling fatigued and having some severely sore feet. At this point I had lost approximately 12lbs, my blood pressure was normalized, and no more medications. Still, I was not satisfied. I wanted to get back to my college weight and have more energy. I had better energy than before I started but I really wanted to regain the energetic feeling I had when I was a normal weight. I kept running...

A funny thing started happening. I noticed that as I gradually lost weight, my own patients started asking what my secret was and began to do the same. Same thing with some of my own extended family. Everyone started asking when my next race was and how the running was going. Naturally, I wanted to run more races, so I did. I did my best to drag others along with me as well including my wife. Heck, even ran on our cruise this year!

One day, while I was at work, I checked my email to see some crazy thing called the "Dumbo Double Dare." I wanted to train for a marathon but didn't feel I was quite there yet with my overall health and endurance to pull it off . However, the allure of running two races back to back coupled with visions of obtaining a shiny coast 2 coast medal was too much to resist. When I let my wife and family know about my registration, it was initially met with rolled eyes. "You're crazy....Dumbo actually!" I started training and next thing I know, my wife signed up for the Disneyland 10k and started training with me. Some of the summer long runs were pretty tough but I bought a treadmill to help me with times when it was too hot to run outside and I could not wait till evening. Before I knew it, labor day weekend arrived:

Bonus Youtube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRso1tsB7gU

By the end of both days, I set two new PRs for both the 10k and the half marathon, improving 5 minutes on the 10k time and 12:02 on the half marathon time.

Fast Forward to today. I am 198.8lbs today, blood pressure is normal, and I feel better overall. It's almost been a year since my first race. I can't say it was easy but what I can say without any doubt is that I am glad I did it.

I am just like you. I have days when I don't want to run or I want to plow a bag of Halloween candy. I've even fallen for the "Dr. Oz approved" craptastical flavor-of-the-month, weight loss supplements despite knowing better! If you want to lose weight, you have to get serious about diet and exercise. You have to MOVE! Don't just think about changing, get out there and BE the change.

Walt Disney had a nice quote that I have on the wall in my office.
If you can dream it, you can do it.
I beg you, if you on the fence about starting running or even exercising...just get out there and take your first steps. That's how I started, reading a facebook post from my sister-in-law completing a mile run and then reading stories from people in this very subforum.

Thank you for sharing your own experiences and continued support for each other. Every epic journey begins with the first step. Get out there and take yours!

Doctor's orders I will see you on race day in January.

Last edited by RichieTruxillo; 01-20-2014 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Updated Photos
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:29 AM   #2
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Congratulatios on your achievements. Very well done and keep up the excellent work. Next stop...marathon

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Old 11-07-2013, 09:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by RichieTruxillo View Post

Thank you for sharing your own experiences and continued support for each other. Every epic journey begins with the first step. Get out there and take yours!

Doctor's orders I will see you on race day in January.

Just, wow!! Thank you so much for posting. This was such an encouragement to read this morning! My journey started on July 2nd, 2013.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:45 AM   #4
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Congratulations on your great accomplishments and thanks for sharing!
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:57 AM   #5
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Congratulations and thanks for sharing!
For the love of Disney...
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:16 AM   #6
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Great job and I'd recommend everyone to scoot over to the journal section where you'll see stories just like this all the time. People don't just wake up one day and start running and become fit overnight. It is indeed a journey, but as any journey, you have to take that first step in order to reach your destination.

I look forward to seeing many new posters in the journal section of this board! I'm one of those with a similar story and journal to tell you all about it. I don't have the cool pics to go along with it because I can't get them to post, but this was a fun read!
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:54 PM   #7
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I'm just starting my running journey, and I needed to read this. Thank you for the motivation - it feels so good after a run, like a real accomplishment. But getting my butt out the door in the first place is the hard part!
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:59 PM   #8
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Amazing and very encouraging!
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Old 11-10-2013, 05:27 PM   #9
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Love it.

I started running about 3 months ago (Sept 2nd to be exact) after running across a RunDisney thread here on the DIS.

About a year and a half ago I also couldn't run more than a block but not because I was overweight, I was a smoker. I quit about 18 months ago when I started doing Muai Thai and Jiu Jitzu with a friend and I feel amazing, I've actually put on 30lbs, but as a 130lbs guy I needed it. I'm now 5'8" and 160lbs and feeling healthier every day.

I originally signed up for the Neverland 5k in January (still can't wait ) and started a beginners 5k trainer. I think I'm addicted because I finished that and felt so good I'm now doing a 10k in under 60 trainer. I'm currently running 3-4 miles 4 times a week and planning for the Disneyland 10k, ironically my friend that motivated me to get healthy and start Muai Thai is now motivated by my running and wants to start running with me but wants to train for the 1/2.

I feel pretty confidant I could finish but 13.2 miles just doesn't sound fun. The thought of crossing the finish line sounds amazing but as much as I'm loving it running for 2.5-3 hours to reach the finish line doesn't.
Faith makes things possible, not easy.

Last edited by Viva Las Disney; 11-11-2013 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 11-10-2013, 05:34 PM   #10
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Congratulations on your achievements - very inspirational!
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:44 AM   #11
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Thank you for the encouragement!

I too put on the pounds in school. My physician has been waiting patiently for my doctorate to be finished- doctorate done, now I need to work hard to lose weight before my next physical. I started the C25K program and while I am not fast (15 min/mile), I usually do it two times so the session is an hour. I logged on looking for motivation as I need to do the jump to the 20 min run. thanks, I think I can do it.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:41 PM   #12
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Thanks for the motivation!

I think a lot of people can relate to your story, myself included! I have never been any sort of runner or a person to do any sort of work out on even a semi-regular basis, but all that changed this year.

I signed up for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler in May (I think?) simply because I was so tired of seeing all the runDisney events occur here and all the runners looked like they were having a blast and I felt so left out. It was very ambitious to sign up for a 10 Miler for a first race. I had never even done a 5k before. Signing up for the 10 Miler gave me the pressure I needed to start training. I too used the couch 2 5k app. Things were going okay until July when I got sick and I honestly didn't start training again until mid-August so it was like starting from ground zero. In a way, it was good though because training so last minute really forced me to be dedicated. I was terrified I wouldn't finish the race, but I finished a lot quicker than I expected and had so much fun. From that race on, I consider myself a runDisney addict. Of course, by the time I realized this, the WDW Half and Princess Half were sold out. However, that didn't stop me! I went the round about way and booked them through a runDisney recommended travel provider. I knew I needed to be signed up for future races in order to keep me motivated to train.

So, I will be running my first Half marathon in January and I can't wait! I'm also hoping to do the Dumbo Double Dare in 2014. I love Disneyland! When I first started running with the c25k program, I thought I was dying after running for 30 seconds (and this was only like 4 months ago) and now on a regular day, I run between 3.5 and 4.5 miles which is such a huge change from where I started.

I'm sure no one cares about my story, but wanted to share it anyway because ours sound so similar! Anyone and everyone can become a runner and runDisney races are the perfect motivation to get you out there! Every mile really is magic!
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:28 PM   #13
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Thank you!! I have tried to run on and off for a couple of years now, and had to take 4 months off while trying to get thyroid meds under control....finally there but having a real hard time motivating myself to run again...hate the thought of starting over....thanks for encouraging me to start again!
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:04 PM   #14
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Thank you for the great story! Tomorrow I am signing up for my first runDisney race, the Expedition Everest 5K. I'm equal parts excited and scared - thanks for the encouragement!
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:21 PM   #15
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Congratulations on all your achievements! This is really wonderful to read.

I treated myself to a proper pair of running shoes with my Christmas money a few days ago and I am using the rest of it to sign up for the Disneyland 10k in 2014. I can barely walk 3 miles continuously right now but I went for a run/walk yesterday and it felt great. I cannot wait to go to the gym again tomorrow. I am very motivated to finish that 10k and sign up for a half marathon in 2015.
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