Once upon a time, oh about a year and a half ago, a crazy thought crept into my head - that I should take up running. For most people this wouldn't be so crazy of an idea, but for the girl who spent most of her youth creatively avoiding as many gym classes as possible this was a pretty out there idea. (And believe me, I was really good at getting out of gym class. ) I blame the WISH section of the Disboards. I'd visit there and read reports of seemingly normal, sane people who for some reason were running marathons and half marathons at Disney. They all seemed normal enough, except for the whole running thing. I just didn't get it. They'd all keep talking about the book "The Courage to Start" by John Bingham. Curious, I borrowed the book from my library to find out what the fuss was about. I read, and slowly I started to understand why. I don't know when a book has resonated so much with me, but to a person deeply unhappy with parts of her life, something clicked, and I found myself lacing up my first pair of running shoes. I worked my way through a couch to 5k program, and cried the first time I ran for 30 minutes straight. I had done something I had thought I could never do, but I needed more. Part of me wanted the validation of a larger challenge, and a medal around my neck as my reward to prove to myself that I could see this through to the end. In one bewildering moment I found myself becoming one of those "crazy" people. I had signed myself up for Disney's Inugural Wine and Dine Half Marathon. The road from registering to the actual race was a bit rocky. You can check out my PTR 13.1 Miles Before I Hit 40 for all the details if you like. In the simplest of terms, I hit a bit of a rough patch this year, and really lost all desire to do much of anything let alone run. Functioning as a normal human was my primary concern. I'd train because I knew I had the race coming up, but the joy I had been feeling earlier when running was gone. I no longer could run those 30 minutes straight, but I could walk and run intervals in between so I tried to focus on that. The thought of the race had become a huge weight around my neck, making me dread my upcoming trip. For once I wasn't looking forward to my trip to Walt Disney World. I was dreading it. Had the race not been paid for, and the airfare been unrefundable, I would have probably cancelled the trip altogether. The thought of the race was making me ill. But I went. I ran (or maybe more correctly waddled ), and at the end of 13.1 miles I felt like myself again for the first time in months something I wasn't expecting. I had made it, and lived to tell the tale of running my first half marathon at Disney, with a side of Universal Studios. So, time for some short and sweet introductions to the players in this tale. The Who: Me, Crissy to my friends. I'm 39 years old, single, with no kids, but have two nieces that I adore and spoil. First Disney trip was back in 1979, and I've been hooked ever since. Luckily I've been blessed with a family that "gets it" as well. Favorite characters are Donald, Belle and Mad Madam Mim. Joining me this trip was one of my long time BFF's who will be remaining photoless for this trip report. She lives in another state, but she's become my Disney travel partner joining me on my past December trip as well as back in 2007. For the most part we travel really well together, we are a lot alike, and she's up for just about anything, but a few issues are always bound to arise. This would also be her first half marathon as well. Also making appearances will be a friend I hadn't seen in over 20 years, and a surprise DIS meet or two. The When and The Where: Oct. 1 - 7, 2010 at the Beach Club Resort Oct. 7-9, 2010 at the Hard Rock Hotel The Why: The race of course, and secondly to check out Harry Potterland.