“With that one step, your life will change forever.”

I remember reading those words in Marathoning for Mortals and thinking “Yeah…a bit of hyperbole, isn’t it?”

But it’s not.

Truly, crossing that finish line at the Disney World Half Marathon did change my life. just like they say in the book, I’m no longer someone who doesn’t finish things. I set out on a plan to run/walk the race, and I did it! I proved to myself that I am a runner! I proved to my lungs that they don’t have to wheeze when I work out! I proved to my legs and feet that yes, they can go the distance!

And I knew I could do more. That’s why I’ve committed to doing the Disney World Marathon next January. I’m not going to go Goofy (both the half and the full). Yet. Maybe 2013? But odds are, the Disney full will be my first full (come on…what are the odds that the NYRR lottery gods smile on me twice in one calendar year???), and I want it to be special and not be nursing any soreness or whatever from the half the day before. I will revisit this option for 2012 when I’ve done two half marathons within a month of each other (the Disneyland and the Wine and Dine) – see how I feel and if I want to think about it.

But also? I’ve become someone who can maintain a 5.5mph pace for 3 minutes on a treadmill. Twice. Without looking at the little red numbers praying for them to move faster!

That happened today at the gym. It’s still sub-arctic out there (let’s not get into how stupid I was for volunteering to be a course marshal for the Manhattan Half yesterday…at least my +1 is done), so I hit the treadmill at the gym. Figured I’d see what I could do. Did my warmup, and then set the treadmill at 1% incline and 5mph for my first run interval. Felt great. So the second run interval went to 5.2mph. Still great. (Oh, I should add I tend to run a tad faster than the treadmill’s speed…not a lot, but a tad.) So interval number 3 I bumped it to 5.5mph. And was SHOCKED when my Garmin started beeping to get ready to walk, and I hadn’t even looked at the clock on the treadmill! Interval 4, back to 5.5mph (I may be about accomplishment, but I also don’t want to push to injury). I did look at the clock once in the last minute, but still felt great. Started interval 5 at 5.5, but then my brain took over and convinced my body it was tired and needed to slow down. So I let it go to 5.3 about halfway through. The last 2 run intervals were at 5.3 or 5.2. Overall I felt great! And now I have something to push for – doing ALL of my intervals at 5.5 in my regular workouts. Technically long runs should be slower, so I’ll back off the speed a little on them until I am doing all my other intervals comfortably at 5.5 – then I’ll up the speed on the long runs to that and start pushing it up on the regular ones again.

My focus is improvement for this next year!! Woot!!

(Yep…Day 23 of the 100 Days Challenge is done!)

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