Kim and Lauren - Post #1

Kim and Lauren are a mother/daughter team, training to run the Disneyland Half Marathon in September of 2012. Kim, the the 50-something mom is vegan, and is training at the literally breathtaking altitude of 7,000 feet in Taos, NM. She has never been any kind of athlete before. Lauren, the 20-something daughter, is mostly vegetarian, and is doing her training in Seattle, WA. Running isn't new to her, but distance running is. This weekly blog, written by both of them, documents the journey, and hopefully, will inspire a few others to follow a dream, do something that's harder than they ever imagined they'd do on purpose, and enjoy the entire journey. Find all the entries by entering "Kim and Lauren" in the "search this blog" box to the left.

This is the first installment of the "Kim and Lauren" posts, which we'll do about once a week as we train for the Disneyland Half Marathon, coming up in September. Go back to my last post for my first thoughts on all this, and stay tuned for more!


I agreed with myself to start training for the Disneyland Half Marathon on Monday. I have until September, but I feel like I need every minute available. I got my new Brooks trail runners over the weekend - trail runners because I plan to do most of my training in my own neighborhood, on rough dirt roads. But when I woke up Monday morning, there was snow on the ground for the first time in weeks, and it was still stormy and snowing. I could have said, OK, I'll start next week, but that's not my style. I went to the closet and dug out my snow boots, leaving the snazzy new running shoes for another day.

All bundled up, and out in the driveway, I was sort of less than thrilled by the conditions. Remember I was in Mexico just two weeks ago, and am still contemplating ways to spend more time at the beach...

Out on the road, I could see I had some extra challenges to deal with. Looking up the first stretch on my one-mile "block," I knew I was going to have to watch every step. I found it less slippery to walk in the un-packed snow along the side of the road, which of course was slower going. When I got to a drier part of the road, up around the corner, I added in a little bit of running, but mostly felt it was safer to stick to the walking and just put the time in. The training plan I'm using called for just 30 minutes, and that's just about how long it took me to pick my way around the block.

Trying to rustle up a cheerier outlook, I took out my camera and starting looking at what was around me. It had stopped snowing, and was actually a pretty spectacular morning. I never would have seen it normally. I would have been huddled up in the studio, or hunched over my computer. And even though I have huge windows in my house, looking out of them doesn't come close to actually stepping outside into the world. I watched the clouds race across the blue, and was grateful for the greeters who met me along the way.

Before long, I could see our house at the end of the road, and when I got there, a great big jack rabbit was waiting for me in the driveway. Of course, I took it as a sign of encouragement as he dashed off across the road. I'm pretty sure I heard him say, Go, Kim, go! You can do it!

My training schedule gives me rest days in between three days a week of walking/running. Yesterday, Valentine's Day, was the perfect day to go to the hot springs and loosen up some newly discovered muscles. And then last night, it started to snow again... It's another winter wonderland scene out there today, but I really don't want to slip slide around again. I won't wimp out though! I'm going to Baca Park, to check out the track there. I might even be able to test drive my new shoes... but I'll bring my boots too, just in case.


The Happiest Place on Earth

It was about six months ago that I learned about the Disneyland Half Marathon, being obsessed with Disney for most of my life it seemed that if I was going to put in the effort to do something as big as running  13.1 miles I might as well do it in one of my favorite places. Let me preface this story by being completely honest, I am great at having ideas and goals, ambitions and dreams, but I am not that great at obtaining them. I am excellent at making excuses about why now is not the time … but not anymore.

I logged onto Facebook Friday morning and saw that my friend Courtney posted about the Disneyland Half Marathon, she had signed up already. My mind instantly started racing, “wait it’s not until September” and “I talked about doing it, but can I actually do it?” For the next five minutes I thought to myself about how excited I was when I originally found out about it. How I planned to run it with my neighbor, how I was going to finally do something I talked about doing rather than making an excuse. Then I saw the cost of the race and promptly decided that it was too expensive, I couldn’t afford it. I made my excuse and I was sticking to it. Then something really weird happened. I talked myself out of the excuse, I pulled out my emergency credit card and I signed myself up for the race… by myself, with no one to hang on to.  Obviously at this point it was time to call my mom so she could justify this crazy decision I had just made.

Once mom had signed up too and had begun the preliminary planning I only felt one emotion, proud. It made me so proud of my mom to sign on for something like this I shed a few tears. It’s not easy to try something new, and it gets harder the older we get. I am neither a runner nor a serious athlete by any means. I played sports growing up and enjoy being active but in my adult life I have been more lazy than active. So this is big for me too, but I’d say it’s expected for someone my age, not really for my mother’s. I am over the moon that we get to experience this together. And so excited to add another thing to the list of why my mom is so cool. I hope I grow up to be more like her.
Lauren Miles


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