Saturday, April 27, 2013

Remembering Determination and the Importance of Support

Yes, I know I haven't posted for a couple of weeks but I'll address that in a different post.  I wanted to get back to the blogger challenge and catch up a bit.  I'm skipping the day 13-15 topic...I did two posts for the day 10-12 topic so in my mind, that makes up for the skip ;-)

So the next topic was to pick any picture from your Facebook or Instagram pics and write about it.  You can see the pic I chose above; I actually didn't take the photo (obviously, I'm the one the red hat!).

This photo was taken by a ROTE friend during the 2011 Disney full Marathon as I was making my way from World Showcase in Epcot toward Future World.  I would guess this around mile 25.5, maybe a bit farther, and by that point my feet were killing me, my back was sore and all I was thinking was "just keep walking, don't stop, one foot in front of the other".  I was focused straight ahead when I heard one of the ROTErs, Joey shouting at me, "You're doing it Carra!"  I saw him walking with someone else-I can't for the life of me remember who-toward World Showcase and waved.  He is the one who actually posted this picture on Facebook and tagged me in it (thank you Joey!), and was the last ROTEr I saw before I crossed the finish line.

Even though my body was overwhelmingly sore, tired and ready to just collapse by that point, hearing and seeing people I knew cheering for me continued to lift my spirits and drive me on.  I didn't stop-even though I really wanted to have the Photopass photographer take my picture when I got by the fountains in Future World-I knew if I stopped I'd never get going again and I just wasn't going to let that happen with the finish line so close.  I was DETERMINED to get my Mickey medal!

My point in choosing this particular picture?  The importance of support.  When I first started my journey into the running world, I happened to come across an online forum of people who were runners who loved Disney and running Disney races.  I've made a lot of friends from that forum and having them online for support, advice and friendship before and after races and especially along the course cheering me and everyone else on is invaluable and tremendously motivating.  I can tell you without any doubt in my mind that I would have never been able to finish that race if it wasn't for my ROTEr friends-especially those I saw from the point of exiting Animal Kingdom through the end of the race.  They helped spur me on and get me going enough to leave those sweepers in the dust.

I gave shout outs to them in my 2011 Disney Full Marathon Race Report post, but I just wanted to recognize and thank them again-Joey (of course-you're always there with such kind and supportive words before and after races), Erica (super big hugs!), Tracy, and especially Colleen and Dawn-if you two hadn't of been there outside of Animal Kingdom, I would never have been able to dig so deep and start running to get away from the sweepers that were closing in-seriously.

Don't ever underestimate the power of your support crew-whether they are there so you can just hand off a jacket, grab a drink, pass you some Twizzlers or just clap/cheer/ring a cowbell/hold a sign...or scream your name, jump up and down or honk their horn as they're driving by you on the course.  They'll help keep you going and give you that push you need to make it across that finish line.

And if you're looking for a group that will do all that for you-and so much more-be sure to check out Running of the Ears.  I know you'll be glad you did.  Here's some pics of the group:
This pic is from the Monday after the 2010 Marathon Weekend (my first half marathon)
A bunch of ROTErs at Downtown Disney at the start of race weekend 2010
A bunch of us volunteering at the mile 13 water stop at the 2010 Disney full marathon (see our red hats?)
Group shot before the 2012 Princess Half Marathon

Group shot before the 2012 Tower of Terror 10-Miler
Do you have a support group for your running/walking/racing?


  1. Love this post and I couldn't agree more with what you said. Joey was the last ROTEr I saw before I crossed the finish line in 2011 also. ROTErs are the best!

    1. Julie! Having you still at the H tent after 2011 to make sure I came in meant so much! A big (((HUG))) for you...looking forward to seeing you again :-)