Making Up for Lost Time with the Disney Star Wars 5k

Back in 2010, I had an epiphany that made me lose 150 pounds. It was that year’s trip to Orlando that changed my life, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in particular. I’ve talked about that experience quite a bit over the years. What I haven’t talked about so much is the next day: my visit to a Star Wars Weekend at Disney World. I was so excited. This particular Star Wars Weekend just happened to fall while we were in Florida for a work conference anyway, and we extended our trip so I could experience it. It was going to be awesome and fantastic and amazing and…

…the whole day turned out to be completely miserable.

The Magic of Hogsmeade Didn’t Kick In Immediately

Despite being amazing and life-changing, the day before the Star Wars Weekend’s kickoff was brutally exhausting. I mean, have you ever hit 3 separate theme parks in a single day? I have, and I don’t suggest it.

Between an early start at Animal Kingdom, rushing across Orlando to catch the Wizarding World’s soft opening window, and the Extra Magic Hours at Epcot that evening, that day was intense.

So waking up the next day to head over to Hollywood Studios (was it still MGM at that point? I can’t remember) was pretty rough. We were both zombies, and we honestly didn’t enjoy the Star Wars stuff at all.

I mean, we didn’t ride Star Tours (and it no longer exists!). We didn’t line up for the super-awesome character and actor parade, which is why all my our pics are from such wonky angle. We didn’t even stand around for character photos, so all my photo-op pics have strangers in them instead of Jennifer and me.

Even Jedi Mickey and Artoo. Le sigh. Don’t even get me started on missing out on the other events and parties and festivities that were going on. We didn’t do any of it.

So basically, we had made a point to suck up the cost of an extended Disney World trip because of a Star Wars Weekend. Then we basically didn’t even take part on it.

Happen Again, That Will Not

Nope. It certainly will not.

When my buddy and I registered ourselves and our wives for the runDisney Star Wars 5k (and for me, the 10k and half marathon), we were excited by the idea of “Captain Phasma leading the charge,” as the runDisney website puts it. We want to challenge Kylo Ren to fisticuffs, sit on the Emperor’s throne, and get our picture taken with as many droids as possible.

You know, the kinds of things I should have been doing in 2010, but let slip right through my fingers like Tatooine sand.

And yeah, I know that hindsight is 20/20, yadda yadda yadda, and I am probably remembering the exhaustion being way less of a burden than I felt it was then. But, folks, let me tell you: I can’t even imagine letting Jedi Mickey just walk away from me. I would chase him down and Force pull him into the frame of my camera.

I didn’t in 2010. But by golly, that’s just what I plan on doing at the Star Wars 5k.

The Force is Strong with the Star Wars 5k

This round of training is not me running at my best. I am nowhere near as fast as I used to be, and I can’t run as far. That’s what I get for barely running for two years. However, I’m trying to be easy on myself and not really worry about time, pace, or anything else. I just want to be there. I just want to have fun.

My plan is to use the Disney Star Wars 5k race on Friday to get as many of the character shots and fun stuff like that as I can. There will be stuff set up all over the course, and since I submitted time from my last half marathon, I should be in an early enough corral for the lines not to get too long before I can get to the stations. I am sure I will stop and grab a photo here and there during the 10k and half, too, but I think the 5k will be the most laid-back of the three.

I’ve got a feeling that the 5k may be the┬áStar Wars-iest of all my Star Wars races that weekend. Plus, I am running it with my wife and friends, and I legit have no idea how fast they run a 5k. Heck, I don’t even know if we’re planning on sticking together on the course. And that doesn’t matter in the slightest.

My plan is to enjoy the Star Wars 5k with my wife and friends rather than racing it. I did enough racing around back in 2010, and look where that got me.