Editor’s note: Two ESPN Communications colleagues, Vice President, Corporate Communications Katina Arnold and senior publicist Kristen Hudak, are training together to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon in Orlando, Fla. on Feb. 23. Arnold previously provided a look inside their approach to training and an update about their progress as the race neared.
It’s hard to believe that our journey began six months ago and it all comes down to tomorrow. As I look back on our training, I remember how much I agonized over the seven-mile mark. For several weeks, I tried to do more but stalled between seven and eight miles and got really discouraged.
At that time, ESPN NFL Nation reporter Ben Goessling, who covers the Minnesota Vikings, provided some key advice that helped me push past my own limits. A cross-country and track runner in high school, Ben has completed three marathons and countless races.
“One thing I always tell new runners is you’re capable of more than you think you are,” Goessling said. “It’s a gradual process of building on what you’ve already done and getting your body used to handling more.”
Ben helped me block out the self-doubt, encouraged me to make my own water stop outside during long runs, taught me to split the race up in my mind into shorter races (5-miles, 5-miles and a 5K, in this case) and suggested trying different energy supplements to avoid my seven-mile burnouts. I put his advice into practice a few days later and managed to reach the elusive 10-mile mark. It was a huge boost of confidence.
For Katina, NBA Countdown host Sage Steele has provided a wealth of advice including some last-minute words of wisdom for race day. Sage’s previous Princess Half Marathon training was also chronicled here on Front Row.
“Stick to your plan,” she advised. “The run-walk interval method truly works. I’ll never forget having a ton of energy and sprinting past hundreds people over the last mile. And, it’s okay to stop and take pictures with the characters. You deserve to enjoy it after all of these months of hard work.”
“Trust the training and have fun,” Goessling added. “Physiologically, you are prepared for this. If you believe that, and run with the confidence that comes from all the hard work you’ve already done, it’s amazing how much more satisfying the race will be.”
We wouldn’t be ready for this without the incredible support of our friends, families and colleagues. A very special thank you to Ben, Sage, Caroline Bilodeau, manager, affiliate operations, Chris Duffy, manager, talent planning, Mike Humes, manager, communications and everyone at ESPN. You can follow our progress via the RunDisney website and look for updates on Twitter (@KristenESPN, @KatinaESPN).
Kristen Hudak and Katina Arnold contributed to this post.
• TrueHoop founder Henry Abbott is set to take over as the NBA deputy editor on ESPN.com.
• An ESPN camera was in the right place at the right time to capture a falling piece of metal at Assembly Hall.
• Studio host and SportsCenter anchor Jaymee Sire shared an interesting fact about herself, her favorite hobby and more.
• Shortly after winning the the Daytona pole, NASCAR driver Austin Dillon made a visit to ESPN.
1. The Mike & Mike staff is put through some of the drills from the NFL scouting combine:
2. From Rick Reilly: Mizzou students display true spirit supporting Michael Sam.
3. Kevin Grow, high school team manager with Down syndrome, lives out his dream as a 76er:
Why We Love Sports Today: Kevin Grow, high school team manager with Down syndrome, lives out his dream as a 76er. pic.twitter.com/9JMCmKywGb
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 19, 2014
4. Enjoy an array of photos from the ESPN Images’ Images of the Week.