Friday, March 9, 2012

Princess Half Marathon: My Take on the Magic!

A year ago running a mile would have seemed impossible for me.  The motivation to run would have to come from someone running after me with a knife (I can dodge bullets so a gun wasn't a  So, September rolls around and my body is taken over by aliens.  Okay that is a bit dramatic.  I signed my self up.  So with registration money already paid out I had nothing to do but-RUN!  So I ran and trained and ate and ran and ate and ran and worked out and ran somemore.  And, I am happy to say that I ran that 13.1!  And with the exception of taking a few walking steps to down some water or eat some sports beans, I RAN!!!!  So, was it worth it? 

You bet it was!  And I am going to do it again.  My crazy self might even try another Run Disney event because I am here to tell you that when Disney puts on a race, they put on a race!  So if you are interested, take a moment to view my half marathon highlights!  I am going to try to do this sequentially to give you a full taste of the magic! 

Saturday, February 25th:

4:00 pm
Yay!  After a long drive we finnaly arrived at Disney World (we got caught in traffic froma wreck on I4 FOREVER!)  So I had two tasks: #1 Get "checked" in at the ESPN Wide World of Sports (so that I could race) and #2 meet up with the ladies I kept accountable with Get Active with Tips From the Disney Diva and Chip and Co.  at the Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney.

So, we thought we'd check in first just so the half marathon would be a possibility.  The check in process was really easy.  We were lead right to the expo area where we found our check in area by alphabet.  It literally took 2 minutes!  We made a mad dash through the expo where we picked up tons of samples (we racked up on chapstick, Luna bars, grapefruit, Geico beads, and even Moonpies!).

 And My favorite part was when we got pixie dusted by the ladies of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique! 

4:30(ish) pm
So we get pixie dusted and literally had to FLY to Downtown Disney to catch the last 30 minutes of the meet up.  First off, let me just say, I felt like I was meeting rockstars!  It is crazy meetin people I've laughed, cried, and ran with for the past 5 months in person!  We got AWESOME t-shirts, a mini tiara, a great Thirtyone makeup bag and nail file, candy, and even princess tattoos!  I loved every rushed minute of it! 

6:00 pm
So we get "home" and have high hopes of a carb filled dinner and going to bed with the sun.  That didn't so much happen.  It took FOREVER to get our spaghetti and we ate probably too late for it to do any good at all... oh well.  Off to bed we went until...

Sunday, February 26th:

3:00 am (we should just say dark early)
With what felt like a 25 minute nap behind me, my sister and I prepared for the race.  She ate a bagel I ate toast, peanut butter, and a banana.  After getting princessified...

 we bundled up in sweats...
Okay, so this is not our best picture!  But in our defense it was about 5 am!  

You should consider this is if you do the Princess half because at 4 in the morning it is chilly and we read that all clothing items left on the course would be donated to the needy so we donned illfitting sweats and headed out.

Somewhere between 4 and 5 am:
After battling traffic (the only disorganized part of the day) we FINALLY made it to the starting point.  We entered ready to run! 

 The speakers blared as an emcee reminded runners that we had to be in our corral by 5:30.  By now it is about 5:15 and I am freaking out that we are going to miss it.  We made our way through the tents and toward the queue only to find out that this is what awaited us.

Just in case you didn't inferre here...this is a sea of costume wearing waiters.  So we waited for what seemed like forever!  5:30 came and went and we were still in this jam.  After about 25 minutes of baby steps we were relieved to pass port-o-pottys and discover that, the hold up ended there.  We quickly walked on the next set of pottys and went to the restroom and scooted into corral D in just enough time!

6:00 am
The excitement with the start of each corral A-C had my heart going!  Each corral was released by the Fairy Godmother (you know from Cinderella).  As she said  Salagadoola mechicka boola   3 2 1 and fireworks shot off in the morning darkness I was ready.  Of course they played music to pump us up even more (the obligatory Black Eyed Peas I Got a Feeling!) played as we inched our way closer to the start!.  So finally 18 minutes (6 minutes between each corral release) we are off.  I found it easy to run after about the first 1/4 of a mile.  A bit slower than usual but that was okay!  


Mid race 6:18-8:44 give or take
We had an awesome run.  I was so worried about my foot but, it ended up being alright (only a bit of pain after about the 10 mile mark).  There was entertainment set up along the way in the form of Disney favorites.  I didn't stop for any pictures because the lines were extremely long and I had some unfortunate technical difficulties with my point and shoot (I am a SLR kinda girl these days) so I only got a few shots/videos along the way. I saw Jack Sparrow, my favorite Disney heroes, the villians, Pocahontas, Belle (and oddly enough in together), trampoline performers, a DJ, Donald and Daisy, and so many more!  There were also Power aid/Water tables set up along the way and even some gels at the 10th or so mile (gels are no bueno for me so I kept trucking there).  As well as multiple first aid stops with Biofreeze (think asprin you rub onto pain) and petroleum jelly, etc.

My favorite part was at mile 6 when I realized that the Magic Kingdom was up next!  I love, love, loved every part of the course going through the Magic Kingdom.  I have always had a dream that I am running free through the Magic Kingdom by myself.  As I got a half way version of this experience during the race I was breathless (well not really) but I did have goosebumps (even though I was sweating) and dare I even say...tears...just a little that I blinked back with a chuckle as I high-fived an onlooker.  Onlookers ROCK!  They provided me with just the right umph when I needed it!  And I'll admit I did need it!  



 Especially at about the 10th mile.  I started to think about my foot, the approaching overpasss (the scary hill from what I read on the internet which turned out not to be that bad-thank you SC hilly training grounds) and how long I had to go.  I was tired.  I think the thing that got me through that mental block was thinking about all the people who were counting on me.  I literally went through each kid in my class's name thinking what would they say if I didn't make it.  I thought about all that training and hard work.  I thought about my friends and family who had supported me along the way.  And I MADE IT!!!!!!  I remember coming up that not so scary hill and seeing Spaceship Earth in the distance.  I got a burst of energy as we rounded the corner where two microphoned men asked runners to shout out their home town.  I knew then I was close.  And just when I needed it most I saw my family! They screamed and held up signs and I gave the thumbs up!  I had less than a mile to go.  I think that was probably the hardest mile I have ever done.  I kept thinking the finish line would be around the next corner of each turn.  Finally I see a choir singing and celebrating us and then I see the huge FINISH line!  I ran through at a time I am not ashamed of at all 2 hours and 26 minutes.  I finished!  I had a bum foot!  I was in the top 1/3 of finishers!  A year before I couldn't do a mile and I just ran 13.1 of them!  And to top it all off...I WAS AT DISNEY WORLD!  

8:44 ish am
We got our medals and snapped a photo together and chowed down on some post race snacks  (you could pick fruit, a Luna bar, and everyone got a boxed set of healthy goodies like roasted edamame, humus, crackers, dark chocolate, and fruit and nuts), and we also got to choose a pack of Disney gummies (I got Toy Story for my nephew).  We went home showered up and hit the park like pros!  I felt like an Olympian when I finished saying now that I am done I am going to Disney World!What a fun day!!!!

 I really enjoyed this race!  The course was great and the magic was evident in every footstep!  I am hooked on some Disney Running!  Here's what I have been thinking over...

Can we say YEAH! for the Tower of Terror 10 miler?

1 comment:

  1. Yay! Congratulations! Definitely inspired me for the 10k run I'm doing tonight. Not nearly as fun as a Disney race, but I'll get there next year! =)