Monday, March 4, 2013

Disney's Princess Half Marathon (Sunday)


Today is the day! Had my alarms all set and clothes laid out. Check out that sick Raw Threads tee! Of course you know I didn't need more than one alarm. I could barely sleep I was so excited. I also had a nice surprise text from Miguel with the sweetest encouragement a girl could ever get. I am very lucky. I did get about 5 hours of sleep, maybe 5 and a half? If you follow this blog long enough you will probably get to see my obsession of the skull and cross bones more. I would apologize in advance but I'm not really sorry. It's completely kick-ass. Obviously I wore pants too. My capri leggings were black compression leggings from Old Navy. They are amazing and affordable. I suggest you give them a try before spending $70 on Under Armour or something else.

I dreamt about the beautiful bling I could get if I just finished this one race.... And what my next race would be....hmmm

I got to the spot where there were already ladies waiting for the bus to arrive. I was about fifth in the line at 2.45am. I had my water and wheat thins and was snacking away as I got to talk more with a seasoned half marathoner in her 70's. What an inspiration. She was so excited to run. I thought if she can do it, why am I so nervous?! I also helped out a lady with her Garmin. It's nice to be able to help someone else out. I had been the novice in every conversation I had this weekend. She didn't know how to set up intervals and needed her pacing turned off. Once on the bus I made friends with a girl who had deferred from last year because of surgery and missed out running with her friends but had her family come with her this year. Her and I walked towards the Race Retreat and that was where we separated (she had it, I didn't...thumbs down Meg). Very nice girl, I hope she did well. I then made my way towards the pre-corral walk. I ended up talking to a woman who was from Buffalo, New York. I wished I was a little faster so I could have had a corral near hers, she was so much fun to talk to. But FGH were to the right and ABCDE were to the left. We parted ways as well. runDisney did a great job with spreading out port-o-potties near the corrals. I appreciated them within hopping distance but far enough away to not smell them. As I was waiting in my corral I wished I had brought something to wear and donate before I started running. It was a little chilly. I did have room to stretch which was nice. Again, this is probably the best time to have someone to run with.

A little blurry but this is my view as we walked to the starting line. Didn't get any shots of the fireworks. Boo.

As we got going it was such a relief to see the entrance to Magic Kingdom, boy could I have kissed that speed bump! On purpose though, because they really are no joke, you gotta watch your step. Once the mass of 'princesses' (I use quotes because although I am famous for being the jerk in these situations some of the ladies I encountered were horrible to each other and I just kept to myself) ran down main street we turned towards Tomorrowland, wound through Fantasyland and well, what a perfect Gaston did my eyes see. Dear runDisney, THANK YOU! From the bottom of my cast member judging heart. Love, someone too short to be a princess. There have been some recent Gaston mess ups since the opening of New Fantasyland. This one was perfect. Had the smile and gestures down, everything was spot on. So here was my first picture break.

After I left Gaston I got cattle herded into the castle. The guys with the trumpets only distracted from the fact that it was the tee shirt line from the expo all over again. Holy Cogsworth I nearly had a panic attack.

Finally once outside of the castle we wound through Liberty Square, I momentarily got in line with Tiana, Naveen and the croc but didn't want to waste time so I quickly kept running. After we got out of the MK there were lines of characters. I passed them all waiting to find the shortest line. I can not remember where Pocahontas was but I know I really hoped Meeko was with her. It's okay, she was really really pretty.

Like I said before I had never actually seen 10 miles in a run before. I had ended at 9.75 my last long one before I came to Florida. I snapped a photo of Mile Marker 11 and iMessaged Miguel with my excitement. 

As I approached Mulan I got in line, took out my phone to get ready to take a photo with her and read Miguel's text message... "You're almost there don't stop"...It was exactly what I needed. I kept going, sorry Mulan, maybe another time. I was getting a little overwhelmed with relief and pride in myself once I hit the entrance of EPCOT. Seeing the tons of people there to enjoy the park and cheering you on is one of the coolest feelings in the world. One of the most UNcoolest feelings in the world is having a wall of people walking in front of you. There was only 1 mile to go. I wanted to just kick it into high gear and cross that finish line. 

Once I crossed the finish line I wanted to collapse and kiss the ground. I wasn't tired and was only in a little bit of physical pain. I was just exhausted with the emotions that had tagged along with me the whole half and then to see those cheering at the finish was the icing on the cake. I promptly accepted my medal and continued towards the Powerade/Water line. I couldn't get a hold of my father so I kept walking through. I wish they would give you more than 5 nanoseconds to take your picture with your medal. I completely faked my smile because of my emotions and you can tell. Grabbed my second days box of treats!!!! And had a seat on the ground, not my best choice all day.

Noms at it's best! Thank you runDisney!

I finally was able to get a text through to my father and told him I would meet them at the ICE COLD BEER tent. Genius runDisney, genius. When I saw my mother, my father and Emilia all standing there smiling it felt amazing. Then of course my father has to go and do something so sweet it took all the energy I had left not to cry. He walked up to me so proud and handed me a pink rose with a mickey inside it.

I got to see their motivational signs too! I had the best chEAR squad around! I am so proud to call them family. I couldn't have done it without them.

My father or Ojciec as I call him bought me a glass of bubbly to celebrate. It had been over 24 hours...on vacation...without a drink. Now's a good a time as any to have one! As a side note the black sparkly sweaty band did not move when I ran. It was worth the $15. I couldn't tell you why my eyes are so closed but yeah...

We got in line for our bus back to the Boardawlk, and boy were there a lot of princesses waiting to get back to their resorts as well. As we rode back I immediately wished I had checked a bag with a change of clothing. I forgot in all the excitement that I was soaked with sweat. Air conditioning on a bus and sweaty clothes make for an uncomfortable and cold ride. Once we arrived to the room the shower became my best friend. I changed, taped myself back up and we headed for the ESPN CLUB.

I proudly displayed my medal upon me and hobbled along the boardwalk to the ESPN Club. I was ready to eat anything and everything put in front of me. (That goes for drinking as well.) After a filling lunch, it was nap time. I am happy that I chose to nap because I didn't realize how tired I was, walking around for a couple hours after the race was good though too. I changed in to comfortable clothes and we headed to the Yacht and Beach Club. We had reservations at Cape May Cafe. Bring on the crab coma!

We stopped at Martha's Vineyard for a drink before Cape May. I adore my Sunrise Sangria. You can't go wrong with it at Disney. They sell it just about everywhere. Plus you get your daily intake of fruit. 

I enjoy this meal to the point that I wait for the freshly steamed crab to come out and would possibly get physical in line to get it. Ojciec wrote me a little note on the table too. I love him.

The desserts were amazing. Strawberry Shortcake was top on my list. I thought the cheesecake might have been raspberry but it was definitely blueberry, no thank you. And the flour-less chocolate cake is tasty as well.

We headed into EPCOT for a round or two of World Showcase and went back to the room to crash.


A few things I learned from my first half marathon.

1. Not everyone follows running etiquette. Pay attention to the guidelines set for whatever race you are running. Read up on it. It's not nerdy, its common courtesy as well as safety.
2. Walk on the dirt please, the road should be for those running. I say this as someone who is a runner/walker. I moved all the way off the road to let those running have a safe place to land their feet. They are moving much faster and have a higher risk of injury.
3. Get on the bus EARLY. Whatever you think is early add an extra 15 minutes to that.
4. Bring something to wear while waiting as well as something to sit on that you could donate. Even in Florida the early morning is chilly.
5. Take the Powerade and the water at every stand if you can. It helped keep me hydrated like nobody's business.
6. Do not take a Clif Shot if you haven't trained with them. As badly as I wanted one I wasn't about to risk my race because I got greedy.
7. The hill at mile 10 is not as bad as people think it is. But whatever you do, DON'T look back down the hill, people stopping and taking pictures and walking are hazards. You have time to look once on top of the exit towards EPCOT.
8. As exhausted as I understand some people were, hell I was pretty tired myself, walking the last mile really is upsetting to those trying to finish strong. Have a little awareness of your surroundings. Move if you see someone hustling to the finish line.
9. Karma will hit you faster than a rude comment from me will. A woman was loudly complaining about those walking (again I remind you I kept my mouth shut the entire race) as she herself was walking. Approximately 10 seconds later she face planted into the concrete. That is not a coincidence. It's karma. You have no idea what someone else is going through or has gone through to get to this point. As frustrated as I was with those around me, I respected them and their journey to not say something regretful in the heat of anger that could ruin their day.
10. Pick your outfit wisely. Moisture-wicking, tutu size, etc.
11. Be careful getting on and off transportation, your legs are far more jiggly than they feel.
12. If you can... DO NOT PEE during the race. Even with as much as I was drinking (literally I took 2 cups of powerade and one cup of water at every single water stop) as soon as the fireworks went off I did not stop at a port-o-potty once. The ladies that did, looked miserable waiting in line. If I'm going to stop it's going to be for a fantastic photo-op!
13. Eat whatever you damn well please once you have finished. You earned it.
14. Plan your next race within a week of completion. This way you will hold off the Post Race Depression that will set in almost 24 hours after you cross the finish line.


  1. Great recap! So sweet of your dad :)

  2. Thank you! He's amazing, he spoils me pretty good too!

  3. Congrats on your race! I totally agree with you about it all :)

    1. Thank you :) I'm glad someone else feels the same way!