Disney Princess Half Marathon – My (late) recap of my first half marathon.
I have posted on and off about my completion of the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2013 (PHM) on previous posts imported from my old blog to this one.
How I ended up doing a Disney Princess Half marathon
So my path to a half marathon started by spending a lot of time online during my husbands deployment. I found I instantly LOVED Blogging and runDisney. Specifically – the Princess Half Marathon. I immediately contemplated doing this, put the word out to my mom, husband over seas, friends, seeing if anyone wanted to do it. Well they were all interested, and they were ALL runners ready to go – while I was struggling with being very overweight, fighting an autoimmune disease that caused fatigue, and having no personal time due to unpaid overtime at work. I did not train well at all. I mean I always did my long training with my friend on Saturdays and got up to 11 miles in my longest walk, but I was slow 14:30-15 minute walking and I would “run” on an elliptical. PS. An Elliptical is not a “run” it is cross training, and does not count as a run. Do not kid yourself, you will regret that! I do! So now that we know my training was walk and talks with friends, I will let you in on a spoiler- I FINISHED 13.1 MILES at DISNEY!!
The Vacation, and the starting line.
This was the first vacation my now husband I were going to have with my parents and we were going to spend a week in Disney hitting up the parks, relaxing, and just spending time with my parents. Spending time with my parents has become so precious living in another state and it was perfectly timed after my husband returned from deployment. That will have a post of all its own some day soon, but one of my best friends from college and her new husband were also coming to do the race as well! It was a PARTY! My friend started in the corral ahead of us, and my mom and hubby in the one behind her –E corral. I am very happy we chose to do the race first.
We all stayed off property and traveled in for the race ( My next Princess Half Marathon in 2014 I stayed ON property 😉 ). We personally had some stubborn drivers in our car, but we got to the parking so quickly with no real troubles. We were so confused at the tents/DJ area we snapped this picture by my dad and parted ways. Sadly, we had no idea he could come in that area with us! It was all tutus everywhere, and lines for who knew what. So he just tried to head to the Magic Kingdom to wait. Poor dad. We also did not know what was going on and just saw hoards of people walking somewhere, so naturally we used the porta-potties, and followed the people not knowing what was going on. Are you sensing a trend?
Honestly I did not think we walked that far to the corrals, but from other bloggers Garmin pictures, I guess It was kind of far! Most people reported 20 minute walk, but I really thought it felt like a few minutes as I was too busy absorbing in the atmosphere. LOVING IT.
What I love about Disney is they do not skimp on any of the magical features. Whether you are first or last, you get to see the starting fireworks, the Fairy Godmother still sees you off, and your start to your race is absolutely magical. Unlike any other race I have participated in, this one is truly not one to miss. This is not because I adore Disney to pieces either, it really is incredible even my husband thinks so! (he is a non-Disney addict)
So Plus sized “running” with crappy training- Not so good.
I seriously think I finished this race on pure Disney magic. Or pixie dust. My husband obviously had not listened when I admitted I had never “run” outside, and all my runs took place on an elliptical. (I know.) The weather was hot, 78ish, and 98% humidity; so not the conditions I did speed walk outside in, and something my asthma was not ready for. So lets run the first mile in 10 minutes? Oh yeah, and I was having shin splints on pavement, overall the pain started to smack me in the face. Something with my feet was going horribly wrong ( poorly fitted brooks), and I just tried to focus on the Magical miles entertainment Disney set up.
We had a good speed walking pace after my husband stretched my shins, why he thought I could run? Ha! I do not know. So I was hot, sucking air, but I would pick people out from my corral that were near me, and race to stay up with them. It was working, and then before we knew it we were coming up through main street! The beautiful castle I love so much was ahead, and I was sweaty and happy! Note to other asthmatics: do not place your inhaler in your sweat drenched sports bra. Terrible things happen to your skin. I have scars to prove it!
I was honestly doing fine at the castle, I was still going about 14:30 –15 minute miles, walking my way through everything just hot and steamy. The Castle was SO crowded when we got there, we could not see my dad anywhere, and it was hard to move through by the time we got there. My mom and friend did not have any problems as they were a solid hour plus faster than me.
It was still magical. I was with my husband who wore a Wal-Mart running shirt I turned into Prince Charming costume ( It is made with glue, random items I bought and took apart to make the shirt, and broken sewing machine needles happened more than once but SO WORTH it!)
I was starting to find pain after the castle, my shoes were not purchased at a 1/2 size bigger so there was blisters and lost toe nails. I did not know what the medical stations were handing out, and just kept walking. I wish I would have stopped after the fact, I was really going to need it! I am so thankful for the water stations, I was so dehydrated by the Magic Kingdom, and had no problems drinking a ton of water for once. My body craved it.
Seeing as I did not train as well as my husband, I was hurting pretty much around mile 9. I was starting to hate everything, especially the fact I was slow and under trained. I just wanted to stop at a character stop, but the lines were so long for me. Scared of getting swept for being too slow, I never paused to even check out the shorter lines. Looking back that was silly; I had what looked like thousands of people behind me. The music, the entertainment, and the Characters that I wish we stopped for were all VERY good distractions and mood boosters for me.
So then around mile 11ish, there was a Toy Story Solider –Telling us there is only one more over pass. He lied. I was DYING. I had only used a pre-race Gatorade thing, and no fuel while racing. I felt I was walking on stubs, and just overall had weird feeling. That whole ‘racing to keep up with people around me‘ had started to fail, as some of the later corrals behind us started catching up. Thankfully the end was close! I literally was feeling like I could not run through the finish line. Actually, now that I think back – I was pretty delirious at this point.
The Finish Line!
I was so thankful for that little box of snacks and the water and sports drink. My dad was with my mom who finished in a little over an hour before us, ( my sweet husband walked the whole time with me) and my dad was shouting at me from the cheer section to drink the sports drink, and more sports drink till we reunited. (apparently I was pale as a ghost and everyone was worried, without telling me until the color returned.) I wish now I would have stopped at the medical tents after getting our fantastic snack boxes. It was all run so smoothly, but we just headed back to the timeshare and relaxed, napped, and coördinated with my friend and her husband for an awesome post race meal and Raglan Square in Downtown Disney.
This was the MOST amazing bread pudding and post race treat.
Magical end notes
Yes, I was slow and poorly trained.
Yes, I suffered some nights at parks from extreme foot pain following the race. The days were fine
Yes, it sounds a little miserable if you look at the negative parts.
I finished 13.1 miles, I had a wonderful time looking at all the entertainment along the way. It truly was magical in every way, the Disney way.
I was so motivated by my first experience, I am running Coast to Coast! Or Castle to Castle as I like to refer to it as in 2014 in the special Tinkerbell and Princess Half marathon coast to coast. I will earn this beautiful medal in addition to both my Tinkerbell and Princess medals.
I was so motivated to do “better” at these next ones. Not to become faster, but to run fast enough to wait at character stops and still finish without being swept.
I would love to connect on twitter with you!