I finally did the race that motivated me to start running! In 2011 my boyfriend and I were visiting Disney World during our Spring Break and as we were heading to the park we saw tons of people returning to the hotel in fluffy tutus, sparkly crowns, and big shiny medals. Immediately I wanted to know what was going on. A quick question to the front desk and I learned about runDisney and the Princess Half Marathon. I said one day I was going to run that race. Well that day was today.
I had a goal of 2:20 which I know was unrealistic I but was optimistic. It didn’t happen. But I’m actually 100% OK with that and here’s why…
I felt so good throughout the entire race! My BFF, Mert, and I were jogging a long no problem. I even said to her around the fifth mile, this feels like it’s going by so fast. Also around the fifth mile we stopped for our first character picture with Buzz Lightyear in the Magic Kingdom! We had passed others like, Jack Sparrow and a group of Princes that we wanted to get a picture with but they had really long lines, so we decided against it. I wasn’t having a 10-Miler repeat.
Shortly after Buzz we saw Tiana and Louis (the gator) from Princess & the Frog, so we stopped for a picture with them. We ran for a while after that because we were as invested in the characters or we had seen them before. But then we hit an area with lots of characters in a row and we stopped at almost all of them. We saw Lilo & Stitch, the Genie, and Princess Atta (A Bug’s Life) all within a mile or two of each other.
But then it got even better! We were able to see the Princes and the Pirates! The ones we wanted to see so bad at the beginning were also toward the end. That was the most exciting part.
The least exciting part came at the dreaded 11.5 miles. I’ve noticed whether it’s training or a race, my body starts to hate me at 11.5 miles. I felt like I was going to die and just wanted to be done. We hit the twelfth mile marks and my Mert started to speed up a bit. I don’t think she even realized it. I think adrenaline just kicked in and she was ready to finish. I was ready too but it was hard to keep pushing my body.
We finally made it down the last stretch to the finish line and I heard them announce my name. It was so cool. That hasn’t happened before and I was very excited about it. We ended up finishing the race in 2:49:41 which was slower than I wanted and slower than last time, but when you factor in how many pictures we stopped for, it was still a good time. I was also wearing my Nike+ SportWatch and was pausing it when we stopped for pictures, and it said we finished in 2:29:28. We basically had 20 minutes worth of character time.
Even though I didn’t finish it as fast as I would have liked, I’m still really happy because I got tons of pictures and rarely had to walk. We ran basically the full thing. We stopped for pictures, walked through the water stations we stopped at, and walked once when we were on a weird section of road that was angled and bothered my knee. Otherwise, I ran it, which I never imaged doing. Those character pictures must have been enough to keep me going.
All in all, it was a great race and I’m so happy with it. Now on to training for my 10K!