Monday, February 27, 2012

13.1 miles of Awesomeness at Disney

So my first half marathon was a success! A slow success but never the less, I finished it and got my medal!
2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon Medal

5 months ago if you were to ask me if I would ever run a half marathon, I would have laughed at you. I was an athlete in high school. I did cheerleading and softball, and weightlifting every year, but after graduation in 2009, and my wedding last year, I have gained weight, and fell out of shape. I could barely run a quarter mile with out needing CPR, let alone finish 13.1 miles.

The journey begins, the end of October 2011, my friend Liz and I were talking, and she said she wanted to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon. With out thinking, I said that I did too (which was true, but I never ran). So on November 1st, 2011 I began training for my first half marathon. I did great for the first few weeks. I stayed on a training schedule, and ran everyday or at least four times a week. I felt great working out every day, and eating healthy.

I never thought about the fact that I had bad knees from sports in high school, and shin splints.  Well after about four weeks of training, my body really felt like it was breaking down. I went for a long run (3 miles) on a Saturday morning with Liz, and my knee was hurting really bad, so I had a decision I needed to make. I had to decide if I wanted to slow down training and just work on finishing the race, or keeping pushing to be able to run the whole thing. I chose to be able just to finish the race.

So this brings us to January ( I gave my knees and shins ample time to heal... plus with the holidays and everything... ok to be honest I fell back into the rut I was in with no exercise, and I just used my knees as an excuse.) In January, I ran about once a week, but nothing major or recorded. Well as the year flies by, I realized it was two weeks before our race. I ran a few times a week, just to stay limber and not go out cold turkey. I read some blogs about walking/running the marathons, where you run a minute, then walk a minute, or what ever ratio works for you. I decided to do this type of running. :-) It seemed easy, and not nearly as intimidating as running 13.1 miles.

February 25th, 2011, Expo Day!!!

The expo was held at the Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World.
Liz and I (Left) at the Complex in front of the Globe!!

Pausing to take some pictures and laughs, we had a great time at the expo. We got tons of free stuff, including luna bars, hot pink boas, tastes of GU and Clif Shots, we got lots of pamphlets, and went back for more luna bars.. lol. We picked up our race packets with our race bibs, and shirts too. We spent a lot of time at the expo, but didnt spend much money (Though there was plenty of things that could be purchased.)

Ok on to Sunday:

So we had to be at the park around 4:30am, so the alarm was set at 3AM!! After five hours of sleep, I woke up to a pretty rested body. I woke up really excited and nervous, so I only ate half a banana, and drank a lot of water. This is what I packed for my first half marathon:
Starting Left to Right Clockwise: Grey running capris, sunglasses, a hair bow, black running skirt, my pjs, athletic tape, tylenol, running sneakers, socks, sports bra, running tank top, and a long sleeve shirt (just in case)
 With my clothing all set out the night before, it was so easy to just get up and put on my gear. We were out of the house at 3:20 AM on our way to Epcot.

Me, Liz, and Josh (Liz's Husband)
 The car ride over was pretty exciting. There was a lot of traffic, at 4 AM but we arrived safely, and on time!

Me and Liz before the race waiting for the line-up

The air was pretty cold, at about 50 Degrees, and there was a breeze blowing, but it was fully prepared for with light jackets!

We stopped to take some pics before we were sweaty and tired:

When the announcer called everyone to begin making our way to the corrals, there was warning that it would take about 20 minutes to walk to the corrals, so we started off almost immediately. The good thing about being in Corral F, was that we didn't have to rush to the front of the line. There were 16,000 people all trying to make their way to the same place as the rest of us.

16,000 people making their way to their corrals

Once we got to our Corrals, they were crowded but very exciting. The Fairy God mother came out to wish us all the best of luck, and start off the race with some serious fireworks, and celebration. It was a truely magical experience.

Off we went. The race began!!! I started my pacing immediately. I ran only for two minutes, then walked a minute. and so on and so forth. I read a lot of tips, and they all said to be careful at the beginning, so you don't push yourself to hard and lose the strength.

**This is the point that I will say make sure you go to the bathroom before you line up in the corrals, because the first two bathroom stops were huge lines, and once I relaxed into my pace, all that water I drank definitely caught up with me**

 After a few miles, you run under the magic kingdom sign, that was like a breath of fresh air. There is many milestones along the way, and this is definitely one of them.

Mile 6
Mile 5- 7 is pretty awesome. You actually run through magic kingdom, and at mile 6 you run through the castle! It is awesome. Another fresh air moment, and we are back to keeping pace.

About mile 7 my legs and feet started really hurting so I slowed down quite a bit. I would only run for a minute, then walk for three minutes. The last stretch of miles were kind of boring, they are pretty much down access roads, so there isn't a lot to see, but it was nice to relax a bit.

Mile 11 was the longest mile for me. It felt like it drug on and on. Also the last couple miles before epcot are kind of hilly. There is I think three over passes you climb. But knowing that there is only 3 miles left is amazing. Running through epcot was cool. There was a church choir singing, and that made my feet move a little bit faster, then... there is was!!! I could see the finish line! It was beautiful! 13.34 miles later (according to my GPS) I had finished my first half marathon. My time wasn't impressive at 3:16, but it was awesome to me!!!

My didn't hurt as bad as I thought they would, but I had them wrapped with ice anyway just in case!

I finally caught back up with Liz who by the way ran it in 2:20!!

There we are! Medals and Ice!!! Lol We finished our first half marathons!
This experience was so much fun! Tiring ye, but fun, and after I can walk again without being sore, I am beginning training for a healthier life style, and possible a 5k that I run the whole thing!!!

Oh yea, and the actual winner of the race finished the run in 1:16! She even beat all the boys!

I am going to keep up with my blog on my running experiences, and Next year around this time, there will definitely be another Disney Princess Half Marathon Medal on my wall!


  1. I just came over to your blog and I LOVE this! Thanks for posting an account for people like me who are super excited but have no idea what we are getting into, lol. You looked amazing Princess!!! Can't wait to join in!

    1. Thank you!! I know you will do well! The Princess half is amazing! You will LOVE IT! Good luck!

    2. I have a TON of questions about registering, proof of time, hotels... I would love to pick your brain :) Can I email you? My email is on my contact page, so if you could... could you send me a note so I have yours? Disney takes down so much information after the race it's hard to find out stuff. I called them and they actually told me to look around at blogs!

  2. Love ur blog!!!! I'm 38, 40 lbs overweight, and just signed up for my first run at Disney!!! I must be crazy!!!! I've got 7 months to get in shape!!