After the excitement of the “Fit for a Princess” expo the day before, I was beyond ready to get a little running done on my vacation. I had dealt with my feelings of disappointment in terms of choosing to skip with 1/2 marathon this year and I was actually really excited about the Beauty and the Beast 5k. My only worry was that I would not get my princess fix!
The hubs and I were up long before the sun to head over to Epcot for the start of the race. I ate 1/2 cliff bar (I just wasn’t feeling it) and picked up a big bottle of water. I dressed up in my signature pink (with a tiara to match) and we were off.
When the hubs and I arrived at Epcot there were already tons of other Princesses (and Princes) milling around. I am not ashamed to admit I rocked out to some Nsync, Britney, and even some Miley as we waited for the morning’s events to get started. I had “talked smack” all week about getting a photo with Beast from Beauty and the Beast so I was pretty excited to see that he, along with Belle, were posing for photos with runners. I was one of the last girls to get a photo with Beast before they brought out Gaston.
It was a perfect FL morning and I feel confident saying the weather was pretty much perfect. I started to get those fun butterflies as the parking lot got more and more crowded. After my half marathon experience back in the fall it felt so nice to go into a race excited rather than anxious. I was all smiles as the hubs and I passed the time.
I was having so much fun, I could hardly believe over an hour had passed and it was time to head over to the starting area. The hubs and I parted ways and a reader of the blog came over to introduce herself. It was really cool to be “recognized”. We tried to snap a photo together but sadly it didn’t turn out. I think the autofocus on my camera was having a hard time. In any case the hubs continued to snap photos of the starting line up. And before I knew it we were off and running!!
The fireworks at the starting line always give me a burst of energy (funny I know) and so I took off at a quick pace. I placed myself at the back of the 13 minute milers which might have been a little ambitious. However, for the first mile of the race I felt as though I was really keeping a great pace. (note to self: MUST get a Garmin!) The first mile of the race was pretty boring highway/parking lot stuff but once we neared the entrance to Epcot I felt my energy level soar.
I know for many of you seasoned runners out there what I am about to confess might not seem like much but to me it was incredibly important. At the two mile point I came to the realization that I was running “in the pack” instead of struggling at the tail end. It had been my experience in most races that I would see person after person or group after group pass me by. With this run not only was I saying within my group but I was even passing a few people. It was a whole new experience for me. It also didn’t hurt that there were fabulous characters every quarter mile or so and I was super excited to see what was coming next. I promised myself I was not going to stop for photos. I even passed up Snow White who is right at the top of my photo wish list. I was doing great until I saw…. Alice AND the Hatter. Of course you all KNOW I had to stop for that! I lost about 8 minutes with my little pit stop but it was totally worth it!
I had watched what felt like 1,000 people pass my by while I waited in line for my photo. So, since it was in the last mile, I decided it would be fine for me to sprint. I did this for about 4 minutes before having to settle into a brisk walk/jog for the last half mile or so. I was even able to catch back up with the tail end of my “pack”.
I ran the last quarter mile and finished the race strong and happy. The experience was just what I needed to put me in the right frame of mind for my Spring running schedule!It was also really exciting to have the hubs at the end snapping photos and cheering me on!
If you subtract the 8 minutes I lost at “Alice” and the nearly 5 minutes it took me to cross the start line my time was actually pretty good (for me). I can truly say I was proud of my effort and the low pressure (super fun) event was a great way to jump start my Spring running schedule with confidence!
This sweaty princesses headed back to the hotel to get ready for a day of fun at MGM aka Hollywood Studios.
Did you run in the 5k or Princess 1/2 this year? Comment and leave a link to YOUR race recap! <3