I’ve really been thinking about what I wanted to say about this experience. After reading recap after recap Im sure you’ve already heard about the course, the photo opportunities, the “Girl On Fire” mile and so many of the same details over and over again. While those things are all important they are not the things I will always remember about my magical run. These are….
Getting up at 2:30 in the morning is PAINFUL. Nobody should see that side of 2:00am. That is just a fact. However, you know you are in good company when you can still manage to laugh hysterically at the silliest jokes with your Princess friends. Andrea and I spent the morning totally cracking up and I wouldnt have had it any other way. We also managed to snap a photo or two before heading out to catch the bus.
I was really honored to be running in memory of my friend’s young son who recently (and suddenly) passed away. Even though it was the smallest of small gestures I was glad to attach a Mickey in his honor to my race outfit.
After getting ourselves together we rode over to Epcot. I was really nervous and I even teared up a time or two. Andrea was a true Princess and encouraged me the entire way. After making our way down the “red carpet” we started to notice just how many princesses we were among. The last time I ran this race there were approximately 13,000 princesses participating and this year that number had more than doubled. It was truly something to see!
I was so relieved to have one of my favorite princesses right by my side!
The weather was humid and I was sweating from just the short walk to the corrals. Trying to push my worries aside I watched the gigantic screens next to our corral. It’s impossible not to smile when you hear thousands of girls singing “Dont Stop Believing” and “Firework” to pass the time. Its also impossible to not smile when you see Sean Astin dressed in princess gear. Amazing!
Before I knew it, we were at the start line. I LOVE LOve love that we had the opportunity to run in the 5th anniversary of this race. I know it sounds nerdy but everything about it felt special. I got a serious case of the warm fuzzies when our corral was finally up!
After a sparkling send off, we were on the road. Andrea, a much faster runner than myself, stayed right by my side. She walked when I needed to walk, ran when I was able to maintain a good running pace, and never once had a discouraging word. It’s hard to explain how much I admired her during this race. I think we all know it takes some real heart to hold back for the sake of someone else and she did that for me. It was truly touching. As the Magic Kingdom came into view I randomly said “I am really doing this huh?” and we both teared up a little.
It was also about here that the humidity started catching up with me. I was so incredibly excited but you can really tell by my skin and eyes in this photo that things were about to get a little more complicated.
Any discomfort I was feeling I pushed aside and kept my eye on the prize. The Magic Kingdom was coming up soon! In the meantime I had some fabulous villains to distract me. Seeing these guys while “Bad” blasted from the loud speakers was so much fun. Definitely a pick me up!
After what felt like forever it was time for everyone’s favorite part of the race….Main Street USA and The Castle!
The Magic Kingdom was packed with excited and happy runners of ALL shapes and sizes, tons of spectators, volunteers, and about a million amazing photo stops. Initially, we had said no stopping for photos because “aint nobody got time for that” however I am so glad that our silly sides took over once we got inside the Magic Kingdom. We had such a good time running and posing. Ill truly never forget it!
We even managed a character stop with our favorite guy….
When I look at these photos I see that I am nowhere close to where I want to be in terms of my weight. However, I also see someone I am proud of. I see someone who truly worked hard to prepare, someone who is getting stronger everyday, and someone who is getting closer and closer to the person they want to be. I love seeing myself drenched in sweat but still smiling- seeing myself so imperfect but not caring because I was pushing myself to keep going. It was a HUGE moment for me.
After exiting the Magic Kingdom I encouraged Andrea to run ahead and finish up. I knew Id have a LOT of walking coming up and I didnt want to risk her not finishing. She offered to stay and I could tell she was a little worried to leave me BUT I assured her I would make it on my own….just a bit slower. 😉
Around mile 7 I started to feel sick and I texted my husband and a runner friend at home. My friend told me to take a walking break and take in some additional fluids which I did. I also tucked away my phone since it was dying. I knew Id need it to find Andrea at the end. Most princesses will tell you the second half of the race is a bit of a bummer compared to the first….and it is. On top of that- my husband was worried because my splits werent recording. I assured him I wasnt off riding the teacups and that I really didnt care to see how
slow fast I was actually going. I even turned my Garmin off because it was making me tired to see just how long I had been at it. All I wanted to focus on was the end and getting my Princess bling. There was a point where things got pretty miserable and I definitely dont want to remember that (or I might never do it again. heh). So I kept plugging along and knowing that Andrea had finished motivated me even more. Until……
Until two hot, sweaty, and proud princesses were reunited! It might not be the best race Ill ever run, the strongest Ill ever be, or even the hardest Ill ever try but I have no regrets.
We stalked a few Princesses before getting in the L O N G line for the bus back to the resort.
Ill have another recap post on our Princess 1/2 recovery night. Spoiler alert…It involved a lot of wearing these….
The experience has made me that much more excited to train hard for the Disneyland 10k. I am ready to start running not only to finish but for a respectable time I can then build from. I never thought Id see the day……I suppose every mile really is magic. 😉
What is your favorite race medal? When did you first get “bitten” by the “racing bug”?