Monday, March 4, 2013

My Princess Half Marathon!

The morning began with my alarm going off at 1:50 A.M! luckily I went to be at 8:00 P.M. and was able to sleep six hours (a lot of runners are unable to sleep the night before the big race). Then it was time to put on my tiara, team-sparkle skirt, and make sure I had all my race gear. We made it to the buses around 3:10 A.M. said bye to mom and dad (they were driving over to Epcot) got some photos and boarded the bus.The bus waited around for more runners then we were off. It was an enjoyable experience being on the bus talking to the other runners. We learned a lot about others, and learned that the girl next to me ran in the same 10k that we had ran just a few weeks earlier. Then it was time to get off the bus. There was a bit of a walk to make it to the family reunion area. It was very crowded due to the 25,000 runners. Roughly 24,000 of them being women and 1,000 being men (the princess half is a women’s based half marathon). We then made our way to the point of no return AKA the walk to the corals! They had port-o-johns lined up for a mile. Before heading to the corral we made the last pit stop. Then it was time to walk out to the corral, it was about a 20 minute walk. The walk was enjoyable it didn’t feel like it took too long and everyone was talking along the way.  At one point A-E split from F-H so I had to say goodbye to my sister and her friends. I made it to my corral and then it was time to wait! It was about a 30 minute wait before the first corral took off. Then it was about another 30 before it was my time. My nerves were building and I was starting to get very scared. Until the DJ started playing “Don’t stop believing” from Journey. They would stop it at certain points and all of the women would sing-a-long. It made me feel great and then the scared feeling turned into excitement. After ABC and D went it was my turn! Time for E!!
THREE, TWO, ONE GOOOOO Fireworks! And I was off. I was on my way and ready to see that first mile marker! Each marker has a scene from a Disney Princess movie. They were very beautiful.  The miles seemed to fly by even though I was doing a 14ish minute mile pace. I stuck to my 1/1 ratio except when there was a hill I would walk up the hills in order to try and save some of my energy for the second half. Soon we were on the long stretch to get to the welcome to the magic kingdom sign. Between mile 2 and 3 we all saw the female finisher Rachel Booth pass us on the other side of the road! We were all cheering for her. She was so inspiring, I think most of the women picked up the pace just a little seeing her! Then I saw that sign!
I was getting closer and still felt ok.
After going through the ticket and transportation center where I got to see the villians! I wanted a picture but was not confident enough to stop in the really long line.  So i took my own picture!

It was time to circle around to go under the aqua bridge where there was a DJ a sign that showed my personal training motivational song.
I was so happy to see this sign!
We made our way through to the curve by space mountain then it was on into the magic kingdom! It was pretty crowded by I luckily got to see my mom and dad and they snapped a shot that showed that at almost 5 miles I was starting to get tired.
After saying by and running off it was time to go through the castle! I was hoping to run through it but there was so many people that was not going to happen so I walked through and who do I spy! RunDisney TV. The last celebrity (Yup that’s right he is RunDisney royalty which makes him a celeb) photo that I was hoping to get. I got my picture with Dennis. This gave me a boost of energy and made my run through the castle that much more special! 
After I finished I got my medal, finisher photo, and my box of goodies. I met up with my parents and ate my banana and drank my PowerAde.
I DID IT!! I finished! (final time 3:34 not In the time frame I wanted but I did finish)
I find that most of the half was a blur. I can compare it to what people say child birth is like hard during, you hurt, your tired, but in the end you are so happy and it was worth all of the pain! I got that mental and it was worth it, and I want to do it again.  There were a few things that I learned that will help me with my next half marathon. First and foremost train more than just 10 miles! I only did 10 miles when training. I was supposed to do 14 miles as the longest run. I will definitely train more than just 10 miles next time. I want my body to remember the 13 miles and I want to mentally be able to tell myself you have done this before you can do it again. I will also never abandon my ratios ever again! I might do a different ratio besides the 1/1 when I get tired but I will never stop the running part completely. At the time it seemed like a good idea but now looking back I could have went to Galloway’s 16 minute per mile ration and would have finished within the 16 minute per mile time frame that RunDisney gives. I am very proud that I finished. I did something that some people thought that I could not do. I finished and that’s more than those people can say. But from now on I want to improve on my timing and do better. I am addicted to Running Disney after two races. WHY? Because at Disney it doesn’t matter your size or your speed it matters that you can finish, and have fun doing it. You don’t have to be the fastest you just have to have the drive, heart, determination, and half craziness to finish the race. Disney does things like no other. Where else could you get the most amazing pictures during a half marathon. I am so excited to run the Tower 10 miler in October (I am going a little backwards doing the half then the 10 miler). In July I will be signing up for the ½ marathon during marathon weekend! I have also hopefully convinced my mom to do her first half! she has a year to train for the 2014 Princess Half! When registration opens up I'll be having her sign up so then there is no back out for her! I am excited to improve and RunDisney again!

Beginning My RunDisney Journey!

Why I decided to RunDisney

I will start my story off saying that I am not the fittest person there is. One day by some miracle I hear about this amazing thing called RunDisney. I have been a big Disney World fan my whole life. I go more than six times a year. I have seen almost everything there is to see at Disney. So when I heard that you could run through Disney it seemed like a great new experience. I heard of a running program that an Olympic medalist created called the walk/run/walk program. His name is @JeffGalloway, and he has become my running guru. His program has a 95% success rate. So in July of 2012 I decided it was time to put his program to the test. I decided that I would do the Princess Half Marathon on February 24th, my sister also signed up for the half with me. That would give me plenty of extra training time. The training was working I saw improvements in my walk/running very shortly after I began training. After deciding it was too long to wait to runDisney until February my mom, sister, and myself decided to sign up for a 5k (3.1 miles) in November. My mom also began doing the Galloway walk/run method and she saw great improvements as well. We made it through the 5k training very quickly. We worked on our running from July until the 5k in November. While training for the 5k my Princess Half training began. Then it was time for ………

Mickeys Jingle jungle 5K

The beginning of our 5k weekend started with the Expo. This is a place where the weekend begins, they have guest speakers (including Jeff Galloway sadly I did not get to see him because we did not have enough time) running shoe testing, and all kinds of running goodies. The big event for the Expo was the “Wine and Dine Half Marathon” happening Saturday night. The energy in the Expo was amazing it made me want to abandon my training and do the half marathon right then and there. But they were sold out so my legs and feet were saved the pain.

I also got to see this at the Expo The medal I will get for finishing the Princess Half it was so pretty.

Saturday morning we got up at 4 a.m. to make it to Disney Animal Kingdom where our 5k was taking place. It was an amazing experience so many people were dressed up they had music pumping and a DJ was getting everyone ready to run. Fireworks told us that it was time to run! We ran the whole first mile without using the walk/run method (we picked it back up later on) The first mile was so exciting we ended up running past a bunch of people. My mom, sister, and myself ran the 5k in 45 minutes stopping for only one picture even though there were Disney characters throughout the course. This race showed me how exciting it could be to run with so many people at Disney. This RunDisney event was just a small taste of what I expect to experience during the princess half in February.