• About Allison

    I am a 26-year-old married Michigan gal living in Sarasota, Florida. This blog is a chronicle of my journey toward a healthier lifestyle! I started running in January 2009 and began to change my eating habits in May 2009. Now, I am dedicated to training smart and eating right. Join me as I seek to balance running and eating healthy, local foods with my crazy work life and hilarious home life.

    Contact me: allisonisactive@gmail.com

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Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, Part 2

My Disney Princess Half Marathon officially started extremely early in the morning – my alarm was set for 2:45 A.M. and I actually woke up naturally at about 2:40!  I had gone to bed at 9:00 P.M. and slept really well, so I pretty much bounded out of bed.

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I had laid out all my stuff the night before, so after brushing my teeth, I started gearing up.  It was just below 40 degrees outside, so I bundled up.  I wore my Holland New Year’s Eve Run tech shirt under my custom race shirt, and put my tiara Bondi Band over my hat to keep my ears toasty warm.

GEDC2666 The Husband got up to pin on my race number because I am superstitious about that, and then I met up with Whitney at 3:30!  She was staying in the same building as me at Port Orleans Riverside, and we had planned to meet our third running buddy, Sue, at the POR lobby at 3:45.  We had a slight mishap and missed each other – Sue had gotten to the bus stop first, worried she was in the wrong place, and checked all the other bus stops before coming back!  We were frantically calling and texting her, but she didn’t have her phone!  We found each other eventually, though, and got in line for a bus to the start.

Here we are all bundled up and waiting in line:

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I chose Belle as my favorite princess, so I had a yellow race number, which I thought looked perfect with my purple shirt!  Sue and Whitney both chose Arielle.  (I don’t care for mermaids.  Chicks who read all the time and rescue their inventor fathers are totally better.)

After a 15 minute bus ride, we were at the start!  We immediately went through the tent to the staging area and then stood around and froze our tails off for 45 minutes.  We were walking laps to keep warm when Sue spotted a medical tent where they appeared to have a bit of… mylar!  The race organizers obviously wanted to keep it a secret and save it for emergencies because they didn’t have much, but Sue wandered in and managed to snag us three pieces:

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We looked like baked potatoes, but we were WARM!  We walked some more laps in our mylar and all started to cheer up: it was almost start time!  We made the long walk through the woods and into corral C.  We didn’t have to wait long for the start – pretty soon the Fairy Godmother was sending off the wheelchair racers, then corral A, then corral B, and then US!  I loved that Disney staggered the starts – we knew exactly what time we would start and they really stuck to it; also, they did a countdown and fireworks for each corral start, not just the fast people.  That was wonderful!

The three of us had an absolute BLAST during the race!  We took something like 75 pictures on the course.  Here are the highlights:

First, running in our mylar until about mile 2.5.  We had some pretty sexy mylar fashions going on.  Whitney fashioned hers into a running skirt, while mine was more of a prom stole:

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Seeing the sign for the Magic Kingdom was the next big highlight:

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Another big highlight was running by the on-course entertainment, including this very talented Japanese drum line near the Transportation and Ticket Center:

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(Also, the crowd lined up at the TTC was AWESOME and cheering so loud for us!)

I also loved knowing we were getting closer and closer to the castle – here we are heading toward the Contemporary Resort:

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Running into the Magic Kingdom and heading up Main Street USA was the best part of all.  The crowds were cheering and I could see the castle up ahead – I was thinking to myself, “This is why you started running.  This is what you’ve been hearing and reading about for 14 months.  This is your moment!”

Everything about running through the Magic Kingdom was magical – the character (even though we didn’t wait in line for pictures with any of them), being with my friends, singing “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” in Tomorrowland.  It was a once in a lifetime experience!

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The next highlight (after our mile 7 stripping down for warmer weather/port-a-potty/peanut butter bagel break, of course!) was seeing the Husband and my friend Karen at mile 8!  They were camped out in front of the Polynesian Resort ready to take our cold weather clothes and provide us with GU and encouragement.

Karen spotted us early and snapped a picture:

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(Miles 6, 7, and 8 were on very narrow cast member access roads and were not very fun – lots of bottlenecked runners!)

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We were pretty excited at mile 8 – everyone was feeling good and we were more than halfway!  Even Sue looks happy!  Of course, I was glad to see Mike, too, but we didn’t get a picture together.

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After seeing Mike and Karen at mile 8 or so, there was a bit of a lull.  We were back on World Drive, which is basically a highway through the middle of Disney property.  It was sunny and getting warm, and there wasn’t a lot of entertainment.  We kept our spirits up, and Whitney was really good at spotting mile markers as soon as they came into view.  During miles 10 and 11, there was an overpass on-ramp and two other hills that were not very fun – I was SO happy when Whitney pointed out the mile 12 sign in the Epcot parking lot.

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Running into Epcot brought me some major relief – we’d seen the mile 12 sign and since I’d run through Epcot before, I knew exactly what was coming.

The next highlight was a surprise – we saw Mike and Karen again at the Epcot entrance!  Okay, Karen saw US and started yelling at me – Mike was in the bathroom!  I grabbed a picture with Karen and she took one of the three of us:

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I think we look amazing for being at mile 12 of our first half marathon!  Anyway, Mike showed up from the bathroom just in time to see us take off toward the finish – there was no stopping us at this point!

Next highlight:  MILE 13 and the famous gospel choir!

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(We actually took two pictures like these at every mile marker, but mile 13 was the most exciting!)  Seeing the gospel choir was so awesome – I had been hearing about that from other Disney runners forever!  At mile 13, we could see the finish and we also saw Karen and Mike again, waiting at the finish and screaming for us!

Right before we crossed the finish, the announcer said my name, which was very cool.  I think they announced most people, but it was fun to hear him tell people to welcome me and that I was from Sarasota, Florida. 

(Haha, he also said our time: 3:13:03, about 20 minutes slower than we had hoped to finish.  Our pace was great, but our picture taking slowed us down!  Oh well, it’s Disney, right?!)

The best part of the race was when my two friends and I crossed that finish line with smiles on our faces and our hands held high!

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And then….  WE GOT OUR TIARA MEDALS!

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We went through the snack line and grabbed water, fruit, and Luna bars and then met up with our families.  Mike and Karen were there to meet me, obviously, and also Whitney’s parents, Sue’s husband, Ken, and their two daughters.  We had quite the group!

I can’t decide how I look in this picture… I think I’m zoned out after 13 miles.

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There’s my medal!

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Whitney’s parents asked us to show off the backs of our shirts for a picture:

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Sue came up with the back design because of our two half marathons – a couple people asked about them during the race!

Right after the finish, I did the following:

  • Sat and stretched, although I should have stretched more.
  • Took Advil (thanks, Whitney’s mom!) because I had a headache.  Karen suggested it was the sun, and I think she was probably right.
  • Drank a LOT of water.
  • Ate pineapple and a mini Luna bar.  I should have had a banana instead of the pineapple.
  • Took the bus back to our resort, ate a banana nut muffin, and hopped in a cool shower!

Now it’s a week later and I still don’t really have the right words to describe my first half marathon experience.  Obviously, running at Disney was magical, and it was such a wonderful feeling to have these two amazing women by my side.  I loved having Mike and Karen there to support me, too.  I can’t wait to do another race (this is good because I have one tomorrow morning and another race coming up, as well) and I especially cannot wait to do another Disney event!

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6 Responses

  1. Great recap! I definitely remember seeing you guys on the course. I remember those shirts!

    Congrats on finishing!! 🙂

  2. What a fun weekend!! Congrats on your race!

  3. Was this a shirt you had made or were there other people out there with them on?

    If it was just you guys, I remember seeing the back of those shirts in front of me. I remember one of the girls with those shirts making the comment about taking it easy or something because there was another race the next week or something like that. Seems like it was around the MK stretch before or after. Just updated my blog too, I didn’t see you in any of our pics.

    We stayed at POR in corral C too! Great recap of the trip and race!

  4. I found your blog through the Princess thread on the Disboards. I loved reading your posts! I just started a Couch to 5K in January, and my goal is the Princess in 2011. Thanks for sharing your experience. It is wonderful motivation!

  5. It was just us! The three of us had those purple tech shirts made to wear in our two half marathons. Wasn’t POR a fabulous resort? I loved it! We can’t wait to go back.

  6. You can do the Princess! When I started running in January 2009, doing a half marathon seemed like an unachievable goal, and now I’ve done two. ANything is possible. 🙂 Good luck with your training!

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