And it was AMAZING. I am so happy I chose the RunDisney Princess run as my first half. It was pure magic from start to finish.
Let’s go through it chronologically shall we? Because I am milking this accomplishment for all it’s worth :)
The night before the race, I had pasta and a bowl of spinach. Hotel living baby!
Like our stash of cookie dough and brownie Larabars and ThinkThin bars? We can't get those in Canada so we stocked up!
I don’t know if it made a difference or not, but it seems like the thing to do before running a race. You know, energy and what not.
Then I got the WORST sleep of my life. Apparently it was party central at the condo resort we were at that night. There were doors slamming, music playing, people screaming…just madness. I got MAYBE 2 hours of legit sleep. Before I knew it, it was 3am.
That is not a typo. We were up at 3am. Being a Princess is hard you guys.
I had a good breakfast:
One of the reasons I LOVE visiting the States – Chobani!
And then we hopped in a cab at 3:30am and headed out. When we got to Epcot, there were already so many people there. I was NOT expecting that many people. Over 19,000 people. It was a party.
We checked our bags and started to head to the start line.
4:30am, no makeup, and harsh lighting makes for a vampire Erin. Ps how much do you love the guy behind us in the crown??
After we trekked through the “20 minute” walk to the start line (more like 40), we found our corral and started to stretch. I was still flabbergasted (<--sick word right) over the amount of people in this race. We were about halfway back in corral B, so this is the amount of people in corral A and the first half of B:
For every corral’s start, they set off fireworks which was unexpectedly awesome!
I kept looking back once I was on the course to see the fireworks for the start of the rest of the corrals. I was obviously super focused…
Although the first mile was more a run/walk because of the amount of people, rest of the 13.1 miles honestly blur together. I never hit a wall and I never felt extremely tired. There was always something to look at – characters, music, awesome spectators. A few of my favorite spectators were:
- a women with a sign that read “You trained longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage!”. I laughed so hard I almost had to stop running.
- a “worst parade ever” sign
- a lone woman with a huge Canadian flag! I cheered and waved like a lunatic at her. I hope I didn’t scare her…
- this woman:
I teared up.
The spectators were one of the best things about the race. The amount of support I felt from total strangers was amazing! One of the Team in Training trainers even stood by himself on the side of the highway around mile 11 shouting advice and words of encouragement to us!
One thing I was a bit worried about was if the race was going to have hills. Since I did my training outdoors in Saskatchewan and on a treadmill, I had never encountered any hills (shocking). The announcer at the beginning told us it was a flat course and my worries went away. There were some on-ramps we had to run up and a hill that went under an overpass but nothing too bad. Although, on that first “hill” I was cursing the man who told us it was a flat course. If you tell someone from Saskatchewan there are no hills, there better damn well be no hills!
Another highlight was running through the castle. It’s the defining moment of the Princess race and marks the approaching of the halfway point! They took our picture like mad there and I am still baffled over why no one has approached me to be a fitness model yet:
And I attempted to take a shot of the castle whilst running.
I’m available to take your wedding pictures folks.
I finished the race in 2hrs21mins which I am super proud of! This was my first half and I was running it purely to see if I could. And I can :)
I'm apparently not happy I finished - I'm ANGRY happy!
After I crossed the finish line, I called my Dad and Mike (at 7:20am their time heheh). I took all the free food and water my arms could carry (airport snacks!) and went and found Christy to give her a massive hug! Being the speed demon that she is, she finished the half in 2hrs07mins! I’m glad she thought to hang out around the tent where I would have to pick up my bag because I don’t know how we would have found each other otherwise (remember, 19,000 runners and their families).
I have some sweet post-running hair, right?
We celebrated with some bubbly:
And headed back to the resort to pack, go to the airport, and then sit on a plane for 6 hours. My muscles were screaming at me by the time I got back to Regina.
I absolutely loved every minute of my Run Disney experience! And I am so proud that I ran a half marathon without dying (snaps for Erin!). Might do a sort of “lessons learned” post about half marathons – tips, advice, etc. You know, because I’m a half marathon expert now with 1 race under my belt. Duh.
I was still riding that runner’s high on Monday because this happened:
Only 6 more months until my next half! This time, I’m going to get serious – anyone have any suggestion on a training plan that helps you improve your speed?
Have you ever run a RunDisney event? I’ve already committed to the Tinkerbell half in California in January 2013 with some of my Tone It Up girls :)