Saturday, February 28, 2015

Race Report - Disney Princess Half Marathon

Another February has come and (almost) gone. There was a time when February was just another winter month - cold, dreary, sometimes snowy, always just kind of there; the second month of the year where nothing much happened. But in the past few years, that's changed; it's become a month to look forward to, with some pretty awesome events. In addition to my husband's birthday (which I've been celebrating with him for 12 years now), February also holds the Disney Princess Half Marathon, which, back in 2013, was supposedly going to be a once in a lifetime experience. It's turned into a yearly event for my friends and me - this year was our 3rd and if the conversations we had after are any indication, it's not going to be our last.

So how did it go?

Disney Princess Half Marathon - Sunday, February 22, 2015
There's one problem with a race like a half marathon in February - winter weather can make it really hard to train. Between cold temperatures, rain, snow, etc. it can be really hard to make it out on the training runs. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, a treadmill could solve those issues; but I'm not a big fan of feeling like a hamster in a wheel, expending great amounts of effort and literally getting nowhere.) Weather issues and a general lack of motivation once again led to arriving at race day slightly unprepared. But, as I told myself, if I could finish the Biggest Loser Half, with the monster cemetery hill in the middle, I could handle the Princess. It wouldn't be pretty and it definitely wouldn't be a PR for the distance, but I could do it. It's Disney; there's extra magic there.

Until getting on the bus on race morning, I think Becca and I (Jen ran the 10k the day before) were planning on starting in our own corrals and running our own races. But as we sat on the bus, with the moment of going our separate ways getting closer and closer, I didn't want to do it alone. This year, I didn't really care about or need to get character pictures or to finish in a fast time; I needed my friend by my side. So we stayed together.

reflections of Space Mountain
I won't go into details of each mile - suffice it to say, some were good, some not so good, some horrible. And we got through them all, step by step, one foot in front of the other; pulling each other through the hard parts; celebrating the good parts; stopping briefly for a picture or two with the wonderful, inspiring scenery.

A few years ago, I "wasn't meant to be a runner". Then one day, totally out of the blue, I had a Forrest Gump moment and just felt like running. 

Then I got the wild idea that I wanted to do a half marathon. 

In November 2011, I ran my first. 

In February 2015, in Disney World, with one of my bestest friends by my side, I ran my 10th.
Race Stats:
Finish Time: 3:33:24 (garmin); 3:33:18 (official)
Place: Overall - 16,594 of 20,182

(remember back at the start of this post when I said this race wouldn't be a PR for the distance? Well, it wasn't. But it was a PR for the race. Yep, best Disney Princess finish time yet. Woo hoo!!)

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