Friday, March 14, 2014

Princess Half Marathon

If you missed my Enchanted 10K recap, you can clickety right here.

Half marathon morning was another early start, albeit not quite has early as the previous morning. I left my room around 3:45 and had a short wait for the bus but it wasn't too long. Runner drop off was about a zillion times more crowded on half marathon morning. Plus they were doing a bag check before entering the runner area. I don't remember if there was one for the 10K, but it was so much less crowded that it must have been pretty painless.

First stop was to meet up with Abby. Don't you just hate when you show up to a party wearing the same outfit as someone else? How embarrassing.

Just kidding. We planned to be twinsies. I ordered the same Minnie ears as Abby on the interwebz but as per usual, I waited until the last minute to order them and so they didn't arrive in time. I was so excited to find some at the parks. Sadly, I bought some more appropriately sized for the Lollipop Gang or toddlers. So it looked like I had chipmunk ears because mine are noticeably smaller than Abby's. Or I just have a gigantic head. Moving on.

We did the pre-race usual: check bags, use the porta potties...gossip. You know, the usual. And then made our way to the starting corrals. It's amazing how much less of a death march that walk feels like when you don't arrive 2 minutes before the start... Or 5 minutes after the start, which I will admit has happened in the past. I was convinced that walk is like 2 miles to the start when you shuffle along at a 40 min/mi pace. Turns out, it's only .66 miles. I clocked it.

So, funny side note: up until this very minute as I am writing this post, I thought that this was my 20th half marathon. This is relevant because the morning of the race, I figured my legs were too tired to PR, but because it was a milestone race, I decided to at least give it a try. Doh. I just counted up all of my half marathons multiple times and it's only my 19th.

So, yeah. Decided to go for a PR and missed the mark so badly I actually ended up with a personal worst. Is there a prize for that? But it also helped me decide that I'm pretty over race challenges. I've done Goofy, Dumbo and Glass Slipper and I think I'm good. It's too hard to have 2 good races in a row and still be able to enjoy the fact that you are vacationing at a theme park.

Abby, me and Pam

I hung out with Abby and Pam in the corrals and my plan was to attempt to PR and if I was too miserable, I would text Abby and wait for her.

After some fireworks, etc, we were off! My run actually started off pretty well. I knew where I needed to be at mile 5 for any hope of PRing and I was on target. My legs felt tired, but not fatigued, so I pushed on. What I hadn't counted on was humidity and fog so thick, I felt like I was drinking air. This desert dweller thinks 50% humidity is unbearable, so 90% should just be illegal. Seriously.

I don't have too much to report for the first few miles. I was doing pretty well and the course is pretty boring until you see the Magic Kingdom sign. And you get to be angry when you're a newbie when you realize that seeing the MK sign is not really indicative that you are anywhere near the Holy Grail.

About the time I was getting near the Ticket and Transportation Center, I started to think maybe I didn't have enough juice in my legs to run a PR. I wasn't quite ready to throw in the towel, but I also let myself sneak in a few pictures instead of pushing harder. Plus, I really needed to document the fog obscuring the view of the castle. We get fog in Arizona like once every five years.

Let's play a game called Find The Castle

I can tell you exactly where I gave up on the idea of PRing. My right leg was getting tighter and tighter and I could feel my Achilles starting to feel tweaked. I tried to stretch my calves for a moment and took off again, but I knew I was not going to be able to do that for the rest of the race. I made it through the castle and around the corner. I saw the castle through the fog and the branches of a tree and decided I was done. I sent the bat signal via text to Abby and still kept jogging, thinking if Abby and Pam were a ways begins me, I might still try for a decent time if not a PR.

Where's my prince, damn it?

By the time I made it to the medical tent outside of the Magic Kingdom, my leg was in pretty bad shape. I slathered bio freeze all offer it and thought about having a medic wrap it, but at just about that time, my stomach got extremely upset and I spent another 10 minutes at least in a Porta Potty. (Don't you just love that runners always feel the need to over share about bodily functions?)

There may or may not have been a few tears at this point. My leg was killing me, my stomach was a mess and I was just plain miserable. I texted Abby that I was just going to wait for her to catch up. If I was going to be a miserable bitchy mess, I was not going to do it alone. Luckily, Abby is used to this side of my personality because it's not attractive.

Just hanging out instead of running. Got a few looks.

Once I saw Abby and Pam, My miserable mood began to improve drastically by the moment. I think the key to enjoying the Princess Half is to be a super fast runner in the higher corrals. Parts of the course get so slow and congested that the race becomes just impossible. If you can't be a super fast runner, I suggest finding running besties to bitch with. I have to quote Abby's recap because she says it perfectly, "This is about when we decided to entertain ourselves with being snarky. Not gonna lie, it helped. Don't have anything nice to say, come run a half marathon with us!"

I was obsessed with the fog.

At this point, my leg felt a whole lot better, so I plodded along with the girls and took character pictures. We ran into Emily and entertained ourselves by bitching. It was awesome.

Hello, boys!
Still a ton of fog!
This guy always cracks me up!

We stayed together until the final quarter mile or so. This lady was hilarious. I'm not even sure who she was supposed to be, but she reminded me of Kathy Griffin...only a PG version of Kathy.

Almost done!

And then we were done. I sprinted(ish) the rest of the the way to the finish line. I got some ice for my legs.


I got mah medals! I do like them and I think they're pretty, but I don't know if it's enough of a motivator anymore to run races multiple days in a row. We'll see how that pans out for me in the future.

My precious...

After the race, my newbies that ran the 10K the day before met up with me and we walked over to Epcot and ate lunch at San Angel Inn in the Mexican Pavilion. It was delicious.

Oooh la la

I'd love to say that the Princess Half rekindled my love of runDisney, but then I'd be lying. Don't get me wrong, I haven't given up on them completely, but the love I used to feel just isn't there. Fortunately, the trip as a whole was really fun and aside from the very muggy race morning, the weather was pretty decent the rest of the time.

I also have to give photocreds to Abby. The character photos are hers. We decided that instead of making the photographer take multiple pics, we would use her phone and share. So thanks, Abby!



  1. It seems like Princess was a bummer for a lot of people this year. Almost every recap I've read this year has involved some physical problem or just needing a break from Disney races. I really think that the novelty wears off after a while. You can't do the same race every year and expect it to be a stellar experience, and I think that's what a lot of people are experiencing with Disney now. That's why they're throwing in these challenges. They know their core market will realize the races get stale after a while and they can't make it on newbies alone.
    You look really cute, though! What's more important than that?

    1. Thank you! Man, they need to do something. I mean, even the character stops have become completely predictable.

  2. Congrats on your GSC! I think you are on to something with having friends to bitch with! ;) Those three medals will be mine next year! WOOT!

    1. Yes, bitching to your friends makes all the difference, for sure! That course is just way too crowded. Some parts are just a mess!


Thanks for reading!