I RAN A HALF MARATHON!
Everything is awesome! I finished. That was the goal. I did it! I feel so awesome about this accomplishment. It wasn’t easy and the race was a lot harder than I thought but I persevered!
It was nuts. At the Disney races there are sooo many people. I think the estimate was 26,000 people. I know. That is a ridiculous amount of people. Not surprisingly it was super organized and run like a well oiled machine! You can expect that with Disney. The half marathon started at 5:30am. I had to be there at 4:30am so we left the house at around 3:30am and got up at 2:30am. I couldn’t sleep that night anyways so it didn’t really matter because was soooo nervous. The race was going to be different from my training, I mean all of those people and the adrenaline of the race was going to change my run. I didn’t realize how awesome it was going to be.
I had a great cheer team. Ben, my Mom, Dad, bro Adam, sister in-law Lindsay, and my friends Krystle and Dave, and of course my nephew Wally. They were there at points in the race that I needed encouragement. They kept me going.
The Disney Princess Half Marathon is one of the largest runs geared toward women. Men are welcomed to join but this is an awesome gathering of women from all over the country. I met some awesome women. It was great to have the support of other first time racers and seasoned vets. A lot of runners were wearing character costumes which was super cool. There were a bunch of Belle, Snow White, and other princess costumes. The best ones I thought were the three feelings from Inside Out and the family from The Incredibles. I went for a bright pink shirt and matching socks. I wanted everything to go smoothly so I opted to wear my regular running clothes.
So here’s the story…of my running adventure…soon to be legacy. I was a runner in high school on my cross country team. I enjoyed the social part of it and the other girls were great. Even though I was always in the way back of the pack it was fun being part of a team while still competing in an individual sport.
In high school I discovered that what I like most about running is that it’s a competition against yourself. You can push your body to do things you didn’t think you were capable of. There is a huge sense of accomplishment and a sense of pride when you finish a race. Running raises my self confidence. After college I took a really long break from running. Like….10 years.
I don’t know what made me sign up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon other than I think I wanted to say that I ran a half marathon. I wanted to call myself a runner again.
When I started running last May I couldn’t even run for 30 seconds straight. Now I can run 13.1 miles. It’s such an amazing thing to change. It was really tough. At some point it just sucks and you feel like your body is failing and you want to quit. I started with the ZombiesRun 5k app. For anyone that wants to run, this is the way to do it. It’s super fun to have zombies chasing you. They breathe down your neck and it’s super creepy. At the end of the program you can run a 5k and that is huge!
I followed the half marathon running program provided by Disney from expert runner Jeff Galloway. Check it out. It’s running 3 days a week which was super manageable. The only part that super sucked was doing the long runs in the winter. It’s ridiculously cold outside in December-February in Minneapolis and running outside is a whole new adventure. I did break down and join Anytime Fitness for short treadmill runs inside. It was really hard to run in the dark on ice filled streets after work so the gym helped.
I ran all of the long runs from 7 miles up to 11.5 outside. My ass froze, I got so much phlegm and my throat was dry. My legs started to freeze so much that they started to not work towards the end of the long runs. This program has taught me about commitment. It’s scary to think about not being able to finish the race. I never wanted that to happen. That thought pushed me to the end and kept me motivated until the race.
The half marathon training program was 20 weeks so I was able to spend time exploring different paths. Running has allowed me to explore many more places that I ever thought was possible. I ran on vacation in Hawaii by a waterfall and on the beach, around the lakes by my house, and along the Mississippi River.
The actual race was super fun! You get to run from Epcot to Magic Kingdom and back again. It was super neat to run towards Cinderella’s Castle, especially when the park was closed. The castle was around mile 6 so I was still feeling good. My goal was to try and run the whole thing and I almost did it! I got to mile 10 and I had no gas left. Instead of quitting I ate one of those super gross sugar power gels, drank some water and gatorade and got my butt moving again. The last 5k was super hard. When I saw the Epcot ball at around Mile 12.75 I almost cried.
I got a last burst of energy and rocked it to the finish line. After the race I could barely walk. It was so weird to walk again after running all that way. I started to walk to get my medal, which was super cool by the way, and it was really hard. When I got to my support team I just laid on the ground. That was so much better than standing upright.
This race was hard but it was sooo worth it! Now I can call myself a runner again!
As I have been learning to run again I have figured out what works for me for apparel after a lot of trial and error so I thought I would share it.
Tank – Athleta Fastest Track Tank
T shirt – Athleta Fastest Track Tee
Sports bra – Panache Sports Bra
Tights – Under Armour Tights
Socks – Smartwool Socks
Shoes – Under Armour Running Shoes
Holder – Spibelt (Get the larger one if you have a big phone)
Other Running Stuff
Thanks everyone for all of the support along the way, especially my husband Ben, he pushed me to keep running even when it was cold and dark outside. Now I know that if I set my mind to do something I can do it. I hope this post has inspired you all to try something new and work towards something. Love you all!
Bonus pics! A few days after the race we took my Dad’s boat out on the Gulf of Mexico and beached it on a private island about 10 miles off shore. It was super awesome! This was a great reward for my run!