Yesterday was my first ever half marathon and sadly I didn’t finish. I managed 8 miles, but honestly I was ready to be done at about 6. My feet were killing me and I was having to convince my legs to keep going because my quads were so tired. So I didn’t finish, but I’m very proud of the eight miles I did manage to accomplish. And I’m happy that I tried. The Disney Princess was an event I’m definitely not going to forget.
My day started when I got up at 3am. Yes, 3 in the freakin’ morning!!! I don’t have to get up that early for Bike MS (Thank you MS staff for making sure we don’t have to get up that early!). My parents came along to cheer me on so they shared a hotel room with me and J and I’m pretty sure only Dad actually slept. He says he didn’t, but considering the slight snoring and noisy tossing and turning we kept hearing from him, I don’t believe him. Back to the race 🙂
I got up and got dressed pretty quickly. After I was all put together, Mom and J had to take pictures. Here I am, pre-race.
I was all about the purple, if it’s not obvious 🙂 I made the skirt myself and for the record, three layers of fabric held together makes for a very very poufy skirt. And long layers do not make it easy to work around when going to the bathroom. So for future reference, shorter and less layers held together. For sure. The crown is a $1 special from Joann’s Fabrics on a headband. I put it on over my hat and actually kept it on for my entire 8 miles. I do confess to checking it every once in awhile to make sure it was still on. After getting dressed I walked over to the main building of our Disney resort to catch the bus to the start. I started with a nice 10 minute-ish walk, got on a bus for about 20 minutes and then had a nice mile or so walk to get to the race set up area. To be honest, I’m not even sure what they called that area. There were a bunch of tents, people taking pictures, music, bag check, race retreat. I listened to some music and stretched before I had to go join my corral. That was another short walk. Seriously, I think we walked about 2-3 miles total BEFORE even starting the race. And that counts my walk to get to the bus. I didn’t take as many pictures as I should have before the race started. Here’s some of the people and their costumes.
If you look just to the left and behind the lady in pink, that rainbow tutu and pink ears set is being worn by a man. I was impressed by all of the men present who actually did dress up. Not only were there men in Prince outfits, but there were plenty who were obviously totally comfortable wearing tutu’s and tiara’s. There was one man who was even wearing a full gown. If I remember right, it was Princess Aurora.
The first corral got to go at 5:35 and as the corrals went, the next one moved forward. I was in G and we didn’t actually start our race until about 6:15. This was the sight as we approached the start. Pretty cool sight huh?
Along the route there were a lot of characters and photo opportunities. Knowing that I’m slower and there’s a 16 minute/mile pace requirement, I didn’t stop for any. That’s not to say I didn’t get any pictures. Most of them were taken while I was on the move and thankfully turned out pretty decent.
Entering the Magic Kingdom was pretty deceptive. We still had about 2 miles to go until we actually entered the Magic Kingdom. I can remember hitting the parking lot and looking for the castle and I kept thinking “Where is that damn castle!” Because of the route and the direction of approach, I actually saw Space Mountain well before the Castle. We actually entered Main Street USA before we saw the Castle.
We ran up Main Street, into Tomorrowland and into Fantasyland before entering the Castle. Because the Castle now has a very narrow walk way we were forced to slowly walk through. it did provide photo opportunities though. These two were taken as I was exiting the castle and towards Main Street. We then headed out through Frontierland and into another backstage area of the park. This is where Sleeping Beauty and Prince Philip were set up. The building that the float is sitting in front of; that is where the floats are held for the parade. The route took is right in front of it and those aren’t walls, they looked like a fabric of some kind and could be seen through.
After this there I managed about 2 1/2 more miles. There really didn’t seem to be a whole lot more after this point. We did see Lilo and Stitch and Mary Poppins. The course itself was actually closed as I came up to the 8 mile mark. Apparently everyone else was behind on the pace and there were a lot of unhappy people. We were told that we would all get a medal anyway. I can understand why some of the people were upset, however to be honest, we knew what the pace requirements were. I knew I wasn’t keeping up and I was ok with that. I can’t even blame heading through the Magic Kingdom because even though it had slowed down, after exiting and getting back onto actual roads there was more of a chance for people to speed up. Granted that was a bit difficult anyway because the walkers didn’t seem to have a whole lot of consideration. I did try to make sure I was out of the way of runners and when I slowed down to walk, I would check and make sure I wasn’t just stopping in front of someone. Other walkers would be set up in such a way that it was difficult to get around them because of the way everyone was staggered.
The bus dropped us back off by where we started our trek to the corrals. We were handed a medal as we got off of the bus and a box of snacks. I had to go find my family as I wasn’t let off in an area that really made sense. It took forever to get back through the pre race village area; I found my family by the monorail (another nice long walk!) and we got onto the monorail to head back to parking so we could get their car and go back to the hotel. We had about a half an hour for me to shower, get packed and leave the hotel. I guess staying a second night would have been so much easier.