Sunday, April 13, 2014

Princess 1/2 Marathon Race Re-Cap….finally!

It has been a long time coming on this race recap! I just simply haven't had the time!! My life has been pretty crazy, traveling all over for work, and blogging has had to take a back seat.

It was over a month ago now that I was in the midst of running the Glass Slipper Challenge, and the 5k which has been affectionately called "Dopey Lite" and having a blast with my BRFF Meg!!

After finishing the 5k and the 10k, it was now time for the main event: the 1/2 marathon!!

Yet another early wake-up call, this one wasn't as bad, I think I got used to it. If that is possible. I quickly got dressed -- Anna from Frozen, and made my way to the busses.

POP Century and RunDisney really had their stuff together as far as the transportation to the races were concerned, we didn't have to wait even a minute and we were on our way.

After a few pictures, Anne and I made our way to the Race Retreat tent to eat some breakfast and check our bags. We had packed all of our California medals, since we would be receiving our Coast-to-Coast medal and wanted some pictures of all the BLING!!

Inside the tent I helped myself to a bagel, peanut butter, a banana and some coffee. Anne and I sat quietly for about 30 minutes, just taking it all in. It was bittersweet. This was our last RunDisney race (or so we thought!!), and while I was excited to get running, I was also trying to savor every minute of the ride that brought my sister and I closer together.

Too soon it was time to head to the corrals. Having run the race before, I knew what to expect. It is a long, crowded walk. Anne couldn't believe how far we had to walk, I thought it seemed shorter than the past time, maybe because I knew it would be long!

Anne and I wished each other luck as we separated at corral F (Anne was in D), and then I was alone in a crowd. It was right then that my corral panic set in, and the idea of waiting really scared me. I was tired, I was sore, I was hot……it was really, really, really humid and I was already sweating!! Yuck!

During my panic, in which I tried multiple times to talk myself both out of and into running this race, was when the Princess issues started. Princess 1/2 Marathon is well known for having some drama, and some drama queens, and corral F was brimming with them. I was standing near the front of the corral, and was just about knocked over by a whole group of women who were dressed as Snow White (yes, they all were!). They literally pushed me to the side, and I tripped on a woman who was sitting on the ground. I was beyond annoyed.

It only got worse with these ladies. They were completely annoying. One woman -- who was wearing her hair down-- spent about 15 minutes scrunching her hair and making duck faces in her cell phone. It was so humid, and she was wearing full on make-up, and worrying about her hair?!?

Anyway, I tried to ignore the craziness around me, and just focus on staying calm. It worked for awhile. Not soon enough, corral F was sent off with fireworks and I got away from the Snow Whites!

From the very minute I started running, I knew I would struggle with the humidity. It was at 99%!! Something this northern girl just cannot handle.

My initial race plan was to have fun, stop at all the characters and enjoy the race. At mile 1, I completely changed my plan, I would just run, and try to finish. I would only stop at photos that I really needed, and that had short lines.

At mile 2 I was soaking, I could wring my shirt out, and my braids were heavy with sweat (note to self: never run with braids). I was running, but I was miserable!!

I think it was around mile 3, that I met up with irundisney's Jindy!! I was struggling, and stuck with her for a couple of miles. It felt really good to talk and have someone to run with. It took my mind off of the humidity, for awhile. Jindy was running intervals, something I have very little experience with, so it was hard for me, but I enjoyed the company so much, I stuck it out.

In the Magic Kingdom, Jindy planned on using the restroom, and we parted ways.

I always have fun running through the Magic Kingdom and this particular run was no different! I actually got to RUN through the castle! It was great!!

The time spent inside of the Magic Kingdom is just too short in my opinion, and much before I would have liked, we were running out of the park!

It was around this time that I met up with a #Runnerslove friend Caroline!!! It was so much fun to chat with her for awhile!! We took a few pictures together, and then she took off to claim her PR!! Woo!!

At around mile 10, I completely fell apart! The entire race, I had been taking 2 waters at each water stop: one to drink and one to pour over myself. The humidity was insane, and I was really struggling. While the water I poured on myself helped for about a minute, it left me soaking wet and miserable!

I was just completely done with this race by this point, so I stopped for a few pics, and started texting Meg. She is always so encouraging, and pretty much told me to "suck it up and run"!! I needed a that, and kept plugging along.

It really took me all I had to power up the highway on-ramps, and finish the last 3 miles! My Marathonphoto pictures show all the pain I was in!! Seriously, the humidity killed me!!!

At mile 12, I knewI was close, and caught a small second wind, enough to get me to the finish line!!!

I had already received pictures from my sister, as she had finished, and the thought of claiming 3 medals was also a BIG motivator for me.

As I crossed the finish line, I cried, tears streaked down my cheeks, and for a moment, I broke into a complete sob. I had finished, not that I thought I wouldn't, nor was I even close to being swept, but I finished!! What I had started over a year before was now complete. I had done it! I was so proud!

Walking through the finisher's chute, I was bombarded with water, Powerade, a cool towel (THE BEST!) and a mesh backpack to stick it all in.

I was shaking so hard I couldn't get my water open, luckily a volunteer saw my struggles and helped! I wanted to hug her!!! I was pretty emotional!

After what seemed like a LONG walk, I finally got my medal! The tears and sobbing started again when I received my coast-to-coast medal for completing both the Tinkerbell 1/2 Marathon in Disneyland and the PHM, and then to top it all off the Glass Slipper Challenge medal was placed around my neck. I just couldn't keep it together!! I was so proud of myself, and so emotional about the entire journey and how much I had gained through it.

I made my way quickly into the Race Retreat tent, and got some hot food! It tasted so good!! My cousins and Anne were waiting there for me. Anne presented me with a beautiful necklace and my cousins had bought us Mickey roses!!  It was a great celebration!!

Almost instantly my suffering on the course was forgotten, and I was sad that it was all over. Anne and I took a few picture with all of our RunDisney medals, and then we made our way to the bus line.

OMG!!! It was a disaster!! I think we waited in line to get on the bus for over an hour. It was truly awful!

The rest of the afternoon was pretty nondescript. We had early dinner reservations at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Review, and I was so excited to eat!! The show was so much fun, and the food was delicious!!

Afterwards, my cousins went to Downtown Disney and Anne and I went to the Magic Kingdom to take a few more medal pics with the castle!

We had an amazing time, and hardly felt tired from our day! We pretty much walked onto all of the rides, saw the fireworks (FINALLY!!) and the castle show. I broke down again and cried during the castle show, it was amazing to watch, but what was even more amazing is that I was there with Anne, and we were glowing in our accomplishment.

This entire race weekend was special, from meeting Meg, to the 3 races, to the coast-to-coast medal, it was magical. I cannot express the love I felt.

What is more important to me than any medal, or any finish line is the friendship and closeness I have build with Anne through this process. It warms my heart.

I cannot wait for our next Disney Adventure!! :)


Dancing to the Finish Line said...

Newbie to Princess Weekend, I was completely unprepared for the long walk to the Corrals. What an inspirational recap...I too was pretty much done by Mile 9 or 10, but I love that this experience has brought you and your sister closer together! I'm glad we got to meet each other, you're awesome! :)

Lauren said...

Look at all those medals!! So awesome!

I love your Anna costume. Huge congrats on finishing all the Tink and GSC races! :0)

Lauren said...

Better late than never =)

Love the medals and good job on the race! It was super duper humid.

Jewell Bush said...

What a great race for you and your sister, despite the humidity. Awesome job!

Bonnie S. said...

I loved your recap and reliving all those great memories! Congrats on all those medals! I want to take all mine to DL for dumbo. I loved the cool towel too!

Meg Pudzianowski said...

I. HAD. SUCH. A. BLAST. WITH. YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm glad you didn't do your recap till now, I got to relive the day over!