This weekend I participated in my first ever RunDisney event – the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Hospital Network.
I drove over on Friday afternoon with Court and met Danny and Sam at the packet pickup/expo. The packet pickup process was seamlessly easy and I loved how RunDisney allowed you to easily exchange your shirt size, if needed.
The expo was the best expo I have ever been to. There was so much to see, it’s definitely not one of those in and out in 5 minute expos. There were a lot of vendors and you could definitely spend a good amount of time going up and down the aisles “window shopping” or just shopping in general.
Sam drove over Thursday morning to get her packet and check out the limited edition commemorative memorabilia. While all of the merchandise was super cute and tempting to buy I had to step back and envision myself months down the road and ask myself is it worth the money? Will I still use or wear it 6-months later? In the end I still wanted at least something to commemorate, so I had Sam pick me up the wine glass and a pin. She picked me up a special bonus pin.
For dinner that night we dined in at TGI Fridays. We started off with potato skins and bruschetta for appetizers and then for my main dish, I had the chicken skewers with mash potatoes.
After dinner we made a quick trip over to Target for some last minute items. It was just after 10pm by the time we made it back to the hotel. I wanted to be asleep long before then. Oh well, that’s what naps are for post-race.
The alarm went off at 3am, I hit snooze once and then realized it was race day and the adrenaline kicked in! It was a crisp 45 degrees that morning. A tad warmer than Friday morning, but cold enough to need an extra layer or two. We were on the road just after 3:45am and parked just after 4am. We stayed in the warm car as long as possible before heading over to the runners area. We parted ways with Danny and Court at 4:50 to get in our corrals by 5. Both Sam and I were placed in “B.”
The race started promptly at 5:30 but not before the Fairy Godmother took the stage to countdown the clock and then we were on our way. The first mile we spotted Anna and Elsa on an overpass about a half mile in. Shortly thereafter, Let It Go was playing over the speakers where Sam and I proceed to belt it out earning a few looks from some of the older runners. Then a man passed by us in a full inflatable Olaf costume, definitely wish I could have gotten a picture of him but he definitely went in my books for one of the best costumes for that race. We also saw a woman in a full Mrs. Potts costume – some people have too much time and dedication!
Mile 1 was feeling good for both of us. Shortly after a quarter in mile 2, Sam was hit with a side stitch so we slowed to walk it out a half mile to the water station. We picked it back up and stopped at the mile 2 marker to get a picture of Ariel. It was only fitting as Sam was dressed as Ariel.
Shortly after mile 3 we began to enter the property of EPCOT. They took us in a side entrance, through employee only areas. I’ve never been to EPCOT so this part of the race held my interest and made the last 3 miles fly by. We stopped for water before mile 5 where I prepared to send a text to Court and Danny once we crossed mile 5 to let them know how far out we were.
Since we were in EPCOT, they had professional photographers everywhere. I think this helped fuel Sam to run just about all of mile 6 to get those action shots. Upon crossing mile 6, I happened to look at my watch and saw we paced an 11:36 mile! I turned to Sam and told her we just ran an 11:36 mile, she was in disbelief and shocked. We came up on the last corner and could begin to see the start of the finish chute. I looked down at my watch again and realized we could finish around 1:20, if not under. Having heard Sam mentioned that her last 6 mile run took her about an hour and a half, I knew she was be thrilled with her time. I told her just that and it gave her the extra push she needed to finish. We stuck close together surfing the crowd for our friends. Once we spotted them we smiled for their cameras and I took off sprinting down the finish line. I turned around just in time to see Sam cross! I knew it was one of her best 6 mile runs in a few months and I just hoped that her knee wouldn’t give her problems both later in the day and for the race tomorrow. We collected our medals and we’re off to find water and Court and Danny.
Now it was time for a warm breakfast, shower and a much needed nap before hitting the parks. We headed over to IHOP where I ordered the Fit pancakes, with egg whites and turkey bacon – yum!
Since Danny, Sam and I had annual passes to Universal we opted to go there over Disney. Courts birthday just passed so we gifted her with a pass to join us at the parks. One of my other sisters drove over and joined us as well.
Recap of the Princess Half and part II of the Glass Slipper Challenge to follow tomorrow 🙂