2016 Princess Half Marathon – Part I

Wow! It’s been awhile since I added a new blog post…Sorry guys!

Now that life is starting to feel normal again and i’m starting to get back into the swing of things let’s kick this off with a recap of the 2016 Princess Half Marathon.

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If you remember, after marathon weekend, I had no plans to run anymore RunDisney events, at least until 2017. Well life (being this crazy, sometimes cruel, sometimes awesome thing) threw me a bit of a curve ball in the form of a breakup. On Valentine’s Day. Of all days.

It was just a few days before Princess weekend and I was feeling pretty down when a bunch of my runner friends began asking me to fly out to Florida to take my mind off of life. Now running did sound pretty awesome (and I had the time off of work anyway) but I wasn’t sure if I was physically ready. I had done ZERO training since marathon weekend. Plus, sitting at home with copious amounts of wine, cookie dough ice cream, and listening to Adele is like THE thing to do when going through a break-up, am I right?

Well turns out i’m a sucker for peer pressure and decided to buy a bib for the Princess Half through the Ronald McDonald House charity based out of Georgia. I had a bib, a flight credit with WestJet and  multiple offers from friends to stay with them. Everything fell into place pretty nicely for planning a trip on 2 days notice.

I ended up staying with an awesome girl who I met at the Expedition Everest Challenge last year. She was staying at POP and running her first 10k during Princess Weekend. Her boyfriend ended up not being able to make it so we spent the weekend waking up at ungodly times to support each other in our races. Did I mention how awesome RunDisney friends are?? You’re the best Kristin!

I arrived in Florida on the Friday afternoon and headed over to the Expo around dinner time. For anyone following Princess Weekend on social media you know how crazy the expo was this year.10367178_10153313008601283_6655471838630346921_n I really had thought RunDisney had made some improvements with their Expo over the last few events but Princess was a huge disappointment. Most of the popular merchandise was gone by the first day.

I had hoped to get one of the Princess Half Marathon tank tops to wear during the race (last minute race = zero costume preparation) but there were none left at all. In fact I didn’t even see a lot of the merch that was advertised by RunDisney beforehand – it all went THAT fast.

Actually, I found a lot of the big vendors at the expo were picked over for merchandise. I tried to get a tank top from Raw Threads too but the
only sizes left in most of the tank tops was either XL or XXL. Bummer.

In the end it was Sparkle Athletic that saved the day. I managed to find a super cute “Blood, Sweat, Sparkle” tank top with a tiara on it that would fit the theme of the race and would pair perfectly with my awesome new Pro Compression socks. Life was starting to fall into place once again 😉

After the expo it was back to POP to relax, get Kristin ready for her first 10k, and call it a night.

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Sunset at POP Century

As usual, with most RunDisney weekends, the alarms were set for 3:00 am. Brutal for someone like me on Mountain Time…12524287_10153313008596283_538810220584204885_n

We finally made it out the door around 3:30 AM  and the lines for buses were already pretty long but moved fairly quickly. The setup was pretty similar to other RunDisney races with the staging area setup in the EPCOT parking lot. There were some princesses out for photographs – the lines were HUGE but it gave us something to do to pass the time before Kristin had to head to her corral.

I spent the race spectating (for the first time ever!) with some awesome people from the #Firsties Facebook group.
563368_10153312992681283_8493131440888474606_n**NOTE:
#Firsties are an awesome group of people looking to run their first marathon or first RunDisney marathon. If you are thinking of signing up or training for a marathon I highly recommend looking up “First-time Marathoners at WDW!” on Facebook and joining this group. The people are amazing and the admins in the group are the most supportive and helpful of any running group i’ve ever been a part of online.

Spectating was such a great experience. I was so nervous and excited to see Kristin finish. I’m proud to say she totally crushed her first 10k with a time 1:22:44. Just. Awesome.

After the race, I was in desperate need of a nap. The jetlag and emotions of the last week were starting to catch up to me. If it wasn’t for the #werunsocial meetup that afternoon I probably would have stayed in bed all day.

I had been trying to get to one of these meetups during the last few RunDisney events but each time ended up running into a conflict and not making it – not this trip! I was determined to meet some of the awesome Instagram peeps i’ve been chatting with for the last year.

The meetup was at Disney Springs and had a fantastic turn out.  A big shout out to Sparkle Athletic and Pro Compression for sponsoring the event. There were some great giveaways and I walked away with a beautiful bracelet from Momentum Jewelry and some new Sparkly Soul Headbands – not to mention some new runner friends.

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After the meetup I spent some time by the pool in the sun and started prepping physically (and mentally) for the Half in the morning.993549_10153313008451283_3415364040560235076_n

I was filled with a lot of self doubt that night due to the lack of training and partially because I was running for the first time without my ex for support. I know it’s dumb but he was pretty instrumental in pushing me through marathon training and I was really nervous that I wouldn’t be able to do it without him. I really wanted to be able to do this without him. This race was becoming more than just another piece of bling – it was to prove to myself that I am still a strong, capable runner who didn’t need the support or validation of a man to succeed. Something deep down I always knew to be true but just needed a little reminder of.

I had the support of some awesome people. My flat runner was ready. The alarm was set. I couldn’t wait to toe that start line and run off a week of frustration and put the pain of the last few weeks behind me once and for all.

 Stick around for Part Two to see if I survived the Half with no training…

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2 thoughts on “2016 Princess Half Marathon – Part I

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