Disney’s Princess Half Marathon!

On Sunday, February 27, 2011, I was awake at 3 a.m. I had my ipod, cell phone, gps watch, and camera charged. In just a couple hours I would be running my first half marathon.

I tried to eat some but I wasn’t really hungry (and to think I had thought hard about what I should eat beforehand!). I was really nervous that I wouldn’t be able to finish.

I had told everyone I knew that I was doing this race, plus put it all over my blog and facebook. I would have been so embarrassed if I didn’t finish!

So at 5 a.m. my mom, cousin, and I were at Disney’s Epcot park lined up with our fellow 17,000 runners all ready to go! Luckily it wasn’t very cold out, so I I didn’t have to bring a jacket. We were in the 4th corral out of 6. With every corral start, there was a countdown and fireworks and the fairy godmother was at the start line to wish us luck! It was really exciting.

In the first 5 miles, I felt like I was getting passed by a lot of people. I was training by doing a walk 1 minute, run 1 minute interval and I stuck to that since I knew I could do that for quite a while.

There were lots of places to stop for character photos but I was too paranoid about my time to stop for any of them. Then as we were approaching the Magic Kingdom, I stopped for my picture with Lilo & Stitch, because they’re my favorite :)

After running through the castle, which was easily the best part, a lot of people started walking. I was still holding my 1/1 interval but it was really hard to pass people. I kept having to weave in and out of groups of people and had to run off the road into the grass to get around people.

Around mile 9, I started to slow down. I stopped to walk and called my fiancee, Chris, and told him that I was at mile 9 and that I’d definitely finish.

By this time I was having trouble even willing myself to run. I’d do a few seconds here and there but my body was starting to hurt a lot. The part that really hurt was the bottoms of my feet. I had spent Friday and Saturday walking around Universal Studios and Magic Kingdom, so my feet already hurt before the race had even started. So that was kinda stupid.

Then, as I was walking along, I saw my mom ahead of me! I couldn’t believe I had found her among all those people. So I caught up with her and we walked the last three miles together. I thought it was really special that I got to finish with my mom, almost by accident even.

After we finished, my legs and feet were hurting a LOT. I guess that’s to be expected when you’re an overweight girl running over 13 miles. :)

My time was 3 hours and 37 minutes. That’s actually over the pace requirements of 16 minutes per mile but I still finished before a lot of people. I guess they weren’t all that strict about the pacing requirements. I am interested to see what my time will be for my second half marathon on April 30, 2011. I stopped a lot to wait in line for character pictures during this race and also had to wait in line for about 5 minutes for a porta-potty :)

This race also let me know where my weak points in running are. I need to do more long runs. I am going to incorporate some 10 milers into my training over the next couple months. I also need new shoes. Plus I won’t be spending 2 days before the next race on my feet at amusement parks!

I’m glad I did this race and I’m glad I have my first half marathon under my belt! I’m looking forward to the upcoming races in 2011!