06 March 2013

A Little Rambling and Lot of Recap (Disney Princess Half)

Sitting at my writing desk in my room with a cup of PG Tips and I'm starting to feel more happy than I have in the past week.

After the finishing the Disney Princess Half Marathon, (yes, I'm surprised too, I SURVIVED! cue your gasp in amazement) I felt such a fantastic sense of accomplishment and a rode a magical, sparkly high that comes after doing something you never thought you could do and you did it in a freaking TUTU.

It's hard to keep that feeling going. I always crash after feeling an unexpected jolt of euphoria (luckily I am a caffeine addict and I'm used to it). Maybe one would call it a runner's crash.

In a, what I thought was going to be short but is really long, recap:
--The first day of the expo. The day that all blogs and all Disney info told us to get up early for and arrive first thing to avoid crowds. ABORT this idea immediately. Trust me, you do not want to see your fellow ladies in arms, dressed in pink, ready to cut...a...bitch. Over Disney Official Merchandise and a place in line, no less. It was a freaking mad house. I am not much of a fan of crowds or people touching me or jostling into me. There is barely room to breathe at this expo. So maybe try for later in the day maybe? I'm not sure, but bring coffee and chocolate, and maybe have some chocolate flavored liquor to pour into your coffee if you want to survive this situation with your faith in humanity in check.

Noted for future expos. 

I think it would have been better for everyone involved if I had arrived slightly intoxicated. Instead of "Hey you in the pink tutu! We're not in the race yet, but if you elbow me ONE more time, I will give you a reason to run now!", I'd be more like "I like your shoes. Everyone needs to bedazzle tennis sneakers. It's such a good idea. Let's not fight ladies, let's hug it out."

Princess runners be crazy,  yo.

--The Saturday before the race, my running partner, Caitlin, and I managed to be THE MOST relaxed people ever. We did not nap, we hydrated, we consumed carbs. It was awesome. There were movies involved.

--Race day. I set three alarms. Felt reasonably refreshed, even after only getting five hours of sleep (I'm a 9-hr a night kind of lady). Caitlin and I primped and prepped and glittered up. Caitlin had made her tutu the day before and discovered many ways of how not to remove a tutu, and for her embarrassment I give you my running partner Caitlin: "I'm covered in sweat and glitter. This must be how strippers feel..."

Sunday morning at 330am, we were ready!
We had done a driving test of the route to the race, following official guidelines, the night before. You can also forget that idea folks. They went and changed the route the morning of. But we followed the crowd and made it there in good time.

I need to interject that the Disney Race Day volunteers are the most magical human beings in the world. I WANT TO GIVE THEM ALL HUGS. Awkwardly but with feeling. In the parking lot, each lane had it's own duo of volunteers on a loud speaker yelling out our lane to remember. "Lane 83 ladies, you are in lane 83...ohmygod I love your shoes. You WORK that dress, Cruella. I love what you've done with your hair. Who's happy to be awake right now?" Or something along those lines....they were a godsend for ladies who don't like to find themselves on the wrong side of 5am.

Another thing you can ignore from recaps of years past, the recommendation to use potties along the walk to the corrals. I can tell your right now, that's what everyone was doing. Better to use the ones in the first area where you start in, before walking to your corrals. SO much quicker. 

I'm an obsessive water sipper, which was a mistake while waiting in my corral because I definitely had to pee during the run. There are plenty of porta-potties along the route, but the one time I stopped to wait in line, I waited so long my body started to hurt so I just ditched the line and kept running.

Caitlin and I separated when it came time to head to the corrals, I was corral E because I guesstimated my time for under three hours (highly recommend!) and Caitlin was in H because she had just added the max time. Neither of us have ever done a half marathon but luckily this was the perfect race for first-timers. I think Caitlin was so crowded in H because most beginner runners added the max time too (not recommended, as she was unhappy with the close quarters and many people feeling up her tutu). It worked out okay for us being separated because we both listen to our iPhones while running and aren't much of the runner/chatter kind. I'm also slower than her and I think it would have not helped me much mentally to see her race off...or maybe it could have pushed me to run faster, no clue. I've never trained running with another person, other than my little sister, so I'm not sure how I would have been.

On the walk to our corrals:

The start of the race for corrals in front of mine. Fireworks are the BEST way to start any race. And I fully appreciated that the Fairy Godmother sent each corral off in the same way, Bippity-Boppity-Boop!

One of things I loved best...there were men in the race (though not allowed to compete or to be in corral's A or B) and almost all 1,000 of them showed up in costume. Here's one of many Jasmines. 
 There were also a lot of male Ariel's and, my absolute favorite, a few Merida's! Yeah Brave!! It was just heartwarming to see that many of the men there were there to run with their lady partners in encouragement or because their marriage contract requires them to be the Prince Charming to their Cinderellas. It happens.

Our fake nerves photo prior to separating:
 To tell you the truth, I didn't have much nerves for this race. Mainly because this was my first race EVER. Of any kind. I'm glad I didn't share that fact with too many people prior because there are a few people who have raised an eyebrow at that and asked "is that really a good idea?" Well I can tell you right now, with this being my first race ever, YES. The Disney Princess Half is a PERFECT beginners race. There were even people speed walking the whole thing. There were ladies of all shapes and sizes, covered in glitter and tutus and crowns and it was THE BEST THING EVER. Granted, there was much bobbing and weaving to be done because, as it's the first race for many people and apparently many people don't obsessively pore over runner blogs like I do, a lot of people didn't know you aren't supposed to slow down in the middle, but walk on the side instead. You can just pretty much guarantee that the middle of the road is for slower-downers and walkers and the sides are for the runners. Just accept that now and you will enjoy yourself.

 *What I'm actually saying "oh my god, I can't feel my knees or my feet and I'm surprised to find I don't care."

The post-race food was amazing and very much needed. As someone with a lot of stomach issues, I was grateful that they provided things I could eat, hummus, GF crackers, bananas (though this actually was my first time having a banana as whole item instead of mashing it like baby food, I figured I earned it. Screw Low Residue Diet....though I did stay away from the nuts packages.) The Luna Protein bar and the dark chocolate were also delicious. Not gonna lie...definitely had the dark chocolate square once I was back at the hotel, in an Epsom salt bath, with a glass of red wine. Most deserved glass of wine ever. Lose your knees, get some wine. 

*I Look like a very oddly dressed mountain climber.

 Sweaty and gross, but happy. Notice hair in bun...BEST advice ever that I got from another blogger. Tay writes over at Running Across The Pond. (My fav kind of blog, expat in England and writing about running. Love.) She provided loads of last minute advice via Twitter when I was mildly freaking out about running in 75-85 degree weather for the first time. (Hey, I did just start running in October...in Western New York...I'm used to running in 30 degree weather. And even that can feel on the warm side sometimes.) But yes, hair in bun when running means no sweaty rope smacking you in the back. I also took her advice to put a lot of ice in my water bottle when running. She may be posting about how to run in the heat soon, so go stalk her blog now.

*Hey guys. My Mom made that skirt. I have no skills in the craft area because she horded them all...and gave some to my sister. But me...I'm lucky I can pick out matching colors and tie my shoes. BUT I DID RUN 13.1 MILES...almost continuously. And without vomiting.

I continued to wear the medal for the majority of the day. Even when we went out to dinner, once we regained feeling in our legs again, off to a British Pub (is anyone surprised? Two Anglophiles go on a weekend trip together...the majority of what we ate was British food we stumbled upon.)

I would definitely do this race again. It was so much fun. I would love to do it again and actually run it with Caitlin and whomever we can corral into doing it. Maybe actually stop to take pictures with some characters this time. (I didn't train to stop and then to start up running again..so I didn't bother with waiting in super long lines for character pictures. The experience is really enough though, people. It's so amazing to see all the costumes other people come up with!)

Truth be told...I cried at mile 4 mainly because I was SO EXCITED to be there. I never thought I could do something like that. I was so worried people were going to get concerned about the girl ugly crying through mile four...and most of mile 5 (cause mile 5 runs are my fav...so I just let myself get emotional about everything...I'm going to be so good with babies someday. I GET YOU small thing that cries over everything. Me too.) I pushed my music up higher and just let my semi-aggressive rap/Whitney Houston classics/pop music carry me along.

Cannot tell you how funny it was to run through Cinderella's castle with the song "Bad Girls" by M.I.A. blasting..."live fast die young, bad girls do it well".

Last note for future runners...there are about 4 inclines. The race recaps I read only mentioned around 2 at the end, but there's definitely an incline at the beginning near mile 4 or 5 (yes, I cried and ran up hill. Can I win a medal for that? Pat on the back? Hug?). I had to walk two inclines, but got up the very last one with some Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's "Make Money".

I wanted to pump my fist excessively. But didn't. Mom, see how much a lady I am? Dig.ni.fied.

For my awesomesauce friend and co-running-pilot, Caitlin's race recap--check it out here, she gives even more fabulousness to our adventure.


P.S. Here's my playlist...I love reading other runner's playlists so feel free to send me your list of favorite running music!
--Respect (Aretha Franklin)--Free Your Mind (En Vogue)--Pretty Girl Rock (Keri Hilson, the song I SOBBED to at mile 4...love it so much. Used to run only to hear that song and then collapse in a heap.)--Try Again (Aaliyah)--Whatta Man (Salt-N-Pepa feat. En Vogue)--Thrift Shop (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis)--No Diggity (Blackstreet)--Put It On Me (Ja Rule)--Ignition Remix (R. Kelly)--Look At Me Now (Chris Brown)--Down On Me (Jeremih & 50 Cent)--Ready or Not (Bridget Mendler)--I'm Every Woman (Whitney Houston)--Party In The USA (Miley Cyrus..don't judge me)--Hard Knock Life Ghetto Anthem (Jay-z)--Empire State of Mind (Jay-z)--Bad Girls (M.I.A.)--Ain't No Other Man (Christina Aguilera)--One and Only/Fall Out Boy (Timbaland)--No, No, No Part 2 (Destiny's Child feat. Wyclef Jean)--Get Up (Ciara)--Clumsy (Fergie)--Move Bitch (Ludacris)--Just a Girl (No Doubt)--Fighter (Christina Aguilera)--Big Shot (Billy Joel)--Come to Me (Diddy)--Queen of the Night (Whitney Houston)--C'mon Let Me Ride (Skylar Grey feat Eminem)--Ain't No Rest for the Wicked (Cage the Elephant)--Chelsea Dagger (The Fratellis--PERFECT for running up hills with women in tutus, at least the opening bit of music is and it makes me laugh)--Make Money (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis)--Bounce/Justin Timberlake (Timbaland)--Hit Me with Your Best Shot (Pat Benatar)--You Make My Dreams Come True (The World & Band/Hall & Oates)--Can't Stop (Maroon 5)--Outta My Head (Ashlee Simpson)--Oh My God (Mark Ronson feat. Lily Allen)


  1. eeeek I'm so happy you did a recap!!
    Congrats again! Such a great accomplishment! (I also wore my medal for a good 48 hours.... and the race t-shirt... it's still my fave shirt right now)
    and thanks for the shout out!! :)

  2. Congratulations!!! It's a huge accomplishment that you should be super proud of! You should come run the Buffalo Half Marathon!! :)

  3. Taylor, no problem! Your blog fits nicely into my mixed obsession with Britain AND with running. Most of the other blogs I read are either one or the other.

    Nicole, thank you!! I'm not sure about the Buffalo Half, but I am signed up to do a Half in Napa California this summer. And I have a few 5k and 10k races planned. That's quite a lot for me considering I only starting really running in October. Also, didn't know you have a blog! YEAH! I will read for motivation, kick butt at your marathon!! xx