What I Learned By Doing the Disney Princess Half Marathon


Hello friends and new friends! Thank you for stopping by! I hope my running journey (which is an ongoing journey) helps you in one way whether it be to help you with an upcoming race or just to start moving more in general.

I am a huge believer and doer of vision/action boards. Yes, I start thinking about the following years wayyyyy before that year is upon us. I wanted to sign up for the Princess Race at Disney but missed the sign up date (June 4th) which meant the 5k and 10k were already sold out. Therefore, I told myself that the half marathon was meant to be then! I had only done 2 5ks in my entire life, and always told myself and others that I wasn't a runner. I signed up anyway and paid the $200+ to enter, and began training.

September came around, and I was running between 2-3 miles as my top mileage. During this month, I started to get sharp pains in my knees and legs in general. I decided to hold off on training because I was going to Europe in October and had my sister's wedding in November. This equated to me not doing anything for two months (NOTHING). Once I was back home mid November, I decided to take action. It's interesting how we all have all the tools we need around us if we open our eyes and open the door of possibilities.

I scheduled an appointment at TB12 in Foxborough to see how they could help me train. It is VERY expensive ($200/session, $240 for initial) but I was committed to doing it. They did testing to make sure my sneakers (I used Inov8) were good, and I had the proper form while running. They gave me foam rolling exercises, told me how important acupuncture was (already know), and what I should be fueling my body with. I restarted running in late November by running .5 miles then walking the rest. Then .75 miles....etc. As I got into halfway of December, I started using the Hal Higdon Half Marathon training program (scroll down in the link for the calendar). During the training program, I ran outside as much as possible (my boss even bought me running gloves). When I couldn't run outside, I ran on a treadmill. Many people dislike running on treadmills, but if you find a pace that works for you and a great show to watch it's really not that bad. I watched Jack Ryan, Mrs. Maisel, You, and even some movies.

At the end of January, I got hit with the flu and had to take two weeks off from running/physical activity to recover my body. I have been told that when you push you body like this, your body can potentially force you to take a break due to overworking it. I respected that and listened. I slept A LOT. I drank mainly homemade bone broth or Kettle and Fire bone broth. Stuck to berries, homemade elderberry syrup, oil of oregano, and lots of lemon water/water in general. I was back to running two weeks later with three weeks till the half. I started back up slowly running 1 to 2 miles a day for a day or two during the week. I didn't due any long runs until the week before the half when I ran 10 miles on the treadmill. I watched the Princess Diaries on Disney Plus because I thought it was fitting. After running those 10 miles, I knew my mind/body/spirit was ready to run the half. I bought myself some electrolytes to have before my runs as well to help recovery and replenish my body.

RACE WEEK

I ran 5 miles that Tuesday, 2 on Wednesday, and walked around Disney all Friday. Saturday I rested and just walked. I also had dinner early so I could be in bed by 7:30 PM. I woke up at 3 AM to get dressed, roll, and have my electrolytes and oatmeal with organic raisins. Waze said I would arrive at 4:16 AM (you need to be there by 4:30 AM) but I sat in traffic at Disney until 5:35 AM when the race started at 5:30 AM. I walked to the corrals with my race t-shirt and bib on (forgot my tutu and headphones) and waited for the 16,000 other people running. It took another hour before I began the half myself. Note to self for the future: get to Epcot by 3:30 AM. I was happy not to have headphones on because there were so many people that you truly needed to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

The race itself was amazing. They had Cinderella playing on a tv screen for the road between Epcot and Magic Kingdom, DJs cheering you on, characters to take pictures with (if you are in Corrals A-D lines aren't bad but after that they can be long), and of course being able to run down Main Street USA and through Cinderella's Castle is the most memorable. You get to run in some of the back lots of Magic Kingdom and Epcot as well. They have water/powerade stations along the way with one stop with jelly bean energizers. Once you complete the 13.1 miles, you get your medal immediately after crossing the finish line, and they give you a snack box and water. My legs were DONE so after taking some pictures with my family, I headed to my car and foam rolled for a good hour.

I was thankful to have been able to do this race as my first half marathon and look forward to doing more this year and on. This has been a huge catalyst for me and my health to just start moving and to change my own belief system. You can do anything you put your mind to. Here are some actions steps for you:

1. Sign up for the race! Just do it!

2. Get help from the experts (prehab)

3. Have a plan

4. Create daily affirmations ("I am an avid runner" was one of mine)

5. Tell people around you about your goal so they can hold you accountable

6. Enjoy accomplish your goal!