The Princess Report: Just call me HRH ;) (Part 2)

To continue the tale of how I became an official Princess (my boss will refer to me as Princess, I’m still working on hubby), we arrive at the bus to the start.

Wow! The costumes our fellow Princesses had on were fabulous for starters. And everyone was smiling. I was trying my best as I really was so nervous. I just couldn’t shake the race nerves, but thank goodness for Jill (my new friend who I had met on the race Facebook page) who kept me focused on other things, like having fun :).

We both had our food baggies with us and ate our yummy bagels and such once we got off the bus and oriented. This was my only fuel prior to the race so I was really being careful to time it out.  The line-ups for the port-a-potties were a little crazy so we lined up immediately (strategic!) and then made our way to the corrals. It was a longer walk than I expected and we decided on one more pre-race stop so lined up again. It’s all about planning.

The gun went off and the first Princesses were off. We made our way to ‘I’ Corral and it still took just under 30 minutes to get to cross the start. Wow. I knew this was huge, but I was still awestruck and tried to focus on my stretches as per Coach Jenn and Jill and I of course managed one more adorable selfie.

2014 Princess Half Marathon

I focused on making sure my calves were uber-stretched as they had caused me issues earlier in the week, got my Garmin FR-10 to lock onto my location and cued up my music. We edged closer and closer to the front. As we got closer the size of this race really hit me and the nerves came back. I also got a bit emotional, this was huge after all and I think I said aloud at least 3 times ‘what have I got myself into?’.

Finally it was our turn and we were off! I had planned on my 3:1 intervals and Jill had her own timing so we started together but then she was off and I wished her well.

The humidity was INSANE! There was literally a fog over everything, but onwards I pushed trying to focus on what I did know (my breathing and my pace) rather than what I didn’t which was where I was going.

I of course managed to meet up almost immediately with some fellow Canucks and of course started chatting the gold medal hockey game with them. We are Canadian after all and our priorities include kicking butt at the Olympics ;).

The mile markers came and went, my Garmin beeped when it should (although at times it was hard to hear it over all of the other gps watches beeping too LOL). Before I knew it there we were in the Magic Kingdom. All I knew was what Jill had told me that the castle was half-way and that we were going to run through it. Already soaked (have I mentioned the 100% humidity?) I was still feeling pretty decent at this point and loved being musically greeted as we ran through it. Worthy of a Princess for sure!

Castle

I had pre-decided that the picture in front of the castle was the one absolute-must for me. I knew I was doing this solo and while I know (now I really know) that you don’t do this race for time, I was actually doing it for time for me. What can I say, even on fun-runs I try to push myself, I guess have more of a competitive streak in me than I thought.

The stop didn’t take too long, less than a minute I think, it’s all still a blur, and then back to the run I went trying my darndest to keep to my pace and intervals.

The on-course entertainment was pretty cool and I must say running past Mary Poppins and Bert was a highlight, I so love that movie. And the amount of water and Powerade stations was fantastic. I either took the drinks or refilled my hand-bottle every one I think. Something to do with insane humidity I think ;).

The one thing and result of it I had trouble with the most was the crowding and bunching that kept happening. At my last big race like this of 30,000 people, the runners did space out and follow the ‘pass on the left and walk on the right’ pattern. This one, not so much. I followed that rule, but not many others did. I had runners passing me on the right, left and all over. I was having to weave like crazy and even this Princess got a little testy about it at one point.

From my training I knew that at the 2 hour mark a bathroom break might be necessary. I had been following my marathon-running friend’s tip of sipping at every walk segment and that had been serving me well so when I saw almost no line-up just before the food station I think it was, I figured better to stop now and then not have to worry later on.

I was definitely feeling fatigued at this point, my thighs were starting to tighten up and I was definitely very very damp (have I mentioned the humidity?). That’s when I saw a Canadian flag on one of the barriers. I lit up immediately. I managed to yell over ‘Hey Canada! What’s the score?!’ to find out how our boys were doing. They called back that at that point it was 0-0. I felt re-energized. Amazing how that can happen, and I pushed on.

Then I got to the part where we essentially loop back the way we came, I had been warned about the one ramp, I didn’t realize there were actually two.

My legs were past done now. I had managed one and a half GU’s and a few of my Wint-o-Green Lifesavers and water and Powerade, but even that wasn’t cutting it at this point. I decided I better walk up the slopes to save energy for the end. I walked as fast as I could, this is me and I’m stubborn after all, and I did speed up even more when I passed the soldier from Toy Story (he was absolutely awesome incidentally) but it really was all I could do to keep going.

Finally I got to Epcot (keep in mind I’ve never been so all of this was unfamiliar to me) and the mile markers indicated the end was right around the corner. And according to my Garmin which beeped at 21.1km’s it should have been…but it wasn’t. I wasn’t the only one confused I found out afterwards, and despite debating quite seriously jumping in the massive fountain we passed, I pushed on and tried my best to keep my feet moving.

We went through another back area of the park and then I could see it, the final chute to the end. I tried looking for my hubby, I needed to see him so bad, but there were too many faces. I did find out just after that he did indeed see me cross the line though. I managed to spot Mickey Mouse though! I focused on him and pushed what was left of myself to get to him so I could high-five him. And I did. And that was probably my favourite moment. I so wanted to do that. I wish there was a picture, but I have the memory :).

I had done it. I had survived. Mostly. I was exhausted but managed to pump my fist when hubby told me that not only had I accomplished this, but the men’s hockey team had won gold too. How nice of them to add to my day ;).

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2014

Big thank you’s to the following wonderfully awesome people:

My darling hubby for kicking my butt and believing in me.

Coach Jenn for making sure I could physically do this. Also for telling me I was silly whenever I had doubts.

Jane and crew at Aradia for helping with my core-strength. Did I ever need that let me tell you!

Laural for getting me into this nuttiness. Also her hubby and kids for the pep talk and treats. Again, I can’t tell you how much I needed that. You all rock.

Jackie for being my wonderful friend throughout and who I know was sharing my pre-race nerves with me 🙂

And the awesome Jill! We met on the race’s Facebook page, couldn’t get over how small the world was, and then teamed up at the race and are still in touch. Hugs to you!!!!

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6 Responses

  1. Congratulations, Amy! Your dedication to running, and your accomplishments in various races, culminating in this latest success is inspirational. What incredibly positive changes you have made in yourself and in your life. You have so much to be proud of!

    With great respect –
    Nan 🙂

  2. Oh this blog gave me goosebumps !!! I forgot how nervous we were at the start .. The fear of the unknown ! It was great tho when the guy said us first timers were setting pr’s!!! So glad we had each other for company !!!

  3. We really did and our times were great too! Hopefully we can do another Disney one together!

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