Running the Disney Princess Half Marathon

So, in case you missed the earlier posts, I registered for my first half marathon last summer, trained for six months, and very much enjoyed my Disney vacation leading up to the race.

…which brings us to RACE DAY! Finally.

Sunday February 21, 2016
We woke up at 3:00AM. I managed to get a decent night’s sleep and even woke up a few minutes before my alarm clock which was a great way to start the day, but I still felt a lot of race day nerves. Continue reading

Disney Half Marathon Vacay

When I signed up to run the Disney Princess half marathon in the middle of winter, I don’t think I realized just how badly I would need an escape from my first winter in Boone. I’d been uncomfortably cold for months. After six months of training, I was so ready for this race and for the four-day Disney vacation that came with it!

Thursday
After waking up at 3:30am (let’s call this a practice wake up call for race day) and driving for 10 hours, we checked in to our hotel. The drive was long, but we didn’t mind. We love Florida. We miss Florida. Driving to Florida felt like a breath of fresh air and sunshine after being trapped in the mountains for nine months. Continue reading

How I trained for my first half marathon

I’ll just begin by saying that running in the Disney Princess Half Marathon was everything I hoped for and more. I truly couldn’t be happier with my results or the experience, and even though I am exhausted and sore and possibly injured, I’m mostly just sad that it’s over. I’m going to share all of the details (AND PICTURES) soon, but first, I wanted to write a blog post about my half marathon training process.

I still can’t thank my friend Brandi enough for convincing me to register for this thing. When she asked me to run 13.1 miles with her – my first half marathon – my immediate thought was, YAY DISNEY WORLD followed quickly by, I don’t know if I can do this. I remember almost saying no. I remember almost signing up for the 10K instead, but I did it. I talked it over with Bret and he was completely encouraging and supportive so I registered for my first half marathon. I committed to running 13.1 miles, and then the training began! Continue reading

A Dream Come True in February 2016

I have some exciting news!

Feb 2016_Cropped

Last year while I was in Orlando with Bret, my sister, and bro-in-law, we walked into an arcade and I felt compelled to win this princess crown. I can’t really explain the force that came over me, but I had to have it and I was convinced that whack-a-mole was my game. I played like a champ, and I won. I won, like, a hundred tickets. And the crown was mine.

May_Universal

Since then, this tiara has been sitting on my dresser with no real function… but that will all change in February.

Why? Well… I am over the moon excited to announce that… I am training to run a half marathon! The Disney Princess Half Marathon in Walt Disney World to be exact!

Disney 1.5 Marathon LogoWhen one of my very best friends and Snack Time Co-Founder invited me to do this, our 6AM conversation went something like this:

B: I think I’m signing up for the Disney Half Marathon in February. You should too!

N: I would love love love to but I don’t think there’s anyway I can run 13 miles.

B: You could totally do it! There are a lot of stops on the course (photo ops with Disney characters!) And we have plenty of time to train.

N: It would be pretty cool. And I could wear a TIARA?! And a TUTU? Okay. I think I want to do this.

I haven’t run competitively since 7th grade, but I love a big challenge. I talked it over with Bret who was completely supportive and obviously on board for a Disney trip, and then I registered. I was lucky enough to snag a spot with Bret’s help on my lunch break. (I had no idea how tough it would be to secure a spot – they sold out within a couple of hours of registration being open!)

This is something that I never even thought I would attempt, but since committing, I feel ridiculously excited and empowered. I am going to do this!

running tutuDisney Tshirt

I’m stoked for so many reasons. First, I love Disney. For the three years that Bret and I lived in Florida, we were spoiled Annual Passholders who took day trips to Disney every chance we got. You think we’d be over it by now, but Bret talks about how much he misses Epcot all the time. In fact, he may be more excited than I am. We’re so happy to have an upcoming trip on the calendar. After a cold winter in Boone, it will be the PERFECT time for a vacation.

Disney Pass

Secondly, I’m especially grateful to be running alongside two of my best friends. I recently wrote about the challenge of maintaining close friendships with long-distance friends but how it’s so worth it. Brandi is one of those friends. We are such a good team and we dream the biggest dreams together. Even though we live pretty far apart, we manage to see each other several times every year, and I look at her picture on my desk every single day:

brandi

We do a pretty good job about carving out time for each other when I’m in DC for work, and we text a lot, but working toward this goal together and then meeting up in the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH…?!?! I’m pumped.

My wonderful and original long-distance friend, Kris, is going to be running with me, too! We were JMU friends for one short year and since then we’ve maintained a long-distance friendship mainly through old fashioned letters. We’ve only seen each other THREE TIMES in the past eight years: once in Colorado, once at my wedding, and once in Florida for Harry Potter. She’s way more fit and a better runner than me, so it’s going to be great to be able to train “together” from afar. I just can’t wait.

Kris

Last but not least, I’m stoked that Bret is going to be my in-person training partner. We both enjoy running, but we are out of practice. Seven months is the perfect timeframe to realistically be able to build up to the full 13.1 miles. He’s not actually running in the race, but he’s going to be capable of it by the time February rolls around. We started off by walking/jogging for 4 miles under one hour on Tuesday. For the half marathon, you’re supposed to aim for 15 minutes/mile so we’re right on target! I just need to do that two more times and then one mile to the finish line. Easy peasy, right?

I couldn’t do it tomorrow, but by February, I’m going to be so ready. (Truthfully, though, I have no idea what I’m doing, so any advice/tips from fellow runners is appreciated!)

I’ll blog about our training updates periodically. And I’m looking forward to being able to post some epic running pictures in seven short months. How wonderful is it going to feel to cross that finish line and then be able to celebrate in the Happiest Place on Earth?!

selfie_2

Let the countdown begin! 216 days to go!