Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Disney Princess Half Marathon Race Recap

My 10th half marathon is in the books!

The Disney Princess Half Marathon was possibly the most fun race I have ever participated in.  I had a complete BLAST.  This also reiterated my newfound love for dressing in costume for races.  I had never worn a costume for a race before until the last three races I've done, but I am totally and completely sold on the idea now!

I rarely have "plans" for races, I just do whatever I feel (yeah yeah, this is bad).  But for once, there was a plan going into this race.  The plan:  Leandrea is running a half marathon in Atlanta in a month and is dying to sub 2.  So we decided to have fun, stop and take pictures, and not worry about the time, but to try to stay "on pace" for a sub 2 (about a 9:00/mile pace) any time we were actually running.  Despite discussing the plan and even discussing how this time we were NOT going to go out too fast like last time our first two miles are still a bit fast.  Next time we will finally get it!

We ended up only stopping to take 3 pictures because at least for me, I just did not feel like stopping.  I knew if I stopped it would be rough to get back going, especially after about mile 10.  Poor Mulan was at mile 12 and had NO ONE stopping to visit her, I'm sure for this reason.  Plus some of the lines were ridiculous, I can only imagine they took about 20 minutes or so to get through to the main princesses.

Unfortunately our other picture with characters (and most of my other pictures while running) turned out horribly blurry.  Apparently a crappy camera + darkness + taking pictures while running is a bad combination for high quality photography.  Who knew?

We were doing great on the plan besides some stopping in mile 6 for pictures until Leandrea unfortunately started feeling poorly (you can read Leandrea's race recap here).  I felt so bad for her, she looked like her stomach was in major pain.  So we lost a bunch of time in Mile 10 at the port-a-potty and I could tell she was suffering majorly for the rest.  She is such a trooper though and I know in Atlanta (barring more stomach issues!) she is going to CRUSH that sub-2.  

We ran together until almost mile 12, when Leandrea convinced me to go on.  I was hesitant as I wanted to run the whole thing with her, but by then I was suffering pretty good myself and I just wanted the suffering to end ASAP.  So I took off.  And actually, running much faster made me feel much better!  It was GREAT to just go as hard as I could for the last 1.4 miles or so.  Although I paid for it later in nauseousness for a few hours, and my quads are already a bit sore.  This might also be because this was the flattest course I have ever run, there were two mini "inclines" going up onto the overpasses that you could barely call hills, and that's it.

1   8:46 Started a little bit fast
2   8:39
3   8:54 On perfect pace!
4   8:56
5   8:46
6   9:31 Pictures at the Castle & with characters
7   9:07More perfect pace!
8   8:59
9   9:45 Poor Leandrea!
10 12:35
11  9:30
12  8:59 Took off in here
13  7:18 I felt the burn!

Total Time: 2:03:29   Garmin Distance: 13.34   
Average Pace (per Garmin): 9:16

The Negatives:
The start was a little ridiculous, complete with a 3:15am wake-up call (yes you read that right!).  They were basically threatening us with closed roads at 4:00am and closed corrals at 5:00am, and the race started at 5:45am, so this basically left us shivering in the cold for a few hours before the race.  If I'd had more room in my suitcase (or more brains in my head) I would have brought or gotten a throw-away sweatshirt.  But, alas, I have neither.  I went with capris over shorts at the last minute and although it was nice for the wait, I was regretting it only 10 minutes after we started running.  My arm warmers went down right away and it was plenty warm.  Also, this was definitely the most expensive race I've ever done.  Not all Disney's fault, I mean it was an expensive race regardless, but I usually register early and / or with sales / discount codes and due to my procrastination this time I was at the most expensive price.

The Good:
Although it was expensive, Disney knows how to put on a race.  The overall organization, from the corrals, self-treat area after, the character areas - it was all done AMAZINGLY.  They even had fireworks for the start of EVERY corral.  Little congestion on the course, tons and tons of volunteers doing everything including being there to take our pictures, plenty of Gu, water, and Powerade, Luna bars and even these little boxes of snacks at the finish, etc.  Very well done Disney.  But space blankets next time please.  Surprisingly also, my Snow White costume didn't chafe!  I did wear Body Glide but I was still expecting it to bother me.  The tutu kept getting caught between my legs and that was definitely annoying and less than graceful though!

See, fireworks!  I wasn't lying. 

Fireworks AND delicious snacks and cute snack boxes!

The Great:
Running through Magic Kingdom!  This was pretty much the best 20 minutes of my life and I wish the whole entire race could have been through here!  I also want to run every half marathon with Leandrea (sadly we just have run two together, one in 2010 and this one), it is a blast.  I loved seeing all the costumes, characters, cheerers, running through the parks, it was all so fun and made the miles go by so fast.

Running through the castle was pretty much the best thing EVER. 

Did you make it this far?  Longest post ever.  Don't worry, that's The End!  And they lived happily ever after.

Like my costume?  If so, tune in tomorrow for a how-to!  
Have you ever or will you ever do a Disney race?  I highly recommend it.
Happy Tuesday!  Have a great day!