Thursday, February 28, 2013

Princess for a day

My beloved running shoe, the Brooks Glycerine
It has taken me a few days to recover (!) and get my head around one of the biggest personal accomplishments of my life...running the Disney Princess Half Marathon.  Most of you have been hearing about my training and preparation ad nauseum...it's been going on for just about 9 months!  But I figure I owe it to myself to recap this thing.
  
So nine months ago, Dawn announced that she and her daughter would be running in the February 2013 Disney Princess Half Marathon, and threw down the gauntlet at my feet.  Would I take the challenge?  My first reaction was "HELL NO!".  I could barely run a mile or two at that point, having just picked up a pair of running shoes for the first time in 20 years.  But once an idea gets into my brain (ahem...blogging?) it doesn't let go, and I decided I'd give it my best shot.  My goal was to finish, and to run the entire thing...even if running was slower than walking.  

The training was not without challenges.  Knee issues, pulled muscles, and a nagging case of (I suspect, but refused to see a doctor) plantar fasciitis had me investing in massages, ice packs, foam rollers, Bio Gel, and anti-inflammatory tub soaks.  But I built up my miles, trained to an 11 mile distance, and hoped for the best.  I was pretty excited because not only was Dawn and her daughter going to be there, but Julie as well!  My blogging sisters!

My running partner and I decided that since we had to arrive at the park by 4:00am, we would stay on property the night before.  We were up at 2:00am to allow for stretching and bathroom management, and hopped on a shuttle at 3:30.  I spent the next two hours with my jaw hanging open.  

24,000 runners, people.  24,000 women mostly dressed in Disney costumes, sparkle skirts and tiaras.  Even a few men get in on the action, God love 'em.  It was total chaos.  It took about an hour just to make our way from the shuttle to our ultimate starting corral.  There are hundreds of port-o-potties but lines to each were 20 women deep.  There are fireworks, a big stage with Disney characters and a chippy, chirpy female host trying to pump us up with loud music and hopeful encouragement.

So off we went.  It was incredibly difficult to run when there are a gazillion people around you, all moving at different speeds, but I attempted to weave my way through.  All along the way there were PowerAde and water breaks, gel shot stops, protein bar stops, and photo opportunities with Belle, Captain Jack Sparrow, Prince Charming, etc.  I had no patience for the photo ops, but many women were all over that.  

This thing weighs like 2 pounds
The run was more difficult that it should have been given the miles I've run over the last 9 months, but my foot was plaguing me and my running partner left me!  (Not even getting into that one.)  But I finished and I ran the entire thing, I got my bling, so goal accomplished.

I think aside from finishing, I was just as excited about meeting up with the girls.  I am sad that we didn't get to spend more time together (hey, just FINDING each other was a miracle, in that stinky sea of humanity) but it was an accomplishment we could all share.  Julie and I are both new runners, and Dawn was injured but we all did it.

    
Me, Julie and Dawn




















The first thing I did when I got home was put my 13.1 magnet on my car.  The second thing I did was take a 45 minute shower, like a teenage boy.  I was dragged out to see a movie (I stayed awake, and I had a hot dog and Junior Mints!) and my husband took me out to dinner that night.  I slept like the dead.  I spent the next day at the Ritz Carlton Spa, getting rubbed and pampered.  It was a perfect way to celebrate.       

















I have officially been bitten by the bug, and I fully intend to run more of these things once I get my foot back into good health.  I might even do the Princess again, now that I know the drill.  Hey!  You know they have a Half Marathon in Napa/Sonoma?  Yeah baby.      



21 comments:

caite said...

Congrats!!

It hurts to just think about it...
But what do ya know, I just reviewed a book with a marathon run theme...

bermudaonion said...

Congratulations!! You, Julie, and Dawn amaze me. I'm not sure I'd get up at the crack of dawn to torture my body like that. And, now I know what those 13.1 magnets mean! lol

bkclubcare said...

There's a Half in Jamestown RI in July...

Jackie Bailey said...

Congratulations! What an amazing achievement! I did a walking half marathon around London at night and it was the lack of sleep that killed me the next day. i can't even imagine getting up in the middle of the night to start one. That must be doubly hard. You three are amazing :-)

Anita said...

I'm so very happy you set and accomplished this goal!!! Congrats.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Hey, I'll go to the Napa/Sonoma one with you! But I will stand on the sidelines, sipping wine, and yell out coaching-type remarks! Sounds like a great plan to me!

Ti said...

You are so awesome! Just the whole process and the challenges you had to overcome... really...amazing.

Meg @ write meg! said...

Congratulations on such an awesome accomplishment! I can't even imagine. Y'all rock.

JoAnn said...

CONGRATULATIONS! This is a huge accomplishment and I'm so proud of you... next time you need a sparkly skirt, too :-)

raych said...

I HAVE DONE A HALFIE and they are no joke. Good for you, woman. I keep thinking I'll do another one, but I wrecked my knee so badly that first time. Maybe when I can afford a proper trainer who can be like, This is how you run badly.

ANYWERT! So proud of you.

Tasha B. said...

Yeah baby. :) Congratulations!

Beth F said...

Woooooooo Hooooooo!!!!!!

Melissa said...

Congrats!! You are awesome! Can't wait to hear all about your next 13.1!

Darlene said...

Congrats! You guys are amazing. There is no way I could ever drag myself through that!

Julie P. said...

So glad I got to finally meet you! It was a wonderful experience and I'd definitely do it again if I lived down there!!!

I came home and immediately signed up for a 10K -- that's about the perfect length for a race! I want to do another half though -- maybe WINE & DINE?

softdrink said...

Woo-hoo!

We have City to Sea:
http://citytothesea.org/

'Cause you know you love California. ;-)

I was behind a car today with a 26.2 sticker. And I stared at it and thought "Huh??" Then I remembered you had mentioned your 13.1 magnet and it all made sense! In a crazy sort of way.

Heather @ Book Addiction said...

So amazing!!

stacybuckeye said...

Congratulations, Sandy! What a great accomplishment. A friend of mine up here went down to run and it was her first time too. You guys amaze me :)

Jenners said...

Wow … you should feel amazingly proud of yourself!!! That is something to crow about -- you are going to the Queen of Running soon. I'm very very very very impressed!

Elizabeth said...

I have a co-worker who ran this, too! Sounds like a fun event - congratulations!

Kathleen said...

Congratulations...so proud of you! You go girl...you are a rockstar!