This weekend I got to enjoy some sun in Orlando, FL for the 5th Anniversary Princess Half Marathon! I have a bunch of posts about my trip coming your way, but I thought I would kick them off with a race recap.
As usual, race morning started with a 3:00am wake up call. I don't understand why it is easy to stay up dancing until 3am but it is so hard to wake up at 3am. Life's unanswered questions I guess...
|my mom and I waiting for the bus|
During this visit, we stayed at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa. (In my opinion, the hotel you stay at affects your race weekend experience especially on Sunday morning.) Saratoga Springs only had one event transportation area (unlike Caribbean Beach which has many bus stops), so there was a long (and unexpected) line for the buses to the Start line. Some women were even refusing to get on buses if they had to stand. Umm, we are princesses not divas, ladies! That probably didn't help with the hold up. The race instructions say you should be on the bus by 4am and in your corral by 5am (There is a long walk from the parking lot where participants are dropped off to the Start line). We weren't even at the EPCOT parking lot by 5am! I had to sprint to Corral A where I only waited around for less than a minute before the fireworks kicked off the start clock!
Being in Corral A was amazing! If you aren't a runner, you might not understand this simple joy. Corral A has many benefits. First, during the Princess Half this corral is girls only! No boys allowed! Literally - I saw them turn down a little boy from running in Corral A. Second, it's exciting to start with the elite runners as opposed to seeing them at mile 8 while you're not even to mile 3 yet (not that I ever saw them again - they finished in almost half the time it took me!). I also noticed that many participants in Corral A don't stop for photos with the characters, so the character lines were really short. Lastly, for whatever reason, I've always wanted to run through Magic Kingdom when it's still dark out (Weird, I know!), and this year I got the chance to do just that!
|Cinderella's Castle looks pretty in pink at night!|
|always have to stop for this photo op!|
|hanging out with the guys!|
|I did it! - 4th Princess Half, 5th runDisney race, 6th half marathon!|
I was torn between running this race for fun or for time. To be honest, I only ran 3 miles since finishing the Disney Marathon in January. I decided I would try to do both - run as best as I could but stop for any photos I wanted as well. Surprisingly, I ended up finishing in 2:23 which is only 10 minutes slower than my PR from the Runner's World Half Marathon in October 2012. It's also a runDisney race PR for me by about 26 minutes! It makes me wonder if I could have finished this race with a PR if I didn't stop for photos at all. A sub-2:00 half marathon might have to be my new fitness goal...
Another great thing about being in Corral A was getting to see the awards ceremony. My Colorado roomie, Carissa @ Fit2Flex, presented the awards to the Top 3 finishers. I was excited to see that Rachel Booth finished first...again! I got to meet her last year during the runDisney Princess Half Meet Up at EPCOT! She is so sweet.
|the Top 3 finishers with Carissa from Fit2Flex!|
I took a long, much needed nap post-race! Around 4pm, we grabbed lunch/dinner at Paradiso 37 in Downtown Disney. The restaurant had a lovely patio overlooking the water. It also had every food I was craving during the race - a burger, a chocolate milkshake, and chili con carne. It was a random meal yet delicious!
I ended the evening in bed watching the Academy Awards. (The ladies brought it this year, no? The gowns were absolutely gorgeous!) I'm bummed I don't have anymore Orlando trips planned until February 2014. I might have to come up with an excuse... If you're interested in running the Princess Half in 2014 be sure to register your e-mail here for updates!
Stay fit and fabulous,