Ready for a new year’s challenge? Come run with me!!! 🙂 Register for the 2014 Bucks County Half Marathon in beautiful and scenic Bucks County, PA. Prices increase tonight at midnight!! #buckscountyhalfmarathon #buckshalf (at bucks county half marathon)
First of all, my apologies for this very late post. I got back from California very late on Tuesday, rested a bit on Wednesday and was back to work Thursday and the entire weekend. I was drained!
Saturday night, my running friends and I gathered at Naples Restaurant in Downtown Disney for our carb-loading pre-race dinner. Dinner was nothing special to be honest, but having dinner with everyone who shares the same passion for Disney and running is just priceless.
I got back to the hotel and rested, watched a little TV and set every single alarm clock there was in that room, as I’m always afraid I’ll sleep right through. Needless to say, despite setting up alarms, I woke up almost every hour. I hate when I do that!
Met my running buddy at the hotel lobby at 4:15 and we headed for the corrals. It was a good mile walk and the corrals were jam-packed!!! I was in Corral D, and luckily I got there early enough, because the corrals were filled to capacity, D runners were being moved to E. We were told by a runDisney volunteer to hop over the fence, but even then it just felt claustrophobic.
It was little after 6:00 AM when we crossed the start line. The group paired up in two’s and I headed out with Miss Vanellope for our 13.1 mile run.
First photo stop: Disney California Adventure Park. (Also when I realized I forgot to turn on my Garmin!)
In Disneyland, since the parks are right next to each other, your first 4 miles are through the parks and then you’re out on the road. Very different from Disney World but didn’t make it boring though.
Running through DCA’s Cars Land.
I love when you turn the corner and there it is, in all its glory, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
Once we exited the parks, we were on the road. The sun was coming up and it was quickly getting really hot and bright out. It seemed that every turn we made was East, which didn’t help at all. The spectators were phenomenal as usual. There were dancers doing a traditional Mexican dance around mile 5 and alongside the road were gorgeous classic cars, I mean, gorgeous! Cheerleaders were performing, yelling our names as we ran across.
The sun was beaming and I started to feel sick. I felt horrible pain on my right side, along with feeling nauseous and having stomach cramps. I felt like I hydrated well during the previous days but Anaheim was hot; when I arrived Thursday, the temp was 101. Awful, just awful.
Around mile 7, there were tents set up by spectators and they were giving out pretzels, candy, oranges and they had huge buckets of cold water, which they were dipping in sponges and wringing them over the runners who wanted to cool off. What a blessing those people were!!!
I nibbed on a few pretzels and an orange slice and tried to run, but every time I would start running my stomach would feel worse. At this point, we’re doing 1:1 run/walk intervals. I couldn’t take the pain anymore.
Mile 8 and we’re running through the back of the Honda Center . We ran through sand as we ran through the back parking lot of the center and into the Santa Ana River Trail, which had a killer hill I’m sure I yelled at.
Once we got through, we were right at mile 9 and into Angel Stadium. I was in pain and pushing through.
I was feeling sick still and so I told Vanellope and Amanda that if they didn’t mind I’d be running ahead since I wanted to get it over with and get back to the hotel.
Once I finished, I was given the Disneyland Half medal, then proceeded to a tent where I received my 2013 Coast to Coast medal. Let me tell you that the C2C medal is so worth it. It’s gorgeous and it’s so heavy, and of course, there’s nothing like running in both coasts, through both castles in one year.
I’m skipping Wine and Dine this year since I’ll be home running the Philadelphia Marathon, but most likely will run it next fall (it’s an anniversary year too, so perhaps a new medal?) 🙂
I grabbed my medals, took some pictures and sat on the hot asphalt for a while, ingesting it all in: the pain, the pleasure, the relief of being done and the satisfaction that my body and my mind got me through.
I spent the rest of the night in my hotel room, sick and sitting in an ice bath for a while. If there are any lessons to be learned is this: Follow a proven training plan, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!!, never try anything new on race day (Not shoes, not fuel, not outfit, not anything!), but most of all, just go and have fun. Disney races are meant to be fun. While you want to go out and set a personal record or personal best, running through Disney is meant to be a fun and exciting experience. Running through castles, taking pictures with the characters, running in costumes, whether that be a villain or princess or anything that you want to run as, just enjoy it. All I can say is that during this race I learned so much – what I need to do and what I shouldn’t do. Best of all, I had a great time running with my friends and finishing.
Love and Pixie Dust,
I’m sure most runners have a list of races they’d love to tackle at some point in their lifetime. Currently, I’m on a running break (I’m nursing a hip injury) and I’m daydreaming about my bucket list races.
In random order:
1) Nike Women’s Half Marathon in DC or the full marathon in San Francisco
How exciting would it be to run this race in two of my favorite cities along with thousands of inspiring women for either a 13.1 or a 26.2-mile journey, only to be greeted at the finish line by sexy firemen holding a custom-made Tiffany necklace! Need I say more?!?
2) Big Sur Marathon
For the most beautiful scenery, enough said.
Source: Big Sur International Marathon
3) Divas Half Marathon in San Juan
I really, really wish I could do this race this year, but it’ll have to wait until 2014. Running a race in my home of Puerto Rico is simply a dream. I can NOT wait!!! The beach, the opportunity to go home and see my Dad and my family. I want to cry just thinking about it.
Source: Divas Half Marathon & 5K Series
4) Walt Disney World Marathon
Disney races are fun, fun, fun!!!! You get to run in costume (optional, of course!) around your favorite Disney parks and take pictures with your favorite characters. Disney races are meant to be fun, in my opinion, and not a race where you’re aiming for a PR. Just enjoy it.
I want my first marathon to be at WDW, but it’ll have to wait until 2015 since I’ll be doing Tinkerbell and Princess Half next year 🙂
Source: Run Disney
5) Last, and certainly not least, Boston Marathon.
Source: Boston Athletic Association
I’ll probably qualify when I’m 80, but I can at least die knowing I ran this marathon.
Question: Do you have races on your wishlist?
There’s something a little more special about running in your city.
Yesterday, Cinco de Mayo, the largest 10-mile run in the United States was held here in my backyard; the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.
I was very excited once I was picked to run this race, but once the date got closer, I became nervous because of its size, but that all changed yesterday.
The Broad Street Run Expo was a two-day event, held at the Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles. I had to work on Friday, and so I went on Saturday. I found the expo to be well-organized, and because there were so many people there, at times it felt crowded. Every vendor there was out of red socks!!!
Picked up my bib (not even a minute in line!), then headed to pick up my tee and my goodie bag. Walked around and walked out proud that I had not spent a cent at the Expo. How did that happen? Maybe it was the excitement for the Phillies tailgate party that would soon follow.
Set my alarm for 4:30 AM, which was pointless; I never sleep the night before a race. It’s that nervous/excited feeling. I may have slept 3 hours, if that…
Left early, around 5:30 AM, (leaving my water bottle, bananas and iPhone case at home) and headed to the stadium. I’m glad I arrived early as it was not crowded yet. Walked to the Broad Street Line and a SEPTA worker was checking bibs, (which were your free ride pass) and the ride was about 25 minutes into the Olney Transportation Center.
It was freezing cold and windy, so I hung out at Dunkin’ Donuts to warm up with hot coffee and chat with fellow runners for a bit. Headed to the corrals and found a small group of runners sitting on top of the steam vents and I joined them.
The first corral took off at 8:30 and the pink corral, the last corral, took off at around 9:10. Funny how the clock on the starting line read 47:10 when we crossed it and the winner had already finished!! High-fived Philadelphia Mayor, Michael Nutter at the starting line and was on my way.
I started off slow, annoyed that neither my Garmin was picking up a location or that my Pandora One was not working. The Garmin picked up a signal and kicked in after mile 2 and I just listened to my last half marathon playlist, no big deal.
It was great running past the houses and seeing people bright and early on their steps cheering on us runners. First three miles were not quite downhill but it was flat. I was still in pain, the cold weather wasn’t helping and it took me a bit to warm up. Signed myself up for runner tracking and didn’t get a text once I crossed the 3-mile marker, which left me wondering whether my chip was working.
Once we arrived at Temple University, there were bands playing on the sidewalk, including the Temple Owl mascot. Students cheered from their dormitories and it was loud and exciting! The best part was seeing all the children that were out and about high-fiving us.
A few more blocks and we would be at City Hall. We made that turn at City Hall and right at the corner of Penn Square and Market, in front of La Colombe Torrefaction, was a rock band playing loud, rocking the streets. I was hoping to see Todd Carmichael of La Colombe, but either he wasn’t there or I simply missed him. I’d tell him, “Dude, Corsica is simply genius!”
Right at the corner of Broad and Walnut, in front of the Hyatt at the Bellevue, was former Philadelphia Mayor/former Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell who high-fived me on my way down. That was a nice little energy boost!
What would soon follow were a myriad of spectators, all with their signs and I ran those 3-4 miles simply laughing: “If Broad Street were easy, it would be called your mom!”, “Faster, faster, that’s what she said.” and so on…
Mile 8 and I felt like I’d hit the wall. My legs felt like iron and I couldn’t even open my package of Clif Bloks. Stopped by a water station and the man who handed me water said, “You can do it. 2.2 miles to go”, to which I replied, “Yes, I can do this!” I thanked the volunteers and went on.
Mile 9.5 and a quick glance to my right and there is Peggy, a woman who touched so many and who inspired so many of my Princess Posse friends. I choked up, gave her a hug and got a picture with her. She was in Disney when I ran the Princess Half Marathon but I missed her. She is simply the best spectator ever!!!
Enter the Navy Yard and I’m just a short 0.25 miles from the finish line, but these hips and knees hurt and that last 1/4 mile feels more like 5 miles, just never-ending! Crossed the finish line at 1:57:37. I didn’t have a time goal, I ran to enjoy my city and to have a great time, and I did. I’d be lying if I said that I had more fun at the Disney race.
Lindy with her ugly cry face at the finish line.
I hope to “win the lottery” again next year and run this with 39,999 other runner friends because I’d do this again in a heartbeat. Not a single second did I feel unsafe.
Look who I found on my way back to the car!!! Jog n’ Hog!!!
Thank you to everyone who made this happen.
On Sunday, February 24th, I took part in the most amazing, most challenging thing I’ve ever had the courage to do: run a half marathon. I say this because I’ve never considered myself a runner.
In middle school I ran track, and I was fast. Once I entered high school I didn’t participate in sports and I quickly fell out of love with running. As I got older, I attempted running again but found it frustrating. I couldn’t run half a kilometer to save my life! This changed last May when I spent a week in Walt Disney World and picked up a Women’s Running magazine at the airport, that’s when I saw an ad for runDisney runs. I was sold! Anything to go back to Disney? Yep.
On Saturday, I carbo loaded at lunch, a meal of spaghetti with marinara sauce and bread at Pizzafari in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I drank more water than I normally drink in a few days. I was feeling both excited and nervous. I kept telling myself, “You can do this!” I wanted to prove myself wrong, but to prove to others-who very much talked behind my back, saying, “She can’t do this.”- that in fact, I could do it.
Laid all my clothes out the night before and set alarm clocks on my iPhone at 15-minute intervals: 2:00, 2:15, 2:30. I wanted to be at the bus stop by 3 am since I had a race retreat and wanted to sit and relax before heading to the corrals.
The bus at the Art of Animation resort was already there and there were no lines. The ride was about 20 minutes with traffic into Epcot. The parking lot had lots of tents: ice tents, medical tents, bag check-in and the race retreat tent. I walked in and helped myself to some pre-race treats. They offered bagels with peanut butter, jam/jelly, muffins and coffee/tea. It was also nice to have a private port-a-potty!
I left around 4:15 and walked outside once the announcement was made that runners needed to make their way to the corrals. A volunteer checked my bib and told me to follow the crowds and the corrals would be there in about 20 minutes. Talk about a nice warmup!
The weather was cool but not cold, and once at the corrals, I placed my sweater on the fence. There were cardboard bins for clothing but I saw runners throwing trash in there!!
A volunteer checked bibs to ensure that you were entering the correct corral, however, I saw people climbing the fence and getting into earlier corrals, which really annoyed me. The corrals were crowded and it was difficult to get back if you needed to use the potty, so I can see how some people used that to their advantage to climb into earlier corrals.
At 5:30, fireworks went off and off went the wheelchair participants, and every 7 minutes after that, a corral was off and running. I was placed in H, which took off at 6:24 AM.
Miles 1-2 seem to pass by quickly and soon I was looking for that 5K mark. I signed myself for runner tracking and about 5 secs after passing the mark, I received a text message. I passed Captain Jack Sparrow and the ship on my left, the villains on my right, but the lines were too long to stop and have a picture taken. As much as I wanted to stop, I couldn’t, I was worried about being in the last corral and being swept. I just had to run.
The field was crowded and there were a lot of walkers. There were walkers to my left, to my right, runners on the left and right, and runners bobbing and weaving through crowds just to get through. A one point, I ran about 1/4 mile on the grass and it hurt my hips, badly. I just couldn’t get by!
The crowd seemed to spread out once we were about to enter Magic Kingdom and it was exciting to see that I made it that far. Made a left turn around Space Mountain and on my left, I saw a band playing drums and it made me smile.
Once entering Magic Kingdom, there were crowds on both sides of the ropes, cheering people on, clapping, holding signs, and I was pumped. Running through Main Street USA and seeing the castle up ahead, and the field became congested. At that point, I couldn’t run anymore, I had to walk, slow. The lines were long and I really wanted a pic with Mickey and Minnie, but again, I worried about timing. Once walking through the crowded Cinderella Castle, photographers were set up to take pictures in front of the castle. I waited about 3 minutes and I was well on my way.
Half Way mark!! Alicia Keys’, “Girl on Fire” played on loud speakers.
I HAD to stop and have my picture taken with Lilo and Stitch….I just love Stitch 🙂 I felt like such a kid when I saw Stitch, I’m like, “Stiiiiiitch!!!!!” 🙂
10k mark and my body felt like I hadn’t even run that far! I stopped at every water/Powerade station and had a cup of each. I have issues with dehydration and that was the last thing I needed to worry about.
Mile 10 and I was really starting feeling the heat. The humidity was getting to me and I kept looking for the next water station. My legs felt tired, but it never crossed my mind to slow down and quit when I was so close. On I-4 and the exit sign for Epcot when I noticed it was a hill leading to an overpass. Well, that hill was killer. I ran/walked up that hill and regained strength to get me through the last 2 miles.
Spectators once again cheered on and when I saw the choir on my right, I wanted to cry. I was out of breath, choking on my tears. Seeing that choir meant the end was just around the corner. I couldn’t slow down! I remember saying I my head, “I want this soooo bad!”
Turned a corner and there it was, the finish line. I ran faster from excitement, there were spectators in bleachers cheering on, and arms held high, I crossed that finish line, with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes. A lady approached me with a medal, took my pic and walked off feeling like I was walking on clouds. Days later, it all still feels surreal. I did it!!!
I’d like to thank runDisney for giving people an opportunity to make their dreams reality. So many runs are not walker-friendly and it was nice to see runners of all ages and backgrounds get off the couch and attempt a half-marathon.
Thank you to the volunteers who provided us with water, Powerade and fuel to finish this run. The volunteers who cheered us on from the sidelines, you have no idea how much your encouragement helped, at times when my mind wanted to quit.
Thank you to my Mom, who believed in me when no one else in my family did. I love you!
Last but not least, to the Princess Posse. You are all amazing and I could not have done it without you.
I realize this is starting to sound like I won an Academy Award, ha!! (Sorry)
I’m already looking forward to next year’s Princess Half, but first, I’m off to California for Disneyland Half Marathon.
See you at the finish line!
My first race for this year is the highly-anticipated Disney’s Princess Half Marathon, taking place at Walt Disney World on February 24th, 2013. It is my first Disney race, and my first half-marathon. I am very excited, especially because 1) I get to run in costume (running as Cinderella!) and 2) Another reason to go to Walt Disney World, yay!
I truly dislike running in extremely cold weather, therefore I’ve been doing most of my winter running indoors, on a treadmill and it is quite boring, especially when doing long runs. Anything past 5-6 miles and I’m literally bored to death! I try watching movies on my iPad or listening to music on Pandora or Spotify and that seems to help some, but gosh…
I’ve been training using the Jeff Galloway marathon training schedule and I highly recommend it. This is coming from a girl who could barely run a mile last summer and now I can run 10+ miles. It’s very easy to get excited and carried away and start to do too much at once (I know from experience!!!) but slow is the way to go. I’ll try to update this blog frequently.
See you at the finish line!