Friday, March 1, 2013

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2013

Last Sunday Mitch and I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon with Team Girl Power 2 Cure!

We arrived late Thursday night (or rather early Friday morning) after a significant flight delay due to our plane getting struck by lightening.  We hoped that was not the start of a bad weekend!

Friday morning we got up and headed to the expo first thing.  The weather in Orlando was beautiful!  Downtown Disney was right across the street from our hotel, and we took our time walking to the buses which took us to the race expo.

The expo was crowded and a little frustrating, but we managed to pick up our race packets and a few other items!  Then back to Downtown Disney for lunch.  After that we headed back to our hotel for some time by the pool.  Ahhh

Friday night we had dinner with Team GP2C.  It was great to see everyone!  After dinner we headed back to Downtown Disney to the Irish Pub to listen to some music and enjoy the nice night.

Saturday we decided to head to a mall and do a little shopping since we don't get to do kid-free shopping very often.  We had dinner at PF Changs with plenty of rice for some good carb loading.  Apparently when you tell people you are running a half marathon they want to give you things because we got two free dishes in addition to the ones we ordered.  We probably ate a little more than we needed to but it was all delicious!  Then it was back to the hotel to get our race outfits ready and head to bed to try to get a little sleep before our early morning!

Sunday - race day!  My alarm was set for 2:30, but I woke up on my own at 2:26.  Wow, that's early!  Our bus was picking us up at 3:45 and I wanted to have plenty of time to drink a cup of coffee, eat a bagel and get dressed.  Our bus got stuck in traffic trying to get to the race so we were running late and I wondered if I was going to make it to my corral (A) by the start time.  We saw the GP2C tent on our way too the start line so we dropped our bags off there and then headed to our corrals.  We made it with 5-10 minutes to spare.  Whew!

I started in corral A and Mitch was in C because they don't allow men in corrals A or B.  I thought about moving back to start with him but I'm glad I didn't because he said it was so crowded he didn't think we would have been able to stay together anyway.

Blurry picture of the fireworks going off at the wheelchair start

5:35am and I was off!  It was warm - about 70˚ - and very humid, weather I wasn't used to running in at this time of the year.  I was sweating right away so I took it easy that first mile.  My original goal was to finish in  under 2 hours but I didn't think I'd be able to do that with the weather, so I was just trying to enjoy myself.
 Even though I was in the first corral there were still lots of slower runners in front of me, but I tried  not to stress about getting around them just yet.  After the first mile I wanted to pick up the pace a little so I started running in the grass to get around some people.  After the first few miles I felt like I was finally able to run at my own pace.  I stopped at every water stop and drank powerade to try to stay hydrated since it was so warm, but other than that I ran the whole way.

I really did have fun running the race.  I didn't listen to music at all the first 10 miles, and just enjoyed the music and characters along the course.  Around mile 10 I was ready to be done though so I put in my headphones for about a mile and a half, but then took them out as I got closer to the finish line.  The last mile seemed to go on forever, but finally I could see the finish line so I picked up the pace and then I was done!

My finish time was 1:59:52 - just made it under 2 hours!
Mitch finished in 1:58:37.  Not bad considering he was injured and didn't train as much as  he would have liked!

The best part was that we exceeded our fundraising goal, and Mitch got to wear his tutu again!  :)

All in all, another successful Run for Riley!

Next year we would love to get a Team Riley to come with us!