|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.