I’ve been running distance running races on and off for the last fifteen years. If you’d have told me in college I’d be running marathons and half marathons I would have laughed in your face. Three miles used to sound so long. Used to. When I was a senior in college, one of my housemates ran a local marathon. I went to cheer her on and show my support. Marathons are a big deal and race-day support can really mean a lot to someone in the throws of mile 20. I ended up leaving that race with my friend, a new first-time marathoner, and I was in awe. I thought to myself – wow this is really cool. I could do this too. That following year I decided to train for my first marathon and completed it. Although I would never call myself a hard-core marathoner, ever since I finished that race I did consider myself a runner. Through the different seasons of life I’ve competed in 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and even another marathon. None have been as fun as the 2019 Disney Princess Half Marathon.
I was approached by my same friend who sparked my running back in college to do the Disney Princess Half Marathon with her and a few of her local friends. I don’t get to see her very often and I had always wanted to do a Disney run. It seemed like a perfect opportunity. We set out to plan our girls-only Disney weekend that would involve touring Disney World for a few days before hand and finish up with the run on that Sunday. It was so amazing. People will say to me, “Oh, I could never go to Disney without my kids.” I say, “Um, yes, you can and should!” While I certainly adore taking my kids to Disney World, going with only girlfriends is insanely fun, but in a very different way. Does that line look long? Oh let’s skip that. Should we stop and grab a margarita and do some shopping? Yes. Shall we rest our weary legs by the poolside? Yes. The options are endless. It is legitimately impossible to not have fun.
With the huge success of last year’s event I really wanted to go back this year. Not only was it a great trip and way to get out of Michigan in the winter but I stayed in fabulous, best-shape-of-the-year shape, in the worst season of the year where I live. Once things thawed out in Michigan, my running was already at peak performance level. This year I convinced my friend who approached me last year to return, and one other friend of ours from high school and college is going to run her first half marathon. I’m so excited. It’s going to be another great year. Disney races are very laid back and fun. You can go into it as seriously or casually as you prefer. There are many first-time racers, as well as seasoned runners. You can have friends in your group that run together and stop at every character along the way and friends that prefer to go solo and not stop at any entertainment. Each princess can follow her own path and that’s totally fine! Last year I was running for time, which may not have been the best idea because without a recent proof of time I ended up in the general corral which is a mix of walkers, run/walkers, and others without proof of time. Starting for time in that corral involves a lot more bobbing and weaving than I’d prefer, but it’s not impossible to get a good time from that corral. This year I have a proof of time from last year’s race so I expect to start in a timed corral which will make it a little easier to improve my time. I’d love to beat 2:00 hour half marathon time but we’ll see. I finished in 2:16 last year and I’m definitely feeling faster already than last year.
Costume wise, I’m channeling Elsa from Frozen 2 as my muse since she is the inspiration for my being brave and starting my blogging adventures. Last year I ran as Moana. Below are a few links to give an early snapshot of my outfit, which is insanely important in RunDisney planning. A princess can’t show up to the ball without her outfit. My favorite running shoes are linked. They are called Nike Air Vomeros and they are oh so cushiony- pillows for your feet. The other link is an Elsa costume from a vendor on Etsy in a synthetic stretchy fabric which will be great for running in the heat and humidity of Florida. I have no affiliation with these sites, just sharing my favorite things. I’m totally not cool enough yet to get paid for influencing. If I can find a little plush Bruni somewhere, the fire salamander from Frozen 2, I might have to bring him with me on the run. Maybe pinned on my shoulder? We’ll see. Right now they are running for about $50 on eBay and I want no part in that type of markup.
I look forward to doing this race with my own kiddos some day, should I be lucky enough. I hope they develop a love for fitness and healthy choices. Until then, I’ll enjoy my girls time at this year’s 2020 Princess Half Weekend staying fit and reconnecting with my forever best friends.
Are you a lover of RunDisney events? Anyone else running the Princess Half Marathon 2020? Have I made you even the least bit curious about trying a RunDisney event? Which princess would you be?