2015 #PrincessHalf Picture Pages

A week ago today, I was headed south to run through Walt Disney World with 24,000 other runners. I ditched my car in a snowbank in the airport’s economy lot and ran from the -6 degree weather all the way to sunny Florida.

For the third time in four years, I was running Disney’s Princess Half Marathon. This race is special for many reasons – I ran it with Meri (and Brooke) in 2012 as Meri completed her first-ever 13.1, I get to spend time with so many friends, and (duh) Disney.

But most importantly, I love that the entire weekend is a celebration of women, for women.

Princess flyfishing Feb 2015 153Cinderella in rags before the big race

I packed much into my weekend with an impromptu solo trip to Magic Kingdom on Friday, (BRR!) a day at the expo working the Sparkle Athletic booth and the race, followed by an evening romping through EPCOT and quite possibly the most perfect ride on the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – seriously, there was a 20-minute line and we rode to fireworks! A new display lit up the sky as we rounded nearly every turn.

But more than anything I loved seeing my wonderful women. You all know who you are!

Without further delay, here are a few of my favorite photos from the weekend:

Princess flyfishing Feb 2015 041Obligatory 2015 Princess Half expo photo

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Visiting with Kelly at the Sparkle Athletic booth. Thanks to all who popped by to visit me on Saturday!

Princess flyfishing Feb 2015 074


Princess flyfishing Feb 2015 066

You know I did. Sadly, all Disney-themed Starbucks mugs were sold out.

Princess flyfishing Feb 2015 100Night view of Cinderella’s Castle on my solo tour of  MK

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Carb-loading on naan with the lovely Jillian

Princess flyfishing Feb 2015 165

Bookish Belle (Carrie) and Servant Cinderella at the race start! Moments after this was taken we learned news of the newest runDisney event – half marathon weekend at Disneyland Paris in Sept. 2016.

Princess flyfishing Feb 2015 164I’ve wanted to stop for this shot for years but never wanted to wait in line. This year, I did it! Love the pic too

Princess flyfishing Feb 2015 168Me and the villians! I can never resist posing with these ladies

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Love this view! Main Street USA

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Castle selfie!

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Just after mile 12, I fought back tears as I saw these signs. This was the first runDisney race I ran without seeing Peggy Sue and her iconic sign. She passed away last month. I spotted what appeared to be her sign held by who I believed to be her family. It was so moving – and took me longer than I expected to control my emotions – and breathing – for the next minutes. We love you Peggy Sue.

I started the race with a slightly tweaked back and didn’t know when it would give out on me. I was hoping it wouldn’t be an issue, but alas, mile 11.5 it reared its ugly head. I probably should have walked then and there, but I wanted to be done. So off I went – through EPCOT and high-fiving Mickey at the finish. Final time 2:02 and 1000th place. (I just looked it up and smiled when I saw my number. I’m a number geek.)

Princess flyfishing Feb 2015 205

I repeatedly ran into the lovely Faith over the weekend. At the expo, the finish line and again getting margaritas in Mexico. #nationalmargaritaday

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For the second straight year, I stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I love this place and it’s incredible views of the animals and hospitality. Til next time!

What was your favorite part of Princess half weekend? Do you ever hit the parks alone? What was your race strategy?

Throwaways: the good, the bad and the really ugly

I have a stash of old sweatshirts and hats in the corner of our guest room.

Of course, they’ll go to charity. But first, they get one last use – as early morning road race throwaways!

IMG_1497It’s overflowing

Since the days are growing colder, and I’ve started to actually wear long sleeves while running on crisp mornings (gasp!) so I thought I’d share some tips on throwaways – including a how-to manual to create my infamous tube sock mittens!


Most race organizers have volunteers collect discarded clothing at the starting line and along the course. Those items are then donated to charity. I love this. It’s such a smart form of recycling and giving an item a second – and third – life.

Typically, I scavenge my house looking for clothing (read: warm outerwear) I don’t mind parting with. I typically don old sweatshirts, long-sleeved shirts and knit caps.

If I forget or can’t find what I am looking for, I head to the Dollar Store or a second-hand store to find what I need. I even found a $5 fleece at Target in a pinch.

A Mylar blanket – the kind you receive at the finish of most large races – or a garbage bag – with a hole for your head – will also do the trick.

vic throwawayMe and my many layers before the Philadelphia Marathon in 2010.

 For my first marathon, I was overdressed with throwaways.  Sweatshirt, sweatpants, mittens and knit cap. I had it all. I also tossed it all before I started running. That taught me that its sometimes smart to hold onto mittens and hats until I warm up, typically a mile or two into my race.

nwh5The chicks and friends in a few throwaway tops before a 2014 race in D.C. Note how Meri dons a fancy shrug. (yeah, its really a ripped Lululemon shirt)

The key is to wear something that will A.) keep you warm and B.) you don’t mind discarding.

I struggle with this. I want everything to have a second life. And I hold onto some clothing for far too long. What’s that? You want an example? Well, ok.

Nov13 to May14 079See these duds? They are hideous and I couldn’t part with the 17-year-old fleece for about 15 years too many. That and my hubby’s torn-on-the-behind sweatpants have me looking voluminous pre-NYC Marathon in 2013. But hey, Christy Turlington Burns complimented them as we waited to start the race.

Brooke is fantastic about tossing unwanted or damaged clothes. We’ve traded throwaway layers at more than one race.

bthrowawyBefore the 2012 Princess Half Marathon, Brooke tossed these layers.

Sometimes, I really don’t want to part with an item.

In March, I passed on a favorite pair of warm up pants I’d had for years. They were ratty, but fit over my sneakers so became my go-to pants for regattas and road races.

Nov13 to May14 1601I memorialized these pants before I discarded them before a race in March.

Good bye, old friend.

The key with throwaway pants is the ability to take them off in a rush – without having to untie your shoes.

Most warmup pants don’t fit over my sneakers, so I make them fit. I take a pair of scissors and cut up the seam of the pants, starting at the ankle. I make the opening large enough for my show to fit through. (If you look closely at the first pic in this post, you can see my handiwork)

And yes, this is why a supermodel/runner told me I was brilliant before we both ran NYC last fall.

How to make your own tube sock mittens:

It’s easy. Place tube socks over your hands and push your thumb through the heel area of the sock.

IMG_1499So simple, so stylish

If you’re like me, your socks are well worn and might even already have a hole in your heel.

If you don’t wear your socks to threads, you can opt to use scissors.

Presto change-o! Done! Tube sock mittens.

wineglassmittensTube sock mittens paired with an old sweatshirt. These mittens lived to see another race day.

Now that you’ve seen my hideous throwaways, I want to hear what YOU do! Share pics of you in your discard layers with us on social media! – We’re ScootaDoot on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

The Princess and The Speed

I feel like I’m still catching up on sleep from Princess Weekend. Actually, let’s be real here. I have a 15 month old who doesn’t sleep through the night yet. The 2:30am wake up calls during the Glass Slipper Challenge made for a longer stretch of sleep than I typically get. So I guess I’m still catching up on sleep from the birth of my son. I should really just be napping right now.

Anyway. Princess Weekend was a whirlwind. Sara and I drove down to Disney on Friday night to sleep at the Art of Animation resort so that I could have uninterrupted sleep and we could wake at 2:30 instead of 1:30, because that would have just been crazy. We ran the 10k on Saturday and Sara had a PR by five minutes. Go Sara!

Everyone is obsessed with Frozen in my house (even the boy yells “Go!” at the tv, which is his way of asking to see the “Let It Go” video), so it was exciting to see Elsa at mile one of the 10k, talking to people as they ran past. You guys, there was a snow machine! (I’m sure you’ve read this on the internet already. I know I’m a week and a half late on this. But Elsa and snow! I could have cried. I took video for my girls. Definitely a “Disney Magic” moment of the weekend.)

On Sunday morning, we met up with Dorothy to complete 13.1 miles. I had been having stomach issues all weekend- I still haven’t figured out if it was related to the Clif shots (I took one prior to the start of each race-tested beforehand too) or if it was an isolated incident- and I had to stop to use a bathroom during the race, which I’ve never done before. Annoying. And TMI? (but really, any recs on pre-race fuel?) So, we ended up getting separated around mile five, but met at the finish to celebrate Dorothy’s first half marathon.

For me, the highlight of the half marathon is the choir just before the finish. If you follow us on instagram, you saw my video from that moment (and yes, I thanked them as I passed).

The real Disney magic of this race comes from the volunteers. They’re wonderful. They dance along the course, give high fives, cheer you on as you pass. When you walk into the bag claim (and for this race, you have to pass through even if you didn’t check a bag), they all applaud. It’s just really special. I said thank you to as many as I could, because they got up even earlier than I did, and they don’t get to go home until everyone is finished. If you’re reading this and you’re a race volunteer- THANK YOU. You make the race a success.

Here are a few pictures from my weekend:

Before the 10k. No, we did not run with the braids!

Before the 10k. No, we did not run with the braids!

Wondering, and wondering, and wondering, and wondering- when will this race begin?

Wondering, and wondering, and wondering, and wondering- when will this race begin?

Yep, we totally stole our daughters's Halloween costumes for the half-marathon.

Yep, we totally stole our daughters’s Halloween costumes for the half-marathon.

Our other PNK sister, Dorothy- at her first half-marathon!

Our other PNK sister, Dorothy, at her first half-marathon!

This was my last Run Disney event for a while. (I think. Never say never, I have a few local friends planning to run Wine and Dine and hmmmm. But probably not. Maybe.) I was happy to meet up with Vic and Heather and had a blast training and running with Sara and Dorothy. As for my own race, my chip time was 22 seconds faster than my Wine and Dine time, which was sort of a bummer. I wasn’t going into this race to PR- I’m pretty far from that right now- but I had hoped to improve a bit more than 22 seconds. I’ve thought a lot about it, as I tend to do, and I know there are some variables in my life now that weren’t there before when I was able to sub 2:00 in a short amount of time-

First, I have a baby who doesn’t sleep through the night. This isn’t a mom blog, and he’s my third child, and I’m totally not looking for advice. Or sympathy, haha. It is what it is, and the way we choose to parent- well, he doesn’t sleep through the night yet. He will eventually. As far as my running goes though, less sleep must factor into it, right?

Second, and this is the big one…I’m not training to run faster. Oops. I know I have to run fast to get fast. I know it. I said that I would start speed work after the run streak and I didn’t. Womp womp. In the spirit of Meri’s brilliant post about faking it vs. doing the work, I am going to do the work- starting this week.

Next up on my race calendar is a 10 miler at the end of this month, followed by two half marathons in April. I don’t plan to PR, but I hope to be closer to doing so (and I hope to get my fuel sitch figured out too). Any advice for me? For speed work, do you prefer tempo runs or track workouts?

Training: faking it versus the real deal

Once upon a time, there was a girl who signed up for her first half marathon in November of 2011. The half marathon was runDisney’s Princess half marathon, for in those days you didn’t have to sign up the day registration opened to be able to participate.

She trained for the February 2012 race in two and a half months (in hindsight it probably wasn’t enough training for the distance) but she ran the races with supportive friends who whispered encouraging words in her ear and walked with her when her IT bands no longer wanted to run.


And she did it!

From there, she went on to run another half a month later, where her IT bands fared much better and she helped Cam achieve her first half marathon.


She continued to register and run the half marathon distance, although her long runs weren’t always quite long enough and she didn’t always follow the training plan exactly like she should. Read: SHE WAS FAKING IT.

Faking it got her through the half marathons. Not as fast as she wanted though, and not without injury. Make that injuries, plural. After her most recent injury, she said, “Enough is enough.” (Actually, she used more colorful language, F this S… just so we are keeping it real.)

Her injuries have lessened significantly, for which is she very grateful. She’s been treating her Plantar Fasciitis  with medicated gel and Thorlo socks. Custom orthotics just joined the mix as well and while she’s not 100%, she’s feeling about 85% better.

Thanks to Thorlos for connecting on Twitter and for assistance. Very grateful!

Thanks to Thorlo for connecting on Twitter and for assistance. Very grateful!

She’s been pushing herself harder than ever before with training. She doesn’t skip or skimp. Three days a week she’s achieving at least five miles a day. She is following the training schedule to the letter; her long runs on the weekend have been accomplished as she works her way toward her next half. Her A, B, and C goals are in place and she’s confident in her abilities to hit one, if not all of them. And while the winter-y weather might have deterred her in the past, she is saying I can and I will now more than ever. She’s hoping for a happily ever after in the land of PR.

Have you ever faked your way through a race (or two, or three)? Come back after an injury (or two)?  What types of goals do you set for races?

Princess Half Marathon weekend: Picture Pages

While the scoot chicks love to chat, we also love to share our favorite pics with our friends.

So instead of a traditional race recap, I will instead share my favorite photos from last weekend. If you wish to read my Princess Half Marathon weekend recap on my work blog, CLICK HERE.

20140227-125750.jpgWe arrived at Animal Kingdom Lodge on Thursday and each “Princess” was presented with a rose. Well played, Disney. I loved this special treatment!

cgrillWe celebrated our first night with a dinner at the California Grill atop the Contemporary. Here we watched fireworks over the Magic Kingdom and enjoyed an incredible meal! We were also a obsessed with the wine coolers.

rapunzelsLOTS of Rapunzels! From left, me, Brooke, Sara and Heather. And yes, we did plan to all dress as the same character for the Enchanted 10K. Heather made the two matching tops, and they were so comfortable to run in! Thank you Heather! All four of us participated in the inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge, which is a 10K on Saturday and a half-marathon one day later.

20140227-130814.jpgPost-10K with friends Tara and Kelly.

20140227-125811.jpgOn Saturday, I worked at the expo with the Sparkle Athletic ladies. Here I am with  Kelly as we take a 3-second break from all the sales at their popular booth!

mermaidsHeather made our fantastic costumes. We’re Ariel’s sisters Aquata and Attina!

20140227-125835.jpgSoon enough, it was time to run the half-marathon. We snapped a few shots before the race at the starting line before the fireworks started us off on our 13.1-mile journey.

sparkle2With Elise (in pink), Kelly (in blue) and Carrie (in green) aka Sleeping Beauty’s fairies at the start. And yes, they wore those hats the entire race.

20140227-131904.jpgThose sparkle fairies sure are fast! I hung with them for the first mile, then decided to run a much slower race. This was my parting shot of them. Great job ladies!

20140227-131920.jpgThis foggy moment near mile 3 was one of my favorite images from the course.

20140227-131843.jpgSelfie by Cinderella’s Castle. I’m still laughing at this one. The crowd behind me was so motivating and encouraging. Hundreds cheered and whooped as I jumped into the air and ran off. It was among of my favorite moments from the race.

tianaHanging with Princess Tiana mid-race

20140227-131757.jpgWatching Mickey cheer several Princesses at the finish was pretty cool.

20140227-131725.jpgSelfie with my girl Kristin!

20140227-131808.jpgHad an incredible time eating my way around EPCOT with the wonderful Jillian! Starbucks and cronuts, then German Pretzels and Pilsner? Yes please!

germanySpeaking of beer in Germany….

fantasmicWe ended my final night watching Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios. All I can say is WOW!

20140227-125901.jpgAnd of course, here’s the parting shot of all my girly medals, including my pink Coast to Coast medal, which is awarded upon completion of the Tinker Bell and Princess half marathons.

I hope you all had an equally magical weekend!

Tell me about your race adventures! What was your favorite moment from the course(s)? Which was your favorite Princess race?

Prepping for Princess

One week from today, I’m heading to the Happiest Place on Earth!

That’s right, in seven short days, I’ll be reunited with several good friends in Orlando as we celebrate Princess Half weekend at Walt Disney World. I’ll be honest, I need this respite from rough wintry weather. As I write this, it’s 4 degrees below zero outside.


And I haven’t even factored in the wind chill (-15, for the record.) But enough about the weather. Let’s talk about all things girly and warm!

Princess Half Marathon and Tangled 5K were my first runDisney race in February 2012 as Brooke and I ran with Meri as she tackled her first-ever 13.1. We all loved the experience, but learned a few things in the process.

mvprincess2Brooke, Mer, and I with Cinderella and Prince Charming

SO! Here are a few tips for a successful Princess weekend:

How and where do I get my race packet (and shirts)?

Each runner is required to retrieve her (or his) bib and race packet from the “Fit for a Princess” expo, held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. There, you’ll also get a race shirt (or shirts, if you’re running several races!)

And of course, there’s LOTS of temping shopping inside the Jostens Center ranging from official runDisney merchandise, New Balance sneakers, Sweaty Bands head bands  and other apparel, like Champion, Raw Threads and Sparkle Athletic. (These are also great spots in case you need a last-minute costume too!)

The expo also features a Speaker Series that includes seminars on training, racing, how to deal with Florida’s heat and humidity and nutrition. This is pretty fantastic and filled with LOTS of great info.

The expo runs for three straight days:

  • 10 am to 8 pm on Thursday, Feb. 20
  • 9 am to 7 pm on Friday, Feb. 21
  • 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday, Feb. 22

Some times will be busier than others at the expo. If you want a Dooney and Bourke Princess themed purse, go Thursday morning as these babies will sell out quickly.

If you want to avoid as much shopping temptation as possible, go on Saturday afternoon as a lot of items will be sold out by then.

mvprincess1Meri and I at the 2012 Princess expo

How do I get to the expo?

If you are staying at a WDW “race weekend” resort, follow posted signs to the resort bus stop and look for the appropriate bus. There’s usually someone on hand at the bus stop to direct you. (and the buses are usually well-labeled.)

Don’t see a sign? Ask a cast member or ask at the front desk and they will direct you to the appropriate location.

If you are driving to the expo, parking is free at the Wide World of Sports.

Can I change my corral at the expo?

Sadly no. Until 2013, runners could switch corrals if they provided proper proof of time.

Race morning: What’s the drill?

My motto here is “better to be early than sprinting to the start.”

Personally, I get up insanely early to hop the first-possible bus out of my  resort. It’s absolutely worth rising a few minutes ahead of an already nutso wake-up call, to arrive early at the starting area. This gives you enough time check your bag, hit the bathroom and walk 20 minutes (in a crowd) to the starting corrals.

Then, be prepared to wait. Depending on how early you get to the starting corrals, you may have a wait until the 5:30 am race start.

Also, it’s a good idea to know WHERE you are going to be catching the bus. I tend to the bus stop to check it out the day before the race.

What should I bring race morning?

Bring a garbage bag (to sit on) or an old mylar blanket from a previous race. If the forecast calls for a chilly race morning, bring a throwaway shirt or sweatshirt and if its cold enough, gloves.  You can toss all of these items over the corral fence and to the side once you start running.

And obviously, bring your pre-race fuel, such as a banana, bagel or packaged treat.

I also always bring a package of tissues….just in case I head into a portable toilet without any toilet paper or need to make a pit-stop in the woods.

And you’re off!

Once you start running your 5k, 10k, or half-marathon, enjoy your experience! Snap lots of photos as he run and please be courteous to your fellow runners!

Til next week, I’ll be packing and hydrating….and repeatedly checking the forecast.  Have a great Princess weekend everyone!

mvprincess3Brooke and Meri celebrate at the finish in 2012.

Do you have any burning questions about Princess weekend, races, the expo? Send them our way! Are you running this weekend? What corral are you in? (We will look for you!)

runDisney’s Glass Slipper Challenge

We haven’t yet registered to race, but our hotel is booked and our flights are set.

And most importantly, costume planning is well underway.

Yessiree, Heather, Brooke and I will be decked out in full Princess gear for runDisney’s Princess Half Marathon weekend in February 2014.

As we approached registration opening day on June 11, runDisney last week finally announced Princess weekend race prices:

Race fees start at $270 for Glass Slipper runners, $160 for half-marathoners, $95 for the 10k and $60 for the 5k. Prices rise every few months until each race sells out.

But let’s be realistic. If those races follow suit to runDisney’s new Dopey Challenge and Dumbo Double Dare, some events may sell out in the first few days. Heck, Marathon weekend’s Minnie Mouse 10K sold out in hours!

Honestly, I hadn’t planned to head to Florida next February. I had already decided the Dopey Challenge was too rich for my blood, that I couldn’t swing a trip to either Disney park next winter after a coast-to-coast running journey in January.

My tune changed when I heard rumblings of the new Glass Slipper Challenge and pink coast-to-coast medal. Another bi-coastal running journey wasn’t likely, but I was suddenly thrilled I hadn’t signed up for Dopey. But I knew I could swing another journey south to visit and run with good friends.

And just what is the Glass Slipper Challenge? It’s a 10K race and a half marathon over the course to 2 days. That’s 19.3 miles of princess bliss!

Brooke, our resident shoe fan, said she knew right away she wanted to take part.

“I want to run the glass slipper challenge because the medal must be a shoe, right? And I’d never pass that up.” — Brooke


Brooke, Meri and Vic with Cinderella and Prince Charming at the 2012 Princess half

Heather was also thrilled to learn about the Glass Slipper Challenge, since she missed out on registering for the Dumbo earlier this year. Heather said her one and only Princess half experience (in 2012) was rough, as she nursed an injury through 13.1 miles.

Her goal? To better her previous race time and push her self past her comfort zone.

20130601-143455.jpgHeather and her beau as Snow White and her Prince after Princess 2012

As for me, I am beyond thrilled to be tackling a shorter distance running challenge, mid winter, with two fantastic friends.


I think the Glass Slipper challenge is awesome because it’s an opportunity to do one of the crazy back-to-back Disney races without a massive amount of miles. I think it’s cool that so many runners want to challenge themselves with that type of mileage over a single weekend, but I have no desire to run a Goofy or a Dopey. Not for all the bling and bragging rights in the world!


I absolutely love that runDisney is adding a 10k option and “challenge” to their race weekends. My favorite distance is the 10k so I’m thrilled for that and honestly the option to sign up for the challenge and earn a little extra bling always makes me happy. My only real concern is in the quest for the extra bling, especially in the inaugural years I wonder if some people that are not conditioned for the added miles may jump in too fast. I love the idea of Dopey but no way am I ready to tackle a full alone, so 48.6 miles would be foolish to try.

And we three princesses are well into costume-planning mode. We all plan to dress as Rapunzel for the 10K. Plans for our second costumes are still in the works, and will likely stay under wraps until the big weekend. But we do plan to don some Team Sparkle skirts!


We plan to run with Grete while in EPCOT too!

Chick Brooke has never run in costume before. Heather is an expert costume designer — she’s been everyone from Snow White to Tinkerbell!

And yes, we realize runDisney races aren’t cheap.

Heather downsized her Dumbo plans to a 10k and skipped other runs she was eying in order to make her Glass Slipper trip happen.

I passed on Dopey and will skip other outings to make the trek.

But as Heather noted, there’s just something magical about running Disney.

“I was running down Main Street USA towards the castle, the sun was coming up behind it and I honestly stopped for a minute, took a mental picture and said to myself ‘this is what it’s all about.’ That moment brought tears to my eyes.” — Heather.

Will you be running the Glass Slipper Challenge? What do you think of the new runDisney lineup? What do you sacrifice to take race-cations? Tell us in the comments below!

Post publication note: Here are more registration and Princess weekend details from my friend Heather. She’s a different Heather than pictured above, but her love of Disney and fitness are just as strong!

runDisney’s 2012 Princess half marathon race recap

The Princess Half Marathon aka Mer’s first half marathon!

Our bibs the night before

The night before the half, I basically didn’t sleep.  I tossed and turned and generally tried to rest my mind and body as much as possible because I knew we’d be waking up at 2:45.  Except I “woke up” (can it be called that if not technically asleep?) at 2:30 and we arose soon after.  Threw on the race attire, Glided (and of course, I missed some key areas – which I learned later on), and bundled up in our throw-away clothes.

The bus stop was directly outside our hotel so we made our way there a little after 3am.

Brooke looking pretty at 3:10am

We were the only ones at the bus stop for a couple of minutes which was a little disconcerting but another girl wandered up soon after and she and Vic realized that they were from the same area so they chatted for a bit.

Then the buses started going past us.  They were completely full and the time was ticking away.  The stop filled up with more and more Princesses waiting for their chariot and there we stood.  I’d say about five buses went past us.

Scary, right?  We tossed around the idea of just driving there (Brooke had her car) but we decided to wait it out and finally, close to 4am, we got on a bus.

Me on the bus – don’t I look calm, cool and collected?  I wasn’t, for the record.  But I was happy to be on the bus.

There was a LOT of race traffic and that was ALSO disconcerting because they had said we should be in the corrals by 5am.  Disconcerting was definitely the watchword.

We stopped to go to port-a-potties outside of the heavily populated area and then made our way to bag check.

Yep, this is the place!

Since we were sticking together, we checked one bag and then got into the line to get to the start.  At this point, I’m pretty sure that it was after 5am.

The line to the start.  Yeah.  Yeah.  That’s a lot of Princesses (and a few Princes too!).  Honestly, I feel like things could have been different over here.  The people around us assured us we were in the right place and that we were headed to the start but it felt very cattle-like.  We were moving at a snail’s pace and there was really no telling exactly what was going on.

I tried really hard to be zen-like during this walk.  Apparently a 20 minute walk took about 40 minutes.  But really, what was I going to do about it?  Freaking out wouldn’t change the mass of people in front of me and they were in the very same boat that I was.  So I did the best I could to just take everything in, give myself pep talks, and know that soon enough I’d be wearing a beautiful medal around my neck.

We got to the corrals at 5:43 (I remember making note!) and joined corral C.  Vic and Brooke were both seeded in A but jumped back to C so that they could stay with me throughout the race.  The start for corral A happened as soon as we got into our corral so it was perfect timing, even if it didn’t necessarily FEEL perfect at the time.

At nearly 6am, the fairy Godmother gave corral C a lovely benediction and then we were off!

Our fireworks!

Fun fact – men aren’t allowed in corrals A and B so we got many of them in corral C!

Just after we past the start line there was a high school band to our left, playing us into the race with the Rocky theme, which was pretty kick ass.

And right after we started running, the three of us realized we ALL had to pee.  Awesome, right? I mean, we basically stopped at the first line of portapotties we saw (my aversion to them had to cease to exist this weekend – blah!), which was only a mile and a half into the race.  And, of course, the line was about ten minutes.  Great, right?

Oh well!  As Annie says, “When you gotta go, you gotta go!”

After that, we jumped back into the fray.  The course was pretty packed, from start to finish.  It felt like there was a bit more room at the beginning (of all places!) because the road was wider.  Along the route we saw a pirate ship, hot air balloon and other fun stuff.  I took pictures from the road and continued on because I was trying to pay attention to not falling or running into someone else.

And soon enough, around mile 4, we saw…

The Magic Kingdom ticket booths.  Running through there was pretty cool!  Around that time, right after we passed the booth was when we saw Rachel Booth on her way to winning the race.  You know, nearly 20,000 participants and there’s the one that is going to pull into the finish line first.  And?  She won the Tinkerbell 1/2 in Disneyland in January.  Just really cool stuff.  Yeah, I totally teared up seeing her.

My first of many tears, by the way.

Right around the entrance to the monorail, we saw the villains.  At least, I think it was near there.  Things are a bit hazy.

I have to say the the first six-seven miles were pretty amazing.  Just when I started to drag a little (around mile five) we turned into the Magic Kingdom and I saw THIS.

And then there was pep in my step once more!

Running through the Magic Kingdom was definitely the highlight of this race.  It was… incredible.  Really, no other word to describe the feeling that came along with it.  As we approached the castle, we saw a (long) line to meet Cinderella and Prince Charming.

Now, my kiddo had asked earlier in the week if I’d gotten permission from Cinderella to run through her castle.  I saw my opportunity to “ask.”  So we jumped on the line, I ate a Gu and we got permission.

We made our way through the Magic Kingdom, stopping to take a picture with Jessie and Woody too.  The entire race, we were looking for things that our kids would get a kick out of.  I took pictures with mile markers 2 and 7 in honor of my kid’s ages.  It was just a lot of fun and easy breezy.

Until we reached mile 8.  Mile 8 through 11 were pretty… dull.  I mean, they have things along the route here and there but it’s sort of sparse and a lot of it (since you’re running back up the other side of the highway) is the same as on the way there.  I think since I hit such a high in the Magic Kingdom, it was just a little meh.

And then around mile 10 is when my IT bands started to really hurt.  I was disappointed because I was doing a lot more fast walking than running, even though I WANTED to run.  And every time I started running, they were complaining loudly.

That’s where the pain tears came in.  🙁

And that’s where Victoria and Brooke gave me the pep talks and the hugs that I needed.  My arm kept hitting my shirt (the part I forgot to Glide) and I was getting a pretty wicked chafing burn.

Wah wah wah.

I think that’s the point where I started talking about 5ks and my love of 5ks and who really needs half marathons anyway?  And Victoria pointed out the we only had 3.1 miles to go and that WAS a 5k.  Logical girl, she is.  She also suggested I put my music on for a bit, which I did, and it helped get me through about a mile.

And then?  We were at EPCOT.  And right before we entered EPCOT there was a woman on one of those scooter things holding a sign that said, “I’m cheering for you, too, complete stranger!”

It meant the world.

I pushed the knee pain aside, as much as I could, to finish the race.  And even smiled while doing it.

Because I knew who was waiting for me right near the end.  Not a Disney character.  No, no.

A gospel choir!

They started singing Joyful, Joyful right after I went by and was I ever!

Because .1 later, I finished my first half marathon.


Then we got our beautiful, beautiful medals.  And Victoria medal’d me, which I’m pretty sure means something significant in some cultures.

The medical tent was wisely placed right after the medal area so we swung by there and got my IT bands the ice that they deserved.  Really, I’m sure that was their medal for a job well done.

At the end of the race, they gave out boxes with crackers, hummus, chocolate, and edamame.  We headed back to the hotel and showered.  I was pretty frozen as my body tried to regulate what had just happened to it.

But hey, I DID A HALF MARATHON.  And?  Despite my claims that 5ks are the only races for me during the half marathon…

I’m doing another one on my birthday, April 1st.

I can and I will!

runDisney’s 2012 Princess half weekend – Tangled 5k race recap

Note – I wrote this recap last year after the Princess half weekend.  Since we’re getting Scoot A Doot up and running, I thought it would be fun to revisit recaps (and this one in particular, since the runDisney Princess Half 2013 weekend is coming up!). –

Victoria and I arrived on Thursday night and Brooke took us to her lovely abode.  We were both pretty exhausted so rather than drinking their extensive collection of wine (it was tempting!) we opted for bed.  Especially because we had a full day/weekend planned.

The Princess Expo at the Wide World of Sports was the next morning.  You want to see us there, don’t you?  Well, okay!  Here’s Shaina (wearing her daughter, S!), me and Brooke.

Princess half expo - Shaina, S-baby, Me and Brooke

After we bought some shirts and attire, we made our way through the expo and checked out some of the booths.  Like this one, for example.  WANT WANT WANT.

Bought some adorable compression socks from the ladies at Runningskirts, which we wore the next morning at the 5k (you’ll see those in a bit).  Bopped over to the next building and picked up our bibs for the races and then back to get our shirts.

Disney’s like a well-oiled machine and we really didn’t have any troubles during all of this.  There was one line for the half that was just SLAMMED; all the people seemed to show up all at the same time.  But all things considered, it was great!

I had gotten our park tickets through runDisney and since we were staying at Port Orleans, we had to go over to the resort to get our tickets.  They seemed a bit confused as to where I could pick them up – I was told the Guest Relations booth would be able to give them to us but they weren’t able to dole them out since it was part of a pre-paid package.  Thankfully it wasn’t too much trouble to go to the resort.

We spent the rest of the day at the Magic Kingdom, wrapping it up early since we had the 5k the next day.

Or should I say morning.  As in, before the sunrise.

Brooke, Me, Shaina and Victoria

Brooke, me, Shaina, and Victoria sporting our awesome socks!  They are still my favorites.

Brooke, her husband (Josh) and Vic went off ahead, placing themselves further ahead in the open corrals, because they are speedy speedsters while Shaina and I hung back.  It was Shaina’s first 5k and I wanted to take it easy since the next day was my first half.

While we were waiting to start, I got the nervous pee feeling.  You know the one, where you’re like… Oh!  I’m nervous and naturally that means I feel like I have to pee.

Except that we started the race and at the same time Shaina and I realized that it wasn’t going away and we actually HAD to pee.  Awesome.

Our view of the start from where we were in the corral.  We should have moved up, for the record.

So we stopped at the first row of port-a-potties and took care of that.  😉

Lots of people walk the 5k, which is awesome – but they also placed themselves at the 11 minute mile corral.  There was a lot of bobbing and weaving but we just stuck together, tried not to run into/trip anyone and had a great time.

I’ve always had this vision of running around the Epcot World Showcase – it stemmed from a conversation that I had with my dad one summer while we were there on vacation.  So when we entered the loop at Mexico I was super excited and kept exclaiming to Shaina, “Isn’t this FUN?!?”  I’m not sure she thought it was as fun as I did but she said she did.  😉

Headed into Germany

It was just fantastic – I loved everything about this run!  Sure, it was crowded but I went into it thinking that it would be so I wasn’t expecting anything else.

The last mile

After we crossed the finish line we got our Tangled medallions and met up with the rest of our group.  Josh just finished the C25K program and was able to finish under 30, which was his goal.  HOORAY!

Vic and I after the race

Good times!