princess half marathon

by @according2kelly on February 28, 2013

rundisney-medals

i recently I completed my 15th half marathon (my 10th runDisney half) – disney’s princess half marathon.

last year’s princess half marathon was supposed to be my race. i had prepped & trained for months, trading in my glass slippers for running shoes, in an effort to run a sub 1:40 half marathon.

unfortunately those dreams ended in an asthma attack.

this year i returned to the princess half marathon with a plan for redemption.

i wanted to cross that finish line triumphantly. my entire game plan consisted of the simple phrase “start strong. finish stronger.”

glass-slipper

as usual, i spent hours & hours deciding which running costume to wear, ultimately narrowing down it down to one of three princesses.

cinderella, the classic princess – although the idea of running with only one shoe wasn’t exactly appealing.

cinderella-running-costume

ariel, although considering her lack experience walking on land, let alone running, definitely made me nervous.

ariel-running-costume

finally i settled on disney’s newest princess (although un-official princess)… princess leia.

princess-half-marathon-1

princess-half-marathon-princess-leia-running-costume

princess half marathon

as usual, my runDisney weekend was a fairy tale experience filled with the princess 1/2 meetup & the royal family 5K, & before i knew it, my alarm was going off bright & early (extremely early considering i was still on PST time). but, the princess half marathon was calling my name.

Screen shot 2013-02-25 at 10.36.37 AM

by the time i got to the starting line, race adrenaline was pumping thru my veins. i could feel the excitement in the air, & being surrounded by literally thousands of women who were ready to run – i was ready to have a magical day.
princess-half-marathon-2 pre-princess-half-marathon

with a wave of her magic wand, fairy god mother started the princess 1/2 marathon, & soon i found myself flying down the road, weaving in & out of runners, dodging tutus, & counting the numbered of costumed runners.

princess-half-marathon-start

the first several miles flew by. running along the road from epcot to the magic kingdom, i was feeling strong, & running “on pace,” even a wee bit under.

& then it happened.

the rest of the race i definitely wasn’t running happily ever after.

an upset stomach, dehydration & the incredible humidity resulted in a physical type of sickness that usually happens when one has the flu.

that’s right – i spent the next 10 miles puking.

i threw up so many times, that after 20 road side stops, i stopped counting.

princess-half-marathon-princess-leia-runs-main-street

the puking in & of itself – was bad, but manageable.

unfortunately, around mile 5, while running inside the magic kindgom, i also twisted my knee (while throwing up, if you want to know everything).

throwing up, a bum knee, dehydration, & the awful humidity – one could say i didn’t exactly have the force with me, as i had hoped.

as you can imagine, suddenly the magic kingdom, didn’t seem all that magical.

i quickly realized that my dream of a new PR (personal record) nor, would my dreams of redemption, would not be coming true, anytime soon.

princess-half-marathon-inspiration

i immediately became very overwhelmed by emotion as feelings of anger, disappointment, frustration & sadness rushed through my body all at once. i may have shed a tear or two. (although that must have been quite a sight – princess leia… crying?!)

i had prepped & trained for months – this was not the result i had expected.

& i embarrassed to admit that for a moment, i even considered quitting.

sick & hurt i was feeling extremely dis-enchanted & very sorry for myself.

& then suddenly a voice in my head reminded of kelly clarkson’s words…

“what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…stand a little taller.”

right then & there I decided that i could, & would finish the princess half marathon.

for the second year in a row the princess half marathon wouldn’t be my fastest race ever, but it could be one of most fun races ever.

as i ran the rest of the race, i tried to enjoy & see the magic in every mile.

running around the magic kingdom, & then heading back to epcot where we ran thru future world, past spaceship earth, and crossing the finish line definitely was magical. surrounded by costumed runners, disney characters & princesses, spectators galore, gospel choirs, amazing words of inspiration – how can it be anything but magical?

princess-inspiration

i stopped, visited & took pictures with disney characters on the race course, i high-fived spectators, thanked volunteers & posed for pictures with a few of princess leia’s littlest fans, puking the entire way. paints a nice picture doesn’t it?!

i ran almost the entire race with a smile on my face, & realized that i truly did have the “force” within me.

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princess-leia-running-costume

of course, the part of any race i always look forward to is crossing the finish line…

princess-half-marathon-finish

not to mention collecting my hard-earned bling. (hello my precious!)

princess-half-marathon-4

tiara-medal

without the “force” &  a little inspiration from kelly clarkson, i’m not sure i would have been able to finish.

although running with your best running friends carrie & elise (BRF’s) always helps too.

princess-half-marathon-3

post-princess-half-marathon

it’s kind of amazing…

performance-wise, this was definitely one of my worst races ever.

but the magic of disney always seems to prevail. i can honestly say i think it’s practically impossible to have a bad experience while running disney.

i think my biggest “takeaway” from my princess half experience was when i realized that a great race doesn’t have to be dependent on a great time!

princess-half-marathon-6

star-wars-running-costumes

each & every time I race a runDisney i am reminded that they are my absolute, most favorite running events.

running through castles & down main streets at walt disney world & disneyland IS always a magical experience.

so if you haven’t run disney yet – do it. that’s not a suggestion, it’s an order.

they really & truly are the happiest races on earth.

princess-leia-finisher-medal

princess half marathon {by the numbers}

* total “chip” time 1:45:18
* 24th place out of  3,381 women in my age group
* 124th place overall out of 21,236 women
* 5K split time 23:19, average pace of  7:33 minutes per mile
* 10K split time 47:40, average pace of 7:40 minutes per mile
* 15K split time 1:13: 41, average pace of 7:54 minutes per mile

want to read about my entire princess half marathon weekend? check out my  princess 1/2 meetup & the royal family 5K recaps too.

disclosure: i was invited by runDisney to attend the entire event weekend as media – meaning they were kind enough to cover my hotel expenses at the out-of-this-world animal kingdom lodge & meals.

of course – all thoughts & opinions are 100% my own, because as you already know… i absolutely, totally & completely LOVE runDisney events (especially the princess half marathon).

38 comments
Naomi
Naomi

I love your R2-D2 costume! Did you make the shirt or purchase it? I am in need of a star wars cotume!

Sam
Sam

Ok so for as many times as you puked and were messed up you rocked the race. I am hoping for a time that good on my first half but not sure that will happen. You inspire me to work harder for my goal times. Thank You

Ashley Cannon
Ashley Cannon

Wow! I did not know that you went through all of that in the race! I'm so sorry to hear it but at the same time its so inspiring to hear it! Great job of persevering through the trials and still smiling the whole way! <3

Tonya
Tonya

Holy cow! I can't go sub 2 healthy and you're not far off your goal running ill. You rock! Love the outfit and pictures look like you had a great time (all things considered). You'll blow your PR out of the water one of these days and now it will be all the more sweeter.

Laura @ Mommy Run Fast
Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

Wow!! You put up with a lot to make it through that race, and you have the best attitude and perspective... so inspiring! I've never done a Disney race, but you may have convinced me that I need to... :)

Carli
Carli

First off, I have to say you are a total rock star! And I know you weren't happy with your time but I think it's amazing considering that the vomit stops had to slow you down quite a bit. And you looked amazing the whole time! Loved the outfit!

EveryDayGirl
EveryDayGirl

Puking!! Wow...amazing that you finished!! Able to find the positive in a race while your sick....runDisney must be amazing!! Can't wait to try it!!

Erised
Erised

WOW .... Congrats on finishing with such an impressive time considering your illness! I can't fathom being that quick on any day, so the fact that you were able to accomplish such a time sick is impressive!!

Emily
Emily

Wow. You are a rockstar!!! I am so impressed that even though you weren't feeling your best and puking you still made the decision to keep going and make it a great race.

Katy
Katy

Way to go! Puking would have stopped me completely. You do have the force with you.

Abby
Abby

So sorry to hear you were sick. I surely couldn't tell- you look too happy in all your pictures ;)

Jenn
Jenn

Way to go! We did the Goofy Challenge in January, and I would have quit if I had puked just once. :) The force IS strong with you! :)

Helen
Helen

You are a rockstar! I wish I was that fast on a good day, never mind after throwing up 20 times. One day you'll get the Princess Half run you dream of, and think of how amazing it will feel :)

FiddleDeeAshley
FiddleDeeAshley

I said it before, but I'll say it again, you're a rockstar! You managed to finish a half with a smile on your face and well under 2 hours after puking your guts out. It's truly amazing. I hope I get to see you at Disneyland this summer for DDD weekend!

Sarah @ Running at Disney
Sarah @ Running at Disney

So sorry to hear you were so sick!! That must have been awful! But it sounds like you still managed to have a great time and that's a seriously impressive 1:45 finish considering how you were feeling! Great job!

Megan
Megan

I am so impressed! I don't know that I would have been able to stick out that much suffering AND keep a smile on your face. Great job!

Kristin @ A Mom on the Run
Kristin @ A Mom on the Run

Ohh Kelly, you poor thing! I'm sorry you had such a rough time during the race! You look amazing in all of the pictures though, like you're having a blast! I know it wasn't what you were shooting for, but congratulations on a great time!

Gabriela - Living La Vida Normal
Gabriela - Living La Vida Normal

Wow! I'm sorry you were puking throughout the race but I'm glad you were able to enjoy the race nonetheless. I'm envious of your times, I'm hoping to get that fast someday. I'm currently training for my first half-marathon. I hope to runDisney soon.

TWINS RUN (@TwinsRun)
TWINS RUN (@TwinsRun)

Oh, how I can relate to the misery of being sick during a race. :-( I'm Malinda (slower 1/2 of @TwinsRun) and I live (and run) with gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying which causes constant nausea, pain & vomiting). Even though I surpassed my goal and ran my fastest runDisney 1/2 marathon (1:53:43), it wasn't all magical for me either. I was so sick that I didn't enjoy the race as much as I hoped. All in all, I still had a good time. And, I didn't finish too far behind the faster 1/2, so we were the 1st place sister /sister team. :-)

Dara
Dara

I honestly don't understand how you can throw up 20+ times and still run twice as fast as me! great job.

Niki
Niki

I am impressed!! Way to stick it out, girl! I ran the Princess Half 2 years ago and it was one of my favorites. :) You're right, the magic of Disney makes a lot possible! And you smiled the whole time...get it girl!

Audra O.
Audra O.

Yikes! You still beat me! :)

Jen
Jen

You were sick and you still got a sub 2 half? I can't even make 2:30 when I'm feeling great! The important thing is that you look adorable.

Monica
Monica

I thought I got the impression you were sick during the race, but man you cannot tell from your tweets and pictures. You really looked like you were having an amazing time. And really with all that stopping and puking you still ran a 1:45??? You are amazing Kelly and my hero!!

Rebecca
Rebecca

This is such an incredible story! As a fellow runner who occasionally gets "tummy trouble" when running long distances, this post just really made my day. I love your cavalier attitude about the whole thing. "Puked 20 times, no big deal." You're an inspiration! It may sound silly but next time I feel like I'm going to get sick in a race, I'm going to remember this story. Glad to hear I'm not alone :)

@according2kelly
@according2kelly

thank you! i probably had a more magical race this way - than i would have if i had hit my time goals. it all works out for the best!

@according2kelly
@according2kelly

you can definitely get that fast. i'm not a natural runner. i haven't been running my entire life. YOU CAN DO IT! & i'll be cheering you on the entire way.

@according2kelly
@according2kelly

you can definitely get that fast. i'm not a natural runner. i haven't been running my entire life. YOU CAN DO IT!

@according2kelly
@according2kelly

YOU rocked that race! Congratulations! Your motivation & determination is always so inspiring!

@according2kelly
@according2kelly

hahahahaha! it helps that i started at the front of corral a - i didn't have to weave in & out of people. & while i'm not used to puking THAT many times - i'm kinda used to puking while running... i kind of have a "system" down.

@according2kelly
@according2kelly

i truly LOVE runDisney races. They are what keep me "going." I don't know if I'd be a "runner" without them to motivate me.

@according2kelly
@according2kelly

i truly LOVE runDisney races. They are what keep me "going."

@according2kelly
@according2kelly

you're right - looking adorable is the important thing! i've realized that it's not all about the speed - it's the experience!

@according2kelly
@according2kelly

i definitely experienced a moment of "woe is me." & let me tell you - crying mid-race is definitely a humbling experience. but i realized i had to pull on my big girl pants & take charge. & i was able to still have an incredible experience. it was good to realize that a great race doesn't have to be dependent on a great time!

@according2kelly
@according2kelly

ahhhh! you are so sweet! especially because i felt like i was being such a baby in regards to the whole thing. looking back i can't believe i started crying. it's just a race. there will be plenty more races. my time will come! & so will YOURS!

@according2kelly
@according2kelly

ahhhh! thank you! It still was REALLY REALLY fun - so I can't complain at all! Next year will be my year.

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