Monday, March 17, 2014

2014 Princess Half Marathon

Princess Half Marathon 2014

I woke up a little bit later than I anticipated the morning of the Half Marathon. We left our room about 3:45 a.m. and didn’t make it to the bus stop at the front of our resort until 4:00 a.m. (Our room was in the very back corner of the resort…lucky us.)

After boarding the bus, it seemed to take forever to reach the drop off area because of the traffic. I do NOT recommending waiting until the last minute to hop on a bus unless your resort is really close to Epcot.

Anyway, first things first…

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I found my peeps: Heather, Divya, and Melissa.

After a quick potty break, Melissa and I began the long trek to our corral.

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We somehow managed to sneak our way up to the very front of our corral which was a great idea and one I will definitely use again!

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Before long, it was our corrals turn and we were ready to go!

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I was honestly surprised by the fog. 2014 must have been the year of humid, foggy races for me.

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See what I mean?

The first part of the race brought us out along the interstate and through the Magic Kingdom parking lot area. I decided to skip the first two character photo opportunities (the Princes and the Pirates) because I had them from Princess Half 2012.

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I stopped to take a picture of these ladies (the line was sooo long and again, I had a picture with them already) and that’s when I lost Melissa. She was going to try for a PR…so before the race,I told her if we got separated not to worry about it.

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So much evilness I can’t handle it!

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We ran through the TTC and that was the first time I spotted Jason and Randy. I stopped to ask if they saw Melissa pass and they hadn’t (found out later they missed her).

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After saying goodbye to the boys, I turned to begin running again and that’s when it hit me – a PSVT (my heart snapped into a crazy fast rhythm and I couldn’t get it to slow down). I took my pulse and it was 212 bpm.

Until that day, a PSVT hadn’t hit me since the Mandeville Half Marathon in 2012 (my worst one ever). It doesn’t happen often but when it does, I’m usually really hot or dehydrated or pushing myself too hard. I usually feel the signs of one coming on and know how to control it - unfortunately, I didn’t feel it coming during the Princess Half.

Thankfully, the TTC restroom was close by – I had to think fast. Holding  my breath and/or lying flat on the ground helps it jump back to normal. I ducked inside a stall and tried holding my breath. When I realized where I was – a restroom…ewwww – I knew that lying on the ground was no longer an option. Instead, I sat on the potty and held my breath again – that did the trick! I was so grateful the tachycardia only lasted about a minute or so! Whew. Crisis averted.

Back to the race….

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After leaving the TTC, these guys greeted us with drum beats!

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I love all of Disney’s entertainment along the course – this guy on the overpass near the Contemporary is always SO upbeat!

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Before long, we neared the Magic Kingdom (and my favorite part of the race). The miles were ticking on by!

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Through the Cast Member parking lot and out the gates…

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…with a turn to the right, we were on Main Street!

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The course led us through Tomorrowland and into Fantasyland where I stopped for my first character picture of the race.

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Consequently, the White Rabbit was also the first character I stopped for on the 10K course the day before. (I was unable to take a photo with him during the 10K because he was going on break.)

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As I approached the New Fantasyland, I saw an incredibly long line, probably one of the longest I’d seen during a Disney race. Turns out, it was Royal Mickey & Minnie. I heard reports of this line being 20-30+ minutes long!

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I decided not to stop and continued on through the castle.

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In Fronteirland, I stopped for a photo with my pal Woody.

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On the way out of the Magic Kingdom, I saw this parade float and assumed Aurora and Prince Phillip would be there. Imagine my surprise when I spotted Snow White and Charming! Unfortunately, Snow and her Prince left for break a few minutes after I got in line. I mainly got in line to take a photo with Snow White, so I continued on without waiting any longer.

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After the parks, we began making our way to the Polynesian/Grand Floridian.

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The official halfway point of the race was marked by “Let It Go” from Frozen. A contest was hosted by runDisney through facebook and “Let It Go” won – I love Frozen and the sountrack, so this was a nice boost! :0)

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Since I missed out on a photo with Snow White and her Prince, I was happy to see this as the Mile 7 marker!

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Practically perfect in every way! :0)

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My favorite character photo stop was this one, with Lilo and Stitch. As I ran up to Lilo, I told her she was my favorite. She was too cute and made sure to blow me a kiss on my way out!

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Never had a friend like me!

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To me, the last few miles to Epcot can be the most boring of the course. Thankfully, runDisney included plenty of entertainment to keep runners going!

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I loved these signs from Luna!

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The Clif shot tables were near mile 8.4. There were four flavors to choose from – I always go for Mocha. :0)

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Dot from Bug’s Life even came out to play!

While standing in line to see Dot, I thought I spotted a familiar face…a fellow southern runner, Kristin!

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It was so nice to finally meet her (officially)!

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I loved that the sun was now out – made taking this picture so much easier!

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These guys were too funny – Captain Jack tried to steal my cape! I decided to stop for this photo on my way back because the line was super short!

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After tackling the horrendous banked turnaround and overpass I can’t stand, we were well on our way to Epcot.

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Jason text me and said he was waiting at Mile 12. I spotted him before he spotted me! (He told me I chose a costume that was way too popular for this race…whoops!)

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As we rounded the bend by the Epcot bus stop, I saw this sign and loved it. I might not be an LLS team member, but I am an oncology nurse! :0)

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I knew my parents were near the bus station, but I wasn’t sure exactly where. My mom grabbed my arm as I passed right by them…whoops! There were so many people, it was hard to spot them!

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Sophia was one of the final characters I stopped for. My best friend baby sits a kid who loves Sophia, so I took this picture to send to her.

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We ran through Epcot and turned around at World Showcase.

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The Starbucks crew was out cheering runners on!

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I’m not sure who this lady was, but she was hilarious!! She had a microphone and she said random things to runners as they passed by!

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Any idea of her name/what she’s from?

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We got a much needed boost from the Gospel Choir outside of Epcot (seriously a favorite part of Disney races).

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In no time, we were at Mile 13 and the finish line!

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Made it!!

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After crossing the finish line, I received my Half Marathon medal and a cute mesh bag for post-race water/food. The Glass Slipper Challenge medal wasn’t far away. I took a finishers picture, then headed to the family reunion area to meet up with my family and friends.

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Melissa PR’d and I was so proud of her!!

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I loved everything about the Princess Half Marathon and can’t wait to run another in the future. I felt great all race (apart from the heart thing at Mile 4), my knee never bothered me, and I had a wonderful time. This is definitely my all-time favorite Disney race (although they are all a lot of fun)!

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Another fabulous race weekend in the books! Can’t wait for the next one!

Did you run Princess? What’s your favorite runDisney race?


  1. You looked adorable in your Snow White costume, even if it was difficult for your husband to spot you during the race. So many great pictures!

  2. Once again I LOOOOOVE all your pics. You couldnt tell the humidity by how you looked though I could see it in the air. I am glad your attack was minor and you could control it quick. I really hope to be able to do a runDisney race together one day,.Next up you have Wine and Dine! How fun!!!!!

    1. Thanks, Nicole! YES, we should plan it!! :D That would be so much fun!!

  3. So glad your heart was ok girl! That's scary! I love ALL of runDisney races! I can't pick a favorite lol!

    1. Thanks, too! I know what you mean, all of the rD races are so much fun!

  4. So many fantastic pictures, and your costume is so cute!! You look like you had a GREAT time! PHM is definitely my favorite runDisney race (so far)!

    1. Thanks so much, Lauren!! Glad you had a great time, too!

  5. So glad to hear your knees did not bother you but that heart issue certainly is scary! I've never heard of that. I did not see that Pink fairy lady at Epcot, but I heard that she was some sort of comedian! I'll definitely be coming back to PHM ( God willing) and I hope to meet up with you next time!

    1. Thanks so much...I was excited my knees behaved! Yes, I definitely hope to meet up with you next time!!

  6. Wow....I had no idea you had that health issue during the race Karen. That must have been really scary. You got some great race pics and as always your smile tells the story of how much fun you had on race. And congrats to your friend Melissa who PR'd at the race. Very cool!

    1. Thanks, Pam...I really enjoyed this race! Melissa did a fantastic job, so proud of her!

  7. You look adorable! Congratulations on the run!

  8. Ah I love it. I have no idea who that lady is in pink either! She was there last year and was just as ridiculous and funny. It literally looks like the same woman it was last year.

    1. That's funny...I bet she was the same lady! She was hysterical!

  9. The same random fairy was at the start area (before baggage). We asked and she said she was a "retired old princess they drag out for these things". No idea otherwise!

  10. wish i had known you weren't running straight through, we could have run together! We stopped at a lot of the same characters lol! The lady in pink is ivana dream. She was the "mascott" per say at the earmarked agent conference this year!

    1. I kept watching for you but I knew you were in an earlier coral, so I figured we wouldn't see each other. Definitely next time!! Too funny - glad to know who she is!

  11. The PSVT sounds so scary, but I'm super glad it got under control so quickly. It looks like you had an amazing and fun race! Congrats =)

    1. Thanks Lauren - me too! I was glad it didn't last long!

  12. What a great recap! I love your photos.

    The lady in pink was a comedian who said she was a Fairy Godmother 'in training' she was at the starting area too by the bag check. I hope they bring her back.

    Congratulations on such a fantastic Princess weekend!

    1. Thanks, Meg! She was too funny...I hope they keep bringing her back as well!

  13. Wow, very scary. Glad you are okay.

  14. Heart rate issues are no fun - and so many people tell you that if you have them, you shouldn't. Good for you listening to your body and doing what was necessary to keep going!

    1. I would never quit running because of it. The heart thing has plagued me since I was a child - I remember it hitting me once while on the diving board at swimming lessons and another time while I was up to bat in a softball game. Ah well...I just try to take it as it comes! :0) Thanks, Megan!


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