Monday, March 1, 2021

2021 runDisney Virtual Princess Half Marathon

Hi there! Long time no blog! :) To be honest, I don't have a great reason for that. I feel like my greatest blogging inspiration comes to me when I'm on a run and although I have been running a little lately, it hasn't been as much as my norm. I'm definitely trying to get back into the swing of things, though!
When runDisney announced their transition to a virtual option for the Princess Half Marathon this year, we had a couple of options. Since we'd already used a few borrowed points to book our rooms for the trip (we did this right at the beginning of corona last year), I knew we weren't really looking at canceling our trip. (Borrowing DVC points then canceling your trip means you lose the points.) So, since canceling the trip wasn't an option, I decided to go forward with the virtual option and run the Fairy Tale Challenge on my own. I also decided to add the 5K on to the list since it was a Little Mermaid theme and I own zero Ariel runDisney items! 

After going over running options for these races, I decided that maximizing the time I had with my family at Disney was my first priority. So, I made the decision to run the Fairy Tale Challenge out of order by running the half marathon at home the weekend before our trip, then running the 5K and 10K while at Disney. This plan worked perfectly and I'll definitely share more about my time running the 5K and 10K around Hourglass Lake very soon!

The weekend prior to our trip was quite a doozy over here. That big ice/snow storm was rolling through the south and definitely threw a wrench in our plans. Although our trip plans changed, I knew I still needed to get my half marathon in so I decided to go forward with it, even though it was cold, windy, and kind of a nasty day.

The day of my half marathon, I worked until noon. Trying to figure out my eating plan for the morning was a bit challenging, but I went with a banana and some peanut butter crackers about an hour before the run and all went very well!

The route around my place of work is a nice one, but I had to steer well clear of the lake because it was SO windy! Thankfully, I had several options!

The first set of miles felt great and I didn't experience any issues. The only really problem I had was  running towards the wind. It was the weirdest thing - I almost froze when running towards the wind and got incredibly warm when running away from it. 

Around mile 6, I began to get stiff, cold, and I had to turn to a 4:1 run/walk method to keep going. This random leg cramp that I've never experienced before also popped up and all I could think about was my old running coach and how I needed a pack fo salt! Hah! Since there was no salt around, a run/walk ratio had to do.

Somewhere near mile 10, the leg cramp went away and I was able to run the remainder of the race cramp free! Yay!

In the end, I finished with a 10:58 pace and I was 100% ok with that!

Running alone is hard. Running a virtual half is really hard. Running without runDisney is hard. This pandemic is hard. 2020/2021 is hard. Life is hard. Thankfully, I'm still blessed with the gift of running and the ability to "burn off the 2020/2021 crazy" that continues to plague me! Also, I took a little Disney magic along with me by listening to the awesome runDisney Spotify playlists from both Marathon Weekend & the Princess Half Marathon Weekend! 

Throughout this run, I knew a trip to Disney was coming up and that definitely gave me something to look forward to, even though it wasn't the traditional type of runDisney trip we usually take in February!

So, let me know - if you registered for the Princess Half, did you choose the virtual option? If so, where/how did you run your race? 

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