I can’t believe this day finally came! That’s right, I ran a half-marathon at Walt Disney World on February 23, 2014 with my fiance Chris. We were Disney princesses for a day, wearing our marathon medals proudly.
Chris and I honestly didn’t follow a very good training schedule. After I booked our marathon tickets last year I looked up how other people were training. They all had really professionally laid out plans, running a certain amount of times per week, scheduling long runs on the weekend. Getting up at dawn, running before work. That just wasn’t me.
Don’t get me wrong, those plans work for a reason. But for Chris and I, we tried to take everything casually since we had a year to prepare (most people seem to train over the course of three months or less). I’ve mentioned that we had been training for a year on my blog before and a few people thought that was crazy… it might be! But honestly, I’m not very athletic and I like to take things slow. So every week, we added a block to our run (as in, a block in our neighborhood). After we moved in October we got to do our runs in a park next door but we still only had time to run twice a week, from 3:30 – 5:00. We eventually stopped adding to our run when we got to eight miles. We had trouble getting past that point.
When the run actually came, I was really nervous about finishing the race in the allotted time, especially since we had only ever run eight miles at a time. But when we were waiting for the race to start, the hype of Disney got to us. So many people were in costumes!
The 13.1 miles were spread between Epcot and the Magic Kingdom and along the way some of our favorite characters were there cheering us on and taking pictures with the runners. There was stations every two miles or so with water and Propel fitness water that really helped fuel us to keep going. They also had energy gel shots from Cliff around mile eight that tasted amazing and helped us beat the last leg.
Remarkably, I didn’t feel tired at all throughout the race. Seeing so many other runners, especially the ones in costumes, hearing the Disney music, seeing the characters, it kept me more motivated than I have ever been in my life. We ran faster than we ever have and sped walk whenever we needed a break.
I didn’t feel tired at all until we saw the finish line. Chris and I held hands and we ran through the purple arches to receive our medals. I started feeling like I was going to have an asthma attack. It was as if the tiredness I should have been feeling during the race came rushing at me after I passed the finish line.
Thankfully it passed after a two hour nap when we got back to the hotel. Then we went to Epcot. Not the smartest of moves after running for three and a half hours but I don’t regret it.
Would I run a half-marathon again? Most definitely. I’m not sure I’d want it to be anywhere but at Disney though, the location and people are what made it special. I don’t think my local Miami half-marathon would cut it.