Princess Half Marathon 2014 Race Recap

I know this recap is late in coming, but I really wanted to wait until after the pregnancy announcement to write it, but so much of this recap has to do with the pregnancy an dhow I was feeling I knew leaving out those details would not be fair, so, here it is, my runDisney Princess half race recap!

princess half recap

I woke up at 2:45, and not going to lie…I started to cry. I was so exhausted already, and the thought of running a half marathon, by myself, feeling like crap, was not very appealing. Then I thought about my glass slipper medal and pink coast to coast medal, and knew I would regret not running. I forced myself up and out the door while my parents and husband slept soundly. I reminded myself this was the LAST time I had to get up this early for a long time to run, and headed for the buses all by my lonesome.

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I love my Aurora tutu Lesley made for me!

I had to wait about 15 minutes to get on a bus, there were a ton of people in line at 3:35. I am sure I looked angry or upset because I just stood there staring at the ground not looking at anyone, munching on a bag of dry cereal to keep food on my stomach for as long as I could to help with the nausea. I was just SO not feeling this race. I sat next to a nice lady on the bus and we chatted for a bit, then we arrived at EPCOT and I walked to the family reunion area. I spotted my name on the Glass Slipper Challenge wall before heading to the team runDisney meet up (which I have no photo from, sorry guys!)

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Karen was stuck in traffic on a bus, so I waited about 30 minutes for her in the family reunion area. Again, I just stood there, staring blankly, feeling awful. I feel bad about it now, but honestly at the time I didn’t care, I just wanted to go to bed. I was mad I forgot to take Zofran, and just wanted to fast forward to three hours from that point. I had to pee, but was afraid I would miss Karen, so after we said a quick hello, I took off at a jog toward the corrals because the bathroom lines are usually shorter there. Well, they were not! I got nervous I was going to miss the start, but thankfully was able to run and jumped into my corral right as the National Anthem was playing.

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Coral A took off shortly after, and we began to move up until it was time for Corral C.

 

We ran under the sign and into darkness…and fog. Yall, it was super humid and so foggy I could barely see! It was a gross feeling, and sadly one I am all to familiar with living here in the deep south.

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The first few miles were uneventful. It felt like it took me forever to warm up and get into a groove. I didn’t have a plan per say, I just walked when I felt like I needed to, and took a GU every 3-4 miles. I stopped at every aide station for PowerAde and water as well. I made it to the Magic Kingdom sign, and I pepped up a little knowing my favorite part would be coming up soon.

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I came to the TTC where I was going to stop at the bathroom, but the line was out the door so I waited. I did get to see these drummers which I love!

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Also this guy always gets me going to conquer the hill right after him.

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Soon I was in the Magic Kingdom and turning onto Main Street, and here is my sad attempt at a picture while running.

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A sweet volunteer took this for me!

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I made it into Tomorrowland, and score, no bathroom line! Right after was the White Rabbit with one person in line. I hadn’t really planned on stopping for character photos since I just wanted to be DONE, but I couldn’t pass up such a non-existent line.

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I wove through the castle and into Frontierland, and this guy only had three people in line. I figured I could use a breather so why not?

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Quick as a flash, I was outside of the park and I got a little down. I knew the next few miles would be pretty boring comparatively, and they were definitely the hardest for me. I made it to the Grand Floridian, and saw these guys. They had about 8 people in line, but I have never stopped for a photo with them, and so again, I figured why not. They were funny!

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Shortly after I walked right up to this photo, not a sole in line. Poor Lilo and Stitch!

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I passed the Clif shot station and got my all time favorite vanilla (tastes like cake icing!) which gave me a little boost. So did this lady!

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It was so hard to get a shot of this banner because it wasn’t anchored down and kept flowing in the wind.

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Still see the yucky fog? I was drenched and my tutu kept knotting up because it was so wet and humid!

I eventually made it to the mile ten marker, which made me happy for two reasons. 1.) I was dressed as Aurora and 2.) It meant I only had a 5k left to go!

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I circled around the overpass hill of death, and knew I would make it. It wouldn’t be pretty but I could do it. I knew Bobby was waiting for me at the finish and I started texting him giving updates. I had no idea how I would be feeling after the race and wanted him there to ride back with me in case I was really sick.

It seemed like miles ten and eleven took FOREVER, but I finally made it into EPCOT! The home stretch! My nausea was getting worse because my stomach was empty, but I picked up my pace as best I could so I could finish strong.

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I texted Bobby to find out where he was (just past the 13 mile sign) and I kept looking, and finally spotted him! I know I am smiling here, but it’s just because I was almost DONE!!! I crossed the finish in 2:45, definitely not great for me, but I was just so proud that I stuck it out feeling so poorly. Some of the sweetest finish lines aren’t always the ones that end in PR’s folks. There are more challenges to a race sometimes than just time, and I am darn proud of this one!

I collected all three of my medals, and found Bobby. (my poor tutu!)

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LOVE my medals!

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We hopped on the bus quickly, I had to get some food in me asap, I was getting more sick by the minute. I broke into my food box and ate a Luna bar which helped some. We got off at the Swan because it was quicker to get off and walk than be the last stop on the slow (and stuffy and un-air-conditioned!) bus. We got to the bridge to go over to the Boardwalk, and there were my mom and dad waiting to surprise me! They had walked over from the hotel to see me and walk back with us.

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It was definitely a very rough runDisney race, and my first runDisney half to run by myself. I missed the encouragement and company of a running mate for sure. Please note none of my issues with this race had ANYTHING to do with runDisney. They put on a great race as usual and on my end I didn’t notice any major problems. This will always be a favorite of mine and I hope to run it next year post baby!

QOTD: Have you ever been really proud of a race even if it wasn’t your best time on the clock? What made it special?

Comments

  1. Look at all that bling! Congrats!

  2. You are one strong woman for being able to fight through that kind of sickness to run 13.1 miles. Huge congratulations Heather! You are so right – not every race is a victory because of time. You conquered those miles with a baby on board – I doubt too many women can say that! :0)

  3. I was so happy for you — I knew you’d do it! There’s definitely some pride that comes along with doing a half marathon pregnant. After wine and dine, I will never do it again, but I’m so glad I had the experience!

    I’m also impressed you were able to keep Gu down! I tried it on a 10mi training run at 15 weeks, and it came right back up, but thankfully honey stingers worked!

  4. We definitely could have run together, I would have loved company, too! Definitely next time! Sorry you felt so crummy. Way to finish strong! Proud of you!!

  5. Jennifer says:

    Great recap, Heather! It was a hot, sticky mess! I usually finish a 1/2 around 2:45, but the PHM took me 3:17! I didn’t care though, made the most of it, stopped for photos, and had fun. Plus, I was SO proud of myself for running the 10k before. I had never done any sort of challenge before, so it was a proud moment crossing the finish at the 1/2. Thanks again for the recap! Glad you are feeling better these days :)

  6. Sounds like you pushed through when it is definitely an off running day! I have had many of those!!! Good for you and I love the medals!!!!!!! YOU ROCK!

  7. Heather I am in awe that you were able to run that race feeling so bad! Way to go girl!

  8. Great job doing this race. There is no way I could’ve done it feeling that poorly. Baby M now has all these medals and has already met some Disney characters :)

  9. Sorry to hear you were feeling so bad. But hey, you are pregneant! Baby M has more Disney medals than I do at this point.

  10. Congrats on getting it done Heather….your medals are beautiful and I love the tutu.(Lesley had shown it to me at the Expo while I was working for Sparkle Skirts!) I can’t imagine running with morning sickness……despite it being many years ago, I remember how awful I felt and would just crawl back into bed. Next year will be a better race for you!

  11. Great job! For me GSC 14 will always be special. After getting swept at PHM 13, I had a lot of doubts going into GSC. I was so afraid I’d get swept during PHM again. I started crying when I hit mile 12. For me there will always be two unforgettable moments-seeing my daughter and dad with a huge sign right by Guest Relations in Epcot, and then have two close friends put my medal around my neck!

    And ironically my time was the worst, as was my pace because I got caught in a lot of bottle neck, especially the castle where it was at a standstill! But still it will always be my aboslute favorite!

  12. Laure Simms says:

    If I had known you didn’t have running buddy I would have run with you. I was alone as well. I had a great time and you are right the PR is not important. It was the slowest I have ever done, but I took lots of great pics and had a blast. Definitely want to do again. So excited for you and the little baby. Can’t wait to see him or her in Sept.

  13. The things you do for a medal :)
    Bless your heart… Nausea does me in so I applaud you knocking out a half marathon with it.
    … poor Lilo & Stitch – my niece LOVES Stitch.

  14. Jamie Thornton says:

    Good on ya! I couldn’t do anything on my nausea days with my second son. This will be a story you will always remember and tell your child. Those medals probably mean so much more than some of the others. You are one tough cookie!

  15. I ran the Myrtle Beach half 5 weeks ago and I was 6 weeks pregnant. I’m with you, it was brutal. I sobbed the last mile and threw up 10x. They should make signs for us first trimester runners that say “Encourage me! I’m miserable here!” Congrats to you!

  16. Love the bling- and you know what- sometimes we have yucky days. You had an excellent reason for not feeling great- but finished strong anyway!

  17. I have never been pregnant to I can’t identify with that feeling, but after the Disneyland Half Marathon in 2012 (my 7th half), I threw up in the family reunion area. I felt fine during the race but felt worse and worse in the minutes following my finish. I was so embarrassed to get sick in front of so many people but everyone was so nice. Some days you’re just not your best…and that’s ok.

  18. I saw you before the race- I was too shy to say HI and I really wish I had.

  19. I was super proud to finish the Princess Half, even though I came in over the allowed time. But that wasn’t my fault. The lines for the bathrooms were so long (I had to stop 4 times but I was 29 weeks pregnant) and the bottleneck areas were packed with people that it was walking or standing room only. But that is what happens when you are in the back of the race. I know that I will PR on my next half though because I will never come in at the time I did with that race. I will be post baby and have trained to be a faster runner! Super proud of you for running all by yourself! What is the next race you plan on running?

  20. I don’t know how you did it! I was absolutely miserable this race (but it was still the most fun I ever had…while being completely miserable…I actually wrote a who post about it, anyway…) and I didn’t even have the excuse of being pregnant! It was hot and humid and disgusting and I was ready to quit pretty much every mile up to the Magic Kingdom…and then every mile btwn the Magic Kingdom and Epcot and if it wasn’t for those medals I would have! Congratulations on sticking with it and making the best of it! Running by yourself is always tough with only yourself to motivate you, but you did it and that is definitely something to be proud of!

    Btw: “overpass hill of death”…LOVE it! I’m stealing that to describe it (I usually refer to the hills in Central Park as the Hills of Doom)

  21. Congrats on finishing the race even while not feeling well! I know exactly what you mean when you said that race victories aren’t always about PRs…could not be more accurate!

  22. So proud of you for finishing the race! I can’t believe how foggy it was at the race! But I am glad you were able to finish and to get your medals!

    I ran last weekend with two girl friends (it was both of their first half marathons). One friend went ahead and finished the race. The other friend was in pain and needed to walk to finish the race. Despite our time on the clock we had a wonderful time at the race. We had fun sharing stories, waving/thanking volunteers, and dancing along the course. It was very special to me to finish with this friend not only because it was her 1st half, but also because she is moving soon to SE Asia.

    Thank you for sharing your recap with us. I hope you feel better soon!

  23. lady, you are hardcore! i have only done 1 disney race, and it was in september and it was horrible – humid and hot (10pm as well). I thought the princess would be better as it was in feb. no dice?

Mentioned elsewhere:

  1. Princess Half Marathon 2014 Race Recap

    I know this recap is late in coming, but I really wanted to wait until after the pregnancy announcement

  2. […] Heather – Finish lines aren’t always about PRs. And, don’t let pregnancy stop you from going for it. Congrats Heather!! […]

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