Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Princess Half Marathon Recap

Location: Orlando, FL
Date: 2/26/12
Temperature: mid 50's @ start
Official Time: 1:59:26 (9:07 pace)
Garmin Time: 1:59:26 for 13.26 (9:00 pace)
Place in Age Group (30-34): 191/2473 (top 16.6%)
Overall Place: 949/15803 (top 12.9%)

The Good:

Goals Accomplished: This race fell right in the middle of my Half Ironman training, which meant no taper and no attempt at racing for a PR. Instead, I set the following goals.

First, look fantastic. CHECK
Even without the eyeball, I know how to work it.
Second, have fun. CHECK - I mean really, it's Disney. Who doesn't have fun at Disney?

My Race Strategy: I decided before the race that I wasn't going to pay attention to my watch. I was going to run based on feel and the second I stopped enjoying the run, I was going to slow down. And I did just that. I ran the first seven miles harder than the last five, simply because I felt like I'd have more fun if I stopped pushing the pace. I sang along with every song on my iPod. And I tried to take in all of the entertainment on the course. It was awesome.

The Atmosphere: If you've never run a Disney race, then it might be hard to understand the atmosphere that surrounds a runDisney event. It's like all the favorite things about your childhood crammed into 13.1 (or 26.2) miles. It's an invitation to have fun. And it's the perfect excuse to act like a kid.
Always my favorite part of runDisney races ...

Plus, running through Cinderella's Castle is going to make any girl feel like a princess.

The Weather: Although, my personal preference for a race temperature is somewhere around 38 degrees, this race fell on a "textbook perfect" weather day for a runner - Mid 50's and overcast. I'm pretty sure no one was complaining about the conditions.

Meetups: Not only does Disney host events like runDisney Social Media Meetups and Race Retreats (think VIP treatment pre and post-race for around $100), but their events serve as the ultimate destination race for families. This usually means I know someone (or a lot of someones) who are attending. This year was no different. I ran into and/or spent time with a handful of my favorite blogging friends. But, unfortunately, failed to take a single picture.

The Bad:

Outfit Fail: Although I tested my outfit for chafing prior to the race, I did not test the adhesive on the eyeball. I just figured it would work. But, three miles and a little sweat later, I was blind. Or my shirt was blind. Either way, they eyeball fell off and I was transformed into the Green Devil instead of Mike Wazowski.

The Corrals: I first ran the Disney Princess Half in 2010. That year there were 8,000 runners. This year, there were nearly twice that amount. And while Disney does a great job with wave starts, including fireworks for EVERY wave, they are falling behind on getting everyone to the start.

In order to get to your corral, you must walk close to a mile. In years past, this walk took around 20 minutes. This year, it took 40. I walked into Corral A as they were closing it. Had I stopped to go to the bathroom, I would have missed the start. Perhaps, a wave start for the walk to the corrals is in order?

The Expo: Now don't get me wrong, I love an expo. But, despite the organization of bib pick-up, the expo is always a cluster. Overcrowded and hard to navigate (especially with three small children in tow). With all the property Disney owns, you'd think they could find a larger space to hold the event.

The Ugly: 

What ugly? Disney doesn't do ugly.


mrs.monica @ RTP_inHeels said...

I'm dying to run disney! It's on my running bucket list. Loved the outfit. I would really like to take my kids down like you did, run, then enjoy. Being a teacher kinda prevents that, as we can't take a vacation whenever and races are sparce in the middle of summer. ::boo:: Ideas??

Anonymous said...

I hear you that they need to corral teh walk to the corrals. I literally ran to corral A (when there was room to run) and then just kept running b/c the race had started, how terrible is that, absolutely no time to stretch and use the restroom :(

Pining for Pinterest said...

I cannot wait to do that race one year!!! Hopefully it will be next year :)

Marlene said...

Sounds like a fantastic Disney vacation + race. I need to check out the Princess and I also can't WAIT to do Goofy again. Disney just plain rocks. Congrats on a strong race!

Sweet and Savory by Sarah said...

Awesome job! A sub 2 is pretty amazing to me!

Unknown said...

I love that you thought outside of the "princess" box for your costume. It is a dream race! One day I will do that. Lucky!

Running Girl said...

I have running a Disney race on my bucket list! Looks fabulous, and congrats on a great run! :-)

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

That's still a great run for being mid-way through the HIM training!

Awesome job!

Next time, consider sewing attachments to the outfit. haha

Kayla said...

Nice job, T! I almost didn't make the start either. I know I was still walking to the corrals during the wheelchair start. Considering its Florida..it was amazing running weather!:) Great job and loved your outfit as always!

Anonymous said...

Great job! You're right Disney doesn't do ugly. I ran my first RunDisney event this year and am already itching for another! Congrats on a great race.

ajh said...

I've got to do a Disney race one of these days.

Anonymous said...

Eyeball or no eyeball, you win favorite costume! I love that you were not a princess.

Can't wait to run a disney race..it's on the to-do list once my littlest one is 2!