2011 Princess Half Recap continued from part 2….
As we passed over the starting line I hit the old start button on my long lost friend my Garmin to keep up with my pace on demand, cool huh! Since I had been injured, I wasn’t running outside and the old gal had not been used in over a month- I sure missed her. As Amy ran off to hit her pace I felt myself smiling despite the fact EVERYONE was passing me, but had to do my warm up walk for a few minutes. When the IPOD told me “RUN” I took off – it felt so good in the dark surrounded by the back of the pack of Corral B to run and I reminded myself I HAD to restrain myself to make it to the end – so I had to slow down a little. I felt great and just had a goofy smile on my face. I was moved to see so many spectators on the side of the road next to the Epcot Parking lot where we started. They were cheering us on, thanks for getting out so early peeps. I believe we next passed a high school band which again, I was moved that they came out so early to play for us. Somewhere along the line was a DJ. Now, I was going to take pics to document WHEN I saw what as far as the course, but alas….no camera for me so this is all from memory.
At some point I passed the mile one marker and was pumped! I am doing this and WILL finish I told myself. I thought I heard someone yell “JULIE”, then heard it again. It was Amy, she had stopped to wait in line at a porta potty and was coming up from behind.
Shortly after Amy ran ahead at her speedy pace I saw the pirate ship up in the distance and began to hear that great Pirates of the Caribbean movie theme.
There was a long line to get pics made with them – I yelled as I passed, “thanks for coming out pirates, hey Jack Sparrow”. Johnny Depp um I mean Jack Sparrow pointed right at me and yelled ‘GO PRINCESS’. I was giddy, how fun that the characters were totally into the race and cheering us on!
We also passed an Epcot hot air balloon that looked like the big ball and then the prince dudes – Tarzan, Aladdin, Eric, John Smith, and Flynn Rider from the newest Tangled movie. I yelled “Flynn Rider I love You”, he turned between photos, gave me a thumbs up and said “Good luck Princess”. It the little things you know that motivate me, I was smiling BIG time and having a blast. And that was my goal…to have fun AND to finish….and if possible do it under 3:30, but hey, I thought the first 2 were the most important.
Somewhere shortly after either the princes or Epcot big ball balloon, can’t remember which, I had my first YIKES THIS RACE IS HARD moment. I felt great and was holding myself back to between a 13-14 minute pace with my 2/1 run/walk intervals. I saw a girl on the side of the road doubled over and she didn’t look good at all. Two friends were standing with her, this was around mile 3. I think I was in a WALK interval as I heard her friends say “Look if you need to rest, stay here and we will pick you up on the way back. If you want to go on, we will stay together”. We were on one side of the divided highway and were coming back on the other side toward later. The girl was crying and saying “Just go without me”. She looked like she was hurting….who knows, running on injury, running sick….it was a moment when I thought, CRAP that could be me later. AND this girl was young and in shape – unlike middle aged needs to lose some weight me! This was also way earlier than I had anticipated seeing this kind of scene. I had a moment of fear about not finishing and just told myself to say a quick prayer for her and for me to finish. Her friends were so supportive, they were standing with her, not pushing her and letting her tell them what to do. I jogged off and forced myself to remove ANY negative thoughts..
I tried to remember to thank any spectators as I passed, I gave them the princess one handed royal wave which some smiled and some looked at me like I was nuts. Being silly and just enjoying the moment and being back in the familiarity of my beloved run/walk interval groove really made me happy. And the sun was coming up!
After we passed into the Magic Kingdom Entrance under the big signs, Lilo and Elvis Stitch were dancing to some Elvis tunes. I guess we were by the Polynesian resort.
Shortly after that we passed the Richard Petty Driving Experience and they had a car out and some cute drivers cheering us on and available for pics. When we went by the Ticket and Transportation center, the drumming band from Japan at Epcot was beating us on, they were AWESOME and all smiles as we ran by.
Somewhere around this time, we hit the 5 mile marker and I was thinking, soon I will be running under the castle. There is a dip in the road that goes under a bridge by the Contemporary resort with a DJ up on top playing tunes – recognizing people by costume – I believe Captain America was around me at this time as was the four people dressed as the Incredibles. Loved this sign by the DJ!
He told us at the top of the hill….men on trampoline LOL. Surely enough, we got to the top and there was a guy doing stunts on a trampoline. I yelled “You Go Dude on trampoline” and I must have been loud as he gave me a thumbs up between tricks. It was so great to have all that entertainment, really fun.
I was thinking wow, soon I will be at the Magic Kingdom and felt the tug at my heartstrings. All my training was for THIS moment, its the highlight of the race I think. I really was getting excited as we approached space mountain….when I was little I thought the coolest thing ever would be to go to Disney and ride it, I rode it the day before for the first time!
We rounded a corner through a castmember entrance – for those not into the Dis, Castmembers are Disney employees; I hear someone say “Good Morning Princesses, Welcome to the Magic Kingdom”…..all of a sudden I was on Main Street. Yeah, some tears came out.
They had let families in to cheer on their loved ones and they were on the left. Some cheering, some with noisemakers some just staring – I guess looking for their princesses. I decided I didn’t want to walk, but DEF slowed down the pace to enjoy every second in the park. I felt some big tears roll down my cheek when I saw a sign that said “My mommy is my favorite princess”, and for a minute I really missed my family…but it passed.
As we headed to Tomorrow Land I said good morning to a castmember standing on the side and as sincere as could be he smiled a huge smile and said “Good Morning Princess!”. OK, that made my morning! Chip and Dale were cheering on runners – and available for photos, as was Buzz Lightyear, he had a huge line but gave me a Thumbs up as I screamed something to him. Those Disney folks are the best! I felt invincible at this point though decided a stop in a REAL bathroom would be nice. Only had to wait behind 2 people at our favorite Tomorrowland ladies room and got to wash my hands and splash my face with water. How refreshing! We ran through Fantasy Land and the carousel and teacups were on, empty but on. Alice was there as were Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum and the Queen.
And now, time for the BIG moment – the castle. As we approached I saw Prince Charming and some royal folk, but no Cinderella. She must have been on a royal break. Royal Minnie and Mickey were also there, big lines for all these. The crowd in front of us were yelling as they ran under the castle. When I got in the tunnel I raised my hands…..hmm no one was screaming, so I did – I mean why run quietly in a tunnel you know? and others followed. What a cool feeling to come out in the early morning sun – the lighting at that time was GORGEOUS and you could see the spectators at the bottom. I went over to the left to wait in a line to get the money shot! See the next entry for the photo he he.
As I ran jogged away from my photo, I noticed my calves were a tad tight…..I said “I WILL FINISH THIS RACE” just get me to the 11 mile marker. The Castle moment was indeed spectacular…what a rush!
to be continued…… Part 4, The End of the Race as I know it.
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