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Name: merrymishaps (Lauren)
Home: Annapolis, MD, United States
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

run like a princess

I just got back from a fantastic weekend in Disney World!

My friend Page and I headed to Orlando on Thursday night to give us time to enjoy the parks for a few days before the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon.

On Friday we hit the race expo and spent the day in Epcot exploring the countries and rides. We probably should have taken it easy on Saturday so we could run on fresh legs. But that didn't happen. We both love Disney World too much!

We hit Animal Kingdom Saturday morning, Magic Kingdom in the afternoon, and went back to Epcot to finish a few countries and eat dinner in "Italy."

We did manage to get back to the hotel and in bed at a reasonable hour. Though, it was hard to get more than a few hours of sleep. Not due to nerves -- but to my 3:30 a.m. alarm! (And yes, the clocks changed that night, too. )

Disney wanted us on the buses by 5a.m., so we headed to the bus stop at 4:30. Didn't want to cut it close!

The race didn't start until 7, so we had a lot of time to kill wandering around the parking lot and hitting the port-o-pots. Eventually they had us start walking to the start corrals -- which a race volunteer told us was a half mile away! And then we still had 40 minutes in the corrals until the race start.

race start

I needed a picture. Because this may be the first time I'm ever in the first corral! (We got the impression there were a lot of first-timers and fewer serious racers at this event.)

Finally, though, it was time to go. It was chilly at the start, but I warmed up quickly. I brought an old fleece as a throwaway jacket, and tossed it after about a mile. I was glad to be warm before the race!

I had a camera with me because I knew I'd want to snap photos along the way. At first, I tried to shoot while running, but that didn't work too well.

princesses on the run

Well, you get the idea. It was dark, and lots of people were having fun with their outfits!

As we got close to the Magic Kingdom, I pulled over to try to get this shot:

entering the magic kingdom

Well, that didn't work too well either. But I didn't stop trying.

The best part of the race was running through the Magic Kingdom.

Main Street USA

tomorrowland sunrise

So much fun running through the empty park. Though I did want to get on the rides with no lines!

I put my camera away and thought I'd just stop with the running/snapping, until we got to the castle. There was a line of princesses and a volunteer taking runners' cameras. And no wait -- another runner just left. I couldn't pass it up!


I stopped to pose for a photo in front of the castle by the race photographers, too. I doubt I'll buy it, but I guess it'll depend on how it comes out!

It wasn't until I had about six miles to go that I realized how well I was doing. I had a chance at breaking my half marathon PR of 2:13:11, set in 2005.

And then I looked again, and thought I didn't have it. But I would surely beat my 2:20 at VA Beach this past summer.

And then I looked again, and realized I really could be close to my best half marathon.

My feet hurt, my legs were tired (I'm blaming all that time in the parks. I was prepared for this race!), but I tried to pick it up as we ran through Epcot near the end.

It was going to be close.

I stopped my watch at 2:13:22 -- but I knew it was probably a few seconds long. I started at the first mat and stopped it after the last. But I doubted it would be 10 seconds.

And ... it wasn't. 2:13:17. But this race did snag the second-fastest position. My previous second-best was 2:13:19, from early 2006.

So really, I did run my best race on Sunday. I clearly took more than six seconds taking and posing for photos!

I don't care. It was worth it!

princess bling


At 11:29 PM, March 10, 2009, Anonymous carpeviam said...

Looks like SO much fun! And, well done on your time. That's impressive to run it so close to your PR, since you WERE stopping to take pictures. ;)

I love all the shoe reflectors in the pictures, too!

Well done.

At 4:09 PM, March 11, 2009, Blogger aron said...

awesome job!!!!!! congrats on a great finish!

At 6:43 PM, March 11, 2009, Blogger Gretchen said...

Great Job! All your hard work paid off.

I love starting races in the dark.

At 6:47 PM, March 11, 2009, Blogger Sneaker Sister said...

Congratulations!!! It sounds like you had a great time, had a great run and that medal is sooo cool!

At 11:19 AM, March 12, 2009, Blogger Lost In Splendor said...

I had no idea they did something like this.


Congratulations!!!!!!! That is wonderful.

At 8:28 AM, March 13, 2009, Blogger RunningLaur said...

What a fun time at the race! and the running outfit is super cute too.

I didn't realize you're from Annapolis - it's one of my favorite towns! If I move back East, it's high on the list of options.

At 5:54 PM, March 15, 2009, Blogger Lis said...

Great recap! I hope to run down there one day. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

At 5:54 PM, March 15, 2009, Blogger Lis said...

Great recap! I hope to run down there one day. Thanks for sharing your experiences.


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