Friday, March 10, 2017

2017 Princess Half Marathon Recap

The day was finally here! I did not feel as calm as the day before. I had a really hard time eating on Saturday night and was in bed around 8pm. Hubs and I took the first bus from the resort at 3am. When the bus started moving my stomach was screaming. I didn't think much of it, just pre race nerves.

We got off the bus, I took care of business and we went to our meeting point. We saw our friends and just relaxed. I knew I had to leave a little early to get to my starting corral, but that walk felt like it took forever!

I was super lucky to see a fellow PRO Compression ambassador Brianne and my friend Sarah. I'm very thankful for these ladies and helping me not cry. I was having a really hard time. Plus, they started the race late which made me that much more anxious.

I had my plan set. I wanted my first 5k to average around 8:15, take Magic Kingdom a little slower since they have a variety of pavement, and then kick it in to gear on the highway. Seemed super easy enough!

Okay, 3...2...1...GO!

I wanted mile one to be mile slowest mile. It was REALLY dark, but I loved how spread out it was being in corral A. I could hear corral B being sent off not too long after we left. I also ran near the 1:45 Galloway group and I could not understand for the life of me how they were doing it! It was a nice distraction though.

Mile 1: 8:30

Mile two was the ramp towards the Magic Kingdom parking entrance. It was still really dark and I could not see my watch. I didn't know my pace but I felt confident in my training that I was fine. Nathan passed me during this mile and I felt so much better. His goal in this race was to catch me. We didn't know that it would only be two minutes between corrals. But hey, it took him almost two and a half miles to get to me!

Mile 2:  8:14

Mile three was strange. There were a lot of turns through the parking lot of Magic Kingdom. There was also a hill. We went under and back over a water way and my watch did not like it. I still felt really good and LOVED how spaced out I felt. I felt like I really could run my own race.

Mile 3: 8:21 (which I'm not sure is right with my lost signal)

Mile four was my best feeling mile of the race. I felt my stride and stayed there. Crowds were starting closer to Magic Kingdom and I knew I was seeing my husband and LB soon. They would be waiting for me on main street. There was a water stop right before the four mile marker and I flew right through it.

Mile 4: 8:07

Here's when it all went downhill. I hit that four mile marker and my stomach dropped to my feet. Thankfully there was a potty stop not far down. I did what I had to do and moved along. I instantly felt terrible. My stomach was in a knot. Oh gosh why.

I got in to Magic Kingdom and could not believe the amount of people on main street. It was awesome. I looked for my people because I had no idea where they would be.

I finally saw them and gave them the universal signal of something isn't right. I was still moving along, but much slower. I was really excited to get to run through the castle!

I had told hubs if I saw character stops with no lines I would get pictures, and that's exactly what I did.

I felt alright after I saw Woody, so I tried to pick up the pace again. I had taken a gel during mile five hoping that some sort of calories would help me feel better.

On the way out of Magic Kingdom I saw no line for Snow White, so I stopped. I was really close to the 10k mark at this point and I knew my goal was out the window. I was going to have to stop again. In my mind I had two options, give it all I had or take it easy since marathon training starts soon. I kinda went in between.

When I reached the man who was at the half way point, I had to stop again. I fought back tears at this point. Luckily I had a few quick stops so I didn't feel as terrible. I grabbed a powerade and it was terrible. Then I saw penguins and it felt a little better.

I also met Genie.

The next two bathroom stops were a little further away from the course. Yes folks, that it FIVE bathroom stops in five miles. I was crying in the potty stop around mile nine. I couldn't believe this was happening to me. I told my digestive system I was not stopping until the end. I couldn't keep stopping. Mile nine was my slowest mile of the race, 10:05.

I took a tiny bit of my gel at mile 10. I could only think of my husband and friends who were tracking me and what they must have been thinking. I was trying to send my husband a mental message to tell him I was alright.

I had a whole mile of being able to run and not stop, so I went for it for the final miles. I averaged about an 8:30 pace for miles 11-13. I had to give it everything I could. I worked so hard for this.

The final little bit of the race was everything to me. I heard the choir singing and saw the crowds. They were silent so I made it my mission to get them cheering.

I can hear the announcer saying "These runners are finishing this race in under two hours!" Guys, that was everything. I had stopped looking at my watch miles ago and that I could still finish under two hours was crazy.

I saw Goofy at the finish line, my favorite, and had to give him a high five.

I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face in 1:57.

The emotions hit as soon as I stopped my watch. I held it together to get my medal but then a volunteer said to me how amazing of a job I did and I couldn't hold it together anymore. I moved as fast as possible through the finishers shoot. Grabbed my extra medal from the challenge and got out of there as soon as possible. I saw Sarah again and she helped me keep it together (thank you friend!).

I got to hubs and Nathan (who broke 1:40) and all he could ask is if I was hurt. I lost it. The tears started to flow. I told him what happened and I told him to let me ugly cry. I texted Carrie and Caitlin and told them, and hubs told my other friends on the course. I was heart broken.

This was the first race I really trained for in over a year and I put so much emotion in to it. For it to have ended up that way was too much to handle. I had failed.

After my pity party was over I could finally put it all in perspective. Breaking two hours with five bathroom stops is actually something to be proud of. I didn't quit and I smiled crossing the finish line. I actually smiled the last two miles. It also made me feel kinda at ease that my stomach was still messed up the entire rest of the day and part of Monday. So it wasn't a race fluke, something just wasn't right.

Despite the bad race on my part, I really loved this race in general. If you are ever going to have a bad race, Disney is the place to do it. Those five miles in the middle didn't feel like they took forever and the flat course is awesome. I'm excited to go back for the marathon in January and hope my tummy cooperates.

Did you run Princess? How was your experience? 


  1. Oh my goodness! I felt every emotion as I read this! First--UGH stomach issues like that are the absolute worst. Second--you deserve a huge Congrats because running through all that and still finishing under 2 hours and finishing strong are huge accomplishments!!! Race gods are so fickle, but you were strong and did great despite all the crap (sorry, ha ha) they threw at you!

    1. So many terrible puns to describe it lol. Thanks Jennifer!

  2. I'm so sorry about your stomach issues!! But you're right - 5 bathroom stops & STILL under 2 hours? Great job! I know you worked hard for this - I'm sorry it didn't go the way you planned. Congrats on finishing!!

    1. Thanks Ciara! I'm grateful for the experience. Truly humbling.

  3. You still did it which is awesome! It was so great to see you twice at the race :)

    1. Thank you Sarah!! I'm so happy we got to see each other!!

  4. Every finish is a win! :) Proud of you as always! See you soon!

  5. So sorry your digestive system didn't want to play nice! I know it wasn't your goal, but finishing in under two hours is still amazing. And that's with all the stops! Way to go!!