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Gym Belle  - noun  one who enjoys pull-ups, push-ups, lifting things up/putting 'em down, PRs of all kinds, racing, jumping, spinning, daring and blogging re same (more here)


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« Disney Princess Half Marathon: The Movie | Main | Gym Belle as Snow White »

So, How Was It? (The Long Version)

If you've asked me about the Disney Princess Half Marathon, I've told you that it was awesome.  I've told you that it felt great and that it was a lot of fun.  That's the short version of the story, the version that begins at mile nine.  To get the real story, we need to start before the race, at around five o'clock in the morning.

At that point, I had already been awake for over two hours.  It was dark and cold in the Epcot parking lot, and though I was surrounded by princesses, I felt very much alone.  My sister was up front with the fast people.  Once or twice I tried to make friends, but everyone was shivering and anxious, so mostly I just stood there and waited.  I examined the costumes around me.  My Snow White costume was adorable, but I would have given anything to be in sweatpants. 

As race time approached, I became consumed by a single fear.  I had visited the port-o-potties twice already, but now that it was too late to go again, I was terrified that I wouldn't make it through the race.  I cursed my diligent hydration.  I didn't care about my time, but I didn't want to stop.  Stopping, other than to tie my shoe, which I did, would be failure.

Just as the sun began to rise, Cinderella's Fairy Godmother counted us down, the fireworks went off, and we started to run.  My feet were numb from the cold and stayed that way for two miles.  I quickly regretted chucking my sweatshirt right before the starting line, so I kept my gloves on for longer.  For the first time since I started training, I seriously questioned my ability to run 13.1 miles.  Had I really trained enough? 

Not even half a mile in, I passed the first set of roadside restrooms.  Seeing the long lines filled me with dread.  If so many people had had to stop already, would I really make it? 

Soon, I had a bigger problem than my small bladder.  My adorable Snow White skirt was falling down and my pre-coffee brain could not figure out why.  I had done three practice runs in costume with no problems.  I was contemplating removing some of the safety pins from my bib to rig it up when it dawned on me that the Gu Chomps in my pocket were weighing the skirt down.  I held them the rest of the way.

We passed the first mile marker pretty quickly, but the second mile felt interminable.  The road was narrow in places, and I kept getting run off the road by walkers.  I have nothing but love for the walkers, but really wished that they had started after us.  I felt as though I was spending as much time moving laterally as going forward. 

Somewhere around mile three or four, I started to hit my stride.  My feet had thawed, and I realized that I was on pace.  I paid attention to the music playing on my iPod and sang along.  I wasn't sure about the bathroom issue, but I figured I'd be ok if I didn't drink or think about it too much.  Knowing that Cinderella's Castle was at mile five or so gave me something to look forward to, so I concentrated on that.

The Magic Kingdom was fabulous.  There were lots of spectators cheering us on down Main Street, and running through the castle was fun.  I spotted Pluto and a few other characters.  Runners kept stopping to take pictures, or to use the bathroom, but I wasn't going to do either.  I did flail about whenever we passed a photographer; it seemed like the thing to do.

After we left the Magic Kingdom, I focused on my next milestone: the Grand Floridian hotel where my parents were staying.  That would be around mile seven, so at that point I'd be more than halfway there.  As we got closer, I remembered that my parents would already be at the finish line waiting for my sister.  Still, it was good to reach that point, and I pretended that the spectators were there for me.

When I hit nine miles, I knew I had it.  It was getting hot, but I felt good, and decided I could go a bit faster.  Around me, people were starting to struggle.  Perhaps I shouldn't admit this, but passing other runners felt great.  I started to think about my next race, and I allowed myself my first sips of water.  My sister had told me that miles 11 and 12 would be rough, so I was still a little nervous, but I had a feeling that the worst was behind me. 

I was right.  I crossed the finish line at top speed, with a time of 2:15:32.  I'm happy with the time, but I'm mostly proud of finishing, and of feeling good throughout the race.  I had my nervous moments, but I never struggled. 

Now that it's over, I feel compelled to sing Ke$ha's praises, once again.  My mix was chock full of Eminem and Bon Jovi.  I had Nelly and Britney and Lady Gaga.  There was no contest, though.  Take it Off and Party at a Rich Dude's House were my favorite songs during the race, and I crossed the finish line to Tik Tok

On a more serious note, I want to thank my sister.  It would never have occur to me that I could run 13.1 miles if she hadn't believed that I could.  And, not to brag or anything, but 10,924 women crossed the finish line that morning; my sister was the 82nd with a PR of 1:40:21.  That's fast.

-Gym Belle-



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Reader Comments (2)

Loved the recap. Amazing job! Congratulations!

March 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

great job! i was there too---what a fun race! I will see you this weekend at fitbloggin!

March 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterworkout mommy

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