Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Princess Half Marathon (Glass Slipper Challenge COMPLETE!)

I woke up half marathon morning to find my anxiety had skyrocketed. Honestly, thinking about running a half marathon wasn't high on my list of priorities for the past 2 weeks, so when 13.1 miles are on the agenda for the day, it's pretty scary. Luckily, I met up with Jaime pretty quickly and having her there helped a ton.

I finally met the fabulous couple behind The Running Happily Ever After Blog. Monica was also my inspiration for my Eve costume the day before; she went as Eve for the WDW 10k and it was adorable! I won their X race wear contest (ps- they always have the best giveaways!) and ever since, I  picked her brain about all kinds of stuff and every time she is always so sweet! Walt has family in my part of the country, so it was fun comparing notes. Hopefully next time, we'll have more time to hang out! 

While we waited for Pam to get to the start, (sidenote: Transportation from Port Orleans seems to take forever considering it's one of the closer hotels. I noticed that last year as well), we ran into Emily! My favorite thing awesome thing about runDisney races is running into friends and that definitely what made the difference for me.

Once we got to the corrals, Emily and Jaime parted ways with Pam and I as we set out to finish. I had pretty much given up on this race at about .02 in. Neither one of us were really in the mood to be running. I knew it was going to take me a couple of miles to get into the groove after my extended taper, so I didn't worry too much. I conveniently forgot how narrow the course gets on the road to the Magic Kingdom. The fact that the course was SUPER crowded, which was SUPER frustrating, which made me SUPER not in the mood to deal didn't help matters . . . so we walked a lot because even if we wanted to run, we couldn't. 

If you're not a fast runner, you need to be prepared for the crowds at this race. I have never experienced course crowds like this. That can definitely make or break your experience. Knowing ahead of time what you're getting into is always a good thing. You can mentally prepare for it and not let the frustration ruin your time. Anyone who is willing to train and register for a race should have a magical time. Shame on me for not remembering all this.

Princess Half Sign Winner, hands down.
This sign really lifted my spirits and I felt better for awhile.

Hey, everyone waiting in that long line to take your photo by the castle: 
There's no line on the other side! 

Early on, I decided I wanted to stop for Woody because I don't think I've ever stopped for him before. He would be our only character in Magic Kingdom. One day I'm going to brave the 30 minute stop for Royal Mickey and Minnie (who they moved to the other side by new Fantasyland), but this race was not it.

At this point, I got a text from Jaime that she was at the medical tent outside of Magic Kingdom (nothing serious, but enough to make her willing to join the slowpokes), so we picked her up along the way. Running through the park was a perfect boost and I was starting to enjoy running. . . then the course got narrow again. 


Not sure if you remember the story about the runner who got HIT BY A CAR running outside of the cones last year, but I do. Apparently, the extremely ACTIVE ROADWAY was not a concern for a LOT of Princesses. Why should I care what they're doing? Well, because jumping back on course RIGHT in front of me started to become the trend. After about the 6th time, I said something. Why? Because it's rude, inconsiderate and just terrible running etiquette (which I was following, hence walking on the right side of the road). This particular "princess" had the nerve to tell me "Chill out, it's a race"- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! EXACTLY, ASSHAT and you just nearly tripped me! At about this point, this story was about to become a lot less Disney and a lot more season finale of Orange is the New Black. SERIOUSLY?! Seriously. Dude, I get it. I called you out for bad behavior and it embarrassed you, but to have the nerve to get pissed at me because you're the entitled jerk?

THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly why The Princess Half Marathon gets a bad rap. 

Moral of the story: Don't be an impatient D-Bag. It's bad karma.


Sadly, it was not the end for me because I let that imbecile bother me more than I should have. No one likes bad energy, but I just could not shake it. This is about when we decided to entertain ourselves with being snarky. Not gonna lie, it helped. Don't have anything nice to say, come run a half marathon with us!

Luckily, it was time to stop for the heroes photo. 

and we caught up with Emily! 

Oh hey, Sarge. I'd LOVE to run up that hill, but. . .

We hung out and walked some more, because honestly it wasn't worth the fight anymore. Once we got on top of the overpass, the crowd of people behind us was shockingly large, even for a Disney race and especially because we were walking a ton and stopping for photos. 

Hey Sophia the first.

Hey Fairy Godmother wannabe. 

Indiana Jones and the bolder ran past us and I decided to run after them paparazzi style to try to get a pic. 

I should not give up my day job.

I noticed runDisney moved a lot of the characters away from the end of the course. Those were the best character spots because there was no lines! Last year, everyone was either too tired or focused on finishing at that point. It's where I ended up stopping a lot, hence why I forgot about how miserable the overcrowded course was and only remember enjoying it. That's exactly where the Disney magic happened for me last year and I was bummed it didn't happen again. 

Once I saw the finish line, I saw Jester Goofy and Donald and I got excited! Maybe the magic wasn't gone! But the handlers weren't letting people stop for photos. Granted, logically I get it, but getting a photo with Donald at the finish line might have completely changed my view on this race. Just saying. I crossed the finish line and saw B, which made life a lot better. I proceeded to tell her where they could stick this race and then went to medical to get ice. This "Princess" was over it. 

I REALLY wanted to enjoy this race again. It had the potential to be a really great life distraction. Sadly, neither my head nor my heart were in it, which didn't help matters when there are way too many outside negative factors going on as well. Thank goodness for running friends! I don't know what I would've done without them. Next time we all end up running a race together, let's make it a GREAT one!

Win all the medals!

This race does fall on a convenient weekend for us to travel to Florida, so I can't say that it's completely out for next year. Maybe just the 10k and spend the rest of the time with family? Sounds like a good plan to me!  


  1. Besides the Princess being my first half (so I'm a little attached to it), the timing of it is the best for me as well because of my teacher husband (stupid teacher schedules). Anyway, I had a similar experience. It was actually the most fun I had while being completely miserable! Did way more walking than planned and tried to spread good vibes instead of the ones of people pissing me off lol.

    BTW, that Princess Bride sign is clearly the best sign EVER!

    1. That's a PERFECT way to describe my experience as well!

      That sign was amazing!

  2. Aw, man...sorry to hear you didn't have the best experience this time around. And I know EXACTLY what you mean as far as the crowding and people darting in and out of the traffic cones -- it's unbelievably dangerous, and I'm wondering how many complaints runDisney has to hear before they at least TRY to do something about it. It's nuts! I don't run Disney for "time," anyway, but it is definitely frustrating that there are SO many people jammed on these narrow stretches of road and you can't go anywhere even if you tried. That being said, you did get some cute pictures! :)

    1. I'm glad I wasn't the only one, I just wish I could've ignored it and enjoyed the race better. Oh well!

  3. Congrats on finishing! Your outfit was super cute! I had no idea that someone got hit by a car last year. It's a shame that some people just can't enjoy this Disney race for what it is. It is definitely not one to "race" or be competitive about. Was that fairy god mother an actually Disney character or a spectator dresses up? I missed her!

    1. The fairy godmother wannabe is an actual streetmosphere character employed by Disney, yes. She was switching out with The actual Fairy Godmother at the race.

      Congrats to you as well!

  4. A lot of people had complained about rudeness and over-crowding this year :( Hope they fix it next year when I plan on running in it!

  5. Omg, my favorite part of this recap is "This is about when we decided to entertain ourselves with being snarky. Not gonna lie, it helped. Don't have anything nice to say, come run a half marathon with us!" That is so true because the 3 of us snarking kept me from absolutely hating everything about that race.

    I really wanted to fall back in love with runDisney, but Princess Half just solidified the frustration I've been feeling for awhile. Your retelling of the girl that jumped in front of you does not portray just how nasty she was! She told you to get over it and was so incredibly bitchy and damn near LANDED ON YOU!! My only regret is that I didn't get to watch you throw down. I was totally ready for that. LOL!

    Thanks for hanging out with me for the second half. I did have fun with you and Emily!

    1. haha, love it!

      Ok, so I'm glad you said that because I didn't know if it was just me being over-sensitive and remembering it worse than it was. I'm kind of glad there wasn't a "physical altercation" because I was seriously PISSED. She would've been in some serious trouble. haha!

      THANK YOU!! I'm glad we got to snark together :)

  6. I totally agree with everything in this post! This was my first half marathon which made it special for me, but even though I knew it was going to be crowded I had no idea it was going to be THAT crowded!!!! It was hard dealing with so many people and I was in corral G - I can't imagine what the last corral had to deal with! People were being really bitchy and rude too. I'm glad this was my first because it was really special, but I don't think I'll run Princess again. I'm open to trying other Run Disney races though!

    1. I'm so sorry your first half marathon was that experience! We were in Corral G as well and I completely agree.

      All runDisney races are crowded, but from my experience Princess is always the worst. Hope your next one is better!

  7. Ok, I totally don't think I ever heard about someone getting hit by a car, but why on earth would people run on the other side of those cones!

    Funny that you've seen it at Princess, I don't really remember seeing people do that at any of the other races.

    1. I understand wanting to get around the crowd, but those roads were ACTIVE! Like, many cars were passing and there were blind spots were the road curved. It was insane.

      and I agree, I've only experienced this at the Princess Half.

  8. LOL!! Being snarky totally saved the race!! And I should done a better photo-bomb of your pic with the Green Army men! :) It was crowded and humid. I'm determined to hit 5 years with some Disney race and since Princess is the only one I've consistently done, I think I'm sticking with it for at least 2 more years, but hopefully I can find the magic again.

    1. Yall were definitely my saving grace! SO glad we got to hang out!!

      I hope we all find the magic again, those races are too expensive to be miserable for the majority of them.

  9. Ugh. Sorry you didn't have a great experience. I HATE it when other people affect my race, mostly because I try to be extremely conscious of where I am in relation to others, since I'm so slow and take walk breaks - I would never want to cause someone to have to stop or crash into me or something.

    And "Chill out, it's a race?" Really?? LOL What an idiot.