February 27, 2014

Princess Half: Views from the Back of the Pack

I’m going to be honest here, I was not looking forward to this race much. Especially once I heard the reports that the weather was going to be very similar to last years race I was pretty mentally defeated. But none the less I laid out my flat Summer the night before and decided I’d just get through it.

My alarm was set for 2:10am and I got up amazingly easy considering I had just gone to bed about 3 hours before that #WestCoastProblems. I got dressed and was headed down to the buses a little after 3. I was staying at the Dolphin hotel and there were only about half a dozen people on the bus when I boarded so we ended up waiting for the bus to fill up, about 20 minutes, before we took off.

PrincessHalfBus It was a very quick drive and I was in the EPCOT parking lot and on my way to the prerace staging area where I met up with DisBroad Kristen and DisBroad’s #1 fan Bonnie!! This was the first time I met either of them in person so I was pretty excited!! Quickly more and more of the DisBroads started to arrive and lots of pictures where being taken!

PHMPreRace 2014    DisBroad Kristen, Bonnie, DisBroad Patty, Me, and DisBroad Amy

DisBroad Amy and I were dressed as Alice and the Queen of Hearts so we took a few pics together and she demanded I curtsy to her. I now realize my curtsy needs some work. ;)

PHM Alice n Queen Yes Your Majesty

Eventually they started sending runners back based on the corrals they were assigned to. Since all of the Disbroads where in much lower corrals then me this was the last time I saw most of them. My friend, and running partner for the race, Kim and I held back until it was time for us back of the packers to head to the corrals as well.

I have to say being in the back of the pack was rough. Much like my Tink 10K experience we had no idea what was going on for most of the morning. We could barley hear the National Anthem and didn’t even know it had started until it was about half way through. We also stood there, not moving, for over half an hour after the first corral took off. This is because of the way the corrals were set up. They had to mostly clear corrals A-J before we could move over.  

PrincessHalfStart2014 Finally about 50 minutes after the start of the race we made our way to the start line!! At this point the countdown seemed pretty quick and we were off!! 

      PHM Mile1 PHM Mile2

After seeing the first mile marker I noticed that this year they were very different then the ones they used in the past years so I decided I was going to take pictures of all of them. That also helped me roughly guess how long each mile was taking us since I have shoddy running math.  

As if my moral wasn’t down enough the winner passed us coming back on the other side between miles 1 & 2. I knew this was expected to happen, but it was still rough to witness it. Thankfully before too long we came up to the Magic Kingdom sign, which Kim and I both accused of being false advertising. Having both ran the race before we knew we had a good 2 miles ahead of us before entering Main Street.

MagicKingdomPHM Pretty much the whole race was made up of us doing a run/walk combo of pretty much whatever I wanted, which ended up being way more walking then running. My watch was set for 2/1 run/walk ratios, but we very rarely followed it. It ended up being more of a run until we got blocked by a wall of walkers and then walked until we found a way round them.

PHM Mile3 PHM Mile4 PHM Mile5

After mile 5 is where the fun began. We were IN the park and this is always one of my favorite parts of the race! I had hoped to use the real restrooms, as I had in pervious races, but being this far back I just didn’t feel like we had the time to spare to stand in the lines that were out the door and snaking around a bit so we had to pass them by.

Running through the castle is always a highlight of the race, but for us running was not an option. Heck walking wasn’t even an option. We had to result to more of a shuffle as it was wall to wall people and a narrow passage to get them all through. Not to mention those trying for the pictures opts coming out of the castle either stopping to pose or make their way across the wall of people. It wasn’t pretty I tell ya.

PHM Castle back PHM Castle front

I had really wanted to get a pic with Royal Mickey and Minnie, but by the time I got to them in Fantasy Land I could not even see the end of the line that was at least about 50 people visibly deep. I have no idea how many where behind them that I couldn’t see and I knew I just didn’t have time to wait for it. In fact I ended up without any character pictures because the lines were just way too long.

PHM Mile6 PHM Mile7 PHM Mile8

It was very hot and humid. In fact I think Kim must be a saint for putting up with my complaints about the weather. I’m not even sure how many times I told her I was hot, and being from the Orlando area she did not seem to be struggling with it as much as I was.
I will give runDisney props, though, because the medics where all over us back of the packers like personal escorts from about mile 9 on.

PHM Mile9 PHM Mile10 PHM Mile11

From mile 10 on I really struggle with this course since that is where the “hills” come in. They are not real hills, but instead things like overpasses and on ramps and they seem to be back to back to back. After we were on the overpass a little bit after mile 10 we saw the infamous balloon ladies passing the mile 10 mark. In fact there was a lot of chatter around us as princesses were trying to determine if they were, in fact, the balloon ladies or not. I have heard rumors that if you make it pass mile 10 you are safe, and I would believe that to be true since I did not see any buses past that mark staged to take runner off the course. 

PHM mile12 PHM Spaceship Earth

After mile 12 we headed in EPCOT and even though we had intended to run the last mile or so straight through we opted to walk it since there was no room to run and the park was getting crowded. I saw the occasional park goer hopping the rope and walking onto the course. This didn’t make me feel to safe about trying to make a mad dash to the finish so we decided to just sprint the last .1 instead.

Right before we came up to the choir I spotted DisBroads Patty and Julie and they joined us for a little bit until they stopped for another picture op and we kept on moving! I had told Kim how I missed the choir the first year I ran it and it baffled her how I could have not noticed them so she made sure to point them out to me this time.

PHM Choir PHM Mile 13

Finally we saw the mile 13 sign so we stopped to take a pic and then it was a sprint to the finish line!! I saw Royal Minnie and her “handler” there and thought for half a second about stopping for a pic, but I was just too close to finishing now so I gave her a high five instead!

Once again I came in with another PW (personal worst) but I accomplished what I came there to do, which was to meet the rest of the DisBroads and to collect these little beauties!!

PHM Medals 2014

February 18, 2014

Time to Start Loving My Body

This post has been a long time coming. In fact I’ve been writing it in my head for at least a month or two. Although, in my head I kept wanting to add the word again. “Time to start loving my body AGAIN” but the truth is I’ve never really loved my body. Not as a size 5 in high school. Not as a size 12 after having the first couple of kids. Not as a size 6 a year and a half ago, and certainly not at the size 8 I currently am.

High School Skinny 1chubby 2001  Insanity 2012

The thing about chasing these arbitrary numbers is that it’s never enough. I’M never enough. I set my sights on a number and once I get there it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I didn’t see myself any different than the day, the week, or even the month before. Only after I gained weight again would I look back and think I didn’t look so bad “back then.”  I never realize it in the now. Ever.

Take these pictures from September 2012 as an example. I was a 133 lbs, the smallest I have been since graduating high school, let alone after having 4 kids!! I was at my “ideal” body weight according to those fancy charts that tell you those kinds of things, but do you know what I saw? Not a 6 pack, not 125 pounds on the scale. All I saw was the “not good enoughs.”

Sept 2012 sideview Sept 2012 

I often read blog posts and articles about the realization that we are more than our dress sizes or the numbers on the scale and I would nod my head in agreement. . . for *them*. This logic was very enlightening and completely accurate; for everyone but me.

I’m number minded. I *need* the data in cold hard numbers to know that I am making progress. Numbers don’t lie, that’s why I like them. They are concrete, but do you know what else I do with those numbers? I compare them to the numbers of others. When I lost 6 pounds doing 60 days of Insanity to get down to that 133 lbs it didn’t mean much because “everyone” else lost 10-15 pounds or more. Even other women with my same stats. Once again I just didn’t measure up.

comparison is a thief So as part of Project ME I am putting it out there that I AM good enough. I am going to take care of my body because I deserve it and I’m worthy of a healthy body. NOT because I need to lose 20 pounds. NOT because so-and-so is a size 4 while I’m a size 8 and NOT because those stupid charts tell me I’m overweight.

It’s time for me to prove to myself that I am more then all those numbers I’ve thrown out there.

Will you join me?

Love yourself

February 16, 2014

Outfits of Princess Half Marathons Past

There has been a slight evolution in my Princess Half race attire over the years, although I feel like I still am not up to DisBroad standards. Those ladies go all out!! Don’t believe me? How about this picture from the 2013 Wine & Dine half marathon??


I was told that DisBroad Tania wore the sombrero the whole way!! I totally believe it too since here she is at the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon between mile 11 and 12 with DisBroad Patty cape on and light saber still in hand! I tell you the girl commits!!


2011 was the first year I ran the Princess half and my outfit consisted of this:

Princess 2011 finisherI made my own sparkle skirt using Simplicity pattern 2414  and adjusted the length and made an elastic waistband instead of a drawstring. I also bought the tiara Bondi Band, but decided it needed a little more bling so I traced the entire tiara with rhinestones!! I don’t suggest you do this, or if you do realize it is pretty much a one time use thing. After I washed the headband not only did the rhinestones fall off, but they also took most of the screen printing off with it!

During the 2011 race I saw a guy in my corral with the saying “I kissed a frog and I liked it” on his shirt and that inspired my 2012 outfit! I was going for a Tiana inspired outfit, but ended up having some issues executing it.

Princess 2012 mile 12 I had several different ideas for Tiana inspired tops, but grossly underestimated the amount of time it takes to make a petti skirt and ended up just buying a white tech top and adding a “princess” rhinestone transfer to it and calling it a day.

2013 was an off year for me. Since I was living in a hotel room at the time, and my sewing machine was packed away in storage with all my other belongings I went the entirely purchased route. I bought the Jasmine Sparkle Skirt and picked up a C9 top from Target. Viola I was Jasmine!

godmother (2) I had been planning on doing Jasmine for a long time and I was hoping to successfully pull off the midriff look, but alas it did not happen and you are very welcome because at that point it wouldn’t have been pretty.  

This year I am stepping it up bit and trying to fit in with the DisBraods so they don’t kick me out of the group for having a lame costume. ;) It is still in the works right now, yeah I better get on it, but here is a little preview of some of the items I have collected. I’m sure you can guess who I’ll be . . .

PHM2014 Preview PHM2014 preview 2

Do you like to dress in costumes for races? What is the favorite costume that you have worn?

February 2, 2014

Pink Coast to Coast Medal For Me . . . Yes Please

For those of you who may not know, each year runDisney has a Coast to Coast challenge that states that if you run a half marathon or longer at both Disney World and Disneyland in the same calendar year you will receive an additional “Coast to Coast” medal after completing the second race. Currently the only 2 options at Disneyland is the Tinker Bell half and the Disneyland half, but rumor has it at least one, if not two more races are being added next year!

2013 Coast to Coast

The last 2 years I have taken this challenge by completing the Tinker Bell half and Princess Half in back to back months, but I was not planning on going for a three-peat this year. Of course my resolve changed a bit when runDisney announced that this year there will be a special edition PINK coast to coast medal exclusively for all the fairy princesses out there!! 

2014 Pink Coast to Coast Photo Courtesy of April at Run the Great Wide Somewhere 

I really wanted that medal, but decided to stick to my original plan to not run the PHM again this year. That was until I was given a last minute opportunity to join in the weekends festivities!! Now I'm happy to say that medal will be mine!

Of course with the addition of this new, special edition, medal there were lots of details to be worked out and concerns being voiced all over the internet. Personally, I think runDisney came up with the perfect solution that is fair to everyone involved.

In past years it was runDisney’s police to only allow 1 coast to coast medal a year, thus making those who #RunAllTheRaces choose between the pink and the traditional blue coast to coast medals. This year they are giving you the opportunity to earn BOTH medals instead!

Under the new policy if you complete Tink and Princess you will receive the pink medal, and you will still be eligible to complete another pair of races, one on each coast, to receive the blue medal as well. I have to say it is a rather tempting challenge to take, but I think this year I’ll be passing.
Will you be earning a pink coast to coast medal this year? If so will it be your first coast to coast challenge, or are you a repeater?

Don’t forget to check out the Princess Half virtual blog hop to learn you all you need to know about the upcoming race weekend! You have questions? Most of the answers can be found right here.

WDW Blog Hop
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