Countdown to Disney Princess Half Marathon

Monday, March 4, 2013

Princess Half Marathon 2013 recap

Our starting line
Looking back at the Princess Half Marathon, I feel like I am looking back on my wedding.  I planned a whole year for this big day, I threw my all into planning for the Princess, I planned a running outfit, a vacation, and trained nearly everyday to be a Princess for the day.  The day flew by so fast, it feels like it was just a dream.
  When my alarm went off at 2:45 am, it was probably the first time ever I didn't hit snooze. Fortunately, I put all of my stuff together the night before so I wouldn't feel so rushed in the morning. The only dilemma, was whether or not to bring our rain ponchos, since the forecast called for thunderstorms at 6am, the very time our corral was scheduled to start. We decided against the ponchos figuring we would be drenched from sweat anyhow.  We were headed down to the bus stop by 3:20 am and we were greeted by a HUGE line of fellow princesses.  Much to my surprise, our seven dwarfs were already in line.  My husband and brother got all 5 kids up and semi ready at 2:30am to catch the bus to watch us run.  We were able to catch a bus right away, good thing, because traffic was a nightmare.  We sat in traffic for close to an hour, I was starting to get nervous about whether or not we were going to make it to the start line in time.  We arrived at EPCOT pretty close to 5am and headed straight for the port a potty, while the "dwarfs" headed to the monorail for the Magic Kingdom.  There was a sea of tutus and tiaras.  They even had the red carpet rolled out for us!

Minnie Mouse, Cinderella, and Ariel
Sign for Corral D
We dropped our bags at the bag check and then headed for our corral.  It was about a 20 minute walk to our corral.  As we got closer to the corrals, we could hear the Fairy Godmother talking about getting ready to start.  The volunteers were saying if you are in corral A, you better run.  (Note to self, next time get up earlier and be on the 3am bus, so you don't feel rushed.) We were in Corral D, so we didn't really have to rush, but the sooner you got to your corral the closer to the front of the corral you were.  Corral placement at Disney is pretty important, besides safety reasons of the faster people being in the front, so they aren't trampling the slower runners, the closer to the front you are the more time you have for potty breaks and picture stops. Disney gives you a time limit to finish the race, so they can open roads and parks.  They have sweepers who will escort you to a bus if you are not keeping up pace.  From what I understand there were almost 4,000 princesses swept this year. A couple princesses tried to be sneaky and hide in bushes and sneak between the buses.  A few even got arrested for refusing to get on the bus.  There are "balloon ladies" who are the very last to cross the start line, they keep the pace, they let you know if you are falling behind pace and how long you have to get in front of them before getting swept.  Disney has runners submit an official time from a 10k race or greater to figure out where to place you.  My mom and I ran a 10k back in October and we submitted those times for the race.  Sindi submitted our Turkey Trot time, which was not as fast, so it put her a corral or two behind us.  Since we all wanted to start together, Sindi and I ran a 10k at the beginning of February. Sindi was able to turn that time in at the Expo and she was moved up to Corral C, but she stayed back with us in D (you can move back in corrals, just not up).  We were happy with Corral D, it put us right in the middle of the pack, corrals were from A-H.  
 Disney, by far, had the best "on your mark, get set, go", each and every corral got a magically firework send off by the Fairy Godmother!  Before we knew it we were off (5:58am).  This was one of the several times during the race that I told myself, to slow down and enjoy the moment, something I wish I had done on my wedding day.  The first mile was very slow and congested.  It was so slow that the Fairy Godmother actually said "Corral D, I am happy you are having a good time, but get moving".  The first 3 miles are kind of a blur to me, good thing I took pictures. I remember a marching band around mile 1, and there were a few tight spaces were there were way too many princesses and not enough road, so we had to walk. It was also still dark out, I never knew I could have so much fun before the sun came up.  We got our first glimpse of a character around mile 2, it was none other than Captain Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl all the way from the Caribbean just for us.  The line of Princesses waiting to become Captain Jack's wench was ridiculous, so I snapped a picture as I was running past.  After the Black Pearl there was another crazy long line.
The Black Pearl

All of the Disney Princes in one place with a never ending line of Princesses waiting for pictures with them.  This was a stop I originally wanted to do, but I knew they would still be there on our way out so we opted to wait.  Within a few minutes we could see the entrance to the Magic Kingdom parking lot, the excitement level grew for me at this point.  I have driven through these arches several times as a guest and even more times as a cast member, but never had I run through them.  Once inside the Magic Kingdom parking lot we took our first potty break along with a hundred other princesses.  Just after the potties was the 5k mark, only 10 more miles to go. We were in the parking lot just near the Richard Petty driving experience, and who did we see?   Lightening McQueen himself, we had to stop for a picture for our boys. Fortunately, not many princesses were in line to see a car.  While we were in line we took the time to stretch and relax for a moment.  Then we were off, back to our intervals of running and walking. Somewhere around this point we realized that it was no longer dark and the rain was holding off.  There was so 

much to see everywhere, it really kept our minds off the fact that we were running.  It was the longest it ever took me to complete a 5k, but it went by the fastest!  Still inside the Magic Kingdom parking lot we came across some of Disney's Villains. I am not a huge Villain fan, but this was a must stop for me, since I was dressed as Cinderella and Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters were there.  This was one of the longer lines that we actually waited in, it was moving fast and we felt like we had plenty of time.  While in line, my mom noticed someone ran by with a Corral H bib on, which kind of made us all nervous. So, we knew when we left the Villains we needed to pick up our pace some.

We took off running away from the Villains as if they were chasing us, excited that we were getting closer to the Magic Kingdom.  We made our way through the Ticket and Transportation Center (the TTC is where you catch the monorail from the parking lot to the Magic Kingdom), where there were tons of spectators lined up to cheer us on.  As we were leaving the TTC there was some musical entertainment, all of this brought us to mile 4! The next stretch of road got narrow and steep.  We were on the road near the Contemporary Resort and we had just a two-lane road for thousands of princesses.  It was impossible to run, so we walked fast while weaving in and out of the sea of tutus.  But, once again there was some neat stuff to see to keep our minds off of the course. 


Mile 5 was right around the corner, and somewhere between mile 5 and mile 6 is where we enter the Magic Kingdom!  
My favorite Mile marker
We entered the Magic Kingdom from backstage between the Fire Station and the Emporium and Main Street was lined with Spectators.  As we rounded the hub to run toward the Castle I kind of got choked up,this is the moment I imagined on all of those long training runs that kept me going, and it was finally here.  I told myself take it all in and enjoy the moment.  On our way down Main Street we spotted our family, the kids were holding signs that they had made while they were waiting.  I was super excited to see them out there, and even more excited for my kids to see me doing something as awesome as this!   We ran past our family  with a wave and a high five, since it was too crowded to stop for a picture. We turned toward Tomorrowland and stopped for a quick picture with Buzz Lightyear.  After seeing Buzz we found a real bathroom, so we took advantage of it.  After leaving Tomorrowland we heading toward the castle through Fantasyland, where we saw our first person down.  There was a lady on the ground passed out.  I felt so horrible for the lady.  It was really humid and she probably wasn't use to training in the heat.  I kept thinking if only she passed out after the castle, the castle is the highlight of the run.  Medical help was on the way so we kept on our way.  We passed by the lines for Alice in Wonderland with the Mad Hatter, Jessie and Woody, and Belle with the Gaston, because all we could think about was "running" through the castle.  Right outside castle was a crazy long line for Mickey and Minnie, which was one of my must do stops, but we passed right on by. 

 As we were approaching the castle we could hear the trumpets welcoming us into the castle.  Another really exciting moment, one that I had been imagining for the past year.  Once inside the castle, there wasn't any running!  The inside of the castle was the same type of crowd you encounter leaving a concert or sporting event. Nevertheless, it was still magical to me.  After leaving the castle there were professioanl photographers taking pictures of us running with the castle behind us, and even a stop out in front of the castle.  If you would like to see those pictures you can go to and type in Parent or Kelp in the last name and select Disney Princess Half Marathon.  Sindi has more photos in her folder than I do, because her bib # was easier to read than mine.  I have to search 66,441 pictures to find the rest of mine.  

We left the castle and ran toward Frontierland to head out of the Magic Kingdom through backstage.  Backstage we came across Cinderella and Prince Charming and I just had to stop.  While waiting in line the "clock struck midnight" for Cinderella and Princess Aurora took her place.  We decided to wait since we hadn't seen any princesses yet. While we were waiting we saw what seemed like a ride grave yard. Just passed Sleeping Beauty we came to our 10k 
Sign declared our Half Way mark
and read "Girl you are on Fire"
point, and to me a let down. Not a disappointment by any means, but a let down. The point of the race that I had been looking forward to for 13 months was over, we had left the Magic Kingdom and we had reached a boring stretch of the race. Not too long after, I realized I still had the Bling to look forward to and we had reached the half way point. They blasted "Girl on Fire" which was then stuck in my head for the next 7 miles.  There was very little excitement on the course for the next few miles. We had a another potty stop and Sindi even got have her picture taken with her childhood favorite, Mary Poppins.  Mom and Sindi decided to take another potty stop, but I really just needed a drink, so I ran ahead to a water stop and waited for them there.  After their potty break they came running up to me yelling, the balloon ladies are right there, we have to get in front of her by mile 8 or we are gone.  We ran most of the next mile or so to guarantee we were well in front of the dreaded balloon ladies.  We felt like we had enough of a cushion and that we decided to try for that picture with the princes at mile 9.  We waited in line for a few minutes, but those pesky balloon ladies had almost caught back up, and we wanted a medal more than a picture with some wanna be princes.  So we took off running like Cinderella when the clock struck midnight.  At this point, Sindi was feeling lightheaded and mom admitted her knee had been hurting since mile 5.  We got well enough ahead of the balloon ladies that we could walk fast enough and still keep on pace.  Sindi busted out a pb&j sandwich, which seemed to help her continue on.  But, we really needed some entertainment to keep us going and out of our own heads. I even decided to yell a "Yahoo" and the lady next to me, asked me to warn her next time so she wouldn't pee herself.  Then we arrived at the dreaded incline around mile 10, I told Sindi we only have a 5k left, we do this several times a week as a short run, we've got this.  We worked our way up the hill as one of the Green Army Men from Toy Story encouraged us.

  Mom decided to keep going knowing that we would catch up.  Just pass the hill, we were at Mile 11, and could get a glimpse of the EPCOT ball.  At this point we were sure we were going to finish, they do their last sweep around mile 11.  Nothing real eventful happen between 11 and 12 except a medical tent stop for some Biofreeze for Mom's knee along with a Tylenol 500.  I think there Mulan and Pocahontas were there, but we had a one track mind, FINISH LINE! We made it to backstage EPCOT and another crowd of people to cheer us on to the finish line.  Here we met the lady who cheers at every Disney race and right before we heading into EPCOT we were greeted by a gospel choir.  

We ran into EPCOT, basically right around the fountain and back under the ball, and out backstage toward the parking lot.  We had made it to Mile 13 and only had .1 to go.  We could hear all of the noise of the finish line and I felt pretty emotional all over again.

We stopped for one last picture right before the finish line, we had to get our picture with Prince Mickey. After our final character stop, we grabbed hands and crossed the finish line together!  What an accomplishment! 
After the finish line, we headed to get sprinkled with Pixie Dust, which I think we should have gotten before the race, not after. 

It was finally time to receive the BLING we had earned.  This is my second medal, but the first one came in the mail after the race, since the Detroit Turkey Trot had run out.  Looking back, I am happy that this is the first medal that was ever placed around my neck at a finish line! 
After the race, we just wanted to find our family, shower and eat!  We didn't really take the time to see everything they was happening at the finish line.  That just gives us something to look forward to next time!  
 Looking at my finish time, you may not think this was a huge accomplishment, since anyone could walk 13.1 miles in 3:56, but the fact that I had the courage to start this journey was the accomplishment.  Not many people are motivated to ever make it to a start line, let alone a finish line, and from where I was a year ago, this is a huge accomplishment.  I will be running a half marathon in April, to prove to myself, that I can "run" a half marathon.  It will be a real mental challenge without all the fireworks and entertainment, but I have learned that I can do anything I put my mind to. 
I have been asked a few times, "what next, what is your next goal?"  Immediately after the race while waiting in line for the bus, I told Derrick he could sign me up for the WDW full marathon.  Not sure I would ever want to do a regular marathon, but I would like to try Disney's version of 26.2.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

'Twas a dark and chilly night...Glow 5k race recap

'Twas a dark and chilly night for our first race in the dark.  We found the Glow 5k on and thought it sounded like a lot of fun.  The Glow 5k was a fundraiser for restoration in Haiti, and it always feels good to help out a good cause.  It was a very Chilly night,  perfect for testing out our Winter running gear.
This was the first race I ever waited until the race to register. Only down side to waiting until the day of, is there is no guarantee of a race shirt.  We (Sindi, Mom, and I) did get one, but we were told we wouldn't.  This was a very small race, put on by a church.  Before the race started they prayed over the event, perhaps that is why I did so well.
It was 38 degrees by the end of the race, I forgot to check before the race.  We all wore different types of winter running gear.  I wore a pair of Under Armour winter running tights, a C9 by Champion, fleece lined tech shirt, a C9 half zip hooded fleece lined shirt, and a C9 wind jacket.  I also had my C9 gloves, which aren't very warm and my Under Armour headband, which fits perfectly and keeps the wind off of my ears. I recommend all of these pieces, except for the gloves.
The race was in Woodhaven, Michigan on a track. There were only about 160 racers, but that makes for a crowded track.  At the start of the race it was dusk and all of the glow necklaces looked really cool.  We had decided before hand that we were going to do 45/15 intervals, and only mom set her runkeep app.  It was so congested we ran the entire first mile without walking. My endurance is really improving.  Sindi and I lost mom somewhere in that first mile.  We stuck together and she really pushed me.  We didn't have runkeeper to notify us of when to walk or run so we only walked when we felt like we really needed it, or when my shoe came untied or when I lost my glove in the dark.  My knee was killing me because there were some pretty steep inclines, it is a good thing I wasn't alone, because I would have walked.  Without runkeeper we didn't know how far we had gone or our pace so we really had no idea how we were doing.  We passed the race clock on our way to run another lap on the track and we were pretty sure we were making good time.  Somewhere around the half way mark we got really hot!  We layered our clothes so we thought it would be easy to take off a layer if needed.  Well, Sindi found out the hard way that once your race bib is attached to the outside layer, you are kind of stuck.  Getting a spibelt with the race bibs clips may come in handy for shedding layers during a race.
The last lap was the hardest on my knee, I even told Sindi to go without me.  But then I remembered how great our time seemed when we passed the clock and I had to push myself.  I remember saying to Sindi, "I wish the finish line adrenaline rush would hit me right about now".  We came around the bend and the rush hit me as I saw the race clock say 33 something.  I forgot all about my knee as I sprinted all out for the finish line, a finish of  34:15, my fastest 5k time ever!  That is almost 6 minutes faster than my first race finish and nearly 3 minutes faster than my last PR.  This was race clock time, because this wasn't a chipped race. So in reality our time was faster since the clock starts when the first person crosses the start line, and we were near the back of the pack.
I love getting new PRs, but I also like learning new things with each race. I learned that for a race I don't need to dress as warm as I do for a training run.  I learned that if I want a race shirt, I must pre register. And I am learning to push my body harder than ever with each race and I will even live to tell about it.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween Candy...UGH!!!

Hi, my name is Janie and I am a sugar addict!!!  Candy has always been my weakness.  I would rather eat a bag of Starburst Jelly Beans for dinner than a steak.  So after months and months of trying to cut candy out of my everyday diet I had succeed...then came Halloween!  I am so close to my goal weight, I really thought I would be able to stay focused.  I had a plan, I would pick out a few of my favorites from the kids candy and put them in a bag and when it was gone, whether it was 1 day or 10 days, I would be done.  Well, that has NOT worked out so well.  I really don't want all of my hard work going to waste.  I am still running, so at least I am not gaining weight from it, but I could be losing!  At this point I need to come up with an idea to get it out of my house and not into my stomach.  I feel like getting rid of it is depriving my kids, but I don't want them to have the same addiction.  This morning Gavin climbed in bed with me at 7am and I could smell Reese's on his breath, and I realized he is already a sugar addict too.  Help...give me ideas to get rid of the candy that won't make the kids too upset!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

5K ~ Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness

Well, this weekend I had my best 5K time. At 36:13, approximately 2 minutes better then last months 5K. I was proud of myself in that sense. In another sense I was SO MAD!!! As I watched my MIL (Sandy) and SIL  (Janie)  kick butt doing the 10K I was MAD, MAD, MAD! If I could have kicked myself in the butt I would have… Now, knowing in my heart of hearts that I could not have done it I was still mad, why? Who knows. I guess I am mad at my body. Why by now can I not do a 10K by now?

I am in a battle with my body’s endurance levels. I feel like at around mile 2 I start pooping out. Knowing that I have a stomach that hold about 3oz of food at a time I am assuming this is the reason why I am having this battle. I cant fuel my body the way “normal” people do. By the time I get out to run in the morning I have only had about 3 bites of yogurt and maybe a bite of banana and honestly I don’t think that is enough at all. I was told yesterday to start eating oatmeal 2 hours before I run. So guess what I will be doing this week?? You know it, I will be trying oatmeal to see if this is going to help. To be continued on that subject……

On November 22nd I WILL be running my first 10K….Wish me luck

Side Note: Saturday was dedicated to all the sweet babies that have gone on to heaven. Ava Yvonne & Calleigh Mae

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dress Like the Devil and Run for the Angels 10k Race Recap

I conquered my first 10k today, and I did it while wearing a tutu!  
We ran the 2nd Dress Like the Devil and Run for the Angels 10k in Ferndale, MI.  This was a fundraiser for an organization called Angel kisses.  Angel kisses funds programs to help improve care for families who experience prenatal loss during their second or third trimester.  I couldn't think of a better way to remember my niece Calleigh Mae and my friend's little girl Ava Yvonne.  Ava's parents choose the color purple to represent their angel, which is why I wore a purple tutu.  Calleigh's nursery was in owls so we always think of Calleigh when we see an owl, so we wore purple owl pins on our shirts as well (can't really see them in this pic).  Before the race they handed out balloons for a ballon launch.  The balloon launch was beautiful. I wish I would have thought to write a note and attach it to the balloon like the family next to us did. 
   This was only the 2nd annual race so it was pretty small (only 168 total runners) compared to other races I have run.  Since there was a HUGE Making Strides against Breast Cancer walk in downtown Detroit today, this may not have been the best day to have another event in the area.  Even though it was a small race, it was chipped, which gives you official times.  This was the first time I had a chip that you tie on your shoe.  I have always had chips attached to the back of my bib.  I had the chip tied on my shoe while I was walking around getting warmed up and it started to rub on my leg.  I was not going to be bothered with that for 6.2 miles, so I took it off and tucked it in my armband.  
Ava's Daddy sporting his race shirt
   This event's cause is near to my heart so I don't want to be negative, I am, however, going to give my honest opinion of my race experience.  The race shirts were awesome, they were Dry-fit shirts and they had a spot to write who you were running in honor of...
   I have been fighting some sort of sinus thing for a few days, so I was having a hard time breathing in through my nose, and I forgot my tissue on the front seat of the car.  That made it really hard to breath properly for a 6.2 mile run.  The race route was through the city of Ferndale, which wasn't very scenic or exciting at all. There were several signs pointing us which way to go and volunteers at every turn as well. The 10k route was just doing the 5k loop twice.  Most of the volunteers were supportive, and we got lots of comments on our tutus.  
   I have a real problem of going out really strong during a race and then hitting a wall toward the end. Since we were doing a 10k I kept trying to watch my pace so we did 30/30 intervals (30 seconds walking and 30 seconds running).  During the first half it seemed as though there was always a big gap between the people in front of us and then another big gap of people behind us.  I seriously felt SLOW.  I would check my time on my Run Keeper app, according to it we were doing fine.  My sister in law, Sindi was way ahead of us and I kept thinking I was running really slow.  She rocked the 5k, with a time of 36:13, she beat her PR by almost 2 minutes.  She drinks Super Pump, I need some!  
   As if I wasn't already feeling inadequate, when we started the loop for the second time, there wasn't anyone in front of us or behind us.  Yikes!  By time we passed some of the volunteers the second time, their enthusiasm had died down, and so had mine.  We were running  down a street and I told my mom, I think we are going the wrong way.  There was a volunteer down a little ways who started to yell, go back, you missed your turn.  Now I felt defeated, there goes our time. We will never finish in a good enough time to turn in to Run Disney.  Luckily, my mom pulled out a map of the course.  She said, "I don't know why I grab this, but I am so glad I did". At one point a police car pulled up next to us and ask us to run on the sidewalk for the remainder of the race.  That was kind of annoying.  Sidewalks means dodging cars not parked right and lots of ups and downs with the curbs.  By this time we felt ridiculous running the streets of Ferndale in tutus!  Coming up to another volunteer, she said "oh, I didn't know there were still more runners I have been taking the signs down".  I was mad, I paid $40 just like everyone else, so now I have to run on the sidewalk while reading a map.  Part of me just wanted to look at the map and find a short cut to get back.  I was pleased to see the water stations were still all there for us.  As we got to another turn, we saw a volunteer get in his car and pull away.  I was really getting down on myself, thinking my app wasn't working right.  I know I am not that slow, I have finished 5k in still had several people behind me.  I am by no means fast, but I figured I was average.  I was super aggravated, I couldn't breath, my knee was starting to hurt, and I was really just wanting to walk back to the car and forget the whole stupid thing.  Good thing I was doing this in honor of my niece, because quitting wouldn't have honored her at all! They had taken down the 5 mile marker so I kept thinking we had a lot farther to go than we did. I thought for sure I would be crawling across the finish line.  We got to a corner with a volunteer and she said you are almost there, just around the corner.  I was so excited to round the corner to find...Nothing!  What?  They took the finish line down already, too?  No, it was just around the next corner!  As we rounded the corner I was able to see the race clock, it said 1:18:02.  I said to my mom, "lets go, we might be able to use this time for Disney".  I have no idea where the last gust of energy came from, but I was able to Run, not walk, not crawl, but run across the finish line.  I finished in 1:18:27.  Which actually could have been about 2 minutes better had we not missed a turn. 
   After the race, I went up to the coordinator and told her about the problems with the volunteers leaving and taking the signs down.  I love what the race supports and would like to run it again, so I thought some feedback would be helpful.  While I was talking to the coordinator, I heard clapping and cheering and much to my surprise another person crossed the finish line!  It did make me feel better that someone finished after us.
   While looking through the race results, I saw that only 53 people ran in the 10k.  I can't be so hard on myself, I have only been running for 9 months.  I got out there this morning in the cold, sick, and frustrated, I completed a 10k!  Out of 168 runners only 53 of us had the guts to do the 10k! 

~Princess Janie

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Seeing improvements!

I usually run three days a week, and like most things you do or see regularly, you don't always notice improvements. I use the Runkeeper app to track all of my activities.  Runkeeper measures your distance using GPS, calculates calories,  keeps track of my pace, and alerts me to change from walking to running intervals.

This past Saturday I ran 9 miles for the first time since my knee injury.  I was able to compare my results on Runkeeper from when I first ran 9 miles back in April.  The weather in April was pretty similar to this past Saturday (believe me weather makes a huge difference).  So, in April I ran 9.02 miles in 2 hours 18 minutes and 54 seconds, which was an average pace of 15:24 minutes per mile, and an average speed of 3.89 miles per hour.  The route was pretty flat with an incline of only 212 feet.  I burned 975 calories on this run.  After comparing my results I was super excited to see my improvements.  I ran 9.03 miles in 2:07:54, which was an average pace of 14:10 minutes per mile, and an average speed of 4.23 miles per hour.  There were a few inclines on this route so I climbed 489 feet. I worked my butt off on this run and yet I had a decrease in calories burned, only 862. I am not going to complain about burning fewer calories since I know the reason, I am 20 pounds lighter than I was in April!! 

When I first started training for the Princess Half Marathon I was worried that I might not be able to keep up a 16 minute mile, and not be allowed to finish.  I am no longer worried about not being able to finish.  I  love being about to look back and see how far I have come!  I wonder just how much further I can go!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Consumed with The Disney Princess Half Marathon

Mom, Sindi, and I are running down the street and there are hundreds of people chasing us, as we get to this HUGE building there is no where to go, except through it.  Nervousness hits me as we start to enter the building.  Then a sense of excitement comes over me, because this building is beautiful inside and I want to enjoy the scenery, but the crowd is getting closer.  All of a sudden there is a bright flash in my eyes, there must be a security camera somewhere.  We've been caught.  We start running faster and I hear someone screaming my name.  And just like that, I woke up!  Later that day, I was telling my mom about my dream and she said, the big building was the Castle at Walt Disney World.  Then it all made sense, the crowds chasing us were the other runners (I guess,  I think highly of myself to think so many people will be behind me).  As you run through Cinderella Castle at the Princess race they snap your picture, which explains the flash in my dream.  As for the screaming it was my family cheering for me.  I am so consumed with this race that it is even overtaking my dreams!
Not only has the Princess Half Marathon taken over my dreams, but my whole life! I waste spend so much time online every day researching costume ideas, ways to refuel, the average weather in FL in February, and of course stalking reading all the PHM Facebook groups. The planning doesn't just involve running, but a whole Walt Disney World vacation!  So, I have also spent hours figuring out where to stay, planning our days, such as which day we should go to which park.  Also, where to eat at each park, so I could make our advance dining reservations.  These things must be strategically planned around extra magic hours, days and times of parades, and of course all the run Disney festivities.
Obviously, I am super excited to "run Disney", but then what?  Do I just cross this off my bucket list and start a new hobby?  Do I find a new race that will excite me?  Not sure another race could ever excite me like Disney can (this Disney run got me off the couch and running 3 times a week, not to mention, I carry 44 less pounds with me on my runs).  I have been planning this race since January of this year.  I have thrown myself into this 110%,  and I fear when it is all over, I will be depressed.  For now, I will keep my excitement alive, by stalking PHM Facebook pages, and working on my Cinderella costume, I may even make a doctors appointment to get some antidepressants for the flight home.

~Princess Janie