Friday, March 14, 2014

Princess Half Marathon 2014

The weekend that I had been training for since October was finally here! All my sweat, emotional struggles, and physical struggles were all going to pay off. I couldn't believe it was finally time! I remember in November thinking it felt like the race would never be here. I never thought I would be doing half marathon... and anyone that knows me before my half marathon would say the same thing.. People were shocked but I did it! And i'm here to tell about it.

I got the pleasure to go to the expo twice. The expo was held at Disney's Wide World of Sports. It was like nothing I have ever seen before! It was huge! So many vendors I didn't even know what to do with myself! The fact that I was going to be running a half marathon did not hit me until I walked in to pick up my bib. Then all these feelings started rushing to me! I got to take my picture with Minnie Mouse, Aurora, and Snow White. I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Galloway, who is very inspiring! He even talked privately to me and Jessica about how to over come out mental struggle of finishing the race. It was such a sweet moment I will forever remember! I bought two bumper stickers for my car that showed I ran a half marathon. That was one of the things I was most excited about! Over all I thought the expo was great!

Onto race day! I only got a couple of hours of sleep that night... I expecterd to be so nervous that I couldn't sleep but it was pretty much the opposite.. I was too excited I couldn't sleep. Our alarm goes off around 3:20 am.. yes you read the correct! I laid out my clothes the night before so all I had to do was slip into my clothes and I am now Minnie Mouse! I went to Disney as Belle.. But then ended up matching my mom and going as Minnie Mouse! I didn't feel like my Belle costume was perfect so I am postponing it until next year's princess so it will be perfect! I grab my breakfast box my mom surprised me with and we headed down to the food court and headed to the bus! The line was SO long.. I mean SO SO long! But it went by pretty fast.. and the temp that day was just right!

We hop on the bus and my nerves really start kicking in! The longest run I have done is 10 miles and i'm about to be doing 13!! I was thinking what the heck am I doing here? I am not ready for this! Why would my mom ever sign me up for this? But... it was too late to turn back now.. I just had to put my game face on and enjoy it.. Although I was very nervous about the balloon ladies! We meet up with Jessica for a few minutes prerace, snapped a few pictures and headed to our corrals. We all had different ones.. Mom was in "J" I was in "M" and Jessica was in "P". I made a few friends in my time group since you have a while until you actually start running... The fireworks go off and we were on our way!!

I do have pictures off all the mile markers.. But I won't bore you with that! I did not stop at any of the character stops. My goal was to just finish in one piece! Plus the lines for the characters were SO long! Along with the potty lines! It was ridiculous!! I tried to stop at two different potty's but the lines were terrible! And I remembered a few blogs I read said there was a short bathroom line inside Tomorrowland.. So I booked it and went to the bathroom there.. and boy were they right! That line moves fast! And it's a real bathroom! The first few miles were good. I had my music in so I was kind of zoned out. I did make it a point to take my headphones out to take in the music in the parts of the race they played it. I wanted to take in the whole experience! Between mile 2 and 3 we go under the Magic Kingdom vehicle entrance... which was actually one of my favorite parts! We go by the ticket center down the "big hill" and back up.. I can finally see the castle!! And it was just as amazing if not more then I had imagined! We go down Main Street USA, through Tomorrowland, then around Fantasy land.. and FINALLY through the castle! It was such an amazing experience! We entered through the back of the castle and the trumpet players from Cinderlla were playing the trumpet as we ran through. like I said.. very magical! And that is the highlight of the whole race lol...everything else is a little dull until you see the big Epcot ball again!

 I'm almost at mile 6 at this point and I was feeling pretty great! During the race I ate a small bag of energy jelly beans, a small Luna protein bar, and the Cliff Bar shot they gave us on the course ( just like GU)... I didn't think I wanted to take it but i'm so glad I did! It gave me the carbs and energy I needed to finish this race! People weren't kidding when they said the bypass is boring... It seriously is so boring! I listen to Pandora and it was on Niki Minaj radio. It kept me going when the going got tough. For me Mile 11 was the most difficult mile I ran. Maybe because it was the most boring? Or maybe because it was the furthest I have ran yet.. But seriously I thought they had forgot to put the #12 mile marker...That's how long it felt! and by mile 12 I was getting pretty stinkin tired.. I can't even deny that. But When I saw that sign that said Epcot straight ahead I was pretty stoked! So just kept on chuggin along!

 And that's it folks! I made it! Once I saw that big beautiful ball I knew nothing would stop me! it was a long mile but I finished it.. and I will not sit here and lie to you... it was freakin hard! I was tired. But I got enough energy to go out strong! And Princess 2015 here I come!!

Disney World

I felt like a kid on Christmas morning waking up on Thursday. I could not wait to get to Disney because that was one day closer to race day! I woke up around 7:00 am took a walk on the beach with mom, picked up some sea shells and went back to the house. When I got back to the house is when I started singing zip-a-dee-doo-dah! I couldn't help myself! I was just so excited to be back in the happiest place on earth! It had been over a year and was ready to breathe in that air!

We hop in the car turn on some Disney tunes and were on our way! We stayed at All-Star sports... which isn't my favorite but i'm just glad to be in Disney! We check in, put our stuff in the room and make our way to Animal Kingdom Lodge (AKL). AKL will always feel like home to me, something about it I love so much! My mom made friends with one of the interns about a year ago and we have made lifelong friends! Dennis came to visit in Atlanta with three girl interns. They all have headed back to Africa but, there is still a few left. So I got the honor of meeting intern Toffee, who turns out we are getting married and he is paying $10 to marry me! Such a bargain in his country! We went and decorated cookies and got to see some of the animals! I am so thankful for the friendship I have made through Disney! The friends I have made really will be lifelong friends! Toffee took me to Epcot twice and I really got to learn more about his family and culture back home! I will cherish every second I got to spend with him! While we were at Epcot we got to ride Soar'n, Test Track (Toffee's first time), Spaceship Earth, and a few other rides. It was an amazing unexpected time!

I got to see my favorite fireworks show... Illuminations. Something about having all the countries come together as one really touches me. The fireworks are amazing!

Another highlight of my trip was meeting this sweet couple, Jessica & Jason.. It was our first actual meet but I felt like I knew them because we had talked so much! There is a background story how I met them and it is pretty random... We met on Instagram! I had never made a friend on there before but there is a first time for everything! I actually could do a whole post on Jessica.. And I actually might one day! We had a very good time meeting! I seriously felt like I knew Jessica forever! It is a friendship that will last a lifetime.. I am sure of it! Me and my momma met Jessica and Jason in Downtown Disney for a quick minute.. we just wanted to say hi and officially meet. Then I went to the expo with them, went and got pineapple dole whips, and went to dinner! It was a great time! It was her first half and first Run Disney race.. So we had lots to bond over!

The ONLY bad thing about my whole 10 day trip was that I had car trouble! It is a long story! But long story short we wasted a whole Disney day! And if you don't know Disney time that is more precious then a regular day.. Because it's a Disney day! But we did squeeze time to go to the expo that day! I will get more into the expo on my next post!

We did lots of cool things while we were there.. Although I did feel like the trip was over before I even got done blinking. My sister and her family were there but I was so busy I rarely even got to see them! Boo! But I get to see them everyday :). I got to spend a lot of quality time with my mom! Which was nice! I love getting to spend special quality time with her that I usually don't get considering I am one of eight kids. I'm not going to lie... I think that trip goes down in the books for my favorite trip ever! I met amazing people and had amazing experiences! All the way from my trip to the beach to the second I crossed the finish line! I accomplished something I never thought I would do in my lifetime! Best. Trip. Ever.

Thank for stopping by!