Last Updated on September 26, 2019 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP, CSCS
Well I might as well go ahead and warn you that this isn’t really a blog post, so much as the preliminary manuscript to my new book “why I will always pay whatever Disney asks of me just for the opportunity to run through their castle”. Just kidding (about the book, not forking over the money), but what I mean is, it’s a long post. Grab a drink, don’t forget your homework and use the bathroom, because I’m not turning this car around.
My 52 hours in Disney World were amazing, despite the fact that Mother Nature basically laughed in my face about the previous blog post begging for warm weather. At least it didn’t rain (or snow).
Let me just say, I am far from a girly girl. I’ve always been a bit of a tom boy, and only break out the makeup on the occasional night on the town or wedding. I’m lucky if I wear a dress twice a year. But when it comes to running-watch out. I can’t get enough pink or running skirts, oddly enough. So needless to say, I had a field day at this expo. The race shirts in the packets were ok…
Actually the bag and *hot* pink socks were part of the half marathon packet. I swear my world (blog and dailymile page included) are starting to turn so pepto-bismol pink I’m not sure what’s coming over me lately! That’s Kain in the top right hand corner. He did not come in the race packet.
Saturday morning the alarm went off early, about 3:50 to be exact. Mom, Holly, and I donned our running gear and headed out in the freezing (ok, slightly above freezing, but still in the 30’s) cold to hang out for a few hours at the race start for the Royal Family Princess and the Frog 5k. It would be my moms first 5k race and we were all very excited for her.
What wasn’t so exciting, was the fact that it was cold. I know I know, some of you scoff at high 30 degree temps. But after all, we were in FLORIDA in MARCH. Forgive me for having warmer expectations, haha. I shivered my way through the start, and then Holly and I walked my momma to the finish of her first race. Of course I stopped to cheese for the camera as often as possible. Seriously I have so many pictures from this weekend it was hard to choose just a few to share!
Did I mention both of my sisters were there? Real-life little sister Cathy was registered for the 5k but wasn’t able to make it down to Florida. So big sister Holly brought a fill in, lovingly referred to as “Cathy on a stick”. Cathy on a stick caught the attention of many people, including Creigh Kelley, the emcee of the Disney races. We had a little chat with Creigh and the video cameras, and when he asked my mom if she was proud of her daughters she said “Actually, I’m pretty darn proud of myself right now, I just finished my first race!” I love it!
The only thing I wouldn’t recommend about the luau is going to the 8:00 show the night before a Disney race. Because we didn’t make it back to the hotel until almost midnight…and the alarm clock went off at 3:00 am. I was TIRED.
Eventually we wandered our way to our corrals, and I couldn’t believe where I wound up. Maybe about 15 feet from the starting line? Seriously, only in a Disney race, or a local 5k containing less than 150 people can that happen. Apparently a sub-2 hour half marathon makes you a speed demon in this magical kingdom. Just as I was working up the courage to ditch my layers for the start, someone walked up to me and asked if I was Heather. Turns out it was Holly (not my sister, another Holly) from the cafemom running group! It was crazy that in the sea of 14,000 runners , all wearing pink and tutus, that we found each other. I knew Holly and I shared the same pace, and I was instantly happy to have a running partner.
It was about a half mile into the run when we spotted a pirate ship and Captain Jack Sparrow. Instantly Holly and I merged to the side of the road to stop for a photo. I think it was at that point we both decided “screw a P.R. this is going to be a fun race”. Alas, the captain was whisked away before we could get in a photo with him. No idea why they did that, it wasn’t like he had been out there more than 5 minutes. So we got back on the road and kept running. It was around this point that my tiara fell off and smashed into pieces on the ground. Oops.
Of course we had to stop for one last photo right before the finish line ….
I absolutely HATED that I had to leave so soon. I’m counting down the days until we go back…2013 we are going to “Dopey” – that’s the new term apparently for adding the 5k to the Goofy Challenge. For those of you not in the know, that means Friday-5k, Saturday-half marathon, Sunday- full marathon. I can’t WAIT! In fact, I wonder if I can really wait another 3 years before going back. Tower of Terror 13k next year? hmmm…..
Have a magical day my friends, run like a princess!
Heather Hart is an ACSM certified Exercise Physiologist, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), UESCA certified Ultrarunning Coach, RRCA certified Running Coach, co-founder of Hart Strength and Endurance Coaching, and creator of this site, Relentless Forward Commotion. She is a mom of two teen boys, and has been running and racing distances of 5K to 100+ miles for over a decade. Heather has been writing and encouraging others to find a love for fitness and movement since 2009.