Monday, March 11, 2013

Race Recap: Princess HM Weekend, Race Days

5K Race Day: Saturday, February 23, 2013 @ 6:30am
Half Marathon: Sunday , February 24, 2013 @ 5:45am
Location: Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL

HM Race Day - 1/5K Race Day): Saturday, February 23, 2013

Royal Family 5K Course Map
Gear/outfit for the Royal Family 5K.
I knew that this day was going to be a bit of a busy one going in between the 5K, volunteering at the SparkeSkirts booth, taping up a new friend's knee and a Tink HM reunion...all before 3pm. Since we had to be on the bus no later than 5:45am we managed to get up and out the door by about 4:30am if I remember correctly. The shuttle was running about 15 minutes late but we still managed to get on the second bus and made it to the start of the 5K in plenty of time. Once we got our bearings we found our way to our corral and looked for one of our Tink HM friends, Jessica. We finally found her and we all planned to just walk the race since it wasn't being timed.
TinkerBell HM sisters reunited at the Royal Family 5K.

 Corral D start...

As the race finally started and we were on our way at probably close to 7:15 due to our corral placement. We had jogged a little off and on when I looked at my phone and noticed that it was nearly 8am...really, you can't ever go too fast at a Disney race because it's so crowded especially in Epcot where the 5K was run. It dawned on my that if I didn't hurry up I'd be late for my shirt at the expo so we decided to go on and run/walk the rest of the race. I have to say that that run was a bit brutal between the heat and humidity...something I've been without since a vacation at WDW in 2004! I really have no idea of our time, but we finally finished around 8:30 or so. I had texted Leah at the booth to let her know that I was running late (was supposed to be there 8:30) and that I'd get there as soon as possible. Dianne had to pick up her gear bag and I went ahead and caught the first bus I could (about a 20 minute wait) to get back to the resort to shower, change and catch the bus to the expo. Later that day I would finally see Dianne's funny tweet of:

"The Royal 5K finished! The 1st person to complete the 5K came in about 17 minutes. Beth & I hadn't even started the race yet in corral D! LMAO!!"

Fellow Tink HM sister, Sandra, did the 5K in this reception dress...heat, humidity and all!

I got back to the room and immediately took a quick shower and got ready to go work the expo. Leah, the owner of Sparkle Skirts, had come up with an idea to have the volunteers dress up and we were only told to wear a black shirt, black tights or capris and black/neutral shoes. We had no idea of what she had in mind. Because of all my tats (23 total) and the Disney policy of not showing tattoos, I ended up in a long sleeve black shirt and black about hot in 80°F and  high humidity!! OMG!! I got on the shuttle to the expo and arrived just after 9am to a line, literally almost a mile long! I ran up (sweating) to the door and begged to be let in since I was late for my shift...thankfully I didn't get the runaround like I did at the TinkerBell Expo and they let me right may have helped that I was wearing an old SparkleSkirts name tag from the Wine & Dine expo...

The booth was already pretty much hopping with activity. I got my costume (a page) and started to work. I have to say that I really love working the SparkleSkirts booths...I believe in this product so much that I'd literally work for them free full time!! I own about 10 of their SparkleTech skorts and a pair of MuddBuster capris. Love them all!! :D 

The only pic I have in the page costume for the SparkleSkirts booth.
Thanks Mel!
After working until about 1:20pm I headed over to one of the the Laguna Bar at Coronado Springs (the resort where the expo was held due to spring training at ESPN World of Sports) for the Tink HM reunion. It only turned out being Jessica and I but we had some lunch and caught up on things since Tink before heading  in our own directions. I headed back to the expo to meet Laura, a member of the Disney's Princess HM Facebook group, who I was going to tape/show her how to tape her knees with KT Tape. Having gotten that done I headed back to the resort to rest up for a couple of hours before heading back out to Downtown Disney to finally get my fish and chips at Cooke's of Dublin and my brownie hot fudge (Treasure Island) sundae at Ghiradelli.
Fish n Chips (extra filet) at Cooke's of Dublin in Downtown Disney - WDW.
The meal I live for when I go to WDW!
Treasure Island (warm brownie hot fudge) sundae.
The desert I live for whenever I can get to a Ghiradelli  Ice Cream shop!
After dinner I pretty much called it a night and headed back to the resort to get all my gear ready for the half marathon the next morning. I literally was so full that I was waddling like Donald Duck back to the room! lol!
Once I got back to the resort and checked the transportation times I was kind of irked that there was only a one hour window to catch the shuttle between 3 and 4am!! Joy! I headed back to the room and layed out all my gear, got my gear bag ready to go aside from the items that needed refrigeration and taped up my knees. I think I pretty much died at that point and was planning on waking up just before 2am (I'm one of those runners who has to take a pre-race shower just to wake up). 

HM Race Day: Sunday, February 23, 2013
My internal body clock apparently had different ideas and I ended up waking up at around 12:40am so I just played on the internet for a while before finally getting up to shower and get ready for the race. Dianne and I got to the first bus at 3am still half asleep, I think. Since Dianne had purchased entry into the VIP tent I just headed out to see who I could or couldn't find and ended up just chilling behind the water table until it was time to head out to the corrals. Dianne and I had planned to meet up again because we were both in Corral C...or so I thought. Somehow Dianne missed Jessica, who I had met up with, and I as she walked towards the corrals. Jessica and I split up because she was looking for her mom and I went to catch up with Diann. It was then that I realized, after finally looking at my bib, that I was actually in Corral D and not C. At that point I was on my own biggie since I run most of my races solo anyway...and just waited for the start and did some warming up.

Gear and outfit for 2013 Princess HM.
Corral A start at the 2013 Princess HM. Total race of over 26K runners/walkers.
 (Photo courtesy of runDisney)
As each corral was released and given the 5 minute wait in between each corral I finally hit the ground walking around 6:15am or so. As usual at any runDisney half marathon the first 5K was crowded as all get out and should always be approached as a simple warm least in my eyes. I was finally able to set started using the Galloway 30/30 (30 sec run/30 sec walk) interval that I had wanted to try due to my ongoing issues with injuries. As I've said before, I'm not a Disney fanatic or anything...I simply enjoy the Disney races and the chance to hit up the parks so I  don't tend to take pics during the races. I did stop for one pic outside the castle but for the rest of the time I just pretty much kept going. The heat and humidity was brutal for this (now) desert living girl. By the halfway point, if not before I was pouring water on my head and all over my body at each water stop (roughly every 1.5 miles) just to keep cool and comfortable. As long as I was soaking wet I was pretty much comfortable...when I dried out is when the humidity started taking it's toll.  The course itself was fairly nice with the occasional bottle necks like in Sleeping Beauty's castle and certain areas within the parks but for the most part was pretty wide open otherwise. 

2013 Princess HM Course Map
As I hit mile 10 I was going to do the Chicken Dance at the mile marker for "official" induction into the Pacebook Running Club Facebook Group, but as I switched my phone on it died. Oh well, no Chicken Dance for me until Tink HM 2013 I guess! I don't remember the hills/off ramps/overpasses being as dreadful during Wine & Dine HM in November but it may have also been the heat and humidity affecting my thought process as well. I swear between an off ramp and overpass and some gently, low rolling hill after that towards the end of the race I forgot that I was in Florida at sea level  where I shouldn't be feeling quite as worn out as I was. It almost felt like being back at the A2A (Arbuckle to Ardmore) HM in Oklahoma with all the hills!! 

I finally finished at 3:10 and some change...not my best, but also not my worst. I was hoping for under 3 hours but between the heat and humidity I'll take the just finishing factor. All in all I felt pretty good, but when I had to turn off my phone to conserve battery power I lost my interval timer so I think I pushed a bit too much and wore myself out sooner than needed. I had some minor cramping during the race but nothing to write home about. As I crossed the finish line I broke out with my other two medals (Tink, Royal Family 5K) and picked up my PHM and second Coast to Coast medal and took a finish line pic with all four...that I still have yet to order!

Princess HM Medal Haul:  Royal Family 5K medallion,
Coast to Coast 2013 and PHM 5th Anniversary  medals.
After the race I headed back to the resort to shower, change and I had originally planned to head out to the Disney Studios (specifically just to ride Tower of Terror) but I was so tired that I just opted to stay in and do some laundry and just relax and begin packing since I had to catch the Magical Express to the airport at 3:45am! I got everything done and even tossed my tech clothes into the dryer (I usually let them air dry) to be sure they were dry before I packed. I think I turned in pretty early and pretty much died...

What did I like about this race?
It was an okay course and meeting up with friends was probably the best part. Working at the SparkleSkirts booth is always a pleasure as well!

What did I not like about this race?
The Expo was nuts!! Not well organized in my opinion compared to the 2 TinkerBell  and the Wine & Dine HM's expos. Packet pickup was pretty smooth though! Way too many people...26K+ total runners (inluding men, who aren't counted officially). Just too big of a field for some of the bottleneck areas. Just felt like we were being packed in like sardines...

Would I do this race again?
Probably not. Firstly because it's expensive to do 2 Disney races a year on opposite coasts, but also I have no great urge to. My only goal with the runDisney races is to run each race once (except for Tink and any new HMs or fulls that they start) so that I can get a Coast to Coast medal for each different race. 


  1. Congratulations! It was a tough one!

  2. Thanks Maggie! Congrats to you too! Wow...I doubt I'll ever make it into Corral A like you!! lol! :)