Run Like the Wind: Disney’s Princess Half Marathon

Written By: Dawn - Mar• 16•14
Everyone's a winner! Post-race celebration.

Everyone’s a winner! Post-race celebration.

 

It’s been three weeks since I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon in Orlando with my dear friends Barb, Linda and Kat (who are sisters).  We have made a race weekend getaway an annual tradition now and this year we’re doubling up on Disney for their Coast-to-Coast challenge. In September we’ll run the Disneyland Half Marathon in Anaheim and earn an extra medal for being brave (foolish?) enough to run a Disney race on each coast in the same calendar year.

Given my schedule with work, finishing up my writing program at Stanford and the start of Little Bug’s final high school lacrosse season, training for a half marathon seems like a bit much. And it is. I am not an avid runner, nor am I an enthusiastic one. The weight of a race looming is more anxiety producing than fitness motivating and yet I do it. Why?

Bling!!

Bling!!

I realize that the worship of idols is frowned upon, but Disney sure rewards your effort in grand style.

Last year I wasn’t too happy with my race, the course or my effort in preparing for it. This year I wanted a better experience. I trained differently, I reset my attitude (which involved running toward Einstein Bagels for my long runs)  and I prepared my Princess costume.

In the end, I didn’t run as fast as I wanted (97% humidity is tough to run in when you’re not used to it) but I ran well and felt good while doing it. The girls and I had a wonderful time taking in all that Disney World has to offer. Somewhere between Star Tours (Trip highlight- it was so quiet in line they gave me my own shuttle for ride #3 of 5 in a row!) and Cinderella’s castle,  I discovered why I keep doing these races; I like the feeling of accomplishment I get preparing for and finishing one.

I also enjoyed this race in a way I haven’t before. I’m not sure if it was due to the new playlist I listened to (Fun. and Imagine Dragons added), my fabulous Sleeping Beauty (in her proper BLUE dress) inspired running attire or the fact that Disney made sure all the handsome male characters on the race course were extremely handsome, but I had fun, despite the thick mist in the air. (I still can’t talk about how my hair reacted to all that humidity. Too soon.)

I arrived home refreshed and relaxed, which aren’t exactly words people use post-Disney anything. What stands out  is how far away I felt from my daily life, a life I enjoy tremendously. Sometimes, even when we’re happy, we forget to play and have fun. I let  myself play with friends in the biggest playground on the planet.

When you think about small children, all they do is run and play. It’s a vital part of their social and emotional development. Aren’t we all kids at heart?

I’m on a race now to edit and finish my novel as I complete my last class at Stanford. It’s time to play in the world I’ve created.

I wish everyone an opportunity to run and play in a way that restores your energy and commitment to yourself. Who knows, that might involve doing something you never dreamed of.

All it takes is a little faith and trust.

And just a little bit of pixie dust.

Pre-race selfie!

Pre-race selfie!

 

Kicking myself I didn't buy this shirt for The Better Half.

Kicking myself I didn’t buy this shirt for The Better Half.

 

I can play nice with other Sleeping Beauties, despite the pink.

I can play nice with other Sleeping Beauties, despite the pink.

 

See? It's supposed to be a blue dress!

See? It’s supposed to be a blue dress!

 

 

Best time ever!

Best time ever!

 

 

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