Kelly Christine Delaney wraps up our runDisney Princess Half Marathon recap day with the last leg of the Glass Slipper Challenge, the runDisney Princess Half Marathon! We cannot thank her enough for her guest posts!!!
The second part of the Glass Slipper Challenge was the Princess half marathon. This was my third half marathon and my second RunDisney race challenge and I was excited to have a great race and receive my two medals to complete my set of four from the weekend. My excitement continued as I rode with my race roommates and RunDisney newbies Tricia and Lauren.It accelerated as I met up with other running friends for a pre-race picture and headed off to the corrals.
I didn’t have to wait too long for the race to start with the new corral/start system thankfully, and we were off pretty quickly. Less than a mile in, my excitement declined quickly as the weather was a bit brutal. I am used to running in the heat, especially for RunDisney races, but I wasn’t completely ready for the 100% humidity that came along with it. I quickly became overheated which slowed down my pace and frustrated me as it felt like my training was going down the tubes. At the water stops I was drinking one cup of water and pouring another on my head to cool down and it helped significantly.
Soon enough I hit the TTC and ran into an awesome friend Joanne who I stopped for a hug and a quick drink. From there I picked up my pace and was feeling pretty great. I ran into Todd in the Magic Kingdom for another hug and high five and enjoyed the trip down Main Street USA. The remainder of the time in Magic Kingdom went far too fast and I definitely enjoyed seeing the characters out in force. I always think I’m going to stop for a character while on the course and never end up doing so. The appeal of the picture never seems as high as the appeal to keep running and finish strong.
As I left Magic Kingdom I started to hear something absolutely beautiful down the road. Idina Menzel’s version of “Let It Go” was blasting through the speakers at the halfway point and I quickly became overwhelmed with emotion. For every RunDisney race I hadn’t been alone on the course, I always had someone with me. This race I was with friends for the first mile but then from there I was by myself. Hearing the song after just seeing Frozen for the first time brought the back the excitement I had lost due to the heat. I sent a voice message to my running buddy Shelley letting her know I was ok and we cried a bit together via voice messages. It’s good to know that despite being out there by myself, I was never really alone out there.
The next four miles were solid, especially after the Clif shot (I always recommend mocha as it tastes similar to chocolate frosting to me.) The humidity had cut down and I was enjoying the sights and sounds on the course. ….and then the sun came out and turned up the heat. I saw people around me were slowing down a bit except for one person. This runner and I had been passing each other back and forth while doing our intervals for awhile and finally ended up next to each other. We laughed a bit together that we were each other’s pace keeper and decided to make it official for the remainder of the race. It was nice to spend the last few miles laughing with a stranger who quickly became a friend.
At mile 12 I ran into Joanne again for another hug and drink. I shared it with my new friend and she enjoyed having something that wasn’t water or a sports drink. Just before hitting the thirteen mile marker a song came on in my ears that made my day. “22” by Taylor Swift started playing and it hit me: I just ran 22.4 miles this weekend over the course of three days. I set a challenge for myself and I was doing it. This time two years ago I never thought I could do it and yet here I was. My joy led me to stop for my first and last picture on the course with my new friend at the gospel choir at mile 13. At this point she turned to me and said “you made this race for me, I wasn’t sure about myself due to the weather but you kept me going, especially after the heat hit.” Hearing this from a stranger was such an awesome experience, especially after having Deanna make my Tower Ten Miler bearable. We hugged just after crossing the finish line and went our separate ways to get our medals and meet our friends/families.
Getting my runDisney Princess Half Marathon and Gold Slipper Challenge medals was such an awesome experience, especially after feeling like I earned them more being out there by myself. I look forward to continuing to challenge myself out on the course, maybe even with a full marathon one day.Follow us for more updates: