Run Like a Diva (Race Report)

Well, we can now check “marathon” off our race list! OK, not really. That may be getting a bit ahead of ourselves. But we successfully completed a marathon relay this past weekend, covering 42.2 km between 5 of us. The day was so epically long that a race recap would be more like a novella, so we decided to give you a Coles Notes version: some fun facts about our team, the relay and what we learned as we hit the 4-month countdown to Disney’s Princess Half-Marathon. We are determined to take lessons from each and every race day experience to help us sparkle and shine in Disney World!

The Dashing Divas (or Double D’s as we jokingly called ourselves!)

Races start early. We all know this. What we hadn’t accounted for was how crack-of-dawn early we needed to get up in order to travel to this one and catch the bus to the start line. The race started at 8 am. As the first runner, I had to catch a 6:45 am bus to the start line. My drive was over an hour (slightly longer as we missed a turn in the pitch black dark and pouring rain!). So, I was up before 4 am and on the road by 5 am. I had my power shake en route. Do you see a problem here? Yes! I fuelled way too early and “bonked” at 8K – it was a real struggle to stay on pace and finish strong. Lesson learned: eat something closer to race time!

Last minute pep talk before boarding the bus

Teams lend themselves to great costumes. You know us well enough to know that we like to dress in pretty clothes when we run. Putting together a relay team was so much fun because we got to choose a signature look to set us apart from the other teams. We got so many comments all day long about our skirts! I was interviewed by the Refuel with Chocolate Milk team before the race because of my flaming pink skirt that stood out in the crowd. And, we even had other runners telling us they saw our relay team members on the course. While Melissa was waiting at the exchange for Alana, someone told her that her runner would be along in about 5 minutes! Lesson learned: sparkle is always appropriate!

Sometimes it rains on race days. Not ideal, but nothing you can do about it except suck it up. On this particular day though, it poured at times and the temperature fluctuated. Luckily, we had extra socks and shoes on hand to change into after the race. We admit, we only packed them because we don’t like wearing our running shoes after races (no need to put extra miles on our pretty shoes!), not because we had anticipated finishing with full-on soakers. But at least we had extras – not everyone did. We saw runners trying to dry their shoes by heaters. Nothing felt as good as our dry socks and shoes that day! Little slice of heaven! Lesson learned: be prepared for anything. (I think this lesson has only justified more shopping…we now need extras of EVERYTHING for any and all weather possibilities!)

Alana warms up in her new jacket after her relay leg!

Race relays are long. This is not at all the same experience as showing up for a race, running your heart out and going home. This was a full-day experience that included a lot of waiting around. My leg took an hour to run – the team time was 4:42. You do the math. Considering we had to be there so early for bussing, it made for a very long day with our team split up for most of it on different parts of the course. The only way to communicate was through our phones and, I have to say, the text chats were a great way to pass the time, stay in touch and know what was happening on the course. As I was riding the bus to the start, I had fun messages of support from my team. When I finished my leg, it was so helpful for Melissa (Diva #3) to know that I was done and that Alana (Diva #2) was on her way. We were able to offer last minute advice about important issues such as – “hat or no hat?”, “jacket or no jacket?” – based on our runs. Our team was always on deck and ready to go at the exchanges, unlike some teams that had to page their members. One of our Divas even texted us with updates along the route…no idea how she managed that while running at such a great pace! Lesson learned: keep your cell phones handy on race day if you are running as part of a team or trying to meet up with others.

Running is a solitary sport. You can talk about it with friends, you can meet at races, cheer each other on, you can even run together at times – but no one can do the miles for you. Ultimately, it is just you and the road. That is what makes it so much fun to be able to turn it into a team sport for a day! It is a really different race experience. We think everyone should try it, at least once. Oh, and if you are going to run as a team, make time for a post-race celebratory lunch or dinner! This is where we got to hear about all the things we missed and put all of the pieces together to get a sense of the whole team experience. The day was wet, it was cold, it was long – yet we had a great time! That is all because of our friends who indulged our outfit choices, got up in the middle of the night, and made us laugh so hard we almost cried. Lesson learned: running friends are the best kind of friends!

Showing off our hard-earned BLING!

Fun Fact: Between Alana and I, we ran an equivalent of a half-marathon…very fitting as we check off another race en route to the Castle!

~Princess Jodi

4 thoughts on “Run Like a Diva (Race Report)

    • Well, the sparkle is easy enough to come by! Check out our Princess Shopping Bags for links to our favourite retailers, including Team Sparkle. As for running a relay, there are so many to choose from – I hope you have the opportunity to run one sometime!

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