Running to the Castle (Race Recap) + Sweat Pink Give-Away

On November 4, Jodi and I reached a milestone in our “Race to the Castle”.  We completed our final race together before the Princess Half-Marathon.  It is so hard to believe that 9 months have passed and I have 9 races under my “fuel belt”.  It is even harder to fathom that our seemingly impossible goal of running a half-marathon at Disney is now just over 3 months away!!!

Just like all of our other races, we took away some lessons from this one: most importantly, don’t let your BRF sign you up for a race that you haven’t fully researched.  Our usual back and forth goes something like this:  Jodi will call or text me saying “sign up for this AMAZING race on (insert date)”, and I do.  In my dear BRF’s defense, we registered for this many moons ago and have since become much  more selective.  Admittedly, running a 10K in November seemed like a good idea – surely, we’d be at our fastest by then, right? – and we didn’t have tons of race options. However, we now know that a great race includes a kid friendly forum, a fun venue, chip timed results (can you believe that I AM saying this?), stylish race swag, and most importantly – BLING!  Of course, we both love any race that involves dressing fabulously.

Team Glass Slipper ready to run

Well, this race had none of the above.  It was the Kingston Road Runners 10K Anniversary Run and, while we loved that the benefitting charity was the Humane Society, we didn’t see any evidence that we were running for this important cause.  I even brought my dog BJ to help cheer us on; however, he wasn’t  allowed in the registration building where our families waited during the race. What?!?

As well, we seemed to be the only people with families on hand, let alone 4 children running wild.  It is so important to both Jodi and I that we are positive role models for our girls.  We want them to love their bodies and, more importantly, we want them to develop a love for physical activity.  They too absolutely love cheering their mommies on!

Heading to the start line…if we can find it

We were aghast at the start and finish line which was comprised of a chalk drawn line and 4 pylons.  Even though we are newbies (although surely we can lose that title soon?), we have come to love the thrill of the START and FINISH LINE.  You know, the big inflatable thing you can see from a mile away that beckons all runners like a shining beacon. We also love having our names on the race bibs and hearing the announcer cheer us on across the finish line.  After racing in so many larger events, including our faves the Toronto Women’s Race and the Oasis 10K at the Toronto Zoo, we are used to the excitement and the comraderie of bigger races.  Nothing feels better then racing the clock for a PR! (Spoiler alert: although both of us did in fact PR, we needed to be watching our Garmins closely to figure this out! Official results were posted after the race but they were based on gun time, not chip time.) It is so anti-climactic coming across the finish line without a big digital clock! And plain race bibs? No personal name? No medal? What were we even doing here?!?

Having fun as always!

Fortunately, fate intervened on one account and our sparkle skirts failed to arrive in time.  Having seen the type of crowd this race attracted, all we can say is thank you for being so slow, Canada Post. Otherwise, we would have looked TOTALLY out of place among these very serious, elite runners – not that we really care! We’re having fun and are totally ok with that!  Jodi and I even got questioned about our matching Glass Slipper shirts.  Yep, we are our very own club!  We actually caused a little stir among this crowd simply because we were new blood, I think. One runner asked if we had ever heard of a “sparkly running skirt”.  Little did she know that, between us, we have almost every colour!  The lesson learned is that when a race is put on by a Road Runners Association, you should do some research before you sign up!  This was a running club of SERIOUS runners who are ALL really FAST.

Ready or not, here we go!

Speaking of fast, I was so slow compared to these runners that I felt like I was in first place, leading the way, blazing ahead on an open road (ie couldn’t see anyone in front of me…like, at all).  Let me explain.  I was obeying the beeps of my run/walk intervals and thought I was doing very well.  It was just me and the road.  You see, I NEVER look back when I run. I concentrate on running my own race.  So you can imagine my surprise when I heard the siren of a police car following closely on my tail.  It wasn’t until the 5K mark that I realized this hovering police car meant that I was the last person out on the course – my greatest fear is those darn “balloon ladies” at Disney who sweep the runners who aren’t quick enough to finish.  I was baffled.  I KNOW that I am not the fastest, but my times have been pretty average at all the big races and I was currently on pace to PR.  To date, we had never been in a race where the last person was running a 1:20 10K.  (Just a side note: after the race, we figured out that 2 people were in fact behind me, left alone on the race course without markers because the pace car thought I was the last one! So I guess I was safe from those balloons after all!)  The great thing about starting to run in my thirties is that I have an abundance of self confidence and I really didn’t care.  I was racing to PR for myself.  I was pounding the pavement in memory of my best friend, Molson, who I miss desperately every minute of the day and especially during the night.

Racing to the finish

While I may seem critical of this race, we found all of the above quite amusing – and there were some wonderful moments.  This race was special to us because it was our last one together before the Castle. We really thought about the months of work we have done together…and what’s next! We had our amazing support team who made the event so much better, especially Jodi’s daughters doing cartwheels and running along side us to the finish line.  I was able to reconnect with a high school friend who started running after reading our blog.  And, at about the 8K mark, a race volunteer named Jack appeared.  Out of the blue, he asked to run with me.  So picture this: me and Jack along with a police car tailing us, a course marshall on a bike and some random guy on a unicycle.  It was like the circus was coming to town!  I have never felt so important or ridiculous in my life – I had to laugh.  An added bonus was seeing my BRF waiting for me at the 9K mark.  Together we ran the last leg.  And Jodi lovingly yelled at me the entire way!  Despite everything, or maybe because of it, we both accomplished a PR!!!  And, although that finish line did not stand out and could have easily been missed – crossing that chalk drawn line has never felt so good.

Our royal court!

We did it! Next stop: Disney World.

Princess Alana

~OUR FIRST EVER GIVE-AWAY!~

I love Alana’s recap of this race…it was particularly entertaining to join “the circus” at the 9K mark and run her in to the finish. No princess shall be left behind! I am a Sweat Pink Ambassador for Fit Approach, and I want to share some pink love with a lucky winner. Sweating Pink is all about kicking ass in pink shoes, working hard, playing hard and embracing the inner athlete in every woman – we don’t need to choose between being strong and being feminine! The trademark of the Sweat Pink movement is pink shoelaces which are said to have PR power in them…want some?

Please tell us below who has made the biggest difference to your active lifestyle – who inspires you to sweat regularly and push yourself! The winner will receive a magical pair of Sweat Pink laces AND a Sweat Pink button you can wear with pride. We will be posting our winner by Monday, November 19. Don’t be shy – share your story! And while you’re at it, head on over to our Facebook page and “like” us there too. We may have future give-aways for our Facebook friends!

~Princess Jodi

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8 thoughts on “Running to the Castle (Race Recap) + Sweat Pink Give-Away

  1. Hi Jodi & Alana, I choose to be a healthy role model for my 12 year old daughter Alaina. I wanted to show her that choosing bad foods and being a couch potato does not lead to a happy life. There is a much bigger world out there to enjoy. I struggled with my weight all my life which definitely led to issues with my self-esteem and self-confidence. It held me back in a lot of ways. I didn’t feel comfortable meeting people or taking up a hobby. I wanted a better life for myself and knew that it was one aspect of my life that I didn’t want my daughter to follow in my footsteps. I wanted more for both of us. I started working out the past few years but when I started running last year I have found it would be the most influential change in my life. I have met some wonderful people in the process and every race is a new challenge. My daughter even joins me occasionally for a 5k here and there. This weekend we will be doing The Color Run in New Orleans. I seek out fun runs we can to together in hopes of when she is older she can continue and maybe do this with her own kids one day. Making memories and incorporating a healthy lifestyle can be rewarding in so many ways. Being a mother has been my inspiration.

    • Amazing story! Like you, I had also been working out for a few years and had shed the unhealthy extra pounds – but also like you, it was starting to run last year that really changed everything. Working out and eating right changed my body, but running has changed mind, body and soul! I am also involving my daughters in running and active living – being a mom is a big job! We need to be the best role models we can be. Thank you for your story! ~Princess Jodi

      • Thanks for the giveaway Jodi & Alana !! I am happy & proud to be “Sweating Pink” along with you remarkable ladies!!!!! I also enjoyed reading the ladies stories that shared. Such remarkable shineness out there. Honored to be among you!!

  2. Hi!
    My story is a little different then running FOR someone who inspires me. I always ran recreationally to stay in shape. Maybe a mile twice a week just to try and feel better about the things I had eaten that week. It didn’t help me stop gaining weight really. But in September this year my world was turned upside down. I lost one of my best friends to a falling out, and shortly after my boyfriend of three and a half years left me. I was crushed. I laid in bed for 10 days, miserable, before I decided to get a better explanation from him. When I went to see him, we discussed the possibility of getting back together because he made an irrational decision (I was completely blind sided – this is the relationship I thought would turn into marriage etc). I gave him nothing but unconditional love. Later to find out in the early stages of our relationship, he cheated on me with a girl we worked with, twice. And days after our breakup, already was with another girl I also knew.
    Instead of going into a furious rage, breaking things, screaming crying, I took this as an enlightening experience. I was so calm when he told me everything. I surprised myself, because this really showed how much I had grown over the last three years of our relationship. We said we would talk again in two weeks to check up. That night I couldn’t sleep very well, but that following morning I woke up and I felt good. I hopped on my treadmill and ran my longest distance without stopping. I channeled all my frustration, anger, sadness, into something positive for ME.
    I have run almost every day since. I’m signed up for two disney half marathons (tinkerbell and princess), and hoping to add two more for next year already. I feel so good, so positive, so happy. Of course I miss him, he was a giant part of my life. Though the change was hard, I knew that I had to focus on myself instead of pining over something that was no longer worth my time. I’ve never believed that I was a strong person, but I really feel that I’ve come out on top with this situation. I am so thankful for my relationship with him, in so many ways.
    I tell this story mostly because I believe it’s incredibly important to ground yourself after things like this happen. To know, as a woman (princess!), you are worth so much more than what you are given sometimes. I hope it inspires anyone to turn their crummy experiences into something that benefits them. Honestly, it’s the best thing I have ever done, and I’m never turning back.

    Thanks for reading! 🙂

    • It was very brave of you to share this story! I can relate to this one as well – running is so therapeutic and empowering. Living well is the best revenge, as they say. Princesses have no time to be surrounded by negativity…and if you want to fly like Tinkerbell, you need to give up the people who weigh you down! The most important thing is to never, ever let anyone dull your sparkle. Way to take a painful ending to a twisted fairytale and make it the beginning of a new sort of happily ever after! One that is all about YOU! ~Princess Jodi

  3. My boys are my inspiration. They are my biggest cheerleaders. Hearing them cheer from the sidelines “You can do it Mom! Keep going, you got it!” That makes me want to do more and be more. It’s one of the greatest feelings in the world!

  4. Alana is actually my biggest inspiration! The only problem is I haven’t put my words into action yet. I am turning 40 in a month and one of my goals is to make 40 fit! I want to be in the best possible shape this upcoming year and if Alana can do it, I can do it! She has shown me her strength, courage, dedication and enthusiasm for getting fit and staying active. I am not only doing this for myself but for my family as well. Losing my parents at a young age makes me realize how short life is and how I want to be around to see my children’s children and to have a great retirement with my husband in the golden years! Cheers to you Alana, knowing all the challenges and hardships you have had in your life, you are definately one of a kind- a true princess!! Here’s to making year 40 a fit one!

  5. I run for many reasons, but at the end of the day it’s because it helps me be the best Patty I can be. I was first inspired to start running after the loss of my son, Jake. He would never run again, so the least I could do was get off the couch and take care of the body God gave me. That quickly developed into a shocking surprise that running cleared my head, made going to work bearable, created a more engaged wife and mother, and made life better in every aspect! Running is something I do for myself first, but the benefits spill over to all areas of my life. I thank God for the body I have- one that’s a work in progress, but one that allows me to lace up and run out every day!

    On this journey I have been inspired and continue to be inspired by women and men of all shapes and sizes who made the choice to get moving. One of my BFFs is A-MAH-ZING! We started running together, both overweight and looking for ways to get healthier. She has just taken off in the past year. Lost over 80 lbs, went from a 48 min 5K to a sub 30 min 5K and is running her 4th half marathon this year. She did all this while working through not one, but TWO broken hips! She blows me away with her dedication and hard work.

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