Final Count Down

Forget racing to the castle! In just over a month’s time, Princess Jodi and I are about to:

After reading reflections in pictures, taking a look back at all of our races over the past year, it has hit me very hard that time is running out.  All too often, people make empty promises or set lofty goals only to fall short.  Not us. Not this time.  Airfare and Disney Resort funds have been paid in full.  The km have been tracked – by Garmin, no less.  Princess attire for the Disney 1/2 Marathon has been determined.  Outfits for each day have been coordinated. The packing has even begun.  But, I do have a major confession to make.

I am so ready for….the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2014!

The honest to goodness truth is that I am scared skinny.  Part of the pact of writing this blog was to not only record our journey, but to be brutally honest.  So, here it goes.

I so admire the confidence of my Princess partner and all of the other comments on the Disney training groups.  I am just not feeling anything yet but gut churning when I get up in the wee hours forcing myself to train.  Don’t get me wrong.  I have really become addicted to running.  The quiet time away from the hassle of the house and many other distractions is most welcome.  I especially love running with my girls from work and eagerly await Princess Jodi’s return to the pavement.  But, this does not take away from the fact that I am so darn nervous of those balloons!

Balloons! I have nightmares about balloons! I jump ever so slightly at the mere mention of my daughter asking me for a beautiful helium balloon.  You see, I have been told that there are sweepers at the Disney Princess Half Marathon.  The cut off time is 3 1/2 hours.  You must maintain at least a 16 minute/mile pace.  Now, Jodi will tell you that I am worrying for nothing.  I have been training at a 12/13 minute mile pace.  I guess the real reason I am worried is I hope that I have done enough.  Currently, my longest run is 14 km.  I run more like a turtle then a hare and am fluffier then I would have liked.   Tomorrow, I am about to embark on 16km.  Breaking the 15km mark seems impossible.  It is darn right heartbreaking to accomplish this goal without Jodi by my side (I know for her just as much for me!).  But, then again, Jodi and I do impossible pretty well.  One last thing to say on this issue: don’t think that it is beneath me to put a needle in my fuel belt just in case any balloon gets a little close!

I still consider myself a newbie to running or jogging or really quick walking. (Geez, those speed walkers really do make good time!) I too agree with Jodi that I own that I am a runner.  There is no fancy medal holder for me. (Athough, I do have to find out where Jodi got her bling rack from!)  My medals hang on my review mirror and serve as a reminder that anything is possible.  I even have had to create a “tech” drawer for all of my race gear.  My husband no longer blinks an eyelash when he is asked to pick up another package from sparkle skirts, knuckle lights or honey stingers.  So, what’s my issue?

This whole experience has been an unbelievable eye-opener.  I am a typical over achiever who works hard and doesn’t settle for second place.  For most of my life, I have had to work hard, but have had a natural ability to do well.  For the first time, running has completely humbled me.  As a teacher, I have learned an invaluable lesson.  I now totally relate to my students who are having difficulty.  Having to work hard at something that doesn’t come easy has been frustrating.  I could have easily quit a million times.  (Just recently my phone broke and I am sure that Jodi thinks that I have gone off the radar! However, in the last week I ran a 10km, a 5km and danced zumba for 1 hour!)  However, running has quickened a determination from within that I didn’t know was there.  Where do I go from here with only 6 weeks left in the race to the castle?

I have recently began a running club at my school.  Twice a week, you will see the teachers at my school going for a solid 5km run.  Following Galloway’s beginner plan, I save my long run for the weekend whenever I can squeeze in the 2-3 hours training time amidst dancing, hockey and church.  In early February, Princesses in Training will gather in my hometown for 10 miler race of our own. Firefighters and chocolate for sure!

I am still not 100% confident. To say that would be a lie.  The one thing that I know for sure is that on February 24, 2013, I will be willing to risk 100% of myself: BLOOD and SWEAT all for the right to wear the beloved TIARA.

Finally, I have to applaud the tenacity of my dear Princess partner in crime.  Amidst a foot injury, she has found alternative ways to stay on track and is currently cycling to the castle. But, I know all too well that nothing keeps a Princess down.  As well, I would like to credit Jodi for her recent blogs.  I have been out of the loop due to work constrains; however, I do have to admit that I have been putting off this blog a wee bit.  It has been the hardest and most brutally honest reflection.  Your advice and comments are more than welcome!

team glass slipper

Princess Alana

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6 thoughts on “Final Count Down

  1. Thanks for your post. I am a new runner that just started in November and haven’t been able to run for two weeks with a knee injury. To say I’m scared is an understatement. I’m determined, as you are, to give it my all. If for some reason I’m not able to finish it- atleast I tried. This will be my first half and to say I want that medal would be the biggest understatment ever! I need it! LOL. My knee is feeling better daily so I’m hoping I will be able to at least walk/run and stay away from those sweepers! My fastest pace average pace for long runs is in the 15 mil/per/min area. YIKES!!!

    • Thanks for your reply! It’s great to hear that you are determined. Also, I see so many comments made by obviously sesoned runners. Sometimes it gets a wee bit overwhelming. I love hearing from newbie runners!.Ill be there! Plus, ill get Jodi to post the. balloon picture. Not as scary as I thought!

  2. The sweepers start behind the last runner in the last corral. The 16 min pace time starts as the final runner crosses the start. Even if you start in the last corral, start at the front of that corral. Even if you are slow mid to late race you should be able to finish in front of the sweepers. I will also be running The Princess, I ran the Wine & Dine and was pretty slow that night…starting at 10 PM isn’t my highest energy time. Needless to say I finished without getting swept. Don’t worry!

  3. Love your blog. Love reading about your journey. It is so nice to do this with a friend. I was recruited to do my first Princess 3 years ago and I was hooked. This will be my third and I have recruited 5 Princesses this year! It is addicting! I just wanted to say that I have walked all 3 of my halfs and have never seen a “balloon lady” and I have finished all of them in less then the 3.5 hours. You will be fine! You guys will be terrific! Good luck and pixie dust!

  4. I just found your blog and love it! I too will be fast walking in this year’s Disney Princess 1/2 as a 2 person team (go team Jen Squared!) Anyway, I too am scared about this race as this is my first 1/2 marathon. I keep second guessing myself, have I done enough, am I going to finish and I have to keep reminding myself that I can and will finish. And we are proudly wearing out Tiaras! Good Luck!

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