SP Premium
350,000-499,999 SparkPoints 374,129

Princess HM race Report ~ Dreams Really Do Come True ~ (photo rich)

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Dreams really do come true! I cannot pinpoint the day I actually decided to run Princess but I can honestly tell you life has been a roller coaster ride since. I would not trade one single moment for anything. I endured many many miles through a harsh upper Midwest winter and I now believe that it made me a stronger runner. With HM #2 looming far ahead into the future I trudged onward.

Fast forward to Wednesday February 23 when we departed Moline for Orlando via a rotten 3 ½ hour layover in Minneapolis which was going in the wrong direction LOL. We finally arrived to our room at Disney’s All Star Music and we truly loved our room’s location. It was is the very same location where we stayed years ago for Matt’s senior year graduation trip which was in itself an awesome trip. At about 11pm we finally go to bed because the next morning would be very special.

A few days before leaving for our trip I discovered that the Space Shuttle Discovery would launch the day after arriving in Orlando. I scored Grayline Bus charter tickets for the entire day at Kennedy Space Center’s visitors center to witness the launch with great viewing. Score! Jim and I are HUGE NASA nerds and this was a dream come true. The bus picked us up at 8am and we headed east. We reach KSC and find the perfect spot to plunk down my $5 fleece blanket I purchased just for this. As the day proceeded and after trying at least 25 different spots we find our final destination.

Long story short and after about 15 bottles of water we are about 10 minutes away from launch. It was not until we got back home and we watched all the hours I recorded did we realize just how close we came to a launch scrub. With mere seconds to go the crowd became alive as we had both video and audio feed at our spot. At launch it took a few seconds for us to finally see Discovery as it cleared the treeline. Our hearts were pounding with excitement and even though it was not nearly as loud as we thought it would be, it was a thrill of a lifetime. Godspeed Discovery!

The traffic leaving was AWFUL and we did not arrive back to our room until midnight after the 5pm launch. We still feel blessed to finally witness a launch and wouldn’t trade the day for anything.

Its Friday and it is Princess expo day. I am very tired from the day before but I shall trudge forward. Jim and I head over to the expo and he is obviously ootzy as he is constantly rubbing that spot on his head. That is when I know he is not comfortable with this whole thing yet he is being as patient as he can. All of this is making me feel rushed and I was not getting out of the expo what I wanted but that’s ok. I get my race packet and Jim gets his chEAR Sqaud packet including his folding stool that is quite cool actually. I then get a chance of a lifetime to meet Jeff Galloway and thank him for all that he has done for runners like myself that use his running methods. We head back to the room with our loot.

We finally head to the parks for awhile and headed over to the Boardwalk to enjoy a cigar, adult beverages and the beautiful scenery. Its times like this that brings us back to Disney so many times. Its just pure fun and relaxation.

We come back to the room for the night. I fall asleep immediately only to wake up at 3am to hubby’s snoring. That would be it for my sleep for the night and was a sign of things to come.

Saturday is the day Jim decided to get some work done so I head back to the expo by myself. I was giddy! I met Mary (lightningrunner) and give her my trademark hug. Anyone that has met me and received one knows what that is LOL. Then I get a chance to get my photo taken with the Fairy Godmother at the Expo entrance and then get Bibbity Bobbity Boo’ed with my sprinkling of Pixie Dust!

I make my purchases and head back to the room. It was now about time to head over to Downtown Disney to meet up with my fellow Spark Princesses. So many were there and it was such a thrill to finally meet them. Unfortunately, I do not have the photo that was taken. So many hugs and stories were exchanged and that is what it is all about.

We head back to the room and I lay everything out that I will need in the morning. I get my wakeup call from Mickey Mouse at 2:30am and I perhaps received about an hour of sleep. Hubby’s snoring woke me up prematurely. I get dressed, Jim gather his chEAR Squad gear and we get on the bus. So many bleary eyed yet excited Princesses were everywhere!

We reach the staging area and Jim and I part ways. I hit the potties and ready to make the infamous trek to the corrals. In the meantime, I meet Raine and Jen. Obviously we were not in the right spot for another meetup but that was okay.

I simply follow the Princess ahead of me and after what seemed to me miles I reach Corral C and I feel the excitement and fun is everywhere! The dj and entertainment was great! Finally, we are beginning the start process. After warming up nervously and heart now pounding Corral C is released and I am on my way to become a Princess!

It was humid yet cool and I was confident I had everything on my Amphipod I would possibly need including my camera. Mile 1 and 2 was awesome and magical. Only Disney knows how to do things right. After bonking HM #1 (yet finishing) I applied all of the lessons I had learned and I felt so confident that this would be a success.

It is still dark yet getting lighter and lighter as the miles tick off. We are now getting ever so close to Magic Kingdom with the highly anticipated run through Cinderella’s Castle! After passing by the Contemporary Resort we enter the magic Kingdom via the Cast member’s entrance. For those that have often wondered what it looks like back there…this is it.

I am now running down Main Street U.S.A. which is my favorite place!

We are now behind the Castle about to make our run through the Castle!

What a thrill it truly is for a Disney freak like me. I will never forget it as we run through to a throng of awesome spectators!! I am riding high! As we make the run through Frontierland to exit magic Kingdom I finally get to see what it is like behind Splash Mountain.

We now enter what would be the toughest part of the course but I was prepared and I am feeling strong. What I haven’t mentioned is that I am making several stops to take photos and I fully realize this eats up time. It doesn’t matter though as I am running this for the experience and not time. It is the phot stops that is helping me immensely with the humidity and the ever rising temps.

I reach down to put my sunglasses on only to discover that a lens fell out somewhere along the course. Damn! Those weren’t cheap AND the sun is now shining brightly in our faces. I shake it off and trek forward. We are now reaching miles 8, 9 and 10 and all is still great in my running world and I am feeling good. By now, if my left knee were to start hurting it would BUT it is not!!! I now believe I am going to make it through HM #2 pain free!! That is a huge boost.

By now we have passed the “hilly” loopty loo and on the final stretch to EPCOT, the Ball (Spaceship Earth) and alas..the finish line. I am still feeling strong although I am getting hot. I have now emptied all of my water and Powerade and take in my last GU. My fingers are completely swollen with all of the sodium I needed to consume but I know it is what I needed to make it. After training in the cold harsh winter, I am running Princess in the extreme opposite conditions. My body is holding up so well!

I am now running past the Ball around the bend, past the Ball one last time to exit EPCOT proper to the finish line. I am now experiencing a first ever…a HUGE burst of energy and a kick! I love it. I am now passing the awesome Gospel choir and head to the finish! You cannot wipe this smile off my face nor wipe the tears out of my eyes! The spectators are incredible and the music so wonderful!

I now become a Princess as I receive my beloved Tiara medal!

After catching my breath, guzzling water and making a few phone calls (LOL) I meet up with Jim to make our way to the bus to take us back to Music. We run into Holly, Sueann and their friend for yet another photo op.

I take a shower, don my gorgeous Tiara medal and head to the parks which is a moment I have always dreamed of. So many new Princesses so proudly wearing the hard earned Tiara medal are everywhere with smiles. So many miles and hours of running are included in the many smiling faces. So many dreams have truly come true for all of us!

Since we arrived back home I found myself utterly exhausted to the point where I could barely think. I have never felt like this ever. It took me most of the week to recover and I did not run until this morning. I felt so strong for the 4 miles as I reflected back on Princess and all of the memories. I am now ready to proceed forward as I prepare for HM #3...JASR near Pittsburgh. I look forward to sharing a wonderful weekend with so many of my Spark running peeps. Lets do it!

I needed Princess badly. I needed it for a huge confidence boost since I bonked HM #1 and I was VERY successful. I ran a flawless 13.1 miles and did everything right. I have a full schedule ahead of me in 2011 and I now know that if I do this right, I will have so many special memories awaiting me. I want to bring Emily (emilyrose1244) with us next year so she can experience the pure magic that Princess truly is. She has MS and we never know what the future will bring. Princess is something she will cherish forever.

It was a long hard winter but now I can honestly say that MY Dreams have come true and I feel so blessed that God has given me the gift of a healthy body and mind. I thank my husband for putting up with me through all of this. I thank ALL of you for giving me so much support. I love you all!

Princess Half Marathon
5k 41:03
10k 1:23:04
15k 2:03:54
Calories burned: 1223

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am in tears!!!! Thank you for sharing.
    3659 days ago
  • TIGGER622
    I know I am way late on this one, but you are AWESOME!!! I am so proud of you and I get to meet you in a few days!!! YAY See ya at JASR!!! Great half princess~!!!
    3672 days ago
  • VICKI1215
    Great job! Some day I want to run a Disney race too!
    3675 days ago
    AWE I love this blog, I can't wait to run this someday!
    3679 days ago
    Congratulations! What a great accomplishment!
    3679 days ago
    Just looking back at your pictures, and I recognize someone; in your picture at the castle, the woman in all yellow is the one who was doing 1/1 run/walk intervals that I was pacing up until the Magic Kingdom. At that point, you and I mustn't have been all that far apart from each other...
    3680 days ago
    Great job! Congrats
    3681 days ago
    Well done, Laurie!
    3681 days ago
    You always make me cry but they are tears of joy!! We share so much (including, apparently, sons named Matt:), and the incredible blessing of good health & the ability to run!!

    I clung to every word :) our only trip to the Space Center did bring a "scrub" & our hours in traffic nearly cost us our flight home. So awesome to see a launch through your eyes!!

    Your dedication & reseliency paid off big time as you experienced a number of highs & kicked it in high gear for a strong, incredible finish!

    I'm so proud of you & so proud to be your friend. See you at JASR! Don't recall ever getting that "trademark" hug!! I'll be waiting....

    Love you!! ~Deej
    emoticon emoticon
    3685 days ago
    Loved your blog! It gave me goose bumps reading about running through the parks. I would love to do a Disney race someday.
    3686 days ago
  • AMCG2002
    Congratulations!! Reading your blog brought back so many memories of Goofy for me. You were much better about taking pictures than I was. My running partner took some, but I only carried my phone, which doesn't take the best pics. Isn't that walk to the corrals just crazy long?! For us, in January, it was really cold, too. I know what you mean about training in the Midwest winter; just deciding what to wear when I hadn't been in shorts in months was exhausting! lol

    I'm so glad you were able to enjoy the parks with your medal proudly around your neck. I'm also so glad you had the great experience with the run that you did. Just remember, it will most likely be colder in PA in a couple of weeks. :( Can't wait to see you then!
    3686 days ago
    I am a crying mess....nonetheless a "happy" for you crying mess!
    I love you Princess Laurie.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3686 days ago
    Great report and GREAT job!!! It was so much fun meeting you. I really hope to run with you again. I'm planning on doing this again next year too!
    3686 days ago
    Congratulations, Princess Laurie! You really rocked it. I'm so glad you had a wonderful time. emoticon
    3686 days ago
    You did fantastic. I wish we could of spent more time together. I am sorry to say that next year - I won't be doing princess unless they change the date. Gasparilla did change theirs, but 7 days between half marathon is not my favorite although I have done it. Perhaps you all can come for the big marathon weekend in January.
    3686 days ago
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this blog! I am a *not-so-closet* Cinderella freak (just ask my coworkers about my lunch box......) and would LOVE to travel south for this. Now if only I could convince my hubby to support that decision....

    Again, thanks so much for posting this! And congratulations on an amazing run!
    3687 days ago
    The Princess is in the building! Woohoo! That was an awesome report and as you said picture rich! Again, congrats!
    3687 days ago
    Princess Laurie, congratulations on a fabulous (and smart) race!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3687 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4429274
    I loved every word of this blog. Your story is amazing and I am SO proud of you!

    3687 days ago
    FANTASTIC blog!!! It was amazing meeting you and I'm so happy you had a great time! LOVE all these pictures!
    3687 days ago
    Thank you for sharing the fun you had and your pictures! emoticon
    3688 days ago
    3688 days ago
    Ohhhhh Laurie!!!! So many congrats. I absolutely loved reading your race report and it totally gave me a TON of running inspiration!!! Can't wait to continue on this year and hear more about your awesome running schedule and the races.

    I am planning to start running again this month and I need all the encouragement I can get to yet again be a "beginning" runner! :) Cycling gives me a level of fitness but to this asthmatic it's nothing like running!
    3688 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4454521
    I really needed to read this blog today at this moment. I am currently doing the Couch to 5K program and I'm on week 4.2 and really struggling. Just got off the treadmill and this whole run today I kept thinking what the heck are you doing. You are not a runner! But I want to be somewhat of a runner, not a marathon runner, but at least a 5k if not 10k if not HM runner.

    thank you for the renewed inspiration. And congratulations, sounds like you had a remarkably grand time.
    3688 days ago
    Great blog, Laurie! Sorry we didn't get to meet up, and Mary and I were in Corral C, too! We were up towards the front of the corral. It was a great race, and all the photo stops helped me out a lot, too! I am ready to do it again next year!

    And how cool to see the space shuttle! We went over to Cocoa Beach on Sunday after the race, and if we had the time, hubby would have loved to have gone to the Space Center!

    3688 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/6/2011 8:24:21 PM
    Great race recap. Very exciting. I feel like I could run a HM right now after reading that. I'm pepped up and ready to go. I think I will set my sights on becoming a Princess next year. I've not heard of it before, but AWESOME COOLNESS!!! :)
    3688 days ago
    Great blog Laurie and great race! Maybe next year for me. But with my health-like Emily-it is hard to plan. We will see. So glad it was so wonderful for you!
    3688 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2801676
    Where is the excitement in your blog (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ROFL.... ) Ooops what did I just say - I guess I am in for revenge when we get to the Burgh.
    3688 days ago
    You were already a Princess to most of us; this just solidifies it.

    What are you taking for electrolyte replacements? Just salt caps? SP mail me about this; we need to chat.

    See you in Pittsburgh!
    3688 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/6/2011 6:16:39 PM
  • DAS92687
    It is all just fantastic !! So excited for you :)
    3688 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1286196
    Your beautiful smile says it all! I'm so happy that Disney Princess was as magical as you hoped it would be. Can't wait to become a princess next year too!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3688 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4199227
    OK you talked me into it! Next year

    Awesome job!

    And what a great report! You have missed your calling!
    3688 days ago
    Congratulations Princess Laurie!! Loved your blog! So beautiful and full of love! You did GREAT and now I CAN'T wait to meet you in PA!! We're going to have so much FUN!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3688 days ago
  • CDK210
    CONGRATS!!! so glad to hear you had such an amazing experience! emoticon
    3688 days ago
  • JEM0622
    Awesome blog and pics! If another person posted that group photo...you can right click on it and 'save as' on your computer ;) Then you will have a copy of your own.
    3688 days ago
    GREAT REPORT!!! Awesome job Princess LAurie! I wanna be a princess, I do, I do, I do!! THanks so much for sharing such a beautiful report with beautiful photos! emoticon
    3688 days ago
    Laurie- It sounds like you had sooooo much fun!! Congrats on your tiara medal! I love these stories of your triumphs. Keep going, girl! Love it!
    3688 days ago

    What fun!
    3688 days ago
    I can't remember if I commented on this yet but OMG what a WONDERFUL race report! Sounds like such a fantastic race for you, you did so incredibly well :). I know what you mean about needing the boost after HM #1 -- I felt the same way at my second HM since HM #1 was such a struggle to finish. Anyway, you ROCK my princess friend. I hope one day I can become a princess too!!

    3688 days ago
    Yay!!! Awesome job, princess Laurie!!! Congratulations!! (Loved all the pics!)
    3688 days ago
    Oh yay! So glad to read about your successful run. What a whirlwind weekend, but it sounds like it made for some great, lasting memories!
    3688 days ago
    Laurie, your report was great! And HOW did you get those great race photos already?! I better get a move on and write my report before I forget details.
    3688 days ago
    So glad to read this Laurie! Way to go!
    3688 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4043450
    It was so GREAT to finally meet you!!!!
    3688 days ago
    Awesome race report. You made it sound so wonderful. I hope to add this race to my list next year as well. Congrats for completing it and becoming a princess. :)
    3688 days ago
  • ELISA322
    Oh wonderful race report! I'm so glad you were able to run this pain free and that you got to run this race for fun instead of time. And how great you got to witness the launch although the traffic sounded crazy!

    The Princess HM is definitely on my list for one of the races to run. Maybe one day, or even next year... I'll have to see how this year pans out. I've always loved Disney too and I would also love to meet some fellow Sparkers!
    3688 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/6/2011 7:02:08 AM
    Laurie - Great blog my friend! Although I will say there is alot of Pink!!! Great pictures and you had a great race - congrats - see ya in three weeks - that will be fun too!!!!


    3689 days ago
    I got all emotional reading this. You did SUCH a good job! This is on my list of "must-dos" for someday in the future. What an experience! emoticon
    3689 days ago
    Congratulations!!!! LOVED your blog......and all the pictures. Way to go Princess Laurie!!!!!

    emoticon emoticon
    3689 days ago
    SO PROUD OF YOU!!! Even your bib says PRINCESS LAURIE!! I think you should change your Spark Name from LAURIE5658 to PRINCESS_LAURIE!!!
    3689 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment
    Member Comments Page (68 total): 

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.