I did not grow up a runner, nor did I love running until just recently. One of my very best, God let me choose sisters said….”I want to run a half marathon at Disney, want to go?” I thought to myself, Absolutely not.  There is no way I can run that far… Then she asked again so I thought to myself, how hard could it be? I mean, I’ve run a 5K and it would be just over 4 of those lumped together with a little more… and I am training for my First 10K already.  And if I can’t do it, I will still be at Disney, so its Win/Win no matter what right? RIGHT! Always nice to have dreams, right!? OK, Fine 🙂

Make sure that you strength train Princess…. Disney runs are not like most runs. There are a lot of people that walk and if you want to run, you have to have the strength to weave in and out of large crowds the entire way if you are in one of the last corrals 🙂 When I trained for this, my first half marathon, I did very little strength training. Typically if it is your first Disney race you will be towards the end unless you submit a proof of time from another race in the same year.  We had no idea. Also, a lot of people train with the Jeff Galloway walk/Run plan. I happen to LOVE that plan because I have had plantar fasciitis for the past year in a half. However, people that do not run many races forget about the twenty THOUSAND people that might be directly behind them, in tight corners, not paying attention, AND when their running time is up and its time to walk – IMMEDIATELY stop. I’m not complaining, simply making you aware of a potential dangerous situation!  I love Jeff, I even got a picture to prove it!

It’s an early run, so remember that the night before and don’t get crazy!

Now we can discuss the “Balloon Ladies.” They are not scary ladies, and they do not belong in your dreams. So many people get so worked up about getting picked up by them. As long as you have trained and you can walk a 16 minute mile you will be fine. Have fun and if you get swept, know that you did your best and it is ok. The only reason it has to happen at these races is because the park is opening. It doesn’t mean anything except that you can try again!

If you are doing a challenge:
Make sure that the 5k or 10k or both are done at an easy pace. Enjoy the park and where you are and take in all of the sites. Don’t get caught up in having a PR because you most likely will not get one at this race 🙂 Let’s be real, a half marathon is a long way on its own. It’s a completely different thing to run consecutive day runs. I do not get blisters when I normally run, but both times I have done a challenge at Disney I limped away with several!

My Personal Advice:

  1. Never try something new on race Day( I tried new compression socks and got blisters on somewhere around 8 toes for the first time ever)
  2. If you have a hot tub or pool where you are staying, be sure to spend time in it for recovery 🙂
  3. Wear Comfortable shoes immediately after the run(s)
  4. Do not stay up too late because these are EARLY RUNS!
  5. Drink lots of water the days leading up to and after the run(s)
  6. Wear Sunscreen on your face race day even though its dark when you start!
  7. Make sure to train with anything you plan on carrying or wearing during the run!
  8. Remember to KNOW YOUR BODY! If you need extra snacks or water or whatever…BRING IT!
  9. You are not only doing the runs, but you are walking more than you usually walk with lots of baggage or shopping finds 🙂

My Packing List (Keep in mind, I’m always prepared for anything and a compulsive over packer) :

  1. Costume or Race Outfit(s)
  2. Compression sleeves (if you have trained with them, they are great for recovery and multiple consecutive day runs!
  3. Throwaway jacket or small blanket (they give them to charity usually)
  4. Marathon Stick
  5. Foam Roller
  6. Comfortable clothes
  7. Swimwear
  8. Body glide (I have never used it, but it’s on everyone’s list!)
  9. Sunglasses
  10. Sunscreen
  11. Yoga Pants for after run lounging 🙂
  12. Recovery Sandals or whatever comfortable looks like for you!
  13. Purchase Epsom Salt if you get sorer or swollen feet/legs.
  14. Buy good food that you normally eat while there, especially if you have a crabby tummy!

My favorite view inside both parks was the sunrise 🙂 I am all about the beautiful sun.. I know it comes every morning and leaves us every single night, but each time I think I’ve seen the most beautiful one yet, I’m still always surprised to see another one to top it. Get a picture so you can remember it forever!

This was a girls weekend for me. I feel incredibly blessed that I had this opportunity to make several new friendships! Trisha, Shelby, Lynn, Melinda, Mindy and Julie I truly enjoyed every minute of our shenanigans! We had fun Cooking, relaxing by the water, checking out Florida and just “being.” I hope we can meet again soon.

Talk to people and MAKE NEW FRIENDS! Disney runs are all about the experience. Do not expect a PR! I am so extremely blessed to have had this opportunity with some of my favorite girls. It was much needed fun and relaxation. One of my favorite quotes from a person we met in an elevator at Disney was – “One of my friends asked me, “”Seriously, what is it that you are running from?””  she told them, “My genes :).” Wow. So true for me too! Every step I take on this journey of life I feel more and more empowered to remember that I am Strong, I am Healthy and I Feel AMAZING!


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