Race Travel

Princess Half Race Recap (Part 2)

You may want to start here: Princess Half Race Recap Part 1

When we last left off, I was on my way out of Magic Kingdom and ready to head back towards the finish at Epcot.  I was still running slowly and solo at this point.  Around mile 8, I heard my sister-in-law call out my name and there she was.  We had finally caught up to each other.  This meant two things: 1) I was going to have to pick up pace and 2) I was going to get pushed and hard.

If you want proof of just how hard she pushed me for the last miles of the race, look at my phone.  I didn’t take a single photo after we met up.  We stopped exactly once to take a photo with a Green Army Man and that was it.  So you’re about to get a lot of words and not a lot of photos to go with them.

My SIL encouraged me every step of the way, reminding me at the start of our minute runs that “You can do anything for a minute”.  “Go slower and you’ll just be in pain longer, get there faster and you can rest.”  So, for the last 5 miles, I turned it on.  We did strict 1min run/walk/run intervals (except on hills, she was kind to me and let me double up my walks on the uphills), but we also did 2 minute runs towards the end.

And it hurt.

In fact, the last two miles? I was crying.  My legs felt like lead and I popped something in my hip flexor.  And I’m not talking a few tears. I’m talking big, ugly cries.  Between the pain and the overwhelming emotion of knowing I was about to accomplish something I never would have thought possible a year ago, I shed big crocodile tears.

Marathonfoto didn’t capture any photos of me on the course, but I’m in the background of SIL’s photos, and you can clearly see the pain on my face. Not pretty, y’all.

But, we rounded a corner in Epcot and heard the sounds of the gospel choir.  We turned around at World Showcase and headed back towards Spaceship Earth.  We made it out into the parking lot.  There were people everywhere (probably laughing at my horrendous crying face) and I made it across that finish line in 03:08:56.  Well below my 03:25:00 adjusted goal time and only a few minutes over my original goal.

Princess Half Marathon Finish Line Medal 2013


The pain?  Totally worth it.  While pain isn’t exactly magical, knowing I accomplished something I once considered to be impossible is about as magical as it gets.  For me, having my first half marathon experience at Walt Disney World was perfect. I wouldn’t have wanted to run anywhere else.  I didn’t stop for photos with characters this time, but just seeing them along the course helped push me through.  Running through Magic Kingdom Park was breathtaking, even if my “castle moment” wasn’t what I had hoped.

I ran along side runners and walkers of all abilities, shapes and sizes.  Women who were running their first race cancer-free, husbands in tutus along side their wives, moms and daughters holding hands, best friends, new friends, internet friends, seasoned marathoners and race newbies all crossed that finish line on Sunday.  The woman who won the race, did it in costume.   That right there?  That’s the magic of Disney, 13.1 miles at a time.

I can’t wait to do it again (and faster) at Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.  I’m doing the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge (1ok and Half Marathon) and earning my Coast-to-Coast medal.  I’m looking forward to more favorable training conditions and really stepping up  my pace before Labor Day Weekend.  I’m also hoping to do a couple of other races before then so I can earn my spot in a higher corral. I definitely don’t want to start in the back at Disneyland Half.

Still, I’m proud of my times.  I’m proud of my effort.  I followed through and finished my first half marathon.  Now I know I have it in me to do things I never thought possible.  That’s a pretty damn awesome feeling.

My final stats for the 2013 runDisney Princess Half Marathon:

5K Split: 44:37 (14:21 pace)
10K Split: 1:34:35 (15:13 pace)
15K Split: 2:18:08 (14:49 pace)
Finish: 03:08:56 (14:25 pace)


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  • Reply Krissy @ Shiawase Life February 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    I am SOO proud of you, Ashley!! 😀 I cannot wait to see you in Disneyland!! 183 days!!!

    • Reply ashley February 28, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      Thank YOU, Krissy! You’ve been the best virtual cheerleader a girl could ask for and I can’t wait to see you!

  • Reply Traci February 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    I am so proud of you!!! Congrats on your first 1/2 marathon!!! And best of luck on the coast-to-coast challenge! 🙂

    • Reply ashley February 28, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      Thank you, Traci!

  • Reply Trinity February 28, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I’m in tears reading this. I can’t wait to do a race with #runDisney & you have given me such inspiration. Congratulations on your first half marathon!

    • Reply ashley February 28, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      Thank you, Trin. You definitely have to do a runDisney race. I think you’d fall in love!

  • Reply MizFit February 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Ive done one race in my ENTIRE LIFE.
    disney princess.

    that said 🙂 I could be enticed to meet you there next year!!! 🙂

    • Reply ashley March 2, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      Do it! I may switch up my runDisney races for 2014, but all of their races are spectacular!

  • Reply Laura February 28, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    You are my hero!❤

    • Reply ashley March 2, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      And you’re mine. Thanks for all of the encouragement!

  • Reply Hanan Webster (@LilacCityMomma) February 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Girl, you did AHmazing!! I’m so proud of you, and that picture says a thousand words!!

    • Reply ashley March 2, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      Thanks, Hanan!!

  • Reply Bridget A March 1, 2013 at 1:15 am

    Way to go!

    • Reply ashley March 2, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      Thank you, Bridget!

  • Reply Tesa @ 2 Wired 2 Tired March 1, 2013 at 1:56 am

    I’m glad to hear that it was worth all the pain and that you are proud of yourself. You should be. That’s an incredible accomplishment!

    • Reply ashley March 2, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      Thanks, ,Tesa! It was totally worth it. I’d do it all over again.

  • Reply deb March 1, 2013 at 3:13 am

    Congrats!! So happy that you were able to get through even though the pain was bad. Next time, it will be easier 🙂

    • Reply ashley March 2, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      Thanks, Deb! And you’re right, each time will be better, now that I know I can do it.

  • Reply Deana March 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Way to go! My first half ever was the Wine & Dine last fall. I was suffering a knee injury that meant a lack of training for about the previous 6 wks. It was PAINFUL. The last 3 miles, were awful, and my hubs and I came in 1 hr later then I my original (start of training) goal. But….I finished. My knee hurt for the next several days.

    But I proved to myself that I could Do.It. I can’t wait for my redeemption in a 2nd half!

    • Reply ashley March 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      Redemption! I love that word. I love having extra motivation for my next race.

  • Reply Kristin Smith March 1, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    You should absolutely be proud of yourself – I’m proud of you!! I’m impressed by your ability to push through the pain!! Congratulations!!

    • Reply ashley March 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      Thanks, Kristin! And congrats to you, too!

  • Reply Amanda Tinney March 1, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Oh how I wish I’d run with you to hold your hand and wipe your tears or at least had a cold one waiting for you at the Finish Line! So glad you got the runDisney bug. This means I can see more of that pretty face! Proud o You!

    • Reply ashley March 2, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      MWAH! I’m so glad I pushed myself to move up from the runDisney 5k’s. They are so much fun, but I love the challenge the distance races provide. There’s no turning back! See you at Tower?

  • Reply Cassie March 1, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Ashley I am very proud of you my internet friend. You couldn’t hear me but I was cheering for you here in STL. While I have a long way to go to do a half marathon I want to do the family 5k next year with my oldest. It is a bucket list for me and I hope I will achieve it.

    • Reply ashley March 2, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      Thank you so much Cassie! You really do need to do the 5k’s. They’re the perfect way to ease yourself into runDisney. I’ve done several of the 5k’s and had a fantastic time! There are 5k’s every race weekend, so you can jump in any time! I can’t wait to hear all about your runDisney experiences.

  • Reply Emily March 4, 2013 at 3:21 am

    Awesome!!! Congrats!! Way to go!! And how great your SIL helped pace you through – it was tough out there – I threw all my intervals out the window and walked way more than I planned. Great recap. Can’t wait for Dumbo!!

  • Reply What's Next? - Fiddle Dee Me March 4, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    […] that Princess Half has ended (see my race recaps here and here), I am shifting my focus to the next events on my race […]

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