There. I said it. Running the Glass Slipper Challenge was the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.
Yet it was also one of the most amazing.
Twenty-ish months ago, when I decided to lace up some running shoes and give the whole running thing a shot, I had no clue I would end up running three half marathons in one calendar year. I certainly didn’t think I would be insane enough to sign up for a 10k and a half marathon in ONE WEEKEND. That much I can promise you.
Yet I did.
And (spoiler alert for those who live under a rock) I did it.
Last month, I wrote a quick post about leaving it all on the table and coming back from a race with a new sense of purpose. I can honestly say, having run 19.3 miles (and walked dozens of others) over the course of two days, I left it all on the table and I’m just thrilled to have come back from the race (with or without a new sense of purpose).
The whole Princess Half weekend was amazing. I drove down alone. It was a great 6 hours in the car by myself. And when I joined up with the RMH van around Lake City and followed it all the way to Disney, I knew the weekend would be great.
Friday morning I went to Magic Kingdom with Kadye.
We rode a handful of rides, including Big Thunder Mountain — MY VERY FIRST TIME!
I spent one night by myself before my friend Melissa joined me on Friday. Our boys have been friends since kindergarten and we’ve really become friends in the last year or so. This was her first half marathon and she was a wee bit nervous. I can’t blame her. Even having run two others, I was nervous, too! After a few hours at the Magic Kingdom with Kadye, I met her and we hooked up with Amy at the Expo.
With my Inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge number in hand and her very first Half Marathon number in hand, we made our way through all the vendors and sponsors with Amy. Afterwards, Melissa and I hit Downtown Disney for an early dinner before hitting the bed for a VERY early wake up call!
That night before bed, though, the most amazing thing happened… The competitive me was proud! I passed the $2500 mark for the Ronald McDonald House!
I had told Melissa if she was up to a 3am wake up call, she would really enjoy seeing the 10k corrals and start and finish. Last year, we watched the 5k and it helped alleviate nerves about the next morning AND created HUGE excitement seeing people of all ages, sizes, and running abilities cross that finish line.
I met up with Claudia and Angela in the corral. It seemed like there were 5000 people in the corrals and that they took forever to get to the start. But finally it started.
It was a great race… going through the World Showcase at Epcot, around the Boardwalk, and then back through Epcot to the finish. My goal for that race, knowing I would have to run another 13.1 miles the next day, was 1:45.
I finished it in 1:47:17. And that was with an 8-10 minute wait in line for the bathroom.
Part 1 of the Glass Slipper Challenge: DONE.
After the race, Melissa and I headed over to the McDonalds for the Team RMHC brunch. Little did I know it would be one of the best photo opps of the weekend!
The afternoon was spent at Epcot with Amy. We rode rides, hydrated, rode more rides, hydrated, hit every bathroom we passed… we got into the special Disney Visa cardholder spot and got super special lovin’ from Mickey and Goofy. We carbed up at Via Napoli in Italy for dinner. I loved spending time with her and getting to know her better. She’s hardly selfish at all (as her blog title insinuates she is)!
After an early bedtime and even EARLIER wake up call, it was time to rock the half marathon.
Melissa and I got dressed, had some bagels and yogurt and whatnot, and headed to meet the Team RMHC crew at the lobby. We got the bus with about 100 other dazed and confused and very excited princesses-to-be.
I had told Melissa I would start in her corral and run with her. My friend Amy ran with me last year and it made all the difference in the world when I wanted to quit or when I felt overwhelmed or when I was just bored. We hit the potties, made our way to the corrals, and waited. Finally around 6, it was time for us to go.
It’s a tough race in that most of the time, unless you start in a smaller, earlier corral, you can’t just RUN. There’s a lot of jogging and walking and what feels like running in place simply because of the number of people. There are around 30,000 who run this race. To say it gets congested is an understatement.
But we ran.
We ran down Main Street, USA in the fog. We ran through Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, and then out of the park.
This was where I hit my wall. After 6.2 miles on Saturday, around mile 7, I realized what a stupid idea this was. I was in pain, it was hot (about 70), it was unbearably humid (like running through thunderstorm clouds but without actual rain), my feet didn’t want to work any longer, I could feel a blister forming under my toes, and did I mention it was hot as hell?
But there was a glorious INAUGURAL medal waiting for me. One that only a few (hundred, okay, maybe a few thousand) people were getting. I mean, my name was on a board and everything. I had to keep on.
But there were so many miles left.
I kept checking on Melissa, trying to think about HER and not ME. I was getting texts saying “great job” and all that. But goodness knows, it wasn’t fun. I left the fun in the Magic Kingdom.
Now it was just tedious.
Mile 8. Mile 9. Mile 10.
Mile 11. Mile 12.
Only ONE MORE MILE (plus .1). We’ve got this. We were light years ahead of the feared “balloon ladies” and I was even able to help another runner settle down who was panicked about them coming after her. There were thousands of people behind us.
The finish line couldn’t come soon enough.
But in the blink of an eye (kidding – it took forEVER), there it was.
WE DID IT!
(Official time: 3:38:38)
Melissa finished her first half marathon!
And I finished the dumbest, most amazing thing I’ve ever done — the Glass Slipper Challenge.