The Disney Enchanted 10K

So… my house is kinda, sorta in order after my weekend trip (LAST weekend) to Walt Disney World to run the Princess Half Marathon.  And when I say that, I mean that it’s still a mess.  BUT we have clean clothes and groceries, so I’m counting the house “in order,” because that’s enough for a great homemaker like me.  (Aim high!)

Because of that, I finally have time to blog about the weekend!  Hooray!  Never mind that I still haven’t blogged about the trip we took over Thanksgiving.  I’ll probably never get to that, so I’ll hit the high points here — Ana got so sick that we ended up buying every kind of children’s medicine they sold on Disney property, I celebrated my thirty-fifth birthday by doing a training run with my younger husband as he insisted that I needed to be careful lest I “break a hip” in my old age (ahem), and I gave the resort we stayed in (Caribbean Beach) a big thumbs down because they didn’t have chocolate milkshakes. 

I think that about covered Thanksgiving.  So, Princess Weekend…

As all WDW trips do, this one began before the sun was up.  I got the girls ready for school one last time, all while praying that there would be no tears at the airport.  I mean, I’m not sure how the girls would handle seeing Wes cry.  (Oh, I kid!  He managed just fine, apart from a few sad looks.  So did the girls!)

My flight to Orlando went by quickly, and in no time at all, I was eating a Krispy Kreme donut in Florida.  Oh, yeah.  Except airport Krispy Kreme donuts?  Are never hot and ready, so I was disappointed.  I worked on editing a book while I waited for my mother-in-law, and once she arrived, we were off to Walt Disney World!

The first order of business once we got checked in was to head to the Expo to pick up our bibs, our packets of information, our T-shirts, her super cute RunDisney Dooney & Bourke bag… you know, the important things.  And can I get some credit for NOT buying a purse on this trip?  The temptation was strong, y’all, but I resisted!

I had opted to do the Glass Slipper Challenge, which meant that I would be running both the 10K and the half marathon.  I already knew my corral assignment for the half, which didn’t matter much at all since I would be heading back to my mother-in-law’s assigned corral.  Corral placements are assigned based on your best time, and because my mother-in-law had never run a half marathon prior to this weekend and had no official time to submit, she was assigned to a corral about halfway in the middle — a great placement and one that we were both excited about. 

Anyway, I figured that my corral would be the same for the 10K.  So, imagine my surprise when I checked in, got my bib, and saw that I was in the first corral!  I asked the volunteer there, “What does this A mean?”  She had no idea, but there was a race official close by who looked at it, looked at me, and said, “Yeah, you’re in the front.”

And I?  Burst out laughing at this.  Wes had submitted my best full marathon time, which means that Disney 10K runners are slow, slow, slow.  (Or so I thought.)  “Wow!,” I told the guy.  “This will be the only time I’m ever in an A corral!”

I kept right on thinking this on the morning of the 10K when I strutted myself over to the A corral… and realized that I was the fattest woman there.  And, y’all, at this point in our marathon training and running schedule, my BMI is just barely above underweight.  I was pushed up the front of the starting line by the crowds, where I was shocked to see that there were a LOT of men running this very princess-y race.  I snapped a picture on my phone to send to Wes and realized as it was sending that — oh — all of those men were shirtless.  (I’m sure Wes appreciated seeing that his wife had run off, leaving him to take care of the kids, so that she could hang out with younger, half-dressed men who look like Olympians.  His consolation should have been that this was a princess race, which means that probably none of these men were even looking at the women around them, if you get what I’m saying.)

Anyway.

For a race that includes thousands of runners, I have to tell you that it’s way more exciting up at the front than it is in the back where you don’t even know if the race has officially started.  I didn’t make any of the videos of the start, but I was just behind the leaders who were all poised and ready when the fireworks went off and we started running.  I knew that I would likely be walking the half marathon route with my mother-in-law the next day, so I wasn’t looking to save anything, allowing me to keep pace with the leaders…. for about half a mile.  Ha!  Disney 10K runners are actually pretty fast, y’all!  I was running a ten minute pace, which is really fast for me, and people were shooting past me like I was standing still.  Unbelievable!  Run, run, shirtless men and super skinny women!

I kept that fast-for-me pace for the great majority of the race, reasoning that even though I had been passed by almost everyone in the A corral (lol!), I was still on track to run my fastest 10K ever.  It was hot and humid, but I was running this thing for fat girls everywhere.  (Seriously.  Fattest girl in the corral!)  The sun wasn’t even up when I crossed the finish line at 1:08:41.  I ran an 11:04 a mile pace, which is walking speed for elites… but it was still the fastest official 10K that I’ve ever run.  A PR!  At Disney!  Who knew that was even possible?!

I credit it all to my breakfast cereal, as evidenced by the way I proclaimed, upon getting my medal, “Behold!  The power of Froot Loops!”  Yes.  I had eaten my Froot Loops right there at the starting line, as all of those elites looked at me like I was in the wrong corral.

But still.  It made for an awesome, awesome memory.  And now I’ll be able to tell my grandchildren that once upon a time, I was an elite runner.  (Kinda.  Okay, so not really.)

Up next, the half marathon!  Where once again we beheld the power of Froot Loops!

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