This Sunday is the Disney Princess Half Marathon! I'll be running it for the second time - the first was in 2011.
- 2011 was my first half marathon; 2013 is my seventh (I think).
- In 2011 we started in corral B; in 2013 we start in corral A.
- In 2011, I was a 3L; 2013, I'm a real lolyer (5L, I guess).
- In 2011 my cousin's husband was at his heaviest weight and a few months away from gastric bypass surgery; in 2013, he's lost more than a hundred pounds and I can't wait to go cheer for him at the Royal Family 5K (and yes, he's run loads of other 5Ks before this one).
- In 2011, I lived in DC. Now I live in Seattle.
- In 2011, I was super stoked if we ran three days a week and got over 15 miles for the week. In 2013, I'm running six days a week and am hovering in the high-30s for weekly milage.
- In 2011, my favorite princess was Belle. In 2013, it's Merida. I like her spunk and her unwillingness to shack up for the sake of shacking up when she isn't ready/hasn't found the perfect guy.
- In 2011, I ran in traditional running shoes. Shortly after Princess and Cherry Blossom, I took a bit of a break to let my cranky adductor heal (ugh - this is my chronic running thing) and switched to shoes with a 4mm drop. I haven't gone back.
- In 2011, I wanted a cat. In 2013, I HAVE a cat.
- In 2011, Princess was the longest I'd ever run and OMG it was an incredibly big deal. In 2013, I'm incorporating it into my training for the Eugene Full, which is my real goal race for spring.
Just because I've come a long way doesn't mean I don't still have goals for the race:
- Nutrition - I completely bonked this one in 2011. It was hot, I was exhausted and I ended up bonking because I only took a few Gu chomps at around mile 4 and nothing else for the rest of the race. I know, STUPID. I still struggle with eating during a race (see my bonk in the last few miles of North Olympic Discovery Marathon), but I've been getting better. My goal is to take either a gel or chomp at mile ~4 and when they pass them out between miles 8 and 9. I've done the last few long runs experimenting with the Cliff Gels that they use at Disney and, you know, I quite like their flavors and texture!
- Sub-2:15. OR DIE. I mean, Corral A's for people planning to go sub-2:15, so I've got to justify being there, right? On the other hand, my goal is to go JUST sub 2:15, because I've decided that the sensible way to run this race is as a tempo run at marathon goal pace (more or less). But, since MGP gets me 2:15, I've got to go just a liiiiiiiiiitle bit faster. (I am also going to spend the summer training hard for Disneyland, as my A race for the fall.)
- Keep up with my marathon training, even though I'm at Disney. This is going to take some focus.
I still think Princess 2011 came right at the right moment to turn both my best friend and I into real runners, not just flashes in the pan, because it kept us motivated and moving forward after we got comfortable with 5 and 10K races. So, I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Princess!