Introduction Part III of III: runDisney

Last July I agreed to my first runDisney race with a very close friend after a few mimosas (the ultimate confidence booster) and trained for my first ever half marathon for the 2016 Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend. I had always been intrigued by the race. I was familiar with the Disney World Marathon by accident, as my dad and I would regularly plan WDW trips in January and run into (pun intended) the runners at our resort. I had seen friends run the Princess Half in previous years looking incredibly happy and vowed that one day I would do the same. 

After an intense registration process, I was amazed to visit the runDisney website and see that there were multiple races, training and healthy eating tips, vacation planning suggestions, accompanying social media pages, and of course, a huge following of diehard fans. I quickly studied and printed out the Jeff Galloway recommended training schedule for “Beginner Runners.” At that time, I was running up to six miles, but still wanted to be cautious. My two goals for this race were to finish the race within the time constraints and have as much fun as possible.

Introduction Part II of III: Disney

Like any good twenty-something “millennial” raised during the Disney Renaissance, Disney movies, books, toys, and vacations to Walt Disney World were a part of my upbringing that I cherish to this day. I think I managed to dress up as each princess throughout my childhood. For whatever reason, my mom even let me go to school in the 1st grade in my full Jasmine regalia (yes, it was a full shirt.) It wasn’t until high school that a friend in my class admitted she told her mom “Jasmine is in my class!” I wasn’t about to correct her…

We didn’t take our first family vacation to Walt Disney World until my brother and I were old enough to appreciate the trip and walk around ourselves sans clunky stroller, something I still admire my parents for doing. In 1999 we “Celebrated the Future Hand in Hand” during the Millennium Celebration with a stay at the Contemporary Hotel.

Introduction Part I of III: Running

There was a time in my life when I hated running. Running in high school was a form of punishment for not winning a game the night before. I saw running as a means to an end and prayed for the hellacious pain to be over as quickly as possible so I could commiserate with my best friends over a high-calorie sizzlin’ fajita plate.

While I still enjoy a good sizzlin’ fajita plate, over the years I began to unlock the secret joy of running. As a postgrad attempting to navigate my twenties, running became precious time to unwind and reflect. As time went on, I participated in several 5Ks and finally, my first half marathon in February 2016, the Disney Princess Half Marathon in Walt Disney World.