Guest Warrior: Emily’s Disney Run

When given an opportunity to be able to do something you never imagined…something that would change your life, what would you do?

I was given the opportunity of a life time this past weekend to participate in the Walt Disneyworld Princess Half Marathon only three days before the actual race. No training and no preparation. But passing on this was NOT an option. As warriors we all know about internal fights we battle with ourselves.  But we also know that challenges like this only give us reasons to grow stronger. Here is my story….

So there Liz and I were in Epcot at 5:00am about to start running for 13.1 miles. 13.1!!! We are watching as 25,000 plus women (and some men) are all crowding together to run a half marathon. Who does this?? Dressed in Princess Costumes none the less! The nerves are hitting as each corral departs knowing we are getting closer. The announcer must have known Liz and I, I mean Ariel and Snow White were in the “M” corral because we got up there and they called us the sing along corral. Blasting Don’t Stop Believing and singing it at the top of our lungs. I have never run more than a mile without going to walk after. I am normally a run/walk type of gal but the atmosphere and something about being in this crowd just came over me. The fireworks go off to start us and immediately all nerves are gone as we cross the start line. And we’re off. Set a steady pace is rather than going all out in the beginning and having nothing left at the end. And so we kept trying to set small goals along the way. 12:30 for an average pace was one. Then before I knew it, we were going past mile marker 1 and 2 and then 3!! Wait, did I really just run 3 miles straight? And still have more in me?? YES I DID! So we trekked on. Bye bye to miles 4, 5, 6 and 7. I got to run through Cinderella’s Castle!! WHAT?!?! This isn’t happening I told myself. Here I was, running 7 miles without stopping without walking. I knew Liz could do it, she trained for this. I wanted to do it just to be able to say,”OMG…I did that!!” Mile 8 came upon us and although we were drinking at every PowerAde and water station they had, I felt myself losing hydration…so we slowed down a bit around 8.5 miles. We kept a good brisk walking pace for about 2 miles with intervals of run/walk. I have now surpassed any expectation I had of myself and what I thought was possible for me to accomplish. I was already a winner!! Mile 11 was the turning point (literally and figuratively) for me. Feeling the cramping and tired legs as we rounded the corner heading into Epcot and just pushed through. Looked at Liz and decided we run from here on out. We finish this strong! We didn’t just complete 11 miles to walk across the finish line. So we put some pep in our step and started to jog. Coming in to Epcot and seeing and hearing the park-goers cheering on complete strangers was something else. What an overwhelmingly amazing feeling this was. Nothing about this is normal and nothing could ever touch what I felt inside. I was about to complete a HALF MARATHON in Disneyworld with no training. WHO AM I?? Who was this person? A warrior, a woman on a mission to GET OUT OF HER OWN WAY!! Someone who decided to get up and move one day and it changed her life! So I grabbed Liz’s hand and we went for it. An all out run to cross the finish line of a half marathon strong with arms raised my twin sister and I!! Every mile is magic they say at the beginning and I can now live to tell you, it is true!!