Posted by : RunnerBecky Monday, March 8, 2010

This past weekend was the 2nd annual Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon held at the Walt Disney World Resort. This was the day I had been waiting for since October when I boldly signed up for the race with no more than 4 miles of training under my belt. I was up for the challenge at this stage of my life... new place, new friends, new job... new adventures... and now, new VICTORIES!

Our Sunday began at 2:30AM when I got up, ate my typical bowl of cereal for breakfast and began hydrating for the race. We left our apartment around 3:15AM to make it to Epcot on time to park and get ready. There were TONS of people there at 4AM. It was crazy! Around 12,000 runners were a part of the weekend, plus many times that in friends, family, and spectators. It was 40 degrees outside so we just sat in the car for a bit until it was time for me to make my way to my corral. It was a mile walk to the starting line. I was originally put in Corral B, but we ran in Corral C, which started at 6:14AM.

The race began with FIREWORKS and the Fairy Godmother bidding us farewell and wishing us luck on our Princess journey. It was fabulous. The first mile was pretty much us trying to pass slower runners (walkers too) and get settled in our pace. Every mile had a different Disney theme... sometimes they had the characters from that movie and they had music from that particular movie playing. It was great! It definitely made the race go by much faster.

I started the race pretty well. I felt fairly confident. I had already completely surpassed the expectations I had placed on this race. I just wanted to finish... and without stopping! I kept a slow pace (the only way I know how to run 13 miles without stopping). I was slow and steady but at the 3.5 mile mark I need to make a quick port-a-potty line. With 12,000 runners there was always a line at the port-a-potties. We waited 5 or 6 minutes and were on our way!

By mile 5 we were entering into the Magic Kingdom. This was a HUGE highlight of the race! Roy was at the 5.3 mile mark along Main Street and I was SO happy to see him. He was cheering for me and snapping pictures. If you know me well, you know how much I LOVE Disney. I am a child at heart and it never gets old. Running through the Magic Kingdom was nothing short of MAGICAL! (no pun intended). It was incredible to say the least. What great memories I have of the Magic Kingdom, and now I have one more to add to my list.

I continued to press on through miles 6,7, and 8. They weren't easy, but I was hanging in there. By mile 9 I was HURTING! There were several incline, ramps, hills that I wasn't expecting and hadn't trained for. My feet were hurting (I think I may have a small stress fracture on my left foot anyway), my knees were acing, my hips were burning. I was lifting up prayers because I honestly believe it was Christ and Christ alone who gave me the strength to train for and finish this race. I was struggling, but determined to finish without stopping.

By mile 11 I was so ready to get this race over with!!!! It was so fun, but my body was being pushed to the limit. Mile 12 finally approached. FINALLY! I knew I could survive one mile after running 12. I was just focusing on putting one foot in front of the other. I saw Roy AGAIN right before me entered Epcot and knew the finish line was right around the corner. I was trying to overlook the pain and take in the moment. As I was thinking about what I was about to accomplish, tears began to well up in my eyes. I was about to accomplish what was online a fleeting thought... running a half marathon. The last half mile through Epcot was intense and emotional. I was praying to God to help me finish strong. We round a corner on the right side of the huge Epcot ball and there was literally a HALLELUJAH choir singing. Praise God! :)

As I ran down the .10 mile stretch to the finish line, I gave it everything I had, which at that point wasn't much. I saw Roy to the left with my sign. The announcer said, "Becky McDaniel is HERE!" and I just about lost it. I was so overwhelmed with emotion and so proud of myself for doing something that I had never thought I could do. With 2:37:55 of running, I had done it! I was officially a Half Marathon Runner. What an incredible experience!

Many thanks to those of you who have offered me kind words of encouragement and committed to praying for me during the race. I am so thankful to have had such a great support team backing me up and believing in me.

This experience has changed my life in more ways than I had ever imagined it would. I now believe that the sky is the limit and that with the Lord, all things are definitely possible. I encourage anyone and everyone to do something that seems impossible, to set a goal and bust your butt to achieve it!! The end will definitely be worth it.

I am planning to take a break from running for a bit. My body is in dire need of rest from all the training, cardio, cross training, and strength training I have put it through in order to finish strong. Hopefully, in a month or two I'll be back at it with another goal... to run another half marathon and beat my time!

I am p

The night before I had everything set and ready to go for my 2:30AM wake up call (aka: my alarm!) I picked Belle for my favorite Disney Princess (which she is) and it was listed on my race bib.

This is me bright and early, ready for the race. I was so ready to get going!

At 3:15AM we left our apartment and drove down to Epcot. We got there at 4AM. Roy had a sign for me (that Lianne made no doubt).

There were a number of spots for the spectators to come and watch the runners as they ran through the Magic Kingdom. Roy snapped this picture while I was running down Main Street. You can tell I was in GREAT spirits!

Ally, Lianne, and I had just ran through Cinderella's Castle. It was an awesome experience!

The announcer said, "Becky McDaniel is HERE!" You have no idea how excited I was to be done. All of my hard work indeed paid off.

At the finish line they gave us our medal (which is awesome!), water, Powerade, bagels, and fruit for us to refuel.

We started this together and finished it together. Lianne, I couldn't have done it without you

Even Cinderella said she was proud of me :)

What a surreal experience! I can't wait to do this again!

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About Me

I'm a proud wife and mother to a precious 2 year old boy and baby girl ( Born December '13) and a lover of all things health and fitness. I am a Florida native living in small town Mississippi. I hope you will be encouraged and motivated on your fitness journey or if you are just getting started, Welcome Aboard!

Happy Running,

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