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That Time I Registered for a Half Marathon…

Last Tuesday I woke up very excited! You see, it was a day that I had been thinking and dreaming about for close to a year. It was the day I would register for my first half marathon.

Last year on that day I decided on a whim to register for the Princess 5k in Disney World. Since I did it on a whim, I didn\’t think about the travel part of it. Fast forward three months when my hubs and I decided it wasn\’t the right time for us to take a Disney vacation, and I had to bail. I hated making that decision, but it was the right one for the time.

At the time I registered for the 5k, I wasn\’t running. At. All. I thought only lunatics would register for the half, and I couldn\’t imagine ANYONE registering for the Glass Slipper Challenge. In those three short months from when I registered and when we decided we couldn\’t make it happen, I had become a runner. Part of the conversation was that I would do the half the following year.

Since last October, I had been looking forward to July 14 when I would again face the madness that is registering for a runDisney event. This year I was set to register for the half and bummed that I couldn\’t afford to do the Glass Slipper Challenge. In just a short year, I have changed who I am and what I think I\’m capable of. A year ago I couldn\’t even fathom committing to 13.1 miles. But here I am, ready to pay good money to wake up WELL before the sun and run through my favorite place on Earth.

One thing you should know about runDisney events is they sell out. Fast. Like by the end of the day that registration opens. The registration process is fast and furious and FUN!

Registration was set to open at noon. My kids and I were hanging at home all morning- I didn\’t want to take any chances of not being home by 11:55. All morning I checked the time what seems about every 5 minutes. I\’ve never seen the clock move slower. We listened to Disney park music and danced and played while passing the time. Finally it was 11:55. I opened up the laptop and got ready.

Somehow I let 6 minutes go by without knowing, and it was 12:01. I logged on to the website, and it was down- too many people trying to get on, I guess. Thankfully I thought to check the runDisney facebook page, and they had posted a link to registration. I clicked the link and was immediately put into the queue. After a few seconds I was able to register. It was a blur. Honestly I could\’ve made any number of mistakes without noticing. Adrenalin was pumping and I was sweating. I put in my card info and clicked submit.

\”Congratulations! You are now registered for 2016 Princess Half Marathon!\”






I immediately thought I would vomit. Why in the world did I just register for something so absurd? I went from hoping I would get a number to terrified that I did. After a few minutes hours I calmed down and regained my confidence. And honestly got a little cocky! I started planning the trip {of course the travel agent in me had to jump right on it!} and making an itinerary.

Here\’s how I have it planned as of today:

Saturday– Fly in early, go to Expo to pick up race info and bib, hopefully dinner at Chef Mickey. Resort reservations at Art of Animation Family Suite.

Sunday– RUN A HALF MARATHON, shower then head to Hollywood Studios. {who do I think I am? I\’m going to run 13.1 miles then go to a theme park?! See, cocky.}

Monday– Spend the day at Animal Kingdom.

Tuesday– Take the day off. Maybe do Downtown Disney.

Wednesday– Magic Kingdom. I\’m hoping for an ADR at Be Our Guest.

Thursday– Spend the day at EPCOT.

Friday– Rent a car and drive home.

We\’ve decided this will be a surprise trip for the kids. We plan on showing up at the airport at 6 am under the façade of having to pick my sister up. I\’m hoping it will be so early they won\’t think too much about it– just kinda sleep in the car. Once we get there, we\’ll tell them what\’s what! I\’m also excited because my mom will be joining us.

 I felt better having the trip planned, somewhat anyway. Next the important work started. Who will I dress as? I\’m still not 100% sure but I\’ve kicked around a few ideas.

Jack Sparrow:

Jolly Holiday Mary Poppins:

Anyone from Inside Out:

I\’m not a super princessey girl, although I do love girly stuff. Merida is my favorite princess, so she\’s on the table, too.

So while I have that rattling around in my head I guess I should go ahead and set up a training plan. All jokes aside, this really is most important. If I want to have a prayer of finishing and then being able to enjoy WDW I need to train. I would love to loose some more weight and be in excellent shape. I have more than 6 months to do so which is more than enough time. I decided I want to be able to submit an excellent proof of time {POT} to get good coral placement, and also that I don\’t want this to be my first half. I think it would be overwhelming to experience my first runDisney event and my first half at the same time. That being said I came up with a training plan that totally rocks! It\’s mostly based on Jeff Galloway\’s 18 week training plan. Of course I had to extend it because I have 32 weeks till my race.

Right now I\’m working on my diet. By diet I mean what I will be eating, not cutting calories or drinking/eating diet foods. I want to properly fuel my body during this process and hopefully make some permanent healthy changes.

So, here\’s to a few lofty goals- Finishing a half, touring the parks for a week after said half and getting Chef Mickey\’s and Be Our Guest ADR\’s!

Lauren Tanner is a Disney travel planner with Wishdrawals Travel. After planning her own family\’s magical vacations, she now plans magic for her own clients!  Contact her at

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