Vicariously Being With the Princess Half Runners 2018

It’s 2018 Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend.  I’m sitting at home near Cleveland with a shiny new pond in my back yard because of all the rain (but hey, it just means it’s almost spring, right?)… listening to my stupid cat fart two rooms away… watching the discussion about the weekend on the runDisneyrun facebook group (awesome group if you like Disney and you have ever or would love to be able to run… great group of people) about this year’s Princess race weekend.

There is a discussion going on as the race waves are starting to be released about people corral jumping.  I know that it is Disney and I know that most people who do the race (hell, any race let alone a Disney race) do them honestly and within the rules… they place themselves in the correct (or nearly correct) time slots… they walk/run/job/hobble every step of the way… they pee (or whatever) wherever they are supposed to and if they can’t they at least try to hide from the eyes of the world doing it (been there, done that, wear the badge of shame)… they don’t cut across the invisible wall where the cones create an out and back… they run their race and they run it honestly.

I’ve seen the cheating.  I saw it most painfully apparently at Disney, I’m sorry to say.  People do corral jump… they do cut corners wherever they can to save a few seconds or even fractions of seconds.  The balloon ladies are coming and it would be mortifying to get swept.  And it is incredibly irritating to have people who are rude or cheat or whatever on the course… but running… racing… whatever… is no different than life.  People cut corners.  People use the heads and backs of other people to jump ahead of the line.  Yes, it irks me too.

But as I watch out at the cold February rain, realizing that my long ‘run’ today is going to end up on the treadmill at Planet Fitness because I won’t be able to do outside in this yuk right now, and as I look at my current reality and the reality of what is around me… my perspective has changed considerably.

Yes Disney has incredible photo ops along the course.

Yes, 13.1 miles is a LONG way to go without stopping to pee

Yes, Disney sweeps you if you don’t maintain (they do need to open the parks after all… and you are running through them… ) but so does Cedar Point… and if you are doing the Fairytale Challenge (or any of the other challenges where your face has to cross the finish line in each and every race so you sure as heck don’t want to be swept) you really really really don’t want to be swept… that third medal is the prize at the bottom of the training Cracker Jack box…

Yes, there is a huge difference between a 16.5 minute mile in an earlier corral as opposed to a later corral… if each earlier corral’s release time means an extra 30 seconds a mile can be added to your time… I get why people would consider it…

But… and this is what I posted to the discussion..

Okay, take a deep breath. Running is just like everything else in life… There are going to be people who cheat. There are people who cheat everywhere in life, don’t assume that running is any different. Yes, people will cheat and they will sometimes get creative and sometimes they will brute force themselves into places they might not belong. Run your race. Run your race the best way you know how and enjoy every second of the running. I swore the next time I ran Disney I would be running with my DH. I won’t be. He might be there with me next Feb tied to bottled oxygen and in a chair, he might be with me with his angel wings riding on my shoulder. My last half (Erie 2016) was his last half ever. Don’t waste a second on the people who cheat. It’s not worth the time and aggravation you are wasting on them. Run your race… you’re freaking running Disney and Disney does Disney incredibly well. Remember the cheaters and be proud in yourself that you know you didn’t have to.

We are likely going to work towards doing the Fairytale Challenge a year from now.  I have a year to train.  I’m going to use the training plan that Run Disney provides… and by starting now, I should be able to actually use it because I will have 6 months of “running” in by the time the training plan actually has to start… and I’m actually putting running into my training along with walking… so my time might actually improve along the way… whatever, I will just keep swimming (especially if it keeps freaking raining) and run the best race (literally as well as metaphorically) as I possibly can.

And I will pray with all of my heart that Bear will be there to watch me cross and get all of my medals, even if it is in a wheelchair and with bigger oxygen along the way… and I will keep him focussed on staying as well and as ahead of the freaking IPF as he can be so he can be there (and I am confident that he will be… at least right now I am).  I need to be his cheerleader even though a lot of days he is really scared and depressed… and now he is working at planning for next year’s trip… so he is faking hope even when he doesn’t have much…

And… today’s training will be Bear on the treadmill for 30 minutes at 1.8 mph while I do my 4 plus miles… I might add in some small hills or some faster chunks… maybe… and half way through my 4 miles he will head over to the bikes and do his 30 minutes there even though the bikes at the gym are harder than the ones at Pulmonary Rehab… He’s going to start (after he graduates) going to the rehab center three days a week to work out there on their machines with their oxygen.  He keeps a good eye on his oxygen levels and he uses his bottles that we are paying for anyway to stay as good as he can be.

And the last corral just started at the Princess Half… time to get my behind going to get some stuff done around here this morning before all hell breaks loose…

Love and Light


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