7 Things I Learned from the Princess Half

1. Just running a race, and not racing for time, is weird. It was fun, but I couldn’t help but look at my watch every time we hit a mile marker and wish I were closer to my normal race pace.


2.       Racing in a sparkly skirt is awesome, and the green sparkly skirt will definitely be making a repeat appearance when I run the DC Half on St. Patrick’s Day.

3.       My current laissez-faire attitude towards health and fitness? Not doing me any favors. While I enjoy the pictures from the race for the entertainment value, I hate how I look in them. I’m generally self-conscious about tighter tops anyway, but that green one showed all the workouts I’ve skipped and all the extra treats that have snuck past my lips. Also…see #4.

4.       Just because you say you’re going to run a race “for fun,” doesn’t meant the running part will actually be fun. Sure, I have the basic fitness level and base to pull off a half-marathon without following a training plan to a tee, but it sucks. (And I don’t recommend it.) My legs were exhausted and are still sore.

5.       Starting and stopping is absolute hell on your legs. I wanted to die basically every time we started again.


6.       Sleep is not overrated and does, in fact, affect your performance. I got 3.5 hours of sleep on Friday night and 5 hours of sleep on Saturday night, and my legs felt it.


7. Running on random highways–even if they’re in Disney World–is not the most fun, but characters help.

24 comments on “7 Things I Learned from the Princess Half

  1. Jocelyn

    Hi Theodora,

    First time commenter. I saw you at the expo on Saturday but I wasn’t sure it was you so I didn’t say anything. Then I saw on your blog what you were wearing and it was definitely you! This was my 4th half and I also ran it for fun with a friend and I found it strange too! Running through the Magic Kingdom was so awesome but I found the rest of the race very boring. Even though there were characters at each mile, it was a lot of boring highway!

  2. Tami

    if you weren’t doing that race for fun/had to pay for it would you do it again? my family is probably going to be in Disney next year and I am tempted to do it, but i would be by myself and I am not so much of a Disney freak that I would stop and get my picture taken. And when you get your pictures taken, do you give someone your camera or do they take the pictures and you need to pay for them later like any other race photo.

    1. Theodora Post author

      @Tami: Hm…I’d probably only do it again if I were going to run with someone for fun or if a bunch of friends were doing it.

      When I ran my first Disney half two years ago, I ran alone and didn’t stop for pictures and it was definitely way less interesting/fun.

      As far as the pics, they had official Brightroom photogs at some stops, but they also had volunteers (or Disney employees, not sure) at each character stop who took our cameras to take pics.

  3. Jordan @ food, sweat, and beers

    As I was reading all these wrap-up posts about the race, I was asking some of these questions in my head. It’s really nice to read a post that seems a little more honest than just “running from character to character in a sparkly outfit was the best thing I’ve done!” Though I’m not a runner, I still appreciate the candor.

  4. Lisa Randolph

    The highways were THE WORST. My first Disneyworld race, but I’ve run multiple halves at Disneyland. I recommend it over the Florida races — when you’re not in the parks, you’re at least in the city of Anaheim, so there are things to look at and great course support. The locals come out in full force with the usual race sights — cheerleaders, school bands, etc. The Princess bored me to tears with the freeway stretches. Still fun though — it is Disney after all!

    1. Theodora Post author

      @Lisa Randolph: Ooh really? Interesting. As far just the parks, do you prefer Disneyland or Disney World? Just curious–I went to Disneyland in college and def liked Disney World better.

  5. Amy @ running escapades

    I wondered how your legs would feel from all the stops & starts. I think I would feel the same about my time since we are programmed to watch our pace during training. I would still like to do something like this one day because it does look super fun!

  6. Margaret Newell

    Hi – I too am a first time commenter and I too saw you a couple of times over the weekend!! I totally agree the stopping and starting takes a toll on the legs and the long stretches of boring highway gets old. However I love running in costume – I was Cruella Deville for the 5K and that was so much FUN!!! But all in all fun girls weekend. And what a treat to see you in person, since I read your blog everyday!!!

  7. Kristina

    Great recap regarding “what I learned”. I’ve never understood the walking and running combination (or running and stopping), but that is my personality. And, yeah, my knee hurts way more when I’m stopping and starting rather than just running.

  8. Bela

    Can I just say that #5 is SO true. I wanted to stop for as many pictures as I could but WOW were my legs really hurting after I left MK. I have ran many half marathons and they never hurted so much. Need to re-think stopping for pictures next time 🙁

  9. Nicole

    I give you credit for running a 1/2 on little sleep and with little specific training. I feel like my overall fitness level would get me through a 1/2 but I’m sticking to 10Ks. I’m too afraid of getting injured.
    I run a lot of rural 10Ks and we end up on farm roads…no people, no traffic, and lots of cows. I now feel like I know what it would be like to run on a treadmill inside of a barn. P——–ew!


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