Tinkerbell Half Marathon Recap- My first Half Marathon

Running my first half marathon was a big deal! I've never run before, maybe laps as a kid in gym class, but never any amount of mileage! I trained my behind off since picking up running in May 2013. I really wanted to do my best, but get to have fun too! I told my husband that they only way I would run a half marathon and 13.1 miles was at Disney! When I found out about the Tinkerbell and the Princess and that beautiful pink Coast to Coast medal - I was in! Convincing my hubby was another story. Training for a half marathon with three kids and with him getting his masters was not easy. I ran a 10 miler in October and that was the farthest I ran before the big day.
Wowzers that's early!
Jump ahead to race day! 
We came all the way from Texas to run the Tink Half!

A few people showed up to run 14,000 to be more precise!
Go! Loved that the announcers tried to pump you up before the start!

Moving up to the starting point!

We walked to the corrals together
I had a girlfriend and her friend who is from California both sign up to also run the Tinkerbell half. We met up at 4:10am before the race in front of my hotel, took a quick bathroom break and walked to the start line. That is one thing that I know will be significantly different from the princess! Transportation to the start line. It was literally a 5 minute walk to the start and the corrals. At WDW there are buses and then walking and I hear to give yourself an hour to get to the corral. All that = less sleep! I really wasn't nervous before the start, but I had set all my clothes out the night before and didn't go to bed til 10:30. I was worried that my calves might not be happy with me since I had been walking the parks for 3 days already. But I used TheStick the night before to rub down my calves and neck and I used it the morning of with just a few small stretches in the room and I was ready to go! I'm not a big stretch before you run girl. I really do think TheStick helped.
We walked to the corral area took a few pics and then parted ways to our corrals. I was in D and they started in E. I wanted to stop to take character pics and they did not want to stop, so it worked out great that at mile 7 I texted them and found out that they were literally not even two blocks behind me. So I waited for them and we finished together which was a huge moral booster. I don't mind running solo, but boy those miles seem to fly by when you have friends or someone to talk with.
I trained hard to get a proof time for a better corral than just the last corral. So finding out I was only a few corrals from the back was nerve racking when it came to deciding if I should stop for pics with certain characters. I knew I wanted some, but how many, how often? I had no idea since this was my first RunDisney half marathon and first RunDisney event. I knew I wanted that iconic castle and World of Color pic, but I had no idea who would be along the route to take pics with or how many stops there would be. I was deathly afraid to get "swept" from being too slow. So I knew ahead of time that A) I wasn't stopping every time, it really depended on how many people were in line  B) I wanted to use a regular bathroom not a portapotty! C) I wanted to enjoy myself and this was for me! I did run with my small handheld camera and I'm glad I did! The people who take your professional photo along the race are not Disney photopass people, they are an outside photo company who charge you $80 to get your photos digitally downloaded or $20 if you want just one! I got plenty of good, almost not blurry photos that cast members along the route took for me. They were so nice and willing to take photos in front of the castle, characters, etc. So all in all I ended up taking 6 pictures with characters, 2 of just the characters - Darth and Hook. Photo ops I skipped - Cinderella, Snow White, Peter Pan w/Wendy, Lightning McQueen with Mater, The Lost Boys, Monsters University characters, maybe one more I can't remember.

 I also stopped for a few landmark pictures! Love those! I did do Instagram along the way and that fed my Twitter feed too. I used my Nike+ watch to track my run to save my battery life of my phone. That method worked well! Although when I uploaded my watch to Nike+ it logged my run for 2013, not 2014!

 If you have family at the finish or even at home that want to track your progress - sign them up for runner tracker! It was nice to know that my hubby knew where I was in mileage and an estimated arrival time. He also was able to tell me my pace along the way since I had no clue since my watch was factoring in all my stops! Runner Tracker is available for the half marathon a few weeks before the run. I signed up my mom, husband and my dad. I should have signed myself up for it so I would know my stats too! 

Overall I would definitely do this race again. Being that it was my first race it was splendid! I did have some shoe issues and I didn't heed the advice of nothing new on race day and I think that attributed to my problems. I ended up removing one pair of my socks at mile 6 since I felt like three toes had hot spots from the socks rubbing in my shoe. I also stopped twice to retie my shoe tighter. I loved the course, the encouraging people that came out to cheer us on and the other runners. It was a memory that will stay with me. My first run of 13.1 miles - something I would have never in a million years thought I would do in my lifetime! It just shows that if you put your mind to something and train hard - your efforts will pay off. You can achieve your goals and dreams! As corny as that seems.  
So thankful that my hubby got up early and got all three girls to the finish line to see me pass. They were troopers to wait over an hour and a half, with no snacks and they were sooo hungry! (Although they did have snack in the backpack in the stroller the whole time...daddy forgot that mommy told him that!) Ha! If you are on the fence on whether or not you should do one of these Disney runs, sign up! Start running or walking and make those dreams come true!

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