Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Well folks, I did it. It didn’t go exactly how I had imagined it, but I finished! And, with that said, I get to cross one more item off my 30 in 30 list.

30 in 30 3:2:15

We had originally planned to fly to Disney out of Nashville. However, the day before we were supposed to fly, flights were getting cancelled like crazy because of snow and ice. Instead of risking our flight getting cancelled and me missing my race, we cancelled our own flights and hopped in the car to drive the 13 hours to Disney. CRAZY, I tell ya! It wouldn’t be a trip with the Tamme fam if it wasn’t crazy!

When we arrived at Walt Disney World, we went straight to get my race packet at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. I had no clue how big this event was until we arrived. I’ve been to several BIG sporting events, but I certainly had never been a participant, so needless to say, I was a little overwhelmed.


I was giddy with excitement when they handed me my race bib!


Disney leaves no detail untouched! How cute were the race bibs? They had each lady’s name preceded by “Princess” at the bottom of the bib. I tried to get Jacob to refer to me as Princess Allison all week, but he wasn’t buying it!

My wake-up call on the morning of the race was at 2:25am… ouch! They were not kidding about an early start! Thankfully, I had lots of excitement mixed with anxiousness so I wasn’t tired at all.


Disney Princess Half Marathon Race Retreat

If you ever run in a runDisney event, I would highly suggest getting access to the Race Retreat. It is an extra fee on top of the entry fee, but it is worth every penny. Being in the Race Retreat tent allowed me to have a place to hang out from the time I arrived at the race area until the race started. Otherwise, I would’ve been outside standing for 1.5 hours. They had bagels, bananas and coffee for the runners and Belle was there for photos ops. I met several nice ladies in the tent while we ate our pre-race breakfast. I’m not even sure you call it breakfast if you eat at 3am… pretty sure that is still just a mid-night snack!


There were SO many cute costumes at the race! There were 27,000 runners and nearly every runner had on some sort of costume! I walked past this guy on my way to the start line and his outfit was hilarious! You see, this race is supposed to be for women, but men are allowed to run. Well, this very smart bachelor dressed as Prince Charming and put his own want ad on the back of his shirt. He also carried a big red, velvet, tufted pillow with a silver New Balance shoe on top. I’m not sure if he ran the whole race carrying it, but he definitely started off with it. It was so cute and I’m hoping he found a princess!


The first several miles felt really great! There were fireworks, marching bands, and Disney characters all along the course. I was so torn as to whether I should stop for great photo ops or keep running. I decided to keep running and only stop for a photo in front of the castle. It really was magical to run through the Magic Kingdom and to top it off, my family was on Main Street cheering for me! Bless their hearts, they had a super early wake-up call too, but I was so thankful they were there cheering me on!


I was dying to stop for a photo with Snow White since I was dressed like her, but the line was ridiculously long, so I just took a selfie as I ran past her. I must say, I’ve made fun of people using the selfie stick in the past, but after this race, I’ve decided that it’s going on my wish list.


I really could’ve used that selfie stick when I stopped to take a photo with the Fairy Godmother, which I’m pretty sure was just Paula Deen in a big costume. Don’t they look just alike?!? The Fairy Godmother was the announcer for the race and she was so funny! She was located at mile 12 and was encouraging the runners as they passed by. You can see her mic in the photo. At this point in the race, I was walking a tenth of a mile (or more) at each mile marker, so it was the perfect opportunity to stop for a picture. She wasn’t an “official” photo op on the course, but I ran past the orange cones and asked her if we could take a photo. She obliged and thankfully I didn’t get in trouble for going off the course.


Finisher! Can you see the pixie dust they sprinkled on my hair after the finish? I loved all the little Disney touches on the race!

Finisher! Thank goodness! As I approached the finish line,  I heard the announcer say, “And here comes Allison Tam.” Hah! I started laughing as I was running because no one can ever pronounce my last name correctly. When I crossed the finish line, I felt such a sense of accomplishment. Six months ago when I signed up for this race, I was 32 weeks pregnant and on bed rest. At the time this race felt like a dream, but it finally became a reality!

I could feel my ankle and arch hurting during the run, but it wasn’t until I stopped running that the pain really set it. I couldn’t put weight on my left foot without a sharp pain, so I shuffled my way through the crowd to find Jacob, who then led me to the tent where the rest of my family was waiting.


My little fam after the race! Can you tell they had to wake up before the sun? They all have sleepy faces!


What would I do without my parents? This trip was supposed to be a “thank you” to them for spending two weeks at the hospital with Lyla and I last summer. But, they ended up having to drive all the way to Orlando, waking up at the crack of dawn and helping us with the kiddos all day! I’m not sure it was much of a vacation for them, but we sure enjoyed getting to spend time with them!

I REALLY wanted to run the entire 13.1 miles; however, finishing was my ultimate goal. My other goal was to finish under 2:30:00, I didn’t achieve that goal either. I probably would have if I didn’t stop for pictures at the castle, but I wanted to enjoy the experience while I was there. I have never really pushed my body physically until the point of exhaustion… and you know what? It felt pretty awesome! The entire race was extremely humbling. There were women of all ages and sizes participating and let me tell you, there is nothing quite like the feeling of getting passed by a 70 year old during a race. Hah! I hope to be like those older women one day still out there exercising and having fun! It was also inspiring to hear about all of the weight loss stories. I met two ladies that lost over 100 pounds in the past year. Wow! I thought I was doing great just to have lost my baby weight… again, so humbling.

My cousin texted me after the race, “don’t wait too long before you sign up for your next race.” I’m not sure I’m signing up anytime soon. I’m going to give my leg a rest and see if it will heal, but I’m definitely planning on running a half marathon again.

Half Marathon Prep

Last June, I went in to labor at 30 weeks and was put on bed rest for 8 weeks. It.was.miserable. Since all I could do was lay on the couch all day, the logical thing for me to do was to sign up for a half marathon. I knew exactly which race I wanted to run in and I signed up in mid-July for the Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon that will be run February 22, 2015. What was I thinking? I was nearly 9 months pregnant, had been on bed rest for six weeks and I signed up for a half marathon?!? I still laugh at the screen that popped up during the registration that asked what my current mile splits were for a 10k or longer. Ummm… Let’s just say I left that question blank.

A few days after Lyla was born I knew I needed to start training as much as I could with the obvious restrictions from my doctor, so I began walking every day. I had a c-section so I wasn’t cleared to run for six weeks and to be honest, I didn’t want to run until then anyway. I found a great training plan online that runDisney encourages their runners to use. You can find it here if you’re interested. I followed it closely for five weeks and then my leg started hurting. I was stubborn and didn’t let it rest and ended up with pretty severe posterior shin splints. Thankfully, we know a few people who dabble in sports medicine and I was able to get back to running after a few weeks off.


Andrea and I at the finish of the Pumpkin Pie 10k with our medals and slices of pie!

On November 15th, my sister, Andrea, and I ran in the Pumpkin Pie 10k in Denver so that I could fill in that blank question on my registration. I signed up for this particular 10k because it was touted to be the flatest 10k course in Colorado. Well, it was flat, but it was also 14 degrees and the course was covered in four inches snow and ice that day. To say it was an adventure was an understatement! Andrea and I were chatting away on mile 4 and I turned to look at her and the next thing I knew, my head was slamming into the ice. It was painful! I hopped right up not wanting to slow my pace time and I couldn’t see a thing! At first I thought that I had a concussion, but it turns out my contact was just covered in snow. Andrea tried to get me to stop and walk, but I refused and we finished the race. It was the farthest I had ever run in my life – I was ecstatic! However, my leg was hurting so bad after the race that I had to take 4 weeks off from running again. At this point, I knew running a half marathon was on my 30 in 30 list and I was terrified that my shin splints were going to keep me from my goal.

I stopped running for five weeks and just began running again the day after Christmas with a new, shortened running half marathon training plan. You can find my new plan here. Running is definitely a challenge for me because I am not a typical “runner”. However, it gives me time to myself and allows me to exercise while pushing myself farther than I ever thought possible. Last Saturday I ran seven (7!!) miles with my father-in-law and I’ve never felt better. Yes, my leg still hurts, but by gosh, I’m determined to train and run my race in February! I’ll deal my leg after I cross that finish line.

Princess Half start line

Can’t wait to be at this starting line in 31 days! Photo: www.rundisney.com

I have a lot of “runner” friends and to them a half marathon is a warm-up.  However, to me it is a BIG deal! Each week that I train, I run farther than before and I am so excited to join 27,000 other women in this race. Did I mention, that costumes are encouraged and that I’ll be running as Snow White?!? I’ll keep you posted on my progress as the race gets closer – I can’t wait!