RSS Feed

Disney Princess Half-Marathon Recap

Well, it has been exactly a week since I last posted. I am going to get better about posting more often I promise! Can I just tell you how awesome this past weekend was! Run Disney events are incredible and I would highly recommend them to anyone interested in running a half-marathon or full marathon. It was a great first race experience and it is going to be difficult to surpass! We flew out early Friday morning and hit the ground running once we landed in Florida. We were staying on Disney property which made transportation to and from race events a breeze. Once we were checked into our hotel we boarded a bus and headed to the Fit For A Princess Expo to pick up our packets for the weekend events!

I quickly learned that race expos are heaven on earth for runners! I could have easily spent my entire paycheck in 30 minutes, you can ask Brandon I was like a kid in a candy store.

We spent about an hour at the expo and I picked up a shirt and some protein bar samples. Once we arrived back at the hotel we went through our race bags. Since Brandon and I were also participating in the 5k we received our race bibs and t-shirts along with a few other goodies. The half-marathon also included a duo-dry race shirt and timed race bib. When I picked up my bib I could not believe that I was actually going to run 3.1 miles on Saturday and then turn around and run 13.1 on Sunday!

If you register in time you will get a personalized bib with your name on it! Also, during registration they ask who your favorite Disney princess is, of course I said Belle! Your favorite princess determines what color your bib will be, for example Belle was yellow and Rapunzel was purple. After setting our stuff out for the 5k the next morning we were off to the park!

First up was the Magic Kingdom, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that the parks were not crowded. I have been to Disney over twenty times and never have I been able to walk without bumping into someone but not this time.  Brandon and both could spin in a circle and not hit anyone! After we spent a few hours at Magic Kingdom we hopped over to Hollywood Studios. If you are going to do Disney the best way to get the most for your money and see everything is to get a park hopper pass. With a park hopper you can hope back and forth between parks as many times as your heart desires. Once we had had our fill of Hollywood Studios we hopped back to the Magic Kingdom to close the park down and watch Wishes! Wishes is a firework show and it is the best that I have ever seen. We arrived back at our hotel around midnight and quickly went to bed because we had an early wake-up call!

We arrived at the starting line around 6:00am but had about an hour to kill before the start of the race. One thing great about run Disney events is that they now how to keep you entertained. There was a DJ and of course Rapunzel, Flynn and none other than Maximus! I wanted to take the race slow since I was running on Sunday and enjoy a nice run with my husband who never runs! The best park of the race was running the Epcot. As you ran through the worlds the music changed with each country you ran through and there were also characters throughout. Around the 2.5 mile mark you ran around the Epcot ball while the opening ceremony music of the Olympics was playing, which made me feel like I was an Olympian! After the race we headed into Epcot to ride a few rides and then hopped over to Animal Kingdom. We ended the night early and I was in bed around 8:00pm. My wake up call came all too early! I was up and dressed around 2:45am. The only down fall of run Disney events is the early start time. The race starts at 5:45 and you have to be on the shuttle by 4:00am or you don’t make it to the race.

We arrived at the pre-race area around 4:15am, Brandon was able to hang out with me for a little bit but we eventually parted ways as I had a 20 minute walk to the starting line from the race village. By the time we arrived at the starting line we were herded into our corrals. I was in corral H, which was the last corral since I did not have proof of a previous race time.

Each corral was started by Cinderella’s fairy godmother wishing us well on our race and then fire works went off! At each mile there was a Disney character and music. All along the course there were volunteers cheering and encouraging you to keep pushing through. My goal going into the half-marathon was to just run the entire race without walking but I also had a goal of wanting to finish under two hours. Another down fall of run Disney events is that they are so large. Since I was in the last corral I spent a lot of time weaving in and out of walkers and running on the grass. Despite all the crowds and weaving I did, I accomplished both goals. I ran the entire way and finished in 1:51 minutes!

When I crossed the finish line so many emotions were going through me. I had spent the entire race praying and praising God for the ability to run and do what I love. The course was beautiful and seeing the sunrise reminded me of how great our God truly is, plus running through the Cinderella’s Castle only intensified my runner’s high!


Overall, the race was amazing and I highly recommend any Run Disney event. You might be wondering why there are not many pictures of me running. Well, Brandon did not see me the entire race, he even missed me crossing the finish line. I was kind of sad at first but now I just can’t help but laugh about it! Now that I am back in Raleigh I have been looking for my next race! My next goal is the Disney Coast to Coast Challenge. In order complete the challenge you have to run a half-marathon in California and Florida in one consecutive year. If you complete the challenge you get this little baby.

I apologize for any rambleing but there is no way to describe how great Run Disney events are until you actually participate in them! If you have hesitations about running a half-marathon my advice would be to go for it, you will never regret it and it will be one of the best experiences of your life!

Off to Neverland

I think it goes without saying that I have been a horrible blogger! It has been exactly 2 weeks since my last post, so let me update you on a few things that have happened!

Since my birthday is two days after Valentine’s day we celebrated it all in one night! We celebrated on Saturday by watching The Vow and going to eat at the Mellow Mushroom. I am a huge fan of the Mellow Mushroom and could eat their  pizza everyday specifically the gourmet white pizza but the mega veggie is great, you should try eating tofu on your pizza it will rock your world! The Vow was good but I was little disappointed in the ending. Overall, it was a great birthday/Valentine’s day celebration.

On February 15, 2012 we had to put our dog down. He would have been 10 in March. Rocky was a miniature dachshund and brought so much joy to our families life. I never realized how hard it would be to loose him until he was actually gone. Needless to say I spent a lot of time crying and looking at old pictures of him.

Tomorrow I am off to Neverland or better known as Walt Disney World! Brandon and I will be spending a nice long weekend in Disney while I eagerly await for Sundays big race! I will try to blog some from Disney but it is going to be a busy and fun-filled weekend. Oh, how I hate packing!

Anything Can Happen Thursday

Today is Thursday which means a new episode of The Big Bang Theory!

This is probably one of my favorite show on, I just started watching reruns and fell in love with it. I also have discovered the I am married to an exact replica of Dr. Sheldon Cooper. While Brandon isn’t labeling everything or cleaning all the time. He constantly needs to be right and have the last word, he is also extremely corny. While every third Thursday is anything can happen Thursday for the men of The Big Bang Theory for me this Thursday will be spent resting my legs and enjoying my evening. I don’t have to work tomorrow and have an 11-miler scheduled for the morning, only one more long run on my training schedule after tomorrow!

I can’t believe that the Disney Princess Half-Marathon is only 2 weeks away! Not only am I running the half-marathon on Sunday but Brandon and I will be running the Royal Family 5k on Saturday morning! The theme this year for the 5k is based on the movie Tangled. While Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie, Tangled is a close second! I won’t be dressing up for the half-marathon because I want to make sure I am comfortable for the 13.1 miles that I will be running but the 5k is a different story. I will be dressing up as Rapunzel!

And Brandon will be dressing up as this guy.

 

He has a pretty mean smolder too.

We will be making our costumes so I welcome any suggestions or creative ideas!

I hope y’all have a great Thursday night!

 

 

Something There

Like any girl, I have always dreamed of having a fairy tale life, I relate best to the unrealistic and impossible. I am always dreaming impossible dreams and wishing on a star. I guess this could come from watching every Disney movie every made, going to Walt Disney World on every family vacation and having my nose in a book any chance I could. I love my life and I am extremely blessed to have experienced all the things that I have but I often wondered if any one would ever accept me for who I was. Well, little did I know what the Lord had in store for me. After a rough first two years of college I was finally getting back on my feet. I began attending Campus Crusade for Christ at NC State, I met some of my closest friends at Crusade. After Crusade on Thursday nights a group of people would hang out at “The Table” a house where some of the guys lived. I never went because I didn’t really know any one but one Thursday night my roommate talked me into going. There I meet an amazing group of people who challenged and pushed me in ways I have never known.

Cru Spring Break Trip in NYC

As junior year went on I found myself at “the table” every Thursday night after Crusade. Many nights we would head down to TJs and go shag dancing. I found myself happier and healthier than I had been throughout college. Many nights I was driving home as the sun was rising as we had spent the night talking, playing card game and just hanging out. Not only did some of the girls become my best friends and bridesmaids the guys were what surprised me. I had never in my life been treated with such respect and honor. When I first started hanging out with the group I was in no way shape or form looking for a relationship but I was struck by one guys sense of humor and down to earth personality, he was also easy on the eyes, his name was Brandon. For the remainder of the year we stayed friends and promised to keep in touch over the summer. All of us were traveling on summer projects or working at summer camps. I was traveling to NYC to study theatre and minister to local artist in the city. Those 5 weeks of living in New York, stretched my faith in ways that I had never experienced. I worked with an amazing group of artists, photographers, film makers and actors. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

At West Side Story

After Project was over I still had a few weeks left before first semester of Senior year. I was so ready to get back and here about everyone’s summer. The weekend before school starts we had a leader’s retreat at Garden City to get all of the Crusade student leaders in the right mindset before the semester starts. While at the retreat Brandon and I began talking about our summer and how our vacation was. We talked more that night then we did the year before. We were almost drawn together, it’s like the scene in Beauty and the Beast right after the Beast has saved Belle’s life. It’s like their eyes are finally opened and they see each other for the first time. That was how that night was for Brandon and I.

Semi-Formal

Brandon was one of the few people who I felt like I could be my-self with. He did not grow up in a Disney family like I did but he loved that I was so much like a child. We had similar passions, we both love working out and being healthy. Even though he hates running he would go running with me. He listened when I told him about my eating disorder and comforted me when I was going through rough spots.

Playing Disc Golf

One of my many dreams was to get engaged at Disney World, while Brandon tried planning and extremely short trip to Disney I ended up talking him out of it. I had just started a new job and we would have been driving down late Friday night and then back on Sunday. I was worried I would be too tried to make it to work the next day. Since I had just started a new job I didn’t have any vacation so we took a weekend trip to the beach with my family. On Sunday, June 20, 2010 at sunrise Brandon popped the question on the beach. The ring was in a glass slipper and Mickey and Minnie were there to celebrate it with us.

We had a six month engagement and were married on December 4, 2010. It snowed and it was one of the best days of my life.

For our honeymoon we took a four-day Disney Cruise and went to the park for three days. Brandon experience Disney from a pro!

First Night on the Boat

Such a good sport

The Castle

We just celebrated a year in December and are still going strong. Falling more in love with each other everyday, living our fairy tale.

Because Your Fairy Godmother Carries a Stopwatch

On February 26, 2012 I will be running my first half-marathon. I will be running the Disney Princess Half-Marathon! I will be running through the happiest place on earth!

I can’t even begin to describe all of the emotions that have gone into this training. Last year I had plans to run the Raleigh Rocks half marathon until I began having a severe pain in my right thigh and hip. I continued to run on it hoping that it would just disappear, it turns out I had a femoral neck stress fracture. I was on crutches and was not allowed to do any physical activity for four months. Now, I have always been extremely active and constantly on the go and being told that I could not even walk without crutches for two of the four months was my idea of torture. As I sat that night talking with my husband and crying that I would never run again (dramatic much) I realized that this was the Lords way of telling me to slow down and take time to enjoy the life around me. I went from running relatively low miles to extremely high miles in a matter of weeks. I began becoming wrapped up in running, it was all I thought about, talked about and dreamed about. I was a running machine. After four very slow months, I was cleared to begin low impact exercise. I began swimming, doing the elliptical and walking. Finally, I began running and slowly but surely I began increasing my speed. I registered for a race and picked a training plan. I follow Hal Higdons Half-Marathon training plan. He has several different plans you can pick from but I follow the novice 2 training plan since I already had a running base.

 

During those four months I researched training gear, how to fuel and most importantly how to listen to my body. I went to my local running store was professionally fit for running shoes, I highly recommend it. I run in mizuno enigmas but have also run in Brooks Ghost.

Also, you should invest in some good running socks that wick away the sweat. A cotton sock is no good on long runs and you will get blisters. Balega is a great brand of running socks that are soft and comfortable but also light weight and sweat wicking. My favorite piece of training equipment is also my Garmin Forerunner 305. It tracks your milage, pace and calories burned. It is a little pricey but if you are serious about running I highly recommend it. It has changed the way I run and pushed me to run better, faster and stronger.

Of course you will need running shorts and t-shirts. For long runs I highly recommend sweat wicking material, for runs under 3 miles cotton t-shirts would be fine. Make sure that you are comfortable no matter what but I love Nike, Under Armor and Lululemon.

Cross training and fueling is another big portion of training. I swim, bike,  do yoga and also use at home programs. I love P90X and Insanity, they have pushed me harder than any other exercise program. Fueling your body correctly is extremely important no matter how active you are. Making sure you eat enough whole grains, fruits, veggies into your diet is key. I eat very little meat and get most of my protein from tofu or legumes. Making sure that you are getting everything you need to fuel your body is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I also use something that is called Shakeology. Shakeology is an ultra-premium nutritional health shake that provides the widest array of nutrients from around the world in a nutrient-dense but low-calorie formula. Since starting Shakeology I have noticed significant improvements in my energy, weight and the over all performance of my body.

Sorry for the lengthy post but I hope this helps! If you have any questions please contact me at missgraceruns@gmail.com

Ooh Miss Grace

I love beach music and I love to shag dance but my blog title was not inspired from the classic Tymes song Miss Grace. It actually comes from a love of running and a childhood nickname bestowed upon me by my parents. As a child and today I am extremely clumsy. As a joke my dad started calling me Miss Grace because I am the complete opposite of anything graceful. Any time that I would fall down stairs, out of my chair or run into the furniture my dad would shout Miss Grace strikes again and start laughing. Still to this day when I go home to visit and I have a clumsy moment I hear him shout Miss Grace strikes again. My parents joke that they missed named me and that I shouldn’t be named  Emily but Grace.

As a student at N.C. State I feel in love with running. Although, I have been running most of my life I was a sprinter. While at N.C. State I fell in love with long distance running and one thing that I miss about college is being able to run around campus. If you don’t know N.C. State is not the prettiest college campus but over time it grows on you and you learn to see the beauty in all of the bricks. The way many people recognize N.C. State is the brickyard. The brickyard was one of the many places I ran through while a student at State. While I love those bricks and miss them daily, they would often times jump up and try to bite you. By bite you I mean trip you. I was one of those runners that would be zoned out, jamming out to my iPod and then face plant on those beautiful bricks. I am sure if my dad had been a witness he would have yelled out Miss Grace strikes again!

While I am not a student any more I am still running each day, one clumsy stride at a time. I hope you will join me through this adventure and all my clumsy mishaps! Tomorrow, I will talk a little bit about the half-marathon training plan and some other fitness programs that I have done.

Awkward

Have you ever noticed how starting a blog is similar to a first date. The awkward conversations, uncomfortable silences and fake smiles. So lets just skip all of that and assume we have become fast friends. My name is Emily, a klutzy 23-year-old newlywed, Jesus lover, runner and health nut. Who has a love for Disney similar to that of a 6-year-old girl and would spend most of the day with my nose in a book.

If you’re looking for an encouraging, healthy-living blog you have come to the right place. So grab a cup of tea and have a seat because I have a feeling this is the start of a beautiful friendship.