Running the Disney Princess Half Marathon This Weekend

by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

I'll be donning this Claire's tiara for the race. Very classy.

I’ve bought my tiara and am ready to be a princess, if only for a day. This weekend I’m running the Disney Princess Half Marathon with two of my best friends — one from my hometown and one from college. I’ve been training for a few months for this race, getting up early in the morning before work to run, or going to the gym after work and (begrudgingly) running on the treadmill.

Training has forced me to make more healthy choices about my diet and the amount of sleep I get and has given me a goal to work toward. It has also become a healthy release. Like many people, I don’t always make time for myself, so running daily has forced me to enjoy my own company, have some quiet time outside and reflect a little.

Long runs by the water are often when I do some of my best thinking — about my personal life, work, and why I’m running. Sure, there are mornings when I just don’t want to get up and run six miles, and there are times when I’m in pain and wonder why the hell I’m putting my body through this. But there’s a certain level of gratification I get from running that helps keep me driven and focused, not just in running but in other areas of my life, too. For that reason alone, it’s worth it.

Staying focused on long runs can be tough, but once I get about three miles into them, I start to find a rhythm. The longest I’ve run is 14.5 miles, so I know I can run the half. I just have to pace myself so that I can accomplish my goal of running the race in under two hours. I’ll be focused less on time, though, and more on finishing. So long as I can cross the finish line and celebrate with my friends, I’ll be happy. (Perhaps the biggest challenge is making sure I get enough sleep before the race. I’m a night owl, so it’ll be difficult waking up at 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning. …)

I can do it, though. Here’s to getting enough sleep and running my first marathon — with friends and with the hope that all my training will pay off. Check back here early next week to see how it went!