Running the Disney Princess Half Marathon This Weekend

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!

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at

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