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So How Did I Get Here? Part 2 - February 2022

So what was the next challenge? Princess Weekend, which I had planned before the January Half Marathon slot opened up! Here, I thought, "I'll just see what it's like to do two races back to back," so I signed up for the 5k and 10k. I've done over 100 races between these two distances, and I had no concerns about the mileage at all. I bought specific walking shoes, and I felt way more prepared than January's half. I also had my best friend from high school, Amanda, and her brother, Andrew, to join me for the parks. Our parents had taken us when we were little, so to go back as adults was awesome. I was excited, I was confident, I was going to activate my Annual Pass -- I was ready!! Except, this weekend KNOCKED ME BACK DOWN TO EARTH. Princess Weekend's Lessons Learned:

  1. Walk the 5k! It's the only race that's not timed and you're in no danger of getting swept. No need to go all out on Day 1! It's so early I finished BEFORE the sunrise.

  2. The walk back to the bus after the 5k could have been another 5k. Okay, not really, but they were in a different space than usual, and it was a long walk. These walks to and from the race itself really add up, especially over multiple days.

  3. No more holding things! I thought Luisa's donkey would stay attached to my shoulder. It did not. I had to hold a donkey in my hands for 6.1 of 6.2 miles! I'm surprised I didn't throw the donkey in the trash can by mile 4!

  4. Be mindful of how much time you spend in the parks! After the 5k, I took a quick nap and met up with Amanda and Andrew at the Magic Kingdom for lunch. Then we stayed until the 8 PM fireworks and after. It was probably close to 11 before I got to sleep and 2:30 came REAL fast.

  5. Be mindful of what you're doing in the parks! I thought going to the smallest park would help, but we were crisscrossing all day long. I walked 9.6 miles after my 5k, and my legs were "D.E.D. DEAD" the next morning.

  6. Recovery shoes! The only place I'm an extrovert is Disney World. On Sunday, after those that were doing the 10k and half challenge finished, I noticed an older man with a challenge medal and his shoes looked weird. "Congratulations! Do mind if I ask what kind of shoes you're wearing? My feet are killing me." He and he wife both swore by Oofos, a recovery shoe brand that is supposed to help your feet and muscles recover faster. I now own 4 pairs and wear them around the house and after runs. They're amazing!

That 10k was the hardest race I've ever run ever. I did okay the first 3 miles, but the wheels fell off the wagon halfway through. I was tired, every muscle was sore, my feet were in pain and felt like they were on fire with every step I took, my head hurt, and I was questioning every one of my life's decisions that had led me to that point in time. I kept an eye on the Balloon Ladies Tracker. Disney requires a 16-minute per mile pace from the last person to cross the start line. The Balloon Ladies, aptly named because they tie a big Mickey balloon around their waist, start last and keep pace. If you fall behind them, you're in danger of being swept off the course and not being able to finish. At some point, I calculated that I could walk the rest of the way and still barely finish ahead of them, and walk I did. I have no idea how I'm smiling in the 5-mile picture below. All I can say is that it was a bold-faced lie, and I was close to tears while texting Amanda to get Star Wars Rise of the Resistance Lightning Lane passes. By the finish line, I was so out of sorts, that I didn't get it when a cast member yelled at me, "Luisa, the donkeys are out again!" By the time I got the joke, I turned around to say, "I'm on it!" But I crossed the finish line timing mat basically backwards and missed all the finish line photos!

But somehow I did it! 3.1 miles as Cinderella and 6.2 miles as Luisa! Stay tuned for Part 3 where I go for 19.3 miles in 4 days!

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