Friday, March 22, 2013

13.1 MILES...The Princess Half

So, I did. I finally did it. It hurt. I'm not gonna lie.

I won't bore you with all the gory details (okay, I will--- just for my own record.) But I'll try and make it interesting at least.

Once Upon A Time... a *ahem* youngish girl (suspend reality a little for this story) set off on an adventure at the Most Magical Place On Earth:

It all started out benign and exciting. With the allure of the Expo to win her over, our heroine Princess had a grand time getting checked in and browsing the many booths of running paraphenalia.

Though she was nervous, she knew once it all began that peace would come to her, just as it had at every other run she went on. Still, the butterflies in her stomach would not be contained when she saw the clock counting down as if it were recording a silent death notice:

Nevertheless, our Heroine Princess found happiness amongst her peers:

After an exciting day at the Expo it was time to fall into a deep  not-so-deep slumber. This Heroine Princess had to wake early:

And dressed in her appropriate Princess outfit:

With even her glass slippers upon her feet :

She prepared to embark into the unknown.

Upon arriving at the waiting location our Heroine Princess took many pictures of the festivities to alleviate her growing anxiety:

But, alas, before she knew it, it was time for her long (20 minute!) walk down the plank to neverland:

Little did she know, the 2 hour preliminary wait before her run would be her undoing.

After a very long and lonely wait our Heroine Princess was off! (along with 3000 other people in her group). In all, there were 23,000 runners!

The Fairy Godmother did right by her and gave a magical send off:

And just like that, she began the ardurous journey set before her:
The first paced time of her journey wasn't too bad...despite having a very slow running pace due to the large number of people crowding her:

It could have been worse. At this point, our Heroine Princess still felt like she had a chance... she was optimistically hopeful that she would be able to finish in a reasonable amount of time...with little to no pain (ahhh, the optimism of the innocent running virgin!). 

She continued on and arrived at the edge of the Magical Land:

When she arrived at the castle her hope and vigor was kept strong by the wondrous sites she saw:

 Before she knew it she was almost half way done:
That is when it started getting very trying. Our poor Heroine Princess was tiring quickly and her feet were much too sore to run well. (If she had truly been chased by some awful monsters no doubt she would not have won.) She slowed down considerably coming up to the 8 mile marker:
And it was noticeable in her 15K (9 miles) timed pace:

By the time she rounded the 10 mile marker she was thoroughly exhausted and her feet would barely carry her more than a slow jog.
It certainly did not help that the crowd was still thick as thieves and she had difficulty going around slower runners without weaving -which caused her to expend her energy faster.

With much effort, and little peace, our Princess finally came to her last mile:

The most excruciating mile yet. Although there were distractions:

 our Princess could barely stand the pounding of the pavement. Dismayed by her running time as well, she was feeling all but spent. She did not trust to hope that the finish line would come soon.

That last mile hurt the most. It did our Heroine in. By the time she crossed the finish line she was very near to tears. Still, she held her head up high and smiled:
She had done it! She did not need a Prince Charming to come and rescue her --she had accomplished so much on her own! And yet, when all was said and done...he was there, her Prince:

There to help her as she ungracefully hobbled the half mile to the car. There to tell her he was so proud of her. There when she teared up for some unnamed reason...the relief that it was over? the regret that her time wasn't better? the pain felt in every step she took? What it was, she could not say. But she was glad, nonetheless, that he was with her. He reminded her of the great feat she had accomplished-something no one else had done (okay, maybe 23,000 others had too...).

When she got back to her car and (finally!) sat down she was able to reflect and realize it was a great accomplisment. And upon reflection, she found her pride in herself. And she realized she did pretty well, all things considered.

After all, it was all about getting the shiny medal anyway.

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