Grab some coffee, folks, because this recap of the 2018 Disney’s Princess Enchanted 10k is gonna be very long and very photo-heavy! And it also could be more appropriately titled Hello, Balloon Ladies, we meet again!
Yep. I once again repeated my Wine & Dine 10k performance by walking and stopping for enough character photos to put me face-to-face with them again. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me pick up with my Fit for a Princess Expo and Princess 5k recap by starting at the beginning with our…
Our group had initially thought of going as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs since Snow White was rumored to be the theme. But to be honest, I wasn’t that thrilled about it because unless you’re Dopey or Snow, the colors are rather bland. I knew I’d be walking this solo, so I wanted to be colorful and fun and … well, pretty. After all, it is the Princess Half! So on a Saturday morning, I tossed out this idea on our Facebook message group:
What resulted next is a frenzy of messages between me, Shannon, and Sara planning the entire costume from wigs to leggings in hopes the others would love the idea. They SO DID, although Megan planned on a Beauty and the Beast theme with her daughter and friends. And I already had most of the ideas needed, such as a purple Sparkle Athletic skirt and purple leggings I had already worn for the Wine & Dine 10k ….
… which happens to be the same 10k we had a Balloon Ladies run-in with …
Hmm. Are these leg warmers cursed? Well, Jackey and I shall find out since we’re wearing them again for the Disneyland 10k.
But anyway. Back to topic. These costumes turned out to be super fun and needs to be included in my Five Favorite Running Costumes post. I knew we’d have a blast even before the race when Shannon and Stephanie came out to “rob” me where their nude skull caps.
(If you want to see them in action, be sure to check out my Princess 10k video recap.)
Since the monorail was only running early for the half marathon, we took the bus again, arriving a little earlier than we did for the 5k
Once again, the lines for characters were INSANELY long, meaning we’d only have time to wait for one and that was about it. So instead, we decided to have fun dancing, posing for fun pictures, and visiting with friends.A very long #Princess10k recap! #runDisney #GlassSlipperChallenge #werunsocial #sweatpink Click To Tweet
I also got to chat with Charlie, a friend from the United Kingdom and one of the best Cast Members at Epcot’s World Showcase! She stuck true to the Beauty & the Beast theme with her cute Belle dress.
Our main goal was to also mimic the photo that was our costume inspiration.
Not perfect, but I think we did pretty good … although I’m still not sure what is going on with my boobs. (That sports bra has since been retired.) And there were some folks who had no idea who we were.
We then hung around for the pre-show with the always amazing Carissa, Rudy, and John. I had hoped to score a selfie with John Pelkey, but the Team Shenanigans gang got him instead. Next time!
After bathroom breaks, gEAR bag checks and goodbye hugs, Kelly, Stephanie and I headed to Corral A. By then, my wig was absolutely killing me. Shannon had told me she made hers more comfortable by releasing a hook in the back, so to the amusement of those around us, Kelly dug into the bottom of mine, trying to unlatch it. As soon as she did, there was instant relief, but as you’ll find out later … not enough.
So not enough.
I hereby vow to NEVER WEAR A WIG FOR A RACE AGAIN.
We then chatted, enjoyed the banter between the announcers, and watched yet another preview for the live action Beauty & the Beast movie. Soon, it was time to go!
Like for the 5k, they staggered the release of each corral in waves. I do think this is smart idea even though it does take some of the excitement away from those in the second, third, or fourth waves. But it’s worth it.
Once again, it was really hard seeing Kelly and Stephanie run off without me. I know this sound a bit drama queen … but when you’re a competitive person who loves to run, (and still has no clue when or if you’ll ever be able to again,) it’s hard. They were both wonderful and supportive, though, sending me several messages throughout the race to make sure I was okay.
Still. It was hard.
I refused to ruin the race by having a negative attitude, though, so I shook off my disappointment and enjoyed it for what it was … a walk at Disney World, my favorite place to be besides home! And I soon came upon a beautiful site … Moana cheering us on from an overpass. She was very sweet and encouraging, although her saying, “Don’t give up now,” was rather amusing considering we had just started.
This caused a few of us to laugh and when I turned to the gals wearing awesome plaid Disney World VIP Tour guide costumes, I realized they were Patty from My No Guilt Life and Julie from Run Walk Repeat.
Now, here’s the thing about me, something I’ll discuss in further detail in my upcoming We Run Social meet-up post.
Whenever I’m around other bloggers … especially ones with large followings such as theirs … I turn into a bumbling idiot thanks to my severe case of Imnotworthyitis. (Yes, that’s a thing.) And what made this worse was my brain’s tendency to go on lock-down when I’m nervous, causing me to forget Julie’s name plus her blog’s name … not once, but twice … are you kidding me? Her blog is one that inspired me to start blogging myself, so inside my head, I was screaming, “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE STOP!!!”
Ugh. I get so frustrated with myself sometimes.
Despite my forgetful nerves, I managed to take some video with them for my YouTube video recap. But honestly. SMH. Julie, if you’re reading this, my sincerest apologies.
My goal for this race was to keep a 16 minute mile pace, allowing a few character photos while staying ahead of the Balloon Ladies. The first mile was rather dull thanks to my insistence to never listen to music during runDisney races. Instead, I prefer embracing the moment by listening to the pounding feet of other runners, snatches of their conversations, and park music. By the time I saw this, however, I decided to bring my wireless ear buds for the half marathon.
Up ahead, where the course makes a sudden right hook onto an overpass, they had Alana set up for a character photo. The back drop and her dress was so gorgeous that I had to stop! She seemed very surprised by my wig and leggings.
Next up was Tinkerbell and the other fairies, but the line was hideously long so I had to pass, even though I saw some friends waiting in line who invited me to join them.
That’s Ann from Heart of a Single Mom again!
Up next was more highway time since we wouldn’t be entering Epcot’s World Showcase until around Mile 3. Hobbling along with runners passing me by started to bum me out, but I was quickly uplifted when Jill recognized me despite the purple wig!
She’s one of our viewers plus Jennalyn’s sister, (the gal I was finally able to meet during the Princess 5k.) Being able to actually meet the people I hope to inspire with these blog posts and YouTube videos has been so unbelievably amazing, and chatting with her brushed away my disappointment over still being injured.
So many thanks, Jill, for putting a smile on my face!
The smiles kept coming with I got to meet another viewer, Julie, who traveled all the way from the UK to do this race! Like Jill, she was so sweet and so happy to be there, a good reminder that every single person on that crowded course had a story and a reason to be there.
Hmm. Maybe we should start a What’s Your Story feature, allowing viewers and readers to share theirs. If this is something that interests you, please let me know in the comments below!
Moving on. I get sidetracked a lot, don’t I?
After chatting with Julie, I came upon another hideous line, this time for the Wicked Queen. My inner photo addict ached from having to pass without a picture, but I was trying to be smart and make good choices during this race!
Making good choices sucks sometimes.
Once we came upon a round of “Parade Buses,” aka, the sweeper buses, though, I was reminded exactly why I needed to make good choices during this race. Because I didn’t want my photo addict rear being swept.
So I carried on!
One luxury you have with walking is the ability to check out other runner’s awesome costumes. I did love this gal’s Up costume, although she might have given some other runners a momentary fright by carrying balloons, however different they might have been from the Balloon Ladies.
Finally! Mile Two!
I had to take a picture of this for my own husband, Bob, and for Stephanie’s.
What’s odd, however, is that I have no photos or screenshots to share from between miles two and three. Surely there was something, right? Did I just blank out in a walking, hobbling fog?
Whatever the case, I somehow found myself at Mile 3.
Afterwards, I saw this guy giving a lovely shout-out to Prince with this costume. A wig, jacket, and inflatable guitar? Dude, you rock.
Speaking of colorful, there was no line for these guys so I had to stop!
And once we entered the back lot area of Epcot where several people were posing beside boats from either the Frozen Ever After ride or Maelstrom, I had to stop, too!
Before entering Epcot’s World Showcase, I also took video of these gals and their awesome costumes. They were so sweet!
Then finally!! We were in Epcot!
While waiting in line for a picture of the lagoon, I got to meet yet another awesome YouTube viewer, Teresa from Kentucky! I have to say that being able to meet so many viewers was BY FAR my favorite part of the race. So again, thank you Teresa and everyone else for taking the time to stop!
It was also wonderful running into dear friends such as Debbie, a member of my running group!
And by the way, does anyone know who this gal is who took video of me videoing??? I think she’s a fellow YouTuber but I can’t remember who. #poormemoryissues
Up ahead, there was yet another long line for Geppetto and Pinocchio. Like, very long. But hey, good choices can be boring at times so I jumped in. While scouting ahead, however, who did I see? Shannon, Sara, and Sarah!!! Since we could then get one of the four of us, I jumped ahead, sparing me several minutes and getting one adorable photo as a result.
Sara’s knee was bothering her, so while Shannon and Sarah ran ahead to get in line for the next character, she walked with me past the Mile 4 marker.
By the way, this is what you are supposed to do when you notice that all of your selfies are starting to look the same.
I nearly squealed with delight when I saw the next character was Marie!!! She’s just so white and pretty and posh, with her pink bow. Love this photo!
Afterwards, they started to run for a good Photopass picture, one of which I happened to bomb, hehehe.
After making it to the bridge before the course went to the right into the International Gateway, I decided to stop and scope those behind us in case the Balloon Ladies were closing in on us. At first, I saw nothing, but then ….
Oh crap. BALLOONS!!!!!!
My heart instantly dropped to my leg warmers. Crap, crap, crap, the Balloon Ladies would soon be nipping at my heels and I had no idea where the official cut off point was for being swept. Time to kick it into serious gear!!!! (And my language wasn’t quite as polite in the video I took. Let’s just say I needed to so some editing.)
Once through the gateway, I noticed the longest line yet … one for Royal Minnie in her pink dress. Curses!!!!!! It would have bee so awesome getting a picture with her! I instantly became upset and frustrated over my injury once again. I hated having to walk this race, I hated not being normal and I hated the fact that Stephanie and Kelly were probably already finished the race and on their second round of beers without me, gazing at all the wonderfully juicy character photos the were able to get throughout the race.
Yeah, I know. Cue the violins. Sorry, just being honest here.
The amount of cheers and encouragement from those one their way downhill gave to us on the uphill was amazing, however. So once again, I forced myself to stop being frustrated and took things one step at a time instead.
We soon entered the Boardwalk area, which is always gorgeous and amazing!
I loved seeing the many spectators out, cheering us on with great signs such as this one.
I haven’t watched The Bachelor for the past few seasons, but I still had to stop for this fun one!
Sorry for cutting your heads off, ladies. I’m still not used to taking selfies with my heavier iPhone 7+!
And, of course, I just had to get a photo in front of the Atlantic Dance Hall, since it’s one of Jackey’s favorite places to go in Disney!
I truly appreciated all of the many volunteers throughout the entire race, from beginning to end. However … I do think runDisney needs to bring back PowerAde on the 10k courses, even if for only one water stop. It was very humid that day and the extra electrolytes would have been great!
Doesn’t this just bring a tear to your eye, how this young gal is helping her relative?? This was another perk about walking. I got to see endearing moments of other gals persevering.
Seriously, I would have tackled someone for a Dole Whip by this time.
So, SO grateful to see this sign!!!
Moments afterwards, however, a race official hollered out, “THE BALLOON LADIES ARE THIRTY SECONDS BEHIND YOU!!”
Oh good Lord.
Talk about frenzy.
This kicked everyone into serious gear, with walkers walking faster and those doing intervals trying to squeeze by. My heart started to race and the headache that I had somehow managed to ignore from my wig doubled. While I didn’t think they did any more sweeps at that point and there were still tons of people behind me, I couldn’t stop my anxiety from rising.
Once we had circled around Boardwalk and headed toward the International Gateway again, there was nobody walking up the hill this time, giving us the freedom to walk or run on both sides.
The Minnie line was still insane, but I could hear volunteers warning those who were considering joining that there was a chance they wouldn’t be able to finish the race if they waited for a photo.
Um, no thanks. A selfie is just fine.
Besides, these awesome Belle Rose costumes were practically a character photo opportunity in itself. Look at those amazing headpieces!!!
It was also amazing running into … err, no, make that walking into my friends Anna and Tiffany. We chatted while hustling along into Epcot’s World Showcase once more until the moment I had dreaded happened.
The Balloon Ladies had almost caught up with us.
I started to take video over my shoulder, but because of the bright sun, I couldn’t see my phone’s screen very well. So I asked Anna where they were. “Behind my right,” she said.
“Am I close?”
Anna just smiled and said, “yeah,” because one of the Balloon Ladies had run up waving wildly for the camera.
Yep, they got me. But at least now none of us were at risk of being swept, since we were safely in Epcot. And the one gal I spoke with was as lovely as usual, even going as far as to say she loves me back after I gushed about how much I loved them and the way they help others to not be swept. (Be sure to check out Patty’s interview and Team Shenanigan’s podcast with them!)
But their balloon.
Doesn’t it look like Belle is giving me some major side eye?
With my combo of claustrophobia and anxiety issues, I was feeling pretty tense, so much so that I was rather quiet after finally being able to meet Mia, another YouTube video and supporter we appreciate. She was walking as well, due to foot issues and understood my anxiety.
We were finally able to chat once it cleared up past Spaceship Earth, but I didn’t think to get a photo with her rather than just take video! My mind was serious mush by then, both from being exhausted, frustrated, and headachy from that wig.
I then ran into Charlie again, who also found herself behind the Balloon Ladies after stopping for many character photos! But unlike me, she wasn’t stressed and thought each and every one of them was worth it.
It was great being able to finally see this glorious mile marker with a friend. And you know what was even better? SEEING THIS!!!
Oh my goodness.
I was so happy to be finished with this race! Don’t get me wrong … except for those few moments of frustration and mini-mental breakdowns, I had a total blast. But like I mentioned in my Princess 5k recap, I was tapped out from being injured and frustrated since there is no guarantee I’ll ever be able to run again.
So walking this race was hard.
And it was very crowded, especially after the finish line where folks were trying to get their medals.
Charlie and I kept walking until the crowd broke and we got our gorgeous bling from one of the last volunteers.
Since Charlie’s phone had died at around the Mile 4 mark, she was very grateful I had my phone so I could get video and photos of her as well as us together!
We both skipped on the water and PowerAde bottles, however, because it was so crowded. The line for finisher photos was surprisingly short, however.
The line for snack boxes and bananas at the second tent, however? Insane. As in, insane in the membrane, got no brain, insane, INSANE. I love the processed cheese and nachos as much as the next person, but there was no way I was waiting for that.
Instead, I headed directly to the concession tent for a desperately needed beer. I then met Charlie in one of the princess character lines … can’t remember which one, but after waiting for five minutes, I bailed. My wig was killing me, I was tired, hungry, and slightly buzzed from that beer, so I hugged Charlie goodbye and headed for the bus line … just in time to see one for the Contemporary leave.
Ugh. A better choice might have been walking to the monorail, but a bus soon showed up and we were on our way with a very long ride to two different resorts before the Contemporary. I started a countdown of when, exactly I’d be able to FINALLY TAKE THAT WIG OFF! And yes, I do realize I could have taken it off on the bus. But I’m vain. And certain that my hair underneath was a matted, sweaty mess. Plus, it was rather fun walking through the Contemporary wearing a purple wig and fuzzy leg warmers. Let’s just say there were several double takes!
I finally made it to the room where this immediately happened:
The other ladies had brunch plans at Cinderella’s Castle, but I had decided to pass. Instead, my plan was to take a shower and have a long, luxurious nap before the 1:00 We Run Social meet-up at the Polynesian Resort. So I un-taped my foot, took off the metatarsal pad, and elevated my feet on a towel-covered pillow for what I had intended to be just a few minutes before taking a shower.
Those few minutes stretched to 12:15 pm, leaving me hardly any time to shower and make it to the meet-up in time. Did I bother?
This is the topic of my next blog recap as well as the 2017 Princess Half Marathon! Be sure to sign up for email notifications so you don’t miss them. Until then, thank you for reading along with this very long, very photo-heavy post. And what about you?
QOTD: Did you run the 2017 Disney’s Princess Enchanted 10k? If so, what was your favorite part?