The Long Road to Princess 2021

JAMIESMITH

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
My name is Jamie. I am thirty-one years old. I have been married to my (mostly) wonderful husband (also Jamie) since 2007. We have two beautiful daughters. Madilyn is ten and Scarlett is turning two next weekend. I have a full time job at an outdoor power equipment dealership (think lawn care equipment) and I started taking online courses at a local community college in January. I am on track to finish my coursework there in the fall of 2020 and start the accounting program at Mississippi State University in the fall of 2021.

A Run Disney race is on my bucket list. I have enjoyed reading so many race trip reports here on the DisBoards! I will have to keep living vicariously through those for the next couple of years, but I am tentatively planning to run the Princess Half Marathon in 2021. I will have several opportunities for a good proof of time before then.

I would like to share my running journey so far with you. I would love to read any comments or advice you care to share!

I have never been very athletic. I didn't play sports in school. Growing up, I spent most of my free time with my nose in a book or riding a dirt bike. My two closest friends and I all started with the Couch 2 5K app in the summer of 2014. We all wanted to lose some weight. In October of 2014, we left our kids at home and took an overnight road trip to Mobile, AL for our first ever 5K. The Color Run is like a gateway drug in running. The run was a blast! I did end up having to walk part of the last mile. Since this was pre-running watch and the run is untimed, I have no idea what my pace was! We did some shopping, at some great food, and had fun catching up.

That’s me on the left. My friend Ashley is in the middle and my cousin/friend Marie is on the right.



We had such a good time that Ashley talked her husband into running another Color Run in April of 2015 in Savannah, GA. Marie and I had another girls’ weekend and ran the one in Birmingham, AL the following month. I managed to finish this one without walking, but I still have no clue what my pace was.



We both slacked off on running after that because it was so hot out, but we started back up in September. Just before Halloween, Marie and I ran our first timed 5K. It was a glow run for the East MS Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I finished in 37:27 with an average pace of 12:05.



2016 started off as a really good year for me. I invested in my first running watch, a Garmin Forerunner 15. I wasn’t losing any weight, but I was running more consistently. I finished three more races that spring and had a new PR of 35:30 with an average pace of 11:27. In July, I found out that I was pregnant. My husband and I were shocked! Our only child would be turning nine in August and we both thought we were done having babies
. We were wrong!

July 4th Glow Run at 7 weeks pregnant



I finished one more run in October at 20 weeks pregnant, but I was painfully slow. By that time my running buddy was also expecting!



These were taken two months before my due date





My surprise baby was born in March of 2017. I don’t know what we would do without this girl!





I am ending up with more photos here than I realized so I will continue this recap in the next post!
 
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JAMIESMITH

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Running Journey Continued...

My cousin’s little boy was born in late June, so he is about four months younger than my baby girl. I was able to start back running in May after my c-section incision was all healed up.

By August, my cousin was walking, but not up to running. We finished a local 5K Pajama Run with our strollers. This was my older daughter’s first 5K! My finish time for this race was 37:30 (exactly the same as my first timed 5K back in 2015). My nine year old finished in 36:16. This was a small race, so my daughter and I both placed second in our age groups.







On August 11th, my hometown’s Marathon/Half Marathon race posted a coupon code on Facebook, “ECLIPSE” in honor of the solar eclipse that day. I made a spur of the moment decision to sign up for my first half marathon. I found a 12 week Hal Higdon training planning plan and modified it to fit my schedule.

Marie had to work during my next 5K in October, but my daughter enjoyed running in her Halloween Costume. I got my time back down to 35:20 at an 11:24 pace even with a stroller. My daughter placed second in her age group with a time of 34:52 or 11:15 per mile.



About two weeks after this race, I was running a race solo for the first time. I had a goal time of 2:45 for my first half marathon, The Magnolia Half. I missed that goal by 90 seconds! I maintained an average pace of 12:42, but I underestimated the hills on this course. My longest training run was also only nine miles.





I had already registered for my second half marathon. The Mississippi Blues Marathon and Half was scheduled for the last week in January, so it fell about eight weeks after the Magnolia Marathon and Half. I planned to take a week off from running and then start training again. My husband, older daughter and I all got the flu. I have no idea how the baby avoided it! Then we had Christmas and New Years and I just gave it up. The race actually ended up being canceled due to a freak ice storm. We very rarely get snow or ice here! I hope to finish the Blues Half next year.

2018 was not a great year for me running wise. My one good achievement was a new 5K PR in March of 32:48 or 10:33 per mile. My daughter won first place in her age group at that same race. I ran one other race in August, and it was miserable. I was undertrained, and it was so hot! I had hoped to run the Magnolia Half Marathon a second time, but I never committed to training for it.
 
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  • JAMIESMITH

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2011
    Your babies are adorable! Excited to follow along!
    Thank you so much! I see that you've just run the Rock N Roll Half in New Orleans! That race is also on my someday list. I'm interested to know what you think of it! Are you also from the deep south?
     
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    JAMIESMITH

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2011
    2019 Goals


    Increase My Monthly Mileage
    For example, I only ran a total of 19 miles in February of 2018, so I want to run more than that in February this year.


    Sub :30 5K
    I have been chasing a sub :30 5K since 2014. I really want to buckle down and make that happen this year!

    My daughter and I are registered for the Loose Caboose 5K at the end of next month which is the same race I got my current PR of 32:48 at last year.

    My husband works most Saturdays from March-October so I will have to either schedule races on his weekends off, push a stroller during the race, or try to find a babysitter. Running with a stroller is good exercise, but I don't think I can PR with one. I'm waiting for the weekend rotation in his department to start back up so that I know which races to register.


    Sub 2:45 Half Marathon

    I'm still kicking myself over missing this by 90 seconds! I know I can shave that much time off my first time. I really want to have a good time to submit to Disney so I get an earlier start in a smaller corral.


    Run at Universal
    We haven't been on a vacation in several years. We will be visiting Universal Orlando for the first time over fall break in mid October. I've booked five nights at Royal Pacific (paid for mostly with credit card miles). I'm hoping Undercover Tourist will have the buy two days, get two days promotional tickets for our dates. I have enough credit card miles accumulated to pay for those, too. I love Disney, but my husband and older daughter are excited to try something new. I want to get some miles in while on vacation, especially since I will be training for the Magnolia Half which is about five weeks after we get home from our trip.


    Save for Disney
    In order to run in the Princess Half in 2021, I will need to accumulate credit card rewards miles/points to redeem towards at least our park tickets. I'm hoping to spend at least four days in the parks. I will have about half of that by May from the signup bonus on my new Barclay Arrival Plus card. I may get that same card in my husband's name after I meet the minimum spend requirements (paid off in full each month, of course!) on mine.

    I am trying to save up about $1000 to take with us to Universal for food. I currently only have $200. After I hit that figure, I will start saving for our room at Disney. I'm thinking either a moderate or rent points for a studio at Old Key West.


    Weight Loss
    This is almost an after thought. I would love to lose 10-15lbs. Right now I am on the high side of "normal".
     
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    DopeyBadger

    Imagathoner
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2015
    Following along! Tremendous journey to this point and thanks for sharing. With hard work and determination I have no doubt you'll reach your goals. My daughter and I are also pencilled in for the 2021 Princess Weekend as she wants to do a Father/Daughter 5k in Disney for her birthday. I look forward to seeing what happens next!
     

    KSellers88

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 22, 2015
    Thank you so much! I see that you're running the Rock N Roll Half in New Orleans! That race is also on my someday list. I'm interested to know what you think of it! Are you also from the deep south?
    It was so much fun! I highly recommend it! Yes, I live about 20 minutes outside Auburn, Alabama, so not too far away :-)
     
  • JAMIESMITH

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2011
    Following along! Tremendous journey to this point and thanks for sharing. With hard work and determination I have no doubt you'll reach your goals. My daughter and I are also pencilled in for the 2021 Princess Weekend as she wants to do a Father/Daughter 5k in Disney for her birthday. I look forward to seeing what happens next!
    Thank you for the encouragement! I think being more consistent in my training will work wonders. I've just been so sporadic with it! 2017 was the exception!

    It was so much fun! I highly recommend it! Yes, I live about 20 minutes outside Auburn, Alabama, so not too far away :-)
    I pulled up your training log last night, but I'm only to page fifteen. Your dedication is inspiring! Have you marked Mississippi off your fifty state list? There aren't many here to chose from.
     

    KSellers88

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 22, 2015
    I pulled up your training log last night, but I'm only to page fifteen. Your dedication is inspiring! Have you marked Mississippi off your fifty state list? There aren't many here to chose from.
    Thank you so much! I really appreciate that! Mississippi is on the calendar for March 30th, the Bay St. Louis Half :D
     

    JAMIESMITH

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2011
    Following along! Your girls are adorable! How fun that your oldest is running 5K's with you.
    Thank you! My cousin used to be my running buddy, but she moved about twenty miles away so it's not as convenient as it was when she was four houses down. We still meet up occasionally, but now I either run alone or with my girls.
     
  • JAMIESMITH

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2011
    February Recap:

    I finished out February with a 2.2 mile stroller run. I always repeat the Couch to 5K program after I take a long break from running. Today's run was week 5, day 2 of that program (two eight minute runs with a five minute walk to warm up, five minute mid run walk, and five minute cool down).

    We broke in a new piece of running gear this week. Scarlett had outgrown the old red Fisher Price stroller that's been around since her sister was born. She is in the 90th percentile for both height and weight. So, I found a Burley Solstice jogging stroller online for $199 and I ordered that. She has a good bit of room in this new stroller. It seems a bit easier to push, too.



    I wanted to beat last February's mileage total of 19.2 miles and I succeeded with a total of 23 miles this month!

    I won't run again until Sunday because someone is turning two this weekend and we have a party to get ready for on Saturday. I ran 25.7 miles last March so that's the number to beat next month.

    Madilyn and I have our first 5K of the year on March 30th. We will finish this round of Couch to 5K leading up to that race. Hopefully I can set a new PR!

    I am also eyeing a 5K on April 27th (on a course I really love) and another one June 8th (this one is a bit of a drive, but the course looks beautiful).
     

    michigandergirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2013
    Nice looking stroller and "easier to push" makes the price worth it IMO. Cute sunglasses on your daughter too!
     

    JAMIESMITH

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2011
    Thank you! I don't know where the time has gone.

    Nice looking stroller and "easier to push" makes the price worth it IMO. Cute sunglasses on your daughter too!
    A good stroller has become mandatory for me to continue running. I hope this one will fit her for a long time.

    How old are your kiddos? I know you mentioned your daughter wants to run the Princess 5K the same year we plan to go.
     

    JAMIESMITH

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2011
    My boys are 15 & 13, and my daughter is 11. She will be running her first 5K in a few weeks at Star Wars weekend.
    It's been a while since you've had to push one in a stroller, then!

    Your daughter will have so much fun. Is she sticking with you or running her own pace? I always let my daughter set her own pace during a race which leads to her pulling away during the first mile and me catching back up during the last one. I'm concerned that the crowds at Disney might make this a bad idea, but she will be twelve by then.
     



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