Just a mile

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A few weeks ago I started running again. Now running is a slow and painful process. I am in the same spot as anyone new to running. Each time I go out now it’s just a mile.

Just a mile is a phrase that used to mean something very different than it does today. To a distance runner just a mile is a short distance, something close to a sprint. Today just a mile is a restriction, the distance I need to start with to build up strength in my legs and feet.

Today thousands of runners will pound the pavement along the streets of New York City. I will be watching the race on television, trying to find some running inspiration. I’m still unsure about my running future. But as I watch the race I will remember that each one of those runners (even the elite ones) had to start somewhere. It was probably with just a mile. I guess that’s not a bad place to start.

Princess Marathon 2012 2

Five perfect races

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Last year Jim and I flew down to Orlando so I could run my fifth and final Princess Marathon. For a few days we escaped the bitter cold of New England and lived like royalty in the 3-bedroom Grand Villa at Bay Lake Towers.  The weekend was bittersweet because I knew once I crossed that finish line I would no longer be able to call myself a perfect princess.

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We lived large enjoying the parks, watching Wishes from the top of the Bay Lake, and running both the 5k and the half marathon. It was a great way to finish .

 

The first race was so small. I even got a bib for Corral A. My friend Trish (who thankfully convinced me to run the Princess) and I wandered all the way up to the start line. We stood a few feet away from the elite racers. Once the gun went off it felt like we were passed by everyone.

 

I was wearing my ears and mouseketeer costume, a stark contrast from all the people dressed up like princesses. Having my name across my chest was great because people all along the course yelled “Darcy”. But it wasn’t until mile 12 when I came up to the fairies that one of them yelled “A mousketeer!” That made my race.

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Every year we dressed up, but I never went as a princess. Year 2 the Evil Queen, year 3 the Frog Prince (Jim was the princess), year 4 the Queen of Hearts, and last year Dory (Jim was Marlin). While we never did run into Nemo, we did reach our goal of running the first 5 races.

 

This is the first year where I am sitting out of this race. My friends Meghan and Faye are down in Orlando for race weekend. Faye is doing the inaugural 10k and Meghan is running her third princess marathon. Last night as I read their posts on Facebook about this weekend’s run I got teary. This race was such a big part of my life for so many years. But it was time to say goodbye.

 

Thank you for 5 amazing races.

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