Disney World Half Marathon


 This past weekend I was able to head down to Orlando to run the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. The weekend was amazing. We were treated so well, the hotel was really nice, and the RunDisney staff were so accommodating. The weather was not great for running, it was very warm and humid. However, it was great weather for being outdoors and enjoying the sunshine!

      The race went OK for me. I started off conservatively and was able to pick it up by 10k feeling good. Going in to the race, I knew that although I felt pretty fit, the weather would not be very conducive for me to to p.r. (1:15:32) I still wanted to try though, and was going to race hard and go for it. I did hit a bad patch, but by mile 10 I was feeling better knowing that I only had 3 miles left. Although now after reviewing my splits it must have been more of a death march. Funny how soon the mind forgets!  It was pretty warm and I was tossing water on myself at every water stop. It was also unique running in the dark. Some parts of the course were pitch black! I am surprised I did not fall. Ha!





 At mile 11 I felt my stomach starting to cramp up. Ugh. At mile 12 I was jogging frantically looking for someplace I could dart off and ‘go’, but there were people everywhere and I also didn’t want to stop and get passed!  I decided to try to make it to the finish line no matter what happened. A very risky move!


      For me, I get anxiety about it and start to panic so those last few miles were not fun. I did make it through the finish in second place with a less than stellar time and puked twice.


  My stomach was not right the rest of the day. I either had a bug or ate something funny. I was definitely more lax than usual on my eating the day before the race. I have been having no stomach problems lately and I thought I would be ok. Lesson learned for Boston. I know better.


     This has been a tough last season for me. I haven’t run my best since being here in Michigan. Not going to lie, it is frustrating and it is easy for me to get down on myself. Not racing well is definitely not a confidence booster. I have been hitting all of my workouts but have been faltering at races. I know my legs are still getting used to running fatigued, and I know that as long as I keep believing in myself and in the program, I will see success. All of those fast workouts I have done during the fall will translate to the marathon. So even though I did not race well this fall, I know that all of that hard work has made me a stronger marathoner.  I am remaining positive that things will turn around and my breakthrough will come. I have a feeling that Boston will be my race. It is one of my favorite marathons and I just know I will nail it!  There are a few changes I am making to get as ready mentally and physically as I can before Boston, but for now I have 5 days of complete downtime before marathon training.

Thank you to Hanson’s, Brooks, and Disney for an amazing weekend! Thanks you to Perfect Foods Bar for your continued support and belief in me!
Run Happy Friends!


  1. Your ability to be honest with yourself and strive to learn from harder times will pay off. You are inspiring as always.

  2. Oh no…you puked? Super sad, but I bet you looked adorbs anyway. I am do proud of how you are doing.

  3. Your exactly right, all your training and workouts are being stored up and will produce PRs. Keep on being your wonderfully positive self, find the things that keep you happy, and focus on each little opportunity to learn and improve that comes your way. Proud to call you my teammate.

    • Thanks for all of your positivity Neely! Can’t wait to see ya!

  4. I wondered how you really felts out your race. Thanks for being so candid. It gives me hope to be honest…and makes me believe the same thing – sometimes in order to get ahead you need to step back first. Many elite athletes in all sports go through it when they truly want to bring their game to the next level. That’s what you’re doing Ariana – learning a new process on how to get to the next level. You’re the best! Live your heart, courage and mental approach! Let’s kill it in 2013 🙂

  5. I’ll warn you in advance Ari this is gonna be a long winded comment ha! First off congrats on being able to come to Orlando and run the Disney Half and tuff it out and complete the race despite the stomach issues. And as fas as that heat and humidity goes I so feel your pain my whole marathon training build up has been in this yucky stuff with the exception of maybe a week to 10 days. Hold your head up and keep that million dollar smile shining you training will reflect in your race performances soon enough I just know it 100%!!! Your positive outlook will pull you through. I’ve struggle through this same issue over the past year so you are not alone. And last but not least, I’m so excited to hear about you running Boston!!! You’ll rock the Hanson’s red, gold, and black well for sure!!! Best wishes in your marathon build up and until next time … Run Happy 🙂

    • Thanks for your support Lee! I can’t wait to cheer you on from Michigan while you run your first marathon, you will nail it!

  6. I just had to leave a comment and say hi! I just found your blog and am already a fan. 🙂 I too found running later in life (in 2009 at age 32). I lost 80lbs and found talent and dreams I didn’t know I had. While I have not progressed as fast as you (amazing!) I am a marathoner and am hoping to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials. I have a long way to go, but have come a long way in a short time and am working hard. Your story is very very inspirational to me and I will be cheering you on. Erin – mom of 12 (9 through adoption)

    • Thanks for reading Erin! Best of luck with all of your goals! Believe!

  7. All throughout your career you often struggled with disappointing shorter races only to kill it in the marathon. Boston will be no different 🙂 Gooooo Ariana!

  8. I’m a lifetime runner and proud father a Brooks ID runner daughter.
    Twitter sent me here. You are really great! Loved reading you and
    learning from your example of toughness and determination.

    • Thanks bansharunner! I appreciate the support. Just found ya on twitter!

  9. You are amazing Ariana! Congrats on powering through that half and sticking with it. A friend just said to me the other day (after a hard training run) the hard runs help us achieve our goals more than the easy ones. Boston will be your race- the others don’t matter as much. Keep having the courage to get out there and you will keep seeing success. I can’t thank you enough for inspiring me daily on my training runs! Amy

    • Thanks Amy! Your friend is so right, the hard ones are the runs that make us better. 🙂 Happy running! Keep me posted on your progress!

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