In Pursuit Of The ‘Princess’



We’ve never been runners.

Lesley was on dance team in high school, but never really pushed herself in terms of physical endurance. I played baseball in high school, but utterly abhorred any kind of cardio.

In fact, even when I got out of college and developed an interest in fitness, my singular focus was on getting bigger, stronger, and more muscular. As a 130-pound kid in high school, I guess I’d developed a complex, and by the time I was an adult, I’d resolved myself to never be “small” again. Of course, for me that meant taking a myriad of supplements, eating twice the daily recommended caloric intake and only lifting.

From the time I was 21 until I turned 28, I rarely ventured onto a sidewalk, treadmill, or track for a run. I was often bloated, stiff, and lacked flexibility (that usually happens when you go from 130 pounds to 180).

Meanwhile, Lesley’s efforts in fitness were often confined to machines like stationary bicycles and treadmills, which she only walked.

We’ve never, ever been runners.

But though she wasn’t a runner, Lesley has always been something of a dreamer, and when she was 23 (she’s now 26), she decided that one day, even if it was decades later, she would run Disney’s Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World. She had always wanted to be a part of the “runDisney” community, and the Princess run always represented to her the most definitive way to affirm her status as a “runner,” as someone who was “fit,” and as a “princess” (yeah, that last part can be attributed to her).

She started running in October of 2012, battling through shin splints, side stitches, and the uphill battle that comes with truly running for the first time in your life. Even then, I could honestly take it or leave it. I began running with her around the modest walking path that encircles our local YMCA to provide support, and to hopefully spark my own interest in running so that Lesley’s journey could be our own adventure as a couple.

In February, Lesley ran her very first 5K (she had walked the same course two years earlier) at Furman University. She completed “A Hero’s 5K,” 13 minutes quicker than she had in her first go at it. I was so proud of her – trust me, if you saw what kind of pain she endured from the nearly debilitating shin splints she suffered early on in her training, you wouldn’t have thought completing a 5K would have ever been in her future. After she completed her first race, she was on her way to becoming a runner.


Well, it turns out I, too, can actually kind of run. Little more than a month after Lesley ran her first race, I competed in the 5K portion of the Seneca Half Marathon and 5K, the registration of which Lesley gave me as a surprise gift. I’d been running pretty consistently for nearly two months by that point, but surprised myself by finishing 2nd place in the Men’s 24-29 age division.

5k fb post

Now, of course, running races is all Lesley and I can talk about. We’ve been bitten by the bug, and we’re constantly trying to get our friends to run with us, and we scour the Internet and magazines for cool races we’re interested in. We frequent a few running stores in our area on an almost weekly basis. We maintain a vigorous fitness schedule in which we do strength training every other day at the YMCA and run every other day, only taking Sunday off (a day of rest, right?).

We’re not health nuts. We’re not world class athletes. Our times aren’t killer. But we’re runners – and we’re plenty happy with that.

We plan on doing at least one run per month, gradually building up the mileage until the ultimate dream – The Princess Half Marathon, which is held next February. Including the races we’ve already completed, here is our “In Pursuit of the Princess” plan:


  • Feb. 2nd – A Hero’s 5K, Furman University, Greenville, SC (Lesley ran)








June, July, August, and September are still open, but we have a BIG challenge ahead of us in October….


November, December, and January are open. Of course, come February….  

February, 2014

  • Feb. 24th, Disney’s Princess Half Marathon, Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL (both running)


As you can see, we’ve got some slots available, and we’re taking suggestions for which races we should be tackling in our open months. Let us know what you’d like to see us run!

Until Next Time,


Andrew and Lesley



6 thoughts on “In Pursuit Of The ‘Princess’

  1. Y’all! I am so proud and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the blog! SO COOL:) A run to put on your list… the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, SC. I’ve done LOTS of runs, everything from 5k’s to a marathon and it is BY FAR my favorite run EVER. SO MANY PEOPLE and so much beautiful scenery… dad always said it was the “passageway” to spring. Just a super fun run! Excited to follow y’all on here— love y’all!

  2. Thank you, Lauren! I’m so glad you like the blog! We REALLY want to do the Cooper River Bridge Run and many people have told us to run it. The only problem is that it is in 15 days and I’m soooo not ready! I think Andrew could do the 10k but I only have one 5k under my belt so far and I don’t feel confident enough. Our goal is to be ready for a 10k by July-but we are hopeful that we can run one before then. Thanks for the suggestion, we are adding it to our running “bucket list”! Love you guys, kiss that baby for me!


  3. Great blog guys! I’m so proud of you. Lesley, my goal is to run/walk a half marathon next year. Love the Disney Princess- sounds “magical”. I’ve felt better than I’ve felt in two years. praying God will continue to keep his hand on me 🙂 I’m so excited about tonight’s 5K..Girl, it’s going to be cold!! I’m so honored, and thank you for running with my name on your bib. I pray that there will be a cure for cancer soon.. Love you!!!

  4. Thank you, Pam! We are anxiously awaiting registration day for the Princess and I’ll let you know when we sign up. I’ve read so many reviews on it and have seen so many pictures…it looks awesome! Let me know which half you do and we will be there! We are so happy to hear about how well you are feeling-you look wonderful! We were honored to run for you and we were so glad we got to see you and spend a little time with you. And I agree about praying for a cure soon, but look at you beating it’s tail twice! You are one strong, courageous and gorgeous lady!
    We love ya’ll!

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