The Courage to Try Again: Running the Disney Princess Half Marathon

July 12, 2016


By: Candace Doby

High school besties: (l to r) Eneida Plaza, Candace Doby, Ericka Wright

Just before clicking ‘Submit’ on the Disney Princess Half Marathon registration page, butterflies navigated to my gut and swarmed erratically. A flashback to my first half marathon must have invited them. About a year ago, I confidently glided then struggled then stumbled my way through the Diva Half Marathon in Peachtree City, Georgia. The massive wall I hit at mile seven resulted in cramps, shortness of breath and some awkwardness. The most painful outcome, though, was my bruised ego from having to run/walk the rest of the race. After floundering across the finish line (but trying my hardest to keep it together so spectators wouldn’t pity me), I vowed to never run another half marathon. I meant it.  Seriously.

But in true Universe fashion, it felt compelled to challenge my resolve—to see if I really meant business. Enter Eneida, a best friend from high school.

She proposed to another high school bestie, Ericka, and me that we run the Disney Half Marathon together and make a mini reunion out of it. My visceral reaction was the fiercest side-eye I could throw. I didn’t immediately respond to her text, but Ericka did. Emphatically. She was in.

My interior disregard morphed into psychological pressure, fear and discomfort. I was afraid of experiencing the physical pain and personal defeat I felt the first time around. I was also anxious about disappointing my friends.  “But Candace, what do you plan to do with the fear?” The curiosity came from my inner voice that pretends to be a psychologist.

There are only ever three potential responses to that question.

  1. Run away from fear (cowardice)
  2. Face fear (courage)
  3. Hastily disregard fear (rashness)

Concluding that the potential negative outcomes of the race were greater than my internal resources to deal with them would have led me to door number one. Taking action without properly judging fear, risk and confidence would have led me to door number three.

Squaring up, accepting fear as part of the process, evaluating the worthwhileness of running the race (making memories with my girls), envisioning what was possible, and pushing past uncertainty led me to door number two. I made a deal with myself. A commitment to better training, goal setting and eating helped me choose courage.  I was in.

The butterflies had calmed down a bit. I glanced back over my registration form a final time to ensure my information was correct. I took a deep breath.


Let the training begin.

About Candace
I delight in discovering how to appropriately conjure courage and apply it to life’s dilemmas.  My goal is to inspire others to act courageously. You can hear more from me on my website,, Facebook and Instagram.

3 Responses


July 12, 2016

Candace, I enjoy reading your inspiring and encouraging stories of courage and overcoming fear. You tap into your inner reservoir and pull out what is needed to reach your goal. I hope that all who read your stories will be empowered to push beyond their limitations and conquer their dreams.


July 12, 2016

I’m excited for all of us to face this fun challenge together! Nothing like running with people you enjoy most!

Ericka Wright
Ericka Wright

July 12, 2016

Candace- this is great! I have to say that I’m proud of the both of us. You for having the courage to try again and me for having the courage to do my first one. I can’t wait to experience this race with you and Eneida.

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