Oh. My. God. Where do I even start. I had so much fun this weekend!
Today, I ran my 15th half marathon and my first Disney race - the Disneyland Half Marathon in Anaheim, California. It was a total blast!
Um, this will probably be a long one! Hopefully you've carbo loaded before you sit down to read it. ;)
On Saturday morning, I ran 17 miles. My right calf started twinging about 5 miles into it so I switched to a flat course. I did not want to do anything that would prevent me from running the Disney Half! After my run, I did a little shopping, had breakfast for lunch with my grandpa and visited for a while, then headed down to the race expo. Bib and shirt pickup went smoothly and I was happy to see I was in Corral A. Yay!
Once I was done with the expo, I did more shopping at Downtown Disney. I was looking for a Tinkerbell or Minnie shirt but didn't find anything I liked. :( I did find a hat though so not a total loss but also happy to make it out of there for $25! Miracles do happen!
Next...I left the Happiest Place On Earth and drove over to the Irvine Spectrum to meet up with Teal and Beth (@LifeisaRun) for dinner. We ate at the Yardhouse (I had turkey burger sliders and a few fries). It is so fun to meet twitter peeps. They are awesome! And dinner was great!
After dinner, I drove back to my grandpa's to stay the night. I had asked him if I could because it's closer to Disneyland than my apartment but once I thought about how early I had to get up (3 am), I changed my mind. But then he said no, he gets up around then anyway so I should stay! So I did. And my sweet grandpa was up and knocking on the door at 2:55 to make sure I was up! I really love that man! I, no, we are so lucky to have him with us. One day, I'll have to tell you the story of how we met.
So, I got up, got dressed in my Minnie outfit, and headed down to the race. I didn't eat anything before the race and just planned to have GuBrew during. That might have been a mistake. But I was planning on just having fun. In fact, I hadn't even packed my garmin! Gasp!
It didn't take long to get there and parking went pretty well so I had an hour to go before the race. I made it into corral A and waited and watch the jumbo tron and all the goings on.
I also looked for Teal and Beth but couldn't find them. I kept moving back in the corral to see if I could see them come in but no such luck. :( Then it was time for the national anthem and they counted us down and there was fireworks and then we were running!
There were 14,823 runners in the half marathon. It was a tiny a bit crowded at the start! I just relaxed and took it easy. No dodging or surging. Then a little before the first mile, I see 2 familiar outfits and I run over to make sure and yep, it's Teal and Beth! Yay! So I settled in with them and we ran together.
First up was California Adventure (which I've never been to) and I had the first picture opportunity when we passed Paradise Pier. It was still dark and all lit up and there was a water show going on and it looked amazing! But I kept running. And then we went thru Cars Land (my favorite part) and there was Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater and I thought "Oh, Max (my nephew) would love to see a picture of me with them". But I kept running. And then there was Phineas and Ferb and Max thinks Phineas and Ferb rule all! I would score major Aunt points if I got a photo with them. But I kept running! Selfish Tia Lisa, aren't I? I guess that's when I was finally honest with myself that I was going to try to run this harder than I'd originally planned. :)
So, the rest of the run I focused on just running smooth and steady. I'd worn my Delilah's and felt light and quick. Part of that could have been my skirt. It was very floaty and twirly. :) The only issues I had with my outfit was the choker since it only had a little velcro tab and the thing I bought at the expo. I bought a pouch at the expo which had a magnet closure and you were supposed to be able to carry your phone, keys, and money in it and it went on your waist band of your shorts or in my case, my skirt. But it was weighing my skirt down and then it started slipping so I ended up carrying it. And then my choker came off after a few miles and a man rescued it for me and gave it back to me so I started carrying that too. And then I lost it again and thought it was gone for good but then the same man caught me and gave it back to me! I thanked him and told him I thought it was a goner and he said he would rescue it again if it happened again. My very own Prince Charming. ;) I didn't drop it again though so I never saw him again.
So anyway, despite my two issues, the run was awesome. It was so cool seeing everything in California Adventure and I was looking this way and that to check everything out. We left California Adventure and headed into Disneyland which I'm much more familiar with but was still a lot of fun. Seeing all the characters and all the people cheering was fantastic. The time sped by in there.
After Disneyland, we headed out to the Honda Center so we were on streets. There was still lots of people cheering and a lot of cheer squads and high school bands. There was also a group of Hawaiian dancers and a group of Mariachis and Spanish Dancers and then for about a mile there were classic cars and roadsters lining each side of the route. I love classic cars so it was hard to concentrate on running because I wanted to check them out! During this section, I lost both Beth and Teal. I saw Beth ahead of me for a while but lost her in the next part so the rest of the race, I was on my own.
Next, we ran through my 2nd favorite part - Angel Stadium. I totally felt like a rock star! They ran us through one of the tunnels out onto the field and there was a huge roar when we got in there. As we ran around the field, we were on the jumbo tron! And all the spectators were high fiving us as we ran by. It was an amazing feeling. I know I had a huge grin on my face. I loved it!
So, once we left there, we had less than 4 miles left. My plan was to pick it up when there was 5K left. Around this time, the 2 hour pacer showed up. I was talking to him and he said he was on target for 2 hours so I thought if I just kept him behind me I would finish in under 2 hours. I think I didn't push as hard as I maybe could have because of that. :( But what I didn't realize was that the 2 hour pacer started in corral B which started 5 minutes after us so I wasn't going to be under 2 hours at all!
Anyway, when we hit 10 miles I said "5K left people! Let's kick it!" and I got a totally dirty look from a woman running next to me. Oops. But I just shrugged and ran. And that's all I did til the end. When we hit 13 miles. one of the spectators yelled "run it fast Minnie" and I put on the turbo chargers! Then right before the finish line, I saw Minnie...live and in person! Of course, I had to run by her to get a high five! She saw me coming and got ready for it and the was the PERFECT way to end my race! :)
Then I was done! (chip time was 2:03:14) I was kind of sad it was over. I walked thru the finisher's chute and Beth was waiting there so I stopped and we both waited for Teal. Once we were all done, we went thru the rest of the chute and got our medals.
It's huge! And so pretty! :) I love it! I heard it's the same as last year but since I didn't run it, it's new to me! Beth and Teal got in the line to get their Coast to Coast medals (which is really cool) and then we got the rest of our goodies - a wet towel, water, a banana, and a snack box. Not much but kind of cool.
We sat down for a while and then took pictures:
We watched the award ceremony (which was fun and the trophies were awesome), and then headed back to the cars.
And it was over! :( But what great memories! I had a good day. Better than expected considering I ran 17 miles yesterday, did a lot of walking at the expo and shopping, and didn't eat breakfast. So I'm happy with it even if it wasn't sub 2. Also, this was my third fastest marathon and I negative split the run (the first 10K was in 59:19). Can't complain about that.
I really wasn't sure about dressing up as Minnie Mouse but it turned out great! I got lots of encouragement for my name, my Run It Fast - The Club singlet, and my outfit! It was awesome! I would do it again. One other thing about this race was that there were a TON of photographers on the course. If I don't get a good pic out of this I'll be surprised. I just wonder if I'll look like a kid because of the huge grin on my face. :)
I've got to hand it to Disney...they put on a well organized race. I loved that they were checking our bibs to make sure we got in the right corral. The aid stations were great. The Disney staff was super helpful and did a great job of cheering us...from the cleaning crew to the characters to the animals. Also, cracked me up that the same guy who does the ride announcements was giving us recorded instructions on the course. Kind of made me feel like I was on a ride. As a matter of fact, it was an E ticket ride!
I don't really plan on repeating any of the races that I do because there are so many out there but this one...this one I would do again!
Thanks for reading!