Friday, September 7, 2012

magical miles

i'm warning you now:  this post has a shitton of pictures in it.  what can i say, i'm snap-happy.  this should not be news to you.

so, the disneyland half marathon.  i actually signed on for this thing even before i'd finished tinkerbell back in january.  because somehow i just knew that i'd totally regret it if i put it off, thought too hard about it, and then ended up getting assed out because disneyland runs seem to sell out at a record pace.  although i gotta say, with the insane heat we were dealing with over the last month, i was kinda scared of what i'd gotten myself into.  i managed to get my weekly long training runs done, usually starting around 6:30 in the morning to get it done before it got too hot.

we checked into a nearby hotel the night before the run, and the bean was stoked.  our little traveler loves to sleep in hotels.  and she was so excited that she took a picture that she'd drawn and said she was going to give it to the lady who checked us in at the front desk.  i don't know how she knew it would be a lady, but i wasn't gonna argue with her.  and of course, she was right.  i didn't get a picture of the drawing, but that desk clerk was so tickled that she scurried into the back office and came back with a fun snack pack that she gave to the bean.


she was pretty stinking excited, and rightly so - there were some pretty awesome snacks in that bag.

this being a disney run, you know i had to put a costume together.  thinking that there would be an assload of minnies out there, i decided to go for something a little more obscure.  and that would suit my dark hair a little better.  heh.


i tried to get to bed at a decent hour, but still didn't manage to get there until after 11.  with a wake-up call set for 3:30.  yup.  runners are requested to arrive at 4:30, and since i was off-property i had to rely on the complimentary shuttle that picked up at the hotel every 20 minutes.  i dragged my ass outta bed, got myself dressed, and headed out.

there was a group of about ten people waiting at the shuttle stop.  and although most of them were dressed in normal running gear, there were three chicks with red and white polka-dot skirts and mouse ears on.  did i call it, or what?  and everyone must've still been half asleep, because no one batted an eye at my ridiculous get-up.


the special bus.  heh.


i had to maneuver through quite the cluster of folks as we all headed towards the corrals.  and again, i was rather surprised to note that most of the runners weren't in costume.


i managed to meet up with one of the girls from the health & fitness board i frequent.


and then we headed off to our respective corrals.




i started to see more tutus and fun outfits.  and i love that even the guys were willing to get a little silly.


everyone just kind of stood there for awhile, still trying to wake up and get ready for the 13.1-mile course ahead of us.  and when the national anthem was sung, we were treated to a few not-too-loud fireworks that woke us up and got us in the mood.  the wheelchair division set off first, followed by corrals A and B.  and then it was our turn.  "oh, crap," i said out loud as the lady in front of me grinned.



i managed to maintain a fairly good pace through the first two miles.  this was huge, considering i've sucked butt lately and haven't really been able to run for very long without stopping for a walk break.  and the majority of the first three miles wound through downtown disney, disneyland, and california adventure.  it's the most fun stretch of the entire course.






but because there were a good 5,000 more runners in this race than in tinkerbell, the lines for photo ops were longer.  because i'm competitive even with myself, i didn't want to stop too many times in an effort to beat, or at least match, my finish time from january's run.  i did take a picture with brave's "merida" and the green army men from the toy story movies, though.


and to be perfectly honest, after leaving disney property, a lot of the run is a big blur in my head.  i got here:


and pretty soon, here:


...with almost no recollection of how i got there.  i do remember mile 7, because as i approached the marker i could hear the hawaiian music and thought "hey!  it's my peeps!"  they cheered loudly as i approached in my grass skirt, and i stopped for a quick photo with a couple of the dancers.


by the way, i was pretty proud of myself for coming up with a fairly unique getup.  i came across tons of costumed runners - princesses, minnie, heroes, villains - and i'm almost positive that i was the only "lilo" around.  because of my cute little stowaway stitch, riding on my back the whole way (and i carried him easily - he was almost as light as the wings i wore in january), folks recognized me and i heard lots of "go, lilo, go!" and "oooh, look at stitch!" all the way.  that was fun.

as i scampered off and the soothing music faded away, the hula dancers were replaced by a whole slew of classic car enthusiasts who'd parked their prized possessions along the route and lined the streets to cheer us on.


they were all super friendly and full of encouragement, and i ran past car after car all the way to honda center, home of the anaheim ducks.


the route took us behind honda, through a gate and down the santa ana river trail.  it was nice to get a break from running on the asphalt on our way to the next attraction:  angels stadium.


i was actually surprised when i saw the clif fueling station, because i knew that meant i was at mile 9 - only 4 left to go!


next to running in the parks, angels stadium was the next big highlight of the course for me.  i knew we'd get to run through it, which i thought was pretty stinking cool.


as i got closer to the entrance, i realized that our cheerleaders along the way were girl and boy scouts.  and then i remembered something:  my friend mommybelle told me ages ago that her daughter's troop cheers at the disneyland half every year.  i kept an eye out as i ran along, and sure enough, there they were.  i skidded to a halt and fiddled with my phone (which has been freezing up on me left and right these days, it must be crying out to be replaced) to get a quick shot with my friend.  i haven't seen her in ages, and poor thing - she was totally subjected to my sweaty head mashed up next to hers.  sorry, dude.


with a quick wave, i took off again and went through the tunnel to find even more people in the stands hooting and hollering as we ran by.  this stuff totally makes you feel like a rock star.  when else would i get to have hordes of people who got up at an ungodly hour on their feet, clapping and cheering as i wave back and high-five them all?  so awesome.






i was getting pretty stinking tired.


another thing i should say - the countless voluntEARS who also got up before the asscrack of dawn are fantastic.  they handed out water and powerade and gave us lots of encouragement.  these races wouldn't work without these folks, and i tried to thank as many of them as i could.


more mile markers.  almost done.


and by the looks of the time on that clock, i knew i wasn't going to finish as strong as i did the first time.  although my corral had started probably ten minutes later than when the gun went off, my typical 11-minute mile put me a handful of minutes past my tinkerbell time of 2:27.  poop.  regardless, i was really happy to finally cross that finish line despite the crappy time.


swag!


stuff to aid in the recovery.



i'd gotten a text from the hub, who said they'd been sitting in traffic for an hour trying to get to the finish line.  sucky.  but he'd been signed up for text messages with alerts as to my progress, which he received at 5K, 10K, 15K, and at the finish line.  it took a few minutes for us to find each other, and when we finally connected he had the camera pointed at really odd angles.  want to see the most unflattering photo of me from that day?  no?  well, here it is anyway.


and here's a look at my full costume.  yes, i snuck one of my shiny team sparkle skirts underneath that grass skirt...just because.



after a much-needed shower, i put on my shirt and the bean took this for me.


here's what was inside that box of snacks i got, which oh-so-conveniently listed the upcoming rundisney races:



after a nice long nap at home, we headed out to pasadena for dinner.


a fun costume, cheering crowds, a box o'snacks, a kick ass medal, topped off with chicken and waffles?  uh...pretty much one of the best days EVER!

9 comments:

  1. Congrats on kicking that 1/2 marathon's backside!

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  2. Congratulations! I ran this race too :)
    It was my first one and I had so much fun. LOVE your costume :)

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  3. Congratulations!! You are so inspiring! I'm hoping to run a half someday (Princess Half at WDW), and I love reading your recaps! The Disney races look SO fun!

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  4. This post was so fun to read. I loved all the pics and I imagine it was a lot of fun running through Disneyland!

    I’m so impressed by your running. I haven’t run (okay walked) a mile since junior high. =/ I’m seriously inspired to try it now.

    Great job, J!

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  5. You are awesome. Seriously. Such a huge accomplishment - I'm weirdly super proud of an internet stranger right now! :D

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  6. Congratulations again! I love the recap and pics. :) This is doing nothing to dampen my thoughts to run this next year though. Heh.

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