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Friday, January 22, 2016

the force was most definitely with me

although i still felt horribly unprepared to run a half, there was no turning back.  and as always, i managed to wake up every hour until it was finally time to get up...at 3:30.  dailygluttony and lilcee and i crept around the dark suite, getting ourselves ready as quietly as possible, and then headed downstairs to catch the shuttle that would take us to the start line.

obligatory photo of the esplanade as we shuffled our way through the chilly morning.

making our way to the staging area, we watched as the stormtroopers filed in quietly and took over the stage for an entertaining yet slightly cheesy preshow.

after i (unsuccessfully) attempted to meet up with members of team superhero for a "before" photo and a quick potty break, we took a quick selfie and headed off towards the corrals.

because lilcee hadn't submitted a proof of time, she was stuck back in corral D, while dailygluttony and i were in B.

i don't know if it's because we timed everything just right or what, but before we knew it the national anthem had been sung (beautifully, i might add, by a disney cast member) and the elites and corral A had been released.  and then it was our turn.

hello, rudy novotny!

i'd ASSumed that we were going to follow the same basic route for the first several miles of the course and was bracing myself for the trek up the freeway overpass.  i was pleasantly surprised to find that we made a right turn just before the hill began and made our way into a backlot i'd never seen before.  having done quite a few disneyland runs in the past, it was kind of cool to see new stuff.  i was so busy taking everything in, trying not to run into anyone, and keep my breathing even that i didn't take a whole lot of pictures.  it wasn't until i spied yoda on a building that i finally took my phone out to start snapping away.

not long after, we were running through the esplanade and into the disneyland main entry.  we caught a glimpse of main street before veering off into another backlot and emerged into tomorrowland, where more of those pesky storm troopers were waiting.

i know i took pictures of all of the mile markers, but as i looked through my photos i found that the first few came out super blurry.  surprise, surprise.  i managed a couple of fun selfies in familiar spots, though:

this was one of the few photo ops i actually stopped for, and whaddaya know - i didn't get any decent shots but this one:

this one was a little better.  and i dig how my shoes look like they're all lit up.

finally, a slightly decent picture of a mile marker.

the lines to take pictures with the various droids were just too crazy long.  i really didn't want to wait that long, so i settled for these instead.

up ahead, i spotted rebel headquarters.  sorta.

our time in the parks ended far too soon.  before long, we were back out on the streets of anaheim to finish out the rest of the course.

there were lots of people all along the route dressed in costumes, cheering us on and happily taking pictures.  this was one of the first ones i saw:

remember the movie "spaceballs"?  i used to watch it over and over when i was younger, so i was really amused to see this dude dressed as "barf."  he even let out a winded "arrrroooooo!!" as i passed him.

somehow, i was managing to get through those miles using my 30:30 run/walk intervals.  i was pretty pleased with my progress.

there's a great wolf lodge opening down the street from disneyland.  it's a family-oriented resort with an indoor water park built in that's just for hotel guests.  the bean first heard of this chain on a trip to texas, so she's pretty excited to stay here when it opens.

i know i'm repeating myself, but these mile markers were such a welcome sight as i continued to pass them one by one.

i'd already taken my race fuel by this point, so i was happy to snag another one at the clif station...just in case.

just past it was a long line of cosplayers who were full of enthusiasm and encouragement for the runners.

i wonder if the people who own these cars actually drive them around like this all the time.

on a walk break, i decided to stop for this photo op.

i'm kind of kicking myself for not stopping to take a picture with R2D2 himself - especially since he was all alone!  lilcee told me later that he wasn't even a janky reproduction - he was the real deal, with a run disney staffer keeping a close eye on him.  damn.

even more cosplayers.

i always find myself keeping an eye on others who seem to be keeping about the same pace as me.  this father/son duo served as one of my unofficial "pacers."  i don't know if we finished at the same time, but i managed to keep up with them for a good chunk of the run.

gotta love strangers with free candy.

right here is where i usually hit a wall.  mile 10, my archenemy.

if my memory serves me, this is where i got my second sighting of my friend kelley, out to cheer for us and another friend of hers.  i'd seen her early on, somewhere along harbor boulevard, bundled up in a warm coat and scarf and clutching a cup of coffee i'd cheerfully have tripped her for.  just kidding, kelley!  and i'm grateful to her for catching a better shot of me in action than any of the ones that the "official race photographers" got.  not to mention, this one was free:

it was either right before or just after mile 11 that i spied more familiar faces.  i grinned and waved at mini cee as we caught each other's gazes, and then just past her i saw my own child, smiling and holding her poster that she'd worked so hard on just the day before.  i was on a roll and feeling pretty good about finishing out the rest of the run at this point, but i did pause long enough to take her little face in my hands and give her a big ol' kiss before turning back around to keep on trucking.  although my emotions took hold of me at that point - my face crumpled and the tears came hard.

BUT.  as i was getting ready that morning, i'd been so pissed to realize that in my haste to get packed, i hadn't grabbed my waterproof mascara.  because i'm incredibly vain, i went ahead and used my regular mascara and spent a good amount of time carefully wiping the sweat from my face with my wristband as i ran.  so i pulled my shit together and stopped crying so that i wouldn't look a hot mess for my finish line photos.  HAHAHAHAHA SO VAIN.

almost there!

oh, and i forgot to mention that my nike+ app had been giving me the verbal mile markers almost a full mile ahead of the disneyland ones.  and so just as i passed that mile 12 sign, i looked at my phone and saw this:

sheeeeit.  if only that were correct - because the app automatically pauses when i stop running, the clock didn't keep ticking when i stopped for all those photo ops.  had i not stopped a single time to take pictures, that's what my time would have been.  still not my best half time (that honor actually goes to my very first half, tinkerbell 2012), but pretty darn close.  oh well.

there's that 13th mile!

and just around the corner...the sight that we all look forward to from the moment that gun goes off.  and that exhilaration that makes us forget all about the pain of the last thirteen miles and propels us to register for the next race.  kind of like how they say you forget the pain of labor and childbirth as you take in the wonder of your new baby...sort of.


since we hadn't been able to meet up before the run, i was super happy to see my friend delovely details for even a brief moment.

i even found one of my superhero teammates:

and then...the three musketeers reunited.

after what seemed like forever we finally boarded the shuttle back to the hotel, where we were almost as excited to grab a much-needed, well-deserved coffee at the starbucks in the lobby.

oh, and i was pretty proud of how my "rey" hair had turned out - especially since it was done at 3:30 in the morning.  it held up really well through the run, which was pretty awesome.

after sucking down that coffee, a nice hot shower, and a brief rest on the pullout bed, we got all of our stuff packed and ready for checkout.

we stopped at bruxie to enjoy some delicious waffle sandwiches on the way home.

and then the bean and i both collapsed onto the couch at home and settled in for a nice long snooze.

what could possibly be better for dinner after running a half marathon than a bag full of quality you can taste?

and i forgot about my prized box of run disney post-race snacks until this morning:

i'm now on the lookout for that coconut crunch business.  those little kernels of happiness are really tasty, man.  i need like a dozen more bags.

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