Originally the reason I signed up to do this race was not because of my love of Disney or my love of running 13 miles, but because my friend Sarah begged me to do it with her and I finally gave in. I think we signed up for this race way back last August or something ridiculous like that.
I went into race day feeling totally under trained and with no expectations of doing anything other than finishing the race. Hopefully without having a super crappy time or hurting myself.
We went to bed the night before around 9:30 and got up at 3:15 AM in order to get up, get ready and walk over to where the race started. The actual race was to start at 5:30 but we needed to be in our corrals by 5. There was a shuttle that would pick us up and take us near the corrals but after looking at the map it looked like we'd have to walk just as far to do that as we would if we just walked straight there.
By 4:30 everyone was finally ready and we walked down to the race start area. The race started not too far from the Downtown Disney area. There were three of us and we all were in different corrals for the race. We hung out until we got to the actual corrals and then wished each other luck and went our separate ways.
I got into my corral and listened to the people around me chatting. Some of these Disney people are crazy. They run ALL the Disney races, which cost a small fortune. I was like dang you people must be rich lol. Eventually the race started and we slowly moved up. This is the first time I took a "throw away" sweatshirt (just an old hoodie that I don't like) and I have to say that was nice. Once we got up towards the actual start I just left it on the fence. Someone was already going around picking them up for charity and I didn't have to worry about carrying it along with me.
This is when I could finally see the TV screen. Wayyy up in the front of the race was a stage with people on it and Disney characters. It reminded me of the way they talk in Pitch Perfect while the people are performing. I was in corral E so I was quite away from the front of the line.
Do I look nervous?
I got this picture from someone on a Facebook group. There was like 16 THOUSAND people racing.
Finally I made my way across the start line and we were off! All along the race course there were "photo opps" where you could get your picture taken. They also had LINES at all these places, which, hello? How long is that going to take? Even though I wasn't trying for a PR I couldn't imagine standing in line while the clock was ticking away. I improvised by taking some selfies instead!
We ran out around the park and then through California Adventure
and then over to Disneyland.
Running down main street was AWESOME. All these people were lined down the street and had these clapper things cheering us all on. I got all teary thinking about how awesome it was that running has given me the opportunity to run in so many fantastic places!
LOTS of people getting their pictures taken in front of the castle.
We ran through the castle, which was cool but not as cool as main street was ;) We went all around the park and then came out and then ran through Downtown Disney, which was also pretty cool. I like the areas where there are a lot of people supporting the runners.
This street by the Disneyland Hotel was ALL Red Hat Ladies. ALL. Totally amazing. I had to stop and take a couple pictures.
I MAY have cried a little at that part too. What can I say. Weird how things make me emotional when I'm running.
After that it was a long run. That first part didn't seem so long because of all the fun stuff to look at and all the spectators. Now we were out on the city streets working our way out and around.
I walked through and drank at almost every one of the water stations. They had blue power aid, it was yummy. At one point someone was handing out red vines, I had one of those. Those are hard to eat and run for sure lol.
There were a bunch of high school bands and cheerleaders. Those were pretty great too. At each mile I was counting down how many more in my head. When I got to 10 miles I kept telling myself that it was just a 5k and I'd be done. Just a lap around the club! I was feeling pretty good, tired, but not in pain and my feet weren't hurting too bad. Actually my legs and feet were pretty numb which didn't seem like a bad thing.
The last mile seemed like it was forever long. There was hardly any spectators, which seemed odd for the last stretch. It would have been nice if they would have had a bunch of stuff there to keep you going. I actually walked about half of that last mile even though I told myself at mile 11 I was going to run the last mile!
Finally we turned a corner and could see the finish line. Ahhh I made it! I went through the shoot, got my medal, snacks, water, picture and then headed straight to the port a potty. Thank God for port a potties.
I actually had a pretty good time for doing quite a bit of walking and not pushing really hard.
After that I had my snacks and waited for my friends to get done and find me. We all got a little massage and took some pictures and then I took my shoes off and we slowly walked back to the hotel.
I had tried out these little cushion things on my feet a few days before to see if they would help with the rubbing spots on my feet and they actually worked. This is what they looked like after 13 plus miles.
I'll definitely be buying more of those. Too bad they are $2 a pack for 6 circles. (Might have to check out Amazon for a deal) I only got one little blister on my right foot. My feet were really killing me before running the race so I was glad to find something that would let me run with minimal blister pain.
I have to say this was my best feeling half marathon yet. Usually I am so worn out from all the long runs that by the time I do a half I want to quit running. This time around my longest run was only 6 1/2 miles and I was trying to save my hip and feet (because of the blisters) for the race. My hip had been hurting quite a bit and I was getting scared that I wasn't going to be able to make it through the race. The day before the race we went to the Expo and this guy was selling these stick roller things and rolled out my leg and TAH DAH! My hip quit hurting. It was AMAZING. I totally bought one on the spot.
I actually feel excited to do another half in the near future instead of dreading running longer distances. I have been just doing my one milers this week but hopefully soon I'll get some longer runs in!