So … the race that started it all … came and went so fast! Earlier this year, I decided that I wanted to run a half marathon and I selected the Disneyland Half Marathon to be my race. I started training on March 1 and I couldn’t even run a mile … but I stuck with it … ran my first 5K race in April, my first 10K race in June and then just kept training on longer runs leading up to yesterday’s BIG race. I loved everything about the experience, honestly. All of my hard work lead up to that starting line and … off I went.
I have to tell you, I got pretty emotional in the corral as I made my way to the starting line. The announcers were giving us great encouragement, saying really motivational things and something just struck a chord with me. My friends know, I used to be the LAZIEST MOFO on Earth. But I set a goal to run long distances and right as I started the race, I did get a little choked up. Thankfully, there wasn’t time to get all weepy … I had 13 miles to run. The early party of the race (miles 2-4) took us thru Disney‘s California Adventure and Disneyland theme parks … which was, just, the coolest thing EVER. We had run of the place, even behind the scenes areas with Disney characters and castmembers cheering us on along the way. It was really impossible to run seriously thru the park, the streets were so full of people (there were 14,000+ people running with me) plus everyone (me included) were taking pictures … it was just fun. It wasn’t until we left Disneyland that the “race” really started for me. The only character I stopped to take a photo with was Darth Vader. I only had to way about 6 minutes … that plus the slow congestion in the parks (maybe another 10ish mins) caused my finish time to be longer but … it wasn’t no thang to me. The rest of the race was great. We got water at 9 of the 13 miles, lots of medical support for those who needed it and the smiling faces of Anaheim residents cheering us on. A really fun part of the race took us thru Angel Stadium. We got to run on the field … who gets to do that? When I got to mile 12, I picked up my pace and I really bolted over the finish line:
The finisher’s medal is SO big, so cool. It’s very hard to not wear it ALL THE TIME :) I snapped some fun photos in the park before I made my way back to the hotel to shower and pack up. I have to give a huge shout out and LOTS of love to Pink reader Karolynh who I met at the Half Marathon Expo where I picked up my race bib and shirt:
She was so helpful, so cute … I had to share out fun photo. Much love goes out to ALL of the Disney VoluntEARS who came out to help with the race yesterday. There was water, food and help everywhere you looked, thanks to the volunteers who gave so generously of their time to help our experience be the best it could be.
So yeah, my BIG race has come and gone … and now I focus on my NEXT big race. I have a couple of half marathons coming up in October (one in Detroit, one here in LA) and one more 10K (in San Diego) before I run the Honolulu Marathon in December. Lord, give me strength. For now, I’m going to rest for a bit … let my legs recover. They feel good, thankfully, but my leg muscles need to heal. I may go for a short run when I’m in Detroit later this week but, well, we’ll see.
I think I can officially call myself a real runner now … not that I wasn’t already but completing my first half marathon kinda makes it officially official :D