See part 1 here.
With my body still on Central time, the 3:30 am wake up call wasn’t as painful as it could’ve been. We got up, got dressed, downed bagels, and got out the door. We thought it would be cooler, and cut socks to make arm warmers, but we didn’t really need them.
Disneyland races are VERY different than Disney World races. No shuttles, no waiting around for hours. Just walk across the street and into your corral.
There wasn’t any pre-race party, and the DJ was way up by the start line, so it was eerily quiet. We overestimated how early we needed to get there, but I was able to use the real bathrooms inside the Paradise Pier hotel, which was awesome. I was psyched to be all the way up in corral D. Instead of having to wait almost an hour to start like I’m used to, we moved on up and before I knew it it was time to go!
And we were off. I’d like to say I didn’t have any goals for this race, but of course that’s not true. I’d told Mark I’d like to hit 3:15, which would’ve been a 2 minute PR, but secretly I wanted better than that. My C goal was to finish with a smile and have a good time.
Mile 1-3 (15:21, 15:05, 15:17)
These first miles went backstage and through California Adventure. Normally being in the back of the pack, I’m not used to being in such a crowd, and there were definitely bottlenecks through the park.
Mile 4-6 (15:36, 15:48, 16:39)
There was one thing and one thing only I wanted from this race (aside from the medal) – taking my picture in front of the castle, and we made that happen!
Mile 7-9(17:44, 16:11, 16:11)
My legs felt tired from the beginning, but as we headed out of Downtown Disney and past the wonderful Red Hat ladies, the wheels really came off for me. I was already super hot, even though it wasn’t all that hot, but I suddenly got a massive headache and started feeling very dizzy and the world was spinning. I did something I’ve never done in a race before – I stopped at the aid station and got a Tylenol as a last ditch effort to save the race for me. Obviously a PR wasn’t happening, but I needed to finish. A DNF would keep me from getting my Coast to Coast medal in the fall, and I was not going to let that happen.
We dropped our intervals to 2:30/1:30 and I kept on. And here’s where the magic happened: all of a sudden I felt a hand on my back. A woman I’d never met before saw I was having a rough time, patted my back and spoke positivity and words of encouragement to me. All I could do in response was sob, I was so touched. Thank you, guardian angel. You helped my make it through the race.
Eventually the headache went away, but there wasn’t much I could do to make myself run any faster.
Miles 10-12 (16:25, 16:45, 16:33)
I soaked up all the race support I could. There were so many cheers and signs and high fives and cute kids to sprinke me with pixie dust.
Leukemia survivors with Team in Training signs. A runner in a shirt that said “Brain tumor to half marathon in 2 years.” A conversation that started with “I lost a hundred pounds.” All of these things kept me going and kept me out of my pain cave.
Mile 13 – 0.1 (17:36, 14:30)
Mark wanted to move faster and I just could not make it happen. But I did my best and had a smile on my face when I high-fived Minnie Mouse at the finish line.
And like that, it was done. No where near my best time, but I did enjoy the race, and I’ll do better next time.
Official Results 3:34:28
Age Group: 1589/1813
Organization Disney races are just about as organized as any I’ve run.
The Course Mark was frustrated by the bottlenecks in the parks, but I loved spending so much time running through the parks. For me, the race didn’t even start until mile 7.
Water Stations Plentiful and well manned. No worries that they’ed run out. Several pirate stations too, which was fun.
Crowd Support Crowd support was awesome. Because much of the race were on city streets instead of private park roads, lots of people could come out and cheer and they did. And RunDisney does a good job of getting cheerleaders, bands, dance groups, and other cheer groups out.