Like we mentioned in our post yesterday, Disneyland Half started bright and early at 5:45 a.m., and we had about a twenty to twenty-five minute drive into Anaheim that morning. We made it out the door by 4:10 a.m. – if only we’d asked Chris to refresh our memories of the directions he gave us last year to get to Disneyland. We did not get there, parked and in the corral with that much time to spare, but thankfully we did make it into the corral before the race started. We were actually able to make a quick port-a-pottie trip and even able to snap a picture. Kind of laughing because this guy had just offered to take a picture of the lady taking our picture with us then he realized “ohh, you aren’t wearing a matching outfit like them!”
That guy and his two buddies with him all had on matching knee high yellow socks. They started being all chatting and the main thing that stuck with us was one of them saying “what’s your goal for today? 1:45? 1:30?” We responded with “we’ve kind of been slacking because we are starting marathon training soon so…..no, not a 1:45 or 1:30” Not to mention neither of us has ever run a half anywhere near that fast! We then overheard them talking out a plan for the race ” let’s start out at an 8:45 pace til mile….then at mile…we’ll go down to a 8:15” And next thing we know the announcers are sending us on our way!
We had really been hoping to see Lisa before the race since we were all in corral A, but we had just gotten there too late for that to happen! We would have held out hope to see her at the end, but we didn’t need to as she found us very quickly after the start! From here we give our race recap from our own perspectives –
Teal: I was overall very scared of what would happen during this race given that 2 weeks earlier I wanted to die after 4 miles and really had one of the worst races ever. I do not feel in shape right now so I worried big time. Running in California and the weather there proves to be the biggest God send in racing! It’s SOOOO much different than Texas madness and my body just does a complete 180 in terms of how it feels. Miles 1-3 felt awesome! The crowd is amazing; going through the park is so fun. We had a few changes this year at the beginning! The colored lights in the water and a run through cars world made it awesome. I think at one point I looked at Beth and said “yea this race is soo much better than Disneyworld” and really I mean so much better than most races period. It’s just so different in terms of the atmosphere, the Disney staff really comes out to support and there is never a dull moment.
Beth: I had not set any goals for this race and last year we had both run it at the 2:00-ish mark, so that and my want to run more sub 2:00 halfs than not in 2012 was all lingering in the back of my mind. BUT my performance at Hottest Half and just running this summer didn’t give me that faith in myself to pull through this race with a satisfying to me time. The first few miles of this race were really fun! We ran through California Adventures and got to see the cool water/light show at Paradise Pier (wish I could have snapped a not blurry picture there) and see the new Cars area of the park! I knew my nephew Wesley would LOVE it if I had taken a picture with Tow-Mater and/or Lightning McQueen and shown it to him, but no, I didn’t want to stop. 🙂 Sorry, Wesley! Plus, I didn’t want to lose Teal and Lisa so early on in the race!
Teal: I am still doing really well body wise here. I just keep giving myself a mile goal every time I hit the Disney sign. I knew my runkeeper was off because I started it too early. I just kept saying, one mile at a time and get there under X time frame. This worked well and I really felt good. I think I slowed down slightly from Beth and Lisa around 6.5 or 7 but I still felt ok, just not like I could keep that pace up for the entire race. I knew once I got to 8 it would be ok, but closer to mile 8 I really got that “ I’m not in shape chest pressure feel” if anyone knows what that really is, it was just hard to breathe for no other reason than I was tiring. I knew Angel’s stadium was around 9 miles from last year and really focused on getting there! I should also add that this stretch of the race was lame because the sun was literally right in your eyes and you could almost not even see all the things they had lining the streets! This section had tons of both vintage and modern cars that you just couldn’t see because of the glare.
Beth: We’ve just left Disneyland and are out running on the streets of Anaheim. This is the part where Disney does a fabulous job of not leaving us all our there alone. With all the cheer squads, bands and different dancers (Hawaiian and mariachi) you can’t help but stay pumped up. I was trying to take it mile by mile and see how I felt. The beginning of this section, I believe, was where there is the on big incline (bridge) to run over and I was excited when it didn’t take a whole lot out of me. It was somewhere between mile 6 and 7 that I kind of evaluated how I felt as I had been waiting to reach the halfway-ish point for that. I giggled a little when I heard to other runners discussing where the half way point was and that it would be at 6.55 miles. I knew we’d kept our pace under 9:30/mile, so I decided to just go for it. See what all I had to give. It was also at this point the sun was in my eyes, so I just put my head down and went for it. I knew that exciting times were ahead of me based on running this race last year and reaching the Honda Center in mile. So I knew that Angels Stadium was up after that and I just kept thinking “did they change it this year? Do we still get to go through the stadium?! Please let us still go through the stadium!!”
Teal: Home stretch!! Thank god. I also love everyone’s reaction going into the stadium. This women next to me literally starting yelling “ This is so cool, this is amazing, are we really going in there!?” It’s just so freaking cool. I wish Dallas ( wink wink ) would do something like that! Hello, both Rangers and the Dallas Cowboys Stadium are right next to each other! The last 5 miles of this race were a test. I was very tired but I knew I wanted to just keep running and get it over with. After running through Angel’s stadium you really get a burst of energy. At about 10 miles my true test came. I don’t know if I was running very tight in my upper body or what, but my entire chest from like mid chest all the way to mid back felt strained, like muscle strained (it actually still hurts now, 4 days later) so something was up. That coupled with my “out of shape feeling” from before was extremely painful. I just kept taking deeper breathes and kept going. At around 12 I ended up passing one of our yellow sock boys from the beginning. He was too far away for me to get the energy to run over to, but he was completely stopped stretching his calf muscles! It might be evil but in my head that made me so happy to beat him, given their predictions at the beginning of the race! Shortly after, around 12.5 this kid running in front of me literally lost his breakfast! I had to jump over it as to not run in it. I still was pretty close to him at the finish and he threw up again. I keep laughing because you can even see him do it in the Disney video of the finish!! Gross! That is the first time I have come that close to someone throwing up ON me.
Beth: As I got closer I knew we were in fact going into Angels Stadium again and I was SO excited! The energy in there is incredible! It was also going into the stadium that there was a Clif Station where they were passing out gels. I was so glad because I’d actually forgotten to get my Hammer gel out of my purse that morning. Anyway, back to the stadium, the energy just came upon you immediately! I did my best to high five as many boy scouts, girl scouts and other little kids that were front row. What a high! I had kind of forgotten that just shortly after leaving the stadium we would hit the 10 mile mark! And shortly after that was when I saw one of the yellow socks guys. Pretty positive a grin probably spread across my face seeing him stopped and stretching his calf out. Evil? Yes, I probably am, especially since I went and hit him on the arm and said “let’s go yellow socks!” He ran with me for a minute and I told him “We just have a 5K left let’s do this” and I might have followed that up with “you can’t let me beat you across the finish line!” He said he accepted the challenge and then a minute later was stopped again. Another little burst of energy from knowing that they had been talking a big game in the corral, but I’d finish ahead of him. From here until the end all I was thinking was “can I make this in under two hours?? Can I really pull this off?! It is going to be so freakin’ close if I do!” Just kept digging deep and I’d also like to say that I really felt the impact of my bleacher Tuesday workouts through this race. I feel like that really did have a huge part of my performance at this race! I got to mile 12 and knew I needed to play it safe. If I push too hard here I won’t make it across that finish line without throwing up, but I also didn’t want to play it too safe and regret not pushing a little bit harder. I heard someone say to me as I was leaving Angels Stadium, “you’re still running this with a smile on your face!” Yah, it totally disappeared in mile 12. Ha! I got closer to the finish line and again knew I was teetering the two hour mark, tried to push a little harder, and no, there’s the need to vomit. I held it in until I got to the trash can just on the other side of the finish line (my video at the finish line you can actually see me throw up – ha!). Done! But did I make it in under 2 hours? I didn’t think so, I was pretty convinced I had run a 2:00:10 half. The official race photographers actually captured a picture of me where I have the I am going to vomit look on my face ! Ha.
We also think it is cool to see what a difference even 2 weeks makes! Just look at these splits (even though they are slightly embarrassing) This is improvement and we totally feel like progress is being made from this slump in running lately! Yea!
Regardless, we DID IT!! We completed our two Disney races and earned our Coast to Coast Challenge medal! Teal actually overheard someone after receiving their Coast to Coast medal say “this cost me $2,000.” Which is why we need to say a BIG thank you to Chris for allowing us to stay with him and drive his car this past weekend! We canNOT thank you enough and we both look forward to seeing you next month at Beth’s wedding!! 🙂 It is such a pretty, shiny medal though!
If we did not express it enough earlier, we would like to take the opportunity to say this is a fabulous race! The course is awesome for multiple reasons – the water stations are fabulous, wonderful volunteers, so much course entertainment and so many awesome course sights to see! We highly, HIGHLY recommend you take the opportunity to plan a trip to Disneyland over Labor Day weekend and experience this awesome race! This race might not see us again for awhile or at all, but it truly is a once in a lifetime experience (we were just lucky enough to experience it twice). We hope to hear of more running friends going out to Anaheim and enjoying it! We wanna read your recaps and live vicariously through you!! 🙂
Teal: 2:08:12, finished 2,720th out of 14,829 finishers, 1,053rd female and 198th in age group
Beth: 1:59:58, finished 1,779th out of 14,829 finishers, 585th female and 97th in age group
To see more pictures from our Disneyland Half race weekend please checkout the Life is a Run Facebook Page
What is your absolute favorite race you’ve run so far??