Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Disneyland Half-Marathon

As many of you know, I completed the Walt Disney World Princess Half-Marathon in February of this year. It was my very first half, and such an amazing accomplishment for me. I set a goal for myself to complete the Coast to Coast challenge in 2013. This means completing a half-marathon at both of the Disney parks (Disney World and Disneyland) in the same calendar year. On September 1, 2013, I completed my second leg of the challenge and got my Coast to Coast medal!

Early Saturday morning we set out for California. And I mean, EARLY. I may have slept most of the ride but that's okay. We arrived around 11:00 AM, checked into our hotel and headed over to the Disneyland expo. The expo was at the Disneyland Hotel and it's where you get your race number, check in and there's lots of merchandise and running booths in the convention center. We even watched a sneak peak of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and rated it (looks DUMB) before we headed out. 

Then we headed to the beach! Due to the fiasco that is parking at the beach in Southern California, we were only able to stay for about an hour, but I was happy to dip my toes in the ocean, lay in the sun and read my book. Oh, and we also had the most amazing gelato I've ever experienced (dark chocolate, anyone?!) and I'm still dreaming about it.

Afterwards it was time to carb-o-load! This is otherwise known as the best and possibly the only good reason about doing a long distance run. The pizza was delicious, we had fun together and then it was off to bed early. 

We were up bright and early the day of the race. We got changed quickly into our costumes in the hotel room and headed over. I ate half a Cliff bar (I always have a hard time eating that early), stretched, snapped a few pics and headed over to my corral. I ALWAYS get stuck in the last corral all by myself and I have no idea why. It's the worst because I'm always with the slowest people known to mankind who insist on WALKING the entire run and don't make room for runners. So. Annoying.
When I do half-marathons, I run by myself. I'm not very good at running with other people. At 6:30 AM, it was finally time for my corral to start and we got going. The first three or so miles wind through California Adventure, backstage at Disney and then Disneyland. I loved running through the castle again, felt like such a milestone. Most of the race winds you through the streets of Anaheim and there are cheerleaders, bands, dancers and people with signs to cheer you along the whole way. 

Can I just say that this day was the hottest day ever?! It was 60% humidity and had to be in the upper 90's the entire time. Not good running conditions. I thought I was going to die so many times but willed myself to push forward. My favorite part was running through the Angels Stadium at mile 9 with crowds cheering for us as we ran through! So amazing.

Finally, it was over and I got both of my medals. Never in a million years did I think I would complete a half-marathon, let alone TWO in the same year! It's been an incredible year for me and I'm so grateful for challenges and goals.


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