Alright, enough of the poor me shenanigans.
My last two running posts have been full of blah and wahhhh.
Who’s tired of hearing me whine? Yep, me too.
As we all know, running has highs and lows. Let’s mosey on past the lows and hit up a high, shall we?
I’m talking about the Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon that happened, oh, four months ago.
I know, I know, I’m a blogger on FIRE when it comes to race recaps. /sarcasm
I try to write them a little sooner than I have been (hey, I wrote the Phoenix Half the SAME DAY I ran it!) but then there are times when I write like I run: slowly.
But here we go: just in time to head to Walt Disney World for the special coast to coast medal.
Star Wars Light Side Half Marathon
Just to refresh you where I was mentally and physically before this race, here’s the 10K recap. I ran this one the day before and finally hit my exhaustion level.
The marathon stress, the travel Arizona to the East coast, back to Arizona, and then over to the West coast was catching up to me.
Excerpts that stand out to me include:
Around 5 pm, I had a semi-breakdown.
I kept flashing back to the night before the marathon when I got a little over 2 hours.
I got to bed early (thanks to my roomie Jane) and slept GREAT. When the alarm went off in the morning, hand to God, I was a totally different person. Mentally and physically I felt good.
This meant that I hit the corrals with a positive attitude and the right frame of mind to complete this race.
All I kept telling myself was, “Hey, at least it’s not 26.2, right?” Right. And that made all the difference.
By mile 3 I was in the zone and a good rhythm with my intervals. I think I was doing a steady 15-second run 45 min walk and early on the miles were effortless. I was frankly shocked every time I looked at my watch. I expected this race to be much slower than I was moving.
On the pier, I found Yanni & got a quick hug. This smile was genuine and sincere: I was so happy that I felt as good as I did after the ten days of travel and running I’d put my body through.
The early park miles were congested. Two areas became complete standstills (under the monorail parallel to Harbor Road and at the water stop just off Main Street.)
Running is kinda fundamental at these races. I get that we are in a limited area as far as space goes but…
Not cool, Disney.
I loved the course, but I wish they would start these races a smidge earlier to space out corral starts. Yes, I said it: EARLIER. It’s the only way to help avoid these spots (except for cutting entries, but we know THAT’S not happening!).
Out on the road, I remembered why I loved this course.
Flat as can be. Not a hint of a hill, overpass, or even speedbump anywhere to be found.
The weather was ideal for me.
Low humidity and low 50s. Man, I do love running in Southern California!
This is my 4th time running this weekend (2 Tinks and 2 Star Wars) and every year it’s been my favorite race experience of the year. I’m positive the lovely weather plays into that big time!
The course support is always phenomenal for this race. I took a lot of pictures of signs- probably enough for a separate post. Look for that one next week.
Around mile 8 I caught up to Jane. Or she caught up to me. I can’t remember which one of us was caught, but it was perfect timing.
We headed into the heart of the cosplayer miles together. Glancing at my watch at this point, I knew if I just kept running I’d hit a Disney PR. And that shocked me.
This was supposed to be the race that was horrible and that I’d be chasing balloons since it was hot on the heels of Marathon. But who knew? I felt great, I was running “fastish” and mentally I wasn’t having any issues or doubts at all.
The Force: it was strong with me on that day.
But… there were cosplayers. And photo opps. And you know I can’t resist Sand People.
Mercy, do I love me some John Boyega! (Not pictured but an entirely acceptable substitute!)
So I stopped. A lot.
I looked down at one point and burst out laughing.
I kissed that Disney PR goodbye.
And I have absolutely no regrets on that!
This is why I run these races. This is what makes me happy and gives me joy. Taking goofy pictures with my friends in the middle of a road race is why I run Disney.
Somewhere along this section, I lost Jane again. I think she was trying to get a Storm Trooper’s number (she has a thing for the Dark Side).
I texted Jane at mile 11 and got the first update that we had a friend in trouble. Jane was waiting for her around mile 10, and they would finish the race together.
I decided to meander slowly along because surely they would catch me. I walk REALLY slow.
By the time I hit the mile 12 marker there was still no sign of them. I pulled off to the side and watched runners go by and waited for them.
When we finally met up, I took one look and knew this last mile would be tough on our friend.
She had Jane on one side and her boyfriend on the other, practically holding her up. She’d run Dopey the weekend before, after being down with some respiratory illness, so this was a very rough race for her!
The good news is we ALL made it to the finish line together. And after a quick stop at Medical, she was released and able to enjoy the rest of her weekend.
Then we celebrated. Medals and mimosas. My FAVORITE.
My takeaway from this race experience: I can do more than I think.
I finished this race after one of the hardest weeks I’d had as a runner. Not only that, I finished pain-free, and I finished strong, and I finished with friends. I had fun AND enjoyed this race.
Yoda, as we all know, is wise.
Writing this recap was a reminder that I need just to shut up, get some sleep, and run.
I can do more than I think I can… as long as I stop thinking.
Bring it, Dark Side. I’m ready for you.
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)