I thought this would be the PR race. I thought this would be a redemption for the crappy runs I had this winter.
I thought wrong.
The Disneyland Half Marathon was just not my race, y’all.
Here’s the race re-cap though: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Oh and the Weird.
I’m going to start with the Weird. These numbers don’t look that bad.
I’ve run in worse. I’ve run in 10 degrees hotter and 100% humidity.
But this race is in my top 3 hottest most miserable get-me-the-eff-off-this-course experiences.
It was hot. And muggy. And gross. But the numbers don’t look so bad, which is why I call it the Weird.
The only saving grace were those sweet, sweet little clouds. If we were running in full sun like we did last year… man, I can’t even think about how bad it would have been!
From the start I was just not “feeling it.” You know, the excitement and giddiness you get as you get dressed for a race and make your way to the corrals. That feeling.
It just wasn’t there. Even though I thought my costume turned out super cute. This was the Good:
I wasn’t alone in not “feeling it.” My running buddy Lisa was in the same boat.
Maybe we stayed at the parks too long on Saturday or maybe we didn’t eat enough or maybe it was just too freakin hot… but we just weren’t “feeling it.”
I hoped the corral would change things.
We were in Corral H. H for HOT and HUMID.
By the way, playing Let It Go for every corral start in front of us wasn’t helping the mood.
I grabbed a few pictures as we got closer to the front.
The bike guys (sweepers? medics?) told me this would be the last time they saw me- I appreciated that one!
runDisney did things a little differently to start this race. The first corrals went off in pairs until F. Then G went off alone and so did H right around 6am.
I honestly do not remember any part of these first couple of miles. I was bitching and moaning about how hot it was and how much I was NOT feeling this race.
Come on Shenanigans, get it together! You’re at Disneyland for goodness sake!
The first 4 miles through the parks. Usually this is the best part of the course. Since I already knew I was in a negative state of mind I recognized that I would not be stopping for many pictures. If any.
I grabbed a few that I felt I couldn’t pass up but didn’t stop in any lines.
Hey, if you can’t have fun, why do it?
There were more characters for the half than we saw on the 10K course. You can check the re-cap for that one here if you missed it.
In DCA there were Army men (in fact, we saw quite a few of them!), Jake, and the Cars Land folks. I may be missing some.
In Disneyland we saw Mexico Donald (I hear it was actually the Three Caballeros but only Donald was out when we went by), Prince Charming and the Step Sisters, a host of villains (Maleficent, Cruella, Dr. Facillier, Jafar, the Evil Queen), and Darth Vader and Storm Troopers.
The parks were very crowded and even though we really didn’t stop much, our first four miles were pretty slow. Slow even for us.
Lisa and I knew the next nine miles would get done, but they wouldn’t be pretty.
Today I read a couple of other bloggers re-caps and this seems to be a common theme. For some reason, this race was a bit tougher than normal for many runners.
This was the Bad.
It didn’t help that I over analyze things when they start falling apart. Like my friend Karen said, I had to have “the talk” with myself around mile 4.
Was anything hurting? No.
Was I feeling sick? No.
ITB ok? Meh… it was a little tight, but I’ve run when it was worse. So… no.
PF acting up? No. Feet were good.
Was I hydrated and had enough gels? Yes.
Basically my check list wasn’t popping any major issues. There was no physical reason I not to keep going. It was all in my head.
At this point I warned Lisa that I needed to put on my head phones and zone out. She wished me well and we separated.
As it turned out we kept leap frogging each other through the race. She had some tight legs and ankle issues so she would stop and stretch out. I stopped a few times for pictures. In the end we stayed pretty close to each other.
Miles 5-9 were ok for me. They were all around 15:20-15:30 minute miles and I was THRILLED that I was moving at that pace.
I enjoy the streets of Anaheim and all the community support.
I especially enjoyed seeing this lady and the Popsicle she gave me at mile 6!
The classic cars were fabulous, as usual. I wish I had the speed it takes to be able to stop and truly admire the cars every year.
They sure are gorgeous and a nice distraction at the middle part of the course.
I grabbed this one real quick. You see, Mr. Shenanigans owned one of these babies when I met him.
It’s now parked on my ring finger.
About the time we finished the cars, the sun decided it was time to play.
Nooooo… I had 4 miles left!
With the sun coming out I wanted to walk even more. So far I had kept to my intervals of 30 second run and 1 minute walk. It wasn’t fast but once out of the park and away from the congestion it was keeping me below pace and that’s all I could ask for at this point.
Then the Ugly happened.
When I left the stadium my brain took over.
Y’all, that’s not a good thing. That’s when I gave up.
Yep… I gave the freak up and just slowed to a snails pace.
Remember that physical checklist? I was still good. Or at least good enough to stick to my plan.
My ITB was acting up a bit more and I was chaffing pretty much EVERYWHERE due to the extreme amounts of sweat pouring off me. But I wasn’t in any major pain. I should have kept running.
But I didn’t. I walked the last 3 miles. Full on walked. Turned off the intervals and just moseyed on in for the end of the race.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissing walkers, not at all. But this was not in my plan. And runners hate it when the plan falls apart.
My original goal was finishing around 3 hours. Based on my training, this was possible.
But it wasn’t happening.
Not. Even Close. I knew this early on, but still hoped to find some silver lining in this cloud of a race.
I’ll say this about myself- when I crash and burn I do it spectacularly. My final miles were 3 and 4 minutes slower than my previous pace. Yeesh.
The last miles had some fun surprises. I truly smile to think of all the people who stuck around for the back of the pack. Y’all rock.
I loved seeing all the finishers hanging around the final stetch cheering and yelling for us. Runners: you are AMAZINGLY positive.
The final kick got to me and I managed to run the last little bit of the race. I even got a shout out as I crossed the finish line from the race announcers.
After crossing the finish line, I reunited with Lisa and we headed back to our hotels.
We had an all-you-can-eat BBQ lunch planned for later!
Celebrating at Disneyland is my favorite thing ever. It might actually be why I sign up for these races!
I have a lot of work to do before I’m ready for Goofy.
Full disclosure: I’m even considering dropping the half and just completing the full. This race weekend shook me up a bit.
I know I have time. I know I will do the training. And I know I have to figure out how to mentally fight through the doubts. I have to figure out how to deal with the things I cannot change like the weather.
There you have it: the Weird, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the 2014 Disneyland Half.
Did you run the Disneyland Half this year? Did you have any mental or physical issues to fight through in your last half?