Disneyland Half Marathon Race Re-Cap 2014

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.

weather DL half 2014

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:

Nemo collage

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.

Corral H

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!

DL Half bikes

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.

DL Half 14 1

DL Half 14 2

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.

2nd Dumbo Dare Challenge picture

2nd Dumbo Dare Challenge picture

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.

Normally this is straight into the sun.  But we lucked out with the clouds!

Normally this is straight into the sun. But we lucked out with the clouds!

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.

Errr… kinda.

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.

When we run out of characters, Disney runners create photo stops!

When we run out of characters, Disney runners create photo stops!

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!

Love ya, Tracy!  Thanks for being there!

Love ya, Tracy! Thanks for being there!

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.


Cars Collage

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.

Dl Half 14 7

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.


Kris and Mindy from Race Every Step were a welcome sight at mile 12.5

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!

DL Half 14 8

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?


  • Patty, this is one of many reasons that I appreciate you and your blog-you keep it real! I’m sorry you had a tough race. It’s even harder when they’re at Disney when “it’s supposed” to be fun and magical. Princess 2013 and Wine and Dine 2013 were both really tough races for me…both I just needed to get done and move on. Take a break, reflect and get back to training. I know you’ll come back much stronger after you can perservere through a tough race.
    And LOVE that costume, girl!!!

    • patty says:

      Exactly- it’s Disney and I wanted it to be magical, darn it! Thanks for the love Christine! I heard from your mom that your race was pretty humid too. Gah. Let’s only run in the fall. 😉

  • Julia Stewart says:


    I love how honest you are and am sorry this race didn’t pan out the way you’d hoped. The end result is still the same; fast or slow you finished and managed to have some fun along the way!! I’m proud of you for being such a rock star and for telling it like it is. One day I will do Disneyland weekend and hopefully I can see you there! xoxo

  • Emelia says:

    I loved your costume! I have always thought of doing a Nemo costume for the full because basically from mile 19-23 I sing to myself “just keep swimming”. You said this was in your top 3 hot miserable races. I’m curious what the other 2 are? I thought last years 10k and half were way more humid and hot than this year? Last years 10k was one of my most miserable races.

    • patty says:

      Nemo was a HUGE hit. I didn’t think it would be- but I had tons of support with Nemo.

      Last years 10K is my number 1 worst weather race. I wanted to puke by the end. I had to lay down in the parking lot in the shade by a tent to recover. It sucked.

      The other worst race was the 2013 PHM. That sucker was 82 degrees and 100% humidity. It may have been hotter by the time we finished though- since we took 4 hours! #AllThePictures 😉 Obviously I bring this on myself by stopping so much- but that’s what makes running fun to me!

  • Suzanne says:

    The Divas Half in Branson wad tough for me and I almost quit when I saw that last hill. It was a bad enough race for me that I ultimately took most of the summer off from running. It was not so much about the time for me, though yes it was part of it.The mental part of it was the worst.
    Obviously, taking three months off isn’t totally doable with Goofy looming bit try to manufacture a break. It’s amazing what a little space can do 🙂
    Big hugs.
    Suzanne recently posted…Fundraising fun Part One…Playlist maniaMy Profile

    • patty says:

      I haven’t run all week and I think that’s a good thing. But reading all these awesomely encouraging responses is making me itch for a small run! 🙂 Thanks Suzanne- I know Divas was tough for you too. Hard races happen. We just have to work past them.

  • You’re not alone on Goofy. I’m terrified.

  • 1. My husband was driving a 76 280Z when we dated and I bought him one just like it a few years ago. We are slowly restoring it and it’s so fun to drive around! Loved that pic!
    2. That weather is CRA. Near the ocean humidity is different. Heavier. I am VERY impressed with you.
    3. My marathon training doesn’t even start until Monday so you are at the START line and have nowhere to go but up. Yes, it’s a long way but you have exactly the right amount of time.
    4. Yeah, I was really jealous when I saw your pics, but after reading that I’m OK with not being there;).
    Thanks for a great report!

    • patty says:

      Awww Jen- I swear we are sisters separated by miles! I want to do that too. Our 20th is coming up and I’d love to find his old Z (or one like it) since he sold it to buy my engagement ring. I’d love to see a picture of his old and new baby! lol about being jealous. Girl, it was hard. Thanks for supporting me though! Marathon will happen. It WILL HAPPEN! 🙂

      • We will have to plan to meet in real life at the race. You know, when we’re all trained and feeling great and enjoy those low humidity 50 degree days that will be our in January. (already willing that to be!)

  • Sorry it was such a bummer, but YOU DID IT! The sun was weird–it came out just as I passed through the bag check tent and it was instantly hot. This race was great for me, but for other reasons–it was my first race post-knee surgery and just being able to cross the finish line was awesome. Everyone has bad races–shake it off and get back out there for training. You can do Goofy!!! That beautiful spinner anniversary medal has your name on it 🙂

  • Stacey B says:

    OK maybe I shouldn’t have read this…I need to get serious about training for PHM and since running 3 miles makes me huff and puff (probably intervals too fast or ya know I stink at this running thing) and I am wicked nervous I won’t be able to make it….

    • patty says:

      Ha ha- the new englander said wicked. That made me lol. You can do it Stacey. It might mean slowing down to build up the endurance first- that’s what Galloway says anyway! Trust in Jeff!

  • Patty, great job pushing through this race. Waking up early to run multiple days in a row is not an easy feat!! Do you think walking around the parks in between races had a big impact? I am thinking about not even visiting the parks during Dopey week (until after the full at least) because of that.

    • patty says:

      That was my big takeaway. I am absolutely grounding myself from the parks for Goofy. I won’t enter MK until I’m running the half (or full if I do wuss out) I’m staying off my feet.

      I didn’t think I did too much before the races, but according to my fitbit I sure did put some park miles in! Lesson learned!

  • Kiley says:

    Patty I had a horrible race! I was saying the same stuff I felt sick the whole time and couldn’t shake it. I was happy when it was all over

    • patty says:

      Gah- I hate that misery loves company, but you know… lol Glad to hear I wasn’t alone. I like that it was really tough and not me just being weenie. 😉

  • Josette says:

    Some runs are just bad runs for no reason what so ever. I had several during my training runs leading up to the race. My last training run before Dumbo was one so maybe that helped me. I felt good most of the DL half, yes it was hot but I was managing by dumping water on my head at the water stations but the last 3 miles were killer that sun was just too much for me. I really wanted to PR and was trying to push those last miles but had to back off because I felt I could pass out. I was only 1 minute off from a PR and I was 12 minutes faster than the Princess half so I was happy.

  • Jen says:

    I don’t know when I’ll do Disneyland again. With other races in Anaheim, now, the course and the time of year make DL less appealing than ever before. Although I appreciate the tweak to the medal design this year, it’s basically the same for five years, so the bling isn’t even a motivation. On the other hand, I think next year is an anniversary medal, so that might be a factor…

    • patty says:

      I prefer to run the Disneyland races overall, but yeah, with cooler temp options (Avengers and Star Wars!) I think DL might be on a back burner for a bit. As long as they don’t release an amazing anniversary medal. Ha ha ha!

  • Abby says:

    I feel like this is exactly what happened to me at Princess this year. Hopefully, we can get it back!

    Don’t let this race shake you up for Goofy, it’s a whole different ballgame and on a different coast. You definitely have it in you, just believe!

  • Mindy says:

    Sounds a lot like last years half for me … Which is when I made the decision to stick with 10ks only. But you finished and that’s amazing!! Congrats on another race. I hope to do the WDW full someday and you’re a huge inspiration for that.
    Mindy recently posted…Yummy Eats and Drinks at the Taste of Downtown Disney EventMy Profile

  • Ann T says:

    I felt the bad and ugly too. It was my first and around mile 4 my ankle started to kill me and I and I had to walk the rest. I managed a few very very short run intervals, but it was killer. I started in H too. I’m just glad the sun didn’t come out until near the end.

  • Jenn says:

    Oh, I am so sorry this was so tough for you! Extreme temperatures can be so hard. My worst ever race was actually just the opposite – so cold I couldn’t feel my toes!

    You’ve got Goofy! And if you decide to just run the full? You’ve got that, too!

    Some runs just aren’t meant to be. I’m sorry it happened in Disneyland on race day, but the next will be awesome!

    Get some rest and get back out there 🙂
    Jenn recently posted…where my head is in competition with everything elseMy Profile

  • Lauren says:

    I’m sorry you had a bad time! I think everyone has the bad run days, it’s just really unfortunate yours happened in Disneyland!
    Lauren recently posted…Tuesdays…on the Run: Running in CostumeMy Profile

  • Isn’t it the truth – mental game with running is just as important as the physical one. I’m sorry that you weren’t feeling this race. It’s hard, especially when you’re at a Disney race and like you said, everything is “supposed” to be magical. Except the sun. The sun is not magical. Especially when it’s beating down on your head and your skin and you feel like you might just catch on fire. And not in a Catching Fire Katniss kind of way.

    I was seriously asking the car folks if they wanted to drive us to the end. They thought I was kidding. I was not.
    Mer @ ScootaDoot recently posted…Breakfast Protein: Chill OutMy Profile

  • maggie says:

    Great job toughing it out! I think mental is almost more the challenge than the running, great job pulling through! Get out there and smash that Goofy! I have faith in you!

  • Beth says:

    Doesn’t that suck, starting a race and knowing you just aren’t into it.. I’m sorry for that. You gutted it out and finished. From the looks of the pictures you had a good time. I think when a race or a run isn’t going well I ask myself, am I having fun? and if I’m not having fun why am I not having fun? Usually because I’ve set some unrealistic expectation on the race or the run. I back that down to the bare bones of right foot left foot right foot left foot and smile and it all seems to be better. I did the Princess 1/2 in Disney World (Florida) we were hardly in the park, I’m glad you actually were able to run through the park.

    Keep on keeping on!!!

  • April at RunTheGreatWideSomewhere says:

    I feel like I’m reading my own Tink recap! And I still haven’t gotten that out of my head. Focus on the positive, you finished. Under pace. You didn’t give up and sit on a curb and get picked up. You didn’t get injured. If you figure out how to shut up that head chatter during a race, please let me know, it gets me every time!

    I’m so impressed that you are tackling Goofy. Just learn from this one and trust that the Florida weather will cooperate in January! And maybe I’ll join you for Goofy 2016!

  • I’m sorry you had such a rough run. I’m impressed that you finished! I hope the next one is better for ya!
    Allyson Brandt recently posted…Rise & Shine Challenge and September GoalsMy Profile

  • Melissa says:

    Well I also appreciate your honesty… I am sorry that it was such a rough run! Your costumes were amazing and you should be proud to have finished! I am hoping to tackle goofy someday too…maybe 2016…gotta get that Coast to Coast sometime!

  • Holly says:

    Did you make or buy your shirt?? I am planning to be Nemo and my friend Dory for Princess weekend next month. LOVE YOURS!

Speak Your Mind

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Patty Holliday

Patty is a 40-ish mother of four living in Virginia. A bit geeky, sometimes sarcastic, lover of a candid confession. She's trying to love running, she swears. But much like her marathon, it’s taking a very long time. Ahem. She's searching for the perfect way to balance family, work, travel, and fitness. Perfect defined as high on fun, low on guilt.

TMOM Travel Writer