Friday, September 07, 2012
My first Half Marathon – and it was Disneyland! – where to start…
I guess, at the beginning…
I flew out to San Diego, CA on Tuesday night. My brother lives there and he ran the race with me. He has run several marathons. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning I ran 3 miles. I have found that helps me a lot – keeps my muscles flexible.
My view of surfers while I ran...
View I ran in LaJolla...
Anyway, we were supposed to drive to Anaheim on Saturday to pick up our bibs and go through the Health Expo. I read the agenda, and found that Jeff Galloway was going to speak on Saturday.
I had previously sent a text to my friends in Santa Clarita, CA and told them I was travelling to CA. They wanted to meet me at their condo in Long Beach Saturday. I started to get nervous that I wasn’t going to have enough time to get my race bib, so we booked a room at the Disneyland Californian for Friday night and went up early. This turned out to be a great idea – we were at the expo for four hours!
This is us the day before the race...
Here I am with Chip:
I bought several new running shirts, wine glasses, a backpack and met Jeff Galloway. He is very nice and talked to us for quite a while. We also got to see him speak and give tips on running...
I had brought “gu” with me; he highly suggested gummy bears. Solid sugar is absorbed faster and goes to the brain faster. He said to eat 40 cals every 2 miles. I ran out and bought them that afternoon!
Oh, yeah – when we checked in to the Disneyland Californian, they were extremely friendly. They asked if I had ever been to Disneyland before – when I replied “no” -- with a big grin, the check-in guy excused himself – was gone for about 10 minutes – came back and said he told the manager and gave us a premium upgrade for FREE!! My brother and I got to watch the Disneyland Fireworks from our huge room! We were overlooking the park and Downtown Disney! Too Cool!!
The next day – Saturday – we checked out and drove to Long Beach to see my friends. We hung out on their boat for the afternoon. It was great! ... Very relaxing the day before the big race. We drove back to Disney and checked in at the Disneyland Hotel. The hotel was right at the starting line. We went to the “Pasta in the Park Party” for runners in Disneyland.
We then went on several rides, including Space Mountain (took guts, but, I figured if I could run a half marathon, I could ride a roller coaster!), Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World, and Buzz Light Year. I really wanted to go through the Haunted Mansion but it was closed.
Anyway, I stayed very busy all day and intentionally so I would sleep. We had a really yummy pasta dinner and didn’t go to sleep until 10 pm. My biggest worry was that we would oversleep and miss the race. So, we had three alarms set! We set all of our running gear out the night before, including costume, gummy bears and gu. We even pinned our bibs on our running shirts the night before!
I slept from 10:00 pm until 1:30 am. After that, I was really sort of sleeping on and off. At 4:30 am, my brother got up and took a shower. I piddled through my emails, Sparkmail, (I read all of your encouraging words), and Facebook (everyone was cheering me on there too!), and hopped in the shower when he was done. My brother ate a bagel and had coffee - I didn’t eat. I never eat before a morning run at home and wasn’t going to change it race day. At 5:00 am we headed out. How exciting it was from the time we got on the elevator! I knew there was no turning back. There were approximately 17,000 runners in this half marathon. It didn’t seem like there was that many people. Disney was organized and had everything down to a "T". We found our way to our corral – Letter B. I quite honestly could not believe I was that far up (it went A through G). But, there I was, ready to go. It was a little chilly. My brother thought ahead and we took two of his old running shirts with us. We wore them until the race was about to start. We left them on the side line.
Now, we were at Disney, so you know they pull out all the stops. It was still dark when we started. Right after the National Anthem played; red, white and blue fireworks blasted through the sky. Then they began letting each corral go, one by one. There was a HUGE screen overhead at the start line. We watched as runners ran through – then it was our turn.
I trained for this half marathon running the first mile at approximately 10 minutes, 30 seconds and then slowly widdling it down to a 9 minute, 40 second mile. My goal was to run it in 2 hours, ten minutes (or under). The first three miles were a little slower than what I trained for. (10.47) There were a lot of people in a thin area. I also saw several people taking off fast and zig-zagging to get around people. I had read enough articles and Jeff Galloway books to know not to do that. I was very conscious that I was in for the long haul and didn’t want to wear out quickly.
Pause: I ran with my music - I keep one earphone in - the other tucked in my shirt - to help keep me paced, but also to be able to hear cars, announcements, and keep me motivated. I want to take a moment to tell you guys that I thought of you as I ran. You helped to hold me accountable for my goal - I wanted to make you proud! I thought of you through my music - "Not backing down" (Tom Petty), "Firework" (Katie Perry - suggested by KarenNY). There was no way I was going to quit after all my blogging and you guys being so supportive!! I would not let you down!
So, we ran through California Adventure and it was quite a treat. Disney had the colored water fountains on and they were beautiful. There was so much to look at as we ran – it was easy to forget that we were running! We then ran through Disneyland. Several runners stopped to get pictures with Disney characters (and there were lines!) – I did not want to stop and kept running. We ran through the Disney Castle (I took this the night before) ...
We then ran through Honda City. There were high school bands, Spanish dancers and cheerleaders everywhere! I was very surprised. I did not realize that we were going to have entertainment in Anaheim, but here were all these kids, who got up at 5:30 in the morning just to cheer us on! It was totally awesome! My brother and I high-fived everyone down the line!
Next, we came around a bend and there was THREE MILES (yes, I looked this up afterwards), of classic cars. They were arranged diagonally on both sides of us. I have never seen so many classic cars. It was the easiest three miles I have ever run in my life. The owners were sitting by them. I thanked them as I ran by. (Later, I found out that Disney gave each of them two tickets to the theme park to sit there from 5:30 AM – 8:30 AM– how cool is that??)
We then ran through a tunnel and into the Anaheim Angel’s Stadium – a baseball stadium! We heard a huge roar of cheering. We came out of the tunnel and we were on the jumbotron! There were children and adults all around the stadium in the bleachers cheering us on! I yelled and high fived everyone as I ran around the stadium. My brother was cracking up…he said people were taking pictures of me like crazy. It was awesome!
We then had about 3 miles to go and it was time to kick it…and we did. Our pace was so good through the first 10 miles, that I had a lot of energy left. I widened my stride and took off. Around mile 12 I saw several runners on the sideline with injuries – one fell, others looked like they were stretching. I was more than ready to finish the race.
We were about one mile away and my brother yelled “Give it all you got!”. I yelled “I AM!” Several people laughed – I wasn’t kidding! After the race, I found out that I ran the last 5K in 27 minutes!
My brother and I high-fived at the finish line!
So…here we are at the end of the race (my brother ran in this wig the whole race!)
I completed my first half marathon in 2 hours, 10 minutes! WooHoo! Here is a picture of my bib and medal (the medal is HUGE)...
My brother told me that it was, by far, the funnest race he has ever run. He ran a lot slower than usual and said he was able to "see" all the excitement as he ran. I watched several videos that were taken and have seen several pictures of us and I can tell you - we were smiling and laughing in every picture.
It has been five days since the race and I am still, so excited, every time I think about it! I did it! Wow!
My training turned out to be totally perfect for my first half marathon. Yeah, I am eyeballing another half marathon in Baltimore in October – it is the most awesome feeling in the world to run one (runner’s high?) – I don’t want it to end!!
My brother and I afterwards at breakfast with Goofy:
So, how do I end this...If I can do this - YOU can do this. I started walking 1 1/2 years ago - AND I actually ran a half marathon last weekend! If you would have told me I would be able to do this now a year and a half ago I would have told you you were crazy!
It all started with walking ten minutes on the treadmill...
Friday, August 31, 2012
Today I ran 2.7 miles and participated in a yoga class. My brother and I are meeting friends in Long Beach Saturday and want to see the health expo at Disney so we are going to Disney one day early (tomorrow). We are very excited and will keep all of you posted!!!
How do I feel??? Like.. I can't believe I am actually doing this!! What was I thinking when I signed up?? But, wait! I can do this!!!!! I trained real hard! I am ready!
Quote of the day...
"Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you're young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don't let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself."
-John Bingham, running speaker and writer
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Gosh, it's getting REALLY close now!
So, I made it to California! I am staying with my brother. Yesterday we went to a yoga class (for alignment) in the morning. The Instructor was really good. I got a nice stretch. We then went to Trader Joe's and bought a lot of healthy foods that I am used to eating at home...veggie sausage, cottage cheese, egg beaters, salad mix, Greek yogurt and fruit. We will be eating breakfast and lunch at his place and go out to eat for dinner most of the time I am here.
In the afternoon we ran 3.5 miles along the water in La Jolla. It turned out to be a very hot run. It is supposed to be cooler here - its going to be 90 degrees throughout the weekend! We ran it in a little over 28 minutes which was very fast for me. I have been averaging 9 min 30 secs on my runs at home. Anyway, it was nice to run along the water and it was very flat. My knee still has a huge scab on it from my fall last Sunday. It felt great running. There was a couple stances I couldn't do in yoga because I can't put weight on it right now. My elbow still has a huge scab too - doesn't bother me unless I wear long sleeves or bang it! I think it is going to be a while before they heel - battle wounds!
For today's quote of the day, I am going to use one of my SparkBuddies...
" I can't wait for the been there, done that, wearing the t-shirt moment" Inflated
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