This past Sunday (01.20.2013) I ran my 2nd half marathon, the 2nd annual Tinkerbell Half Marathon hosted by the fab folks over at runDisney. Overall, it was an awesome race, but of course, with me being the overly critical and self deprecating person that I am, I am so uberly disappointed in my performance. Thinking back on it, I can probably pin point some possible causes of my suckiness, but again, this is just my own hypercritical assessment of myself. Yes I know I should be super proud of finishing yet another half, and I did stop along the way to take in all the Disney wonderfulness, but still. It's my pity party and I will cry if I want to.
Got the family up at the butt crack of dawn (ok ok, more like I got up at 4 am and got everything ready, then got the boys up to get their butts in the car). Hit the road at 5 am and, with me being the super speed demon driver that I am, got us to Valencia by 9:30 am. All bets are off once you hit the LA area, since their traffic totally sucks balls. We didn't get to Anaheim til a little before 11 and headed straight to the expo.
Getting my bib and commemorative pin was quick and easy (yay no lines!), and then we headed upstairs to the actual Expo area. runDisney's expo absolutely poops on the NWM Expotique. There were so many booths that were actually SELLING stuff that I was in total sensory overload. There was just sooooo much to look at and browse! But the only things I ended up picking up were a shirt from Raw Threads (that was damn expensive but I couldn't help it, the shirt is so friggin cute) and silver sequin mouse ears that I was going to run in. I contemplated a pair of Tink wings that lit up, but couldn't bring myself to shelling out $40 for a pair of wings that would end up sitting in the closet collecting dust. I looked through the official Tinkerbell Half merchandise, but nothing stood out to me as being worth having (since I really loved the official race shirt) so I passed on that stuff.
We headed into Downtown Disney and had lunch at one of my fave places, Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen (uber nom), and then headed to our hotel to check in and veg out. I didn't plan anything for Saturday since I wanted to get as much rest as possible, and stay off my legs. We all ended up conking out for an over 3 hour "nap", which totally bombed my plans of carb loading at a highly recommended Italian spot I found on Yelp, and made me freak out thinking that I wouldn't have enough of a carb store for the race. I was right, but more on that later.
Since the race started at 5 am, I set my alarm for 3 am (ouch) and got ready, ate my toast with PB and banana, and jumped in the car to head over to the Mickey and Friends parking structure. I wasn't going to make the boys get up that early (again), so even though it would've been awesome to have a support team at the finish line, having a happy toddler for the rest of the day was more important. Once I saw the lines of cars entering the garage, I felt the adrenaline kick in. I was about to run my 2nd race and I was JUICED!
Getting to my corral was painless, and it was awesome seeing all the people milling around and soaking in all things Tinkerbell/Disney. I got to Corral C and settled in, people watching and loving the fact that there were so many men who embraced their inner Princess and rocked the wings and sparkly tutus with pride! Before I knew it, the National Anthem was playing and fireworks were going off, then the corrals were released and off we went. My corral crossed the start line 15-20 minutes after the start of the race, and after trying to get a non-blurry shot of Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse in their race gear, I took off. For the first mile or so I was behind a group running in 49er jerseys, including my all time fave player #16 (Joe Montana). If you weren't already aware, Sunday was the NFC Championship game with the Niners playing against the Falcons, so seeing all the red and gold along the race route (both runners and spectators) was damn awesome! Sorry, back to the race now ;)
The first mile and half or so had us running over a couple of overpasses. I wasn't happy running up a steep ass hill but I am glad that was the only hills throughout the entire course, and I was able to run them. I also ran into (literally, I had to shuffle step) 3 of my awesome TNT teammates that I aspire to be able to keep pace with one of these days (Sharon, Laura, and Olivia, you guys are my inspiration! One day, I will be right there with you guys, I swear.)
Then we ran into California Adventure, and this is probably where I made my first mistake, but I don't care. I had to. We turned a corner and I immediately saw the characters from Monsters, Inc. Sully!!!!
We then continued through California Adventure, through both back areas that the public typically never get to see, and the regular areas. Absolutely BEST part? Cars Land!!!!
|Blurry and not me in the pic, but oh well|
I blame lil man for my Cars obsession. But how can you not love cars with moving eyes? This was the absolute best moment of the entire race. Not even the finish line. THIS!!!
And after this is where things just started going downhill. I didn't want to take any more pics after this since I felt like I was getting thrown off and losing it. It was friggin fantabulous running through California Adventure and Disneyland, the crowd support when we exited one park to enter another was infectious and so motivating, and seeing the parks in a way that the majority of the world don't get to see makes you feel pretty special. But once we got out of the parks and ran through the streets of Anaheim, I was bored. And couldn't wait to be done.
I didn't take any more pics after Mile 7. Minus 20 minutes from the clock time, and that's where my time was at Mile 7. Which is just a tad slower than my training times, but considering the fact that I stopped to wait in line and take pics, then a potty break, I would say I did OK. But after this was when my left calf started cramping up and every time I tried to run, it would seize up and yell at me saying "what the hell are you doing? Stop! Stop it now!" I had to stop several times to try and stretch it out. Then when I wanted to take a Gu I realized that I didn't zip my Armpocket closed and I dropped 3 Gu's somewhere along the way. It sucked. Seriously.
Oh, and I haven't even mentioned that Nike+ apparently wanted to be off, yet again. According to my app, I was keeping an 11:30 pace and finished at 2:51. Which I was happy with, content even, considering all the factors previously mentioned. So when I checked my official race results, imagine how my heart dropped when it said 3:05. WHAT. THE. FUCK. That's 5 minutes slower than my Nike time. One of the hardest courses there is. What a downer!
I'm disappointed in myself. Did I have fun? YES. Would I do it again? YES. Lessons learned? Don't skip out on carb loading the day before. Don't be so hard on myself. Don't beat myself up for wanting to take pictures and take the whole experience in. Don't try and PR at a Disney race. And train more. Run more. Eat better. And stop being hard on myself. I wore my medal at the parks the 2 days following. And I was damn proud of it too. And as long as I'm not pregnant next year, I'll be doing it again!