Jun 17, 2011

Disneyland Half Marathon 9/5/10 (1:50:58)

I decided to run the Disneyland Half Marathon as my first race and first Half Marathon because I love Disneyland!  I thought it would be fun and quite an experience to run through the parks and get to see things that most people will never get to see unless they run this race. 
We went to the Expo at the Disneyland Hotel on Saturday afternoon and it was really crowded.  I got my bib and my goodie bag and took a few pictures using the backdrops that they had set up.

This was not only my first Half Marathon but my first race ever.  I was
super nervous and I think I didn't even really enjoy the race because my nerves got the best of me!! I was worried that I would run off the course or I wouldn't finish, and I had all kinds of crazy dreams about the worst things that could possibly happen to me!

We stayed the night at a local hotel so that we would not get stuck in traffic or have to get up too early. I did not want to be late either!  I was also uncertain about where the Start was located so I was in a huge panic again!

This race should have been a fun race. It was at the Happiest Place on Earth so what else could you expect?  Being that it was my first race I was not really sure what to expect so I played it really safe. We had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory at the Garden Walk in Anaheim.  I ordered the pasta with marinara sauce to get my carb intake and then we went back to the hotel room to take it easy, get me hydrated, and check out the goodie bag.

The race started at 6am, so I woke up at 5am, got dressed and ate a banana for breakfast.  We hopped in the car and drove towards the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.  What a mess that was....There was a traffic jam all the way there!  We parked and just followed everyone to the Start.  I was supposed to start in Corral E, but by the time I got to the starting point it was impossible to get through the crowd to get to my assigned Corral.  I ended up starting in Corral C.  

The race started out downhill and since I started in Corral C. I didn't have a big crowd of people around me, which made it much easier to get a good start.I   started out strong and just went for it.  I carried my own water bottle so that I would not have to battle the crowds at the water stations in case they were crowded. Cytomax was being served on the course so I grabbed a couple of those along the way.

Mile 1: 8:15
Mile 2: 8:13
Mile 3: 8:29

My husband and my son were waiting for me at the East Esplanade between California Adventure and Disneyland.  I wasn't sure how I was going to find them because everyone looks the same when you are staring into a large crowd!  I spotted them but they didn't see me so I had to yell to get their attention. They both made super cute posters for me! 
My son's poster for me.  Very sweet! He thinks I am a fast runner!!

My husband's poster.  He is quite the artist!!
Running through California Adventure was fun but I think my favorite part of the course was running through the Disneyland Castle.  I was lucky enough to get a picture coming out of the Castle!

The course was pretty flat for the most part but the worst part of the course happens right around Mile 4 when the course turns onto Ball Road.  There is a decent sized hill to go get over and it kind of slowed me down a bit!

Mile 4: 8:17
Mile 5: 8:20
Mile 6: 8:26

Running through the Angels Stadium and watching yourself on the jumbotron is pretty exciting!  I was hoping to get a picture when I was in Angel's stadium but I always seemed to be on the opposite side of the photographers.  I did bring my own camera with me but was too focused to use it!  Next time around I think I will take more pictures so that I have more memories to look back on.
Mile 7: 8:25
Mile 8: 8:31
Mile 9: 8:33
Mile 10: 8:32

I pushed myself to keep a good pace in hopes of finishing my first race in under 2 hours!  The sun had come out and it was getting warm out there! I had trained well and had been running for at least a year before I decided to enter my first official race, so I was well prepared. The last mile seemed like the longest mile and I finally made it to the Finish Line!! I earned my first medal, which was a really cute and commemorated the 5th Anniversary of the Disneyland Half Marathon.

Mile 11: 8:32
Mile 12: 8:16
Mile 13: 8:17
I am to the right of the tall girl in the middle wearing a white shirt!
There was lots of treats for the runners like bagels, Cliff bars, bananas, Gatorade and water. I stocked up and made my way to the exit to meet up with my family in the designated area. They were all there to congratulate me!!
Notice how my son is holding his sign upside down :) 
This picture was actually published in the Orange County register!!

My official time was 1:50:58 (Pace 8:22). I survived my first race!

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