Sep 11, 2013

9/1/13: The Disneyland Half Marathon

The Disneyland Half Marathon is one of my favorite races that I look forward to every year! The race started at 5:30 am which meant a 4:00 am wake up time. I get up at this time to go to work so it did not bother me at all. I actually like the fact that the race starts super early because the weather is much better at 5:30 am than it is at 7:30 am! We left the hotel at 4:40 am and started our walk to the corrals. The situation was much like I am used to seeing it and the runners were able to head straight to their corrals since there were no other events before the half marathon. I can usually get pretty close to the front of the corral but I was not able to and ended up somewhere in the middle. I think that all of the Dumbo Double Dare participants headed over to the corrals much earlier after seeing the crowds at the 10K the previous day. 

I regretted not getting closer to the front of the corral because I weaved through the crowds for the first five miles. The course was very crowded and I was unable to find a spot to settle into my comfortable pace and I got really frustrated. Runners were bumping into me, running in front of me or just getting too close. I don't mean to sound arrogant but I like my space and I want to be free to move around a little bit. My pace was 9:30 for the first .55 miles and I was only able to squeeze an 8:37 out of the first mile due to the crowds.

Mile 1 :8:37
Mile 2: 8:20
Mile 3: 8:08
Mile 4: 8:17
Mile 5: 8:22 (GU) 

I saw that other runners were jumping up onto the sidewalk to break through the crowds but I didn't need to do that since I was not shooting for a PR. I didn't set a goal for this race but knew I wanted to close it out with a fast finish. I felt like I could run a decent race since I ran my 1oK pretty easy but I pretty much let my body dictate this race. I didn't push myself but just ran by how I felt. My splits were all over the place so I am not sure what that says about how I was feeling.

There was some pretty interesting signage out on the course this year. These were two of my favorites!
I was finally able to get some space from Mile 6 on but by then I was pretty annoyed. I stopped looking at my Garmin and felt like giving up. I had to have a talk with myself and reminded myself that I wasn't attempting to PR the race so it was not that big of a deal. I kept the pace comfortable and never felt fatigued. I walked through some of the water stops and made it a point to stay hydrated. I decided to carry my handheld with me due to the heat and the fact that the water bottles in my hydrating belt end up with warm water when the temps are high. The temperature felt much better than it was the day before but it was still very humid. It was 79 degrees at the Start and the sun did not break through until about Mile 11.5.
Mile 6: 8:03
Mile 7: 8:23
Mile 8: 8:23
Mile 9: 8:02
Mile 10: 8:36 (GU) I need to get better at running and taking GU while running, Can you tell?
I wanted to finish the race strong no matter what. The final miles have always been a struggle for me especially during the marathon so this is one of the areas that I really focused on. I need to able to find my strong in the end of a race since this could make or break a big race. I felt like I did well and was happy with my last 3 miles. No PR for this race but probably one of my strongest finishes on this course. It is pretty amazing how you can finish a race strong when you start conservatively and then save it for the end.
Mile 11: 8:01
Mile 12: 7:48
Mile 13: 7:45
.27 (6:53)

The Dumbo Double Dare was awesome and I glad that I was able to be a part of this inaugural event but I think that I will just go back to running the half marathon next year. I usually PR this course every year and I am looking forward to another Disney PR on the half marathon course next year. Disney races are a lot of fun with tons of course support so if you have never ran a Run Disney event, you have to try at least one and dress up for it. They are pricey but you will definitely enjoy it! 

Did you run the Dumbo Double Dare or any of the Disneyland race this year? Tell me what you thought of the events this year.


  1. Congrats Sandy! Despite the slow start and the heat, you rocked it. I agree the bobbing and weaving due to people not lined up correctly is maddening sometimes.

    1. Thank You! Now that I think about it, it was probably not too bad considering the heat and humidity. Weaving through crowds...I really don't like that part :)

  2. I'm so awful at starting slow even though it usually means a strong finish! I think you rocked this!!!

    1. Thank you Nancy. Starting slow was probably the only reason why I was able to finish strong. I am learning to hold back and hope that I have something left in the tank in the end and so far I have been able to dig deep and find it!

  3. Nice job!! What a fantastic finish :)

    1. Thank You Lisa! I have had some pretty poor finished in the short time that I have been running so you live and learn. Long Beach will be another test for me but I am hoping to run smart more than anything else. I am not so concerned about time but more on strategy to use in my future marathons.