So you probably noticed that it says part 2, and I don’t have a part 1. Well that is because it is coming, I figured after you read this, you may want to know how I went from never running, to training for a half marathon. So I am working on a post that will tell you all those fun details but in the meantime, you get part 2 which is all about the race… Enjoy.
After spending hours of looking at the back of my eyelids and not actually sleeping, I heard that annoying harp noise that comes out of my iPhone. 3:30am, it was time to wake up for my big debut, the Tinker Bell Half! I am not going to lie, I shot out of bed, I was pretty excited, not to mention the fact that I didn’t want to miss anything. Turns out that there really isn’t too much to miss until you are in you’re corral, but who knew? I threw on my Autism Speaks singlet, my Nike capri’s and my new Team Sparkle skirt and one arm warmer (don’t ask, I guess I thought it looked cool or only one of my arms was cold).
I also wore my fuel belt with two bottles, which also carried my phone so I could find my parents afterwards, my Nike + watch (which I LOVE), and a Halo headband I bought at the Health Expo the day before. I should tell you that headband was the best $30 I have ever spent on running equipment. It’s called the Halo Rhythm headband, it came with short-wired headphones and you attach a small music device like the Nike shuffle to the back of it. It was amazing! I didn’t have to fuss with anything on my arm and there were no wires in my way! So now that you know how fashionably dressed I was lets move on to the race (if you don’t agree and you happen to be a stylist, thats great because I have been looking for one).
They asked us to be outside by 4:30am but it turns out since my hotel was at the start, I really didn’t need to be out until we were lining up in our corals at 5:15am, fail, oh well. At 5:20am I was in my corral ready to go, my nerves were going crazy. Run Disney, had great race announcers and lit off fireworks during the Nation Anthem at the start of the race. Which was pretty cool seeing how I have never seen fireworks at the beginning of a race. Around 5:50am the race began (I was in corral C so we started about 10 minutes behind the start).
One of the most amazing things I found that Run Disney offered was live tracking during the race. At the 5K, 10K, 15K, and the finish my family got an email and text saying what my pace was and my projected finish time. Not too shabby if you ask me, it would also update your twitter and your Facebook if you wanted but I decided I didn’t want to do that for my first race, this race was just for me (sorry people, next time). Miles 1-4 were very fun, we were able to run through Disney Land in the dark which was pretty cool and they had Disney characters stationed everywhere. People would stop and line up to get their pictures but since this was my first race I didn’t want to stop even though the Pirates were very tempting.
Run Disney is a great race organizer, they had cameras everywhere and I made sure to run, skip, jump, and hop by every photographer and look as happy as possible. I actually got some pretty great pictures (thank you Bright Room, now if you could just lower your prices I would be super happy). At almost every mile outside of the park there was a cheerleading squad, dance team, marching band, or local band. It was amazing to have that kind of support while running and it always made you look forward to what was coming next. I stayed pretty strong all the way up until mile 9.5 and that’s when I started hitting mental walls, I knew I could keep running but sometimes, I let my head get the best of me and I would walk and then I would start-up again. Believe me this was a constant battle of me talking to myself but luckily I got through it with no one thinking I was crazy (or so I can only hope).
Finally at mile 12, we were back in the park at California Adventure and I knew I was close, but the last mile is NEVER close. I ran by a camera and I tried to do the number 12, turned out to be 21, I forgot it would be the reverse, fail. I feel like I was constantly looking for my finish and I never get there. Around 12.5 miles I found my family waiting for me, which was exactly what I needed to finish the race (I had one amazing cheering squad, my younger brother Nolen got up at 3:30 with me). Seeing the finish sign in the distance was unreal, I was finishing my first half marathon! I raised my hands and ran through the finish, to be honest I raised my hands because everyone else does it and I thought it would make for a good picture. Next time I need to come up with something super creative (if you have any ideas send me an email). I finished in 2:14:52, which is 8 seconds under what I put down as my estimated finish time. I am pretty happy with that and I know I can only get better from here.
I am so glad I chose a Disney race to be my first half it was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I learned so much about running in those 2 hours, 14 minutes, and 52 seconds that I didn’t learn while training and I am so excited for my next race. Which I should mention is the NYC Half Marathon on March 18th!!!! There was one spot left on the Autism Speaks team and I couldn’t pick a better team to be racing with, so here is to the start of another training adventure.
Filed under: Running | Tagged: Beginner Runner, California Adventure, Disney, Disney Land, Disney Races, First Half Marathon, Halo Headbands, Passion, Run Disney, Running, Team Sparkle, Tink Half, Tinker Bell, Tinker Bell 1/2 Marathon, Tinker Bell Half Marathon, Training for a Half Marathon | 6 Comments »