Yep this will need more than one post. We had the kids race on Saturday. That will be for another post with hilarious pictures...well I think they are funny but I am bias...
here is one for sneak peak...
Jonathan in action looking really pissed off!!!
Also more on the Expo where we met these people....the very svelte Drew Carey and Megan Price (from Rules of Engagement, yes we do watch this show, that is Bill's favorite)
More on this in part 2.
We stayed in Anaheim on the Saturday night. Because of the fireworks I did not get to sleep until after 10 pm. I was in bed long before that but it was so loud I could not sleep through it. I had to get up at 3 am to catch the shuttle to the race, last one was at 4:30 am. I got down in the lobby and saw 3 women, 2 of them with huge wings. One asked "Are you going to the race?" It was 3:30 am, I was dressed in running gear and I had the Disney check bag...yeah.. Got to the race really early, there were a lot of people there already. It was well organized for this part: bags checking area was great, people were super friendly and plenty of porta potty. Huge area for people to wait before the start, but not as close to the start as most people thought (they had no sign to direct people, if they did I did not see any). If I had known I would have headed to the starting line a lot sooner.
The start was be far the worst part of the race. For corals A to C it looked fine. Anything above C: a mess. I was in D and lots of people from G and up were lined up in Coral D. They had told a bunch of D people (maybe 50 of us) to stay in a certain spot so we did and then 10 minutes before the start some other race people came and said we needed to go all the way to the back and come down to Coral D!! There were over 14000 runners lined up! Luckily some nice guy saw my bib and let me and a couple other girls get in by opening the gate in Coral D!
They had fireworks for the National Anthem, that was nice. 5:55 am the Wheel chairs start, 6 am coral A and every 5 min the following coral would start. I started at 6:15 am. First few miles were CRAZY. Lots of walkers in coral D, some walking 5 people wide...that was really annoying. I know this is suppose to be a fun race because it is Disney but people who walk should lined up at the BACK no matter where the race is. It was hard to pass people for the first 3 miles. I get that people stop for pictures and that it forces the runners behind them to slow down or stop. We saw several Disney Characters that was fun. Phineaus and Ferb, Russel from Up!, Princesses, Fairy Godmothers, Marry Poppins, Maleficent, Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast and he was lit up! Lots of bands and Cheerleaders along the course, I loved that. I had my Ipod but I turned it off for a good part of the race.
The course was flat. The weather was perfect. My stomach no so much. I had bad cramping. For the first time in 24 races I had to make a restroom break, that lovely stop happened around mile 4. I also had bad cramps on a calf. It was so bad I have 2 huge bruises on my leg. Medic said was caused by cramps and having those darn varicose veins. I knew that if I stopped I would not be able to continue so I never did stop (except for restroom but that was long before calf issue.) I was feeling pretty good other than those 2 problems. My stomach was OK from mile 6 to 10. At mile 10 I almost threw up. ALMOST. Mentally I was doing pretty good compare to my 2 previous half marathons. When we got to HONDA Center (Home of the Anaheim Ducks) I had a second wind because I knew that ANGELS STADIUM was next and that was where my kids would be! We had to choose between them being at the Stadium or the Finish Line and the Stadium was much easier for Bill because the kids could sit while waiting and for parking it was also much easier. Angels Stadium is mile 9.5 so we did not know if they could make it on time to see me finish and sadly they did not see me cross the finish line. But they saw me run in the Stadium and that was sooooooo GREAT. For sure the best part of the race for me.
3.6 miles to go after that. I was not easy. I had been doing pretty good drinking my NUUN and taking my Sports Beans. But I was getting dehydrated. AGAIN. I had the chills. I tried to ignore it as best as I could. I did not stop. I did not hit the wall. When we entered the park to get to the finish line it was so nice seeing all the people that were lined up! All along the course people were great cheering for the runners, a lot of them called my name, it was fantastic to hear someone say "You are doing great CAROLINE!" I THANKED ALL THE NICE FOLKS WHO CALLED MY NAME. I was so happy to see the Finish Line and this time I did not panic like I always do. I did not sprint like I wish I did, I still need to work on that. I was sad that my family was not there to see me finish. If I do Disney again, I will want them at the Finish for sure!!!
I was really overwhelmed...I had done my best time so far for this distance. By 12 minutes. I think because I am slow and also because I have been running for 18 mos and I still have so much to learn; the room for improvement is hmm huge. This is why I got a12 minutes PR. Yes I am getting a little better but I also learned from all the mistakes I made in January at my first half and in May for my second half. In January my time was 2:42:xx (don't remember the sec) and this time 2:26:38. I know I can do better than that.
After the finish I went to the Medic station and they wrapped ice on my poor calf. I got my HUGE Medal. The nicest one I got so far. They gave the runners a towel and water. After that I had my picture taken, skipped the food and got my checked bag and looked for Bill and the kids. Took me a while to find them but I finally did! They had a tent with free massage so I decided to go get one while Bill took to the boys to eat at Goofy's Kitchen. My first massage. It will not be my last. The guy said I had lots of muscle knots in my back and neck and asked if I am stressed! Ha Ha!!! I told him I was born stressed. I saw a table where they were engraving the medals (I did not have my medal engraved..$25 extra..no thank you. :) ). They had the official times, that is how I got mine, was pretty close to my Garmin. (On the website, my time was different and I emailed them and they responded today that 2:26:38 is the correct one and they will correct it online) After that I walked to go meet Bill and the kids. They were having a feast but I could not eat anything. My stomach felt like crap. I knew I had to drink but even that was not going down easy. It took 6 hours before I was able to eat some pretzel.
So this was a fun race. Lots of people running in costumes, lots of distractions along the course. It is not the perfect race to set a PR or for serious runners. Way too many people walking and stopping all the time. I would do it again though, maybe try the Thinkerbell one next time!!!