Warning: This post doesn’t have a lot of pictures because I think it is cruel to take pictures of people who are testing themselves physically, even when they are trying to smile. I have seen all the pictures of me running. Not cute. Also, taking pictures takes precious moments of time. We didn’t have that kind of time.
The Event: On Sunday, I achieved my greatest physical challenge. I finished the Inaugural Tinkerbell Half Marathon. I signed up for it a million years ago and planned to run it with my friend, Coco, but then I hurt my foot early in training and was told the only way I would be able to do it would be to not train until the actual race. Not the most ideal situation, but I really couldn’t give up on doing it. We jogged intermittently and walked a lot. My goal from the beginning was to finish. And finish I did, with not just one, but two Redlands alumnae! We found a third alumna literally rounding the corner to mile 13! Och Tamale!
Support: I have to gush about Coco for a second. This was her second half, and she also kind of fell off the training wagon, but she is in much better shape than I am at the moment. She pushed me, lent me advice, and slowed her pace to stay with me the whole time. When I hit my wall between mile 9 and 10, she understood and gave me time to stretch, while still pushing me to jog. I was not the best partner for keeping good pace, I’m afraid. And she was just really encouraging, and didn’t show if she was annoyed at me for being a slow poke. I’m so glad I “ran” this race with her. And if we ever do it again, I would gladly run it with her. And if we ever do it again, I will definitely train for it. Thanks, Coco!
The Disney Half: Now if I ever choose to run another half, I don’t understand how it would not be at Disneyland. They’re so much fun! You get to run through Disneyland and California Adventure. They have marching bands, dance teams, and little children hula dancing to Lilo and Stitch music! They have the Red Hat Society come out and cheer you on, along with characters from the Disney movies. In all seriousness, there were some sad long stretches of Anaheim, where they could have spread out their cheerleaders a little more. But every time we passed groups of people, it really gave me a boost of running energy. I needed that. Also some guy in Downtown Disney had the best poster ever, which kept me laughing for a little while. It read: “Worst Parade Ever.” I loved that! Seriously, watching nearly 11,000 women in pixie wings run by may not have been a fun parade to watch, but it was fun to be a part of! Plus, the medal is huge!
Tears: I will confess to almost bursting into tears three times. Once, in Mile 10, I thought it was never going to end! I was just barely getting past the wall, and hurting, and I just wanted to cry. Before we rounded the corner for Mile 13, I knew the finish was coming up and I knew E was near the finish line, and all these people were cheering, and I could feel my lips quivering and my eyes starting to well, but I knew a camera was looming around the corner, so I held it back. And lastly, at the end of the half, I almost started crying when I thought we would never get out of the finisher’s area. I’m pretty sure we had to walk at least one half-mile to get to our hotel that was visible to us when we started because of stupid crowd control rules. I am never following a rule like that again. I mean, I was spent, and angry that Disney was not being considerate to those that had already run 13.1 MILES.
Afterwards: I hopped into the jacuzzi and pool to stretch out my muscles and work them in a less aggressive way. I also took a shower and laid down for a bit. I’ve never been one for a nap, but I managed an hour or so. E slept for a couple of hours. I noticed that my breathing was kind of weird, but I didn’t pay much attention to it. E and I wandered aimlessly though Disneyland, got corn dogs, and decided to go home early due to lack of comfort and interest (We were just there 3 weeks ago). We made quesadillas and went to bed for some much needed rest.
Results: Somewhere along the route, I made the abstract goal of a 15-minute mile pace, so that we would finish at just past 3 hours and 15 minutes. We actually finished in 3 hours, 23 minutes, and 40 seconds. That’s actually closer to a 16-minute mile. But I’m ok with that. It can only get better from here!