I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that six weeks have passed and I have not written anything about the Disneyland Half Marathon!
It was kind of a big deal, because, one, it was on my bucket list, two it was a New Year’s resolution, and three, I PR’d, taking 7 minutes off my first half marathon time.
I woke up bright and early on the morning of the big race. Flat Hollie was laid out, and ready to go!
I got to the parking garage around 4:15 a.m. and was in my corral (super early), anxiously awaiting the 5:30 a.m. start! My adrenaline was pumping and I could feel the Disney magic all around me! So many runners were dressed in their Disney best and it was fun to see everyone’s race costumes.
The gun went off and my corral was headed out! There truly is something magical about running through the Happiest Place on Earth! It would’ve been even better if you could run through the park for the entire 13 miles, but unfortunately, the park is not that big. I loved running through Disney’s California Adventure and Disneyland Park, even if it was only for a couple miles. There were multiple photo opportunities, inside the park, for those who wanted to snap some selfies, or get a picture with their favorite Disney character. I just kept on running.
Even though there were 11 miles outside of the parks, the entertainment never failed. There were live bands, cheerleaders, spectators, singers, and even a classic car show along the route. We ran around the Honda Center, and, perhaps my favorite part of the race, was running around the field, at Angels Stadium, with cheering spectators inside!
I started to hit a wall at mile 12, which is where my pace really took a hit. I started to feel dizzy and light-headed, and started running with my head down, possibly even with my eyes closed, for a few feet here and there. The spectators, and even the runners, offered amazing words of encouragement during that final mile, to keep my body moving forward to finish the race.
The overwhelming feeling of joy I felt after crossing the finish line, is almost indescribable. It is the runner’s high. The reason, runners will sign up for another race (also for the bling).
One year ago, 13.1 miles seemed impossible and unreachable, but on August 31, I completed my second half marathon in three months. It didn’t even seem real at that point.
Another amazing feeling after the race, is finding the person you love, who’s been cheering you on, waiting for you with open arms, and even accepts your sweaty hug when you re-unite!
I was so happy to see my husband after my run. I have been so incredibly blessed to have such an amazing support person by my side, not just for this race, but also for every early morning training run, (and recovery-on-the-couch days) that got me to that day!
Side note: Unfortunately, unless your spectators pay extra money to be part of the ChEAR Squad, your family will not be able to see you cross the finish line, so make sure you have an agreed-upon meeting place, after the race.
If you want to participate the 2015 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend (Sept 4-6), there are a couple things you should know. Registration sells out fast! You can sign up at Run Disney, to receive an email reminder of the day, registration opens. Registration for the 2015 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, opens on February 10, 2015.
It’s not the cheapest race out there. The half marathon, alone, was $195. A lot of people ask me, if it was worth the cost? I can’t say I would spend that much money on a race again (insert husband’s happy dance here), but it was an amazing experience, a very organized race, and of course big bling is always a plus! The biggest downside for me (aside from the expense) was that my husband was not able to see me cross the finish line, but I guess when you have that many runners, it would be hard for everyone to flock to one spot. Overall, the race was a lot of fun! Thank you Run Disney!
This morning, I left my house at 7 a.m., and headed for Angels Stadium to participate in the Big “A” 5K! It was my first race since I began the Fit4Mom Irvine/Tustin run club, 4 weeks ago, and now I am just 5 weeks away from participating in my first 10K, the Santa Run!
I’m a big Angels fan, so when I found a 5K at Angels Stadium, I was pumped! Warming up on the field was a lot of fun. Of course I had to play it out and do stretching/sprinting/warm-up exercises in the outfield, just like the Angels would for a game!
One minor mishap, it seemed like no one remembered to turn off the sprinklers on the field. So every now and then a surprise sprinkler would pop up from no where and soak some unexpected folks before the big race. I did get sprayed once, but managed to sprint away to avoid the downpour! No one wants to start a race soaking wet.
The race was ready to begin. Excited and ambitious, I was the first one in line before the crowds flowed in behind me. I had my earphones in, my MapMyFitness app on my arm, ready to go, and a goal of an 8:00 min split per mile in the back of my head. I was just waiting for the buzzer to start my race, and I would be off in my own little world.
Wait.. this is Hollie we are talking about here… you know the story wouldn’t be that easy, right!?
With a smile on my face I look down at my iPhone, and press “begin workout” on my app, split seconds before I glance up only to realize, I’m in a stampede! There were 30-40 guys who meant business and were not running, but SPRINTING full speed up the steep ramp to get out of the stadium. All I could do was SPRINT full speed to keep from getting run over.
I know the cardinal rule of racing long distance is not to start out too fast, and I sure broke that rule. When I finally got to the top of the (did I mention, very steep) hill, maybe 100 yards of a full on sprint, and made my way over, I could feel my chest hurting from the extreme dry air, and I was breathing very heavy. All I could think was, “Oh crap.” Not the best way to start off a race, but at least it was better I made this mistake at my 5K then the 10K.
I spent the first mile trying to get my rhythm back, and my breath. I already knew, after a start like that, this was not going to go down in the books as my most fun 3 mile run. However, I was determined. I was not going to walk. I was not going to slow down my current pace. My goal was an 8:00 minute mile and I have been consistently running 8:00 minute miles in my practice runs. I knew I would only be mad at myself if I stopped or slowed down. I made a stupid mistake in the beginning, but that wasn’t going to be another excuse to not hit my goal. I was not going to listen to that little voice in my head that says to give up or take a break. I’ve listened to that voice too many times in my life, so I just kept on moving. I’m okay feeling sore tomorrow, but I am not okay feeling sorry.
The race began and ended on Angels field, with the final lap around the warning track before crossing the finish line. Running around the entire field, was exactly what I needed to amp up some energy for the last part of the race. It was awesome!
As I crossed the finish line, I hit end race on the MapMyFitness app to find out how close I was to my goal. I was over the moon to find out that I hit my goal after the most unpleasant start.
3.14 miles – 25:05 (average pace 7:59)
Mile 1: 8:01 min/mi
Mile 2: 7:56 min/mi
Mile 3: 7:53 min/mi
That feeling of accomplishment is the reason I love running (which 5 weeks ago I would have told you I hated). I never thought I could run much further then a mile. My head was wrapped around the fact that I was a sprinter, and I just couldn’t run long distance for fun. I’m still trying to knock that thought out of my head. Running is not going to get any easier so I just need to train hard to get better.
So, I have tackled the 5K, my first running milestone. I have 5 more weeks to train for my 10K and I won’t lie, that one makes me a little nervous, but I’m determined. I’m done looking for excuses. I’m going to do this for me. The 10K is something I never thought I could do, (or wanted to do) but now it’s time to prove myself wrong!
Time to lace up!
“This Girl Is On Fire!” (current favorite running song)
….and just because this made me chuckle… My friend Carmen posted this on Facebook today… and I feel like I am now a cartoon (minus the fact, my girls are NEVER just sitting there so contently hahaha)
A friend and awesome blogger, Steve Bush, gave us pit passes which allowed us to see the trucks up close and personal before the big show!
Of course, one of my favorite trucks (the one pictured to the right) barely made it around the opening lap before something died, so this is the only picture we have.
Monster Truck Jam was a blast! I don’t think I really knew what to expect or exactly how loud it would be but I did notice a lot of people wearing ear plugs.
In the first five minutes, all of the trucks came out to take a lap and the noise filled the stadium.
In the midst of my excitement for monster trucks, I started feeling butterflies in my stomach, or feelings of popcorn popping. My girls were KICKING! I was feeling them kick for the first time, where else, but Monster Jam!!
I’m sure it was the noise that set them off, but I was completely overwhelmed with joy. I used Trent’s sweatshirt to cover my belly to act as their earmuffs every time a truck came out.
With the thrill of trucks jumping over cars, my girls kicking inside, and being with the love of my life, it was an incredible night!
I’m not sure if the girls are fans of monster trucks or not, but I’ll always remember their first kicks at Monster Jam!