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My First Disneyland Half Marathon

2014-Disneyland-Half-Marathon-LogoI’m kind of embarrassed to admit that six weeks have passed and I have not written anything about the Disneyland Half Marathon!

flat hIt 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. alarm

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.

disney halfs

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.medal

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.

Disney Half
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!

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Running – The Sport I Used to Hate

medal1My running journey, and the first year of my 30’s, continues into 2014, and I am looking forward to this new chapter that I have opened up in my life. I have been skipping this chapter for years, because I thought I would hate it, but it turns out, it’s actually starting to grow on me, and I like the new challenges I’m facing!

Today, I completed the iTRYathlon 5K in Laguna Niguel. After being sick, for well over a week, and coughing myself to sleep last night, I woke up this morning, unsure if I was going to make it out of bed when my alarm clock went off at 4:45 a.m.

Health-wise, I feel pretty good, but my throat was burning and the cough was driving me nuts. Then I remembered my new motto, and the quote that is written on my bathroom mirror…

“Fear will pass, but regret is forever.” ~Jillian Michaels

It’s my current quote to live by, and I said it over and over in my head this morning, until I finally made my way out of bed and into the shower.

Bright and early, my friend Lorrie and I, drove out to Laguna Niguel to participate in our 5K. I was already feeling better and so glad that I made the decision to run! It felt great just to be back on my feet again!

I finished the race with almost a personal record, with a time of 24:57 (PR – 24:56), but as a bigger surprise, finished 1st in my division (F 30-34), and 20th overall.

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1st Place DivisionSure, it would have been easy to NOT go to the race this morning, and make an excuse, but I definitely would have regretted that decision.

Now, it’s time to get back into training mode for my next big adventure, the Los Alamitos Race on the Base Reverse Triathlon…which also happens to be the largest reverse triathlon in the United States!

The triathlon, which is in two weeks (2/22/14), begins with a 5K run, transitions into a 13.1 mile bike, and finally transitions into a 200 meter pool swim! I think I actually signed up for this triathlon before I found my bike, so I was a little excited!

Now that I’m up to at least 85% healthy, my training can get back on track this week. I think I would focus primarily on bike/swim, if it wasn’t for the fact that I also have the Coaster Run 10K coming up in 3 weeks (3/2/14)! That detail may have been looked over when I signed up for the triathlon, but I still don’t think it would have deterred me.

A lot of exciting things happening within a short time frame, but I am enjoying every minute of it! After this 3 weeks of crazy, it will be time to focus on the BIG run. The HALF Marathon. Just saying that, gives me goosebumps because 13.1 miles is CRAZY intimidating to me, but it IS happening this year! I am signed up for the Disneyland Half Marathon on August 31st. Plenty of time to train, but I’m already nervous!

2014 and the first year of my 30’s is already off to a running start!!