|Did I mention it started at 5:30 & I'm not a morning person?|
I did a pretty good job of making a training plan and sticking to it. When I really started on the long runs, though, I came down with strep throat and a sinus infection, and that threw me off. But fortunately, I had considered the fact that something like that might happen and accounted for it in my training plan, so it wasn't a big deal in the end. My longest run before the race ended up being ten miles. I figured if I could get to ten miles, I could surely do another three and change after that. Besides, I'm pretty slow, so I didn't want to take up a lot of time running on my weekends leading up to the race. And I'm lazy. Did I mention that? I'm probably the laziest person to ever run a half marathon.
|Follow that Rebel pilot!|
The run started just outside the park and then made its way inside. Initially we ran 'behind the scenes' where the service vehicles and park employees go. It was dark, and in some places bumpy, but doable. There was one grumpy guy who shouted a reminder about walkers to the right, runners to the left, before invoking Jesus, and not in prayer. That guy needed the endorphins to kick in, stat.
|Stop for photos you must. Excuse to rest, it is.|
I ran without headphones, which I've done before, but not for such a long distance. Still, I didn't miss them at all in the park because there was so much to see and hear.
And then we ran out of the park.
|These are tired legs.|
But wait! There was more. Bands lined up a couple of miles down the road. They played for us and cheered us on along with some cheerleaders. They held up signs like "Worst Parade Ever!" Ha! They were enthusiastic and great. And then there were other people cheering us on, and a guy randomly handing out Red Vines. Thanks for the Red Vine, random guy.
But one of the best parts was one area of the course where a bunch of people dressed as Star Wars characters had gathered. There were characters from all of the movies out there with props and their cars painted to look like droids, and there was steampunk Star Wars, and just so many people dressed up and having a great time. It was like running past an SF convention. I loved it. Geeks and runners coming together, sharing their love of Star Wars!
With about a mile and a quarter to go, we passed our hotel. Our families were out there, cheering us on. By then, I was pretty sure I was actually going to make it to the finish line. It was so close! We left Harbor Blvd behind (thank goodness, I had seen enough of that street) for the side streets leading to Disney. The crowds grew thicker, and at one point, one person shouted, "You're only 400 yards from the finish! Only 400 yards from Starbucks!" It was like he knew exactly how to motivate me. My friend took my hand when the finish line came into view, and we crossed together. It was done! Over! That race was in the books!
|Tired? Check. Proud of myself? Check!|
Right after the race, my friend congratulated me and told me I had just done what only 2% of the population had done. I said, "Yeah, I can see why. It's hard!" I was glad to have it behind me. I swore I would never do another race that long ever again.
Today, I looked at signing up for a half marathon in October. Running a half is apparently like childbirth. Afterwards, you forget how painful it was and want another one.