If you haven’t read Part 1 of my recap then be sure to check that out here. I’ve been Thinking Out Loud so much since this race and am so happy to finally share everything with ya’ll!
Race morning came early. I was so wore out from the night before and didn’t really know how the race would turn out. I made my standard oatmeal cup, took a couple bites of it and decided I didn’t want to eat it.
Lately, I’ve been fueling my long runs with omelets and the oatmeal tasted super sweet to me. I was worried that I would suffer from eating it because it was so sugary, but I was also worried about under fueling.
I got my costume on was mentally preparing myself. I didn’t not to wear the compression sleeves I had sat out the night before and headed downstairs to walk to the start. I didn’t really know at all where I was going and didn’t want to take the bus. We stayed at the Hilton Anaheim towards the Convention Center so we were only about a mile from the start. I wanted to use the walk to warm up my muscles.
Once I got to the start area I could already tell I was going to like the race. It became really obvious to me that the field was about half that of most of the WDW races I have run. The crowds were manageable. I got in line for a portajohn then headed towards my corral.
I was so excited to be in corral C. I stretched in my corral and was texting my mom. After about ten minutes of waiting the first corral was off. There weren’t any fireworks like there are at other runDisney events, but that was okay. This race was so much more chill than other runDisney events I’ve participated in.
We were off and headed up a couple big exit ramps. The crowds quickly thinned out and I was settling into my pace. I decided I wanted to stay in my aerobic heart rate zone until about mile 7 or 8 then make a plan. I wanted to run by feel for a while to decide if this was going to be a race or just another training run.
The miles started to click off quicker than I had expected and I felt great. Soon we were running through Disneyland.
A nice lady dressed as Mary Poppins took my picture in front of the castle and I headed onward. It felt like there were so many miles in the parks and I never felt like there were major bottlenecks or crowding. I was impressed.
It was so nice running through the parks especially since California Adventure was completely new to me. I loved every minute of it and was clicking off the miles.
Since I hadn’t really ate anything for breakfast I decided I would start fueling early. I had a slice of dried mango around miles 4, 6, 8. I went on to have 2-3 slices at mile 10. I took in water at a couple of stops along the course and always tried to drink around when I ate the mango for better absorption.
My legs felt great and I quickly decided that I would continue on with my plan then turn up the pace at mile 10 if I still felt good. I ended up doing so well that I was faster than the Mr. and missed him around mile 6. He decided to wait at the finish for me. He sent me a text telling me that I beat him and to keep it up.
We ran through parts of Anaheim and then at mile 10 I turned up the pace. I decided to race the last 5k of the race. I knew I wasn’t within reach of a PR, but knew if I really pushed I could finish before 2:45.
I passed so many people between mile 10 and the finish and that seemed to push me harder. Everyone was walking and I was just zipping by them. It’s been a while since I’ve experienced that.
Around mile 12 or so I quickly realized that if I hauled even faster I could pull a 2:40 and that made me hustle even harder. I started to freak out as my watch got closer to the 13 mile mark and the clock got closer to 2:40. I hadn’t seen the mile 13 sign and was starting to think it wasn’t possible. My legs were turning over so quickly and I still hadn’t seen the sign.
We rounded the last corner and I saw the sign and the finish. I turned up my speed yet again and literally raced my guts out. I kept looking down at my watch and realized if I really really pushed I could stay under 2:40. I hauled and it happened! I finished in 2:40:44. (Splits: 12:39, 12:41, 12:51, 12:48, 12:45, 12:18, 12:20, 12:11, 12:12, 12:43, 11:13, 11:13, 10:46 – last .2 at 9:31)
I was so in shock of what I had just done and literally felt like I needed to sit down for fear of fainting. I felt insanely tired and wanted to vomit. That’s when I became incredibly proud that I dug really deep and pusher harder than ever.
I went through the shoot, got all my beautiful medals and found the Mr. I was smiling from ear to ear and still in shock.
I hadn’t planned to race this race at all. I just wanted a solid training run and fun experience. I never thought I would be so proud to see a 2:40 finish. This means I beat my B goal! While it wasn’t a PR for me, it was the fastest half I have ran in about a year and was about 16 minutes faster than my finish at Knoxville Half Marathon about one month ago.
I loved my experience and enjoyed every minute of this race. This was just the race I needed to reassure me that the heart rate training and my preparation for Chicago and New York are paying off. This was one of those races where I gave myself the opportunity to be awesome!
We walked to Downtown Disney, got a Jamba Juice and called my mom and sister. We walked back to our hotel, got cleaned up and then headed to California Adventure.
When we got to California Adventure, I basically inhaled this chicken sandwich with a zillion toppings.