Alarm went off at 3:15 and we were up and going. Getting decent sleep (I sually aim for 7-8 not 6) really did make a difference. I got up and put my costume on, brushed my teeth, put on sunscreen and made tea. I start eating and stretching. I had a flatbread and peanut butter and packed a banana with my tea for the road.
We left the room right on time at 3:45 and got to the Simba parking lot in 5 5 minutes (gotta love Abby's Anaheimer Inn). However there was NO ONE there. maybe 1000 people? we were very confused but had no wait for the port-o-potties which was great! It turns out, they had them walk a very long way from the buses and parking lot so when we headed to the corral about 4:15, tons of people were flooding in. This why I prefer to stay at a hotel within walking distance, taking the bus is great but it is a far walk in the morning.
We were right in the front of corral B and made friends of course. The wait wasn't too long and it was not too cold (I had my mylar rundisney blanket from tink last year).The race started right at 5:00 and we moved up front. I thought they would let us go at 5:05, but nope, not until 5:10, which was fine. I have never been that close up to the front of the corral and it was really nice!
We did a very slow start as it goes up a ramp and then 2 more hills all before the 1st mile. We decided to walk/lunge the hills to save our energy. We did a 2 min run/40 sec walk interval and it worked great!
Around 1.5 we headed into the backlot-yay for being on property! However we ran a good .5 miles before seeing any characters or really anything. the course had changed a bit from last year and once we saw monster inc characters at tower of terror, the line was LONG. we skipped that and kept going taking our first picture on red trolley!
As we rounded out of radiator springs and went towards the pier we were in the backlot a lot more than I expected and it got boring very quickly. However we finally entered and the best surprise ever: viva navidad performers! Yes-I screamed when I saw them and people stared! We let both of them know that their show was our favorite of all of Christmas and I think people were confused why we stopped for them and were so happy.
We rounded the corner and world of color water was going! Now that is my favorite place to run by!! I still remember when we rounded the corner and they had it playing in 2010! However they had the Pixar music playing instead of world of color exit music which made me sad. I also tried to get a jumping picture and that was a huge fail! I'll have to try at Disneyland to get another one.
We headed out towards Disneyland and decided to make a pee stop in buena vista street. In Disney runs we try very hard just to pee in real bathrooms, which is always a great idea when it's humid because you can wipe down with paper towels.
We then headed into Disneyland! I love running through the promenade as the energy and the people are electric!
Into Disneyland we go! As we rounded the corner on Main Street we were met with monkeys!! Louie and Turk and sounds atonal and they had a pretty short line so we grabbed a shot.
Of course the next longest line was tinkerbell and Captain Hook and smee and decided to skip it and focus on pictures with the castle
We then headed through the castle-it was my first time running front through it and came upon Peter and Wendy by Peter pans flight! With the lost boys on the carosel so we grabbed a quick pic before continuing on.
Went through tomorrow land and saw the long line for Darth vader and kept going and headed towards the princesses. Cinderella was very long so we decided to wait instead for rapunzel and Eugene. Rapunzel had the cutest reaction to devins costume and they were the best!
We headed forward and got pics with its a small world as this will be the last time we will run by them as tinkerbell will move to May. However if the rumors are true then we may run by them again in a Star Wars/avengers themed race but we will see!
After this there was a lot of backlot time and eventually we hit toontown and saw Marie and chip n dales girlfriend. The line was a bit long so we kept moving.
The best surprise ever!! BIG AL WAS OUT! He had no line because no one knew who he was but I screamed and told him he was my favorite country bear. I stopped short of singing for him. After him, we saw a insane line for jack sparrow and kept moving to the hungry bear bathrooms for our pee break. I checked our splits and we both laughed at our 45 min 5k.
Eventually we made it to downtown Disney and I love the crowds and signs here. However I felt they had the walkway a bit too narrow and we were getting bunched up.
We headed out and saw pam and Chloe (my cousins mom and dog!) and waved and went on towards the red hat ladies. At this point we hit a water station and this is where Devin and I split. He runs much faster than me so this way he could continue on.
Since we stopped so much, our 10K split was 1:48! So slow but it was worth it for the pics.
After the water stop and taking another clif shot blok I focused in on running strong the rest of te race. There weren't many pics I took after that so it was a perfect distance for me to test out my chi running techniques. I am going to write a post later on about chi running but for now just know it focuses on: a forward lean, rotating your knees, pushing your arms back, straight posture, relaxed mind and picking up your foot heel first and landing with a midfoot strike. Overall it's a great way to increase speed while lessening your effort.
I made sure my timer was set to a 2 min run to 40 sec walk and had good music on and off I went.
Well there was a problem-there were A LOT of walkers. More than I have ever experienced in a Disney race before. To the point I was bobbing and weaving through everyone. Eventually I made it out of a group of walkers but it was so hard because they were walking slow and 3-4 across. It was easy to tell many of them over did it in the beginning because I recognize that walk; I did it when I did that awful 15 miler.
Anyways I felt good and strong. My running segments started at a 12 min mile pace and ended up between 930-10 min as I kept going. I felt strong and good which was great!
As we winded through the streets without much to see, I just focused on relaxing. I grabbed a slice of orange from the mouse planet people over pretzels and red vines and continued on past the museo and Anaheim sucks practice facility. I headed strong into the clif shots area and even the clif shots people remarked how fast I was moving.
After my clif shot I made a mistake :/ I had too much water and had a cramp until the next water station which slowed me down. Some of the volunteers were giving out just a sip of water so I had to grab a few cups and then also some powerade and it turned out to be too much! Next time I know grab one of each. Have the powerade, finish your clif shot then drink water. I just know that for clif shots you are supposed to drink at least 8 oz of water but I over did it.
As I was having stomach cramps, I took the walk break as a time to check where Devin and Mallory were and where Ralph was on his way down to meet me. He said he had 20 min to go and slow down. Well that wasn't possible so I told him
To hurry as quick as he could. Devin was almost done and Mallory wasn't too far behind me.
After my cramp, I realized I only had a 5k to go. That's my weekly run and I was still feeling good so I just kept on. This is where I ran into another problem of people not using the full area to run. People would stay within the lane of the road even though there were 2 other lanes to use. Eventually I figured this out when I realized people couldn't be more than 3 across. I darted across and ran close to the cones where I could walk and run In peace.
Mile 12 and I was feeling great. People were really starting to slow down so I had to bop and weave again. Once we hit there we were back where mile 2 was and I knew I was close. At this point Ralph called me so I answered and talked to him for a minute and let him know i was about to finish and I would meet him after. He said he felt bad but it's all good. The walk from the parking garage took forever.
I rounded the corner at mile 13 and knew it was home sweet home! I was so happy and smiling and felt so great! I crossed in 3:05 which isn't bad since we spent at least 25-30 min dealing with pictures.
Yay all done! I remembered to grab a Mylar blanket as I would need to bring it to WDW incase it's cold in the morning. I got my food and drink and off to take my pictures, grab my bag and found Ralph.
Devin finished about 15 minutes in front of me and we decided for him
To head back to the hotel room to get ready and shower and pack and then when I would get there, I would be able to use the shower.
Well here is a warning with runners tracking. Since we went out so slow, Ralph thought I would finish at earliest at 830 since my estimated time was close to 9. However since I really picked up the speed and averaged about 11:30 miles, I finished at 810. So he pulled into the parking lot right before I finished.
Ralph and I finally found each other, he had a hard time as people didn't direct him as much as I was hoping but I was so happy to see him, in his Mickey sweatshirt none the less! We decided to wait for Mallory and Whitney to finish which was only about 20 min after that so I stretched and ate. We took a pic with them and headed back to the room to get ready.
LESSONS I LEARNED:
1. Don't drink too much water with a clif shot
2. Stay positive and make sure to have good music
3. Be prepared to weave through people
4. Study the course map more. I tried to make an effort to stay on the inside of all of the turns to shorten my route but there were a few times I realized I didn't know. I need to study the course map more to know where to turn
5. Know water stations. I knew where most of them were but I need to plan and have a better idea for next time.
6. Fuel correctly. I didn't fuel enough in the beginning because we weren't running as much. I think it would important to fuel every 3 miles in the park and then switch to 3-4 depending on water stations. I didn't bonk but I did need an extra shot Blok pretty quickly
7. Margarita shot bloks are great! Te sodium was much needed and deserved.
8. Don't bring along too many shot bloks. I had two packages in my pants and they were HEAVY to the point my back hurt. I had to move one to my top(where I usually carry them). My back pain went away in 5 minutes.
9. If people are meeting you, make sure that you know your approximate finish time. With the alerts it looked like we were going to 45 minutes slower than we were
10. Frozen music is the best to run to! No seriously it is!
What happened after the race?