The day was waiting for all summer finally arrived! My last Half Marathon was Memorial Day weekend when I ran the Traverse City Bayshore Half in 2:21:01 and took 2 minutes off my 2012 Princess PR. After steadily increasing my mileage all summer in preparation for Chicago, and noticing how much my times were improving, I was excited to see what I could do!
I dressed in my new InkNBurn outfit I bought the night before at the Disneyland Expo, and headed off to walk to the starting line to meet up with a great friend who was also running.
A quick self-portrait first though
It was only about a 15 minute walk from the Paradise Pier Hotel to the start of Corral
I waited only about 40 minutes or so in the corral before the official start at 6:45 am. Then, we were off!
Wouldn’t you know it though, as soon as we were off the Gu bottle I bought to hold my homemade mixture (Honey, Molasses and Sea Salt) escaped from my belt. I had a split second to decide what to do, and it was not worth getting hurt, or hurting someone else going backwards after it in the dark ,so I gave it a quick glance and accepted the fact that the only thing in my tummy for the next 2 hours would be the protein powder and 2 GoSqueeze Applesauces I had before the race. Oh well, I ran my first 16 with no fuel, I can do this.
The first mile disappeared in a blur as we headed down Katella Ave to Harbor Blvd. where we entered the backlot of California Adventure. I wasn’t really sure about my pace, as it was still dark, but when the Garmin hit Mile 1 I saw it was 9:53, a bit faster than planned but that was ok. I was thinking of keeping between 9-10 minute miles in this race…
We headed into California Adventure and up around Paradise Pier and then a sharp left right down Route 66.
Now, I am not an overly emotional person at all but something about running down Disney’s Route 66 choked me up. It really did look as amazing as the photo above and I felt so blessed to be able to run and participate in such an incredible race. I quickly composed myself as we headed towards the end and then off to Hollywood Land. No clue who else is in the photo with me
Leaving California Adventure, we passed through Downtown Disney where the crowd support was incredible! I felt great and decided to stop for my first water break after leaving Disneyland, figured around mile 4 or so. My times were quicker than planned and I did not stop for any character photos, as I really wanted to see what I could do in this race.
We headed into Tomorrowland, past the Seagulls screaming “Mine, Mine, Mine” into Mickey’s Toontown. I love those sea gulls, that gave me a great big smile! There were quite a few characters out and about, I took this photo of the locations at the Expo:
The race then took us through Frontierland, and out past New Orleans Square. The first four miles flew by! My 5K time was 31:17, slower than I would run a 5K but figured a bit quicker than I would do a half. Disneyland Drive took us out of Disney property and up Ball Road where we ran over Interstate 5 and then to Anaheim Blvd. Again, the crowd support was amazing! I started to take 30 second walk, and water, breaks at each mile marker at this point. Shortly after Mile 7, up Cerritos Ave, there was a car show, just for us! California sure does have some beautiful vehicles! The sun was so bright it was hard to see most of them but I really loved the Corvettes that were located just inside Honda Center. Next we ran along a “river”, kinda not so scenic and lots of steep, quick ups and downs to get to Angel’s Stadium.
My 15K pace was 1:31:50 and at that point, realized I should shoot for under a 2:10 finish time. That would take 11 minutes off my PR on Memorial Day weekend. Could I do it? My legs were sore, I pulled out my trusty BioFreeze single packets I keep in my water bottle and soothed my hamstrings, quads and calves. We headed out of the stadium and onto Gene Autry Way then parallel with Interstate 5 again. There was quite the big underpass we had to run through, and my Garmin lost tracking for a few seconds but recouped right away – that is what I love about the Garmin 610. Once we were on Disney Way, I could see Grizzly Peak and the Tower of Terror in California Aventure. That added some extra motivation! We then headed into the backlot of California Adventure the same way we did before mile 2, and I saw the sign I saw early in the race directing mile 2 runners to the right, and mile 12 runners to the left. I was almost done and still feeling really strong!
The finish line was near as we headed to the back of the Paradise Pier Hotel and then in front of the Disneyland Hotel where it was in clear view!!! My Garmin was showing under 2:10, but it was close!!!
New PR! 2:09:48!!!
I took 11 minutes off my time!!! All those early morning runs sure are paying off!!!
Now, the data
Map of the Route:
As you can see, mile 12 is when I had the BioFreeze stop and all the ups and downs between Honda Center and Angels Stadium.
Now, what everyone is waiting for… THE BLING!!! Coast 2 Coast BABY!!!