First things first: I met my A and C goals: I had a fabulous time, and it was not a personal worst. It was also nowhere near a personal best. But that wasn't the point. I wanted to enjoy myself, and run how I felt. As it turned out (probably due in large part to my generally lackadaisical approach to training this time around), how I felt wasn't what one would call "fast."
Anyhow ... the night before the race we had dinner at Outback with my parents and aunt, then headed back to the hotel to turn in early. While I was getting all my stuff set out, I realized I had forgotten one thing: breakfast. Thankfully, the hotel mini-mart came through with a great selection of bars, so crisis averted, I headed to bed--after a quick break to watch the Disneyland fireworks from the staircase outside our room.
The race had a (way-too-early) start time of 5:45, so I woke up at 4:15 and got ready. Our hotel room had a Keurig, so between that and my mini-mart Luna bar I was all set.
|Breakfast of champions!|
|If ever there was a race that called for sparkles, this was it!|
The starting line was about a mile from our hotel, so I just walked down, and made my way to the A corral. I always love the energy in the starting corrals, and at this race it was even better than most. There were around 11,000 runners, 10,000 of which were women, and there was just so much excitement. (And so many fairy wings and sparkles!)
|Waiting to start|
The first few miles of the race were just so, so surreal, in a really wonderful way. We ran into Disneyland through a back entrance, and after some twists and turns, there we were--running through a nearly empty Disneyland, in the dark. There were lots of costumed characters out cheering us on (including tons of pirates--and even some Lost Boys on the carousel). It's hard to even describe how fun and magical the whole thing felt.
After a couple miles in Disneyland, it was out into the streets of Anaheim. This middle stretch of the race was ... well ... kind of boring, to be frank. There weren't many spectators, and there wasn't much scenery. We ran through a lot of industrial areas, and it was all just kind of gray. There were plenty of fun costumed runners, at least! My favorites were two girls dressed in matching Princess Leia costumes, and one dressed as Rufio from Hook.
In terms of pace, I started out pretty strong, but started lagging a bit a little over halfway through. It just wasn't an "on" day, and I wasn't looking to force it. By the last few miles, I even let myself walk a few times for 30 seconds or so. Toward the end of the race, we ran through California Adventure, and I finally stopped for a character photo, since I knew a PR wasn't happening anyway.
|Totally worth the 30 seconds it added to my time!|
My parents and J were right around mile 13. I didn't see them until I heard my dad yell "Happy birthday, Rebekah!" I'm so glad my parents were able to come down and cheer me on (and hang out with me for a few days, too.)
I ended up finishing in 2:07 and change. Nowhere near a PR, but it was just such a wonderful experience that I don't care at all. I'm so glad I ran the race the way I did, having fun with it.
|Best medal ever!|
I'd really recommend running a Disney race to those who have a chance to do so. It was really well-organized, and just such a cool, unique experience--definitely worth doing at least once. And I can't think of any better way I could have celebrated my 30th birthday!