Well I finally did it, I ran a marathon. Well a half marathon but I'm going to count it because it was pretty tough. I decided to do the Disneyland marathon because I was pretty sure I was only going to be doing one marathon so I wanted to do one that I thought would be pretty fun.
I can't remember exactly when I originally signed up for the marathon but it was some time in the earlier part of the year. I wanted to give myself plenty of time to train because I needed all the help I could get. I started out strong with my training but somethings happened between then and the run that caused me to stop training for awhile. By the time I got back into training I had about 2 and a half weeks before the run and I was pretty sure it was not going to go well. But I was already committed so I decided to suck it up and get back to training. I ended up getting so new shoes because I had started to develop shin splits while I was running and I was hoping that some new shoes to help with that. After I got the shoes it seemed to help with that problem.
Basically my goal for this race was to finish. That's it. As long as I could finish the race I could get the medal. At certain points during the race if your not keeping a 16 minute mile pace you would be picked up and taken to the finish. But if this happens you don't get a medal for finishing the race. So I was focused on finishing the race, even if I had to drag myself across the finish line.
The week leading up the marathon I couldn't stop thinking about it and dreading it. Of course I already have a dread of planned events in general (for some reason) but that double with the fact that I may not actually finish the race really made that week stressful.
As for the run itself I had to be at Disneyland at 4:30am. I'm not sure if I actually got some sleep that night but I tried. After getting to the park they had a gathering area with music playing. After hanging around there for awhile we were told to head to the corrals (places for runners to wait for their turn to start running). The corrals were set based on what time we expected to finish. So basically the slower you were the further back you started. The corrals were set up on Disneyland Drive but I had to walk a bit before I reached my corral. To give you an idea how far back I was I had parked in the Mickey and Friends Parking structure. Then I walked to the Downtown Disney parking lot to the meeting area. Then I walked up Disneyland Drive actually past the Parking Structure to Corral F. I was so far from the start that I couldn't even hear what was going on down there.
The race started at 6:00 but I was waiting around till finally we started moving forward. Eventually we got to the start line. And the next thing I knew I was running/jogging (mainly avoiding running into people) down Disneyland drive. I started out well which isn't saying much because so did everyone else. After I got around the first turn there was more room to spread out. I was trying to run at a decent pace where I wouldn't burn out to fast but wasn't going too slow. But it still felt like I was either blocking people that were trying to get around or speeding up to dart around people that were in front of me.
Eventually I got into the California Adventure which was very cool. I'm glad I brought my camera because they had characters set along the route. At first I was debating weather I should stop at all or just keep running. But I figured if I didn't finish at least I would have some pictures to show for it (not really thinking that stopping for the pictures may be the reason I didn't finish). Plus I wanted to have some fun. So the first character I came to was Frozone.
After that I was running around the California Adventure Backlot for awhile until I came out near the Farmers Market area. At that point I ran toward Paradise Pier and picutres with a bunch of characters. All the while there was music from World of Color playing which was awesome.
As I ran into Paradise Pier I took a picture with Genie.
And as I was running out of Paradise Pier I took a picture with Tigger.
After that I ran through the Golden State area of the park where I took a picture with Lightning McQueen and Mater.
Then I ran through the gate and into Disneyland.
Before heading down Main Street I stopped to take a picture with a few penguins and a chimney sweep.
And then down Main Street USA.
Also stopped to take a picture at the hub.
While running past the Rivers of America I took this shot with Tiana, Prince Naveen, and Louis.
Then at Big Thunder Ranch I took a picture with Woody, Bullseye, and Jessie.
Before running through the castle I took this evil shot with the Evil Queen from Snow White.
After running through the castle I took this picture with Belle, Aurora, Snow White, and Cinderella.
While running through Tomorrowland I stopped with a few Stormtroopers for this picture.
Also I had to take a picture with these guys that were also running the marathon. Just wow.
While running past It's A Small World I took this picture with characters from the Little Einstein series (had to look them up).
After passing It's A Small World I ended up running into the Disneyland backlot area where I took this picture with one of the train conductors.
And finally before leaving the park I took this picture with Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar.
After that it was just running all over Anaheim. Every mile and a half they had water/powerade stops which were very helpful and all the volunteers were energetic and cheering the runners on which was awesome. Also along the path there were places where local high schools had their bands and cheerleaders along the route for more motivation. I tried to record it on my camera while walking by but all the video came out super bouncy and pretty much unwatchable. But it was nice to have people along the route cheering me on even if they didn't know me.
Eventually (and I do mean eventually) I made it to Angel Stadium. The reason I skip ahead because after leaving Disneyland most of the run is just me alternating between walking and jogging (running was out the window) and just trying to keep moving.
Angel Stadium was cool because I got to run along the warning track (the dirt track that lines the outer edge of the field) while people cheered from the stands. It was awesome but I was pretty tired by then and I still had to make the trip back to Disneyland. But I still took the time to take a few pictures.
After leaving Angel Stadium there was still quite a bit of running but finally I made it back to the gates at Disneyland.
And while running the last mile I stopped to take one last picture with Frozone and Mrs. Incredible.
And finally I made it to the finish line.
By the end I wasn't to bad off. The main problems where my feet really hurt and I was chafing really bad. The funny thing is I didn't even think chafing was going to be an issue but let me just say that it sucked the worse because the pain lingered on for the rest of the day and into the next. The chafing was really bad for the last 3 miles actually. My thighs felt like I was trying to start a fire between them and my nipples felt like they had been sand papered completely off. So lesson learned there to protect those areas because it will really hurt later.
But its finally done and now I can cross it off my bucket list.
Also I wanted to thank Kari for being so cool and coming down to supporting me. She came with me at 4:30 in the morning and waited the 3 and a half hours for me to finally finish the marathon. I really appreciate you being there.