2017 Training Stats

Miles Completed = 29.01
(Run/Walked = 29.01, Biked = 0.0, Elliptical = 0.0)


Monday, July 4, 2011

Two Months to Disneyland Half Marathon - LONG

I just noticed that it's only two months until the Disneyland Half Marathon.  Where has the time gone?  It seems like it should be further away and yet the calendar doesn't lie. 

This will be my third time doing this half marathon and I am really hoping I can PR at this race.  For those of you that have been following me for a while you probably remember my ramblings about this race, but I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane.

The 2008 Disneyland Half Marathon was my very first half marathon.  I was very nervous about this race, I had gained about 20 pounds since I finished my first 15K earlier in the year, I didn't feel like I trained enough and it was the longest race I had taken on.  13.1 miles was overwhelming and daunting to me.  I wasn't sure I could do it.  I wanted to, I needed to prove to myself I could do it.  I trained, but not as well as I should have, but I did 13.1 miles on the treadmill at the gym as a test and I did it.  It was grueling and didn't give me a lot of confidence.  No matter what, I was determined to finish.  What I really wanted though was to finish in 2 hours and 30 minutes or less. 

I headed to California and got ready to take on a new challenge.  I was having a really rough time as I had trouble fitting in to my clothes and then to top it off, my legs were so swollen they hurt.  I was really starting to worry about doing this.  I even thought that maybe I should just not do it and try again another year, but those thoughts are what made me even more determined to do it.

The expo was great, but I was so nervous about the race that I wouldn't even buy an "I Did It" shirt.  I wasn't going to do anything to jinx myself. 

First up was the 5K.  The theme in 2008 was Toy Story and it was a great race with 4000 of my closest friends.  It was amazing to me that we got to run through the castle during a 5K and both parks were filled with characters.  I really enjoyed the race.  It was a pleasant temperature, but kind of humid (everywhere is humid if you're from AZ) and I pushed myself, not too hard, but enough to finish in 33:33.  I was a sweaty mess, but still smiling at the end.
It's hard to tell, but I'm actually wearing the 5K t-shirt.  Something I used to do all the time, but have gotten out of the habit of.

After the 5K I spent the day in my room.  I was so nervous about the half marathon that I didn't want to take any chances.  I just wanted to rest and make sure my legs were as fresh as I could make them.  I spent a lot of time telling myself that I could do it, that I could finish, and visualizing getting my medal.

My nerves were killing me.  I was a bit of a wreck as I waited for the call to go to our corrals.  I am completely blown away by the number of people here for this race.  It's overwhelming, but so exciting at the same time.

The race finally starts and it's a slow start to say the least.  I started out with the intent of staying with the 2:45 Clif Pace team, which only lasted for about two miles and then they disappeared and I never saw them again.  I ran and was feeling really good through the first six miles which took me through Disneyland and California Adventure and out to the roads.  I kept up a good pace through miles seven through nine and then I started falling apart.  I had to start walking more.  Then mile 10 and we're at Angels Stadium - this year we did not get to go in to the stadium.  We ran under the giant A and as we were running through an announcer was calling out our names and cities - he announced me, that was cool!  I run through and then have to do more walking up until mile 12.  I run walk mile 12 to 13.  Then, I'm almost done and I push through, I see the finish line.  I see Mickey and I pick up my pace.  I high five Mickey's hand!

I'm hurting.  My left knee is sore, my hip is sore and my stomach has been bothering me for last few miles, but I did it.  I waited to get my chip removed, got my medal and grabbed drinks.  I get in line for a finisher's photo.  I took a bio break and now I can hardly walk.  My left knee is hurting so bad I wasn't sure how I was going to make it back to the hotel - it was slow going.

It felt like I had learned a lot from this race and of course every race brings new experiences to draw from.  The problem I have is that I forget the lessons from race to race...No, the glow of getting the medal overshadows everything else!

So, did I make my goal?  Did I finish in 2:30 or less?  No, sadly, I did not meet that goal.  That being said, I did finish my first half marathon in 2 hours and 46 minutes.  I was disappointed that I didn't finish in my goal time, but I recognized that I did a good job considering the lack of training, weight gain and other issues I was battling.  It made me want to push even harder - my next half marathon was going to be the 2009 Princess Half Marathon and I knew I still had a goal time to meet and an existing time to beat.

Flash forward to 2010 and I'm getting ready for my 5th half marathon and my 2nd time doing the Disneyland Half Marathon.  This time it's different.  I know I can do a half marathon - there's no question there, but I haven't been training very well and I haven't been running at all.  The only thing I've done is walk.  I'm also going for the Coast to Coast medal this time - having done the WDW Half Marathon in January I was eligible.  I've gained even more weight and I just don't know if I can do the race in the time limit allowed.  This could be my hardest race yet.

The expo was pretty good this year.  I managed to get my packets and shirts without too much trouble.  They had Coast to Coast merchandise and of course I had to purchase some.  I didn't mind buying a finisher's shirt this time - although I still had my doubts about this race.  I had read a lot about Jeff Galloway and his methods and this was the first time that I got a chance to see him speak.  I really enjoyed his session and I vowed that I would have to try his run/walk/run method and see if it could work for me, but I didn't think this race was going to be the time to try that.

Time for the 5K.  I'm never nervous for 5K races any more.  I use them as warm ups, to get used to the terrain and weather and really to just enjoy them.  This year's theme was the 5 year anniversary!  Another race with 4000 of my closest friends - that's a crazy amount of people for a 5K.  My calves were tight and sore - not a good omen.  There was  a lot of walking for this one, between the bottlenecks of the course and just my lack of fitness.  I'd like to say that I felt good, but I really only felt good that it was done and with a time of 44:24 it was nothing to brag about.  The race was crowded and the finish area was a complete mad house.  The cast members/volunteers were unorganized and I wasn't able to get a picture or food because of the crowding and pushing.  I was lucky to get my medal as they ran out and I got one of the last ones.
I was actually hurting quite a bit after the 5K.  The terrain was rough on my legs and my knees were hurting.  My legs were tired and sore and this did not bode well for the half marathon the next day.

It had been a while since I felt this nervous for a half marathon.  Not only was I nervous, but I was dreading it too.  I knew I was in for trouble and this was going to be quite a rough race.  I actually felt guilty getting in my corral as I knew I wasn't going to be going fast enough to be where I was, but I wasn't going to move back because I wanted to give myself as much of a time cushion as I could.

As I stood there waiting for the race to start I decided that I wasn't going to run a single step.  I would walk this entire race.  Since I hadn't trained to do either, I figured I'd be better off walking and trying not to hurt myself.  Before I knew it, it was time to go.

When I started walking and made it over the first timing mat, I knew I was in trouble.  My calves were super tight again, this is something I have never experienced before.  I don't even know how I can keep going.  About a half mile in to the course and I am seriously thinking about stopping and just calling it a failure.  It took a lot of mental toughness to keep going and I kept reminding myself that I really wanted that Coast to Coast medal.

I struggled through miles 1 and 2, by mile 3 and headed in to Disneyland my legs were finally warming up and loosening up.  I started feeling better and getting in to a groove and knew I could do it.  It was going to be slow going, but I could do it.

The parks were awesome and I loved being able to enjoy the characters, the World of Color lights, the castle,etc...Of course, I twisted my ankle going over the train tracks by the train in Disneyland, but thankfully I didn't do any damage and was able to keep going.  I was babying my knees and so far so good.

Miles 4, 5 and 6 are gone and I'm feeling pretty good.  I'm thoroughly enjoying the sights, sounds and people around me.  I'm smiling and making the best of it.  I notice that my left foot is starting to get sore on the ball and heel - must be blisters starting.  Then I hit the 10K mark and all of a sudden there's mile 7 and then 8.

I'm talking with the people around me, about other races, the Goofy Challenge and just how we're feeling in general.  People are pleasant even when they are hurting, maybe it's the endorphins or maybe it just helps to take your mind off things.

Angel Stadium is right ahead.  This year we get to run through the stadium and it is an incredibly cool thing.  I am thoroughly enjoying going through the stadium, seeing the big screens and all the spectators.  Here comes mile 10 and I have a 5K to go. 

Mile 11 passes, there are lots of limping, sore, crying, angry, happy people all around.  I comfort a couple of people that are hurting bad, smile with the ones that know we're getting close and just keep enjoying my walk.  Pass mile 12 and there's a lady being loaded on to a stretcher - how sad.

Almost to Downtown Disney and the finish.  It's the final stretch and there are a lot of spectators and racers that are finished.  It's motivating and I keep trudging along until I cross the finish line.  I did it, I am done.

I get my medal and then I get my Coast to Coast medal.  It's been an interesting experience.  The slowest half marathon I've ever done at 3 hours 29 minutes.  Talk about pushing it to the time limit - yikes!  The bottom of my feet are so sore I think about stopping at medical, but I know if I stop I won't get going again very easily.  Despite my poor time, I truly did enjoy myself.  There's something to be said about the spirit at the back of the pack where we don't take ourselves to seriously and are just happy to be out on the course and knowing that we will finish even if we're not breaking any speed records.

Another wake up call after finishing this race.  I've slipped so far over the last couple of years.  I have a Dopey Challenge coming up and I know that I'm nowhere near ready for it.  I have a lot of work to do - the question will be, can I and will I do it.  Of course, I did and I have already blogged about that experience.  It wasn't exactly picture perfect, but I was successful and I am working hard to do it again only better next year.
I hate these pictures - the truth of weight gain hurts more than I can say.

So, what am I doing differently this time around. 
  • I'm working on getting some of my weight off.  I'm about 12 pounds heavier than I was the first time I did this race and I'm about 26 pounds lighter than I was last year
  • I've been using the Galloway run/walk/run method.  Right now I'm using 3 minute run/1 minute walk intervals and I am finding that I'm able to push faster on the run portions to increase my speed and still have energy left over
  • I've been working on fueling and learning what I will need to do to keep my energy level stable
  • I am training consistently.  This year I've put in a lot more miles than last year.  I'm not letting up on the miles and I'm pushing myself to keep the long run/walk mileage long enough to make a difference
  • My confidence is coming back.  I'm re-learning that I can do it and will do it.  I'm remembering why I do it, how much I enjoy it
Will I finally hit the 2 hour 30 minute time I've been chasing since 2008?  I don't know, but I feel like I'm giving myself a good chance.  I'm going to continue training hard during this next two months and hopefully the results will be favorable come race day!


Richard said...

I know the truth and hurt that goes with those pictures, but I also know the joy that comes with that 2:30 half and the joy beyond that. That joy is in your future one day. I look forward to the glorious day that joy comes out in your posts--for that day will come!

Anonymous said...

You can do it! It seems like you have been making good progess with your weight loss. I love the Galloway method. I definitely feel 1,000 times better at the end of the races when I follow that plan. Keep moving forward :)

Karen @ working it out...

Princess Fee said...

I didn't realise you were doing the DL Half! I hope to see you when I'm there (I didn't think anyone else I knew was doing it).
And I have no doubt that you can do it!! Sometimes we just need one thing - a race, a photo, a comment - to make us realise where we are and where we want to be. The Galloway method is what has worked, and still works, for me! Good luck with all the training :).

Anonymous said...

how long do they give you to complete the 5k so that you are still eligible to get a medal? Thanks!

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