The first wave of runners went and then we moved up. By the time we got close to the starting line they were counting down the seconds. No time to rest, let's get going! I was feeling good so I started off with a great pace. My first mile was 11 minutes, which for me is good considering I hadn't really trained much for it. The first 2 miles are what I would call "on Disney property". We started in Downtown Disney and then ran through DCA and Disneyland. Of course, I had to stop and take some pictures with the characters. Some characters were with parade floats; while others were in their respected lands. I think my favorite story from the whole race happened just after exiting Disneyland. We were running backstage when I saw a few CMs taking a break at a picnic table. So I run over to them and sit down. They chuckled a little and I asked them what was going on. They said "Not much. What have you been doing lately?" I replied with "You know, just running around." They proceeded to bust out laughing. I said my good-byes and off I went.
After the course leaves the park you pretty much just run around Anaheim. Not much to look at. A few gas stations, some bands and cheerleaders and people cheering along the way. Around Mile 8 you get to the Honda Center and just past Mile 9 comes Angel Stadium. Running through Angel Stadium was pretty cool. When you enter the stadium you hear people cheering in the stands. There were Boy Scouts and their families cheering you on and squirting you with water bottles. Which felt pretty good. This seemed to have given me a burst of energy. Well, that and the sports beans I had just eaten. The bad thing about running through the stadium was that I got dirt/sand in my sneakers. So I had to stop and clean them out. Which isn't fun when you know you have a blister starting.
After Angel Stadium you are back running the streets of Anaheim until Mile 12, then you enter DCA again. I don't know why but for some reason that last mile seemed to be really long. It could be because by then my back was really hurting. My legs felt fine and my blister wasn't feeling that bad but boy did my back hurt. Seeing Deb Wills from AllEars helped my feel a little better and knowing that my mom was at the finish line helped too. It wasn't much longer that I passed the 13 mile marker and saw the finish line. But I got side tracked when I saw Chip and Dale. I had to stop and give them a hug before crossing which made a volunteer yell at me to keep running. So I didn't get my great photo finish when I crossed but that's ok because all that matters is that I did it!!
After crossing I got a little emotional, thanking God for watching over me on my journey. When they put my 1/2 marathon medal around my neck I got choked up but when I got my Coast to Coast medal I was pretty much in tears. This is what I set out to do. This is what I wanted most. And once I received it, it was hard holding back those tears. After I received my medals I went to get my photo taken and get a snack. Bottles of water, Power Ade, bagels, bananas and oranges were in the tent. I did notice that in WDW they have the oranges cut in baggies already but in DL, the orange was whole. Who wants to take the time to peel an orange. So I grabbed a bottle of water and a bagel and went to find mom.
Mom was right there when I entered the family reunion area. She hugged me and all I said was that I wanted to get back to the room. The pain in my back was pretty bad and I wanted to get a shower, something to eat and some Tylenol. Although walking back to the room was fun. I was acting like my medals were pretty heavy and I was bent over really far. It actually helped my back feel a little better.
This was the race that I decided that I would try taking an ice bath. Mom stopped for some ice and I put on my yoga pants and got into the tub with the cold water running. It wasn't that bad until she added the ice. Holy cow was that cold!!! It's hard relaxing when you're body is shivering. To help pass the time, I called Cassidy to tell her I finished. She was so happy and said she couldn't wait to see my medals. Mom gave me a few snacks while I "chilled out." After about 10 minutes I had enough of that. I warmed up a little bit before getting my shower. Overall, I think the ice bath helped my legs recover better than without it. But that doesn't mean I'd be willing to do it again.
In a later post I'll compare the WDW and the Disneyland half marathons. But for now I hope you enjoy the slide show I put together for you.
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