Friday, December 30, 2011

Disneyland Half Marathon Sept 2011

I love the Disneyland Half Marathon.I know a lot of people prefer the Disney World Races, but I don't. Even though the race is partially through the streets of Anaheim and not entirely in the park, there's much more to look at than running along the Disney highways in Florida. I can't wait for the Inaugural Tinkerbell Half at the end of January!

This race was only 2 weeks after San Diego and I didn't go running a single time between that race and this one. I was battling some painful stomach issues and severe acid reflux. (A few weeks later, I went gluten free, but I will save that post for another time.)

Tab did the 5K this year!

Pre Race

Me and T waiting in the corrals before the start
Look! I made a new friend!

Back lots of Disneyland

Running into Angel Stadium. I love this part!

Angel Stadium

T2 and T caught up with me around mile 10...
and then left me in the dust.

My usual mile 10 pic

This completes the Run Disney Coast to Coast Challenge
I love, love, love this race. we stayed for a few extra days and just hung out and had a great time. My stomach issues were a little off and on, but I managed to cope...and drink lots of, of course. And I took a few non- race pictures.

Califonia Adventure Ferris Wheel

Thursday, December 29, 2011

America's Finest City Half Marathon August 2011

I somehow managed to forget that California is not flat. The America's Finest City Half Marathon in San Diego was tough. As per usual, I did not train nearly enough, however, I managed to make good time throughout most of the race. The scenery is great and the race was well run, but again, this one is for more serious runners than a lot of the people that compete at the Disney or Rock 'n' Roll events. I immediately felt out of place.

Yep, they are running laps pre-race. No thank you.

This is the first race I have done solo. You get bussed to the start line from Balboa Park and there's no traffic access otherwise, so once the buses drop you off, there's a heck of a lot of waiting to do.

Before sunrise at Cabrillo National Park.

Cabrillo National Monument
The race begins on an old Navy base, which is super cool (and also why there is no traffic allowed at that time of the day). The first mile was uphill, and then the next 2 miles were very downhill, which was great. I was making awesome time!

Ahhh, San Diego, you are very pretty.

The next several miles are pretty flat, and I was on track to actually have a pretty decent time this race. I cruised along taking in the scenery. This was also my first race as a Half Fanatic. I wore my shirt and actually had two other brand new Half Fanatics come up and say hi to me during the race.

That's me - Half Fanatic #1122

My usual Mile 10 pic

This is where things went down hill. I think maybe I had run too fast at the beginning - a habit I am having trouble breaking - and I was starting to get pretty tired. Somewhere during mile 11, the course becomes mostly uphill. At the beginning of the race, I had overheard several runners joke about saving energy for the last hill. They were not kidding. Pretty much the last mile and a half is just an uphill battle. I ended up crossing the finish line around 3 hours, which wasn't too bad considering how slowly I crawled during the last 2 miles. Seriously, I think it took me over half an hour just to do that last hill. I was praying for a sniper to take me out...

I survived!
I also learned a lesson about immediately napping after a race. My body stiffened up badly after this one. But I did manage to get myself out of bed to meet up with my friend, Julie, that lives in San Diego. We headed out for Morrocan food. It was ah-may-zing. Plus, it's always fun to see Julie!


The half marathon race was not the only event for that week. I stayed a few extra days and spent some time in Del Mar, which is beautiful. The town is great and I got to spend some time with one of my dear friends and coworker. We also spent some time at the track because I have a lot of clients that work there.

They run only slightly faster than I do...

I wouldn't mind living here...
I may do this race again in the future because it's pretty cool and the scenery is amazing. I just need to give myself some time to forget that ridiculous hill at the end. Seriously.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Warrior Dash May 2011

Ahhhh, the Warrior Dash.

Much harder than you think it will be.
After running a handful of half marathons, how hard can a 3 mile course with a few obstacles possibly be?

It's freaking hard. I was sore for days and bruised all over. But I felt pretty bad ass when we were done.

Three of us headed down to Florence (home of Arizona's maximum security prison!) at around 7. My usual race partner, T, my friend Tab (damn it, why do all of my race buddies have names that start with T?) and I had signed up for the 10:00 wave start.

I knew we were in for a treat when this is the first thing we saw upon parking the car:

We passed a giant rope "cargo climb" on the way to pick up our race packets. Quote of the day a la T: "I can't believe that the waiver for this is only one page!"

Harder than it looks...

Pre-mud photo of T
Tab and T
Yes, T and I are still thinking this won't be that hard at this point.

Tab has a somewhat competitive side, so she decided to run ahead of us for the race. I usually run races alone because I don't really like trying to run on pace with others, but I'm so glad that T and I decided to do this one together. I didn't bring my camera or phone on this race because I already knew that there was a giant mud pit at the end and I wasn't going to risk my precious phone!! These photos were found via Google Image search.

Also ridiculously hard  source
And of course, the mud pit at the end   source
After the race, all covered in mud, you slog over to very cute fire men hosing down crowds of muddy competitors with a giant, very powerful fire hose. Of course, the water is freezing, but it was freezing water, or be mud caked so we opted for the former rather than the latter.

T cleans up nicely, although I can't quite figure out
what kind of look she's going for here.
The race entry includes a finisher medal, t-shirt and a plush Viking helmet. Score!


Havasu Half April 2011

Next up on the Ghosts Of Races Past play list is the Havasu Half Marathon in Lake Havasu City, AZ.

Lake Havasu City is a pretty cool little party tourist town, and also the home of the London Bridge.

Cool phone app? Why, yes, it is.

This race is pretty small with about 2000 competitors. At this point, I had done 2 Disney races and 2 Rock 'n' Roll races. If you want to get a feel of just how not competitive you are, try running a smaller race. It brings out the serious runners. Self esteem? Who needs that?

My usual running buddy, T, was unable to go with me on this adventure, so I dragged my mom along and even convinced her to do the 5K! She did great and even got a medal (bling whoredom runs in the family).

Lake Havasu City is one of the warmest parts of Arizona, so I packed pretty lightly, only to experience record breaking freezing weather. Fortunately, the weather cleared for the race itself. Shortly after the race, there was a torrential freezing downpour. I was very, very thankful that the running gods were kind because the night before and the afternoon after the race were absolutely miserable. Aside from my running shoes and running clothes, I had only brought light capris and light weight long sleeve shirts. Bbbbrrrrr!!!!

To fuel up before the race, my mom and I went to Mudshark Brewery, which is a very cool place (and also a sponsor of the Havasu Half). I highly recommend it!

Mudshark Brewery

I can't find my pictures from this race. I think they may be on an old memory card for my phone...

So I stole this one from the intrawebz.. source
My official time was 2:52, but my Garmin said it took me at least 5 minutes longer than that. Screw you, Garmin, my Official Time is 2:52. And that is all that matters, right?

I don't think I will do this race again this year, because the course is really, really boring (and lacking in Disney characters). The event coordinators did an excellent job, however. Everything went very smoothly, so kudos to the race staff. The entry fee was pretty cheap and included a cute tech shirt and a nice medal.

Disney's Princess Half Marathon February 2011

I'll spare all TWO of my readers the zillions of Disney World pictures I have - mostly because I am returning in two weeks for the WDW Half Marathon and Marathon Relay and I'm sure I will have plenty more to post!

So here's a brief recap of the race...which did not go smoothly.

I trained very hard for my first half marathon. Even though I was super slow with a time just under 3 hours, I felt great for almost the entire race. I also trained very hard for the next two races and I actually *gasp* was getting faster, shaving 12 minutes off of my half marathon time. Once the fear of not finishing was laid to rest, it became very easy for my inner slacker to once again regain control of my body. Sort of like in high school when I would do the bare minimum to maintain honor roll status, but not enough to actually strain any brain muscles. This has become my approach to running with each subsequent race becoming slower than the last....(insert dramatic sigh here.) If I didn't shells out hundreds of dollars for races, I wouldn't run at all.

Next up is the race recap for the WDW Princess Half Marathon 2011.

Here's T picking up her race bib. Notice the lack of crowds?

Yes, we were the very, very last group to squeeze past the Disney Armed Guard and force our way into the expo. We were in such a hurry, I almost left my race packet on a table when picking out a iFitness belt. (Don't leave home with one!)

I always order a Disney race commemorative pin because I'm nerdy like that. I don't collect Disney pins otherwise, but I've run three Disney races so far and have two more coming up, for which I have, of course, ordered the pin. Oh, and the Tinkerbell necklace. Damn you, Disney marketing!


We took it easy on Friday before the race and wandered mostly around Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

 T and me at Hollywood Studios.

T and her S.O., T2 (I can't come up with a better nick name since his name also happens to start with a T.)

This is NOT the first time she's done something like this in public.
Gotta rest up, right? Even if it's in the middle of Epcot....ummm.
We called it a night fairly early and headed back to the hotel. I have no idea what we decided to eat for our pre-race fuel up, but I do remember that we hit up almost every coffee stand and drank multiple bottles of water. I'm fairly certain we have a caffeine problem.

Anyway, Disney races start incredibly early - 5:45am, and we were told to be on the buses by 3:45am. Ouch.

Yes, I brought a crown, but I ended up wearing something much, much more fancy...

Jealous? I thought so.

So I didn't win the costume contest, but T and T2 certainly made a huge effort. In fact, this Ariel had other competitors asking to take their picture with him during the wait in the corrals.


I don't have very many pictures from the actual race because tragedy struck at the water station just after the castle. A girl crashed into me, knocking me down. I twisted my knee. Painful? Yes. But the REAL tragedy was the fact that my phone went flying and landed in a puddle causing the screen to short out. (My apologies to the poor T-Mobile guy for my near hysterical state while I demanded a new phone! And yes, I did get a new phone immediately after the race. I have my priorities.)


Entering Magic Kingdom...obviously.

I love running in the back lots of the Disney Parks. So much to look at!

I'm hoping the construction is finished in January!

Very shortly after this picture was the Phone Tragedy. I learned a lesson, though, about finding a place to meet after the race. Luck was on my side at the finish area because I found T and T2 by the bag check. Whew!

Post race. Why yes, we do love our phone apps!
All in all, I enjoyed my time at WDW. I was surprised by how warm it was was. Living in Phoenix, the weather is still chilly in February, but much warmer than in other parts of the country. I was expecting much cooler weather. I think I will pack less heavy stuff for our trip in two weeks.

Yup, T can chill just about anywhere. T2 is slinking away...


Oh, and I almost forgot about the most important part! The bling! I'm not a huge fan of the lanyard color, but I like that it's embroidered. I saw the design for the 2012 Princess medal, and the lanyard is printed like all of the other races this year instead of embroidered. But it's purple, sooo I guess it's a tie for which one is a better design.

oohh la la! 2011 medal

This was my slowest time, yet, coming in at 3 freaking hours. Yeah, I'm lazy (and I did twist my knee). I'm working on that. Sort of. And yes, my times are going to continue to get much, much slower for the rest of the year. It's like progress in reverse. C'est la vie!

My mascot, the ninja slug. Slow, but fierce!