Tinker Bell Half Marathon

January 19, 2014

I woke up this morning feeling not as horrible as I have the last few days but unfortunately still not great. I’m still coughing a lot and my head is really congested. I keep taking medicine but it just isn’t doing the trick.

It’s the last race for this trip to Cali and it’s the biggest one. I have 13.1 miles to get through. I know the first part of the course today is almost identical to the 10k yesterday and then the remaining part is through the streets of Anaheim. This is the course for the half marathon.

The race starts in a blur to me. I feel OK when we start but it goes downhill quick for me. I thought I was feeling a little better but then I started getting hot. I have on a light jacket so I take it off. It couldn’t have been more than two minutes when I had to put it back on. I hope this isn’t an indication of how this race is going to go for me.

I walk a little and then run a little as I just focus on getting to the next mile marker. I try to concentrate on my surroundings and even on my music to distract my mind a little. That works as I’m running through the parks. It is very crowded in areas and it is dark so I have to pay attention.

I definitely don’t feel like I’m running on all cylinders (see what I did there?!). It is a mental struggle to keep going. I have tissues in my jacket pocket and I’ve already used a few of them. We’re heading out of the parks and into the streets of Anaheim. I check my phone to see what my text alert said for my time. It says I’m on pace to finish in 4:21! Holy crap! Am I going backwards? I look at my Garmin and I don’t think that can be right! I get another alert just as I put my phone away so I check it again. It’s the 10k mark and now my pace has improved to finish at 3:39. Ummmm, that’s an improvement but it still doesn’t seem right. And, it isn’t matching up with my Garmin.

I try to pick up the pace a little. Now that it isn’t so crowded and we’re on the streets, I should be able to move a little better. That in itself should help my pace. We run through some neighborhood streets and there are some cute Tinker Bell signs indicating that it’s early and residents may still be sleeping. There are a few spectators on the streets but not a lot. There is, however, a steady stream of quiet shoes pounding the pavement from the thousands of runners ahead and behind me.

Somewhere around mile 8, there was a great team of Anaheim-ers that were handing out red vines (Twizzlers) and fresh cut oranges. I grabbed an orange from those fine folks and, HOLY COW, it was good! We have oranges in Florida but they are better for juicing than eating. California oranges are so good for eating and this one really did hit the spot. It kind of put a little pep in my step. I’m pretty sure I jogged off with a smile.

I rounded the next corner and there was the Cliff Shot stop. I don’t eat the gels; they mess with my tummy; I carry my own food. This time I have pretzels from my flight. I pass the tables full of gels as I open my pretzels. Just beyond the gels, there is a water stop and I’m going to need some water to get the pretzels down. I pop a few pretzels in my mouth just before the water tables. I swish some water to help get the pretzels down. It isn’t the tastiest but it works.

As I’m eating, I pass a couple of guys that have on the half marathon shirts from last weekend (WDW Marathon weekend). I start chatting with them and found out they ran Dopey also and they are doing Princess with their wives. They are enjoying themselves but they said they’re pretty tired too. It’s been a lot of early wake-up calls and then traveling across the country; it definitely makes for a lot of tiredness.

They take off and I wish them a good race. I finish my pretzels and water and then take off again. I feel like; all things considered; that I’m on pace to finish in a fairly decent time regardless of what my stupid text alerts keep saying (the 15k alert said I was on pace to finish in 3:27).

A view of the Tinker Bell half marathon finish line from the ChEAR Squad stands.

A view of the Tinker Bell half marathon finish line from the ChEAR Squad stands.

I make it to the finish with a smile and a load of relief. It has been mentally tough to continue pushing when I wanted to stop. I made a lot of compromises with myself along the way; run to a spot and walk to a spot; just keep moving kind of compromises. I got myself to the finish and I’m proud of that. And, considering how I feel my finish time of 3:00:38 isn’t too terrible. Turns out, all my text alerts were based on gun time and not chip time. I don’t know how that happened but it did scare me into pushing myself a little harder (even when I shouldn’t have been pushing at all).

I finished Tinker Bell weekend with a smile on my face. I feel like garbage and I totally earned these three medals!

I finished Tinker Bell weekend with a smile on my face. I feel like garbage and I totally earned these three medals!

I would love to say that I enjoyed my first trip to Disneyland but I’ve mostly seen my hotel room. I’m ready to go back to Florida and, most importantly, I’m ready to go to a doctor to get some antibiotics. This sinus infection and laryngitis that’s now joined it are not fun and I am pretty much done with them. I have another early morning since I have to get to the airport for my flight. Overall, I’d say this; my first “run-cation”; was less than stellar. Memorable, but not in the way I had hoped.

The finisher's medal for the Tinker Bell half marathon 2014.

The finisher’s medal for the Tinker Bell half marathon 2014.

Oh well, I still have Dumbo Double Dare in August.

UPDATE: I’m trying to keep up with all of my race related expenses this year. I’m sure I’ll fail miserably at this and end up digging for receipts later, but I vow to try. It’s sort of my homage to the old Mastercard “Priceless” commercials. So…here it is; Tink weekend in dollars:

Race Registration (including commemorative pins): ~$211 (this is skewed because I was able to register for Tink with Princess so my registration fees for Princess will be higher; this is JUST the 10k and 5k registration fees)
Flights (two people): ~$850
Hotel (four nights): ~$1000 (also included two, two day park hopper tickets weren’t used!)
Dining/Groceries: ~$355 (A LOT of cold medicine and such!)
Souvenirs: ~$2 (one vinylmation medal!)
ChEAR Squad: $99
Kennel (six nights): ~$300
Other expenses (parking, transportation, etc.): ~$140
Total: ~$2957

Neither of us had ever been to Disneyland before. Sadly, we were both sick this entire trip and neither of us wanted to go to the parks. The park tickets don’t expire until the end of the year, so hopefully, we’ll be able to use them at Dumbo.

Until then…happy running.

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