November 16, 2014
So I have a costume of sorts for the half today. I couldn’t really decide on a super hero because, let’s face it, the female superheroes all wear tight leather (mostly black) or underwear (a-la Wonder Woman). I can’t pull off any of that so I’m stuck. As I rack my brain, I come up with Lois Lane; and, yes, I know she’s Superman’s girlfriend and Superman is a DC comic hero. Whatevs. I’m desperate. I take a spin on Lois and decide on a version of Lois in high school (ish). It’s a reach. I don’t care. I have pockets and nerd glasses. I’m all set. More than I could’ve imagined.
We head out the door and HOLY COW the wind. It is so friggin windy. This is the kind of wind we have in Florida during a hurricane! How in the hell are we supposed to run in this?! I’m glad I have my jacket.
We walk over to the staging area and it’s relatively empty. I’ve never seen the staging area so empty at a runDisney race ever. It’s strange.
Cheer-tator heads over to the viewing area. He has entry into the reserved seating area since we bought the ChEAR Squad package but it’s still first come, first serve. He wants to make sure he gets a good seat so he heads that way and I head to my corral.
Standing in the corral isn’t too bad. We’re between some trees and there’s a lot of people so we don’t feel the wind as badly. There are a lot of costumes today. I don’t expect anyone to get my costume; I know it was a reach so I’m not mad! There are a lot of Spidermans and Captain Americas though.
This course is really similar to the half course from the Disneyland half in August. We will get to run through Angels Stadium again and I am really looking forward to that. The first few miles will be through the parks though. (Course map)
The wind was really whipping around but it didn’t feel as bad in the parks. There were plenty of characters along the course but the lines were horrendous. I don’t think I passed a line that was less than 30 or so people deep. I just didn’t want to stop and wait that long.
When we exited the park, that’s when it got real. The wind was terrible. There were times when I was running that I felt like I was moving backwards because the wind was pushing at me so hard. The water tables were blown everywhere and volunteers were having trouble getting water to runners. Several times one volunteer would be holding a stack of cups while another volunteer filled the top cup and handed it off to a runner. Empty cups that were tossed as trash were being blown all over the place and volunteers were trying to keep them contained without much success. Mile markers were completely blown over. There was even a porta-potty that had blown over! At one water and bathroom stop, I saw a group of runners holding the porta potty to keep the wind from blowing it over while another runner was inside. HURRICANE WINDS FOLKS!
As we continued towards Angels Stadium, we ran along the river trail that we run during Disneyland half. But, this time we came from the opposite direction. The wind was blowing so hard that sand was blowing in our faces. I have never been so thankful for glasses. Mine were meant to be a costume accessory and they turned out to be necessary safety gear. The sand was stinging my skin and it felt like it was embedded in my exposed skin.
I finally made the run towards the final stretch and texted cheer-tator to let him know I was coming up on the finish. We had been texting throughout the race because he was getting my time alerts. He knew I wasn’t feeling great and I had told him the wind was a big problem.
Since I did all the runDisney races this year, my friend at work who is a graphics genius, made me a banner to run with. As I approached the finish line, I stopped right in front of the announcer’s booth so they would recognize my accomplishment for the year. Cheer-tator got it on video for me!
I ended up walking a good portion of the race outside of the parks because of the wind. Every time I would start to run and the wind would get to blowing and I would feel like I was moving backwards. As such, I had my slowest half marathon time ever at 3:11:07. I am not even a little bit upset about this. The wind hindered me as did my coughing. The sand in my face probably didn’t help me much either.
I made my way through the finish chute and collected my medal and some refreshments. When I walked out into the staging area, typically where the family reunion area is located, we were directed to the exit. The staging and family reunion areas were completely closed because of the winds.
We went back to the hotel for some breakfast and a nap before heading to the park. I want to take all of my runDisney medals for the year and get a picture in front of the castle. I worked so hard to get to this moment for the year. 21 races, 167.5 miles, and 27 medals; it has been an indescribable albeit expensive experience. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.