January 18, 2015
It is, thankfully, the last of the early mornings for us. I get up first and head to the bathroom to start getting ready. Cheertator turns the TV to SportsCenter or something and watches that from bed while I’m slowly moving through my morning routine.
Once we’re both dressed, I help him KT tape his shins. He is wearing his compression sleeves today too. Hopefully this will help with his shin splints. He is just hoping to get through the race today. And that’s all I’m hoping too. Fingers and toes crossed.
We head out of the room and it is cool. I am thankful for my running jacket. Cheertator also has on long sleeves. If it stays cool and breezy like this, it should be a good run. We’re both tired though and I know we’re both concerned about his shin splint issues.
We head straight to the corral. Once again we’re in Corral C. I have a couple of friends from California that are running but they are in Corral A. They don’t want to move back because they want to stop for pictures and we can’t move forward. We’ll try to meet up after the race sometime. But, we’re also going to be pressed for time. We have to get back to the hotel and clean up. We changed our flights to go back to Florida today because Cheertator had some work obligations that couldn’t be rescheduled. This should be interesting all around.
After the National Anthem, it is maybe six or seven minutes before we’re standing in the start block waiting to be released. There is a lot of chatter from Carissa and Rudy and several Star Wars characters have taken the stage as well.
We are finally on our way. We head down the street and come into the backlot area by a parking garage. We are barely to mile one and Cheertator is already having issues. We step to the side and he takes his shoes off so he can pull off his compression sleeves. I stuff them in my pockets and he gets his shoes back on so we can get moving again. Here is the half marathon course.
We are trying to do 1/1 intervals but it is really crowded and we are struggling to get around people. Add to that Cheertator’s shin issues and we’re walking way more than we’re running. Generally I wouldn’t worry too much about this. I am confident we could jog/walk the race within the time limits and finish. But, today we have a flight to catch and we don’t have a lot of cushion in our timing. I silently pray that, once we get out of the parks, we are able to make up some time and run more easily.
We loop through Disneyland for about a mile and a half before exiting and heading into Disney’s California Adventure. We’re in DCA for a little more than a mile and then we’re out in the streets of Anaheim.
We’ve walked a lot up to this point and we haven’t stopped for any pictures. But, now that we’re out of the parks and in the streets, the course is open and we’re able to run more. We run at a comfortable pace and get back to our intervals. We pass mile five and my anxiety is starting to ease a little. We aren’t as behind as I felt like we were and the course has opened up and we’re able to make some strides with running.
We’re coming up to mile six and I feel a really sharp pain in my right shin. It eases up a lot when we walk but it is a sharp and constant pain. I don’t want to stop but I told Cheertator that I feel like my bone is about to pop out of my skin. This can’t be good.
I am not always a smart person. I consider that I should probably stop running since I don’t know what this injury is. But, then I consider that I will not only lose my Rebel Challenge medal for not completing the half marathon but I will also lose my Coast to Coast medal. This is not an option for me. So, I keep going (stupid…I am really stupid).
At this point, I am just concentrating on finishing. We haven’t stopped for a single picture and, now that we’re outside the park, there is a large group of cos-players; likely members of the 501st; that are dressed as various characters from the Star Wars movies. There are some AMAZING characters. We stopped for ZERO.
Just ahead of mile eight, a medic on a bike stopped for a girl who was several yards in front of me. I saw that he was spraying her ankle with something. I asked if that was spray Biofreeze and he said yes. So, I had him spray the spot where my shin was hurting. I also pulled down my tights a little. The bottom of my tights was right about the spot where my shin was hurting. By pulling them down a little, the cuff wouldn’t push so hard on that spot.
Around mile eight was an actual medical stop. I stopped here and lathered some gel Biofreeze on the spot. We have about five miles to go. Hopefully this will get me through.
Somehow we managed to make it to mile 11 without me bursting into tears. My shin seriously feels like it could pop out of my skin and Cheertator’s shin splints aren’t being kind either. We’re both pretty miserable. So, we stop in one of the hotels and go to Starbuck’s. Cheertator got a hot chocolate and I got a vanilla bean frappucino. At that moment, it was the best frappucino EVER.
We made the turn onto Katella Ave. at mile 12. I needed to use the bathroom so I stopped at the porta-potty; there was NO line; this is a miracle in itself. We walked a good bit of mile 12 and then started running.
I’m not sure how we did it, but we managed to finish the race. Our official time was 3:13:54. I think this is my worst half marathon time ever. And, I can’t even blame it on picture stops! I have zero to show for it (except an aching shin!).
We get our half marathon finisher’s medals and then head towards the check area to get verified for our Rebel Challenge medals. I also have to get verification for my Coast to Coast medal. Once we have been verified, we are awarded our Challenge medals and I am awarded my Coast to Coast medal.
We have little time to enjoy the moment. We stop for finisher pictures and then head through the runner’s area and grab snack boxes. Once again, I toss out the ranch corn and we eat while we walk. We don’t have a lot of time but we aren’t as pressed as I felt like we would be.
We make it back to the hotel and grab some hot food off the buffet to take back to the room. We both have to shower and get our stuff packed. We have a shuttle bus reservation to take us back to the airport. It will be late when we get home tonight but I’m sort of glad we’re going home now. I am going to call my chiropractor’s office first thing in the morning to see if I can get an appointment. Hopefully he can help me with this issue or refer me to someone who can. My fear is that I have a stress fracture.
I asked Cheertator; when we finally got a moment to breathe; what he thought of his experience and the races. He looked at me, smiled, and said “the half marathon was the worst three and a half hours of my life”. He clarified later that he knew he was under trained and that his shin splints were a large part of the problem. However, he didn’t enjoy the crowds and the poor race etiquette demonstrated by many runners. He enjoyed the 5k and 10k and said he would do one of those with me again in a heartbeat. But, he would have to think long and hard about another half. He went on to say that the only way he would do another half would be if there was a Star Wars half in Florida.
Conspiracy theorists think there is one on the horizon. I’d recommend not getting rid of those running shoes Cheertator.
Star Wars expenses:
Race Registration: $417 (for both of us; 5k and challenge registration)
Flights: $1014 (including change fees)
Wookie Party: $211
Kennel for the pups: $270
Until next time…gotta run.