2013 disneyland half marathon weekend
Friday night I headed to LA to spend the weekend with Amanda at Disneyland. Fortunately I had a direct flight to LA and I got upgraded to first class, so I was able to sleep.
I arrived in LA around 7am, hopped on my SuperShuttle to the hotel, checked in, and took a nap! I was pretty excited to be able to check in early, the people who were checking in next me were told that they had to pay $50 to check in early. Yikes!
Amanda's flight landed shortly after 9am and she headed towards the hotel on SuperShuttle as well (apparently her ride was much scarier than mine). Once she got there we made a plan (coffee, bibs, lunch, rest, dinner, sleep) and headed out.
Armed with our coffee, we got on the shuttle to the park (we stayed close enough to walk, but it was so hot that neither of us were interested in attempting). Once we were there we powered our way through the crowd to the Disneyland Hotel, where we picked up our bibs and park tickets. After that we headed upstairs to the Expo, got our shirts, checked out a few of the booths, and then went in search of lunch.
We ended up eating at a place that only had outdoor seating, which was not idea, but at least the heat wasn't so bad in the shade when one was not moving. Seriously, it was 95 degrees and humid. Not so much fun for an Alaska girl and a girl from SFO. After lunch we headed back to the hotel. Amanda went to the pool and I tried not to take another nap in the interest of going to bed early.
We had made dinner reservations at a restaurant called Catal for 5:45, so around 5:15 we headed back out into the heat. We ended up sitting outside for dinner too (not as bad since it was later in the day and there were fans). We both had salads, and a stuffed pepper appetizer, and pasta for dinner. Mine was linguine with mushrooms, peas, garlic, and corn. It was pretty tasty.
After dinner we walked back to the hotel so we could stop and get some water from the 7-11 down the street. Neither one of us were interested in paying $3+ for a bottle of water in the park, and the tap water is gross. Then we got ourselves organized for the morning and headed to bed. We made it into bed before 9:30, watched a little Amish Mafia on the Discovery Channel (such a bizarre show...but hard to stop watching), then went to sleep.
Sunday morning, our alarm went of at 3am. So early! We got up, drank our coffee, got dressed, made sure we had all of our things, grabbed our breakfast, and headed out the door! We left at 3:55, made it onto the shuttle shortly after 4:00...had a very...very...slow ride to the park (our driver pretty much refused to use the gas pedal), hopped off the bus and made our way to the start. Our walk to the start consisted of some stressing out about the temperature (it was close to 80 degrees at that point), neither one of us were excited about running in the heat. Amanda is 5 weeks out from her fall marathon, so she had a pretty relaxed attitude about this race. I, on the other hand, had big plans and was trying not to worry about how hot it was.
We used the bathroom, got everything situated, dropped our bags, and headed to our corrals. The wait in the corral is the worst. It's usually about 40 minutes, there's no place to sit, and all you can do is people watch, and worry. I talked to a couple of people around me, and just waited. Once the race was underway, the wait seemed better. Mostly I was worried about the fact that I had broken a sweat from walking and I was starting to feel ill from just standing and being hot.
When we finally started running, I was just thirsty. The first water station was over a mile into the course, so I spent a lot of time thinking about water.
I'm not going to rehash every gory detail of this race. Basically, the first six miles were great (although hot), and then it got bad. The only thing that threw me of during the beginning of the race was the 2:15 pacer passed me around mile 3. I found this to be disconcerting since my watch said I was running 9:55-10:05 (which is faster than a 2:15 half). That was a mental struggle for me. Either my watch was very wrong, or he was fast. I decided on him being fast (especially after I heard him say to someone that they would walk at mile 6). I ended up passing him shortly after mile 3.5 and stayed in front of him until mile 9. After the first 6 miles, I started to think that I might not make it. The sun had come up and it was really really hot. I slowed down a bit, and took my time walking through water stations.
After mile 9 was when I really started to think I wasn't going to make it, and I ended up walking a lot. I was dizzy and nauseous, and at one point I actually thought about quitting completely. Then I realized I didn't have my phone so I had no way of getting in touch with Amanda to tell her not to worry about me, so I decided it would be better to just finish. I managed to run pretty hard the last half mile or so (mostly because I wanted to be done!).
After I finished, I made my way through the medal line (short for once, thank goodness!), grabbed my bag, and went to meet Amanda. I told her that I was really not disappointed about my time. It was too hot and I felt that I did the best I could given the situation. She had run a super slow race (for her) too (on purpose), and agreed that it was too hot.
We left the finish area and went to get on a bus to go back to the hotel. We entertained the idea of walking, but I was feeling rather ill and thought it might be better to ride in an air conditioned bus. Once we got back to the hotel, Amanda went to the fitness center to run 3 miles on the treadmill (she is training for a marathon and had 16 miles on her training plan for this week), and I went to our room, showered and got into bed.
Once she got back and showered, we went downstairs to grab some lunch (my nausea finally turned into hunger). I ate a giant sandwich with lots of pickles...so good!
And then we took a nap. We meant to rally and head straight to the park, but a nap was definitely refreshing. The only problem with that plan was that it was a million degrees outside by the time we finally made it to the park. We stuck it out though, and had fun despite the heat. We tried to hit all the inside/air conditioned rides so we could remain a reasonable temperature.
Around 9pm we decided that we were tired and ready to head home. We also realized that we had been up for a ridiculously long time and should probably get some sleep and rest our feet. So we headed back to the hotel and went to bed. I think we slept for about 10 hours.
Monday morning we got up, ate breakfast, went back to Downtown Disney so Amanda could buy a gift for her adorable nephew, then headed back and checked out of the hotel. Amanda sat by the pool and I sat in the cool lobby and read until it was time to grab lunch and head to the airport.
The flight home was pretty uneventful and short (4hr 42min), minus the landing...it was super windy in Anchorage...that's always fun. I sat next to a guy who was a musician (rap/hip-hop) and his manager. They were in LA shooting a video. They were fun to talk to and helped pass the time more quickly.
Now that I'm home it seems like the weekend hardly happened at all. It was such a fast trip...all I have are sore legs and a full suitcase to remind me that I actually went somewhere.
Next it's off to Morro Bay in 9 days!