Although Saturday was a somewhat busy day (starting bright and early at 3:30am) with the Disneyland 10K, watching the Michigan Wolverines win their first game of the season, grabbing lunch, hitting up the #WeRunSocial meet-up (I think we stayed for a good 2.5 hours), grabbing dinner from The Pizza Press and watching more football, I was still able to get to bed much earlier that the night before.
|Saturday shenanigans... I swear we did more than just eat all day ;)|
The alarms were set just as early on Sunday morning, but since I got twice as much sleep they didn't feel as terrible.
Thankfully I had set out my costume the night before and knew everything was ready to go (minus some last minute hot gluing of course). Although I wasn't too thrilled about my costume (I know all of my costumes look very 'homemade', this one felt a little more like a hack job than most of my other outfits so I wasn't super stoked about it), I knew I was going to have to throw on my biggest smile and rock the crap out of it.
|#FlatCarlee consisted of PRO Compression Socks, a Handful Sports Bra, a Sparkle Athletic Skirt, a Road ID bracelet, QALO silicon wedding |
bands, my Garmin Forerunner 735XT, a Momentum Jewelry wrap, and a few props (including a sword, belt, hat with feather and shadow).
In case you didn't read my Disneyland 10K recap, or forgot, the theme for the weekend was 'Dynamic Duos'. Since I was running alone I knew I would need a creative way to make a partnership. Once I decided on Peter Pan, I thought Tinker Bell was a little too obvious a choice so tried to think outside the box... Yup, Peter Pan's shadow - PERFECT!
|And because Shelby pointed it out... Yes, I do match my earrings to my costumes too!|
I met with friends at the Family Reunion Area around 4:45am before we all split off to run our own races. I had been chatting with Shelby about potentially running together but wasn't sure if she wanted me to tag along (she originally mentioned she was thinking about trying to go for a PR and get a sub-2 but kept saying she didn't want to slow me down in case that wasn't what the day had in store). Finally, I was able to talk her into letting me run with her and we made our way over to Corral C.
|Shelby, Ivie and I (we had to send the picture to our two ladies who|
weren't at the race)
|In case you couldn't tell, Shelby was Hank from Finding Dory|
Since there was a goal time in the back of our minds, we decided we would opt out of stopping for character pictures (unless there were some on the course that we normally didn't see) - minus the Sparkle Athletic cheer station, of course, that was a MUST stop!
|Oh yeah, and the World of Color... Another MUST STOP!|
I didn't want Shelby to feel any pressure on the pace, so I tried to let her dictate speed. I am a pretty bad pacer (meaning I have a hard time running even splits), so I did my best to stay next to her when space allowed because I didn't want her to feel as though I was running too fast or making her have to slow down.
Starting in Corral C I could tell there was a lot more congestion than in Corral A. The previous day when I was stopping for character photos there was no one in line (it was honestly Paula and I playing leap frog, I didn't see anyone else stopping near us), but now by the time we got to them there were a good 10 or so folks waiting (which still isn't terrible, but it was just something I noticed).
I looked at my watch early on in the race and noticed that our pace was off from what we would need for a sub-2 hour half marathon (9:09/mile translates to an even 2 hours). No worries what so ever, this race was about having fun with Shelby. We tried our best to get some great running shots (we figured one of us would buy the photo pass so we might as well try to get in as many pictures together so we could share pictures), and I think we succeeded.
|Running down Route 66|
|Out in front of The Little Mermaid|
|Running through the castle|
|Prep for the jump... And GO!|
|Trying our best for an action jumping shot... Not sure we fully got it though...|
If you run near me (or with me) at a race, hopefully my love for running and the running community is evident. Shelby and I did our darnedest to thank as many volunteers as we could, give out all the high fives, chat with the runners around us (whether it be about costumes, donuts, etc) and appreciate the spectators for being out to show us love (remember - we pay to do this craziness, they just get up to cheer us on out of the goodness of their hearts').
We knew the Sparkle Athletic cheer station was around Mile 7.5 so we were planning on stopping (I mean, I was expecting to fuel the race with sparkle donut holes, I had to stop, right?!). When we got there we saw that Carrie, Elise, Christy and Sarah were still hanging around (they had started in the corral ahead of us so we figured we'd never catch them). We chatted it up, took some pictures, grabbed some sweets, hugged our friends and took off. Carrie, Elise, Christy and Sarah decided to leave the cheer zone around the same time so we all ran together for a bit.
|Edible glitter... It's a game changer!|
|runDisney races bring some of the best people together!|
I was chatting with Carrie about the cheer station (and all of the awesome friends and family members who come out to hold it down) and mentioned the snapchat geo-filter that they made. That stopped her just about in her tracks and she said that although they were hanging out for a while, they totally spaced on grabbing a picture with the filter...
THROW ON THE BRAKES!
Like I told Shelby every time that she told me to just leave her behind, "we had nothing better to do", so it was back to the cheer station we went! Yup, we started running the course backward for a good quarter mile. We got so many comments about 'going the wrong way' (to which I responded that we wanted more donuts), but it was hilarious.
|Running friends make the miles fly by (even when you run 14 instead of 13.1)|
Running through Angel Stadium is one of my favorite parts of the course. Actually, that might be a lie, I always love running through the parks (it's just so magical, especially before they are opened to the public) and the classic car area is amazing, but this is one of the only (if not the only) runDisney races where you actually get to run on the warning track around the field. And seeing yourself on the jumbo-tron isn't too shabby either.
|Yep, I ran carrying a sword and shadow the entire race and Shelby carried a coffee pot!|
Shout out to all the great "strangers with candy" spectating stops. I grabbed a Red Vine from one and a Starburst from another (the one stop even had magical feathers to help you fly to the finish line... but thankfully I already had one in my hat so I didn't need to snag another).
|Let's just say we take our sweets VERY seriously ;)|
There was even an unofficial Dumbo station on the run back to the parks! Complete with a ringmaster and everything! Of course we had to stop (I even got a raffle ticket... but they said you needed to be present to win ;)).
Shelby's family and Ryan were spectating right before Mile 12. We stopped for a quick hello, a couple photos and then had to keep trucking (although, like I told a Disney employee who was encouraging runners by telling them "you're almost there"... "that means the fun is almost done and that is sad!").
|As you can see, no fun was had... HA!|
Before we knew it we were heading in towards the finish line. We decided we would smile at the first photographer and then would try to jump across the finish line for our final shot... Let's just say the photographers caught PURE MAGIC! (Some may call the pictures outtakes, but we call them WABSOLUTE WINNERS!)
|At least we got the smile shot down...|
|THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS!|
|This might be my favorite race photo EVER!|
|HE CAN FLY!|
After crossing the finish line we grabbed our bling (this time there were runDisney employees checking your bib to your Expo photo to make sure everything lined up properly and you legit completed the challenge... NO CHEATERS ALLOWED PLEASE!), loaded up all of our goodies (including water, a banana, a snack box and a Dr. Cool towel), snapped a finisher photo and made our way over to find the crew.
|A sweet member of the chEAR squad offered to take our picture|
|WE DID IT!|
I was stoked to see some of my friends around in the Family Reunion Area (I wasn't sure everyone's game plans and thought some people may already be back at their hotels by the time we finished). It was awesome to catch up and see how everyone's race went (especially since we weren't dying of heat stroke like past years - THANK YOU MOTHER NATURE FOR PLAYING NICE!).
|Casey, Justin, Linzie and I|
|Carrie, Shelby, Elise and I|
Ryan snapped a couple last pictures for me and then it was time to head to the hotel and check out so we could get home. (One thing I appreciate about the early start times is that we can be home to Oceanside and showered by 10:30am and still have the rest of the day to do things... although the only thing I really wanted to do was nap ;))
I know that runDisney races are pricey (hence why I've cut down from running all of them to only keeping the Dumbo Double Dare on my calendar), but if I can only do one, this one takes the cake for me! Sure, it holds a sentimental place in my heart (my first half in 2012, hubby's first half in 2013), but the magic of the course, the parks and the people makes this one that I hope I can continue to return to for many years to come!
Have you ever done a runDisney race?