Today was the first time I planned to run a race and ultimately didn’t… haven’t been feeling well in the past few days. Feeling lousy combined with a chance of rain, and it wasn’t worth the risk of getting really sick or hurt. This was a local 10K at Coca-Cola Park that supported pediatric cancer – a really good cause. My friend Tom ran the 10K and did pretty well, helped by the fact that rain seemed to hold off. Coming only two weeks off of the Tinkerbell races, I’m feeling a little worse than I expected, even with the jet lag that usually lasts a few days… hopefully this thing is over quick and I’m back to training.
It’s a wrap folks! The 2016 runDisney Half Marathon Weekend concluded this morning with the half marathon. This race for me ended up being a mixed bag… started off with good pacing, had some stomach issues early on, and then just lost my focus for the last couple of miles. Finally decided at about Mile 8 to just slow down and enjoy running through Anaheim. I finished, got my Pixie Dust Challenge medal AND my 2nd Coast to Coast challenge medal. Walked back to the hotel with the awesome clanging sound of three medals around my neck. Five medals in three days!
Of course, now it was time to hit the parks again for our final family day at Disneyland. We hit some favorites in Disneyland, came back for a mid-afternoon break (just like yesterday), but not until we had a rather tasty quick meal at Aladdin’s Oasis. After our “break”, we split up and I took Elaina on her first California Screamin’ ride – her first looping launched coaster. She loved it! After eating a turkey leg earlier, I stopped by the Cozy Cones in Carsland for a Bacon Mac’n’Cheese Bread Cone. YUM! We finished off our night with reserved seating for the Paint the Night parade. This is now one of my favorite Disney parades, and one amazing way to end our vacation (with a little running involved).
Day 2 of running – and it RAINED in Southern California! Yup, nothing like standing in corrals waiting for the race start while the rain comes down. Thankfully, being in Corral B for this race, we were right under the overpass, and by the time the race got going, the rain stopped. This was kind of a rinse and repeat from yesterday, basically running the 5K course, with extra loops around the outside of the Disneyland Resort in the streets of Anaheim.
This race was all business, and I didn’t stop for pictures… fortunately, they didn’t have any characters out due to the rain. Ran the course, crossed the finish, got my medal and headed back. After the requisite trip to the hotel and shower, I had to skip breakfast so we could make it back to the finish area in time for my kids to run their races. Alex and Elaina both finished the Tinkerbell Kids Races and earned their medals. I can see this getting very expensive in the near future (more so than it already is).
The rest of the day was spent in California Adventure. We had a nice dinner at Ariel’s Grotto, and then finished off the night with World of Color. I really enjoyed the water show, and of course, the inclusion of Frozen and Star Wars sequences. One thing I noticed about Disneyland in general is how nice people are compared to Orlando. Exiting the park after the nightly show was a piece of cake, no pushing, shoving, etc. We even got strollers for the kids as their legs were getting tired, and we had no trouble getting out. Overall, Radiator Springs Racers was the big hit of the day!
Tomorrow, I tackle the Tinkerbell Half, my second Coast to Coast, and complete the Pixie Dust Challenge!
Earlier this morning, I completed 2016 runDisney Neverland 5K! First time starting a race INSIDE a park, basically right down Main Street in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle! After the traditional singing of the national anthem, we had Tinkerbell flying down to the castle to kick things off. A nice 3.1 mile stroll through both Disneyland Resort Parks and a quick jog through Downtown Disney to the finish line. Since this was an untimed race, I decided to forgo time and just enjoy myself, stopping for pictures along the way. So something in the 40 minute when all was said and done, which isn’t that bad considering all the stops I made. I also got a chance to run this with Meghan, who I hadn’t seen since Marathon Weekend in January.
After the race, it was back to the hotel for a shower and the free hot breakfast. Given the time change, the kids were already up and ready to go. It was a day with a lot of walking in the parks, as we enjoyed all that Disneyland had to offer. Tomorrow is the Tinkerbell 10K, and the first half of the Pixie Dust Challenge!
Well, we made it Southern California… after getting up at 4am Eastern, running into an accident on 78 requiring a GPS-guided detour, a 6 hour plane flight after a nice 45 minute ground delay (nothing like hearing we are 25th for takeoff out of Newark), arriving in LAX only to take a 1 hour and 45 minute bus ride to Disneyland, we finally got to our resort.
The Anaheim Desert Palms Inn is now our home for the next few days. In years past, we’ve been in Disney World today, which is my daughter’s birthday. This year, we decided to try Disneyland, the original park and the happiest place on Earth. After checking in at the hotel, and letting the kids check out their bunk bed accommodations, we headed over to the Disneyland Hotel for race bib pickup and dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen. A little bit of shopping, and we called it a night at around 8pm Pacific time, or 11pm Eastern… a LONG day! Tomorrow starts the race weekend with the Neverland 5K!
…and straight on till morning! I can never figure out if I’m listening to Peter Pan or Captain James T. Kirk. In 4 more days, the family goes out to Anaheim, California to the Happiest Place on Earth. I’ll be running the RunDisney Tinkerbell 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon – completing the Pixie Dust Challenge, and earning my second Coast to Coast medal. Both kids will get their chance at a magical run in the 100m and 200m Kids’ Races. Weather looks to be near perfect for running – here’s hoping the crowds aren’t too bad and the travel is issue-free.
Earlier this morning, I completed my 13th Half Marathon – adding to the list that somehow already includes 3 FULL marathons! It wasn’t my best, wasn’t my worst, and this course is just a weird one. Nothing majorly challenging, but at a whole a variety of terrain. The weather started out cool and breezy, but then warmed up throughout. Once again I ran into some calf and quad cramps around Mile 9, which derails what would have been a nice finish time on par with my PR at this race from 2014. It’s a short two week rest until Tinkerbell and the Pixie Dust Challenge at Disneyland!
I’ve been a solid user of MapMyRun since I started this “hobby” a few years back. Even with the recent transition to a Garmin Vivoactive, I still sync my workouts to MMR. Today, I received an email with a badge for hitting the 3 year running milestone!
Looking back, I don’t usually stick with a hobby or interest this long… but I can’t complain because of the health benefits. So, over a 3 year period, I’ve logged 1,458 MILES! Yeah, I just let that number sink in too… and the scary part of this, I know I can do better, run faster and more efficiently in the coming years! Here’s to many more…
Amid lousy weather conditions (gusty winds, constant rain, and high 40’s temps), I completed the Philly Hot Chocolate 15K this morning. Finishers received a medal and a nice plastic “mug” complete with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue, and dippers. The only downside (from the weather) was getting up at 4:30am so I could be in Philly, parked, and at the race start by 7am. I’m starting to feel it now. On the plus side, I managed to maintain a respectable 12:30 avg. pace throughout the race. Took the first mile a bit too fast, but evened out the rest of the way.
Wishing everyone a safe, blessed and happy Easter! It’s days like today where we all have an opportunity to realize the reason for the season. Whether or not you believe in religion, in faith, Easter was not built around bunnies or chocolate or eggs… it came about as a sacrifice made by one for all. Historians generally agree that Jesus of Nazareth was a Galilean who walked the Earth nearly 2,000 years ago, who preached to the people, and who ultimately gave his life under Roman rule for his believes. There are many who argue that the resurrection never happened. But for millions of Christians around the world, that event that seemed so long ago has continued to be remembered even today. It was the single most important event in human history. And yet, in today’s world, we try to do everything we can to push it away and forget about it. So today, take a moment and reflect on the real reason for the season. Happy Easter!