Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Recap - Part 4

Are you pic overloaded yet??  I sure hope not because I have MORE to share!!!!!

Sunday morning began with another early wake-up call to get ready for the Disneyland Half Marathon!!!  I once again met my PbRC friends at the crosswalk and we walked over together, much like the morning before.

I met up with Ashley again and we hung out before heading over to the corrals.  She snapped this pic for me:

I'm an Original Mouseketeer!!!

Unlike the previous morning they began ushering us into corrals WELL before the race start time; like, an hour before.  I appreciate their attention to this since we were very rushed the day before - but we stood around for awhile and then people just kept coming and there was no room for them.  Luckily, Ashley and I managed to find our way to the front of Corral D and there I joined up with the PbRC pace group I was planning to run with that day.

My peeps!

Also unlike the previous morning we had a fireworks start to the race!!! 

You like my pic??  Pic Collage, where have you been all my life!!!

Once Corral D hit the starting line our group was off running!  Race goal = PR in fun and try to finish before 3 hours ;)  Like the previous day's 10K, we entered California Adventure at the 2 mile mark, coming in behind the Tower of Terror.  This time though, the route took us through Paradise Pier and then over to Cars Land so we got to come up the main strip looking at Radiator Springs Racers.

Cars Land at sunrise

The run through California Adventure was otherwise very similar to the day before and at mile 3 we found ourselves entering Disneyland - this time through the front entrance!  Our  group stopped for several pics in here - TOO much fun!


Sadly our time in the parks was short and at mile 4 we entered the streets of Anaheim.  I had been told from folks that had run this race previously that this part of the course is pretty boring and I'll admit - it wasn't as fun as being in the parks, but it honestly wasn't that bad.  Maybe because I was running with a great group of people??  I didn't really get bored.  We were talking and cutting up and having a good time.  Before we knew it we came upon the class cars, reminiscent of the ones I saw at the Disney World Marathon in January.  


Even though the street of Anaheim did not have the magic of the Disney parks, there was plenty of on course entertainment, including every high school cheerleading squad and band within a 50 mile radius ;)  Seriously, all joking aside, there were LOTS of them!  Plus there were some other dancing groups as well.  I didn't really get any pics of them but I promise you, there were folks out there cheering for us!  At mile 8 we came upon the Honda Center, home of NHL's Anaheim Ducks.

I'd be lying if I told you I didn't crack a "flying V" joke right here

It was after the Honda Center that we hit my least favorite part of the course - a gravel side road.  There was also a sharp drop down into a deep ditch with no side rails on part of the road to protect you from falling.  I think runDisney should really consider putting up their own barriers there or rerouting around that road because it's an accident waiting to happen!!  At least it was short lived.

And then a mile later we hit Anaheim Stadium, home of MLB's Anaheim Angels!

You could see that "A" getting bigger and bigger!

I wasn't sure what to expect when running around Angels Stadium since I honestly wasn't impressed with Champion Stadium during the marathon in January but this time was much different - the stands were PACKED with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and all kinds of spectators with signs!  It was definitely the boost we needed to head towards the finish!

At mile 12 we re-entered California Adventure behind the Tower of Terror - and look who was there???!!!

Peggy Sue!!!!  Thanks Peggy Sue for cheering for us always!!

Home stretch!!!  We came down the back side of California Adventure and exited the park near Paradise Pier hotel, making our way to the finish line next to the Disneyland Hotel.  I never set out to PR this race as I have said before and I was very pleased that even with all the stops we made, we finished in 2:48!! 

And then there was the bling.... :)  I brought my marathon medal along for the photo op!!!  

Unlike Saturday my chEAR squad joined up with me at the finish line.  My left knee had been a little painful during the race (I think I stepped funny) so I hit the medical tent for some ice and was lucky enough to snag one of the final bags they had!!  I sat down for a few minutes with the ice on my knee and drank the chocolate milk that Owen brought.  My chEAR squad wanted to go to the Rainforest Cafe for breakfast so I got up and we headed that way and my knee actually felt pretty good so the ice had definitely helped!

I typically don't eat for awhile after a race like that but for some reason, we got to the Rainforest Cafe and I was famished.  I had a yummy caramel coffee frozen drink and this deliciousness:

Yes, I ate every last bite

I was worried that I was going to be one of the only runners stinking up the place right after the race but there were lots of us there enjoying the good food! 

After breakfast Owen and I headed back to the hotel while my sis and BIL hit the parks again.  I stuck my feet in an ice bath before I had my shower and then I immediately laid down for a nap - I wanted to really enjoy our last night so I thought some rest would help me feel more refreshed and I was right.  I woke up relaxed, not achy, and ready to go!  We headed to Disneyland first and hit a few attractions before we had to go back to the hotel to freshen up for our celebration dinner.

One last shot of the castle!  This is one of my favorites!

The Petrified Tree 

The story behind the petrified tree:  it comes from the Pike Petrified Forest in Colorado and was given to Lillian Disney by her husband Walt as a gag gift for their 31st wedding anniversary.  She told him she wanted a bigger "rock" - and this is what she got!  I'm glad to see Walt had a sense of humor ;)

I liked the land version much better than the world!

Dinner - I wanted something GOOD to celebrate.  I did my research and decided upon Napa Rose at the Grand Californian Hotel.  We had reservations at 6pm and walked right in to our table.  The restaurant was  SO beautiful, the service was fabulous and the food was delicious.

YUM - filet with roasted country corn and grilled new potatoes - the filet usually comes with a cheesy risotto and they were happy to make a substitution for me!

After dinner, to close out our AWESOME weekend, we had Fast Passes for World of Color back at California Adventure, so we headed on over to take our seats!

These pictures do not do this show justice y'all - hands down one of my favorite things all weekend!  And I'll admit, I cried during it because it was that awesome but it also meant my awesome weekend was ending :(

Well, you know what they say - all good things must come to an end.  Early Monday morning our car arrived to pick us back up and take us to the airport and after a full day of travel I was back home with my girls Monday night.  I missed them SO much but we truly had an AWESOME (how many times can I say that??) trip.  The land is definitely different from the world but in great ways; I hope I can talk Mr. Smith into letting us go back again next year... ;)

QOTD:  If you've ever seen World of Color, tell me your favorite part!