Thursday, January 22, 2015

Star Wars Disneyland 10k

Star Wars 10k Shirt & Medal
I did want to race these races on consecutive days. What would that look like though? I wasn't too sure. And I wasn't too sure how the foot/ankle would behave. While the ankle tendonitis has been better, the heel pain has been worse after longer runs. I've made an appointment to see a podiatrist upon my return.

And what would racing these events look like when both races started at 5:30 am? Oy, that is early. Knowing this would be an issue, I did have us shift our bedtimes a bit earlier starting the Monday before the races. We'd also had a very early flight out of Seattle so it just made sense. And we mostly succeeded. When the alarm clock went off at 3:30 am, I was awake.

We were staying about a 15 minute drive away from the park. That would've been perfect for parking, doing bag check and hitting the bathrooms IF we'd figured out how to get into the parking lot. That first morning, we didn't figure it out and after much walking (by empty portopotties!), we made it to our respective corrals with just a couple minutes to spare before the prompt 5:30 race start.

 I had been seeded into the first corral (out of 5) but was quite far back. I figured that would be a good way to make sure i kept it easier the first mile as I warmed up. The main goal with the 10k was to NOT shred my quads doing any faster miles. I wanted to run harder but in control. I thought 50-51 minutes seemed likely.

Fortunately this race was perfect for keeping the attention away from running. It was a crowded start and having now been back to Orange County for the first time in 20 years, i can tell you it is flat! I had no idea about that when i lived there (and didn't run when i did) but the only hills seem to be feeder roads or bridges over roads. We hit one in the first mile, as yes, people walked.  Ha!

 After running on roads around the park, we entered Disneyland at about 1.5 miles. I'd been busy enjoying all the star wars costumes (and was also dressed in one myself). It was really fun running in the park. There were many turns and there was always something to see around the next corner. Cast members (Disney employees) were out directing traffic or just getting ready for their day and cheering. I like seeing the off stage areas.

I had been concerned about it being dark as did start the race well before sunrise. Fortunately most areas of the park had enough ambient light. I did have a slow down in mile 3 and I do think it was during this mile that there were a couple sections that were quite dark.  However, i was so busy looking around that I missed a mile! I kept mile 1 easy-ish (8:11) and evidently sped up the second mile (7:53) but hadn't even realized we'd hit mile 2. I only noticed when mile 3 beeped (8:21)!

Half done! I was finally feeling warmed up and just continued trotting along at what felt like a good tempo effort. I was getting warm at this point but didn't want to stop for water. There were supposed to be stations with star wars characters and I did stop for one. Evidently i had missed some of the other ones but that is fine as I expected to take more time for the half the next day to enjoy the photo opportunities.

Soon we were headed out of the park back to the finish and I was pretty happy to see that I had been spot on my guestimate for finishing time. 50:37 and that is with one photo stop.

I spent an enoyable time chatting with a teenage finisher who was visiting from Colorado with his family. His aunts and uncles were all running the rebel challenge (as was he) and we had fun comparing notes while waiting. yes, this sure beats running in the cold and wet in our respective towns! 

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