Saturday, January 24, 2015

Star Wars Half Marathon

What's the best thing to do after a solid 10k? Run a half marathon?

Uh sure. the wake up and getting out the door went smoother the second day. We knew exactly where to go and this time I was into my corral with about 5-10 minutes to spare. I did jog just a big and did some dynamic leg warm ups (ie swing the leg back and forth) in a vain effort to loosen up.

I was closer to the start and had fun seeing the new Star Wars movie preview which they broadcast before the start of the race. I can't wait! With fireworks (sorry neighbors!), we were off.

I really wasn't sure what to expect for the half. I wanted to be under 2 hours and hoped to be under marathon pace (8:45ish) but wasn't sure how I'd feel and if the foot would hold up. I wanted to go out cautiously to warm up and stay relaxed. It was warmer the second day than the first too so I knew I'd need to take fluids. I'd opted not to carry water and now think that I should have.

1st 5k 28:06/9:02 pace (first mile 8:47)
We turned into the park sooner for this race. I was just settling into running when a small speedy woman in a RTB shirt darted by me. Aha! I know her! And called out her name. This is B who is a very fast older runner who lives in Utah. She was out to have fun as well so didn't mind slowing down with me to chat for about a mile. Small world!

The race provides quite a few photo opportunities with star wars characters along the course. I knew I wanted to stop for a few of these this race so bid farewell to B. Boba Fett was out on course and I had to stop for that photo!

2nd 5k 27:10/8:45 pace
This second 5k went pretty fast as we were moving about the park. The California Adventure portion of the Disneyland Resort is new since I was last at Disneyland a long time ago. It was gorgeous to run though. In various places, there was lighting and sound/music effects reminiscent of Star Wars and in places, there were star wars related projections on the walls of buildings. Yes, well done.

At about 4.5, we left the park and headed out for a long looping out and back. I'd been dreading this as I thought it would be pretty dull. I did know someone who was cheering out in this section. I looked and looked for him as he was supposed to be dressed up as Princess Leia.  Ha! Somehow i missed him both when going out and coming back.

I was not expecting there to be high school bands and cheer groups out on the course.  That was fun. The bands were playing various renditions of the main Star Wars theme, of course! And it was much appreciated. Also there were a couple places where there were many people dressed up in impressive Star Wars costumes. Really, i was totally enjoying it all. I also got a lot of cheering for my "Rebel Scum" shirt that i was wearing. 

3rd 5k 27:04/8:43 pace
I had looked at the course and also the street names are all vaguely familiar to me.  So I knew pretty well where I was. By mile 9, i was mentally doing the Green Lake Units check (only 4 more miles!) and was ready to be done. I'd developed a bunch of blisters on one foot. Finally i could feel one of the larger ones tear (ouch) and knew i needed to be careful to keep my foot plant and stride the same so as not to mess up anything. My ankle started to bug me and I kept close attention to any road hazards.

Last section 3.8 miles/ 8:25 pace

I was still speeding up though and passing people. That helped. We finally made the turn onto the main street back to Disneyland (Harbor) and all I could think of is that I only had 2 miles left. It's only a couple blocks but these are loooong blocks.  I stopped taking in water and just focused on running. At about mile 12, i had some guy come up and pass me and thank him for pacing him for the last 9 miles. Really?

I got into a sprint the last half mile to the finish. The woman I was trying to stay ahead of gave up and backed off. Ha! And then I was done and happy to see the clock well under 2 hours.

1:54:22! 8:43 pace which is solidly marathon pace for me. I got both the half marathon and rebel challenge medals and headed to baggage claim figuring K would be out there for at least another 15 minutes. The guy i'd been looking for had seen K running and was heading to the finish. K and this guy's partner had finished the race at pretty much the same time. I met up with B and her group and had fun chatting with everyone and eventually went out to breakfast with some in teh group.

Absolutely I'd do this event again. it was a lot more fun and challenging than I expected.

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