Workout Wednesday - Star Wars Half Marathon

In an effort to get onto a schedule with the blog posting, I've decided to add a feature. I won't guarantee a workout every Wednesday, but I've come up with a serious plan to a sub-two hour half marathon this year, and I figured going public about it would make me stick with it. Plus, I want to start recording some of my races, because they're fun and I want to remember them as individuals. I was going to say I'm doing less this year, but I seem to find myself committed to six already...

So, for starters... STAR WARS.

I mean, was there any doubt I was going to do this race?

And make skirts for it? {That's not sweat. It's the shirt. I swear!}

Yeah, no. So Lori and I registered for it {and registered the boys for the kids race and 10k, respectively, which will be featured on the Running at Disney blog}, crossing our fingers with each click that we got in before time ran out. I'm not kidding - the Rebel Challenge {10k+half} sold out in 26 minutes.

And it was so, so worth it.

After Rock'n'Roll Vegas, I swore off the big races for a while - I just don't enjoy racing with 20k of my new bestest friends. But I forgot how positive the Disney crowd is...even at 4 in the morning. And for the most part, they know race etiquette. I was impressed by the people holding up their hand to indicate they were going to stop and walk. Believe me, that is NOT happening at RNR races. Lots of Disney runners are Jeff Galloway devotees, and they are well trained.

Some Half Fanatics pre-race.

Lori just did the WDW Full Marathon the week before, so the plan was always to keep it nice and slow and not kill her. In the beginning, it's always easy to go slow, since there's such a mass of people. The crowds started thinning out around mile two and we worked into our nice easy pace.

We didn't stop for a lot of character photos, which is good - who wants to wait twenty minutes for a photo they look stupid in? {Please let the official ones come out better...!}

I wanted to use the bathroom in the parks, because, um, real bathroom, but we managed to run out of California Adventure without seeing one. Then, backstage just before mile four, we saw a cast member bathroom - and it was unlocked! So I got to sing "I'm peeing in a real bathroom, not a port-a-potty!" And the poor cast member fled as a couple runners followed our example.

We rounded the corner into Radiator Springs, and there was a mass of people taking pictures of the sunrise. Because, I swear, it looked like Disney had painted the clouds up behind the buttes. That's what happens between miles 4-5 in a Disney race, people. You start wondering what's real.

Then we were out of the parks and onto the roads. I've done the Disneyland Half before, but this was a different route. We ran down Harbor Blvd foreeeeeeever....pointing out every donut and liquor shop. {Some of us have different priorities midrace.} Tons of spectators and random characters. I love DL races way better than WDW - there, you're on a highway with no one cheering you for miles.

I wish I had taken some pictures, because one stretch of road had the Southern CA Garrison of the 501st, a serious Star Wars fan club. And you thought I was a nerd. Someone has a car painted like Slave 1! They really made me nerdtastically happy at a point where I normally hate running.

So then I sang Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of my lungs. Lori tried singing Shake It Out, but people didn't join in with her like they did with me. {Okay, one guy sang with me. And then he ran away. But hey, my singing inspired him to run faster...away from me...!} Queen > Taylor

My mom and the kids were at mile thirteen to cheer us on. You can tell who ran a full the week before, and who is still feeling great. I kept trying to sprint it to the finish, and Lori kept trying to trip me.

The ending is the only complaint I have on this race - we turned into the hotel/Downtown Disney area, and then...ran a little loop around the parking lot. Really? They couldn't have put that quarter mile or so out on a road somewhere? It was annoying to think you had a straight shot to the finish line and then...you don't.

But we finished in just over three hours, which is a DISNEY PR for me. ;)

Was it worth it? Yes, yes, a million times yes. I'd legacy run it if I had an unlimited racing and vacation budget. It was a great kick-off to the year, and I feel really energized and ready to start training for the actual 'time matters' race.

And I got the 19.3 magnet for the back of my car! Just to confuse people.