For anyone counting, this race was my 16th half marathon, and was unfortunately set to be the last runDisney Disneyland half marathon for the foreseeable future. We were planning to participate in the Avengers races for at a minimum of 5 years, or 6 to get all the infinity stone challenge medals (each year the challenge medal has a different…
Big deal races (and runDisney) require a POT (proof of time) if you want to be in a good corral (A or B, but really A) on race day, and not elbowing your way through the people who are here for the medal and a long ass walk. The last time I needed to sign up for a race solely for a POT was prior to my very first race, so, almost four years ago. Unfortunately for me, after taking almost a year off of running races because of my hip injury, and then returning to running about 30 seconds per mile slower, all I had were some disappointing (to me) race finish times to submit.
In the past, I flat out refused to submit any POT that was from a downhill race. This year, I was willing to bend the rules (my rules) a little with the Haunted Half being that it is half down emigration, half Salt Lake streets. Therefore, only half cheating…
Almost a year later, and one week before the Salt Lake Half, I was diagnosed with another stress fracture. This time it was in my shin. However, a shin fracture turns out to be something that heals WAY faster than a hip. No crutches, no sitting around on my butt, just a PREFERENCE that I not run on it while it was healing. AND it would ONLY take 3 weeks to heal. Which meant that although the doctor preferred I didn’t run the Salt Lake Half (I listened!) he had absolutely no concerns with me running the Tinker Bell Half.
I rode the stationary bike at the gym for three weeks, bought new shoes the week of the race, and had one (approved!) practice run before heading down to Anaheim. Walking around the expo (instead of on crutches and in a crappy mood) was super fun and I’m not being facetious. Instead of wishing I could crutch into a hole and die, I invisibly slipped from booth to booth looking at things and getting zero sympathy from random strangers who wanted to discuss various running ailments they’d had.
We showed up to the starting line and took lots of terrible pictures in the dark, said good luck to Chad (who was going for some kind of world record) and Crystal (who was in another corral), and went on our merry way. The race course was pretty similar to last year’s 10k, but it steered clear of Critter Country and Frontierland (no spoilers or behind the scenes on the new Star Wars Land for these runners!). Still we had plenty of time on park property, lots of Hero & Agents of SHIELD photo ops, and volunteers cheering us on.
As usual, we had a couple of days to enjoy the park (sore legs and all). And for something completely different my sister, Laura, her husband, Mel, and their daughter joined us for a day. This gave me the chance to finally make an appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and participate in a princess transformation. Because, “ma’am, this is really only for kids” can be told to me so many times before they threaten to kick me out of the park. Jerks.
My niece LOVED being transformed into a princess and thoroughly enjoyed meeting as many pixies, princesses, mice, and any other type of Disney character she could get in line to hug and interview.
When I went to the Race Expo/Packet Pick-up, I was surprised. The very well run event had a good assortment of crap that’s either needed or not needed for a race (depending on the runner), great packet pick up people, and excellent race bags. Along with the requisite race stuff (bib, pins, shirt, random coupons you will NEVER use) there were also gloves, a space blanket (until you run a cold start race, you will never truly appreciate these half bag, half Reynold’s Wrap blankets – AND it is SUPER rare that races will just hand them out), and a packet of KT Tape.
After re-reading that last sentence I just realized that literally no non-runner would ever get excited about any of those things.
I still refuse to admit I’m a runner.