Disney Dumbo Double Dare – Half Marathon
Ok, I figured I need to get this written up before I forget everything about this race. Since I have already forgotten some, this will probably be somewhat short.
A couple of things of note. One, my chip failed to register as I crossed the start. So, my “official” time vs. my time of my GPS is off by two seconds. Not a big deal since I was not eligible for any prizes. However, I do have my pride.
Two, this is the first time I trained to race a half marathon. My first and second half marathons were training races for Goofy. My third half marathon was a survival race, The Donald as part of Goofy. In fact, my half marathon PR was 1:53:44 from my first half.
Third, we went to the parks after the 10k the previous day. We tried to take it easy. However, the heat was definitely affecting us and we called it a day at 2:00 in the afternoon. I could already feel my throat getting dry. So we hightailed it back to the hotel room to rehydrate. We walked past the 7-11 (which became very popular with us over the course of the weekend) and picked up some water, sports drinks, and a giant diet slurpee.
We woke up a bit earlier on Sunday knowing the routine from the previous day. We got our gear ready and headed over to the start area. Per Caleb’s instructions, we tried to warm up on our way over. We were a little smarter this morning and did our lunges and leg swings in the hotel room. My guess was that there were a lot more people running the half vs. the 10k as we ran into many people in our hotel.
We followed the crowd over to the start. They changed the route vs. the previous day, which was a little confusing, but we were just cattle following the people in front of us. We did decide to do bag check this day and got quickly checked in. Then we stopped off at the lovely blue boxes. The lines were not too bad. Then we headed out to the street to wait for the release to the corrals.
The wait was getting a bit frustrating, but it was not as bad as the 10k. Finally we got the go ahead to head over to the corrals. We made our way to corral A. We stopped about halfway through the corral to warm up a bit more. We were soon surrounded as the corral filled up. Somehow some people got into the corral that should not have been there.
A few minutes of waiting around and listening to the preshow, we were finally ready. They brought someone out to sing the National Anthem. At the rockets red glare, we got some low, silent, red fireworks. Oh yeah, Disneyland is in the middle of a residential area vs. swamp land like Walt Disney World.
The chairs were off shortly after that and we moved forward for our corral. Finally we got the go and we were off. We were still in the middle of the corral, so it was pretty congested going forward.
Caleb told us to think of the half as two races. The first part was a 10 mile “moderate run” followed by a 5k. We were to slowly build through the 10 miles and then kick it into high gear. Given the heat and the fact that I gave it all my the day before, I did not know what the expect for the day. However, I was certainly going to give it what I had.
The first mile took us South and around Disneyland. As I said, it was pretty congested and we were slow going. We were at 8:59 which was a mile behind pace. Uh oh!
The second, third, and fourth mile ran through both parks of Disneyland. I actually recognized some stuff since we had done the run the day before plus we had hung out for several hours in DCA. I don’t remember much that was different. However, Worlds of Color was all lit up, which was pretty to look at. This was especially true since it was still darkish when we went through that area. These miles were a bit quicker. Mile two was 8:30 and mile three was 8:18. Mile four was 8:16. So, we were speeding up a bit, but still behind pace. I knew it was going to open up once we hit the streets of Anaheim.
Mile five took us out to Ball Road. This was a pretty wide open road. This was also where the only significant elevation was. We had to climb an overpass. The Blonde took up pretty quickly over the overpass and I followed her up. She told me she was trying to power up the hill. We then came back down. Our pace was at 7:57, so we were sitting right where we wanted to be.
Mile six had a couple of turns. This is where the bands and cheerleaders, etc. started to show up. It is always nice to have people cheering you on. Around this mile I had the feeling that I had to pee. I had been taking liquids at all of the stations with a bit of sports drink. Part of why I was drinking was to fight the feeling of dehydration I had had. Apparently, I had taken too much. So, I resolved to scale back on my intake and start pouring it on my head to keep cool. The pace for mile six was 8:03. We took some fuel around this time, a couple of blocks and some sour gummies.
Mile seven is where the classic cars started to show up, I think. I really enjoy this because it is a welcome distraction to view these machines which are treated so well. At first I believe it was a hodge podge of cars. Then the clubs started to show up. The mustang club was particularly strong. There was a group of classic mustangs followed by a group of new mustangs. Then came a group of corvettes and then some more mixed cars. This took us to the Honda Center’s parking lot. As we headed towards Angel’s Stadium, we ran on a gravel trail next to a canal. Mile seven’s pace was 7:55. Mile eight’s pace was 8:01. Mile nine’s pace was 7:47. See, I said the cars were distracting.
Mile 10 took us from the stadium’s parking lot, around the stadium and back out again. There were lots of people cheering in the stadium and the adrenaline kicked in for me. There is a mat to cross so the announcer can call out the names of the runner. He actually got mine correct, so I was feeling pretty good! We headed out back to the streets of Anaheim. Mile 10’s pace was 7:45.
Mile 11 is where it was time to kick it up a notch. Here is where it got serious. I decided to go up a bit but not too hard. I didn’t want to burn out this close to the finish line. My pace here was 7:32. I was feeling pretty good.
Mile 12 I ended up slowing down a bit. The pace was feeling a bit heavy at this point. I ended up dropping down to 7:37. At this point I was just counting down. I found myself checking my watch over and over for some reason. Again, there were lots of school groups out on the course which was nice. I gave some kids a high five as I ran past them. Ahh, to be young and have that much energy.
I hit the start of mile 13 and pretty gave it what I had knowing I had to last a little over a mile. I think I grabbed a water and poured it all over me and sipped a bit of sports drink. I wanted to stop so bad, but I had to keep telling myself, this is what you trained for. There is no quitting now! My pace for this mile was my fastest of the day. I was at 7:12. I was kind of confused as I headed towards the finish line as I expected it to be the same as the previous day, but it was not. We did not go through Downtown Disney, but rather headed over towards the hotels to run up that area.
Right before mile 13 ended was the final turn towards the finish. I knew we were close at this point because I was recognizing the buildings and because my watch said so. I gave it all I had at this point, which was not much. This was pretty much the hardest I had ever run. I finished the last .2 miles with a 6:42 pace. My unofficial race time per my garmin was 1:45:36. My goal was sub 1:45, so I was 36 seconds off of where I wanted to be. But given the race the day before and the heat, I would take it.
I crossed the finish line and just stopped. The Blonde was 12 seconds behind me so she caught up to me and we had some photos taken. We got our medals and our wrist bands clipped off. We headed up to the finish area and got some liquids and fuel. I also made for a beeline for the zero wait at the blue boxes.
After we collected our bags and changed out of shoes, The Blonde noticed a free massage area. Since we were pretty close to the front of the race, there was a zero wait time. So, I got a 10 minute rubdown of my legs, which helped greatly with walking around the parks later that day.
All in all it was a good race. I improved my PR by 7:08, so I was pretty happy with that. Two PRs in one weekend. I also ended up with three more medals for a total of four medals for the weekend. One was the 10k, the second was the half, the third was Dumbo for completing both, and the fourth was Coast to Coast saying we give Disney way too much of our money!