Disneyland Half Marathon Recap

Hi everyone! It has been a while since I posted. Time just keeps slipping away from me. So, what have I been doing? Getting ready for the Disneyland Half Marathon, which I completed on Sunday, September 3. The theme was “Celebrating Pixar!”

I have a 4-year-old son, so we made this his first Disney visit. It was definitely magical for him. He got to meet Mickey Mouse and ride most of the rides. We’ve learned 2 things: 1) He’s an adrenaline junkey; 2) 100F makes for a slightly less magical experience. Haha!

The half marathon was hard. Prior to race start, it was ~85F. Did I mention that the race started at 5AM? Yikes.

I chose to dress as Minnie Mouse before I knew the theme

At race end, it was somewhere around 95F. I am not used to running in anything over 60-65F, so I was pretty miserable. At every water station, I drank some and then poured the rest on my head.

After Mile 4, I was sweating like I was at Mile 10! I ended up walking a lot because I couldn’t take the heat. That being said, running through Disney’s California Adventure and Disneyland was pretty cool.

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Disneyland

 

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California Adventure

We also got to run through the Anaheim Angels’ stadium, which was fun.

I wish I had gotten better pictures, but they had characters along the way within the parks. You could stop for a photo op, too. They even had performers, like acrobats.

We were all hot and tired after the race – couldn’t convince my son to do a picture with me at first. Here we are in all our glory. Hahahaha!

Luckily, he changed his mind a little bit later. 

Next time, I’m going to pay more attention to the time of year and regular/average temperatures because… Wow, that was hot. Not sure we are up for another long trip, but they do have a Star Wars half in Disneyland coming up in January… Whoa, there. Maybe I’ll look for something closer. We’ll see.

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Dragon Boat Racing

And now for something completely different…

On June 11, I participated in my first dragon boat race competition. It was harder than expected, but soooo much fun. It was sponsored by Bay Area Dragons. They were awesome – they provided boats for practice, instructors, gear… Fantastic organization.

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Bay Area Dragons

In May, my novice team and I started our practices. Now, when I say novice, I mean to say that some people on my team had never even gone canoeing or kayaking.

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My team! (I’m in the middle…)

It was definitely hard learning to paddle in sync. It was also hard learning all the terminology. I’m tall so was always in the middle of the boat, as part of what they call the “engine room.” That’s where the bigger paddlers are who can provide power. Now, that sounds like a good strategy. However, when the person in front is significantly shorter than you, it causes a lot of paddle clinking – I have a long reach and she, well… didn’t. 🙂 Each practice and, unfortunately, day of the competition, it took a bit of time for us to get in sync. And, then there were the challenges of the other 18 novice paddlers. Haha!
We only had 3 practices before the competition so I wasn’t sure how well we would do. And then, when I got to the event, I saw sooooooo many teams. And, teams who had their own gear – paddles, life vests. Or, PFDs for the cool people. Gulp. Was getting nervous. And, it was crazy windy. The morning started with winds around 12mph and the afternoon saw up to 19mph. Probably no biggie for the seasoned paddlers, but definitely an added challenge for us newbies.

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Race day!!!

The good and the bad is that we were in “Division D,” which meant we were the novices of the novices. I was ok with that. It felt fair. After 4 challenging races, we came in first in our division. Woohoo! It was certainly a good feeling, especially since I gave it my all in the final. Would I do it again? Probably. It’s nice to try different activities.

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The team before the competition

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Division D 1st Place! With a grumpy child who was ready to go home…

Oh, there’s a half marathon in my backyard

This morning, I got up to go for a run. Walk out the front door and flip a proverbial coin on which direction to run, then get moving. I thought it would be nice to run toward the San Mateo Bay Bridge for the view. And, that’s where I found it. The Divas Series half marathon. Oopsies. 

While it was lovely out, I knew I was in trouble. That pack coming down the road… They would soon be on the same trail as me and would end up playing a fine game of dodge the runner because I was going the other way. Oh, well. Got my run in. 

Divas wear pink


Apparently it is bad form to wear anything other than pink. 😁

Pressing On

On April 2, I ran the Oakland Running Festival half marathon. It was a hard run for me… It starts later than I am used to and the weather was quite warm. Half way through the race, I felt dizzy. I had to walk for a while, then went back to running. I didn’t feel particularly good for the rest of the run, but I did manage to finish at about my regular time, and shaved off 1 minute from my previous half. And, I finally had a friend doing the same run!

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We finished! Oak Town FTW!

This is my 4th time doing the half in Oakland. The race was very well organized and I liked the way they changed up the start/finish area this year. However, after my run, I was thinking that this would be my last. After thinking about it for several days, maybe not. If I do this again next year, I’m going to train differently… While I can’t control the weather, I can control when I do my weekend practice runs. I think I will start running later in the mornings to get used to a later start time. I’m used to a 6:30am start time, not 9:10am (the time the half starts).

That being said, I’ve been feeling a bit worn down lately. Last week, I took 2 days off from any exercise (Monday and Tuesday). Then, I did my indoor cycling class on Wednesday, light running on Thursday and Friday, weight work on Saturday. I tried an open run on Sunday, meaning I decided to run as far as I wanted, didn’t matter what the distance was. I ended up running 4.5 miles and got to check out a vista point that I’ve been curious about.

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There’s a teeny tiny San Francisco out there

The most important thing to note is that my speed increased. I’m starting to wonder if I am running too much right now. Adding more recovery time between runs seems to be giving me more speed and endurance. Anyone else find this to be true? Sometimes? All the time?

Stay healthy!

Random Wednesday Musings

On Sunday, I went running. Nothing out of the ordinary there. But, I encountered two women running with an off-leash dog. I’m going to pause there because a) it’s not legal and b) dogs can be unpredictable and c) good thing I’m not afraid of dogs… The dog was well-behaved and kept pace with them several feet ahead. The first time I saw them we were going in opposite directions. Second time, they were coming up behind me. The second time is the reason I decided to include this in my musings.

Blurry dog running off-leash

I was running along minding my own business, lost in my own thoughts, when suddenly I felt something bump into my right leg. I kind of jumped to the left a little, looked down and saw the dog. Then I could hear one of the women calling the dog and it slowed down, but then kept encroaching on my space time after time, until they passed me. Again, glad I’m not afraid of dogs. So, appropriate or inappropriate? Not much of a bother to me, per se, but I am pretty sure that would have been a bother to someone afraid of or not fond of dogs.


I went running on Tuesday. Again, nothing out of the ordinary. But, then I saw this on the trail!

A message on the trail

A friend of mine moved to Arizona last year, but comes back now and then to run half marathons in the old neighborhood. She was in town this weekend to run the San Francisco Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon… And, she left a note. I didn’t get to see her on this trip, so I thought it was extra cool that I found this.


This bird.

What are you trying to tell me little bird?

Yesterday, this bird drove me crazy for the better part of 30 minutes. She was at my kitchen window pecking away. It sounded a little like morse code. Whatever she was trying to tell me, it was urgent. But, sadly, I wasn’t getting it. I even went outside to see if something, like a cat, was after her. Nope. Just really, really wanted to be inside. After about 30 minutes, she moved to a nearby tree. Hopefully, she was feeling better… or something.

Speaking of birds… About a month ago, I was working at my desk and heard some kind of noise. I couldn’t quite figure out what it was so I opened the blinds. From my desk, which is on the second floor of my two-story house, I can see the roof over the garage. There was a crow shoving something under one of the shingles. Seriously. So, I can only assume that my roof has become some kind of storage unit for this bird. One of these days, maybe I’ll go out there to see what I can find. I’m guessing multiple hiding spots. Crows are crafty.

Stay healthy!

A Bittersweet Moment on the Trail

Last week, I went for a long training run (11 miles). My preferred trail is along a beautiful reservoir – a little bit of peacefulness in a hustle-bustle kind of place. I noticed an older man standing in front of a bench. He was standing. Maybe that’s why I took notice. He was looking out at the water lost in his thoughts. As I got closer, we made eye contact. I said good morning as I passed by. He seemed noticeably sad. I’m sometimes lost in my own space when I’m running, but it wasn’t hard to pick up on the vibe. On my way back, I noticed that he had left a bouquet of yellow daisies. I wasn’t having the best run, so I noticed but didn’t look too closely.

Yesterday, I went to the same trail – another long training run (12 miles). I came to the bench. He wasn’t there… But, a fresh bouquet of flowers was. I stopped to look. That’s when I realized there was a plaque on the bench. A dedication.

I took a picture because it was truly sweet. I imagine that the daisies will be new next Sunday as well. I looked out from the bench – it’s a serene, peaceful view and I hope it brings him some comfort.

The View from the Bench

My Shoe Has a Problem

Before I get to my shoe problem, I’ll share some good news. This morning, I was able to run 8 miles. I’m behind in my half marathon training, but that’s ok. I’ve been dealing with an ankle problem after running in new shoes without properly breaking them in. Right now, I’m wrapping my ankle and putting KT tape on my calf. The KT tape was helping my ankle, but not quite giving me the level of support I needed. Broke down and bought a proper ankle brace… Very helpful. Very excited to have run 8 miles without issue.

Added bonus: I got to play a great game of “dodge the snails.” I think every snail in the area was on the trail this morning trying to get out of the puddles so they wouldn’t drown or something. The big ones were not much of a challenge, but so many baby snails… As far as I know, I didn’t cause any deaths. No snails, slugs, or worms were harmed by me this morning.

 

Interesting double bonus: I brought some Gu with me and realized about 3 miles into the run that I had dropped my Gu somewhere. I was disappointed because it was one of my favorite flavors. On the way back (straight trail), I started scanning for my lost packet of Gu about the spot I realized it was gone… about a quarter of a mile later, I actually found it! Woot!

Ok, now to my shoe problem. The reason I bought new shoes is because my right shoe has 2 small holes in the mesh on top. After today’s run, one of those holes is a little bigger. 😦 So, I am not particularly interested in trying out my new shoes again until after the half marathon on April 2, but need to figure out how to keep my shoe from developing a bigger hole and rendering my shoe useless or embarrassing. Any ideas on how to stop this hole? Any suggestions welcome. Right now, I am considering some kind of glue or duct tape solution, but I don’t want to look stupid… Any advice? 🙂