Another half marathon in the books, this time the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. I first ran this race the inaugural year, so it was fun to go back and see how things had changed. Plus it was Mother’s Day, so when Mom said she wanted the whole family to go out to California for the weekend, who was I to say no?
In terms of preparation, I was for the most part trained, though my 12 mile run hadn’t gone well a few weeks prior. I wanted to run this in under 3 hours, really wanted to run it in under 2:55. I hit one goal, but missed the other. Still pretty pleased with how it went. Given that the days leading up to the race were spent on my feet wandering the parks, I consider any good finish a solid win.
We opted to not do the race challenge (the 10k and the half) and just ran the one day. It felt like taking the easy way out, but I’m glad we did it that way. It was nice to not be up early two days in a row. We also managed to hit the expo about 2 hours before it closed on Thursday, which made for a really relaxing stop. So glad I didn’t bother to stand in any of the ridiculous merchandise lines. Things have really gotten out of hand there.
In an example of how different the runDisney California races are, I was in corral C. I’m not sure what my proof of time was, but I am not a fast runner. My half PR is only a 2:48, and I certainly don’t have a 10K time indicating I can do any faster (I can run a 5K a bit faster, but for 10Ks all the way to half marathons, I appear to have one pace.) I wasn’t planning any photo stops, but it was certainly nice to be up further in the corrals.
CA Disney races have a few other perks as well. No need to get a bus to the start area to stand around for hours. Nope, just show up and walk to your corral. Easy peasy. Of course, the fact that my body is still somewhat on Eastern time does help too.
The course was excellent. You spend approximately miles 2-5 in the parks and then come back somewhere around mile 11. And the miles outside of the park run through some really fun neighborhoods. The best part is the spectator support. Because these are neighborhood roads that are easier to get to, there are tons of people out. School dance teams and marching bands are there, as well as generals spectator support. And the mile of Red Hat Ladies who appear to be having way too much fun.
Lately, I’ve been having some shoulder pain while I run. It’s definitely muscular – starts out general, then settles in as a lovely knot, right where your hand touches if you reach up to massage your neck and shoulder area. I’m not sure what’s causing it, but I’m starting to think that I’m not running with my core engaged as much as I should. When I noticed it start to set in, I switched my watch to my other arm (what, it wasn’t going to hurt) and made a point of really engaging my core muscles and paying attention to posture. I also grabbed a handful of Biofreeze and slathered it on. Something I did helped and the pain eased, but it definitely slowed me down for a bit. Going to have to figure that one out – but I’m betting it’s my core.
I officially finished in 2:56:41, and that’s with a bathroom break and slowing to chat with a friend. So well under the 3 hour mark and not terribly far off the 2:55 I wanted. Considering there were a few slowdowns on the course, I’m really happy with it.
From what I’ve heard, I definitely lucked out by being ahead in the corrals. Lots of pushing and shoving and scolding in the later corrals, which is absolutely ridiculous. My mom watched a woman try to shove people out of the way and ultimately face plant. Karma, lady. It gets you every time. There were also a bunch of people doing some serious course cutting (from 5 to about 12), which was so egregious that the initial finishers list had a number of cheaters in the top 10. (Thankfully, these people were in later corrals, so the real winner broke the tape.) Of course, nothing is secret on the internet, so people looked up these cheaters and discovered that of course, they were bragging about finishing, some of them bragging about being legacy runners, meaning that they “finished” all five years of the Tink races. Joke’s on you. runDisney knows of your antics now. Cheaters never win.